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Matthew Nicks, Senior Coach

Nicks began his playing career with West Adelaide before being drafted by the Sydney Swans in 1994. A broken leg in 1995 delayed his AFL debut until the 1996 season. Nicks played 175 games for the Swans before retiring in 2005. Following a year off from football, Nicks returned to football via amateur coaching in the Sydney Football League. In 2011, he joined Port Adelaide as an assistant coach where he remained for eight seasons, serving as senior assistant coach under Ken Hinkley in his final two seasons with the Power. In that time, he was one of the inaugural participants in the AFL’s Level Four Coaching Program. Nicks joined Greater Western Sydney as a senior assistant coach to Leon Cameron for the 2019 season, with the Giants making their maiden Grand Final which they ultimately lost to Richmond. In October 2019, Nicks returned to South Australia where he was unveiled as Adelaide’s new Senior Coach.

Fast facts:
Nickname: Nicksy
DOB: 13/05/1975
Playing career: 175 games for Sydney
Coaching career: Assistant Coach at Port Adelaide 2011-2016, Senior Assistant Coach at Port Adelaide 2017-2018, Senior Assistant Coach at Greater Western Sydney 2019, Senior Coach at Adelaide 2019-current

Did you know …? Nicks played soccer as a kid and made the decision to switch to Aussie Rules at a Crows game at Football Park in the 1990s.

AFL 2017 Training - Adelaide Crows 061217

Ben Hart, Assistant Coach (Forwards)

Hart first appeared for SANFL club North Adelaide at just 16 years old in 1990, and made his debut for Adelaide in 1992, playing every game to earn All Australian honours as a key defender. He soon established a reputation as a strong competitor, regularly dueling with dominant key forwards such as Gary Ablett, Jason Dunstall and Tony Lockett. Hart earned three more All Australian jumpers across his career, highlighted by playing a key role in Adelaide’s back-to-back premierships in 1997 and 1998; games where he was named among the Crows’ best. Hart played 311 games in all for the Club, and was inducted as an Adelaide Life Member.  Following his decorated playing career, Hart spent four years as an assistant coach at Adelaide from 2008 – 2011 before taking on the role of assistant coach with Collingwood from 2012-2016. He returns to West Lakes as an assistant coach ahead of the 2018 season, where he will oversee the defensive group.

Fast facts
Nickname: Benny
DOB: 9/7/1974
Playing career: 311 games for Adelaide
Playing awards: Premiership player at Adelaide in 1997 & 1998, All Australian in 1992, 1993, 1999 & 2002, Malcom Blight Medal for Adelaide’s best and fairest in 1999 & 2002, Adelaide Team of the Decade 1991-2000, Adelaide Football Club Life Member, South Australian Representative (8 games), Internationals Rules Series for Australia 1998 & 1999, AFL Mark of the Year 1996, South Australian Football Hall of Fame inductee.
Coaching career: Assistant Coach at Adelaide 2008-2011, Assistant Coach (Defence) at Collingwood 2012 – 2016.

Did you know …? Hart is the youngest Crows debutant ever, having played his first AFL game aged 17 years and 257 days in 1992.  He also was the first Adelaide player to reach 300 games.

Marty Mattner, Assistant Coach (Defence)

Mattner’s career began at Sturt before he was elevated off the rookie list by the Crows in 2002 and debuted in Round One that same year. He made seven appearances for the Crows that season while  helping Sturt claim the SANFL premiership, 26 years after their last success. At the end of 2007, he was traded to Sydney where he capped off his career with an AFL premiership in 2012. Injury forced Mattner to retire in 2013, however he was not out of footy for long as he took up an Assistant Coach position at Sydney from 2014-15. In 2016, he returned to Sturt as their head coach. He guided the Double Blues to back-to-back premierships, their first since 2002. In 2018, he coached South Australia against Western Australia, before joining the Crows as the Defensive Coach for the 2019 season.

Fast facts
Playing career:
98 games for Adelaide, 124 games for Sydney, 47 SANFL games for Sturt
Playing awards: Premiership player at Sydney in 2012, Premiership player at Sturt (SANFL) in 2002
Coaching career:
Assistant Coach at Sydney 2014-2015, Senior Coach at Sturt (SANFL) 2016-2018, Premiership Coach at Sturt (SANFL) 2016-2017, South Australia State Team Coach 2018, Forwards Development Coach at Adelaide 2018-current

Did you know …? Mattner is from the town of Ki Ki, 150 kilometres south-east of Adelaide, where the population is less than 200 people.

Michael Godden, Assistant Coach (Midfield)

In his playing days, Godden recorded 145 League and Reserves appearances for West Adelaide, before retiring due to a debilitating knee injury. In 2009, he coached Glenelg’s Reserves to a second premiership, before he was recruited by Woodville-West Torrens as their Senior Coach after defeating their reserves in the grand final. From 2010, he led the Eagles to nine consecutive seasons of finals football, including a premiership in 2011. They won by just three points against Central Districts, despite the Bulldogs aiming for their 10th title in 12 seasons. Godden also coached the South Australia State Team from 2012-2015.

Fast facts
Playing career:
89 SANFL games for West Adelaide
Coaching career:
Reserves Coach at Glenelg (SANFL) 2007-2009, Senior Coach at Woodville-West Torrens (SANFL) 2010-2018, Premiership Coach at Woodville West Torrens (SANFL) 2011, South Australia State Team Coach 2015-2017, Midfield Coach at Adelaide 2018-current

Did you know …? Godden was selected with pick No. 116 in the 1992 AFL draft from West Adelaide, although he never made his AFL debut.

Matthew Clarke, Assistant Coach (Ruck)

Recognised as one of the best tap ruckmen of his time, Clarke returned to West Lakes to lend his experience after representing the Crows in 118 games and four finals series. A journeyman as a player, Clarke was first drafted and delisted by Richmond without playing a senior game, before making his AFL debut with the Brisbane Bears as a lanky 19-year-old in 1993. After 130 games, a Best and Fairest and two runners-up placings, Clarke was picked up by Adelaide ahead of the 2000 season before winding up his career at St Kilda in 2007. An intelligent man on and off the field, coaching came as a natural evolution for Clarke and he has served as the Club's Ruck Coach since 2008.

Fast facts
Nickname: Doc, Clarkey
DOB: 18/9/73
Playing career: 258 games (Brisbane 130, Adelaide 118, St Kilda 10)
Playing awards: Merrett-Murray Medal for Brisbane's Best and Fairest 1997, AFL Rising Star nominee 1994, Led AFL for total hit-outs in 1996 & 2003
Coaching career: Assistant Coach at Adelaide 2008 – current, AFLW Head Coach at Adelaide 2018 - current.

Did you know …? Clarke is a qualified veterinarian.

Heath Younie, SANFL Senior Coach and Development Manager

Raised in country Victoria, Younie was initially rookie-listed by West Coast in 1997, playing WAFL for two seasons before he was delisted. North Melbourne also showed interest in the talented junior, with Younie signing on as a ‘top up’ player for the Kangaroos’ VFL side back in his home state. But his career flourished when he moved to South Australia in 2001 to join North Adelaide. He played 183 SANFL games, was appointed vice-captain, and won two best and fairests in a 10-year stint with the Roosters. After retiring as a player in 2010, Younie served as North Adelaide’s U18s coach for two seasons before joining Adelaide’s development program in late 2012. He was named the Club’s inaugural SANFL coach for the side’s entry into the competition in 2014 and guided the side to its first finals campaign in 2016. Younie relinquished the SANFL coaching role ahead of the 2017 season to focus on managing the development of players, coaches and football staff on a full-time basis.

Fast facts
Nickname: Unit
DOB: 26/06/79
Playing career: 183 SANFL games for North Adelaide
Playing awards: Barrie Robran Medal for North Adelaide’s Best and Fairest 2002 & 2006, North Adelaide leading goalkicker 2007 & 2008, North Adelaide vice-captain 2002, 2005-2010.
Coaching career: U18s coach at North Adelaide 2011-2012, Development Coach at Adelaide 2013, Crows SANFL Coach 2014-2016, Development Manager 2014 - current

Did you know …? Heath previously worked as a PE and science teacher at Windsor Gardens Vocational School.

AFL 2017 Training - Adelaide Crows 061217

Brent Reilly, Defensive Development Coach

Reilly made his debut for the Crows in 2002, establishing himself as a regular in the side in the latter half of the 2004 season, the year he earned a nomination for the AFL Rising Star award. Boasting a long, pinpoint kick, Reilly played mostly through the midfield until 2012, when he reinvented himself as a rebounding defender. His form was rewarded with All-Australian squad selection in 2012, the same year he was inducted as an Adelaide Football Club Life Member. Back at West Lakes after a season as Assistant Coach at Henley Football Club in the Adelaide Football League, Reilly will mentor Adelaide’s young defenders.

Fast facts
Nickname: Radar
DOB: 12/11/1983
Playing career: 203 games for Adelaide
Playing awards: All Australian nominee in 2012, Rising Star nominee in 2004, Adelaide Football Club Life Member.
Coaching career: Development Coach (defence) at Adelaide - current

Did you know …? Reilly wore the No.33 guernsey for the first seven years of his career before switching to No.3 ahead of the 2009 season.

Paul Thomas, Midfield Development Coach

One of the SANFL's most revered and successful players, Thomas joined Adelaide's development department ahead of the 2016 season. He began his career as a skilful half-back flanker before dominating as a tough midfielder for much of his 15-year career with Central District. Thomas also played eight AFL games at Essendon, but is fondly remembered for his time at Elizabeth where he won six premierships, two best and fairests and a Magarey Medal. A qualified teacher, Thomas helped establish the junior football academy at Trinity College and also managed the football program at Henley High School for several years. Thomas was a welcome addition to Adelaide’s SANFL coaching panel in 2016, overseeing the development of the Club’s young defenders across two seasons in the coaches' box before shifting into the midfield role ahead of the 2018 season.

Fast facts
Nickname: Thommo
DOB: 6/5/1982
Playing career: Eight games for Essendon, 269 SANFL games for Central District
Playing awards: SANFL premiership player at Central District (2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010) including four as captain, Magarey Medal 2004, Central District captain and/or co-captain 2007-2015, Central District best and fairest 2004 & 2009, Bob Quinn Medal as best afield in SANFL Anzac Day clash 2003, 2004, 2008 & 2011, State Game representative for South Australia 2003, 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014 & 2015 (captain from 2012 onwards), Awarded Life Membership at Central District 2011
Coaching career: Development Coach (defence) at Adelaide 2016 – 2017

Did you know …? Thomas was Adelaide's first pick in the 2002 Rookie Draft but did not play a game in the tri-colours.

Matthew Wright, Forwards Development Coach

Playing over 159 AFL games, Wright found a home at both Adelaide and Carlton. Initially selected by Adelaide with pick No. 33 in the 2010 Rookie Draft, he debuted in 2011 and was a regular in the team for five seasons. In 2016, he moved to Carlton where he was their leading goalkicker in his first season. Over three seasons, he missed just one game for the Blues. He returned to Adelaide at the end of 2018 following his AFL retirement at 28 years of age to take up a dual role with the Club. In 2019, he will captain Adelaide’s SANFL team and work as the Forwards Development Coach.

Fast facts
Playing career:
94 games for Adelaide, 65 games for Carlton, 68 SANFL games for North Adelaide
Playing awards:
Carlton Leading Goalkicker (2016)
Coaching career:
Forwards Development Coach at Adelaide 2018-current

Did you know...? Before he played for them, Wright had only ever kicked one career goal against the Blues - his lowest tally against any opposition side. However, in his first year with Carlton, he was their leading goalkicker.