By ZAC MILBANK
Seven outstanding stalwarts have had their tremendous service to South Australian football recognised with SANFL Player Life Membership at the League’s Annual General Meeting at Adelaide Oval on Monday night.
Woodville-West Torrens premiership trio Luke Thompson, Patrick Guiffreda and Jarred Allmond, triple Norwood premiership defender Jace Bode, South Adelaide Magarey Medallist Joel Cross, West Adelaide premiership forward Jonathon Beech and Central District midfielder Jarrod Schiller were all inducted into SANFL’s 200 Club.
To be awarded SANFL Player Life Membership, a player must play a combination of at least 200 SANFL League or State matches.
Dual Eagles premiership captain Luke Thompson has played in three League flags (2011, 2020, 2021) whilst also becoming the club’s longest-serving skipper. He is a four-time member of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year whilst representing the West End State team on three occasions (2016, 2018, 2021).
Debuting in 2007, Giuffreda, who announced his reitrement at the end of last season, is also a triple premiership defender with the Eagles whilst also serving as co-captain with Thompson from 2015 to 2019.
Left-footed Allmond, who has switched back to Woodville-West Torrens for this season, has played in premierships with the Eagles (2011) and North Adelaide (2018) whilst also donning the West End State guernsey on four occasions (2016, 2018, 2019, 2021).
A prominent member of Norwood’s three consecutive premierships from 2012 to 2014, Bode began his career with Sturt before finishing with Port Adelaide’s SANFL side in 2021. A two-time West End State player, the reliable defender was Norwood’s captain from 2016 to 2019.
A dual Magarey Medallist (2012 and 2015), damaging midfielder Cross retired at the end of 2021 having also won four best-and-fairests with the Panthers. Representing the West End State team on four occasions from 2013 to 2016, Cross was selected in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year eight times, including twice as captain.
Originally from Barmera-Monash in the Bloods recruiting zone, Beech played in the club’s drought-breaking 2015 premiership. A three-time selection in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, the high-flying forward has been his club’s leading goal kicker on three occasions whilst also donning the cherished red State guernsey for four matches (2013, 2014, 2015 and 2019).
Winner of the 2011 Powerade Breakthrough Player award, Bulldogs captain Schiller has won three best-and-fairests with Central District whilst also representing the West End State team in 2012 and 2014. The clearance-winning midfielder has also been selected in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year twice, in 2014 and 2019.
Four adjudicators have had their excellent service rewarded after receiving SANFL Umpiring Life Membership.
Making his debut in 2008, decorated field umpire Rowan Hundertmark has blown his whistle in 205 League matches, including the 2016 and 2020 SANFL Grand Finals.
Beginning in SANFL League ranks in 2004, boundary umpire Matthew Zacher has officiated in 200 League matches, including the 2017 SANFL Grand Final.
A dual winner of the Silver Whistle for best SANFL boundary umpire, Tim Bryant has appeared in 206 League matches since 2002. He has officiated in five SANFL Grand Finals (2005, 2006, 2012, 2014 and 2015).
Serving SANFL since 1999, goal umpire Peter Challen has waved the flags on 200 occasions, winning SANFL’s Goal Umpire Award in 2006 and 2011.
Highly credentialed The Advertiser journalist Peter Cornwall received a SANFL Merit Award for his outstanding service to the Glenelg Football Club.
The Tigers’ club historian since 2000, Cornwall has been instrumental in establishing the club’s Hall of Fame and its selection committee whilst also acting as Chairman of the club’s History Committee.
Instrumental in establishing Glenelg’s Wall of Fame – a list of every Men’s and Women’s League player to represent the club – Cornwall has also co-authored the club’s history book Pride of the Bay while also leading the way in writing and editing the club’s Centenary Book to be released this year.
Distinguished Sturt junior coach Chris Brown joined the Double Blues as an Under-19 assistant coach in 1984 and has held various junior coaching roles at Unley ever since.
A respected physical education teacher, Brown was Sturt’s Under-17 coach from 1990-1998, as well as in 2007-2008.
Boasting more than 30 years experience in school football coaching, Brown was also the SA U18 team’s bench coach from 2011 to 2018.
Dr Phil Worley has dedicated a large part of his life to the Sturt Football Club on a voluntary basis.
Joining the Double Blues as club doctor in 2000, it is a position Dr Worley continues to perform with pride at Unley.
Joining the North Adelaide Football Club in 2004, Barrie Newton has served as the Roosters’ League team manager for 18 consecutive seasons.
Fittingly, Newton is also a Life Member of the club he holds dear to his heart.
Ben Winter joined the Woodville-West Torrens Football Club as a drinks steward when his father, Bruce, coached the League team to its inaugural premiership in 1993.
Spending more than 15 years as the club’s on-field trainer, Winter has also provided significant support to the club’s doctor on match day.
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