BERNIE QUINLAN was recruited by the Footscray Bulldogs ( now the Western Bulldogs) in 1969 from Traralgon (Victoria) and played 177 Games, kicking 241 Goals until the end of the 1977 Season, when he transferred to the Fitzroy Lions. He played 189 Games and kicked 576 Goals at Fitzroy until his retirement as a player at the completion of the 1986 Season. Quinlan holds the unique record of being the only Afl Football Player in history to have played 150 Games or more at 2 different Clubs. His Career Goal Kicking tally of 817 places him at No. 10 on the All-Time VFL/AFL Goal Kicking Order of Merit. Many of Quinlan’s afl trading cards, and those of his Footscray and Fitzroy team mates are available at qualityafltradingcards.com.
Bernie Quinlan made his name at the Bulldogs as a Centre Half Forward, with occasional stints at Centre Half Back, however, on transfer to Fitzroy he built a memorable career as a Goalkicking Full Forward. It is remarkable that Quinlan’s most productive Goalkicking Seasons were in the final 6 years of his career, when he kicked over 500 Goals. He won the prestigious Brownlow Medal in 1981 and won consecutive Coleman Medals in 1983 and 1984 with totals of 116 and 105 Goals respectively. This period coincided with the early stages of Fitzroy Lions instability and insecurity which eventually led to the Clubs demise in 1996, and Quinlan played with achilles heel and knee problems which limited his ability to train at match pace.
Bernie Quinlan was a multiple Club Leading Goalkicker and was selected for Victorian State representation on 2 occasions. His standing in the game was honoured with his induction as an inaugural member of the Australian Football League Hall of Fame in 1996.
Quinlan was commonly known as “Superboot”, due to his ability in kicking the football long distances with what appeared to be such a relaxed and uncomplicated kicking action. He had a sharp turn of speed on the lead and possessed a vice-like grip on the ball in marking contests. Bernie Quinlan was a highly skilled one grab ball handler at ground level also, and as such a complete footballer, always proved very difficult for opposition players to curtail his effectiveness. He had a career-long reputation as a very fair footballer, although his strong body did occasionally impact on contests as he hit the arrival of the ball at top speed.
Bernie Quinlan was appointed Senior Coach of the Fitzroy Lions for Season 1995, when the Club was in its death throes, and unfortunately he had limted success due the lack of highly competitive player numbers at his disposal, and did not see out the season in the role. He will always be fondly remembered for his sweet, powerful kicking style that saw many Goals sail through at post height from beyond the 50 Metre arc. The true measure of Quinlan’s ability is the fact that only he and Tony Lockett ( St Kilda/ Sydney) have ever completed the Brownlow Medal / Coleman Medal Double.
(Image courtesy of aflphotos.com.au).