Retired Aaron vandenBerg [retiring from AFL]

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Demon in Hell

Club Legend
Oct 9, 2004
1,072
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Phuket
AFL Club
Melbourne
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Looking for a new club in 2022.

Tough and hard at it when fully fit, but injuries have curtailed his career.

Anyone interested.
 

catman2006

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 15, 2006
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nah too much of a risk but would give Lockhart a run at VFL level
 

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LordLucifer

Cranky Old Fart
Mar 20, 2002
23,107
23,450
Mosman Village
AFL Club
Carlton
When I saw he had been axed, I too wondered whether he would be worth throwing a lifeline to.

So I went and looked at his stats this year and it wasn't flattering at all, 4 games, two with donuts, the other two he had 16 & 11 touches.

2021 was 12 games but never had more than 18 touches in a game, in fact only 5 times in his 51 games has he broken through the 20 disposals barrier.

Over his career he has been 'below average' in every category except tackles & clearances in which he was 'average'.

He will be 30 by the time the next season starts so it is hard to mount a case to suggest he is going to play better now than he ever has over the previous years. There is some romance in the notion of getting him but the reality is that the odds aren't stacked in his favour now so it has to be a big "NO" from me.
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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In addition, Aaron Vandenberg and the club have agreed that the midfielder will seek opportunities elsewhere after 51 games in the red and blue.

“We had to have some difficult conversations this afternoon, which is always tough but particularly tough after an exciting weekend for our club,” List Manager Tim Lamb told Melbourne Media.


 

Lampers

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May 27, 2004
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Sydney were interested at the end of 2018, but he's been plagued with foot injuries, and even at his peak he wasn't skillful enough for AFL level.

He is brutal when he tackles, very physical.

He had some games early where he pushed forward and created matchup problems with his size and height.

I can't think what club would want an injury prone, 30 year old with poor skills who hunts body contact.

If someone does want him it would be a trade for a nothing pick to facilitate the move, or picking him up as a delisted free agent.
 

Sprout

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 6, 2010
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Could do worse and would get him for nothing. Hard as a cat’s head albeit with questionable disposal. Suns would be a good fit if they are looking for an onfield enforcer.

Lockhart is the one clubs should seriously look at. I’m slightly surprised he’s been let go.
 

Golumless

A bigger deal out west.
Jul 12, 2013
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Adelaide
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Should go to Adelaide I think. More hard bodies for the kids there to grow under.

We've been trying to get rid of mediocre senior players, not collect them.
 
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HTPunter

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 27, 2014
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North Melbourne
3 years ago it'd be an easy yes.

But considering the fitness management issues North have had, and the stage of the rebuild, it's a hard no for me even as a DFA. I guess if he was the last rookie spot I wouldn't be annoyed, but he's absolute least priority.
 

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TheBoss

Club Legend
Oct 28, 2010
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Could do worse and would get him for nothing. Hard as a cat’s head albeit with questionable disposal. Suns would be a good fit if they are looking for an onfield enforcer.

Lockhart is the one clubs should seriously look at. I’m slightly surprised he’s been let go.

Surely the plan is to re-rookie Lockhart if he doesn't get a gig elsewhere
 

Lampers

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May 27, 2004
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Surely the plan is to re-rookie Lockhart if he doesn't get a gig elsewhere

I know this is the vandenBerg thread, but I think the writing was on the wall for Lockhart.

Had some good numbers games in the VFL, Jetta was in and out despite being clearly cooked physically, but Lockhart couldn’t get a gig.

Small lock down defender is Melbourne’s biggest weakness too.
 

Taylor

Community Leader
Jul 16, 2009
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Perth
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Fremantle
It's embarrassing how players in his position hardly ever retire anymore. No one is picking up a 29 year old chronically injured forward who doesn't kick goals.
The secret is that the players who retire are mostly also informed prior that they won't be given a contract from their existing club and nobody else is interested, so they make the "choice" to retire.

You'll see the likes of Riewoldt and Brown casually talk about everyone getting that tap on the shoulder, no matter who they are.
 

Lampers

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May 27, 2004
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The secret is that the players who retire are mostly also informed prior that they won't be given a contract from their existing club and nobody else is interested, so they make the "choice" to retire.

You'll see the likes of Riewoldt and Brown casually talk about everyone getting that tap on the shoulder, no matter who they are.

The slightly puzzling thing about vandenBerg is his father passed away unexpectedly, I think near the end of 2018, and he was considering retiring at that point to take over his dad’s business in regional NSW. Obviously that was some time ago and it must have been sorted out by now, but he did have strong outside interests.
 

dylan93

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Mar 16, 2011
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So apparently interstate clubs were interested, but he didn't want to move.

Fair play.

I still thought a lower club like a North, Essendon, Hawthorn, etc would've given him a run.

He's hard as nails, but his decision making was an area for improvement.
 

Lore

Moderator ❀
Dec 14, 2015
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So apparently interstate clubs were interested, but he didn't want to move.

Fair play.

I still thought a lower club like a North, Essendon, Hawthorn, etc would've given him a run.

He's hard as nails, but his decision making was an area for improvement.
A few of our posters were interested in him but the general consensus is he's too old. He would've been the third oldest player on our entire 2022 list after Hurley and Phillips, neither of whom are best 22. In fact by the end of last year we only had 4 players over 27 who might be considered best 22 (Shiel, Smith, Heppell, McDonald-Tipungwuti).

So by the time we're supposed to be challenging he'll be over the hill, it's effectively pointless for us. We already have mature voices and good coaches in that area, so it'd just be taking away opportunities from Perkins, Durham, etc.

Another club might have valued him in a part-time coaching or mentoring type role though. Just depends where you're at and what you need. That said, lower leagues can pay pretty well for ex-AFL players and he'd have less training, more time to pursue other things. Understandable decision on his behalf not to move interstate with the volatility of border closures etc.
 

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