Craig Crowley

Craig Crowley

An ever-creative utility player originally from Dandenong who arrived with little fuss on the Gold Coast for Southport’s entry to the then AFLQ competition in 1983 and turned out to be one of the club’s all-time greats – as a player and coach. He played 190 games for the Sharks from 1983-93, won the B&F in 1988-89, and played in six premiership teams in 1983-85-87-89-90-92– a club record he shares with Jason Cotter and Clint Watts.

Always one to put the team first, he played with a real vigor that was matched only by his skill and football nous. Was further honoured as an inaugural inductee into the Southport Hall of Fame and later with selection at half back in the Southport Celebration Team of 1983-2008. Played 12 times for Queensland, and was rewarded for his great commitment to the State jumper with the captaincy in 1991-92. Always regarded as a coach in waiting, he coached the Southport U18 side in 2000 while still playing in the seniors, and was assistant coach to the reserves from 2001-03 as he closed out his magnificent playing career.

Was reserves coach and assistant-coach to Norm Dare in 2004-05, taking his side to two grand finals and the ’04 flag, and took on the senior coaching role in 2006 following Dare’s resignation. He won the flag in his first season at the helm and has guided the Sharks to three grand finals in as many years, adding another premiership in 2008.

Quite incredibly, he has now played or coached in 14 senior AFLQ grand finals. He played in ’83 and nine years in a row from 1985-93, was assistant-coach in 2005 and has been senior coach in 2006-07-08.

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