Hailing from Burracoppin in the Wheatbelt, Ian Downsborough was an undersized ruckman who played 20 games for West Coast in two years before moving to Port Adelaide as part of the scheme to get Michael Gardiner to the club.
West Coast careerEdit
Downsborough was drafted from West Perth at the relatively ripe old age of 22.In his first year on West Coast’s list, he managed just one senior game, a mid-season thrashing by the Cats at Kardinia Park. However, he had a successful season in the WAFL, playing in a premiership with the Falcons.
Downsborough played 19 games in 1996, including the qualifying win over Carlton before being dropped for the semi-final. His best performance was a 16-possession, 18-hitout effort against the Kangaroos.
At the end of the season, the popular Downsborough was signed by the incoming Port Adelaide as a free agent. The deal was partly orchestrated by West Coast, who traded Shane Bond and Brayden Lyle to Port on the cheap in order to ensure that Downsborough was signed up and that they got access to the #1 pick, and Michael Gardiner, as a result. A second-round compo pick was used to pick up Josh Wooden.
Port Adelaide and Adelaide careerEdit
Downsborough managed just 7 games in Port’s inaugural season and was traded to Adelaide at the end of the season. He played a further 12 games in the tri-colours in 1998 and 1999 before being delisted at the end of the season.
Downsborough returned to farming in Burracoppin, and coached the Burracoppin Cats in the Eastern District Football League for several years.