By ZAC MILBANK
Long-serving premiership coaches Roy Laird and Michael Godden have had their tremendous service recognised by becoming the first recipients of the new category of SANFL Player/Coach Life Membership at Tuesday night’s AGM.
Introduced to honour the significant contribution to the game made by coaches, the Player/Coach Life Membership can be awarded to any person who has participated in 200 SANFL games as a coach or combination of coach and player.
This new category is in addition to the existing Player and Umpire Life Memberships.
Laird and Godden were among seven significant contributors awarded at the ceremony held in the Cathedral Room at Adelaide Oval for the first time.
Laird, who played 87 League matches for the Bulldogs from 1989 to 1997, is among the most successful coaches in SANFL history, having guided Central District to seven League premierships since taking the helm at the start of 2003.
Entering his 17th season as coach at Elizabeth, the Bulldogs have only missed the major round twice – in 2014 and 2018 – under Laird’s reign.
Joining Woodville-West Torrens as its League coach in 2010, Godden guided the Eagles to the ultimate success in just his second year in the role.
After having his playing career with West Adelaide cut short due to a series of serious knee injuries, Godden thrived in the coach’s box as he steered the Eagles into the finals each year until his departure at the end of 2018.
Now an AFL assistant coach with Adelaide, Godden was also a passionate advocate for representative football, having coached the West End State team to three consecutive victories from 2012 to 2014.
Central District pair Trent Goodrem and Kyle Jenner were honoured with Player Life Membership for joining SANFL’s 200 Club in 2018.
Bulldogs captain Goodrem, who has led the club since 2015, has now featured in 211 League matches, including three premierships in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
The 32-year-old made his debut in Round 4 2007, earning respect as one of the competition’s most versatile players while winning the Jack Oatey Medal as best afield in the 2009 Grand Final.
Jenner, who has played a total of 202 SANFL League matches, appeared in his first of 32 games for the Port Adelaide Magpies in Round 18 2005 before transferring to Central in 2009.
Affectionately known as ”Alfie”, Jenner has logged 170 League games for Central, including the 2010 premiership victory against Norwood.
Originally from the Eyre Peninsula, Jenner was Central’s vice-captain from 2012 to 2017.
Field Umpire Toby Medlin gained SANFL Umpiring Life Membership after reaching the 200-game milestone in 2018.
Making his debut in 2002, Medlin has officiated in the past four SANFL League Grand Finals while also earning the treasured Golden Whistle Award in 2017.
SANFL Merit Awards
Kenneth Hughes was one of two significant contributors to receive a SANFL Merit Award, for his outstanding service to the Sturt Football Club.
Involved at Unley for the past 18 years, Hughes was a prime mover in the club’s Historical Society, which included the transformation of the Sturt’s Museum.
Red and black runs through the veins of another SANFL Merit Award winner in Noel Harradine.
Starting with West Adelaide in 1976, Harradine was the Bloods’ Head Trainer until 1991. He continued to serve as a trainer until 2002 before acting as a statistician from 2003 until 2016.