Australian Football Celebrating the history of the great Australian game


Key Facts

Full name
Ronnie Paul Burns

Known as
Ronnie Burns

13 March 1973 (age 51)

Place of birth
Tiwi, NT (0810)

Indigenous Australian

Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 23y 16d
Last game: 31y 50d

Height and weight
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 86 kg

Senior clubs
West Perth; Geelong; Adelaide; Port Adelaide Magpies

Jumper numbers
Geelong: 8
Adelaide: 5

Recruited from
St. Mary's (1993); West Perth (1996); Geelong (2003)

State of origin

Family links
Benny Vigona (Uncle)Willie Rioli (Cousin)

Ronnie Burns

ClubLeagueCareer spanGamesGoalsAvgWin %AKIAHBAMKBV
West PerthWASFL1993-199528421.50
Port Adelaide MagpiesSANFL2003-200412131.08

AFL: 10,658th player to appear, 1,250th most games played, 255th most goals kickedGeelong: 934th player to appear, 104th most games played, 25th most goals kickedAdelaide: 134th player to appear, 168th most games played, 103rd most goals kicked

Following Gary Ablett's retirement at the end of the 1996 season, Territorian Ronnie Burns was ready and waiting in the wings to assume the mantle of 'Geelong Excitement Machine'. Having ventured such an opinion, however, it must at once be admitted that the styles of the two players, whilst having some similarities, were ultimately very different. Moreover, Ronnie Burns, who finished his AFL career with two largely disappointing seasons at Adelaide in 2003-4, only intermittently managed to match the exploits and never the consistency of the man referred to by the Kardinia Park faithful simply as 'God'.

Perhaps it is unfair to make such comparisons any way, for if a certain Mr. Ablett is left entirely out of the equation then Ronnie Burns emerges, in his own right, as a highly talented, if frustratingly spasmodic, performer. Possessed of lightning pace, sharp reflexes, and a Peter Daicos-like ability to find the goals from the most seemingly impossible of angles and situations, a spectacular video could readily be compiled of the highlights of his career. Sadly, the considerable number of comparatively inconsequential games he played would prevent him from being regarded as an out and out champion, but for sheer skill and the potential to create havoc and excitement he has had few recent equals in the modern game.

Burns' AFL career comprised 134 goals and 239 goals for Geelong between 1996 and 2002, followed by 20 games and 23 goals with the Crows in 2003-4. He also played at state league level with West Perth (28 games and 42 goals from 1993 to 1995) and Port Adelaide Magpies (12 games, 13 goals simultaneously with his time at the Crows).

Author - John Devaney


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