AFL Indigenous Round 2017 – Favourite Indigenous players and moments

This weekend is the Sir Doug Nicholls Indigenous Round which celebrates and recognises the enormous contribution Indigenous players have made to the great game of AFL.


Ahead of the round kicking off tonight, we were wondering who are your favourite Indigenous players. What are your best memories of Indigenous players in our game?



  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Sonny Morey
    Wilbur Wilson
    Gilbert McAdam
    Derek Kickett
    Phil Graham
    Andrew McLeod
    Eddie Betts

  2. Rod Oaten says

    Norm McDonald
    Michael Long
    Gavin Wanganeen
    Derek Kickett
    Che Cockatoo-Collins
    Paddy Ryder
    Nathan Lovett-Murray
    Andrew McDonald-Tipungwuti
    and all the other great Indigenous footballers who pulled on the Don jumper

  3. Dave Brown says

    Andrew McLeod kicking the sealer against Collingwood at Docklands on his non-preferred on the boundary, hitting the goal umpire on the foot.

    Eddie Betts against Port (take your pick)

    Anthony Wilson, all 67kg of him, running onto the footy for the Redlegs and getting into the face of much larger opponents despite the shove he will undoubtedly cop

    Adam Goodes being Adam Goodes whenever

  4. Gavin Wanganeen. We shifted back to Adelaide from Alice Springs in early 1990 and I had kept my Footy Park membership despite seeing no games for some years. I went to every Port game and saw this skinny kid at the start of the year, watched while John Cahill carefully nursed him up to speed through the season and his dominance of the 1990 GF v Glenelg was just pleasure. When he tackled S. Salisbury who coughed up the pill and Gavin ran in to kick a goal, I knew the flag was ours. Then there was the Prelim. Final of 2004 when his goal from the north-east pocket was a virtual match winner. Because he didn’t play for the Crows, he was not eligible to have a pocket named after him…. Then there was the GF, then I was at Alberton for his last game in the SANFL when he injured himself and pulled the pin. Forget indigenous, he is my favourite player, full stop.

  5. David Zampatti says

    Dale Kickett. The moment? Come on, you have to ask??


    (from the backline) Joel Hamling, Michael Johnson, Stephen Hill, Brad Hill, Danyle Pearce, Jonathon Griffin, Brady Grey and Michael Walters.

  6. Mark Duffett says

    Gilbert McAdam going for a run with the ball held in one hand at Elizabeth Oval.

    Boundary umpiring at the 2000 Tiwi Islands Grand Final, observing one of the players doing the first look-away *kick* I’d ever seen while running along the wing.

    Wilbur Wilson standing the mark at the kick-in from a behind, Elizabeth Oval southern end, early 1980s. The Sturt full-back goes for a low pass. Wilbur plucks it out of the air and plonks it back over the full-back’s head for a goal.

    Crows first season, Eddie Hocking lining up for a set shot, a long way out. Runs in close to the man on the mark as if he’s winding up for a massive kick, then dummies around him, runs, bounces, runs again and goals.

    One of the first games I boundary umpired in Alice Springs, 2001, CAFL reserves. Observe a grey-haired bloke going well among players apparently under half his age. Turns out it’s Michael Graham, who played his final, 282nd senior game for Sturt some 15 years earlier.

  7. Andrew Krakouer in the 2010 WAFL grand final played one of the greatest single handed performances I have seen. My Swan Districts got up by a point with AK having 40 possessions and kicking 4 goals – including the sealer. Without him we lose by 6 goals. Circumstances prevented seeing the very best of him at AFL level.
    Jimmy and Phil Krakouer are my first memories of indigineous footy genius. Just played a different game to the good ordinary footballer.
    In SA – agree that Sonny Morey and Flash Graham were great in the 70’s. Earlier? David Kantilla and Roger Rigney went ok.
    David Wirrpanda was not only brilliant for my Eagles but his collision with Shaun McManus and his dropping back into the hole in front of Barry Hall in the 2006 flag was crazy brave.
    Scott Chisholm for entertainment value – always taking the fifth of four options.
    Early mention to Vince Copley who coached my Yorketown and Curramulka on Yorke Peninsula in the 60’s. Beautiful ball player and sublime drop kick. Dunno if he played SANFL.
    So many others as mentioned who lift our game above the pedestrian.

  8. Peter Fuller says

    So many contenders, but I was lucky enough to see Polly Farmer play, so he is a standout. He transformed my understanding of the game, as did Jim and Phil Krakouer.
    I also admire battlers in an earlier era such as Elkin Reilly who rucked for South Melbourne in the early sixties when the environment was much more hostile.
    Of course, Winmar, Long and Goodes deserve all the kudos they have received. Their willingness to put their heads above the parapet have made football and society decidedly better.

  9. Dave Brown says

    I have found a suggestion he might have played for South, PB. He definitely won the U19s Tomkins Medal playing for Port in 1953

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Andrew Krakouer for a sublime 2011 that should have seen him play in a premiership side.
    Goodes, in time will be remembered as a giant of the game.
    Winmar at his best was phenomenal.

  11. I’m thinking back to the fellers who played in my younger years. Syd Jackson, who i met numerous times in his latter years at establishments like the Rising Sun, the Royal Oak, Harts. Syd always a dapper dresser, aged very well, looking fit enough to keep playing.

    Let’s also remember Les Bamblett, Colin Graham, Rod Waddell, Phil Egan, some of the fellers who set the path for the current crop of indigenous players.


  12. DBalassone says

    A few random thoughts:
    Matera ’92 grand final.
    Long ’93 grand final.
    Pure skill of Chris Lewis.
    Dale Kicket dashing out of half-back with a couple of bounces.
    Leon Davis collection of best goals is breathtaking, not to mention his phenomenal transition to the backline in 2011:

  13. Michael Graham of Sturt made a huge impression on me as a kid. He was the most exciting player. Last year he played down at Glenelg in Chris McDermott’s annual fund-raising game and now in his early sixties still showed some of that rare electric capacity.

  14. David Conallin says

    Too many to list but Eddie’s a standout, don’t forget Neon Leon and I love watching Varcoe glide around the ground!

  15. Rick Kane says

    After tonight’s Hawks Swans clash definitely Silk and Buddy. Cyril of course.

  16. Keli Symons says

    South Freo’s Stephen Michael, Maurice Rioli and Nicky Winmar for mine, and of current players none more exciting than AMT .

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