Club History Players that you thought would make it but didn't.

Howard Moon

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We all see players coming through from time to time that we take a shine to and want to make it as AFL players but it doesn't happen for everyone.

Over the years its seems that the most precociously talented players are the ones that seem to fall by the way side while those that have to work their arse off to make it are the ones that do, maybe those with immense skill rest to easily on their laurels?

anyway I thought id try make a thread for those players who you thought would make it but for whatever reason just didn't or couldn't make the step as a bonafide AFL player.

Andrew Ukovic - 19 games, 8 goals 1997-1999

Taken pick 31 in the 95 draft Ukovic was a good size for the new style midfielder at 189cm 80kgs, if a little slight but he seemed to glide around the ground with ease, had good ball skills and great evasive skills but maybe he lacked a bit of toughness/aggression. The footy world seemed to be at his feet when he bagged 3 brownlow votes against Carlton in 99 - in a team destined for great things but for whatever reason he just never took the next step, was quickly traded to Collingwood then after an Ok season was delisted.

Julian Kirzner - 1 game, 1 goal 1994

Taken pick 36 in the 93 draft Kirzner was a 188cm, 90kg high flying forward. I remember week after week getting to games early to watch him in the reserves tear games apart, he came runner up in the reserves goal kicking with 60 and the future looked bright, I remember the fans were begging for him to get a crack week after week. Unfortunately he was starved of opportunity with the likes of Scot Cummings being drafted at the same time - his Essendon career ended after one game, on traded to Carlton for no games, then to North for 3 games then career over. A football nomad in the end but one I hoped/thought might make it.

Jay Neagle - 28 games, 41 goals 2007-2010

Taken under the father son rule number 39 in the 95 draft Neagle was a hulking 100kg, 191 cm full forward. He suffered early from lower leg injures that were no doubt due to his heavy set size but still managed to show great leading patterns and strength in the mark, and was also a great kick for goal. He made his debut in Sheedys last game and impressed. He played 7 games the following year kicking a few little bags of goals and looked every bit the incumbent to fading star Matthew Lloyd but there was always a nagging doubt of fitness/aptitude that followed him. Nevertheless he was always just on that cusp of breaking out and becoming a bonafide AFL player when on that fateful night VS Geelong he chose to play on - ran afoul of Matthew Knights and barley saw the light again. After a series of failed penny drop moments where he tried to turn over a new fitness leaf he was delisted in 2011 a wasted talent.

Damien Cupido - 40 games, 50 goals 2003-2005

Cupido came to Essendon in a trade from Brisbane after played 12 games in 2 years. It seemed he came as a supremely talented but flawed character. Sometimes Sheedy liked to give blokes a second chance and here was a chance at a real huge upside get. Some of the things this bloke could do were freaky, as a 184cm, 95kg fwd/mid he just seemed to have the knack to be in the right spot at the right time, was evasive and deadly. It always seemed he was on the brink of breaking games open and becoming a star but then he would revert back into his shell for whatever reason. He kicked 40 goals in 2003 and we looked to have won the trade easily but he fell away the following year so much so that Sheedy blasted him in the media and dropped him not only from the AFL side, but from the VFL side, to play VFL reserves. He never came back the same player and was delisted shortly after. In a strange move for this type of player of immense skill who usually fall away from the game, Cupido has gone on to travel the country playing football for any club that will have him, he has played for over 20 grass roots and state league clubs, notching 1000 goals in the process - just makes you wonder what might have been if we were able to harness his abilities.

Alex Browne - 11 games, 4 goals 2011 - 2015

Drafted pick 48 in the 2010 draft the 187cm, 87 kg as one of a long list of half back flankers. I think he became a bit of a fan favorite with his beatlesq looks and great sidestep. He seemed to always be knocking on the door of an AFL game with good lower lever performances but just as he was about to establish himself he was entangled in the supplements saga as the club fell into turmoil, I cant exactly remember the timeline but I think he did a knee, was delisted, signed on for the Northern blues only to be suspended for the suppliants saga... in the end a messy end to a career that showed great promise.


you got any players you thought could have made it but didn't for whatever reason?
 

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Howard Moon

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Its funny I reckon there is a common thread, most that didn't make it that move to another club don't make it again.. I guess clubs do have a decent eye and can see if a player wont step up as a player - Dagliesh probably in that bracket, even guys like Edwards, Ridley, Plain - I was busting for them to make it, was sad when they left, but they didn't kick on at the next club
 
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vast

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Its funny I reckon there is a common thread, most that didn't make it that move to another club don't make it again.. I guess clubs do have a decent eye and can see if a player wont step up as a player - Dagliesh probably in that bracket, even guys like Edwards, Ridley, Plain - I was busting for them to make it, was sad when they left, but they didn't kick on at the next club
I didnt even know he went to another club. Where did he go?
 

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#13
Mine you might not even remember. Paul Thomas. I thought he would be our next Jason Johnson.

The other Slattery, not Henry..

Cory Dellolio..very clever goal sneek

What the hell happened to Leroy Jetta? his best was unbelievable. I cant believe someone that talented didnt really make it. solid AFL player at times but never really made it.

Damian Cupido...wow..Absolute peanut that wasted his chances.
 

Howard Moon

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his kick on the run was something special. I feel a lot of his issues were attitude based.
didn't purple get in his head and have him dish dirt on the club signaling the death knew of a career?

I kind of always saw him and Jetta on similar trajectories - never quite established themselves but not from lack of skill
 

Howard Moon

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Mine you might not even remember. Paul Thomas. I thought he would be our next Jason Johnson.

The other Slattery, not Henry..

Cory Dellolio..very clever goal sneek

What the hell happened to Leroy Jetta? his best was unbelievable. I cant believe someone that talented didnt really make it. solid AFL player at times but never really made it.

Damian Cupido...wow..Absolute peanut that wasted his chances.
Seemed like they tried to rebuild jetta - from an instinctive genius into a bloke that was second guessing every move. dumb.
 
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#17
Seemed like they tried to rebuild jetta - from an instinctive genius into a bloke that was second guessing every move. dumb.
yeah if he just played full seasons up forward just being told to tackle and create mayhem Im sure he couldve been something special. Alwyn Davey had a much better career as he seemed to have simple instructions. His first season was out of this world and he broke his arm just before Anzac Day. That really took the wind out of me. I need to go watch the highlights again.
 

Howard Moon

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yeah if he just played full seasons up forward just being told to tackle and create mayhem Im sure he couldve been something special. Alwyn Davey had a much better career as he seemed to have simple instructions. His first season was out of this world and he broke his arm just before Anzac Day. That really took the wind out of me. I need to go watch the highlights again.
Jetta was genuinely one of the best kids in the country too, as an un16/u18 he was an elite talent - but as jade says, if you have played 90 games you can surely be classed as an AFL grade player? but I get that he never really felt like he had established himself, always trying to prove he belonged to the coaching staff and fans
 

Jade

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#25
Seemed to carve up the twos on the inside, get a game in the 1s and just be played way out of position... wasn't O'Brien getting the inside gig ahead of him?
Wasn’t just that, we’d only play him when massively gutted by injury, and when the team inevitably lost he’d be tossed out of the side.
 
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