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Hall of Fame: Ben Hart

Hall of Fame: Ben Hart Premiership defender and Club Champion Ben Hart has been inducted into the Adelaide Football Club Hall of Fame
Ben Hart of the Crows jumps for a high mark infront of Craig Sholl of the Kangaroos during the 1999 round 7 AFL match between the Kangaroos and the Adelaide Crows at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.
Ben Hart is the first player inducted into the Adelaide Football Club's Hall of Fame

The first player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is two-time Club Champion Ben Hart.

The youngest player in Adelaide’s inaugural squad eventually became the Crows’ first 300-gamer.

Ben Hart was wearing his Rostrevor College uniform when the 16-year-old Year 12 student was first introduced to the media in 1991. A year later, he became the youngest ever Crow on AFL debut (17 years, 256 days).

Hart moved quickly from combining SANFL with North Adelaide and his school commitments to starring for Crows in defence, where he won All-Australian selection in his first season (1992) and was named AFL Rookie of the Year. He was given some tough roles against much bigger forwards but used his speed and leap to compensate for a lack of height and weight.

His second season was just as good but he then drifted along for a couple of years before Malcolm Blight’s arrival. In both 1997 and 1998, he was a key contributor to Adelaide’s Grand Final triumphs. And although the Crows crashed in 1999, Hart’s form was rewarded with a club best and fairest award and selection in a third AFL All Australian team. He won his second club best-and-fairest in 2002, when he also was chosen for a fourth time as an All Australian.

Hart rarely missed a game through injury in his first 12 seasons but hamstring and back problems restricted him to just six games in 2004. He missed another month in 2005 and then broke an arm and had more leg problems in 2006, after becoming the first Adelaide player to reach the 300-game milestone. Hart was delisted by the Crows at the end of that season after 311 games. After spending a season year back in the SANFL with North Adelaide, he returned to the Crows at the end of 2007 as an assistant coach. He has been an assistant coach with Collingwood since 2012.

Adelaide Football Club service
311 games and 45 goals (1992-2006)
Member of the 1997 and 1998 premiership teams
Member of the 2003 Pre-season premiership team
Two-time Club Champion (1999, 2002) 
All Australian 1992, 1993, 1999, 2002 
Player life member
Youngest ever Adelaide player (17 years 257 days on debut)
First Adelaide player to play 300 games for the Club
Assistant Coach (2008-2011) 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs