Aged Crow Callinan in line for AFL debut - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Aged Crow Callinan in line for AFL debut

Steve Larkin 23/06/2011 04:36:13 PM Comments (0)

Adelaide goalsneak Ian Callinan is in line to become one of the oldest players to debut in the AFL's modern era.

The 28-year-old Callinan has been included in Adelaide's 25-man squad to meet Geelong on Sunday.

Callinan was elevated from Adelaide's rookie list on Thursday.

He will be aged 28 years and 187 days on Sunday, when the Crows play their away fixture against the unbeaten Cats.

Should Callinan make the final cut, he will be 26 days younger than James Podsiadly was when the forward made his debut for Geelong last year.

Only Troy Wilson, who was 29 years and 72 days old when making his debut for West Coast in 2001, and David Marshall, aged 30 years and 264 days when debuting for Adelaide in 1991, were older on debut in the AFL's modern era.

But all fall well short of the all-time oldest debutant - Essendon's Charlie Hardy, who was aged 34 years and 99 days when he played his first game in 1921.

Callinan trained with Collingwood in 2000 but was rejected, before also being overlooked by Essendon and North Melbourne after subsequent pre-season trials.

But the 172cm forward has carved a brilliant career with SANFL powerhouse Central Districts, being a member of their four consecutive premierships from 2007 and winning the club's best and fairest award twice.

Adelaide coach Neil Craig was set to upgrade Callinan for round one of this AFL season, but the attacking livewire tore a bicep tendon during the pre-season.

He has only returned to SANFL ranks in the past two weeks.

"He has done a power of work in his rehab," Craig said on Thursday.

"He's a mature player, he's played in (SANFL) finals, (SANFL) grand finals, so it's not as if I'm dealing with a 19-year-old.

"I'm dealing with a pretty mature player ... if not this week, I'm sure if he continues to play good footy in the SANFL, it will be this year just from a list management point of view, it would be good information for us.

"He has got a great attitude to his footy, really mature, level-headed, comes out of a winning environment so we're keen to have a look at him."

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