By Peter Argent
Max Proud has fought through adversity to become a key part of the Glenelg defence and this past Sunday made his SANFL West End State Team debut in the win against the Sandgropers at the new Optus Stadium in Perth.
“I had about three seasons where I struggled with injury, playing 10 games or less and it’s fair to say I did test my resilience,” Proud, now 27 and a member of the leadership group at the Bay said.
“Having done a full pre-season both last year and this – working pretty hard to get my body right has been a part of the key. Also I do Pilates once a week which really helps.”
Known as a reliable and hard at it competitor, Proud debuted back in 2012 in a night game against South Adelaide. “What I remember about that evening is I stood Andrew Ainger and Kris Massie was our coach,” Proud, having now played 83-games confirmed. “I’m originally from the Plympton Bulldogs where I played my underage footy and also spent a couple of years in the Sacred Heart College program. I certainly believe I have invested in the club. I’ve been here (at Glenelg) for a decade now.”
Proud was a part of the 2010 Tigers Under 18s flag under Massie and also played in the 2011 Reserves premiership that Ken McGregor coached.
The Proud family has a strong and rich history in our national football code starting with Max’s grandfather Bob.
Robert “Bob” Proud was a part of the 1953 South Australian side which played in the national carnival that year on South Australian soil in his only full season of league footy at North Adelaide.
That carnival side was coached by the great Bob Quinn and many of Bob’s teammates were iconic names of the era. They included skipper Bob Hank, vice-captain Foster Williams, a very young Lindsay Head, along with other stars of the time, including Jimmy Deane, Len Fitzgerald, John Marriott and Johnny Lynch.
One of 11 brothers, Bob had a unique SANFL career playing just 36 league games, along with the four state matches in the ’53 carnival. This total included seven finals match and two season deciders.
He made his debut at North Adelaide and played a single game in round eight of the 1950 season against Norwood, before playing in his next three matches in the finals series of 1951. In just his ninth game he was a member of Roosters emphatic 108-point premiership win over Norwood in 1952.
A catalyst to getting selected in the 1953 State Team was Proud’s six-goal performance in the only SANFL league game outside the state, played at the Sydney Cricket Ground on June 13, 1953 against Norwood.
South Australian won the first three of their four games in the ‘53 national carnival but lost to the VFL in the final at Adelaide Oval.
Bob Proud had a decorated community club career, and would go on to win no less than 10 best and fairest awards for Loxton Football Club. He was one of the first selected in the Riverland Football League’s team of the century.
Max’s father Tony played a single SANFL League game with West Adelaide in 1979 before he went overseas, working in the middle east. He returned to South Australia and became an outstanding community and rural footballer, playing at Loxton North, Encounter Bay, Scotch College and Sacred Heart Old Collegians.
Tony has his slice of state football history, as he was vice-captain of the inaugural South Australian country team in 1983 which travelled to Subiaco under the tutelage of Haydn Bunton Junior.
The SA Country side went down to WA country in a thriller, 12.18 (90) to 12.12 (84)
One of Tony Proud team mates on that ’82 trip was Kybybolite export David Bradley, the father of Max Proud’s team mate and former captain of Glenelg, Andrew, who has also represented the SANFL in recent years.
Notably Max and his SA team mates won the Haydn Bunton Cup in Sunday’s interstate fixture, defeating WA 16.4 (100) to 13.15 (93), where Max collected 17 touches.
There is also a prominent netball talent in the family, Sydney Swifts mid-courter Maddy.
First signed by the Adelaide Thunderbirds in 2011 at 16 years of age, Maddy played 44 games for the club, before moving east in 2017. She became the Swifts MVP in her first year and is now the clubs captain. In 2018 Maddy donned a national uniform represented Australia in the Fast5 Netball World Series.
This family has a “Proud” and distinguishing place in this state’s football and sporting landscape.