Pitch invader
The Adelaide Oval pitch invader gets removed by security during the Adelaide-Geelong game. Image by Matt Turner/AAP PHOTOS
  • Australian rules football

AFL coaches slam ‘dangerous’ Adelaide Oval invader

Steve Larkin March 23, 2024

Coaches of Adelaide and Geelong have blasted the “dangerous” pitch invader who was manhandled by players in their AFL game.

Geelong coach Chris Scott referenced the infamous 1982 incident when Australian Test cricketer Terry Alderman dislocated a shoulder when tackling a pitch invader in Perth.

And his Adelaide counterpart Matthew Nicks spoke of the danger to the two Crows players, Matt Crouch and Ben Keays, who grabbed the Friday night fool.

The man, who appeared to be recording the episode on his mobile phone, ran on Adelaide Oval during the third quarter.

He not only entered the arena but ran straight into the action as players scrambled for a contested ball.

After an umpire stopped play, the Crows’ Crouch grabbed the invader and briefly held him by his short-sleeved shirt before he broke free.

He sprinted around a pack of players in the direction of Keays who literally collared the offender, bringing him to the ground, before security pounced.

The invader, a 22-year-old man from Blakeview in Adelaide’s north, was arrested by police and charged with entering an oval during a scheduled event.

The man, who was bailed to appear in Adelaide Magistrates Court on June 19, faces a maximum fine of $5000 under South Australia’s Recreation Grounds Regulations.

Separately, he faces at least a three-year Adelaide Oval ban from the venue’s Stadium Management Authority.

“Maybe the fines aren’t big enough,” Geelong’s Scott said.

“It’s really dangerous too.

“I am generally so far away from punitive reactions to almost anything in society, that’s just not the way I believe things should be done.

“But there is one example, I will go back, I will show my age, like Terry Alderman needed a shoulder reconstruction because of one of these idiots.

“Was it Keasy that brought him down? You know, what if …”

Crows coach Matthew Nicks said the incident was “concerning”.

“It’s really disappointing and it’s dangerous … pitch invaders, I don’t understand it,” he said.

“I took the opportunity to have a look into the computer and see where the team could be better so I didn’t really get a good look at what played out.

“But it’s disappointing to see that someone in this day and age still runs out on the footy field. I don’t get it.”

Asked if his players should have made contact with the invader, Nicks replied: “There’s high risk in that and that’s probably what I’m talking about when it comes to the dangerous part of actually someone being on a footy field.

“Especially when the game is going, to be right in amongst it.

“The dangers are huge not only for our players but for that individual – probably more so for that individual, to be honest.”