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Port Adelaide Magpies


Port Adelaide Magpies

Port Adelaide
File:Port logo.jpg
Full name Port Adelaide Football Club
Former name(s) Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club
Nickname(s) The Magpies
Club details
Founded 1870 (original establishment)
1997 (as own club)
2010 (as merged club)
Colours      Black      White
Competition South Australian National Football League
Chairman David Koch
Coach Garry Hocking
Captain(s) James Meiklejohn
Ground(s) Alberton Oval (capacity: 17,000)
Other information
Official website

The Port Adelaide Football Club, nicknamed The Magpies, is an Australian rules football club which competes in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). Originally established in 1870 for the local competition, the Port Adelaide Football club existed as two entities between 1997 and 2010: the Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club, which continued the club's presence in the SANFL; and the Port Adelaide Football Club, which competed in the Australian Football League (AFL). These two clubs shared the same history but existed as separate legal entities.[1][2] In 2010 this changed when the two clubs merged to form the current Port Adelaide Football Club, fielding teams in both the AFL and the SANFL.

Since it was founded in 1870, the Port Adelaide Football Club, in its various forms, has won a record 36 SANFL premierships and finished as runner-up in the SANFL grand final 35 times, finishing runners-up in the AFL Grand Final and winning their first AFL Grand Final in 2004.[3]


Port Adelaide Football Club

The Port Adelaide Football Club was first founded on 20 April 1870 and played its first match on 24 May 1870 at Buck's Flat in Glanville.[1] Based in the north-western suburbs of Adelaide, its traditional supporter base is among the working-class residents of Port Adelaide and its surrounding areas; a strong rivalry naturally ensued with clubs of the wealthier suburbs, such as Norwood and Glenelg.

In 1877, Port Adelaide was a founding member of the South Australian Football Association (later renamed the SANFL). Port Adelaide won its first premiership in 1884. Its colours and mascot changed several times in the early years; shortly after the turn of the century it had settled on a distinctive "prison bar" strip in black and white with the nickname "the Magpies". Its 1914 team went through the season undefeated and then defeated Victorian champions Carlton in a match mooted as deciding that year's "Champions of Australia".[2] In the 1950s, under coach Fos Williams, the club was exceptionally dominant, winning seven premierships, including six in a row.[1]

Throughout the 20th century, the Victorian Football League became richer than its interstate counterparts (notably the SANFL and the WAFL) and consequently the quality of its players and play increased. Port Adelaide's dominance of the SANFL led to frequent calls, of varying degrees of seriousness, for it to join the VFL. The VFL expanded into Perth, Sydney and Brisbane during the 1980s and then renamed itself the Australian Football League in 1989.[4][5] Moves for Port Adelaide to join the expanded competition reached an initial peak in 1990 when the Port Adelaide Football Club entered into discussions with the AFL. However, when news of the negotiations broke in late July 1990, strong opposition to the move emerged from within South Australia and, in particular, the other SANFL clubs. These clubs took court action to delay Port Adelaide's move, and this allowed the SANFL to gain support for their new alternative proposal to field a "combined team" in the national competition. As a result the license was granted to the SANFL, denying Port Adelaide's attempt, and in 1991 the Adelaide Football Club entered the Australian Football League.[4]

The agreement between the SANFL and the AFL included a five-year moratorium on the entry of a second club from South Australia, and thus Port Adelaide was prevented from joining the national competition in the immediate future. Nevertheless, the club continued to plan for an eventual entry into the AFL. On 14 December 1994 this was realised, with the SANFL announcing that Port Adelaide was to be granted the second South Australian license for the Australian Football League.[4] This was endorsed by the AFL in May 1996, and Port Adelaide entered the AFL as part of a sixteen team competition in 1997.[4][6]

Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club

The Port Adelaide Football Club, in effect, was a reverse-merger. From one club were created two entities, one to join the AFL and another to continue in the SANFL. The AFL entity was named "The Power", wearing black, teal, white and silver colours. The existing SANFL entity was renamed as the "Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club".

The Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club and the Port Adelaide Football Club would therefore be able share the statistical history of the former PAFC from 1870 to 1996 even though they are both separate clubs.[7]

Stephen Williams was appointed coach of the Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club when John Cahill stepped aside mid-season in 1996 to concentrate solely on his job as coach of the Port Adelaide Football Club that had joined the AFL. Williams guided the club to three more premierships (one in 1996 as the previous PAFC and two as the PAMFC) before announcing his resignation at the end of the 2003 season.

The 2005 season saw club legend John Cahill return to coach the Magpies for a year, leading the club to finish in third position. Recruit Jeremy Clayton dominated the competition until a rupturing his spleen in the qualifying final victory over the Eagles ended his season and meant that he had to watch from his hospital bed as won the 2005 Magarey Medal. In 2006 Tim Ginever, who was Cahill’s assistant in 2005, took over the reins as senior coach and Mark Clayton as the new captain of the club.

Return as Port Adelaide Football Club

In 2010, the club was re-unified with the Port Adelaide Football Club into a single entity playing in both the AFL and SANFL.


SANFL premierships

Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club (36)

1884, 1890, 1897, 1903, 1906, 1910, 1913, 1914, 1921, 1928, 1936, 1937, 1939, 1951, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1977, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999

Champions of Australia

1890, 1910, 1913, 1914

Magarey Medal winners

Port Adelaide Football Club

Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club

Club records

"Greatest Team": 1870–2000

In June 2001, a five man panel composed of Bob Quinn, Fos Williams, Dave Boyd, Russell Ebert and Greg Phillips was given the task of announcing the "Greatest Team" composed of Port Adelaide Magpies players between 1870–2000.

There are 201 premiership medals held by the 22 players in the Greatest Team; 532 state games; 16 Magarey Medals and a long list of football accolades and achievements.[8]

"Greatest Team":

  • Int: Harry Phillips, Jeff Potter, Peter Woite, Lloyd Zucker


External links

  • Port Adelaide Magpies Football Club – official website
  • Full Points Footy's history of the Port Adelaide Magpies
  • South Australian Football League – official website
Preceded by
SANFL Premiers
Succeeded by
Central District
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