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

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


Career coaching statistics

Former Richmond dual-premiership player Northey coached Sydney side Western Suburbs from 1971 to 1973, and led the NSW state side in 1972 and 1973. He returned to Victoria and oversaw five Ballarat league premierships at Redan between 1975 and 1980. He also steered Ballarat representative teams to three titles in the Country Football Championships and served as an assistant coach with St Kilda from 1978 through 1979.

Returning to Sydney, his senior coaching career began with the Swans in 1985. He was sacked after a year when he didn't fit into flamboyant owner Geoffrey Edelsten's vision of a flashy hard-sell to the tough 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.

After a mid-season contract extension in 1987, 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, Melbourne missed finals in 1992. Despite media reports that he was likely to be reappointed for two seasons, Northey was told that his position was under review. Fortuitously he was offered the Richmond job after Allan Jeans retired for health reasons, and within 48 hours had resigned to take up a four year contract at Punt Road. 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 Brisbane into the finals in '96, and repeated the feat the next year. 1998 was a disaster and Northey was sacked midway through the year with his side at the bottom of the ladder. He 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 - 25/08/1973, 01/09/1973, 30/03/1978, 15/07/1987
Canberra Times - 01/05/1979
Age - 03/10/1985, 09/10/1985, 16/12/1988, 26/08/1992, 31/08/1992, 04/09/1992
Inside Football - 15/07/1987
Courier - 14/09/2012

Career playing statistics
Wikipedia profile

Created by telko. Last Modification: Tuesday 10 October 2023 13:29:41 AEDT by Supermercado. (Version 43)

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