Graham Cornes
Graham Cornes.jpg
Personal information
Full name Graham Studley Cornes OAM
Date of birth (1948-03-31) 31 March 1948 (age 74)
Place of birth Melbourne, Victoria
Height 189 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Position(s) Ruck Rover, Centre half-forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1967–82 Glenelg 317 (339)
1979 North Melbourne 5 (10)
1983–84 South Adelaide 47 (42)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
South Australia 21 (?)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
1983–84 South Adelaide 46 (25–21–0)
1985–90 Glenelg 149 (94–54–1)
1986–1999 South Australia 11 (9–2–0)
1991–94 Adelaide 89 (43–45–1)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1994.
Career highlights


  • SANFL premiership: 1973
  • 3x Glenelg best and fairest
  • Glenelg Captain: 1978
  • South Adelaide playing coach: 1983–84
  • Nine times Advertiser Team of the Year
  • Glenelg Hall of Fame




Sources: AFL Tables,

Graham Studley Cornes OAM (born 31 March 1948 in Melbourne, Victoria) is a former Australian rules footballer and coach, as well as a media personality. From 1995 until early 2013, Cornes co-hosted a weekday drivetime sports program that he hosts on Adelaide radio station 5AA, first with Ken "KG" Cunningham and, following Cunningham's retirement in 2008, with Stephen Rowe. In 2012 he was inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.[1]

Cornes is also a Vietnam veteran, having served as an infantry soldier with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment in 1968.

Playing career

Cornes was a champion with the Glenelg Football Club in the SANFL, between 1967 and 1982. He played mostly at Ruck Rover in the SANFL and centre half-forward.[2] In his 317[3] club games for Glenelg he kicked 339 goals and won the club best and fairest award three times. He captained Glenelg in 1978 and was a member of the premiership team in 1973, taking a spectacular mark in the last minutes of the game and calmly kicking the goal to regain the lead.

In 1977 Cornes took a memorable spectacular mark against Norwood which is captured in Jamie Cooper's painting the Game That Made Australia, commissioned by the AFL in 2008 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the sport.[4]

Cornes signed with the VFL's South Melbourne in Victoria early in his career, but stayed in South Australia. He made his VFL debut at the age of 31 in 1979 and played five games with Ron Barassi's North Melbourne before returning to South Australia after he was dropped from the team. Most South Australians thought that he was played out of position in the VFL having made his name in South Australia as a Ruck Rover.

As playing coach with South Adelaide he played 47 games in 1983–1984.[citation needed]

Cornes represented South Australia 21 times, including as captain in 1978. He was selected in the All-Australian team in 1979 and 1980, winning the Tassie Medal in 1980 and the Simpson Medal in 1979.[citation needed] playing as a Ruck Rover.

Coaching career

Cornes was the playing coach of South Adelaide in 1983 and 1984, finishing fifth both years. He then retired as a player, but returned to Glenelg in 1985 as coach. He had an immediate impact, winning premierships in 1985 and 1986 and also taking them to three losing Grand Finals in 1987, 1988 and 1990.

Cornes had a very good record in State of Origin matches, boasting nine wins from eleven matches including six wins from eight matches coaching the South Australia team against Victoria. He was the All-Australian coach in 1987 and 1988.

In 1991, Cornes was appointed the inaugural senior coach of the Adelaide Football Club in their first year in the AFL. The Crows in its inaugural year under Cornes finished ninth at the end of 1991 season and ninth again at the end of the 1992 season.[5] Cornes guided the Crows to their first finals appearance in 1993, where they finished third at the end of the 1993 season.[5] They made it to the preliminary final against Essendon and led at half-time by 42 points. But inspired by the brilliance of Michael Long, the Bombers mounted an amazing comeback to win the game by 11 points. However, the Crows finished eleventh in 1994 and at the end of the season, Cornes was replaced by Robert Shaw because the club wanted a new coach.[5][6]

Head coaching record

Team Year Home and Away Season Finals
Won Lost Drew % Position Won Lost Win % Result
ADE 1991 10 12 0 .455 9th out of 15 - - - -
ADE 1992 11 11 0 .500 9th out of 15 - - - -
ADE 1993 12 8 0 .600 5th out of 15 1 2 .333 Lost to Essendon in Preliminary Final
ADE 1994 9 12 1 .432 11th out of 15 - - - -
Total 42 43 1 .494 1 2 .333


Cornes is now a football media personality, having appeared on the Seven Network's football coverage during the 1990s, and co hosting the FIVEaa Sports Show with, first K. G. Cunningham from 1995 to 2008, and then former Adelaide Crow Stephen Rowe, 2009 to April 2013. Since retirement he has hosted a conversations program, "Conversations with Cornesy", and is also back with K. G Cunningham on FIVE aa's Saturday Morning Sports Show. He has been a long-time News Limited columnist. He has also coached the All Stars in EJ Whitten Legends Game. Cornes was also the centrepiece of Cornesy's Allstar Rock Band (formerly known as the 5AA Rock-n-Roll Allstars), in which he plays guitar and does some vocals. Other members of this Adelaide-based band are Greg Mallen, Simon Wilson, David Heath, Dean Fioretti, Travis and Rob Dragani, and "Polly" Politis. In 2007, Cornes argued for the return of State of Origin in Australian football. He cited the success of the annual New South Wales-Queensland series in the National Rugby League (NRL) and blamed the narrow-mindedness of clubs and coaches for undermining the concept in Australian football.[8]

Personal life

Cornes' sons Chad and Kane became players for the Port Adelaide Football Club in the AFL. He has been married three times,[9] currently married to Nicole Cornes whom he met when she was a secretary at radio station 5AA.[10] Cornes and his wife have three daughters, Amy (1994), Charlize (2004) and Gia (2009).

In 1968, he was drafted under the National Service Act and served in Vietnam as an infantry soldier with the 7th Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment. He remains active with several veterans groups.

See also


  1. ^ Daffey, Paul (13 June 2012). "Commanding Cornes". Archived from the original on 19 October 2012.
  2. ^ Holmesby, R. and Main, J. (2005) in the VFL. The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers. ISBN 1-86350-243-2
  3. ^ Adelaide, Ashley Porter (3 August 2011). "Son, brother, champion to say farewell". The Age.
  4. ^ Australian Football League, The Game That Made Australia Archived 19 April 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 19 September 2010
  5. ^ a b c "Past Senior Coaches (AFL)". Retrieved 4 October 2021.
  7. ^ "Graham Cornes' coaching profile". AFL Tables.
  8. ^ Robertson, Doug (24 February 2007). "Cornes calls for Origin return". The Advertiser.
  9. ^ "Stateline South Australia".
  10. ^ "The Poll Bludger " Seat du jour: Boothby".