AFL news 2020: Russell Ebert cancer diagnosis, Port Adelaide


Port Adelaide legend Russell Ebert has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer.

Port Adelaide Football Club confirmed Ebert’s diagnosis on Wednesday afternoon, revealing the 71-year-old had already commenced intensive treatment.

The cancer was discovered following a recent routine health check with his doctor.

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“He will take time away from his role in the club’s community programs as he requires in order to do this and the club will support him however needed,” Port Adelaide Football Club said in a statement.



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Russell Ebert cancer diagnosis, Port Adelaide


Port Adelaide legend Russell Ebert has been diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, a form of cancer.

Port Adelaide Football Club confirmed Ebert’s diagnosis on Wednesday afternoon, revealing the 71-year-old had already commenced intensive treatment.

The cancer was discovered following a recent routine health check with his doctor.

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“He will take time away from his role in the club’s community programs as he requires in order to do this and the club will support him however needed,” Port Adelaide Football Club said in a statement.

“Russell and his family thank those who have already made contact to pass on their support and well wishes. He would like to in particular thank the members and supporters of the Port Adelaide Football Club for their wonderful support over so many years.

“The club asks everyone to respect the privacy of Russell and his extended family at this time so they can focus on his treatment.”

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Ebert is a four-time Magarey Medallist and three-time premiership player. He played 391 games for Port Adelaide between 1968 and 1985, scoring 295 goals.

The six-time Port Adelaide best and fairest recipient was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1996.

Ebert also coached Port Adelaide for five seasons between 1983 and 1987, boasting a win rate of more than 55 per cent.

His son Brett played 166 games for Port Adelaide, while his nephew Brad also represented the club 184 times.

Last week, Ebert delivered a eulogy at Alberton Oval for former teammate Eric Freeman, who died earlier this month aged 76.



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Port Adelaide’s Brad Ebert retires after concussion in preliminary final loss to Richmond


After Ebert emotionally embraced several teammates after the siren and led his side down the race, coach Ken Hinkley confirmed the 30-year-old is finished.

“It’s pretty clear if you watched coming off the ground tonight, Brad’s done as an AFL player,” Hinkley said.

Richmond’s Marlion Pickett acknowledges Port’s Brad Ebert as the Power veteran leaves the field with concussion.Credit:Getty Images

“He’s got to put himself, his health and his family first.”He gives everything to our footy club.

“He’ll walk away from the club knowing he did everything he possibly could.”

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Ebert has suffered ongoing concussion issues since copping a knee to the back of the head in a marking contest against Collingwood last year and has rarely entered an AFL match without donning a helmet since.

Hinkley said he has had ongoing dialogue about the finish line with Ebert, who was one of the Power’s best with 19 touches in his AFL swansong.

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with Brad this year and the courage of that man is amazing,” Hinkley said. “He just kept at it right until the end.”

As did Port. The best side of the home-and-away season in 2020 fought tooth and nail to the bitter end but were unable to stem the second-half Tiger tide, the reigning premiers turning a 13-20 deficit in clearances in the first half into a monstrous 28-9 advantage after the main break.

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The big-stage lesson, Hinkley feels, will serve the Power well.

“The opposition was fierce,” he said. “They’ve been the top side for a reason but our blokes gave it one hell of a shake.

“You get these days where you learn the harshest lessons. You know to get there, you’ve got to go past Richmond at some point.

“We’re going to try bloody hard to be that team that goes past them. Tonight we weren’t ready.”

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Brad Ebert retirement, Ken Hinkley pays tribute, Richmond defeats Port Adelaide


Port Adelaide veteran Brad Ebert has retired without speaking a word outside of his footy club after a nightmare preliminary final loss to Richmond on Friday night.

Ebert led his team from the field and was spotted wiping tears from his eyes after he appeared to suffer another serious head knock late in the last quarter — ending his career on the spot.

Ebert, who has battled concussion symptoms all season and missed a string of games mid-way through the season as a result of repeated head knocks, does not have a contract for 2021 and had not declared he wanted to play on next year.

Power coach Ken Hinkley said after the game his senior player had hung up his boots.

Hinkley said Ebert will make the announcement in coming days.

AFL Live Scores: Preliminary final match centres

“I think it is pretty clear if you watch him coming off the ground tonight, that he’s done as an AFL player,” Hinkley said.

“He’s got to put himself, his health, and his family first. And he gives everything to our footy club. He will walk away from the club knowing he did everything he possibly can.

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“I had a lot of conversations with Brad through this year and the courage of that man is amazing. He just kept at it right to the end.

“Brad will certainly retire, I think. Tonight, if anything, tonight would have absolutely confirmed it for Brad. As much as he’s probably not thinking clear now. But he’s been pretty certain that this was probably going to be the end because he wasn’t prepared to risk any further injury to his head. It is too important. So Brad will definitely retire.”

His final act in football summed him up — a brave, selfless act that inspired his teammates.

With six minutes left in the fourth quarter he appeared to take an accidental elbow to the head while attempting to spoil a Jack Riewoldt mark.

He crashed to the Adelaide Oval turf, needing to be helped from the ground by trainers and was groggy on his feet.

Hinkley, though was philosophical about Ebert’s sad finish.

“He gave everything he had,” he said.

“He’s a great teammate. Obviously a great dad. He’s a great husband. He’s got lots of things going for him, Brad,

“He won’t be lost from the club all together. Obviously Brad will always be a part of the Port Adelaide footy club as he should be.”

The emotion of the moment was all too much for Ebert at full time, with several of his teammates also brought to tears when they embraced the retiring veteran.



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AFL finals 2020: Port Adelaide vs Richmond, Brad Ebert, retirement, bravery, moment, incident, Jack Riewoldt collision, video


Port Adelaide veteran Brad Ebert’s 260-game AFL career is over, with coach Ken Hinkley confirming the news after his side’s preliminary final loss to Richmond – with Ebert’s last act as a player a courageous one that will not be forgotten by the footy world.

With the Tigers leading by four points and the ball heading forwards with six minutes to go, Ebert launched himself at a contest to spoil a Jack Riewoldt mark.

He crashed to the Adelaide Oval turf, needing to be helped from the ground by trainers and clearly affected by a head knock.

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Jared Polec back for North, Port dump Westhoff, Ebert


Port Adelaide veterans Brad Ebert and Justin Westhoff still have a place in the Power’s finals plans Ken Hinkley says, as North Melbourne recall Jared Polec to take on his old side.

The Power and Kangaroos have both made three changes to their sides for the Saturday night clash at Metricon Stadium.

Ebert, Westhoff and Riley Bonner have been omitted from the high-flying Port side, with Dan Houston, Kane Farrell and Steven Motlop coming in.

Hinkley said Ebert and Westhoff were still in the Power’s plans.

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“Like anyone they’ve got challenges and they’ve got to respond and when they’re in the side they’ve got to play well enough to keep their spot,” Hinkley said.

“Westy and Brad are senior players who have been around for a long time but they have the same challenges as any player.

“Westy will earn the opportunity to sit down at the right time and reflect on his season and where he’s at and what he needs to do from there, it will be about where Justin thinks he’s at as much as anyone, but right now I need Westy focusing on playing well because at some point in the next few weeks hopefully Westy will be a part of the team.”

Rhys Shaw has also made some big changes for the Kangaroos, in the wake of a dismal showing against North Melbourne.

Along with Polec, who has played just twice since Round 8 after being dropped twice by the Kangaroos, captain Jack Ziebell and debutant Flynn Perez come into North’s side.

Majak Daw, Paul Ahern and Tom Murphy have been omitted.

Polec’s return to the side – after debate about his present and future at the Kangaroos after coming to the club on a lucrative deal from Port Adelaide – comes after he played for Collingwood in a scratch match last week.

Shaw refuted any suggestion that he had demeaned the big-money recruit, saying it was the only way Polec could play footy outside of the senior side because of North’s injury woes.

“Obviously, there’s been a bit of noise around Jared,” Shaw said.

“He played really well last week in the scratch match and deserves his spot in the side and I’m really happy to have him back. He’s a real asset for us and someone who can really help us this week.

“We’ve been having some really open and honest conversations and … Jared’s really clear on where he sat with me and where he needed to get to.”

Key Hawk wants to play but Clarko has other ideas

Hawthorn star Jaeger O’Meara is pushing his case to play again this season after “disruptive” hand surgery, but coach Alastair Clarkson says any hint of risk of further re-injury could sideline him until 2021.

O’Meara had a plate inserted into his hand last month and is due to train today in an effort to prove his fitness for Sunday’s clash with St Kilda.

He’s “getting closer” Clarkson said, but he is adamant that the midfielder won’t be risked.

“If he trains today and that hand is of no discomfort to him, then he might be a chance to play, but we’ll wait and determine that.”

Clarkson said his midfield had been “disrupted” by injuries to key players such as O’Meara, and that there was a conscious approach to “make sure that Jaeger is absolutely right”.

“He wants to play, because he wants to be able to come in and be able to help our midfield,” he said.

“He’s an experienced player and one of our leaders, but we also are mindful that with only two games to go after this one, if there’s any risk of him doing further damage, there’s no way he’s going to play.

“But neither he nor the doctors are telling us that’s the case. He’s had more disruptive surgery than some of the other hand injuries we’ve seen this year and that’s why it’s taken a bit longer than what we anticipated, but we’re just not going to take a risk with it.

“If that means he doesn’t play again this year, then so be it.

“But he’s hopeful and so are we that it could even be this week, but probably more likely next week, I think.”

Fellow ballwinner Isaac Smith has also been sidelined with a shoulder injury sustained in Round 11 and is another who Clarkson said would not be risked prematurely.

“We were hopeful that was only going to be a one-week injury, but there is a lot of bleeding into that joint that just took a long time to dissipate,” he said.

“That’s been a little bit unfortunate.

“But injuries happen. It gives other guys an opportunity – James Cousins has had a chance, Conor Glass and these sort of guys.

“It’s a big step up to try and fill the shoes of those more experienced guys who have been doing this for a long period of time. But they’ve had some exposure, and while it hasn’t necessarily helped us win, it certainly will help us in terms of shaping our list as we move forward.”

Hawthorn premiership player Shane Crawford on Friday called for Clarkson to not “even try to win a game” and instead play more younger players like Finn Maguinness and Dylan Moore.

Clarkson said “there’s no club in the competition that plays all 47 on their list” but backed the youth he had selected in recent weeks.

ROUND 16 TEAMS

NORTH MELBOURNE v PORT ADELAIDE

Saturday September 5, 7:40pm at Metricon Stadium

KANGAROOS

B: J.Walker, R.Tarrant, F.Perez

HB: S.Atley, B.McKay, L.McDonald

C: T.Dumont, J.Simpkin, J.Polec

HF: M.Wood, N.Larkey, J.Ziebell

F: B.Scott, C.Zurhaar, L.Hosie

FOLL: T.Goldstein, S.Higgins, J.Anderson

I/C: M.Williams, L.Davies-Uniacke, E.Vickers-Willis, A.Hall

EMG: P.Ahern, T.Murphy, M.McGuinness, T.Campbell

IN: F.Perez, J.Polec, J.Ziebell

OUT: M.Daw, P.Ahern, T.Murphy (all omitted)

POWER

B: R.Burton, T.McKenzie, D.Houston

HB: H.Hartlett, T.Jonas, D.Byrne-Jones

C: X.Duursma, O.Wines, K.Amon

HF: S.Powell-Pepper, T.Marshall, Z.Butters

F: C.Rozee, C.Dixon, R.Gray

FOLL: S.Lycett, T.Rockliff, T.Boak

I/C: S.Motlop, T.Clurey, K.Farrell, C.Sutcliffe

EMG: M.Bergman, J.Garner, W.Drew, B.Woodcock

IN: D.Houston, S.Motlop, K.Farrell

OUT: R.Bonner, B.Ebert, J.Westhoff (all omitted)

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