Neil Kerley’s storied career in Australian Rules Football was built over five decades and has earned him the unofficial designation of “king” of football in South Australia.
Fiercely proud of his South Australian allegiance, Neil Kerley’s deeds both on and off the field against the Big V (the Victorian Football Team) have long won the hearts of the South Australian public.
After a successful country football career, Neil Kerley joined “City” football with West Adelaide in 1955. He captained the team starting in 1959, then assumed the role of captain/coach in 1961 and won a premiership. Football politics saw him leave for South Adelaide in 1964, after which he won another flag- the Panthers’ first in 26 years.
Kerley transferred to Glenelg Football Club in 1967 and concluded his playing days in 1969. He continued as Glenelg’s coach and helped them win their second flag ever in 1973. In 1983 Neil Kerley returned to West Adelaide and achieved yet another flag.
Amid all this, “Knuckles” captained the state team and was part of the 1963 team, which defeated Victoria at the MCG - a feat that wasn’t achieved again until 30 years later.
Kerley coached the victorious Australian team on the 1987 tour of Ireland and was the Adelaide Crows football manager in their first season.
He was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame in 1997.
Neil Kerley now works for the Seven Television Network as a reporter, football commentator and panel member of FootyPlus and Sportsworld Footy Panel. He is also a regular on Australia’s Top Rating Sports Radio Program on Adelaide’s Radio 5AA.
Kerley is also a well-received guest speaker. His extensive experience as a player and a coach give conference or symposium crowds excellent insight into what it takes to set goals, create motivation and perform at a championship level.
Neil Kerley is a motivator and coach in the style of Ron Barassi. In his practical, down-to-earth style Neil covers:
“Captivating. Fantastic ‘first hand’ advice.”
“Excellent. Neil’s motivating talk was presented very well.”
Savings & Loans Union (SA) Limited
“Excellent. Neil was a true professional and a great MC. He kept to the schedule, but could read the crowd and know when and what type of joke was needed. Neil is a very likeable man and he kept everyone’s attention riveted to him”
Civil Contractors Federation
“Excellent. He was great – personable, engaging and an all round nice bloke.”
“Excellent. We were very impressed with Neil's presentation, it was entertaining and relevant to our audience. He showed great enthusiasm and his personal style was well received. His interaction with our guests was excellent!”
Vickers Case Nominees Pty Ltd
“Neil agreed to be our Guest Speaker at extremely short notice. He was perfect for the group we were addressing, as all guests at the function were local Riverland people, and felt that Neil was a "home town boy". His comments about his achievements in life together with his views on success were extremely well received. Many of the guests were also football enthusiasts, so there was additional common ground. Neil stayed on at the function and mixed with guests afterwards and that was also a great positive.”
“Neil was charming, funny and really related the group. A night of good entertainment was had by all.”
“I found Neil to be a very passionate and intelligent speaker. He spoke from the heart and wasn't afraid to say what he thought. He kept everyone entertained during his speech and was only to happy to answer questions.”
Bute Football Club