Para Hills’ Darren Beer had an SAAFL career along with a footballing resume many players would envy and now his illustrious career is finally recognised with his deserved induction into the SAF Hall of Fame.
After coming through the junior ranks of Para Hills and playing 89 games, Beer made his senior debut in the 1990 season.
Two years later in 1992, he won his first premiership – this was the start of his legendary career.
Beer’s highest individual honour came in the 1999 season; he took his Para Hills team to the preliminary final while winning the SAAFL D6 Medal for the competition’s best and fairest player.
This spurred “Beery” on, as the following year he led his team to their first SAAFL premiership since 1992, in a dominant season which saw them win the minor premiership before going on to win the grand final – a 42-point victory over Hope Valley.
After being promoted and spending the 2001 season in Division 5, Beer and his Para Hills side had another stellar year – reaching the grand final and once again gaining promotion – where his team unfortunately lost to Modbury.
Life in a higher division didn’t seem to be much of a problem for Para Hills in 2002; they won the Division 4 premiership with a 51-point victory over Eastern Park in the grand final.
After a few poor seasons the club found themselves back in Division 5 for the 2006 season, when Beer took over the reigns of their A grade team, and became the coach of his former teammates.
In his first year in charge he steered the team to yet another premiership – a landmark moment for him, becoming a premiership coach for the first time and adding another achievement to his already highly decorated amateur league career.
Beer spent four years in charge of the team before finishing his amateur league career in 2010.
Following the completion of a legendary SAAFL career, he started working for the Port Adelaide Magpies, where he has coached their U15 and SANFL reserves team; he is currently the assistant coach of their SANFL squad, working with many AFL-listed players.
Beer has cited fellow Para Hills teammates Stephen Beer and Scott Charlton as two of the best players he has ever played with; he also named former Geelong star Garry Hocking as one of the men who have helped his coaching career develop over the years.
After 273 appearances as a player and 97 games as a coach, Darren Beer’s legacy will forever be remembered throughout not only the Para Hills Football Club, but the entire SAAFL.
Written by Michael Barbaro