Ben Allan

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For those of a similar name, see Benjamin Allen.
Ben Allan
Personal information
Date of birth (1968-10-10) 10 October 1968 (age 47)
Place of birth Perth, Western Australia, Australia
Original team(s) Claremont (WAFL)
Debut Round 7, 12 May 1990, Hawthorn
v. Collingwood, at Waverley
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1990–1994
1995–1997
Total -
Hawthorn
Fremantle
098 0(72)
047 0(34)
145 (106)
Coaching career
Years Club Games (W–L–D)
2001 Fremantle 13 (2–11–0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1997.
Career highlights

Benjamin Thomas "Ben" Allan (born 10 October 1968 in Perth, Western Australia) is a retired Australian rules footballer. He was educated at Aquinas College, Perth[1]

Hawthorn career[edit]

He played as a rover (or follower). He was a premiership player with Claremont in the WAFL before be drafted to the Hawthorn Football Club in the Australian Football League where he played 98 games and won their Best and Fairest in 1991 as well as a premiership. He was an All Australian player in 1993 and 1994.

Fremantle career[edit]

Having previously coached Allan at Claremont, Gerard Neesham the inaugural Fremantle coach, targeted Allan to return to Western Australia. As the most experienced and highly decorated player in the initial 45 man squad, he was named Fremantle's first captain. He was the only former All-Australian, the only club best-and-fairest winner and one of only 2 former premiership players in the original Fremantle squad of 50

He played all 22 games in 1995 and finished 3rd in the best and fairest award. However injuries took their toll in 1996, restricting him to only 8 games for the year. In 1997 he relinquished the captaincy to Peter Mann and managed to play 17 games. However, a degenerative knee condition caused Allan to retire from football at the end of the 1997 season. He had played 145 AFL games in total, along with 66 for Claremont and 6 state games, earning him a position in the WA Football Two Hundred Club.

Coaching[edit]

Allan stayed at the club as an assistant coach in 1998. When it became clear Gerard Neesham would not coach Fremantle in 1999, Allan tendered his resignation pending the appointment of a replacement. When interviewed by new head coach Damian Drum, he was told no position would be available. His disappointment was obvious, telling the media

"this is a real kick in the teeth. I saw my involvement at the club as long-term. It was a huge decision to leave Hawthorn and it seems everything has gone sour since. My career was cut short by injury and now this. It is very hard to swallow. This means Drum and the club believe I have nothing to offer – or they have made a huge mistake. The only thing that has kept me buoyed is the fact that in this industry all players and coaches get kicked in the guts at some stage."[2]

Ironically, three years later Allan was called on as care-taker to replace Drum, sacked after the team's 10th consecutive loss, a diabolical performance against the Sydney Swans at the Sydney Cricket Ground in round 9, 2001. Despite his role three years previously as assistant coach, Allan did not view the appointment as leading to a permanent position. On being made coach, he told the media:

"I'm not in a caretaker role to try to further my career for next year. If you look at the history of caretaker coaches, they all wanted to have a crack at it for the next year. I'm there to help out. It gives the club time to look for someone who's been there and done that and then I can go off on my merry way. If we win every game for the rest of the year I still won't be the senior coach next year."[3]

Fremantle won two of the remaining 13 matches with Allan as coach and finished last on the AFL ladder. Allan the coach was demanding rather than inspiring and was openly critical of the playing group. At the press conference after a home loss to Port Adelaide he told the media:

"if they are looking for me to motivate them for the next eight weeks, they are barking up the wrong tree ... clearly out there today we had too many out there today who haven't got strong enough character".[4]

Nevertheless, a dispirited playing group stayed reasonably competitive in many of the remaining games of the season. Allan's two victories were both notable: the first was in Round 18 against Hawthorn at Colonial Stadium, which broke an 18-match, 370-day losing series of matches (and, as of 2015, remains the last time Fremantle has defeated Hawthorn outside of Western Australia),[5] and the second was in the final match of the season against Adelaide. The joyous spirit of this game, played in front of a smallish but passionate crowd in night rain at Subiaco Oval, was rejuvenating for the club and its supporters after the gloom of the Damien Drum years. The new optimism was built on with the appointment of the new coach for 2002, Chris Connolly, and the exciting victories and growing crowds that and the subsequent years brought.

Current[edit]

Allan has had an active media career in print, on radio and on TV, including The West Australian, ABC Radio, 6PR, SEN and the now defunct Fox Footy Channel. Outside of football he has become a successful businessman in the Margaret River wine industry. In 2005 he was elected to the Members position on the board of the Fremantle Football Club. He will hold that position for 2 years before all Fremantle Season Ticket holding members over 18 years vote again.

In March 2012, Allan was inducted into the West Australian Football Hall of Fame. He is the first former Fremantle player to be inducted.[6]

He is the brother of Packed to the Rafters actor: Jacob Allan

References[edit]

  1. ^ Crikey – Famous alumni on Latham's hit list
  2. ^ Steve Lague, 'Allan Cast Aside As Drum Takes Charge', The West Australian (Perth), 9 September 1998.
  3. ^ Craig O'Donoghue, Steve Lague, 'Ben Allan', The West Australian (Perth), 31 May 2001.
  4. ^ Ross Lewis, 'Allan to Show Flops the Door', The West Australian (Perth), 9 July 2001
  5. ^ MacFarlane, Glenn (22 September 2013). "Fremantle charges to its first Grand Final appearance snuffing out Sydney's premiership defence". Herald Sun. Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  6. ^ Allan to be first Freo Docker inducted into WA Football Hall of Fame

External links[edit]