Robert NEILL


Guernsey Number: 10
Career: 1998 to 2005
NFC Games: 134
NFC Goals: 240
Debut: v West Adelaide (Richmond) 28th March 1998
Finale: v North Adelaide (Adelaide) 3rd September 2005

Leading Goalkicker: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005
Advertiser Team of the Year: 1999
South Australian Games: 3
VFL/AFL Clubs: Sydney Swans, St Kilda


Robert Neill was born in Canberra, and was recruited by Norwood from the St.Kilda Football Club. Popularly known as Scratcher or Robbie, his previous clubs had included the Sydney Swans and Eastlake in the Australian Capital Teritory.

Drafted by Sydney, Neill played 21 AFL games for the Swans between 1992 and 1994. He then moved to St. Kilda as part of a trade that included Tony Lockett's transfer to Sydney. Neill played in the Saints' 1996 Ansett Cup night premiership and was a member of the 1997 grand final team that was defeated by the Adelaide Crows.

Surprisingly delisted by St. Kilda in the off season after 23 games in two years, Neill joined the Redlegs for the start of 1998. A strongly built utility, Norwood saw him as a possible replacement for the recently retired midfielders Andrew Jarman and Stephen Rowe. He was to prove a wonderful recruit for the Norwood Football Club, both as a footballer and as a development officer and coach.

Neill played in the 1999 grand final loss against Port Adelaide, and was named the best team man in 2000.

He missed all of the 2002 season after a knee reconstruction, bouncing back to finish runner-up in the 2003 Club Champion award.

The following season he was third to the Club Champion, won the coveted Woods Medal, and reached the 100 game milestone with the Redlegs.

He played his last league game for Norwood in 2005. At the completion of his career, he had been the club's leading goal kicker on six occasions, represented South Australia three times, and had been a NSW State of Origin representative twice.

Since retiring as a player, Neill has been outstanding in a number of off-field roles. At the Parade, his roles included : Development Officer, Metropolitan Development Coordinator at the SANFL, Talent Manager and Norwood Under 16's coach.

R Cialini Jan 2015

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