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SANFL will play Neil Kerley tribute match in Murray Bridge
Adelaide and West Adelaide will face off at Johnstone Park in August.
A South Australian football icon will be honoured at a memorial SANFL game in Murray Bridge this August, the state league has announced.
The Neil Kerley memorial match will be played at Johnstone Park on a Sunday, August 13, between Adelaide and West Adelaide.
Kerley captained and coached West Adelaide to two premierships in the 1960s, and played a key role in the formation of Adelaide’s inaugural AFL squad in 1991.
He grew up on the River Murray at Barmera and frequently holidayed at a shack at Walker Flat prior to his death last year.
SANFL executive Matt Duldig said the match was an appropriate way to acknowledge the remarkable contributions Kerley had made to football in South Australia.
“Given Kerls’ love of the Murray River region – he treasured his Walker Flat home – the match will provide locals with something to cheer about after enduring significant flooding during the Christmas-New Year period,” he said.
The match would also demonstrate West Adelaide’s commitment to supporting the River Murray league, club CEO Conny Wilson said.
“With the club now extending its zoning into the Murraylands, we want to demonstrate our presence and commitment to developing our local players,” she said.
River Murray Football League president Phil Gogel expected several thousand people to get down to Imperials’ home ground for the match.
“It’s a great opportunity for country people to see that standard of football,” he said.
“Generally country football is being played while those games are on.
“Last year they had the Russell Ebert memorial game at Loxton and they had 3500-plus people there; we can expect equally as good a crowd on August 13.”
The local council, SANFL and RMFL had been in talks about the possibility of playing a match in Murray Bridge since November.
The Neil Kerley match will be the only one played in Murray Bridge for the weekend, as Imperials will be away to Tailem Bend on the Saturday and Ramblers will play the Cats at Coonalpyn.
The last SANFL game played in the Murraylands was Port Adelaide versus Adelaide at Mannum in 2016.
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