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Ginever inducted into SA Football Hall of Fame

The 1994 Port Adelaide premiership team celebrates their famous come-from-behind win over the Eagles at Football Park (Source: The Advertiser)
Tim Ginever celebrates his first premiership as Port Adelaide's captain in 1994 - one of seven flags he would play in.

PORT Adelaide premiership captain Tim Ginever has been inducted into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame at a ceremony at the Adelaide Oval on Monday night.

Ginever played in seven premiership for Port Adelaide in a career spanning 314 league games.

He overcame early injuries to become one of the most important members of a Port Adelaide dynasty that went on to score seven SANFL flags from 1988 to 1996.

During that time, he became a senior leader tasked with setting Port Adelaide up for a tilt at AFL entry following its initial failed bid in 1990. The main objective of that task was simple: win premierships.

Ginever crafted himself into one of South Australian football's hardest and most unrelenting competitors on the field; mild mannered in the carpark, he crossed the white line and became a fierce and intense competitor on the turf.

He served as an assistant coach to John Cahill for Port Adelaide in the SANFL during 2005 before taking the club’s senior coaching role in four seasons from 2006 to 2009, which included two finals appearances.

His induction makes him the 30th man associated with Port Adelaide to be recognised in the SA Football Hall of Fame.

Speaking to, Ginever said his accolade was a reflection of the highly skilled teams he was part of.

"I must say that it’s a team game, you can’t achieve anything without great teammates, but most importantly without being part of a great club,” Ginever said.

“We’ve been fortunate to play for what I believe is the best club in the whole country.

“For me, it [hall of fame induction] is an individual honour, so you must reflect on how you got it, and the answer to that is because of the teammates you have, and the club you play for.”

Born in Australia to an English father and South American mother, Ginever and his siblings found Australian Football to be the key to easing their transition to life in Australia.

By the time Tim was born, football – and Port Adelaide – was part and parcel of everyday life.

As the seventh of 10 children, he was bred for football in those hardest of proving grounds: the backyard.

“One of my older brothers was called a ‘Pom’ by other kids, was teased about it, wanted to be an Aussie, so we all got into Australian Rules footy,” Ginever said.

“His mate at school said he had to go for Port Adelaide, so that was it – the club got fed through the family.

“Growing up I was playing against my older brothers Nick and Phil in the yard and at school, they all had a particular influence on me playing, and all the family wanted me to get good enough to play for the club.

“I always acknowledge their efforts in toughening me up, keeping me humble – forever telling me not to get a big head or they’d pin me down and make sure I didn't get one!”

Ginever at training in the mid-80s [source: supplied]

Hard work and discipline

During the 1980s, Ginever earned the tag ‘Nippy’ for his fast and determined approach to football.

He was part of a crop of young players who were blooded by Russell Ebert as part of a significant rebuilding process in the early-to-mid-eighties.

But it was as a youngster in the Teal Cup that he first learned the value of discipline in training and on the field.

“The first bloke to really have an impact on me what Alan Stewart at Teal Cup level. He was exceptional, and taught me the fact you could overachieve if you stayed committed to discipline,” Ginever said.

“Junior coaches at Port Adelaide like Malcolm Maiden, who came to my door and asked me if I wanted to play for the club, took me out to the pre-season. He was fantastic in those early years.

“Brian Fairclough and Tony Hobby in the reserves, but then it was Russell Ebert who gave me my opportunity.

“All my mates who came through to eventually win premierships were given our first 50-odd games by Russell.

“Russell taught us how hard we had to work to be a league player at Port Adelaide, I really thank him for those early days and those early learnings.”

Ginever has always been a fan favourite - both during and after his career at Alberton [source: supplied]

By 1988, Port Adelaide had re-enlisted John Cahill to coach the team, and Ginever would become an integral component, playing in a premiership treble in 1988, 1989 and 1990 and then again in 1992.

This was a time where the on-field agenda was doubly important – winning premierships was what Port Adelaide stood for, and its playing group needed to make sure of flags to confirm its credentials for AFL entry.

He took over the traditional No. 1 guernsey of the club’s captain in 1994 and led the club to another three flags with Cahill and Stephen Williams as coaches.

It was at this time that Ginever confirmed himself as a true Port Adelaide champion – winning his first A.R. McLean Medal in 1994 and eventually getting a second in his final season of 1997.

“Jack came back on board in the late eighties and taught us that anyone could be beaten, he was an amazing man manager and an incredible influence on me for not making excuses,” Ginever said.

“If you lost, you lost; you’re not good enough, move on; but work hard to make yourself better.

“There was a real belief system he put into me, and all of us, and it went a long way towards our success at that time.

“Then I finished off with my mate, Stephen Williams, which was a really good captain-coach relationship because we’d been so close as teammates.

Ginever in the last days of his playing career at Port Adelaide [source: Advertiser]

“We’d constantly driven each other as teammates on the field.”

But the toughest person he knows is...

Ginever left his final praise - and thanks - for his wife, Angela.

In his words, she's the toughest person he knows.

“I’ve stood some of the toughest opponents, guys like Gary McIntosh, but none of them were harder than my wife, Angela,” Ginever said.

“She’s just been terrific support throughout the years - she backs me in - but gee, she's tough.

"She tells me to harden up, stop being a sook, get going, go again.

“She’s a real 'Port Adelaide' chick.”

Ginever remains involved in football as part of Port Adelaide's corporate operations and as a commentator for FIVEaa and Channel Seven.

Other inductees to the SA Football Hall of Fame included SANFL administrator Leigh Whicker, former Sturt and Glenelg player John Paynter, former Rooster and Crow Rodney Maynard and Redlegs-Crow Brett James - grandson of 1930s Port player Claude Greening. 

Tim Ginever career

Career: 314 games (1983-1997), 302 goals

Port Adelaide Captain: 1994-1997

Port Adelaide SANFL Coach: 2006-2009 (82 games)


Premierships: 7 - 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996
Best and Fairest: 2 - 1994, 1997
Runner-up: 1 - 1995
Port Adelaide’s Magarey Medal vote leader: 1 – 1997
Most Improved: 1985
Most Courageous: 3 - 1988, 1990, 1995
Best Club Man: 1988
Coaches’ Trophy - 1989
Best Team Man: 2 - 1992, 1994
Most Dedicated – 1993
Best Finals Player: 3 – 1994, 1995, 1997

Port Adelaide's South Australian Football Hall of Fame inductees

(Alphabetical order) Bruce Abernethy, John Abley, David Boyd, Craig Bradley, John Cahill, Brian Cunningham, Leslie Dayman, Russell Ebert, Tim Evans, Josh Francou, Neville Hayes, Ned Hender, Scott Hodges, Samson 'Shine' Hosking, Ray Huppatz, W. 'Vic' Johnson, A.R. 'Bob" McLean, Peter Mead, Geof Motley, W (Harold) Oliver, Greg Phillips, Jeff Potter, Robert B. Quinn, A.R.V. 'Bull' Reval, Warren Tredrea, Ted Whelan, Mark Williams, Foster N. Williams, Peter Woite


The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs