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Neil Kerley South Australian

Born the son of a digger in country SA A tough childhood leaving home at 16 to find his way His course was set early on When he captain-coached North Whyalla to a premiership won His working life was as a builder’s labourer And was like working in a gym all day to savour Finally he settled in Adelaide during the golden time When local SA football was so fine He played or coached in premierships for the SANFL For the West Adelaide, South Adelaide and Glenelg clubs so swell But cutting down a goal post at the Adelaide Oval escapade Set a legend that has lasted and didn’t fade There were multiple best and fairest awards During his playing days at Westies we did applaud And he earned his nickname as Knuckles Kerley When the Australian game had enforcers roaming free Who could forget the 1963 state game at the MCG When SA beat the Vic’s so wonderfully But as a coach he did shine Taking South Adelaide from bottom to top in a season divine The state games were special in the 32 played And other times as a coach do not fade I remember at the MCG embracing Ted Whitten in front of the crowd And our tears were with him all being allowed He was the first manager of the Adelaide Crows And had a part in their premierships two in a row We learnt of his analysis of the game As a boundary rider at the games in the frame So now he has left us with such memories As a tough player in football’s golden age we did see He would be one to play football for your life Neil Kerley, South Australian now one of our history’s highs. © Paul Warren Poetry

Copyright © | Year Posted 2022

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