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Adelaide Football Club - Crows History Locker


Games Won 9.5

Ladder Position 11

Premiership position: 11th in 15-team competition (9 wins, one draw, 12 losses)
Coach: Graham Cornes
Captain: Chris McDermott

Adelaide’s unexpected slide in its fourth AFL season led to the downfall of inaugural coach Graham Cornes.

After the many highs of 1993, there seemed to be more exciting opportunities ahead for the Crows.

Adelaide also had recruited strongly. Tony Hall, the two-time Glenelg premiership forward who then played in two flags in six seasons with Hawthorn, returned to finish his career. And the Crows traded with Collingwood for Brett Chalmers, who had drafted him from Port Adelaide the previous year.

But Adelaide finished the 1994 season in 11th place, well behind the finalists, and the Club was in the mood for change.

There were certainly no warning bells ringing early in the year. Adelaide advanced through three rounds of the pre-season Foster’s Cup to reach the Club’s first grand final. An extra-time win against West Coast was followed by impressive away wins at Waverley Park against Fitzroy and Collingwood. The Crows lost the grand final to Essendon in front of a crowd of 43,925 at Waverley Park by 34 points but they appeared to have had a solid preparation for the premiership season.

Just days after star forward Tony Modra threatened to quit football, his 13 goals helped Adelaide open the 1994 premiership season in menacing form, thrashing Carlton by 66 points at Football Park. Geelong’s ploy of having its players line up at Adelaide’s race when they entered Football Park in round four failed to upset the home side and the Crows were 4-2 at the State-of-Origin break.

But after South Australia’s two-point win against Victoria – when ten Crows represented SA – Adelaide lost ten of its remaining 16 games.

An embarrassing 97-point loss to Hawthorn at Football Park in round nine rocked the club and then the season crumpled after the round 18 loss to bottom side Sydney.

For three years Adelaide had remained competitive over the season due to the Football Park advantage but that faded with Footscray, Hawthorn, Richmond and Sydney all going home with the four match points. And the Crows’ form on the road didn’t improve. Eight trips to Victoria produced seven losses and a draw.

Injuries certainly didn’t help. Mark Bickley, Tony Hall, Matthew Robran, Stephen Rowe, Nigel Smart, Rodney Maynard, Andrew Jarman and Greg Anderson all spent long periods out of the game.

There were some big positives. Shaun Rehn continued to advance to be arguably the most complete ruckman in the AFL. He was recognised with the Club Champion award, and All Australian selection. Teenager Mark Ricciuto, awarded Best Team Man, also made the AA side for the first time.

Modra didn’t reach the crazy heights of 1993 but still kicked 70 goals from 19 AFL games, plus six for SA against Victoria, and McGuinness was Club Champion runner-up for the third time.

Cornes exited after coaching Adelaide to 43 wins and a draw in 89 games. “The argument was some players lacked motivation,” he said. “The coach has to accept responsibility for that.”

Adelaide’s outstanding 1994 financial results allowed the Crows to distribute $1.87 million to the SANFL, after also paying the $400,000 licence fee to the AFL.

Other highlights

  • Crows McDermott (captain), A Jarman, Modra, Smart, Hart, Anderson, Jameson, Rehn, Ricciuto and Tregenza represented South Australia’s State-of-Origin side in its thrilling two-point win over Victoria at Football Park. The team was coached by Graham Cornes and Andrew Jarman won the Fos Williams Medal as SA’s best.
  • State League v WA: McKinnon, Tasker, Schwerdt.
  • The AFL reduced list sizes from 52 to 42 for the 1994 season. Adelaide was allowed to select eight SANFL players to call on if required because of injuries. They were Britt Grocke, Darryl Wakelin (Port, was on Adelaide’s list in 1993), Mark Jeffries (North Adelaide), Richard Kelly (Norwood), Phil McGuinness (Glenelg), Shane Tongerie (Central District) and Ben Watkins (West Adelaide). Tongerie was added to the Crows’ main list at the pre-season draft in March. Wakelin won the Jack Oatey Medal for best afield (for Port) in the 1994 SANFL grand final and then joined St Kilda.
  • Adelaide had played a total of six minor round games at the MCG in the first three seasons but was not scheduled to play any games at the venue in 1994.
  • An extra (third) interchange player was added for the 1994 season.
  • Adelaide recorded its first draw against St Kilda at Waverley Park in round 14. The Crows trailed by 29 points at three quarter time but held St Kilda scoreless in the last term.
  • Adelaide travelled to London at the end of the season and played an exhibition game against 1994 premiers West Coast at The Oval (in London), as a curtain-raiser to a game between Richmond and Carlton. West Coast proved too strong for Adelaide, winning 14.14 (98) to 8.8 (56) in front of a crowd of 7000.

List changes

In: Tony Hall (Hawthorn), Brett Chalmers (Port Adelaide, Collingwood)

1993 national draft: Eugene Warrior (Port Adelaide).

1994 pre-season draft: Shane Tongerie (Central District), Matthew Kluzek (Woodville-West Torrens).

Out: Brenton Sanderson (Collingwood), Mark Mickan, Jarrod Hocking, Brooke Fogden, Alan Schwartz, Andrew Payze, Paul Patterson, Andrew Geddes, Seb Packer, Tim Perkins, Darryl Wakelin, Scott Hodges, Michael Godden.

First game players

Tony Hall, v Carlton at Football Park, 27/3/94 (debut order 55)

Brett Chalmers, v Geelong at Football Park, 17/4/94 (56)

Shane Tongerie, v Brisbane at the Gabba, 30/4/94 (57)

Sean Wellman, v Brisbane at the Gabba, 30/4/94 (58)

Peter Turner, v Essendon at Optus Oval, 15/5/94 (59)

Josh Mail, v Fitzroy at Football Park, 29/5/94 (60)

Matthew Kluzek, v Richmond at Football Park, 3/7/94 (61)

Marty McKinnon, v Carlton at Optus Oval, 10/7/94 (62)

Nick Pesch, v West Coast at Football Park, 17/7/94 (63)

Related links

Club Champion top dozen
1: Shaun Rehn 44 votes
2: Tony McGuinness 39
3: Mark Ricciuto 38
4: Rod Jameson 36
5: Chris McDermott 33
6: Ben Hart 27
7: Mark Bickley 17
= Andrew Jarman 17
9: Tony Modra 13
10: Greg Anderson 10
11: Nigel Smart 9
=12: Rodney Maynard, David Pittman 8
(5,4,3,2,1 by the match committee)
Leading goalkickers
70 Tony Modra
25 Tony Hall
23 Mark Ricciuto
20 Matthew Liptak
14 Tony McGuinness
13 Nigel Smart
Brownlow Medal votes
13 Rehn
8 McGuinness
7 Anderson
5 Jarman
5 Ricciuto
3 Modra
3 McKinnon
2 Bickley, Weidemann, Wellman, McDermott
1 Liptak, Tongerie, Pittman
Club Champion Shaun Rehn

All Australians

Mark Ricciuto and Shaun Rehn

1994 Board: Back row (from left): Robert Zerella, Brian Martin, Adrian Sutter, Bob Lee, Bob Campbell. Front row: Leigh Whicker, Bob Hammond (chairman), Rick Allert, Bill Sanders (general manager).

The 1994 squad

Back row (from left): Sean Wellman (44), Brett Chalmers (19), Randall Bone (51), Chris Groom (50, Shaun Rehn (52), David Pittman (15), Matthew Robran (5), Jonathon Ross (39), Anthony Ingerson (29). Third row: Scott Lee (13), Sean Tasker (4), Greg Anderson (1), Simon Pedler, Paul Rouvray (45), Peter Turner (22), Ben Hart (34), Stuart Wigney (14), Martin McKinnon (28), Rod Jameson (35), Eugene Warrior, Nick Pesch (16). Second row: Mark Viska (49), Simon Tregenza (12), Stephen Schwerdt (40), Tony Hall (9), Tony Modra (6), Nigel Smart (7), Wayne Weidemann (33), Rodney Maynard (18), Mark Ricciuto (32), Andrew Jarman (2), Mark Bickley (26). Front row: Michael Godden, Stephen Rowe (3), David Brown (21), Chris McDermott (captain, 10), Graham Cornes (coach), Michael Taylor (assistant coach), Tony McGuinness (11), Matthew Liptak (27), Josh Mail (8), Matthew Powell (20). Absent: Sam Smart, Shane Tongerie (17).