PLAYERS - FRANCIS, Tony  
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Tony FRANCIS

STATISTICS

Guernsey Number: 19
Career: 1988 to 1989
NFC Games: 47
NFC Goals: 53
Debut: v North Adelaide (Football Park) 26th February 1988
Finale: v North Adelaide (Football Park) 1st October 1989

South Australian Games: 6
VFL/AFL Clubs: Collingwood
 

Tony Francis was educated at Campbelltown High School and joined Norwood in 1986. He was part of that year's Under 17 premiership team, playing 20 games and kicking 34 goals. The following season he played 20 games in the Under 19's, and again showed his value while resting up forward by kicking 40 goals. He also played a handful of Reserves games during the season.
 
A natural rover, Francis was quick, aggressive  and highly skilled.  
 
Making his League debut in 1988, he played 25 games in his first season for the seniors and won the McCallum Trophy for the best first year player. After another solid year in 1989, Francis was enticed to move to Collingwood in the AFL.
 
Unfortunately, Francis' AFL career got off to a controversial start as he was reported for kicking in his debut game against the West Coast Eagles at Subiaco. Subsequently suspended for six games, Francis' form was not affected however, and he proved to be a key performer in the Magpies' win over Essendon in the 1990 Grand Final. He shared Collingwood's best first-year player award with another ex-South Australian, Scott Russell.
 
His good form continued the following season, winning the club's best and fairest award, the Copeland Trophy, and being selected in the AFL All Australian team. Although hampered by injuries in his later years, he was a solid performer for Collingwood where he played 142 games. He also had a season with St. Kilda in 1999, playing 19 games for the year.

R Cialini April 2015


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