Adelaide Football Club (SANFL)

The Adelaide Football Club, nicknamed The Crows, is an Australian rules football club which competes in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). Originally established in 1990 for the national AFL competition, Adelaide was permitted entrance in the SANFL competition as a reserves team beneath the AFL team from 2014.[3]

Full nameAdelaide Football Club
Club details
Founded1991 (AFL establishment)
2014 (SANFL entry)
Colours     Navy Blue      Red      Gold
CompetitionSouth Australian National Football League
ChairmanRob Chapman
CEOAndrew Fagan
CoachHeath Younie[1]
Captain(s)Matthew Wright[2]
Ground(s)Various - see "List of home grounds"
Other information
Official websiteCrows in SANFL


The Adelaide Football Club was created as an entity in late 1990 as part of the Australian Football League's expansion into non-Victorian areas.[4] The club first competed in the 1991 AFL season, finishing a respectable ninth on the ladder at the end of the season before first competing in a finals series in 1993.

From 2011, Adelaide club officials began expressing genuine interest in the formation of a stand-alone reserves side in the SANFL competition, rather than continuing with the draft policy which resulted in Adelaide-listed players being released to SANFL clubs when not selected for the senior team. Originally, considerable opposition from the SANFL clubs and the South Australia Football Commission resulted in the club being denied a SANFL licence; Chairperson John Olsen contending such a change would "compromise the SANFL competition" as well as have a negative impact on league depth, talent, competitiveness and gate takings.[5]

In response, Adelaide made it clear that it intended to establish a stand-alone reserves team from 2014, and that it was prepared to field the team in the South Australian Amateur Football League or in another state if the SANFL continued to refuse it entry.[6] Following improved negotiations between Adelaide executives and SANFL clubs,[7] the Crows' bid for a SANFL stand-alone side was approved by a vote of 6-2 of club executive representatives in August 2013.[8] The 15-year agreement results in Adelaide being required to pay an annual licence fee of $400,000 and commitments to retain the integrity of the SANFL, including an agreement not to rest players.[8]

Adelaide's first premiership match in the SANFL was against North Adelaide on April 6, 2014.[9]

Club structure

As part of the formation of a stand-alone Adelaide Crows team in the SANFL, several points of agreement were made to apply to the club once it began competing from 2014:[10]

  • Adelaide SANFL team to be branded Adelaide Football Club
  • All Adelaide Football Club listed players (including Rookie listed) to play with Adelaide SANFL team should they not be selected in the AFL team.
  • SANFL Clubs can opt in / out of providing top up players to Adelaide.
  • Should SANFL Clubs chose to opt in, they agree to always have a minimum of 2 players available for selection for Adelaide.
  • These players will be: 18 – 22 years old and on a SANFL Club list.
  • Should it be necessary, Adelaide may access further ‘top up’ players from community football. These players are not to have played at SANFL level for a minimum of 18 months and will receive $400 per match.
  • Adelaide players are eligible to win the Magarey Medal.
  • Adelaide players not eligible for State Game representation.

Ahead of the 2015 season, SANFL executives outlined additional new measures in relation to Adelaide's player list:[11]

  • To be eligible for inclusion on the AFC Supplementary ('top up' players) List, a person must be under the age of 23...a player may play as a top-up player past the age of 23 as long as he is first listed prior to the age of 23. Adelaide will be able to retain current contracted players already over the age of 23.
  • AFC cannot contract 'top up' players for more than one year.
  • Players included on the list of AFC cannot be recruited from outside of South Australia.
  • Adelaide no longer permitted to include players from rival SANFL clubs, with all top-up players to be recruited from Community football clubs.

Minor round matches

The Crows are permitted the use of one 'home' game from its two annual matches against the Power reserves (the "Port Adelaide Magpies"). However, as part of the agreement allowing Adelaide to field a stand-alone team in the SANFL, the Crows are required to play all other Minor Round games at the home ground of their opponents. Round 15 in 2016, versus Sturt at Thebarton, an exception to this.

List of home grounds

2014Clare OvalClareSANFL Showdown I
2015Balaklava OvalBalaklavaSANFL Showdown III
2016Mannum OvalMannumSANFL Showdown V
2016Thebarton OvalThebartonVs. Sturt
2017Woodville OvalWoodvilleSANFL Showdown VII
2018Kadina OvalKadinaSANFL Showdown X
2019Port Pirie OvalPort PirieSANFL Showdown XI


When competing in the SANFL competition, Adelaide wears a guernsey that differs from the home guernsey of their AFL side. Rather than the traditional hoops design in club colours, the SANFL side wears a 'v-shape' style guernsey featuring the red, gold and navy colours of the traditional strip design in the upper third of the front of the guernsey, with a white base covering the remainder of the guernsey so as not to clash with any of the other SANFL clubs.[12] Club members were asked to take part in a poll to decide from a range of Guernsey styles, with the current design being chosen by 36.59% of respondents.[13]

Season results and honours

SeasonLadderWin-LossFinalsCoachCaptainBest & FairestLeading GoalkickerKit sponsor
20148th7-11DNQHeath YounieIan CallinanIan CallinanIan Callinan (27)[14]Puma
20157th8-9 (1 draw)DNQHeath YounieIan CallinanIan CallinanJames Podsiadly (46)[15]BLK
20164th11-7Preliminary FinalistHeath YounieLuke CareyJonathon BeechHarry Dear (37)
2017 8th 7-11 DNQ Ryan O’Keefe Alex Keath

Hugh Greenwood

Scott Thompson Troy Menzel (24) ISC
2018 10th (Wooden Spoon) 1-17 DNQ Ryan O’Keefe Rotating Captains:

Alex Keath

Tom Doedee

Cam Ellis-Yoleman

Reilly O'Brien

Paul Hunter

Patrick Wilson

Premierships: 0
Runners up: 0
Minor premierships: 0
Wooden spoons: 1 (2018)
Magarey Medalists: 0
Jack Oatey Medalists: 0
Ken Farmer Medalists: 0

See also


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