Adelaide Crow champion Tony Modra is optimistic on the future of his former club

GO CROWS: AFL legend Tony Modra is a proud Adelaide supporter and believes the club has an exciting future.
GO CROWS: AFL legend Tony Modra is a proud Adelaide supporter and believes the club has an exciting future.

Tony Modra is still one of the most popular Adelaide Crows players to have ever played the game and he is optimistic on the future of his former club after experiencing its worst season in its 29 year history.

"Since missing out on the premiership in 2017 it has not been good for the club, but now its is all turning around with the draft and the way the boys finished off the 2020 season," Tony said.

"I really like the way the club drafted locally. They will want to work and play for the club and stay and from that, we can build a strong culture."

The popular Waitpinga farmer and Fleurieu local wears a number of hats, as an ambassador for the Fleurieu Milk Company, Little Heroes Foundation, West End, Vills and the Adelaide Football Club.

Tony Modra played 165 AFL games (118 with Adelaide and 47 with Fremantle) and kicked 440 goals for the Crows and 148 for Fremantle. He also played six state games and been inducted into the South Australian Hall of Fame.

Tony was twice All Australian in 1993 and 1997 and in '97 won the Coleman Medal as the leading goalkicker in the AFL.

The high flying full forward won the AFL Mark of the Year on three occasions (1993, 97 and 2000) and Goal of the Year in 1995.

Tony played in the era of the great full forwards with Gary Ablett Senior, Jason Dunstall, Tony Lockett, Stephen Kernahan and Paul Salmon showing their respective brilliance.

"At Adelaide we have a great past player base, which other clubs have used as a benchmark. It is great to catch up with the Jarman brothers, Kym Koster, Rod Jamieson, Wayne Weidemann, Peter Caven and Mark Ricciuto," Tony said.

"We all get on so well. We enjoy a beer and talk about the old times, but mostly it is satisfying watching the new talent coming through.

"I am looking forward to Rowey's lad (James) play, Thilthorpe is going to be a star and Schoenberg, Sholl, Himmelberg and Fogarty are finding their feet and show fantastic potential. Fogarty is in for a big year. He will play a major role in the forward line with his strong marking and goalkicking ability.

"Just watch him, he will be off the leash this year. For all our supporters, do not worry. We will be back knocking on the finals door in the near future with this exciting crop of good, young and most importantly, local talent."

GONE FISHING: One of Tony Modra's popular activities on the south coast is crayfishing with mates.

GONE FISHING: One of Tony Modra's popular activities on the south coast is crayfishing with mates.

Tony also has a genuine focus on the direction of the Great Southern Football League as the ambassador for the Southern zone for the upcoming State Country Championships. He played a key role in the tender to host the championships for the first time.

"I am passionate about this, as it will showcase the leagues in the southern zone and will be fantastic for the south coast," Tony said.

"Being in July, local businesses will derive a benefit and a much needed economic injection."

On his retirement from the AFL, Tony and his wife Erica travelled before settling at Waitpinga. He donned the boots for Great Southern club Encounter Bay, where his spectacular marking and goal kicking drew crowds from all over the state.

His volunteer work throughout the region is nearly as legendary as his exploits on the football field and has become very much part of the fabric of the Fleurieu Peninsula.

Tony and Erica's children, Hayley and Luke, go to local schools, play local sport and Erica is heavily involved in the Great Southern Tennis Association.

"I am proud of what Erica is achieving in her tennis coaching and the kids love playing their football, netball, tennis, soccer and golf. It is a busy life, but the Fleurieu is a great place to live," he said.

AMBASSADOR: Tony Modra promotes the Great Southern Football League, Fleurieu Milk and the Adelaide Football Club.

AMBASSADOR: Tony Modra promotes the Great Southern Football League, Fleurieu Milk and the Adelaide Football Club.

This story The Crows will fly as one in 2021 first appeared on The Times.

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