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Sunday start for AFL fans


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The NAB Challenge series of AFL practice matches continues this weekend with the Crows and Port rolling out a mini-Showdown at Richmond Oval on Sunday.

Spectators at the late afternoon match, however, will be looking for a tighter contest than Thursday’s match between Hawthorn and Brisbane where the Hawks at one stage led 132 to 9.

New Brisbane AFL coach Justin Leppitsch had decided to field an inexperienced lineup against defending premiers Hawthorn and it showed on the scoreboard.

The Hawks boasted 13 members of their 2013 premiership side including Jack Gunston who kicked five goals.

Sam Mitchell, with 33 disposals, was a class above the boyish Brisbane outfit.

The Hawks triumphed 1-22-13 (154) to 0.3.5 (23).

“It was a great lesson for our young boys,” Leppitsch said.

He said he didn’t want to leave his key players feeling flat by grinding out a three-game pre-season campaign before their round-one clash with Hawthorn on March 22 in Launceston.

In Adelaide, both clubs are on a relaxed lead up to the Sunday game with Port having a day with past legends and Adelaide holding its annual Members Day on Saturday to coincide with the Crows’ first State League trial match against Sturt.

Port brought in 35 members of its ‘Golden Era’ to spend time reminiscing, talking to players, coaches and staff.

Organised by former premiership captain Geof Motley, stars of the 60s through to the 90s spent the entire day at the club.

Club chief executive Keith Thomas wrote to members late yesterday relating a day that featured ‘Chicken’ Hayes, Alan ‘Racehorse’ Greer, big Mark Kretschmer, Bob ‘Philpy’ Philp, ‘Yogi Bear’ Traynor, ‘Bubbles’ Obst, ‘Deerfoot’ Luke, Ted Whelan, Davey Boyd, ‘Judy’ Garland, Ken Tierney, Jeff Potter, Keith Spencer, Dean Trowse, Don Thompson, John McBain, Graham Cooper, Ron Batt, Ron Luke, Ron Leaver, Basil Jaggard, Brian Coldwell, John Dewhirst, Bruce Nyland, Allan Blagrove, Kevin Doyle, Ian Hannaford, Billy Brown, Max O’Connell, Don Hannaford, Graham Mahney, Kevin Salvemini, Graham Cooper, John McBain and Jock McKenzie.

“And yet despite furnishing some of the most decorated playing records in the history of the game in this state or nationally, what struck us was how humble these champions were, and how genuinely thrilled they were to be invited back to the club,” Thomas said.

“Men, the privilege was all ours.”

Between 1951 and 1965, the group of players won 10 of the 15 premierships contested, including six in a row between 1954 and 1959.

“In all, the 37 players listed have won 99 premierships between them.”

Motley holds the record; he played in nine premierships.

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