John Northey

Image DOB: 29 June 1953

First game as coach: Round 1, 1986 vs Fitzroy at MCG
Last game as coach: Round 24, 1992 vs Hawthorn at MCG

Career coaching statistics

Night Series premiership - 1987, 1989
Grand final coach - 1988

Former Richmond dual-premiership player Northey coached NSW against a VFL Reserves team in 1972 and then Redan to five Ballarat league premierships between 1975 and 1980. He also steered Ballarat representative teams to three titles in the Country Football Championships before serving as an assistant coach with St Kilda level and starting his senior coaching career with the Sydney Swans in 1985. He was, however, was sacked after a year when he didn't fit into flamboyant owner Geoffrey Edelsten's vision of a flashy hard-sell to the Sydney market.

With the club seeking a "player's man" after the often fiery reign of Ron Barassi had failed to pay dividends, the Melbourne committee unanimously voted to appoint the less combative Northey as coach for two years.

Interviews had also been conducted with David Parkin, Kevin Bartlett, Carl Ditterich, Tom Hafey, Stan Alves and Greg Wells before Northey got the nod. Ironically after serving a divided club in Sydney Northey walked into a similar situation at Melbourne where an extraordinary general meeting was about to be held to decide the fate of the incumbent board.

The committee that recommended the new coach had equal representation from both sides of that debate so at least Northey could be comfortable knowing that he'd have support no matter who won the vote.

The new coach presided over an era featuring Melbourne's first finals appearance in three decades and a grand final as well as the development of players like Garry Lyon and Todd Viney who would become the future leaders of the club. He had already received a two year contract extension at the start of 1988, but after leading the club to the Grand Final he received a further extension to at least the end of 1990.

After five years of finals football the Demons were a disappointment in 1992 and missed the finals. Northey was told that his position was under review and fortuitously he was offered the position of Richmond coach after the resignation of Allan Jeans for health reasons. Within 24 hours he was resigning his position with Melbourne and joining the Tigers.

After two lean years at Punt Road "Swooper" managed to steer them to a rare finals appearance in 1995 before walking out to join the Brisbane Bears. He took the Bears into the finals in '96, and repeated the feat with the by-then merged Lions the next year. 1998 was a disaster and midway through the year the Lions found themselves last and Northey found himself out of a job, replaced by Roger Merrett.

Northey was briefly linked to the Fremantle Dockers job in 2001 and coached South Fremantle in 2002 and 2003 before retiring to the Gold Coast.

He later returned to coaching in Victoria, joining the Ballarat Swans as senior coach in 2006 and as their director of coaching until the end of 2012 when he joined Central Highlands League side Learmonth as senior coach for 2013.

Inside Football 30/03/1978 says Northey left Redan for an assistant coaching job at St Kilda in the 1978 pre-season.

The Age - 03/10/1985
"Demons get Northey for 2 years" - The Age 9/10/1985
"Demons sign Northey for an extra year" - The Age 16/12/1988
"Northey to coach Lakies" - The Courier 14/09/2012

Career playing statistics
Wikipedia profile

Created by telko. Last Modification: Tuesday 24 April 2018 16:15:06 AEST by Supermercado. (Version 32)


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