Andrew McLeod : biography
Andrew Luke McLeod (born 4 August 1976) is a former Australian rules footballer for the Adelaide Football Club. He is the games record holder for Adelaide, having played 340 games.
McLeod is considered one of the greatest Indigenous footballers of all time, one of the greatest of the modern era and is often considered by many as the greatest player of the Adelaide Football Club. Mcleod won two premierships for the Adelaide Football Club in 1997 and 1998. He was also awarded the Norm Smith Medal for best on ground in the 1997 and 1998 AFL Premiership matches.
McLeod was born in Darwin, Northern Territory. His mother is Indigenous (Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander) while his father Jock McLeod is of Scottish descent.He moved to Kathrine when he was little just before Cyclone Tracy hit but then moved back. Andrew McLeod played both rugby league and Australian football as a junior. by GREY MORRIS for Northern Territory News 3 June 2010 He played senior football with the Darwin Football Club in the Northern Territory Football League a club where his father has played over 200 games.
Moving from Darwin to Adelaide in South Australia McLeod played with the Port Adelaide Football Club in the SANFL in 1994 where he became known as an exciting young forward with electrifying pace. McLeod capped off a solid debut year for Port Adelaide with a Premiership medallion, bagging two goals in Port's 37-point win over Woodville-West Torrens in the 1994 SANFL Grand Final.
In the 1994 offseason period McLeod was recruited by the newly established Fremantle Football Club as part of their inaugural squad. However, Fremantle would later agree to exchange McLeod to the Adelaide Crows for promising forward Chris Groom in what many now consider to be one of the most lopsided trades in Australian rules football history.
In an interview with Australian men's magazine AlphaAlpha magazine, September 2005 in September 2005, McLeod would later reveal that he refused to play for Fremantle after feeling insulted and belittled by Fremantle coach Gerard Neesham who had not actually seen him play before.
In his first year with the Adelaide Crows, McLeod began his AFL career quietly, appearing tentative and nervous during pre-season games. However, in a round 9 match against Hawthorn at Football Park, a confident McLeod began to emerge.
In the dying seconds of the game with Adelaide trailing by four points, McLeod raced into an open forward line while being hotly pursued by Hawk Ray Jencke. Swooping onto the loose ball, he calmly laid it on his foot under pressure, dribbling it through for a miraculous goal from a tight angle at the Northern End of the ground to give his side a remarkable 2-point victory after they had trailed by 34 points at half-time. The Crows were able to avenge their worst ever home loss in history the year before (Round 9 1994 by 97 points to Hawthorn).
McLeod would later be named as an AFL rising star nominee late in the 1995 season after a string of consistent performances in a struggling Adelaide side which only managed a 9-13 record. He was also awarded Adelaide's Emerging Talent Award.
In his second season with the Adelaide Crows, McLeod played in 19 matches and kicked 20 goals.
After two tumultuous years under Robert Shaw, legendary footballer Malcolm Blight took over as coach of Adelaide. The Crows would begin the season slowly as they adjusted to Blight's long-kicking and direct style of football before claiming a finals berth for the first time since 1993.
In the preliminary final against the Western Bulldogs, McLeod, who had been playing primarily as a forward or half-back flanker was placed into the midfield in the second half by Blight in an effort to spark the Crows side who trailed by 31 points at half-time. It would be the first time in McLeod's career that he would play in the middle and in a thrilling contest, McLeod and the Crows would win the match by two points to reach the Grand Final for the first time in the club's history.
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