- Aug 2, 2012
- AFL Club
Back then, "a genuine ruck rover" was a player who who actually regularly competed in boundary ruck contests a la Barassi, Whitten, Newland, Pascoe, etc.Clarke actually did play as a genuine ruck rover, and centreman, and hff, one of our best ever players. He was a great kick for goal, and very fit. Did a lot of off-season speed and distance running, for his on ball roles.
I know, because I used to run with him over summer off-seasons at Landy Field and along the Barwon river tracks.
One of my favourite Clarke memories was a game v South Melbourne, iirc, at Lakeside Oval, and Clarke was matched up on John Pitura. It was a fantastic duel, 2 brilliant and skilled players, each BOG for their teams.
He didn't play that role.
He certainly played as a taller non-rucking on-baller, a role which gradually became described as "ruck roving", replacing the original meaning of the term (witness Hocking, for example)