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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just ahead of Round 12, the AFL held the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Five of the inductees are from the modern era: Brad Johnson, Anthony Koutoufides, Warren Tredrea, Andrew McLeod, and Matthew Richardson. The sixth was the late Ern Henfry who was represented by his son. All of the inductees were team captains during their careers.

ERN HENFRY
Perth: 85 games and 86 goals 1937-41
Carlton: 84 games and 20 goals 1944 and 1947-52
Two Games for WA
Two Games for Victoria
Carlton Premiership 1947
Perth Best and Fairest 1941
Carlton Best and Fairest 1947, 1949
Carlton Captain 1947-52
Victoria Captain 1949
Perth Captain 1953-54
Perth Coach 1953-59 and 1962-64 for 242 games -139 wins, 103 losses
WA Coach 1956-57
Perth Premiership Coach 1955
Perth Team of the Century (Center)
Carlton Hall of Fame Inductee 1992
WAFL Hall of Fame Inductee 2004

Henfrey was a star in WA at the age of just 17. He enlisted in the RAAF in 1941. Like many servicemen during the war who were away from their original teams due to military service, he was allowed to play two games for Carlton while stationed in Melbourne. After the war, he was transferred to Melbourne by the bank he worked for, but the West Australian league refused to clear him. He sat out the 1946 season but used that time to study and learn tactics and strategies. When cleared in 1947, Carlton snapped him up and named him captain. He was an excellent center player - quick, elusive, smart and a fine kick. He often found space to propel the ball to his forward line. He remained captain until injury forced him to retire. At the presentation, Henfrey's son Ken said his father had few sporting regrets but did tell of how he was helping his then aged parents move from their home to an assisted living facility. In the process, many items had to be discarded due to limited space. Several items to be discarded were two football guernseys which Ken thought were from Henfrey's Perth days as they resembled Essendon guernseys. It was only when he received a call from a friend shortly after the passing of Essendon great Dick Reynolds that he learned the truth. In days gone by, players from opposing Grand Final teams would sometimes swap guernseys at the end of the match. The two guernseys Ken tossed turned out to be the ones worn by Reynolds in the 1947 and 1949 Grand Finals between Carlton and Essendon. The caller was hoping to retrieve the guernseys for auction but they were gone.

BRAD JOHNSON
364 Games for Western Bulldogs 1994-2010, kicking 558 goals
Three Games for Victoria State of Origin), kicking five goals
International Rules Series 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003
Rising Star nominee 1995
Western Bulldogs Best and Fairest 1999, 2002, 2006
Western Bulldogs Captain 2006-10
Western Bulldogs Leading Goalkicker 2001 (48), 2005 (42), 2006 (74), 2007 (59), 2008 (50)
All Australian 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 (captain), 2007
Western Bulldogs Team of the Century

Johnson was one of those lucky few to play for the team he and his family supported all of their lives. His grandfather played for the Bulldogs' reserves team. At the age of 16, he was told by a juniors' coach he would not make the grade at AFL level but he persisted. That persistence paid off when former Bulldog Brian Cordy (whose son Ayce has been with the club since 2010) told the club they should go after Johnson. Johnson was drafted while still in high school, joining the club as a talented and skilled midfielder. He was a prolific ball winner. In 2005, he became acting captain when Luke Darcy was injured and was also moved to the forward line. Despite his size (5'10"), the move proved more than successful and he remained in the role until his retirement at the end of 2010.

ANTHONY KOUTOUFIDES
278 Games for Carlton, 1992-2007, 226 goals
One Game for Victoria
Carlton Premiership 1995
Carlton Best and Fairest 2001, 2005
Carlton Leading Goalkicker 1997 (28 goals)
Carlton Captain 2004-06
All Australian 1995, 2000

Koutoufides' incredible physique had him dubbed the Adonis of football. He had the talent to go with it. As contemporary Michael Voss said on SEN the next day, Koutoufides was nearly impossible to stop on the field due to his skill, size and strength. Kouta was a promising junior in athletics but turned his attention to football. At the induction ceremony, Kouta told of how his immigrant parents did not want him to play football but eventually came around. He also spoke of the loss of his father to cancer in 1997 and how it devastated him at the time. He said assistant coaches Barry Mitchell and Wayne Brittain sat him down for a chat after a woeful performance against Fremantle in 1998. Kouta said he then vowed for his late father to train harder and get better. 1997 was also the year of the "boot flap" when Kouta had a personal sponsorship deal with Nike which conflicted with the club sponsorship by Adidas. But Kouta got through it all and once again became a dominant player. Perhaps his greatest display, still spoken of as a performance to rival all others, came in the final quarter of the 1999 Preliminary Final when Kouta was everywhere and in everything. Despite a series of knee injuries starting late in 2000 and later a hamstring injury, he still continued to produce good football.

ANDREW MCLEOD
340 Games for the Adelaide Crows 1995-2010, 275 goals
23 Games for the Port Adelaide Magpies (SANFL) 1994-96, 35 goals
One Game for the Allies (State of Origin)
One Game for the Dream Team
International Rules 2001, 2002, 2005 (co-captain), Jim Stynes Medal as best on ground 2005
Adelaide Crows Premiership 1997, 1998
Preseason Premiership 2003, Michael Tuck Medal as best on ground
Port Adelaide Magpies Premiership 1994
Adelaide Crows Best and Fairest 1997, 2001, 2007
All Australian 1998, 2000, 2001, 2006, 2007 (captain)
Indigenous Team of the Century (Ruck Rover).
SANFL Hall of Fame Inductee
Norm Smith Medalist 1997, 1998
Rising Star nominee 1995

McLeod said he had idolized past indigenous players such as Maurice Rioli, Michael Long and Gilbert McAdam and believed he should also be a role model for indigenous communities and youth. He was originally destined for Fremantle as a priority selection for the AFL's then newest team, but the Dockers traded that pick to Adelaide in exchange for Chris Groom (played only 12 games for Adelaide 1993-94, 7 games for Fremantle 1995 and 5 games for North Melbourne 1997-98). Adelaide got the best of the deal with McLeod who got off to a slow start as a forward but turned into a fine running defender. McLeod joked that when he told his brother of his upcoming induction that his brother replied "I thought you already were in the Hall of Fame."

MATTHEW RICHARDSON
282 Games for Richmond 1993-2009,800 goals
One Game for Tasmania
Two Games State of Origin games for the Allies, Alex Jesaulenko Medalist 1996 for best on ground
One Game for the Dream Team
International Rules Series 1999
Richmond Best and Fairest 2007
Richmond Leading Goalkicker 1994 (56), 1996 (91), 1997 (47), 1998 (55), 1999 (67), 2001 (59), 2002 (36), 2003 (33), 2004 (65), 2005 (65), 2006 (45), 2007 (53), 2008 (48)
All Australian 1996, 1999, 2008
Rising Star nominee1993
Richmond Team of the Century (Half Forward)

If any one player could be said to wear his heart on his sleeve it was Matthew Richardson. At the induction ceremony, he admitted to often playing on emotion, not only his but the fans as well. He also admitted to acting like a goose at times on the field, but said he sometimes didn't even remember some of things he did or said until it was splashed across the evening news or morning papers. Later he said he could sympathize with Jack Riewoldt, saying his behavior was only because he cared about the team and his perceived negative actions were sometimes misinterpreted. Richo was always destined to play for the Tigers, the team for which his father Alan played. That did not stop Collingwood from chasing him, going so far as to send him a package of Collingwood "goodies" including a guernsey, Brian Taylor's autobiography and a tape of the 1990 Grand Final (Collingwood defeated Essendon). To Richo's surprise and disbelief, this was followed by a phone call from then Magpie coach Leigh Matthews. A litany of injuries in the late 1990s and early 2000's - fractured cheekbone, broken arm, knee reconstruction and a serious foot injury in which he suffered damaged tendons and ligaments - robbed him of numerous games and the potential to become a 1000 goal forward. His sometimes wayward kicking for goal is the stuff of legend. In 2009, coach Terry Wallace moved him to the wing. It was a masterstroke move as Richardson could use his speed, agility and aerial skills to run opponents ragged. At the induction ceremony, he was asked about it and relayed the story. He walked in to the club on a Monday and Wallace called him in for chat. Wallace asked him for a favor. Richardson thought maybe Wallace wanted him to help a young Jack Riewoldt (in his second year at the club) with some goal kicking skills. Wallace said no, that he wanted to move him to the wing. Richardson wasn't too keen on the idea and suggested he could stay in the goal square and let Jack roam further afield. Richardson said he then asked what his options were, to which Wallace replied he could play for Coburg (Richmond's VFL team). Richo said he replied "I love the wing!" In relating the story at the ceremony, he quipped that if he had been allowed deeper in the goal square and let Riewoldt run up the ground, he might have lasted as long as Essendon's Dustin Fletcher. He also joked about one of his last games in 2010 when playing at the SCG. He felt his hamstring go and was not moving well but needed one goal to bring up 800. He told of how the trainer came out to him three times and told him if he didn't do something, he was coming off. All three times, he rebuked the trainer and finally got the goal he needed.

WARREN TREDREA
255 games for Port Adelaide 1997-2010, kicking 549 goals
26 games for the Port Adelaide Magpies (SANFL) 1996-97 and 2007, kicking 33 goals
Two games for South Australia, kicking no goals
International Rules Series 2001-02
Preseason Premiership 2002
Port Adelaide Premiership 2004 (acting captain)
Port Adelaide Magpies Premiership 1996
Port Adelaide Best and Fairest 2001, 2004, 2005, 2009
Port Adelaide Leading Goalkicker 1998 (33), 1999 (40), 2000 (32), 2001 (51), 2003 (58), 2004 (81), 2005 (65), 2009 (51).
Port Adelaide Captain 2006-08
All Australian 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 (vice-captain)
Rising Star nominee 1998

His dad Gary played 19 games for Collingwood and there were plenty of clubs interested in Warren ahead of the 1995 draft. He refused to nominate for the draft so he could join Port Adelaide's inaugural AFL team in 1997. He played only one game that year, but established himself in 1998, but that year was cut short. Against Carlton, he had eight goals to his name before a knee injury ended his day and season. Early on, he asked to be traded to Carton for more opportunities but the trade never happened. Collingwood and Sydney were also interested but Scott Cummings departed for West Coast and Mark Williams replaced John Cahill as coach. Williams told the 19 year old Tredrea that he would remain at center half forward if he succeeded. The rest, they say, is history. He thrived on the extra responsibility and in 2004 stood in as captain when ruckman Matthew Primus was injured. During his acceptance speech, he acknowledged the contributions of the late Dean Bailey and former assistant coach Alistair Clarkson and thanked his family for their support. He then joked that it cut pretty deep once when his six year old son lined up with other young fans for an autograph from Adelaide Crows star Patrick Dangerfield.

Source: Patrick Keane, AFL Media Release, sen.com.au audio, Encyclopedia of League Footballers, AFL Record 2010 Season Guide

Article last changed on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 - 6:44 AM EDT


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