At 27-years-old, Ian Callinan became the Adelaide Football Club’s oldest rookie recruit.

Taken with pick No.64 in the 2011 rookie draft, Callinan spent five years at West Lakes - booting 49 goals in 32 games.

In 2014, he was named the Club’s inaugural SANFL captain and spent two years mentoring Adelaide’s young players before calling time.

A Tasmanian native, Callinan moved home to be closer to family following his time at the Crows.

“I miss Adelaide… but our family is here (in Tasmania),” Callinan told AFC Media, thanks to UniSA.

“We still watch the Crows on TV and I keep in touch with a few of the boys.

“I’m still good mates with Tex and Lynchy, still talk to them… It’s good to catch up with them when I can.”

Now playing amateur football for OHA Football Club in Hobart, “Nutsy” still enjoys a kick of the footy.

“We made finals last year… didn’t win it, but played alright,” he said.

The father of three, who works in fire prevention, has embraced a much different lifestyle to his playing days.

“It pays the bills, and I’m lucky I can still play football,” Callinan said.

“Jack (14) and Harry (7) both play as well… Jack is in a lot of the talent squads in Tasmania.

“He’s actually going better at cricket to be honest, but very talented in both.”

The oldest of three, Jack was just six when his parents made the decision to move across to South Australia in 2006.

Callinan joined Central District for the 2007 season and went on to win four consecutive flags before being drafted by the Crows.

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Football, however, was never the reason for the move.

“I played about 100 games of VFL… then Lauren (his wife) and I decided we’d move away,” Callinan said.

“Lauren got a transfer with her job at Centrelink and it was a chance to climb the tree.

“I had a good year my first season with Centrals and thought if it was ever going to happen, it would have been after that.

“I had no expectation of being drafted (after that).”


02:15 Mins
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SANFL Club Champion: Ian Callinan

Ian Callinan has won the award for State League Club Champion for 2014

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After three seasons in the AFL system, Callinan was presented with a unique opportunity - captaining the inaugural Crows SANFL side.

“It was a big decision because I had a lot of history at Centrals,” he said.

“I had to choose between going back (to Centrals) or making a career out of the coaching side.

“I really enjoyed working with the younger blokes like Cam Ellis-Yolmen and Riley Knight.”

Five years on, Callinan missed one thing most about the Crows.

“The mateship, to be honest,” he said.

“I’ve got really close mates there even though I was only at the Club for four or five years.

“They made me feel a part of it, I miss the camaraderie.”

With the AFL season suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, players are stuck training in groups of two to keep fit.

“They made me feel a part of it, I miss the camaraderie”

Callinan had a simple message for his former teammates: stick together.

“I know it’s hard when you can’t spend much time together, but control what you can control,” he said.

“Make sure you train hard and are ready to go when the season returns.”