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Plenty in the tank for AFL's overseas born heroes

General NewsEnglish-born Fergus Watts' recent delisting by St Kilda and David Rodan's delisting scare last year show just how fragile an AFL career can be. However, many players do bounce back.

Glancing upon the AFL lists, as we head into 2008, there is plenty to get excited about. As these players mature, they become role models for players growing up in their countries. The younger they are, the more potential for long successful AFL careers.

So we decided to look at the ages of some of the current crop of AFL "internationals" and encouragingly the signs are still youthful.

Peter Bell31FremantleSouth Korea
Mal Michael30EssendonPapua New Guinea
Ian Perrie28AdelaideZimbabwe
Trent Croad27HawthornNew Zealand
Kris Massie27AdelaideSweden
Tadhg Kennelly26SydneyIreland
David Rodan24Port AdelaideFiji
Aaron Edwards23North MelbourneSamoa
Adam Campbell22FremantleNew Zealand
Fergus Watts22St KildaEngland
Brad Moran21North MelbourneEngland
Colm Begley21BrisbaneIreland
Alipate Carlisle20Port AdelaideFiji
Heritier O'Brien20CollingwoodBrazil
Martin Clarke19CollingwoodIreland
Kevin Dyas19CollingwoodIreland (yet to debut)
Pierce Hanley18BrisbaneIreland (yet to debut)
Brendan Murphy18SydneyIreland (yet to debut)
Luke van Rheenen18St KildaSouth Africa (yet to debut)

At the veteran end are players like Peter Bell and Mal Michael, who fortunately have committed to at least one year. Besides players like Trent Croad, 50% of all overseas born players in the AFL are under 25 with plenty left in the tank.

Collingwood has the best young talent, with all three of its overseas born players under 21 years old, whilst Adelaide has the most experienced overseas born players.

Ireland has produced by far the most and the youngest overseas-born players for the AFL. Note that this list does not include the Australian-born O'hAilpin brothers.

We could yet see more overseas born rookies come out of the 2008 AFL Draft.

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Plenty in the tank for AFL's overseas born heroes | 1 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Plenty in the tank for AFL's overseas born heroes
Authored by: Brett Northey on Saturday, October 20 2007 @ 12:16 am ACST
Also note that Brad Moran was last week traded from North Melbourne to Adelaide, where he sees his development opportunities as greater - it's no secret the Roos have one of the smaller off-field budgets for player development, and the Crows one of the larger.

More in this article: http://realfooty.com.au/news/news/adelaide-fits-moran/2007/10/16/1192300769591.html

and also http://afc.com.au/Season2007/News/NewsArticle/tabid/4417/Default.aspx?newsId=52548

On the other hand, the one player listed as Zimbabwe born, 28 year old Ian Perrie at Adelaide, was de-listed by the Crows, after a pretty solid but often frustrating career in which he struggled with consistent accuracy in goal kicking. He finished with 116 AFL games and 129 goals in 10 seasons.

Crows General Manager – Football Operations John Reid said: “Ian must be congratulated on his long career with the Adelaide Football Club. He has made the most of his talent and been a valuable contributor to our football club over a decade, which is a great credit to him. We thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best.”

Also of interest is that Adelaide has decided to draft Taylor Walker. Walker was mentored by Adelaide under the AFL's compulsory scheme where each AFL club had to scholarship list one or two NSW players. A similar but non-compulsory and as yet unused scheme exists for international players. The NSW version has already paid dividends for Adelaide as clearly they believe Walker a worthwhile recruit. From memory, he recently starred in the Broken Hill league's grand final. Although it should be noted that Broken Hill is not quite the Sydney heartland the AFL is trying to penetrate - it lies at the western edge of NSW and is actually closer to Adelaide and heavily influenced by South Australia, often regarded as a de facto SA town. View location on a map:


Brett Northey - Co-founder and Chief Editor of WFN