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Benjamin Martin Hart
9 July 1974 (age 48)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 17y 257d
Last game: 32y 49d
Height and weight
Height: 190 cm
Weight: 83 kg
North Adelaide; Adelaide; Australia
North Adelaide (1992)
Hall of fame
South Australian Football Hall Of Fame (2012)
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
|North Adelaide||SANFL||1990-1991, 2007||27||4||0.15||—||—||—||—||—|
AFL: 10,290th player to appear, 68th most games played, 2,192nd most goals kickedAdelaide: 38th player to appear, 4th most games played, 58th most goals kicked
Ben Hart was without doubt one of the most important players to represent the Adelaide Crows so far in the club's history. He made his debut for the club as an 18-year-old in 1992, having spent the previous two seasons alternating between his school team, Rostrevor College, and North Adelaide, for whom he made a couple of senior appearances in 1990 and eight the following year.
In his first season with the Crows he was an ever-present, and was widely touted as the competition's foremost first year player, a status endorsed by his selection in the 1992 AFL All Australian team. There were no second season blues either as Hart continued where he had left off by producing another copybook year capped by participation in Adelaide's first ever AFL finals campaign, and selection once more in the league's official team of the year. Hart was also a prominent contributor to South Australia's victory in the Australian state of origin championships.
The key facets of Hart's game were pace, poise, coolness under pressure, and unerring distribution skills by both hand and foot. Early in his debut season he was tried in a number of positions including the wing and a half back flank before finding his true forté as a rebounding, purposeful last line defender.
During the mid-1990s Hart's form dipped somewhat but when Malcolm Blight was appointed as Crows coach in 1997 Hart was one of several players at the club to undergo a renaissance. In both 1997 and 1998 he was a key contributor to Adelaide's historic Grand Final triumphs, and in 1999 his form improved still more, with a club best and fairest award and selection in a third AFL All Australian team among the more visible rewards. Three years later, still playing consistently imposing football, he repeated both achievements.
When somewhat controversially delisted at the end of the 2006 season Ben Hart had played an Adelaide record 311 AFL games. Indeed, he was the first player from the club to break the 300 game barrier. He spent his last season as a player back with North Adelaide whom he helped reach the 2007 Grand Final, the club's first since 1991. However, Central District proved too strong, winning by almost 11 goals. Hart was an assistant coach with the Crows in 2008-11 before joining Collingwood as defensive coach. In 2018 he re-assumed the assistant coach's role at Adelaide.
Author - John Devaney