Neil Kerley Memorial Match set for 2023 Hostplus SANFL League

Neil Kerley Memorial Match set for 2023 Hostplus SANFL League


A tribute match in honor of the late “King” of South Australian football, Neil Kerley, will be among four regional matches to be played over the 2023 Hostplus SANFL League season.

Two of the clubs Kerley was heavily involved with throughout his illustrious career, West Adelaide and Adelaide, will face off in the “Neil Kerley Memorial Match” in Murray Bridge on Sunday 13 August.

The round of 16 match will be played in the heart of the Bloods’ new recruitment zone, which was expanded to include the River Murray Football League and its clubs in November last year.

A member of the Australian and South Australian Football Hall of Fames, Kerley coached West Adelaide to premierships in 1961 and 1983 while playing a key role as the Crows’ first football manager at the club’s AFL foundation in 1991 .

“SANFL is delighted to support this wonderful initiative which will bring together community football and the SANFL Hostplus League to pay fitting tribute to Kerls’ remarkable contribution to football, and in the region where it all started for him,” said SANFL Executive General Manager Football Matt Duldig.

“Given Kerls’ love of the Murray River region – he treasured his Walker Flat home – the match will give local residents something to cheer about after enduring significant flooding over the Christmas and New Year period.”

West Adelaide chief executive Conny Wilson said the inaugural Memorial Game was an ideal opportunity to reflect on Kerley’s amazing contribution to South Australian football.

“The West Adelaide Football Club and Neil share a wonderfully successful and colorful history,” Wilson said.

“So many knew Neil and his family and have a story to tell. His passion for the game, and inspiration to be the best, reached far and wide.

“With the club now expanding its zoning to the Murraylands, we want to demonstrate our presence and commitment to the development of our local players.

“Neil’s home is one of many areas affected by the recent floods and we hope this game will help lift the spirits of his neighbors and communities who are struggling.”

Adelaide Football Club CEO Adam Kelly said community involvement in regional areas was of great importance.

“As a club we are taking the opportunity to visit and play in regional areas, with this game taking on special significance not only because it is being played in memory of Neil, who is an icon of our game, but also that it is being played in a flood-affected region,” said Kelly.

“Following player visits to the Riverland in early December last year and those that will take place on February 6 and 7 in Waikerie, Barmera, Loxton, Berri and Renmark, this is an opportunity for us to further connect with communities that very much was in our thoughts and was much loved by Neil.”

Round 4 (Sunday 30 April) – West Adelaide v Port Adelaide in Loxton

Round 6 (Saturday 13 May) – Norwood v West Adelaide in Port Lincoln

Round 12 (Saturday 8 July) – Central District v Adelaide in the Barossa Valley

Round 16 (Sunday 13 August) – West Adelaide v Adelaide at Murray Bridge

After the successful launch last year, the Russell Ebert Tribute Match – featuring West Adelaide and Port Adelaide – will continue in 2023.

The Bloods and Magpies will once again lock horns at the Riverland’s Loxton Oval, this time in Round 4 on Sunday, April 30.

Norwood will return to its regional heartland of the Eyre Peninsula to host West Adelaide Bloods in Port Lincoln on Saturday 13 May.

The Redlegs’ Round 6 contest follows a positive experience hosting West at the Centenary Oval for the first time in 2022.

Round 12 will see the Central District roll out the welcome mat for Adelaide in its regional recruitment zone of the Barossa Valley.

The Bulldogs’ clash with the Crows on Saturday 8 July will be a feature of the 2023 Think! Road Safety SA Country Championships.

“The Country Championships has become a major event for football in regional South Australia, with the aim of showcasing country football at its best. We are therefore delighted to continue to host a Hostplus SANFL league match as part of this footy extravaganza in the Barossa,” said Duldig.

The full 2023 Hostplus SANFL League fixture will be released by the SANFL tomorrow.

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