SANFL Draft Dodgers – 1982: You Got Nothing I Want

Come 1982, SA’s best footballers still had Victorians up their yazoo, begging them to come over and prop up their ailing competition. Back then it was a long way away; many players had been to Paradise, but they’d never been to Me(lbourne).


Some players were miffed to have been overlooked in 1981, believe it or not. “What about me? Don’t you want me?” was a familiar cry in many a cramped below-grandstand change room in Adelaide’s over-clubbed north-western fringes. Elders such as Ebert and Cornes warned that the VFL style was a lot more physical, and sharing a bedroom with some spotty teen from Rosanna might be their new club’s idea of the house of fun, along with the premiership miracle that they were promised. Don’t go was their recommendation.


The 1982 hidden-from-history VFL draft was met with “I can’t go for that” or “let’s hang on” by some of the young turks selected. But at least a couple of them, they ran so far from Adelaide, they couldn’t get away quickly enough.


Keith Thomas – Norwood (Melbourne – Pick 5) WENT LATER



This lightly framed on-baller had come up through the junior ranks at the Redlegs and had just come off a polished performance in their 1982 premiership win over (who else?) Glenelg. A dedicated clubman, he stayed put at the home of Vili’s, Coopers and Ross Dillon’s bookshop for four more seasons.


Amongst his many career highlights was the 1984 Grand Final, where his courageous third quarter mark was franked with a Jack Oatey Medal and another flag plus his 1985 Norwood B&F.


Thomas had a brief dabble with the VFL in 1987/88, finding little on field success in his 28 games (for seven wins) with Fitzroy.


He returned to Norwood for another four seasons. All up ‘KT’ played 304 games/303 goals in Red and Blue and five for SA.


After his post footy career as radio industry executive, Thomas was appointed CEO of Port Adelaide in 2011.





Peter Motley – Sturt (Sydney – Pick 6) WENT LATER





The Sydney draft team quickly jumped onto Geof’s lad after his first season for the Double Blues. He was only eighteen.


Motley had little interest in Sydney, instead choosing to consolidate his place as one of SA’s brilliant talent pool, donning the candy-panelled State jumper for the first time in 1983. His four goal effort in that year’s losing Grand Final further boosted his reputation. Dual Sturt B&Fs followed as well as All-Australian selection.


Part of the post-1985 SA exodus, Motley joined Craig Bradley and Stephen Kernahan at Carlton after 92 games and 104 goals. His career was ended, but his life was saved, by a car accident in 1987, stalling at 19 VFL games.


A member of Sturt’s Team of the Century and the SA Football Hall of Fame, one of Motley’s current day golf partners is Tony Antrobus.


Bill Lokan – North Adelaide (Fitzroy – Pick 7) WENT 



Unknown to the casual SANFL follower, but well known by discerning Roosters, the ex-Walkerville junior was a steady, reliable midfielder at the Roosters who’d amassed 50-odd games by the end of 1982.


Impressed by the urgings of Arthur Wilson and Robert Walls, Lokan immediately took his chance to play in the VFL, which he immediately found to be a more intense and quicker style of play. The rocket that he was given by coach Walls when the newly married Lokan missed a Fitzroy strategy camp to attend a Simon and Garfunkel concert left him in no doubt as to the serious nature of his new competition.


With his day job as a teacher at St Kevin’s providing some security, Lokan soon became an integral part of the Lions’ midfield during its 80s heyday. 


Six seasons and 87 games (40 goals) later, he returned to his almost 1000 acre Clare Valley farm, playing a couple of seasons for nearby Riverton.


Brenton Phillips – North Adelaide (Essendon – Pick 8) WENT LATER





Nicknamed after an earlier Phillips from Prospect, ‘Sticks’ Phillips was Essendon’s first 1982 draft selection. At that stage the pacy winger had only two seasons behind him. Sensing that North was on the verge of something big under coach Mike Nunan, Phillips remained in the red and white stripes until the losing 1985 Grand Final.


His only season at Windy Hill threw up 10 games and, when the 1987 Brisbane Bears list was constructed, Phillips found himself at Carrara, where he was a valuable player for 61 more games over five seasons.


Based on his last two years at Brisbane, there was little shown to expect much more in his tank, but his stellar 1993 Magarey Medal winning season showed that there was plenty more to come. After finishing in 1998 with 222 SANFL games (and one each for SA and Old), Phillips took to coaching.


Firstly as an assistant at Port Adelaide Power, then more importantly as senior coach at the Adelaide Uni Blacks, he was an instant hit at Sturt, taking out the 2002 flag in his first year (building on their resurgence under Phil Carman).


Phillips was the South Australian Under 18 coach from 2007-2018 and is was inducted into the SA Football Hall of Fame in 2016.


Richard Cousins – Central District (North Melbourne – Pick 9) WENT LATER





Via Spalding Panthers and Rostrevor College, ruckman Cousins made a big enough impression in his first League season at Goodman Road to pique the interest of the Kangas.


Yet another to bide his time, he played for a further four seasons for Centrals, occasionally playing as a key forward in his 94 games, 72 goals under coaches Hicks and Neale. He was also selected twice for SA.


Bouyed by his 1986 Centrals B&F, Cousins took up the opportunity to play for the VFL Bulldogs under Mick Malthouse, which had selected Cousins in that year’s draft. It took him a while to adjust to the tempo, as well as the rigours of CHF. Although he played 20 games in 1987, his 16-41 free kick count was a pointer to the frustrations he endured. Moved to first ruck in 1988, he had easily the best of his four Footscray seasons.


He found himself playing second fiddle to the emerging Scott Wynd in 1989, did not play at all in 1990, recovering for three late season games in 1991, his last season of his 60 game/21 goal VFL career. Then coach Terry Wheeler may not have rated Cousins as highly as Malthouse.


Cousins then played for Rye and Pakenham for a handful of seasons, before settling at Berwick.


According to Wikipedia “Richard now enjoys playing golf, having a corona and spending a night in with his lovely dog Kaos.”


Jon Simpson – Woodville (Carlton – Pick 12) WENT





The tall free-wheeling Warriors wingman was three seasons into his 56 game/52 goal career when Carlton came knocking. He waited one more season under coach Blight, then tried his luck at Princes Park in 1984.


Not known for his robust style, Simpson was unable to break into the Carlton side apart from one game in the mid-week night competition. After spending the whole season as a regular in the Blues Twos, Simpson returned to SA. Crossing Port Road in 1985, he togged up for Port Adelaide for four seasons, 61 games and 35 goals.


Greg Anderson – Port Adelaide (Sydney – Pick 18) WENT LATER





Anderson was a 16yo St Michaels College student when Sydney made this very speculative selection. The rangy left-foot wingman with the booming kick and immediately identifiable hairdo started his Port Adelaide senior career in 1983. He left his former school that year when it attempted to force him to play football for the them instead of the Magpies, finishing instead at Woodville High.


That year he won the Larke Medal for the B&F in the Teal Cup Carnival and followed up by being picked in the famed 1984 State of Origin game against the Vics – a day after he turned 18.


His place in SA footy history was sealed when he won the 1986 Magarey Medal. With Sydney’s hold on him lapsed, Anderson cannily signed a two year deal with Essendon prior to the 1986 draft.


He commenced with the Bombers in 1988, where he thrived during his first three seasons, gaining Brownlow favouritism in some quarters in 1990.


Anderson returned to the Crows in the Greatest Season That Ever Was (i.e. 1993), picking up his second All-Australian selection that year.


His form tailed off from then on and by 1995 he was sharing his time between Adelaide and Port Adelaide in the SANFL. This allowed him to more than play his part in Port’s twin flags of 1995 and 1996.


Anderson coached South Adelaide from 2000-2003, with a best finish of sixth.


In total, the still-mulleted Anderson played 150 SANFL games for Port Adelaide (87 goals), 103/60 for Essendon and 59/19 for Adelaide plus 12 games for South Australia.



Grantley Fielke – West Adelaide (Fitzroy – Pick 19) WENT LATER





Hailing from Taldra in the Riverland, Fielke joined Westies as a raw 17-year-old. He established himself as one of the Bloods better players in a club starved of success. When Neil Kerley returned to Richmond Oval in 1981, Fielke’s game went up several levels and he ignored Fitzroy’s interest.


Overcoming injury, Fielke regained his place in the side late in 1983, in time for West Adelaide’s colossal premiership win over Sturt. Further personal success in the form of the 1985 Magarey Medal (playing under new West coach John Cahill) ensured his place as one of their all-time great players.


Drafted again, this time by Collingwood in 1986, Fielke went over to the Magpies for the 1987 season, where he was a serviceable wingman for 16 games.


Deciding that he preferred Adelaide, Fielke rejoined West in 1988. Fielke was one of the first Crows selected and enjoyed a solid 1991 before being cast off at the end of the next season, after only playing for them twice.  He remained with his SANFL club until 1997 captaining them in 1994-96, becoming the Red and Black’s games record holder with a whopping 364 game/255 goal tally.


He is yet another SA Football Hall of Fame inductee to have been selected in this draft.


Like many SA sports stars, Fielke was a sports store proprietor until moving into real estate.


Tony Antrobus – North Adelaide (Essendon – Pick 20) WENT LATER





The only player from this list to have done circle work with this writer, the often angry Ingle Farm rover joined North Adelaide at the recommendation of Barrie Robran in the latter rounds of 1981. (Despite what you may read online, he did not receive full Magarey Medal votes in each of these games).


With fast hands, a vigorous approach, an enormous leap and a keen goal sense, Antrobus became one of the many Rooster drawcards of the era.


Ignoring the Dons’ decision, his 1983 was sensational, playing in every game for North and becoming their first Magarey Medallist since Robran. (Stephen Kernahan streeted the field in the votes, but was ineligible through suspension).


The next year did not go so well for the ‘Angry Ant’, playing only four games before injury intervened (not for the last time). In 1985 and 1986 he played in both Roosters Grand Final losses to Glenelg, avoiding injury for the main part. He made his State team debut in 1985.


Antrobus joined Essendon in 1987, but injury kept him to a single game, with worse to come in 1988, playing no senior matches. He showed the VFL some of his best in 1989 over 13 games which produced 21 goals.


After another wasted season at the Dons in 1990, St Kilda picked him up in the pre-season draft. The Saints only got a further half a dozen games from him.


Returning to North Adelaide in 1992, Antrobus played four pre-season matches before calling his career over, after 95 games and 173 goals.


Garry McIntosh – Norwood (North Melbourne – Pick 21) STAYED





From the moment a bloke called “Doug Dale” from the Kangas rang they feisty on-baller from the Parade, it was clear that McIntosh was never looking elsewhere.


But rather than put up with my piffle, read what Rulebook has to say about the player that many have suggested would have been an absolute gun had he headed to the VFL. But why would he want to?


Greg Hodson – West Torrens (Hawthorn – Pick 22) STAYED





With a nickname like “Hotdog”, you could probably guess that the 1980 Teal Cup captain from Torrens carried himself in a rather confident manner. Over nine up and down seasons, the lad from Flinders Park accumulated 94 games for the Eags, but only managed double-figures in four of those seasons.


With the merger of Woodville and West Torrens from 1990, finding himself surplus to requirements, Hodson headed to WA, playing some very solid football in his two seasons (37 games/14 goals) for East Fremantle.


He embraced WA country footy for the next two decades, making the WA Country team in 1992 while at Avon, playing and coaching for many seasons in the Greater Northern FL.


Finishing his coaching career on a high at Busselton, he received this accolade in WA’s Hansard.

Greg “Hotdog” Hodson announced his retirement after winning the 2015 premiership, and deserves special commendation for his commitment to the club.


P.S. – I’ve attempted to find pictures of these players on or around 1982 from my own collection. I’ve made an exception for this mid-2010s shot of Greg Hodson.



If you want to know more about the history of the VFL/AFL drafts, is the only place to go.

The 1981 Draft Dodgers is here



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About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. Colin Ritchie says

    I thought Tony Antrobus was going to be a star for the Bombers, a few cracking games before crash landing!

  2. george smith says

    The only thing great about the 1993 season was that the Showponies got done in the grand final…

  3. Great stuff Swish, but we need more details of the circle work with Antrobus. There must be a story there!

  4. John Butler says

    Swish, this continues to be an education for a philistine Victorian such as myself.

    Peter Motley looked like an absolutely brilliant footballer in his brief playing time at Carlton.

  5. I am thoroughly enjoying these pieces, Swishter.
    Like JB, I am gaining valuable schooling in Sth Australian football.
    My dad and I forever lived in hope that McIntosh would come to Arden Street. Of all the SA players who never came across, I reckon his game was most suited to the Victorian style.

    JB, whilst Motley was no doubt a brilliant player – and his accident was tragic – my memory tells me that he struggled just a tad in his time at the Blues.

  6. Luke Reynolds says

    Sydney seemed to draft well and not get any benefit from these two drafts you’ve written about Swish.

    Hodson and Anderson could mullet for Australia.

    Presume Bill Lokan is somehow related to former Collingwood and Port Adelaide Magpies player Matthew Lokan?

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks all, glad to be of service.

    He could’ve been anything Col. But so could anyone.

    6%, before I joined TGFCITW I had a season at Ingle Farm. I’m sure that Antrobus, Dave Robertson and Gerry Noonan are still telling their grandkids about the time they handballed to a lurking Swish on a cold Thursday night at Rowe Park.

    Nice tautology JB.

    McIntosh would have made Greg Williams look like Greg Brady, Smokie.

    You are right about Sydney Luke. According to my trawling of mid ’00s Big Footy, the Lokans weren’t closely related.

  8. So many talented players. Motley would’ve had a brilliant career.
    Antrobus cruelled by injury. Fielke just liked playing for Westies. McIntosh just plain happy at Norwood.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for your support Bernie.

    I should also have mentioned that I billeted Fielke’s older brother Ken when he came down with the Riverland SAPSASA team for the 1972 country carnival. He was a gun, making the State team that year. It was the week of Bob Massie’s debut at Lords and we were up early each morning watching the highlights on the ABC before we’d head off to the Railways Oval. Sigh.

  10. Smokie Motley was just starting to dominate when the tragic accident happened he had more than a touch of
    B Robran and I can’t give higher praise than that and yes,Macca would have dominated Vfl the muddy grounds would have suited him more than any other player.Plenty of people with in footy consider,Macca a better player than,Diesel Williams.I reckon I may have watched,KTs mark once or twice in my life
    Thanks Swish

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks for sharing it around ‘Book.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Yes, I’m going to do 1986, but I’ll need a long run up for that one.

  13. Great article thanks Swish. A lot of great Rooster talent in the early 80s some of which lead to premiership success (eventually!) in 1987 and 1991.
    Thanks for including Thomas’ mark. Don’t tell RB but I reckon it’s one of the best marks I have ever seen.

  14. Malcolm and Swish, much as i admired Diesel Williams, I always believed Macca to be the better player, especially in the wet. Those brilliant long attacking hand balls from Macca were truly amazing. When You compare them to the defensive handballs from the Crouch brothers these days, Macca stands out like a beacon.

  15. Trying to work out the order you listed these Swish? Not alphabetical by club, christian or surname. So…..
    Hot Dog looks to have been a great clubman at Busselton but he looks the spare prick at the wedding among these.
    My draft order today assuming all stayed fit:
    Motley; Thomas; McIntosh (upmarket Matt Priddis but still a touch slow); Antrobus; Anderson – all class.
    Second rung – Fielke; Phillips; Lokan; Cousins; Simpson; Hodgson.
    Why more from the Roosters & Redlegs? None from Panthers & Bays?

  16. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Charlie, KT’s mark was remarkable.

    You’re a wise judge Fisho.

    PB, in draft order (read the fine print). Hodson was captain of a 1980 Teal Cup team that also included Kernahan, Bradley, McDermott and Platten ( full team can be seen here )

  17. matt watson says

    Swish, these history lessons are awesome.
    The VFL really did ‘attract’ the best from the rest.
    As a Victorian, I remember the anticipation whenever a cross-border recruit landed.
    Would he make it…

  18. Thanks again Swish for these. My enduring memory of G. McIntosh is of him sitting alone in the Colonist on a freezing winter’s night, wearing shorts and thongs, drinking a coke and having a cigar. And those amazing handballs through the middle of Norwood oval. Brilliant.

  19. Rulebook says

    Mickey you’ve seen,Macca in his formal attire and Fisho as firm in his opinion as any one is Tony Francis played with,Macca against,Diesel on plenty of occasion’s he rates,Macca in front and yes it was his attacking handball was his major weapon ironically tho at times he should have used his powerful left leg more he was to unselfish imo
    ( struck a chord on face bob this one,Swish )

  20. Peter Myers says

    The comment about the contrasting handball methodology of Macca compared to the Crouch brothers is spot on. Macca always used handball constructively, attackingly, to open up the play. The Crouch brothers rack up possessions, but most of them are handballs of less than one metre to teammates who are completely surrounded by about half a dozen opponents. It leads… nowhere, and is indicative of the generally boring, defensive, clogged up rubbish that passes itself off as the premier football competition in Australia these days.

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