HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
Ashley David MCINTOSH
|Date of Birth||20th October 1972|
Games 258 (Claremont 12, West Coast 242, Western Australia 4)
Goals 130 (Claremont 22, West Coast 108, Western Australia 0)
Honours: West Coast Premiership player 1992, 1994, West Coast Club Champion 1998, All Australian 1998, West Coast Eagles Team 20 (2006) and Team 25 (2011) – both at full-back
The most effective key defender in the 25 year existence of the West Coast Eagles, Ashley McIntosh regularly blanketed some of the greatest forwards in the game. His undemonstrative athleticism and prodigious strength were key factors in a powerful Eagles dynasty that yielded 2 premiership flags in their first 8 seasons.
As a gifted all-round athlete and champion schoolboy footballer at Scotch College, and son of the brilliant Claremont and St Kilda star John McIntosh, Ashley was predestined for AFL football – eligible to be drafted by both West Coast and St Kilda under the father son selection rules then applying. That West Coast were only required to use selection 106 in the 1989 national draft to secure him was a major coup, for McIntosh was to ultimately rank as one of the clubs greatest players.
With some early injury concerns, the Eagles took a conservative approach to his development and Ashley played no league football at all in 1990 before making his WAFL debut for Claremont in Round 3, 1991 against Perth. After just 5 games at that level he was elevated to the AFL in Round 10 against Richmond and although only having 6 disposals he showed great promise in pulling down 7 marks and kicking 2 goals 1. In missing only 1 game for the season thereafter he had already played in 4 final round games and a grand final before turning 19.
With explosive pace off the mark and superb marking skills, McIntosh could be used at either end of the ground but the bulk of his career was spent in defence. Wayne Carey once caused surprise by rating McIntosh as the strongest opponent he'd ever played against but the plethora of bench press records he held at West Coast provided ample support for the claim.
McIntosh held down the full back position in both the 1992 and 1994 premiership teams but his best season was undoubtedly 1998 when he earned All-Australian selection and won the club champion award from the key defensive position. Regularly opposing the likes of Dunstall, Lockett, Lloyd and Ablett he conceded in one extraordinary run of 13 games, a mere 12 goals to his immediate opponents.
Throughout his career McIntosh was plagued by dodgy knees – a legacy he shared with his father John - and in his final 3 seasons he averaged 15 games to finish with 242 games and 108 goals. Spasmodic appearances for Claremont (12) and 4 State of Origin games took Ashley beyond the 250 senior game mark. His AFL career average of 10.1 disposals per game far understated his extraordinary importance to his club and he has been acknowledged as their greatest full back with selection in that position in both Team 20 and Team 25. A modest and laid back champion, Ashley McIntosh joins his father to become the third father-son combination in the WA Football Hall of Fame after the Buntons and Sparrows (Val and Frank).