Generational Change


By Peter Argent


Back, three decades ago Keith Allan was starting a league career with Central District in the halcyon days of the SANFL.

His debut was against South Adelaide and his first opponent at league level was John Schneebichler, playing at centre half forward for the Bulldogs.

This Saturday, his second daughter Sarah is expected to be a key member of the Adelaide Crows women’s side in their historic first AFL women’s game against Great western Sydney Giants at Thebarton Oval.

There is no doubt he’ll be travelling up from his base at Millicent in the South East for this contest, but he is a little bemused about his new found football fame.  

“I have found it all a little weird, I must confess,” Allan told Our Sporting Life SA

“Nobody knew about me as a footballer.

“..And now I’m being introduced at Sarah Allan’s dad, a Central District league footballer.”

Allan has been involved in this three daughter’s football as they have developed in the South East.

Sarah Allan has an older sister Megan (20), and a younger sibling Jessica (17) who has signed to play with Glenelg in the SANFL women’s game, although she has commitments with the South Australian Under 20s state basketball team in the next couple of weeks as a first priority.

“I don’t know if Sarah will display it immediately, or she’ll take a little time to settle, but I’m confident that you’ll see her skill and aptitude to the game,” Allan continued about her second child.

“She can kick and I suspect you’ll see her natural skills.

“Sarah started kicking the ball at about five. I always said if you’re going to kick a footy you’ll kick it properly.

All three siblings played in the South Australia state under16s side in the same side in a carnival in Adelaide and Allan recollected that his girls did the same in Canberra at Under 18s level as well.

Sarah Allan has always been a strong all-rounder sporting talent, an accomplished basketballer and gifted at other pursuits.

Local folklore is she played in a Junior Colts premiership a handful of years ago for the Hatherleigh side, then moved across to the netball courts and enjoyed another premiership as well.

Keith Allen, after debuting in 1987, was drafted to the now amalgamated Fitzroy Football Club in 1988, but returned to the Ponderosa after just three trial games.

He played under three league coaches at the Doggies, Kevin ‘Cowboy’ Neale, Neil Kerley and Alan Stewart, rating the latter as one of his best coaches over his journey.

A tall utility, Allan, was originally from the Salisbury West Football Club and was signed up by Bulldogs administrator Brian Hill before the boundaries changed in the 1980s, and he would have been zoned to port.

He finished with 69 league games and 10 goals between 97 and 1992, before spending four years with Goolwa in the Great Southern competition, a season with Port Noarlunga Shoes and completed his playing days with the Hatherleigh  in the Mid South East League. 

Allan current works as a salesman for Hotondo Homes in Millicent. 



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