By Matthew Hughes
Brodie Grundy becomes our new number one selection of the 2012 AFL Draft. Photo: Collingwood Football Club.
The 2012 AFL draft was stacked with some of the most top end talent we've seen over the past decade. The 2011/2012 drafts included a 'mini draft', with the Greater Western Sydney Giants given the opportunity to select up to four players as part of their entry concessions. The players in the mini draft had to be 17 years of age and ineligible for the national draft, with them not being able to play until the 2014 season. While the Giants weren't able to select any of these players themselves, they were able to trade these selections to other clubs. Our re-draft is largely made up of rookie draft, father son, and mini draft selections.
PICK 1: GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY - BRODIE GRUNDY (ORIGINALLY PICK 18 - COLLINGWOOD)
ORIGINAL PICK: LACHIE WHITFIELD
Like most ruckman, the big man took a little while to develop, only playing 22 senior games in his first two seasons. However, the Pies persisted and since then he, alongside Max Gawn, has become one of the competition’s premier ruckman, being selected in the All-Australian side each of the last two years. Grundy not only dominates the hit-outs, but is almost seen as an extra midfielder with the amount of possessions he racks up. He is a two time Collingwood Best and Fairest winner, and was the 2018 Herald Sun Player of the Year, highlighting why he is my number one pick of the 2011 crop.
PICK 2: GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY - LACHIE WHITFIELD (ORIGINALLY PICK ONE - GWS)
ORIGINAL PICK: JONATHAN O'ROURKE
Not a huge drop for Whitfield, who after copping a suspension for an illicit drug code breach early on in his career, has matured into one of the competition’s elite runners and ball users, at both half-back and on the wing. The Giant can find plenty of the ball, and is just as comfortable on his left foot as he is on his right. Earned All-Australian honours in 2018, and wasn’t far off last season.
PICK 3: GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY - DANE RAMPE (ORIGINALLY PICK 37 IN THE ROOKIE DRAFT - SYDNEY)
ORIGINAL PICK: LACHIE PLOWMAN
Another feather was added to the cap of the Sydney Swans recruiting staff, when they selected the mature-aged Rampe with pick 37 in the 2013 Rookie Draft. Since then the slightly undersized Swan has played 167 games, and gone on to become Sydney’s number one defender, one who regularly takes the scalps of opposition sides’ top forwards. Rampe received All-Australian honours in 2016, and was named as a Sydney Swans Co-Captain in 2019, a year in which he took out the Bob Skilton Medal as well.
Dane Rampe. Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images.
PICK 4: MELBOURNE - JACK MACRAE (ORIGINALLY PICK SIX - WESTERN BULLDOGS)
ORIGINAL PICK: JIMMY TOUMPAS
Another player who suffers from leather poisoning, Macrae has become a model of consistency in the Western Bulldogs midfield, averaging just under 28 disposals over his impressive 150 games. He was finally rewarded with an All-Australian selection in 2019, after narrowly missing out the previous year. Showed his ability to perform on the big stage, when he had 33 disposals as part of the Bulldogs’ 2016 Premiership side
PICK 5: WESTERN BULLDOGS - JOE DANIHER (ORIGINALLY PICK 10 F/S - ESSENDON)
ORIGINAL PICK: JAKE STRINGER
The 201cm key forward has been plagued by injuries over the past three seasons, only playing 11 games in total, but in the previous years Daniher has showed us what he is capable of. Returned solid season goal tallies of 28, 34 and 43 between 2014 and 2016, but it was 2017 where he really broke out. The athletic Bomber kicked 65 goals that year, and proved that if he gets his body right, he could be anything.
PICK 6: WESTERN BULLDOGS - JAKE STRINGER (ORIGINALLY PICK FIVE - WESTERN BULLDOGS)
ORIGINAL PICK: JACK MACRAE
A match winner in every sense, Stringer is one of the few players who doesn’t need a lot of possessions to impact a game. The forward/midfielder had a career best year in 2015 for the Bulldogs, kicking 56 majors and becoming an All-Australian, before backing it up in 2016 with 42 goals in a premiership winning year. Has been consistent without setting the world alight since joining Essendon in 2018, however Bombers fans would be pleased seeing him take out the club’s leading goal kicker award in both years.
Jake Stringer. Photo: Michael Klein
PICK 7: PORT ADELAIDE - OLLIE WINES (ORIGINALLY PICK SEVEN - PORT ADELAIDE)
ORIGINAL PICK: OLLIE WINES
The Port Adelaide Vice-Captain keeps his spot in the draft, after becoming one of the game’s elite inside-midfielders in his 148 games to date. Averages over 24 disposals a game and 11 contested possessions.
PICK 8: BRISBANE LIONS - JACK VINEY (ORIGINALLY PICK 26 F/S - MELBOURNE)
ORIGINAL PICK: SAM MAYES
Similar to Wines, Viney is another inside-bull who refuses to shirk a contest. He had a career best year in 2016, taking out Melbourne's Best and Fairest at the raw age of 22, averaging 26 disposals and seven tackles per game. Has a career average of 22 disposals per game and has kicked 34 goals to date, but expect both statistics to rise if he stays on the park over the next few years.
PICK 9: RICHMOND - JESSE HOGAN (ORIGINALLY PICK TWO IN THE MINI-DRAFT - MELBOURNE)
ORIGINAL PICK: NICK VLASTUIN
Hogan would likely be lot higher had he not been plagued by injuries and off-field issues which have seen him only play 86 games to date. That being said strong key forwards are hard to come by, and when Hogan is fit and firing, he is one of the best. The 2013 Rising Star recipient has averaged just under two goals a game over his career, and during his four seasons at Melbourne he kicked over 40 goals a season on three occasions. If he can stay on the field, I’d expect him to make his way up this list in the years to come.
Jesse Hogan. Photo: AFL Photos.
PICK 10: ESSENDON - JAKE LLOYD (ORIGINALLY PICK 16 IN THE ROOKIE DRAFT - SYDNEY)
ORIGINAL PICK: JOE DANIHER
Another rookie bargain for Sydney, Lloyd has cemented himself in the top echelon of running defenders in his 145 games. After not debuting until 2014, the defender has played 21 games or more every season since. Lloyd averages a touch over 24 disposals per game, and had a career best year in 2018 when he took out the Swans’ Best and Fairest, and was named in the All-Australian squad.
Cover photo: Getty Images.
Josh Kennedy - Photo: Will Russell/AFL Photos/Getty Images
Eagles stamp premiership claim
If last week the wheels started rolling out west, then this week the Eagles well and truly cemented their place as one of the premiership favourites.
The Eagles demolished the Pies by 66 points on Saturday night at Optus stadium, with plenty of contributors all over the ground. Josh Kennedy reminded the competition that he’s still got it, kicking seven goals, while young tall-forwards Oscar Allen and Jake Waterman combined for five goals.
Hyped midfield recruit Tim Kelly (29 disposals and a goal) had his best performance in Eagles’ colours, while Andrew Gaff (26 diposals and a goal) was his damaging self.
With plenty more games to come at home, opposing teams will have to be at their best to account for the 2018 Premiers.
Carlton not the Blues of old
On paper most would have tipped the Blues to easily account for North Melbourne on Saturday afternoon, with the latter on a five-match losing streak. Although Carlton only got up by seven points in the end, the win held a lot more significance for the rising side.
In recent times the Blues have been known to give away “winnable games” far too easily and have lacked the ability to grind out an ugly win – something the best teams in the competition regularly do. The result represents a significant step in the young sides’ quest for finals footy, and right now you’d be a brave person to write them off.
Standouts for the victors included usual suspect Marc Murphy (22 disposals), as well as backman Lachie Plowman (18 disposals and nine intercept possessions). Young midfielders Will Setterfield (20 disposals) and Matthew Kennedy (20 disposals and two goals) also look to have found their feet in the side.
Tom Papley - Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images
Young Cygnets stand tall
The Sydney Swans defeated Hawthorn in a thriller on Saturday by seven points on the back of Tom Papley’s four goals. However, it was the Swans’ brigade of Cygnets that stood tall during a number of critical moments when the game was in the balance, looking much cleaner with their ball use than the Hawks. Ollie Florent only just turned 22 but almost looked as though he was a veteran in this young Sydney team. He was huge in the final quarter with nine disposals and six of them contested using the ball extremely well against a much more experienced midfield in Hawthorn.
There were a number of moments throughout the game where this young Sydney team stood tall, taking it up to their much more experienced counterparts. Nick Blakey, who has been out of form for the most part of 2020 laid a strong tackle early in the game stamping his authority and kicked truly early in the final quarter to give the Swans some breathing room, with the game in the balance. James Rowbottom looks as though he is going to be a star, looking stronger and playing with more confidence every week. He finished with 18 disposals and 11 contested possessions against a strong Hawthorn midfield.
Elijah Taylor showed a glimpse into why the Swans handed him the famous number 37 jumper, kicking the first goal of his career early in the second quarter with a snap deep in the pocket. Matthew Ling also showed his potential in just his first game, racking up a number of clearing kicks out of the Hawthorn attacking 50 late in the last quarter, looking calm and composed helping the Swans get over the line.
Are we seeing a power outage or are Port Adelaide just really not as good as we thought? They are still sitting atop the AFL ladder at 6-2, however five of their six wins have come against teams outside the top eight, and both of their losses have come against teams inside the top eight being Brisbane and St Kilda. There is no doubt Port Adelaide is a vastly improved team from previous years, but will they be that team that teases us starting the season strong and falling away as it goes on?
Taking nothing away from St Kilda, it was a great performance, kicking five goals to none in the last quarter to run away with the win convincingly in the end. However, alarm bells are beginning to ring at Alberton, and if Port Adelaide are going to remain in the top four and be contenders in 2020, they’re going to have to get the power up and running again quickly. It starts on Thursday night against a Melbourne team who have lifted and are no longer easy beats.
Photo - Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images
Change of coach and game plan a blessing for St Kilda
St Kilda and Carlton are two clubs that are reaping the rewards of a new coach and a new game plan. We can’t underestimate how much recruits like Bradley Hill, Zak Jones, Dougal Howard and Dan Butler have positively affected their form, but a lot of praise has to be given to Brett Ratten and his coaching staff. The freedom with which they move the ball is fun to watch and it’s clear they enjoy the way they play. A fresh face leading the charge, recruits breathing new life into the team and a new and improved St Kilda the end result, something St Kilda fans have been waiting for.
No need to worry about the Tigers
A week is a long time in footy. After Richmond’s round seven win over North Melbourne, experts were convinced the Tigers had found their form and were back in the premiership hunt. Following this weekends’ loss to the Giants, they’re seen as chasers for the flag. With nine games to go in 2019 the Tigers were in the exact same spot as they are now, missing key players to injury and sitting ninth on the ladder. We all know what happened from there. Their pressure, ball movement and execution has of course been inconsistent, but their style of play is one that can be improved dramatically in one week. A win on Wednesday night against the Bulldogs is still a must, but I wouldn’t be too worried about the Tigers just yet.
Cover Photo: IMDB
By Ollie Nash
There weren’t many better people in footy than Shane Tuck. One of the most genuine, humble and nice guys off the field and a hard-nosed, courageous, team-first player on it. No matter who you supported, you knew about the scraggy haired fella from Richmond who plugged away in the midfield game in and game out during one of the Tigers most difficult periods. Yesterday was a tough day for all footy fans.
The social media posts from ex-teammates, ex-opponents, coaches and commentators said a lot about the person he was. They all mentioned his inspiring on-field actions but will remember him by the way he impacted them off the field. You can do so much in your career and other parts in your life but ultimately people will remember you by the person you were and how you treated others. Tuck never changed who he was and took an interest in everyone he came across. My family is one of the many that he impacted, so if the posts didn’t do the mans’ character justice, then I hope this story can shed some light on the man he was.
The year was 2005 and Richmond held a pre-season camp in my home-town of Ballarat ahead of the 2006 season. We’d just come off a 12th placed finish the year before but I was so excited to see my heroes up close.
We attended their open training session and Dad bought a ticket to a function while they were there. Three or four players would sit on every table and spend the night with the supporters while items were auctioned off and guest speakers addressed the room. Dad was lucky enough to be seated next to Tuck.
He took a genuine interest in Dad, what he did for a living, our family and the fact that he had my brother and myself at home, who were die-hard Richmond. He asked my old man for his number and said he’d give him a call during the year.
We never expected anything. As a full-time footballer at a big club like the Tigers, it’s easy to forget about the fan you spoke to in Ballarat six months earlier. But sure enough, ahead of round eight against the red-hot Crows, Dad got a call.
At first Dad assumed a friend was playing a trick on him, but it was Tuck, who had a big chat to him and even asked to have a chat to me, a seven-year-old in awe that an AFL footballer was talking to me on the phone. He asked if we were free to come to the game that Saturday afternoon, which we of course were.
He rang Dad that Friday and said he’d organised some tickets to the game as well as passes down to the rooms pre and post-game. We couldn’t believe our luck. As the game was at the Telstra Dome, now Marvel Stadium, instead of the MCG, he wasn’t sure where to leave the tickets or how to get them to us. He casually suggested we call past his house just near the G’ and get the tickets from his girlfriend who wasn’t attending the game that day. Imagine that in the modern day game, it’s unheard of.
As a young family driving down from an hour-and-a-half away, we were running late and missed the rooms pre-game, but we were treated to one of the games of the season. Adelaide sat on top of the AFL ladder entering the game while Richmond were outside the top eight with just three wins from seven games. We led at every change and in true early 2000s Richmond fashion, almost gave supporters a heart attack as we just held on for a three point win, 69-66. Tuck had 16 disposals, four tackles and a goal that day.
Post-game we enjoyed the song in the rooms and met and took photos with all our favourite players. We of course didn’t miss a chance to get a photo with the man who set it all up for us, out of the goodness of his own heart.
I’ve never forgotten that week and never will. I can still remember the house we were living in, the exact spot I stood in the living room as I spoke to him on the phone and his big hands gripping my shoulder as Dad took our picture in the rooms. There’s been so many similar stories floating around on social media about the man and this is just another great one to add the list. The AFL world mourns the loss of one of the great blokes of footy, RIP.
Cover Photo: Getty Images
Port Adelaide swagger
You can tell when a team is in form and their confidence is high. I think it eventually becomes the criteria to be a good side. Richmond had it going in 2018, Geelong have carried it since 2007 and Brisbane made it famous in the early 2000s. Strong body language is a part of it and the freedom that teams play with is another. Port Adelaide seem to have that now.
They have confidence in the way they play and don’t seem phased by what’s happening in the contest. They missed so many opportunities in front of goal against Carlton on Sunday, but they persisted with their game-plan and never looked rattled, as if it was all going to come together eventually. By no means does it always amount to a premiership or finals success, but it’s a good way to carry yourself as a team for when the going gets tough in big games, as it did on Sunday.
Gold Coast the Dogs of 2016
Gold Coast did what they needed to on the weekend, taking down the Swans by 32 points at the SCG. It’s important for a young team to deliver when they are expected to and beat the teams around their level or below, which they have done this year beating Adelaide, Fremantle and now Sydney.
What I’ve enjoyed watching is their slick hands, eerily similar to the Bulldogs premiership winning side in 2016. Like the Dogs, the Suns have become elite at the contested side of their game and once the ball’s out, they spread and move the ball quickly by hand. With young fresh legs, it’s clear how coach Stuart Dew wants them to play and they’re producing it each week, meaning young guns Ben King and Izak Rankine are getting great delivery inside 50.
Photo: Gold Coast
The Richmond system is back
Going into round seven against the Kangaroos, Richmond were missing seven players from the 2019 Grand Final side. They were missing key players Trent Cotchin, Bachar Houli, Dion Prestia, Toby Nankervis and Shane Edwards who last played two weeks ago before the Tigers entered the hub. However, it was clear that their system of play was back. Lots of pressure, getting the ball back quickly, surging forward and scoring quickly.
North Melbourne aren’t a team in form, but it’s a good sign to be playing your own brand of footy, which is all fans want to see. With key players missing for the near future the Tigers need this system of play to be prevalent and it was there on Saturday night.
The wheels are starting to roll out west
West Coast notched their third straight win on Sunday night with a 5-goal victory over the Dockers. Superstar forward Josh Kennedy played his best game for 2020 to date kicking four majors in his 250th game. The Eagles were premiership favorites going into 2020 and its clear to see why, once the wheels of this midfield get rolling they’re incredibly hard to stop. They kicked three goals in under two minutes on Sunday night, with Nic Nat’s magical ruck-work combining with the elite West Coast engine room that was led by Elliot Yeo (20 disposals and six tackles) and Tim Kelly (18 disposals and six tackles).
With the Eagles expected to be rewarded with a large chunk of home games in Perth after their time spent in the Queensland hub, don’t be surprised to see them back in the top four within the next few weeks.
Photo: Gold Coast Bulletin
Bombers grounded after Bulldog bite
Going into round six Essendon had lost just the one game by a single point to Carlton. The Bombers were full of optimism being 4-1 with a game in hand going into their clash with the Western Bulldogs on Friday night. It was a hotly contested first half, however after half-time the Bulldogs went to another level, bringing the Bombers crashing back down to earth, on their way to a 42-point win.
The game was won in the middle of the ground with Bulldogs ruckman Tim English (22 disposals and six clearances) playing arguably the best game of his career to date. Essendon was torn apart by a Bulldogs midfield led by Jack Macrae (29 disposals and four clearances), Tom Liberatore (22 disposals and five clearances), and Marcus Bontempelli (23 disposals and five clearances).
While the Bombers were without superstar Dylan Shiel (suspension), their young midfield brigade led by Andrew McGrath and Zach Merrett will want to turn the tide against the winless Crows on Sunday, in a must-win game for Essendon if they want to still consider themselves a threat this season.
Saints tick another box in season 2020
While St Kilda faced a winless Adelaide Crows on Monday night the Saints had never won a game at Adelaide Oval in ten showings. It was a must-win game for them after their horror loss to the 15th placed Dockers last week, after leading by as much as 37 points early in the second quarter.
It was a spirited effort from the Crows in front of their first home crowd this year, with the Saints finding themselves in a similar position to what they faced last week against the Dockers. Adelaide came hard but the Saints resisted the fightback to win their first game at Adelaide Oval in eleven attempts, ticking another box in what is looking like a much-improved St Kilda in 2020.
Cover Photo: IMDB
By Liam Melrose
Photo: West Coast Eagles
The main story to come out of this draft is what could have been ... The Gold Coast Suns had six of the first ten picks, including the top three selections. With the Suns struggling for the majority of their first decade in the AFL, they would be scratching their heads at some serious talent they could have taken early on in the 2010 draft.
PICK 1: GOLD COAST SUNS - JEREMY MCGOVERN (ORIGINALLY ROOKIE DRAFT SELECTION 44 - WEST COAST EAGLES)
ORIGINAL PICK: DAVID SWALLOW
McGovern didn’t make his AFL debut until 2014, however both McGovern and the Eagles’ persistence paid off. McGovern eventually grew into a defender that West Coast have been able to rely on to hold down the mantle in defence year in year out, where he has become arguably the best defender in the competition. He is a four-time All-Australian and a 2018 premiership player.
PICK 2: GOLD COAST SUNS - TOM LYNCH (ORIGINALLY PICK 11 – GOLD COAST SUNS)
ORIGINAL PICK: HARLEY BENNELL
Has the potential to be the best forward in the game, and has shown at times he could’ve been pick one in this draft at his absolute best. A former Gold Coast captain, the star forward crossed to Richmond at the end of 2018 seeking a taste of finals football where he became a 2019 premiership player. Has kicked 328 goals in 163 games and was an All-Australian in 2016, where he kicked a career-best 66 goals.
PICK 3: GOLD COAST SUNS - LUKE PARKER (ORIGINALLY PICK 40 – SYDNEY SWANS)
ORIGINAL PICK: SAM DAY
Parker has established himself as a midfield bull for the Swans over the past decade, with his best season to date coming in 2016, where he earned All Australian honours averaging just under 27 disposals and a goal per game. He has gone on to play over 200 games for the Swans, and is currently a co-captain of the club, as well as a two-time Bob Skilton medalist and 2012 premiership player.
Photo: George Salpigtidis
PICK 4 – WEST COAST EAGLES - ANDREW GAFF (ORIGINALLY PICK 4 – WEST COAST EAGLES)
ORIGINAL PICK: ANDREW GAFF
One of the most consistent midfielders in this draft class, and arguably the best outside midfielder in the competition. Gaff had a career best season in 2015, where he led the league in uncontested possessions with an average of 30 disposals per game. A two-time All-Australian and a John Worsfold medalist in 2015. With a career average of just under 27 disposals per game Andrew Gaff remains as the fourth selection in the 2010 draft.
PICK 5 – BRISBANE LIONS - JACK DARLING (ORIGINALLY PICK 26 – WEST COAST EAGLES)
ORIGINAL PICK: JARED POLEC
The athletic forward has kicked the most goals to date in this draft class with 387 in just over 200 games. Darling has been a consistent target for West Coast over the past decade. Stepping up in 2019 to put together a career best year kicking 59 goals, and receiving his first All-Australian nomination to go with a premiership in 2018.
PICK 6: RICHMOND - ISAAC SMITH (ORIGINALLY PICK 19 - HAWTHORN)
ORIGINAL PICK: REECE CONCA
Isaac Smith’s outside run was a major part of Hawthorn’s three-straight flags from 2013-2015. His outside run during that period and booming left foot was amongst if not the best in the game, and still plays a significant role in the Hawks' game-plan today. Smith has played 207 games, and is a three-time premiership player.
Photo: Hawthorn Football Club
PICK 7 – GOLD COAST SUNS – DYSON HEPPELL (ORIGINALLY PICK 8 - ESSENDON)
ORIGINAL PICK: JOSH CADDY
The Essendon captain has been a leader from the start, a 2011 Rising Star winner, as well as a Best and Fairest in 2014. Heppell has been the Bombers' most reliable midfielder over the past decade. With a career average of 25 disposals per game his numbers speak for themselves, still regarded as one of the best midfielders in the competition.
PICK 8 – ESSENDON - DION PRESTIA (ORIGINALLY PICK 9 – GOLD COAST SUNS)
ORIGINAL PICK: DYSON HEPPELL
Prestia spent the first six seasons of his career at the Gold Coast Suns, where he was a Vice-Captain of the club for two years averaging 27 disposals per game in both 2015 and 2016. He moved to Richmond at the end of 2016 and has become a two-time premiership player at Punt Road, with ‘The Human Meatball’ enjoying a career-best year in 2019.
PICK 9: GOLD COAST SUNS - JEREMEY HOWE (ORIGINALLY PICK 33 - MELBOURNE)
ORIGINAL PICK: DION PRESTIA
The high-flying Howe played 100 games for Melbourne, before heading down Olympic Boulevard to the Holden Centre and joining Collingwood in 2016. It proved to be a great move for Howe, where he's established himself as one of the league’s best intercept markers over the past three years, and has enjoyed career-best form since moving to the Magpies.
Photo: News Corp Australia
PICK 10: GOLD COAST SUNS - DAVID SWALLOW (ORIGINALLY PICK 1 – GOLD COAST SUNS)
ORIGINAL PICK: DANIEL GORRINGE
The Gold Coast captain was selected by the Gold Coast Suns with the first pick in this draft. He slides to pick ten in our redraft, but has been one of the only consistent Suns midfielders since they entered the competition. The reliable midfielder hasn’t put a foot wrong across the first nine seasons of his career, averaging just over 21 disposals per game in what has been an era the Suns would rather forget.
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.
Cover Photo: News Limited