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Darren Smith inducted into SA Hall of Fame

SEVEN-TIME Port Adelaide premiership player Darren Smith has been inducted into the South Australian Football Hall of Fame at tonight’s Magarey Medal count.

Smith played 343 games for the Magpies from 1984-1998 and is the 38th inductee in the club’s history.

The bullocking centre half forward kicked 505 goals in his 15-year career, and was honoured with Port Adelaide life membership in 1993.

Club legend and fellow hall of fame inductee Tim Ginever described Smith as one of the most ‘vital’ players to the Magpies’ reign in the 80s and 90s.

“As a team, we knew where to go because the big blonde locks of Darren Smith were always in the right spot,” Ginever said.

“Not only was he an incredibly durable player but his work-rate for a big man was unbelievable.

“We knew that if he didn’t mark it, he would at least always make a contest.

“He was someone the whole playing group had complete trust in.”

Not only was Smith a dependable player, he will forever be remembered as a player who could take his game to another level when the Magpies most needed it.

Ginever said whenever John Cahill demanded a lift from the team, Darren Smith was his ‘go to’ man.

“He was capable of these purple patches that would completely turn a game,” he said.

“At half time, Jack (John Cahill) would turn to Smithy and say I need you to lift, I need you to create.

“He would assert himself on the game as only a big centre half forward could do, and he just found a way to take hold of a game.”

“He was that type of player.”

Smith arrived at Alberton from the Eyre Peninsula where he played under-age football for the club, before making his senior debut in 1984, and Ginever said he had some very fond memories of the two.

“I remember when he first came to the club from the country and the most noticeable thing was how genuinely nice he was,” Ginever said.

“He was this big strapping lad, and we were a team of ratbags, but he was just such a nice guy.

“We started at similar times and I reckon we played our 300th games a couple of weeks apart.

“For Smithy to be inducted into the hall of fame tonight is extremely special, not only for him and his family but the whole football club as well.”

“He was a special member of our footy team.”

In addition to his many achievements at Port Adelaide, Smith was also recruited to the Adelaide Football Club when they were introduced into the AFL.

Smith was on the Crows’ inaugural list and played nine games across two seasons. He managed 10 goals in the tri-colours.

Smith also played six representative games for South Australia, where he kicked six goals.

Darren Smith

SANFL games: 343

SANFL goals: 505

SANFL premierships: 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996

Port Adelaide leading goal-kicker: 1986 (49), 1987 (71)

Port Adelaide life member: 1993

AFL games: 9

AFL goals: 10

State games: 6

State goals: 6

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