By Liam Melrose
Photo: News Limited
Hawthorn – Stuart Dew (2008):
Dew had previously played 180 games over nine years at Port Adelaide before announcing his retirement at the end of the 2006 season. The forward/midfielder took a year off from the game, before announcing his intentions to return to the AFL at the end of 2007, where he was drafted by Hawthorn with pick 45. He was struck down with a hamstring injury in just his second game for the Hawks, but managed to find his feet as the season went on. It proved to be one of Alistair Clarkson’s most famous masterstrokes, with Dew playing arguably his best game for the Hawks in the 2008 Grand Final. Dew kicked two crucial goals and set up others in the third quarter when the game was in the balance, on the way to a major upset premiership win over Geelong.
Sydney Swans – Alex Johnson (2012):
Johnson was taken with Pick 57 in the 2010 National Draft and went on to play 45 games across his first two seasons at Sydney. Johnson was part of the Swans' 2012 premiership at the raw age of 20, playing a crucial role as a rebounding defender. Looming as a future superstar for the Swans, Johnson was struck down with an ACL injury during the 2013 preseason. Unfortunately for Johnson it was the first of a number of repeated knee injuries, and the promising defender didn’t play another senior game until 2018, where in just his second game back after nearly six years out of the game he suffered yet another knee injury, and ultimately left Sydney at the end of 2018.
Melbourne - Liam Jurrah (2011):
While Jurrah debuted in 2009, his breakout season came in 2011, where the high flying forward kicked 40 goals, with it looking as though the Demons had found a superstar forward. However, he would only manage one more game following his exciting 2011 season as a number of legal issues ended his career.
Photo: Getty Images
Geelong – Nathan Ablett (2007):
Nathan Ablett was taken with Pick 49 as a Father/Son selection in the 2004 National Draft. He’s most remembered for his 2007 season where he kicked 34 goals in 21 games, including three majors in the 2007 Grand Final as Geelong went on to win the premiership. Following the game Ablett announced his retirement, before joining brother Gary at the Gold Coast Suns in 2011, however the forward was delisted after managing just two games for the Suns.
Collingwood – John ‘Jack’ Anthony (2009):
Anthony burst onto the scene for Collingwood in 2008 kicking 25 goals in his debut season after spending two previous years on the list without playing a senior game. The talented forward followed up his magnificent second half of 2008 with a 50-goal season in 2009. However, Anthony only managed five goals across seven games in 2010 which ended his time at the Pies. He moved to Fremantle at the end of 2010, where he managed just eight games across two seasons before being delisted by the Dockers.
Port Adelaide – John Butcher (2011):
Butcher loomed as a potential superstar forward for Port Adelaide when he kicked six goals in just his second game, in what was a difficult time for the Power as a club. However, injuries persisted and Butcher was never able to return to the heights he reached in his first two seasons in the AFL. He was eventually delisted at the end of 2016.
St Kilda – Ahmed Saad (2012):
Saad had a breakout debut season kicking 28 goals in 16 games. However, his form dropped off in 2013 and he was suspended from the game for 18 months after consuming an energy drink which contained a banned substance. Saad was delisted at the end of the 2013 season, and redrafted in 2015 by the Saints however he only managed four more games and was delisted at the end of the 2015 season.
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