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Adelaide Football Club - Crows History Locker


Games Won 13

Ladder Position 3

Premiership position: 3rd (13 wins, 10 losses). Finished minor round 5th (12 wins, eight losses)
Coach: Graham Cornes
Captain: Chris McDermott

Adelaide’s third season featured some extraordinary football including a first finals experience but is most remembered for a shattering last second half of September football.

Seven goals ahead at half-time in a preliminary final, Adelaide’s exciting season ended in a collapse against eventual premier Essendon, costing the Crows a grand final spot.

It was a poor finish to what had undoubtedly been a year of team growth.

Adelaide won 12 of its 20 minor round games to finish fifth, it reduced the gap between its best and worst, looked stronger and appeared a tighter group.

A new superstar became the frontman of the incredible Crows hype and support. The fans couldn’t get enough. There were more than 40,000 season ticketholders (with hundreds on the waitlist), and every home match at Football Park was sold out with average home crowds of 46,286.

Adelaide enticed 1986 Magarey Medallist Greg Anderson back to South Australia, after 103 games for Essendon, and traded for Matthew Robran, who made his AFL debut for Hawthorn in Adelaide’s first game of 1991.

The Crows were also involved in their first national draft at the end of 1992 and selected five young South Australian players. After trading the first pick for Robran – who had stood out of football for a year after returning to South Australia – Martin McKinnon was claimed by the Crows at pick 26. The Central District junior was the 11th SANFL player called in the draft.

Robran, unfortunately, broke his leg against Sydney in round 14 and missed the rest of the season.

A promising pre-season – highlighted by a 147-point win against North Melbourne in the opening game of the Foster’s Cup – led into a 94-point over Richmond at the MCG in the premiership season opener.

Tony Modra, a late replacement in the team, kicked ten goals. It was the start of an amazing year in which he took the Mark of the Year, kicked a Crows record 13.4 (also against Richmond), made the SA State-of-Origin side, became the first Crow to kick 100 goals, and was chosen in the All-Australian team. His 1993 season tally of 129 goals, including ten goals in the three finals, is the 11th highest in VFL/AFL history.

Wins followed against West Coast and Fitzroy before consecutive losses to Melbourne, Hawthorn and Collingwood. Another ten goals to Modra helped the Crows storm to a two-point win over North Melbourne in round eight.  

Adelaide bounced around the ladder in the first half of the season. It copped a 79-point hiding against Carlton in round 12, then had four consecutive wins to climb to fourth spot.

After a loss to West Coast, Modra reached the 100-goal milestone against Fitzroy but another loss left the Crows outside the top six with a difficult run to the finals.

Needing to win the last game against Collingwood, Adelaide made a slow start and trailed by 33 points early in the second quarter. But the Crows, led by Tony McGuinness, staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Collingwood by 24 points. McGuinness – who had not played a final in seven seasons in the VFL with Footscray and Adelaide – ran himself into the ground as the Crows secured fifth spot with a four-goal win.
It was Adelaide’s first ever victory over Collingwood.

Shaun Rehn later recalled: “The crowd started chanting ‘we’re in the finals’. It was a pretty satisfying game. For blokes like McGuinness, McDermott, Jarman – those older blokes who were trying to make hay while the sun was shining – it meant a helluva lot.”

About 20,000 fans travelled from South Australia to watch Adelaide upset finals regular Hawthorn by 15 points in the elimination final at the MCG. The Hawks had 154 games of finals experience in their side. Adelaide had just seven – all played by Anderson in his five years at Essendon. 

Wayne Weidemann flattened Hawthorn’s Darren Jarman seconds after the opening bounce and Adelaide settled quickly, booting the first three goals through Randall Bone, Nigel Smart and Tony Modra before Hawthorn levelled the scores by quarter-time.

The Crows then broke the game open in the second term, kicking seven goals to three to lead by 24 points at half-time.

Hawthorn lifted again after the break, reducing the gap to seven points when Jason Dunstall kicked his fifth goal on the siren and then taking the leading early in the final term. A series of misses kept the Crows in the game, however, and then Matthew Liptak’s third goal, Nigel Smart’s third and fourth goals – split by a 60m bomb by Stuart Wigney – secured the win.

Rehn and Mark Bickley dominated the midfield and Matthew Liptak kicked three goals from 31 possessions. The players returned to a fan frenzy, with about 5000 supporters packing into the old Adelaide airport terminal.

Upset wins by Carlton (against Essendon) and West Coast (against North Melbourne) meant Adelaide progressed to a second semi against Carlton at Waverley. The Crows wasted opportunities in a final score of 8.20 to miss a direct trip to the grand final. But due to the finals system at the time they moved into the preliminary final against Essendon at the MCG.

After a nearly perfect start, Adelaide led by 42 points at half-time but only kicked two goals in the second half as the Bombers rallied to win by 11 points. Modra kicked five of his six goals in the first half but the Crows midfield was overwhelmed later in the match.

Andrew Jarman recalled: “1993 was our opportunity to win a flag and we blew it. That’s the bottom line. Three years in the competition and we could have won a Grand Final. It’s unheard of. None of us watched the Grand Final, it was too hard.”

At the end of the season, coach Graham Cornes thought the Club had taken steps forward but also was wary of the back-slappers.

“I can’t help but be aware of a prevailing attitude in the SA football community that we have all done a great job,” he said. “Such an attitude will have a dangerous, residual result if we, as a club, are satisfied with what we achieved this year.”

Adelaide had five players named in the All-Australian team – Nigel Smart, Ben Hart, Tony McGuinness, Greg Anderson and Tony Modra.

McGuinness won his first Crows Club Champion award after being runner-up in the club’s first two seasons. He received votes in 18 matches to be the clear winner from Mark Bickley and Modra. Bickley was named Best Team Man.

Mark Ricciuto, 17, made his AFL debut in round six and showed great promise, finishing seventh in the best-and-fairest votes.

Adelaide’s 1993 financial results continued to improve, despite an economic recession. After paying the $400,000 licence fee to the AFL, the Crows reported a surplus of $1.3 million and then distributed $902,000 to the SANFL.

Other highlights

  • McDermott (captain), Anderson, Jarman, Bickley, Modra, Smart, Robran, McGuinness, Pittman and Ben Hart represented South Australia’s State-of-Origin side against WA and Victoria. SA defeated WA by 36 points and three days later won the carnival final against Victoria by 12 points at the MCG. It was SA’s first win at the MCG since 1963. The team was coached by Graham Cornes.
  • State League v WA: Bone, Patterson, Hodges, Tasker, Perkins, Brown, Sanderson, Payze, Schwerdt.
  • A record home crowd of 48,522 watched Adelaide defeat Collingwood in the last minor round to secure a finals spot.
  • Adelaide kicked its highest score 28-10 (178) against Richmond at the MCG on March 28. Later in the season it blitzed the Tigers by 139 points, the biggest win in the club’s history.
  • Rodney Maynard became the first player to play 50 AFL games for the Adelaide Crows, in round seven. But his run of consecutive games ended when he broke a collarbone in round 14.
  • Adelaide’s 147-point win over North Melbourne in the opening round of the pre-season Foster’s Cup led to the sacking of North coach Wayne Schimmelbusch.
  • Modra took mark of the year against North Melbourne at Football Park in round eight. Late in the third quarter Modra sat on the shoulders of North’s Ian Fairley in the southern goalsquare to take the brilliant mark and kick his seventh goal of the night.

List changes


Trade: Greg Anderson (Essendon), Matthew Robran (Hawthorn), Stuart Wigney (Footscray).

1992 national draft: Martin McKinnon (Central District), Brooke Fogden (West Adelaide), Matthew Powell (South Adelaide), Sam Smart (Norwood), Michael Godden (West Adelaide).

1993 pre-season draft: Darryl Wakelin (Port Adelaide), Josh Mail (North Adelaide), Nick Pesch (Woodville-West Torrens), Simon Pedler (Port Adelaide).

1993 mid-season draft: Tim Perkins (North Adelaide).


Michael Murphy, James West, Bruce Abernethy, Darel Hart, Michael DiBiase, Eddie Hocking, David Marshall, Darren Smith, Grantley Fielke, Grant Tanner, John Klug (pre-season), Peter McIntyre, Adam Saliba (mid-season), Bruce Lindner (mid-season).

First game players

Greg Anderson, v Richmond at MCG on 28/3/93 (player debut order 48)

Chris Groom, v Richmond at MCG on 28/3/93 (49)

Matthew Robran, v Melbourne at MCG on 25/4/93 (50)

Mark Ricciuto, v Hawthorn at Football Park on 30/4//93 (51)

Mark Viska, v Brisbane at the Gabba on 30/5/93 (52)

Matthew Powell, v Geelong at Football Park on 27/6/93 (53)

Stuart Wigney, v Hawthorn at Waverley Park on 21/8/93 (54)

Related links

Club Champion top dozen
1: Tony McGuinness 62 votes
2: Mark Bickley 42
3: Anthony Modra 33
4: Chris McDermott 28
5: Shaun Rehn 25
6: Greg Anderson 22
7: Mark Ricciuto 21
8: Simon Tregenza 18
9: Nigel Smart 17
10: Scott Lee 15
11: Rodney Maynard 13
12: Andrew Jarman 12
(5,4,3,2,1 by the match committee)
Leading goalkickers
129 Tony Modra
28 Matthew Liptak
23 Nigel Smart
17 Scott Hodges
17 Stephen Rowe
16 Andrew Jarman
15 Greg Anderson
13 Mark Bickley
Brownlow Medal votes
11 Rehn
11 McGuinness
11 Modra
7 Smart
6 Anderson
4 Bickley
3 Pittman
2 McDermott
2 Maynard
2 Tregenza
1 A Jarman
1 B Hart
Club Champion Tony McGuinness

All Australians

Ben Hart, Greg Anderson, Nigel Smart, Tony Modra, Tony McGuinness

1993 Board: Back row (from left): Robert Zerella, Bob Lee, Adrian Sutter, Robert Hoey, Bob Campbell. Front row: Bill Sanders (GM), Bob Hammond, Rick Allert, Leigh Whicker.

The 1993 squad

Back row (from left): Jonathon Ross (39), Randall Bone (51), Sean Wellman (44), Sam Smart (23), David Pittman (15), Shaun Rehn (52), Mark Mickan (25), Chris Groom (50), Brooke Fogden (22), Matthew Robran (5), Anthony Ingerson (29), Peter Turner (47), Paul Rouvray (45). Third row: Matthew Kelly (42), Sean Tasker (4), Alan Schwartz (41), Anthony Modra (6), Martin McKinnon, Scott Hodges (17), Paul Patterson (46), Stuart Wigney (14), Jarrod Hocking (38), Ben Hart (34), Nigel Smart (7), Seb Packer (19), Wayne Weidemann (33). Second row: Bruce Lindner (9), Stephen Schwerdt (40), Mark Ricciuto (32), Rodney Maynard (18), Rod Jameson (35), Andrew Geddes (28), Brenton Sanderson (36), Simon Tregenza (12), Andrew Jarman (2), Greg Anderson (1), Andrew Payze (24). Front row: Adam Saliba (37), David Brown (21), Mark Bickley (26), Matthew Liptak (27), Tony McGuinness (vice captain, 11), Graham Cornes (coach), Chris McDermott (captain, 10), Mark Viska (49), Matthew Powell (30), Stephen Rowe (3), Michael Godden (31). Not in photo: March draftees Josh Mail (8), Simon Pedler (43), Nick Pesch (16), Darryl Wakelin (20) and June draftee Tim Perkins (9).