Do you think if you really tried hard enough, you could make it to the AFL?

Bunk Moreland

Hall of Famer
Sep 22, 2011
32,077
63,697
AFL Club
Essendon
I think it would be a great idea.



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They really have nothing to lose. There’s no other pro league to steal the players... they’d just be playing state league. Come the right age, the draft would actually be useful because you can get in players who are ready to play and make a difference to the bottom clubs - that’s why we have reverse ladder draft order - instead of speculating of some kid who may or may not be good in a couple of years.

As for losing a couple of years, they probably make some of it back at the back end of their career as their bodies have had two less years of full time training and hammering.
 

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TwentyNine

Norm Smith Medallist
May 16, 2013
5,167
7,134
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Not a chance. Too short, perenially out of shape, don't have the competitive mindset, hate playing team sport... I don't think there's a single attribute you need to be an AFL player which I actually possess.
 

YippeeYiYeo

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 21, 2015
7,064
10,459
AFL Club
West Coast
No chance.

When I was 16 I participated in every sport and that included before school, recess, lunch and after school. Every day. Thought I had good sporting fitness. Was a top 5 player for local footy club in under 17's and went along to Swan Districts colts training. What a shock to the system. My endurance capacity was well below average. Ok that can always be worked on. Next problem I was about 5"11 tall which seemed undersize. So my half-back favourite position had me undersized. Next problem, I just don't have the speed at all. I quickly realised how far off it I was athletically. My skills were ok as I trained to kick on my non-dominant foot all the time.

Anyway if I really committed to it I might have scraped into WAFL reserves. But it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Im so injury prone that even if I could make it I would have frustrated the crap out of everyone at the club.

For anyone who thinks they might have made it - you are seriously underestimating how good these elite guys are.
 

YippeeYiYeo

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 21, 2015
7,064
10,459
AFL Club
West Coast
Ouch.

I once got a "most utility" award with my name spelt wrong on it.
haha that reminds me of an under 15's basketball team I played on. The coaches loved our team so much that they handed out an award to everyone and not just the MVP. There was "Most assists" award, "most rebounds" "most steals", "most blocks", "most points", "best free-throw shooter" etc etc. I was excited to receive my award then I read it which said "Most valuable new player". Like wtf... only me and 1 other dude joined the team that season.
 

Ok Boomer

Back in my day
Jul 27, 2015
6,602
10,688
AFL Club
West Coast
haha that reminds me of an under 15's basketball team I played on. The coaches loved our team so much that they handed out an award to everyone and not just the MVP. There was "Most assists" award, "most rebounds" "most steals", "most blocks", "most points", "best free-throw shooter" etc etc. I was excited to receive my award then I read it which said "Most valuable new player". Like wtf... only me and 1 other dude joined the team that season.
Haha the other dude would have been guttered, my award was technically for like 3rd or 4th in the B&F and I had missed games... So it should have been an achievement.

Pretty sure that trophy went out the car window or in the bin.
 

James Colorado

Club Legend
Aug 25, 2014
1,570
3,169
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Hawthorn
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The Baggy Green, Storm, Celtic F.C.
They really have nothing to lose. There’s no other pro league to steal the players... they’d just be playing state league. Come the right age, the draft would actually be useful because you can get in players who are ready to play and make a difference to the bottom clubs - that’s why we have reverse ladder draft order - instead of speculating of some kid who may or may not be good in a couple of years.

As for losing a couple of years, they probably make some of it back at the back end of their career as their bodies have had two less years of full time training and hammering.
They'd have had a bit of time to mature, and outside of the AFL bubble where smoke is constantly blown up their arses. Removes some of the go home factor if they're drafted a bit later, but also gives them an opportunity to grow up without developing campaignerism.
 

yyou

Premiership Player
Sep 18, 2014
4,936
5,818
AFL Club
Fremantle
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No chance,
Had good skills & could run fast all day, but had such a pea heart I made Andrew Gaff look as hard at it as Callan Ward

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PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
19,184
19,880
AFL Club
Geelong
I think discussions like this have merit. I think with total honesty based on my hand eye and my youthful level of fitness I could have been an elite cricketer if literally everything went right for me - perfect coaching, hours of dedication etc.
rugby league was a sport I only played properly when I was 21 but I was quite good at and the fundamentals of being a front rower - good ball control, good metres and a good tackling technique - were things that came very naturally so again, if I played from a young age, had all the right coaching in all the right comps, theoretically I think I could have made it. A few kids I grew up playing sport with made it to the NrL.

AFL however - no way. There is no skill I have that would ever have developed no matter what amazing chain of events took place in my life, that would have served well in afl.
 

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footyfan78

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 27, 2014
22,414
23,521
AFL Club
Carlton
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there are no other teams worthy
I could ..but only to watch
This, I do not remember ever thinking too serious about my own football playing. I just enjoyed watching it so much as a kid on tv, just playing a bit of kick to kick was enough for me. I just hated training and played a few seasons of under age football but reality was the minute the game was over I could not wait to find out what happening with real team I followed. For some reason I just loved training at cricket but football training drills were a drag. Probably because in cricket training you are actually bowling or batting most of the time. Football training drills are made up and not in match type situation. My older brother was opposite to me in our football ways. He loved training heaps and was really skilled as a result but got a lot of injuries and also wonder how far he could have got in the game if not for injuries and then going off on distant travels. He was more into playing it than watching it. I was more into watching it than playing it.
 

RedmanWasHere

Rarely in kitchens at parties.
Aug 23, 2010
16,500
13,568
AFL Club
Essendon
Other Teams
Exers, Gryffindor, Richmond AFLW
yes

dad played 90 games for essendon
into job at kpmg

east brighton vampires
oakleigh chargers
haileybury college

aps football
no drinking at parties
no schoolies
in trouble for sexist tram chant... times were tough


but

i ran laps on christmas day
asked my coach ('matthew lloyd') how to get better
never missed a session ('anytime fitness brighton')
melbourne 'we'll grab you with pick 43 if you're still available'

AND FOR WHAT?

no draft
year of overage football at TAC cup level
working in a factory
bcomm at unimelb
old man's firm


“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” .
So he's one of:

Jimmy Sullivan.
Jeff Gamble.
Bob McClure.
 

roz1812

Debutant
Mar 14, 2019
74
82
AFL Club
Geelong
No way. If I tried really hard enough and had help I could maybe put the muscle on but I lack definitely lack the fitness and even though you can certainly improve this, the minimum consensus for the beep test in AFL is 14. That is very tough for a ordinary person to achieve without an high aerobic capacity which is due in part by genetic makeup. To put it in perspective 2 people can get that at my local club out of probably like 100. Following on, endurance is only one part, you also have to have athletic traits and/or natural ability to go along with that endurance. In my case even if I got the fitness base required through a lot of hard work, I wouldn't say I have elite leg speed by any stretch of the imagination, certainly aren't overly tall (5'11), don't have a big leap and even though I have decent skills I lack distance with my kick, hence I would be pretty average if in some alternate universe I did make it. Look I'm not saying hard work could not get you there but you at most you would be a role player/tagger without some sort of natural ability with the football and athletically (endurance, speed, jump, height etc).
 

lumpinee

the liars dont want yu to access any of your super
Jul 18, 2019
445
404
AFL Club
Richmond
this true scenario pertains to cricket,not just AFL as i was a much better cricketer,it sums up why i never made it...16 years of age...January 24th 1984 and im opening the bowling for University C.C. Dowling shield
its a hot & humid day, about 30C, i think we were playing Fitzroy( Shane Warne is in our team by the way) & ive got tickets to go see Robert Plant
live at the Entertainment Centre that night ...well about 5 overs in from me i realise this is gonna be a long frickin day,i dont wanna be knackered for the concert so i feigned back soreness,my coach saw right thru it & he let my parents know he was most dissappointed...geez did i feel bad leaving the ground that day...the concert was just ok but i wouldnt of made it if id kept bowling.
Once whilst training with the senior squad in Suburban footy(i was abt 19) i went up to the coach and let him know i had to cut it short as i was going to see ZZ Top at Olympic Park ,he responded with"you need to sort out your priorities son & quickly"..i took his advice on board and scooted off to the concert realising A grade footy wasnt going to be my bag,what with not being able to hit the clubs on friday nights it was never gonna pan out
 
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Dragz

Club Legend
Oct 13, 2006
2,724
1,385
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Not AFL - Soccer ? Played a few matches for the State (Under 18 Goalkeeper), did a few training sessions with A C Milan Youth team (Had a cousin playing in the 2nds/3rds at the time, this WAS 30+ years ago) and there was some interest from them, but not enough drive from me to relocate countries. Having a Girlfriend at the time was probably a big driving factor and ambivalence from the parents.

Looking back with the benefit of hindsight, wish i'd done it. Wouldn't have made the Serie A squad i don't reckon, but might have carved out a European Career in a secondary league. <shrug>
 

RobR

Premiership Player
Sep 16, 2014
3,827
9,504
AFL Club
Carlton
this true scenario pertains to cricket,not just AFL as i was a much better cricketer,it sums up why i never made it...16 years of age...January 24th 1984 and im opening the bowling for University C.C. Dowling shield
its a hot & humid day, about 30C, i think we were playing Fitzroy( Shane Warne is in our team by the way) & ive got tickets to go see Robert Plant
live at the Entertainment Centre that night ...well about 5 overs in from me i realise this is gonna be a long frickin day,i dont wanna be knackered for the concert so i feigned back soreness,my coach saw right thru it & he let my parents know he was most dissappointed...geez did i feel bad leaving the ground that day...the concert was just ok but i wouldnt of made it if id kept bowling.
Once whilst training with the senior squad in Suburban footy(i was abt 19) i went up to the coach and let him know i had to cut it short as i was going to see ZZ Top at Olympic Park ,he responded with"you need to sort out your priorities son & quickly"..i took his advice on board and scooted off to the concert realising A grade footy wasnt going to be my bag,what with not being able to hit the clubs on friday nights it was never gonna pan out
You had your priority's right, nothing would stop me from going to watch the great Billy Gibbons play.
 

1980GFVideo

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 21, 2004
6,450
2,233
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Richmond
I have peace of mind knowing that if I exerted myself to the full extent of the human will and spirit that I wouldnt have gone close.

Hate to have to go through life knowing that playing AFL was a possibility if I had put in effort.
 

SSSSSS

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2011
11,875
18,306
AFL Club
Hawthorn
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Six decades of domination
Nope and I honestly wouldn't want to be a footballer.

Pays well if you make it but the toll on the body is just awful.
 

Hawk Time

Debutant
Oct 26, 2019
99
105
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Look at jarryd Geary, I've literally heard the blokes name a few times ever and just saw hes been stkilda captain for 4 years now, wow...
 

YippeeYiYeo

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 21, 2015
7,064
10,459
AFL Club
West Coast
for the money it pays being an AFL player just isn't worth it. These blokes are seriously some of the fittest athletes in the world. Most positions now require an amazing aerobic capacity. Then you need to put on a decent amount of muscle to stand the bumps and high speed collisions. And honestly unless you are insanely quick with great skills you arent going to make it if youre under 6"0. Then theres life after footy where your body is crippled from so many injuries and surgeries. Stuff that.

If I had children I would point them towards tennis, golf or soccer. What I love about the idea of playing soccer is that you can be as short as Hazard or Messi and still make it. And if you don't reach the highest level you can still play in many other leagues will you will earn a great income compared to AFL. All of these sports still earn a decent income if your child is a girl too. The women in AFLW have buckleys chance of earning the same amount as men. As a spectacle women playing aussie rules just pales in comparison to the mens league. Just like the WNBA ill be very surprised if it ever takes off no matter how much promotion and generations of participation go into it
 

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