BRENTON SANDERSON was recruited from the Sturt ( South Australian National Football League ) Football Club by the Adelaide Crows in 1992, playing 6 Games, kicking 4 Goals in the 1992- 1993 Seasons. The Collingwood Magpies recruited Sanderson for Season 1994, however hamstring injuries restricted him to only 4 Games , kicking 1 Goal . He acknowledges that sharing a home with Nathan Buckley during 1994, was a defining moment in raising his awareness to the need to develop a more professional attitude towards training and preparation for Games. Sanderson transferred to the Geelong Cats for Season 1995, where he proved his worth by playing 199 Games, kicking 29 Goals, until his retirement as a player at the completion of the 2005 Season.
Brenton Sanderson developed into a very fine and reliable half-back flanker for the Cats, being a sure and safe ball-handler, a precise disposer of the ball by hand and foot, and was renowned for generating a lot of run from the defensive half. He had his best Season in 2001, when he not only won the Geelong Cats Best and Fairest Player Award ( Carji Greeves Medal ), but gained selection in the Australian Team for the International Series. The Cats narrow loss to the Sydney Swans in the 2005 Semi- Final sadly brought down the curtain on a fine playing career at the Cattery.
Port Power Football Club signed Sanderson as an Assistant/ Deveopment Coach for the 2006 Season prior to the Geelong Cats appointing him as one of their Assistant Coaches for Season 2007. He was primarily responsible for the Geelong defence, and the true measure of his success in the role is enveloped in the 2007, 2009 and 2011 Premiership- winning Geelong Cats performances. During the 2007 – 2011 Seasons Brenton Sanderson also played an integral role in co-ordinating the Cats training programs.
On 19 September 2011 the Adelaide Crows Football Club appointed Brenton Sanderson as their Senior Coach for 3 Seasons from 2012. He becomes the first Crows ex-player to gain appointment as the Senior Coach. The timing of the appointment meant Sanderson was unable to complete the 2011 Season with the Geelong Cats, and it was touching to see players and coaches acknowledge his presence in the crowd shortly after the Cats Grand Final victory.
Brenton Sanderson presented an impeccable Coaching Application interview to the Adelaide Crows selection panel which included Crows CEO Steven Trigg, premiership Player Nigel Smart and Special Appointee, AFL Player of the Century, Leigh Matthews. The commitment he has displayed throughout his involvement as a player and Coach, together with his comprehensive understanding of the modern game, and the inherently strong player list he has available at the Crows, should see a corresponding rise up the AFL Ladder in Season 2012. It is the authors opinion that the Crows will be very competitive in the 2012 Finals Series and potential AFL Premiers within 5 years.
UPDATE– 17/10/2014- Brenton Sanderson has today been sacked as Senior Coach of the Adelaide Crows Football Club.
(Image courtesy of news.com.au.)