Tony Modra
2011 State of Origin Slowdown.jpg
Modra being interviewed in October 2011
Personal information
Full name Anthony Dale Modra
Nickname(s) Mods, Godra[1]
Date of birth (1969-03-01) 1 March 1969 (age 55)
Place of birth McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia
Original team(s) West Adelaide (SANFL)
Height 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 95 kg (209 lb)
Position(s) Full-forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1991-1995 West Adelaide 34 (112)
1992–1998 Adelaide 118 (440)
1999–2001 Fremantle 047 (148)
Total 165 (588)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1992–1997 South Australia 6 (24)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2001.
Career highlights



Sources: AFL Tables,

Anthony Dale Modra (born 1 March 1969) is a former Australian rules footballer who represented Adelaide and Fremantle in the Australian Football League (AFL) and West Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL). Known for his spectacular marking ability in the full-forward position,[2] Modra had the physical strength and size to match the best opposition full-backs in the competition. As of 2023, he is the only Adelaide player to kick more than 100 goals in a season, achieving the feat in 1993 by registering 129 goals for the year.

Early life

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Modra was born in McLaren Vale, South Australia, but grew up nearby in Christies Beach, South Australia, and attended Christies Beach Primary School along with future Adelaide teammate Nigel Smart. He moved to Loxton, South Australia, at age 11 with his parents (Douglas and Valerie) and four older siblings (Kerry, Kym, Rick and Joanne). Modra grew up playing multiple sports—notably Australian rules football and soccer for Loxton, both of which he loved equally—but solely played Australian rules football from age 14, which most of his friends played. Growing up, Modra supported Glenelg in the SANFL, plus St Kilda and Richmond in the VFL (prior to it merging into the AFL).

Early career

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Modra first played Under-19s game for West Adelaide in 1988 but could not adjust to working and playing football in Adelaide. Modra returned home, and in 1989, as a 20-year-old, Tony kicked 76 goals for the Loxton Football Club; Loxton would end up losing the Grand Final to Barmera-Monash.

In 1990, Tony joined his brothers Rick and Kym at the Renmark Rovers Football Club in pursuit of a premiership. Modra lead the team to win the 1990 Riverland Football League in a grand final replay after drawing with Waikerie the previous week. Modra kicked a remarkable 118 goals for the season.

In 1991, Modra attempted to move to Red Cliffs in the Sunraysia Football League and played one pre-season game for the club, kicking 13 goals on newly Sydney-drafted Darren Holmes. However, Modra was still contracted to West Adelaide, and they would not be awarded a fee if Modra was to play in the AFL one day. Due to Red Cliffs being based interstate, this fee would not be received if Modra played there. Lawyers from Red Cliffs faced a tribunal in Adelaide, but the tribunal ruled that Modra was a contracted West Adelaide player. Reluctantly, he returned to West Adelaide for the 1991 season, playing in the losing 1991 SANFL Grand Final. He did enough to earn an invite to an Adelaide Crows training session, and he managed to win selection in the squad. Modra was selected in the 1991 AFL Draft as a Zone Selection for the Adelaide Football Club. Modra played 15 SANFL games for West Adelaide and kicked 46 goals between 1988 and 1991.[3]

AFL career

Adelaide career (1992–1998)

Modra began his AFL career at 23 years of age. At first, his potential at full-forward was overshadowed by senior player Scott Hodges, who had a reputation as a prolific goalkicker in the SANFL with Port Adelaide Football Club, having broken the record for most goals in a season in 1990 when he kicked 153. Modra played 8 games in his debut season of 1992, kicking 21 goals.[4]

At the start of 1993, an injury to Hodges led to Modra's inclusion at full-forward with Adelaide. Modra was an instant success, kicking 10 goals in the opening round against Richmond at Melbourne Cricket Ground and finishing the year as runner-up to Geelong's Gary Ablett Sr. in the Coleman Medal with 119 goals in the home-and-away season, kicking an additional 10 in 3 finals.

Both the Crows and Modra had less successful seasons in 1994 through to 1996, although Modra topped the club goalkicking each year. Also in 1994, Modra garnered controversy when he insulted a female flight attendant while on a flight from Hong Kong. Modra apologised for the incident, citing his 'nightlife' as the cause, and was given fines by both the Adelaide Crows and the AFL.[5]

In 1997, Modra won the Coleman Medal for the most goals in the season, and he was also selected in the All-Australian team. However, a torn anterior cruciate ligament injury sustained during a marking contest in the preliminary final caused Modra to miss the Crows' first premiership win when they defeated St Kilda in the 1997 AFL Grand Final.

After returning from the knee injury 10 months later in 1998, he failed to regain form and was not considered for the 1998 AFL Grand Final. He was thus one of only a few leading Crows players who did not receive a premiership medallion in either of the Crows premiership years of 1997 and 1998.

Modra's aerial ability was unsurpassed in his prime, and he was nominated for Mark of the Year on numerous occasions, winning the award in 1993, 1997 and 2000.

Fremantle career (1999–2001)

Adelaide traded Modra to Fremantle for the 1999 AFL season. After kicking a club record 71 goals in his first year at Fremantle (only bested by Matthew Pavlich in 2007 by a single goal since), by the middle of the 2001 AFL season sore knees forced him to retire from the AFL at 32 years of age. His AFL career finished at 165 games for 588 goals.


Statistics are correct to end of 2001 season[6][4]
Led the league for the season only
Led the league after finals only
Led the league after season and finals
Season Team No. Games Totals Averages (per game)
1992 Adelaide 6 8 21 11 41 7 48 24 1 2.6 1.4 5.1 0.9 6.0 3.0 0.1
1993 Adelaide 6 23 129 61 240 41 281 163 8 5.6 2.7 10.4 1.8 12.2 7.1 0.3
1994 Adelaide 6 19 70 39 146 31 177 85 3 3.7 2.1 7.7 1.6 9.3 4.5 0.2
1995 Adelaide 6 16 42 29 108 25 133 54 4 2.6 1.8 6.8 1.6 8.3 3.4 0.3
1996 Adelaide 6 19 75 32 144 13 157 87 12 3.9 1.7 7.6 0.7 8.3 4.6 0.6
1997 Adelaide 6 25 84 45 181 22 203 93 13 3.4 1.8 7.2 0.9 8.1 3.7 0.5
1998 Adelaide 6 8 19 8 46 13 59 26 3 2.4 1.0 5.8 1.6 7.4 3.3 0.4
1999 Fremantle 6 20 71 43 166 17 183 81 7 3.6 2.2 8.3 0.9 9.2 4.1 0.4
2000 Fremantle 6 16 50 25 109 19 128 62 3 3.1 1.6 6.8 1.2 8.0 3.9 0.2
2001 Fremantle 6 11 27 15 61 18 79 35 8 2.5 1.4 5.5 1.6 7.2 3.2 0.7
Career 165 588 308 1242 206 1448 710 62 3.6 1.9 7.5 1.2 8.8 4.3 0.4

Post-AFL career

Since 2003, Modra has worked as a cattle farmer on his property at Waitpinga, near Victor Harbor, with his family, wife Erica and two children, Hayley May and Luke.[7][8][9] He resumed playing local football for Encounter Bay in the Great Southern Football League, where he is still affiliated. In 2021, Modra was named in the Team of the Century for Encounter Bay.[10] Modra also played for the Prince Alfred Old Collegians Football Club alongside old teammate Mark Ricciuto in division 4 of the South Australian Amateur Football League. He also plays in charity games such as the West End Slowdown and was still taking huge marks as recently as October 2015 at the age of 46; he produced an amazing mark, gaining significant media attention.[11][12][13][14] He also plays cricket for the Encounter Bay Cricket Club.

Modra kicked 10 goals against Lucindale on 30 June 2006. Keith won by 119 points.[citation needed]

In his first senior premiership since he was 21, Modra kicked 8 goals in Keith's win over Penola in the KNTFL Grand Final played at Naracoorte on 15 September 2007. Final scores were Keith 19.8 (122) def. Penola 10.10 (70).[citation needed]

In May 2011, it was reported that Modra was considering a return to the AFL as a coach with Adelaide.[7]

On 3 October 2011, Modra—along with other former AFL and SANFL stars such as Andrew and Darren Jarman, Gavin Wanganeen, Mark Ricciuto, Ben Hart, Mick Martyn, Brendan Fevola, Matthew Lloyd and Dermott Brereton—played in the State of Origin Slowdown match at the Adelaide Oval between South Australia and Victoria. The match was played for charity for the Little Heroes Foundation and saw South Australia winners 17.10 (112) to Victoria's 17.9 (111) courtesy of a goal 20 seconds from the final siren by Darren Jarman.

In late 2021, Modra made the move to Queensland, where he linked up with his old Fitness Coach Karli Owen, who ran him through a rigorous six-month program that allowed him to return to South Australia and take up a role within the Glenelg Masters. He attributed his breakout season to Karli and her strict training regime for his return to his former glory.[15]


  1. ^ Cornes, Kane (22 August 2016). "Eddie Betts could reignite the spirit of Tony Modra in Adelaide". The Advertiser.
  2. ^ "Tony Modra career highlights - AFL". YouTube.
  3. ^ "Australian Football - Tony Modra - Player Bio".
  4. ^ a b "AFL Tables - Tony Modra - Stats - Statistics".
  5. ^ "Tony Modra - Drama on Aeroplane - news report". YouTube.
  6. ^ "Tony Modra". Adelaide Football Club. 21 March 2019. Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Crows legend Tony Modra considers coaching comeback to club | Adelaide Now". Archived from the original on 30 May 2011.
  8. ^ "Triple M Interview with Tony Modra the Rush Hour Hall of Fame | Triple M | Rush Hour |". Archived from the original on 17 September 2012. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  9. ^ "Tony Modra and his family received a private tour of the Bluff Lookout near Wirrabara and Port Pirie". Port Piere Recorder. 7 January 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2022.
  10. ^ "Encounter Bay Football Club - EBFC Team of the Century : Announced 24th April 2021 Standing at Back : Peter Millard (VC) representing himself and his father Ian Millard*, Barry Clark representing Noel Clark*,James West, Tony Proud, Lyndon Elsworthy, Alan Field, Greg Brand, David Shegog, Chris Hercock representing Marty Fraser. Standing Middle: Don Tugwell representing Doug Tugwell* (Coach), Steven Hann, Tony Modra, David Joy representing Frank Joy*, Trevor Prior, John Roads representing Jack Roads snr*, Dick Littlely representing Craig Littlely Seated front: John Pearson representing David Pearson *, Alan Swain representing Bob Beecroft, Don Bartel ( Captain), Ann Renfrey representing Bert Hutton* Present but missing photo : Peter Johnson, Tyson Davis Neale (VC), John Masters representing Reg Masters * Absent : Andrew McLean, Rigby Barnes. Congratulations to all on being recognised for your contribution to the EBFC | Facebook". Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  11. ^ Modra takes a hanger in 'Slowdown', retrieved 13 April 2023
  12. ^ Mooney, James (6 October 2015). "Tony Modra takes massive mark in charity match". The Age. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  13. ^ "Video: Modra winds back clock with hanger". PerthNow. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2023.
  14. ^ "Video: Tony Modra takes screamer mark in Adelaide v Port Adelaide Slowdown 2015".
  15. ^ "Tony Modra Takes a Hanger in the Slowdown". Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.