3 August 2012
John Burkett (Nephew)
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At first glance Burkett appears the awkwardest dropkick it is possible to see. He uses short punts most of the time. But he rarely misses a team mate with them. Burkett is the most deceptive player in the game. He is always in the thick of the centre struggles. Unless you watch closely, his lightning handpasses and quick, short kicks to a man are missed.¹
Clever, quick and abundantly talented, Garth (usually abbreviated to ‘Gar’) Burkett had a somewhat spasmodic career at the top level but it was nevertheless enough to stamp him in many observers’ minds as a rare talent. A centreman in most of his 92 games with West Adelaide and West Adelaide-Glenelg, Burkett was close to best afield in the winning Grand Final team of 1947, while his four interstate appearances for South Australia included games at the 1947 Hobart carnival.
His league career began with West Adelaide-Glenelg during the final year of the reduced scale wartime competition, 1944, and ended, after several highly successful intervening stints with West Broken Hill, plus two West Adelaide best and fairest awards, 11 seasons later. During the Broken Hill phases of his career, Burkett played interstate football for New South Wales, and won a competition best and fairest award in 1949.
His nephew John Burkett later also enjoyed a successful, decade long career with Westies during which he played 146 games and kicked 139 goals.
Author - John Devaney
1. “News”, 24/7/54, page 15.