John Ross took over from Peter O’Malley as senior coach in 1989.
Ross had been a seasoned footballer having played with Prahran in the VFA. A tough nuggety little onballer who played the game hard in the old fashioned sense.
He was playing coach and took the team to a losing Grand Final in 1990, and was playing coach when the club won the flag in 1991, against Highett West. This broke a drought for the club which stretched back to 1972.
The 1991 premiership was a still highly rated 2nd Division win. At half time of the Grand Final Ross implored the players in the rooms. “We are in a stand up bloody brawl. Thats what it is. No holds barred and only one team will be left standing, you gotta make sure that the last team standing is Canterbury. When you think you have nothing more to give, thats when you gotta find that something extra. Thats what gets the great teams over the line.”
This team which was made up of a number of well paid imports, along with a significant core of players that had started at the club in Under 11’s. It was a proud moment for the club and would turn out to be Ross’ last at the club, due to a “ruckus” that broke out before the 1992 season.
Ross was a quality player and a great coach, who broke the clubs premiership drought and is a nomination for the Canterbury Legends Team as coach.