By ZAC MILBANK
SANFL is celebrating Australian Football Hall of Fame honours for three South Australian greats of our game – the late Russell Ebert OAM, Michael Taylor and Matthew Pavlich.
Ebert’s posthumous elevation to Legend status and Taylor’s entry into the Australian Football Hall of Fame were announced on Tuesday night at a ceremony in Melbourne.
SA Football Commission Chairman Rob Kerin congratulated the late Russell Ebert, his family and the Port Adelaide Football Club on his elevation to ultimate official status as a Legend of Australian football.
”Russell is revered nationally as being among the best all-time players of our game so it is only fitting that he has now been recognised on the national stage in this way,” Mr Kerin said.
An inaugural inductee in 1996, Ebert became the fourth South Australian to be bestowed the game’s highest honour alongside 10-time premiership coach Jack Oatey and Magarey Medallists Barrie Robran and Malcolm Blight.
It is a fitting tribute to Port Adelaide champion Ebert, who was also elevated to Legend status in the South Australian Sport Hall of Fame in October last year.
Featuring in 392 games for the Magpies, Ebert played in three premierships, won six best-and-fairests and was an inaugural inductee into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002.
Port’s treasured No.7 is the only player to win four Magarey Medals, in 1971, 1974, 1976 and 1980 whilst also captaining the club from 1974 to 1978 and 1983 to 1985.
A proud South Australia, Ebert was displayed a steely determination while representing the Croweaters on 29 occasions throughout his distinguished career.
An inaugural inductee into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame in 2002, Taylor is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to represent the Norwood Football Club, across 289 SANFL games.
Affectionately known as ”Kingo” as a nod to his hometown of Kingston in SA’s south-east, Taylor’s name now adorns the Redlegs’ best-and-fairest award, a fitting tribute considering the dashing defender won six during his illustrious career.
Named in the back pocket of the Norwood Team of the Century, Taylor also played with distinction in 94 VFL games for Collingwood.
A dual premiership player with the Redlegs, the Norwood FC Hall of Fame Legend was selected in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year nine times while representing South Australia on 13 occasions.
“Michael Taylor is widely regarded as one of the game’s greatest defenders throughout his wonderful career with the Norwood and Collingwood football clubs,” Mr Kerin said.
Starting his career in SANFL’s junior grades before graduating to League level, Matthew Pavlich kicked 38 goals in his 21 appearances for Woodville-West Torrens in 1999 before being drafted at Pick No.4 in the AFL Draft.
Arguably the most decorated player for the Fremantle Football Club, Pavlich’s resume is bulging with awards won on the national stage throughout his 353-game career with the Dockers.
One of the AFL’s most consistent key forwards, Pavlich booted a total of 700 goals whilst leading the club’s goal kicking in eight seasons and winning the Coleman Medal in 2012 as the League’s leading spearhead.
Captain of Fremantle from 2007 to 2015, the son of West Torrens great Steve Pavlich won the Doig Medal as the Dockers’ best-and-fairest on a record six occasions.
“A product of the Woodville-West Torrens Football Club, Matthew Pavlich has been one of Fremantle’s most illustrious players, earning six best-and-fairests and six All-Australian selections,” Mr Kerin said.
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