Players you thought were going to be elite but never got there

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Yoda_

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Did anyone think Jack Watts was going to be elite?
reminded me watching an U18 game at Casey fields in there draft year, Jack Watts, Michael Hurley, Nic Nat, Daniel Rich all played, go back in my posting history and I thought Matt De Boer was just as good as those stars that day.

Thought he was going to be a star but did end up with a very serviceable career imho
 

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Bipolarbear

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Good thread! Ones I can definitely put my name to:

Leroy Jetta, Shaun Higgins, Harley Bennell, Daniel Kerr, Jared Brennan, Tim English, Daniel Gorringe and Joe Daniher.
Shaun Edwards, Kurt Aylett as well
First rounders he said, or you'd add James Stewart to the list.
 

Guardian Hawk

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Now try again without your Hawthorn bias on because a few pieces of this is just blatantly incorrect
Such as? Thought I used plenty of facts to support my view. How do you see it and why?

I mean, goals aren't everything but are a pretty good measure for forwards. In the late 90's, individual goalkicking tallies were 50-60% bigger than what they are today. Despite this, the Hawthorn 6 have kicked 2956 goals so far, whilst the Essendon 6 kicked 2532 goals.

That difference of 424 goals (and counting) is massive. In fact, that difference is higher than the career tallies of 4 of the Essendon 6 (all but LLoyd and Lucas). That's with me counting Jordan Lewis (who kicked the least of the dozen), when he rotated with Shaun Burgoyne, Paul Puopolo, etc. If I counted either of those instead of Lewis, the difference goes well beyond 500 goals. That's like having an extra (i.e. 2) Scott Lucas' in your team.

Not to mention, of course, that 3 of the Hawthorn 6 are still active and will likely add another 150+ goals to their combined tally before their careers are done.

That's not bias - they are the facts.
 
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Mofra

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Adrian Campbell. Looked like an absolute gun KPF, then snapped 3 ligaments in his knee at once which was an injury more akin to a serious motorcycle crash.

He was never the same. Then 17 year old Chris Grant kicked 50 goals in his debut year and Campbell was eventually traded.
 

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Elmer_Judd

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Fun player to watch, but Minty could have been an absolute star in this game.

I think only injuries stopped Richard Osborne from being a constant/yearly top 10 player in the league (that horrific neck injury he suffered at the SCG in 1993 was something is truly awful that has always lingered in my mind.

Was a fine player for the Doggies though
 

Stabby McGee

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Fun player to watch, but Minty could have been an absolute star in this game.

I think only injuries stopped Richard Osborne from being a constant/yearly top 10 player in the league (that horrific neck injury he suffered at the SCG in 1993 was something is truly awful that has always lingered in my mind.

Was a fine player for the Doggies though
Osborne is a bloody good call. He'd lead with his head to often though.

Was a footy highlight package back then showing him sublimely dodging two players then, as a third came at him front on, dropping the head, and charging them right in the solar plexus to break free. Tough and skilled, but no self preservation.
 

Johnny Karate

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Beau Muston. Felt like we waited forever for him to debut then he had like 30 odd touches straight off the bat.

Turned out Melbourne was just really bad at the time
Oath. He looked great that game but that was an era where we seemed to play each other early in the season with you racking up a 10 goal lead shortly before halftime and the realisation of another bottom 4 season would sink in for most Melbourne fans.

Did anyone think Jack Watts was going to be elite?
The hype from the club was ridiculous. He never looked like it, turned into an ok player despite being a meme. Had he not wound up at a rabble, would probably have been a solid role player with a good career.

Players from other clubs:
Mitch McGovern: great hands and looked like he might become the forward equivalent of his brother.

Josh Drummond and Justin Clarke - looked like terrific key backs but injuries ruined them.

Matthew Kruezer - solid career but injuries ruined him.

Shared Wellingham - was really good in Collingwood’s successful sides around 10-11 but never became an elite by position half back/wing.

Dean Rioli - elite talent but injuries and professionalism seemed to stunt him.

Matthew Burton - good career but never became dominant.

Cam Mooney - good career but he looked like he would become one of the best followers in the league around 2004-5.

Jaegar O’Meara and Harley Bennell - looked like the sky was the limit in their early careers but never became elite for differing reasons.

Jonathan Hay - AA fullback in 2001 but struggled thereafter.

Winston Abraham - outrageously talented but faded fast.

Bowen Lockwood - destroyed by injuries, looked like he’d form a terrific forward partnership with Tredrea.

Brett Deledio - still had a very good career but he looked like a generational talent early on.

Justin Koschitzke - probably outshone Riewoldt early in their careers but concussions and other injuries took their toll.

Lewis Jetta - excellent early career and looked like he could be an elite half forward/wing.

Ashley Sampi - could jump over tall buildings but never really got it together.

Jason Johanissen - looked like he would be a multiple half back but is pretty much a fringe/role player.
 

Kobe Gryant

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Has to be Harley Bennell for mine. I remember a game in 2014, absolutely tore us to shreds and racked up 30+ with 6 goals to his name. Looked like he'd be a top 5 player in the game one day. Unfortunately injury and off-field troubles derailed him in the end.

Honorable mention to Dan Menzel. Had us Cats supporters thinking we'd found the next Stevie J in 2011, maybe even better. Still carved out and okay career but was never the same after those knee injuries.
 

Gavin Excell

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Oath. He looked great that game but that was an era where we seemed to play each other early in the season with you racking up a 10 goal lead shortly before halftime and the realisation of another bottom 4 season would sink in for most Melbourne fans.


The hype from the club was ridiculous. He never looked like it, turned into an ok player despite being a meme. Had he not wound up at a rabble, would probably have been a solid role player with a good career.

Players from other clubs:
Mitch McGovern: great hands and looked like he might become the forward equivalent of his brother.

Josh Drummond and Justin Clarke - looked like terrific key backs but injuries ruined them.

Matthew Kruezer - solid career but injuries ruined him.

Shared Wellingham - was really good in Collingwood’s successful sides around 10-11 but never became an elite by position half back/wing.

Dean Rioli - elite talent but injuries and professionalism seemed to stunt him.

Matthew Burton - good career but never became dominant.

Cam Mooney - good career but he looked like he would become one of the best followers in the league around 2004-5.

Jaegar O’Meara and Harley Bennell - looked like the sky was the limit in their early careers but never became elite for differing reasons.

Jonathan Hay - AA fullback in 2001 but struggled thereafter.

Winston Abraham - outrageously talented but faded fast.

Bowen Lockwood - destroyed by injuries, looked like he’d form a terrific forward partnership with Tredrea.

Brett Deledio - still had a very good career but he looked like a generational talent early on.

Justin Koschitzke - probably outshone Riewoldt early in their careers but concussions and other injuries took their toll.

Lewis Jetta - excellent early career and looked like he could be an elite half forward/wing.

Ashley Sampi - could jump over tall buildings but never really got it together.

Jason Johanissen - looked like he would be a multiple half back but is pretty much a fringe/role player.
Kruezer an interesting one.

Many blues fans think he was excellent but not sure their expectations are high
 

Yoda_

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It's an incredible forward line - agreed - and it's a little off topic, but I reckon it has some stiff competition to be the 'best ever'.

Take Hawthorn's recent forward line:

Rioli - Franklin - Lewis
Breust - Roughead - Gunston

Comparing the Number 1 tall (Franklin vs Lloyd) and I reckon Franklin comes out on top with 3 more AA's, 1 more Coleman, 1 more B&F (flag year), more goals, more of the ball, more tackles, etc, etc.
Similarly the number 2 tall (Roughead vs Lucas) and I reckon Roughie is on top with multiple AA's vs 0, Coleman vs 0, bigger finals performances, better versatility (both good), more goals, etc.
Bewick vs Breust and again I reckon Breust has been better. Next season he will become only the 8th non key forward ever to kick 500 goals. Multiple All Australian and whilst Bewick was quality (all the Essendon guys are), he was a level below Breust IMO with 0 AA's, 200 fewer goals, etc.
Caracella vs Gunston - not really similar players but as a forward, I would again have Gunston ahead. He has kicked double the goals of Caracella (will in fact go past Lucas in a reduced scoring era), has been in the AA squad 5 times, kicked 50+ many times and is a noted finals performer.
Rioli vs Mercuri is a strange comparison as not at all similar. I would argue Mercuri probably had the best season of either ('99) but that Rioli was more consistently good across his career. He also has a Norm and multiple AA's. I think as a forward you would be picking Rioli.
Hird vs Lewis - this is the one match up that falls (pretty clearly) Essendon's way. Lewis was obviously no slouch as a 300 gamer, AA and B&F winner (in a flag year) who was our conduit between midfield and forward line but Hird was something else witha long and illustrious resume.

and with all that said, I'm not even convinced that s Hawthorn's best forward line either with some incredible combinations in the 70's and 80's with Hudson, Matthews, Dunstall, Brereton, Jarman and a strong support crew coming in at different times in that era.

Original post was comparing individual players against each other. Now you've gone off on a tangent about team collective's in one of the most lopsided era's in the 16+ team AFL era.
Such as? Thought I used plenty of facts to support my view. How do you see it and why?

I mean, goals aren't everything but are a pretty good measure for forwards. In the late 90's, individual goalkicking tallies were 50-60% bigger than what they are today. Despite this, the Hawthorn 6 have kicked 2956 goals so far, whilst the Essendon 6 kicked 2532 goals.

That difference of 424 goals (and counting) is massive. In fact, that difference is higher than the career tallies of 4 of the Essendon 6 (all but LLoyd and Lucas). That's with me counting Jordan Lewis (who kicked the least of the dozen), when he rotated with Shaun Burgoyne, Paul Puopolo, etc. If I counted either of those instead of Lewis, the difference goes well beyond 500 goals. That's like having an extra (i.e. 2) Scott Lucas' in your team.

Not to mention, of course, that 3 of the Hawthorn 6 are still active and will likely add another 150+ goals to their combined tally before their careers are done.

That's not bias - they are the facts.
Lloyd actually has a much better goals per game average than Franklin who might I add did leave Hawthorn after two premierships and only 2 Coleman's, Lloyd has 3 colemans ;) meanwhile his AA's were predomaaintly won at Sydney (5 v Hawks 4) so again, semantics but you are underselling Lloyd here.

You stated Roughy had versatility, Lucas won a club b&f as a CHB and was a 2 x club b&f winner. Roughead 0. Roughead kicked 107 more goals in 13 more games, take away Lucas' 1.5 seasons where he played defence and goals per game he was pretty much on par with your man.

Bewick's 6 state of origin games suggests in one of the toughest era's in AFL history he was on the cusp of AA selection so maybe not at the level of your man, his (1.4) goals per game is actually not as bad as Breusts (1.8) and has 2 premierships under his belt (comparable to Breust's 3).

Mercuri literally came second in the Brownlow medal in 1999, whilst Rioli's 1.4 goals a game is nice, Mecuri's 1.16 for a midfielder resting forward appears much much better.

I'll give you Gunston, we had a plethora of guys in and around that 3rd tall fwd role. Paul Barnard (140 games for Essendon) was the most consistent and Gunston has him covered easily.

Hird is Hird as you mentioned.


Now I am not disagreeing with you, just feel you are seriously dispelling that Essendon team due to your Hawthorn bias. Franklin's Colemans were margins - 2017 (+4, J.Kennedy played 5 less games)
  • 2014 (+4, Roughead played 1 more game)
  • 2011 (+13, T.Cloke played 3 more goals)
  • 2008 (+14, Fev second with 3 less games)

Compare that to Lloyd's dominance in his era where he won Colemans'

  • 2000 (+ 33, Jeff Farmer played 2 less games)
  • 2001 (+ 46, Richo played 1 more game)
  • 2003 (+ 15, same amount of goals as second placed Neitz)


Now Buddy is nice and all but I don't think people realise just how dominant Lloyd was at his peak. The closest a player got to his dominance was probably Gehrig who incidentally kicked 7 more goals in 1 more game than my man in 2004. Buddy's highlights seduces a lot of people, and obviously more so the Hawks supporters but digging deeper players from yesteryear was just as good, if not better when you dig a little deeper.

For the record, I do agree that Breust, Gunston were easily better players than the aforementioned Bombers guys but underselling the 'stars' when you do dig deeper.
 

Clark G

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Jarrod Brennan - end thread
He showed little for most of his career, surprised he lasted as long as he did. In his first game he ran with the football holding it in one hand and the media went googoo gaga over it. Not his fault, but the media seemed to pump him up without justification.
 

Bunk Moreland

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Original post was comparing individual players against each other. Now you've gone off on a tangent about team collective's in one of the most lopsided era's in the 16+ team AFL era.

Lloyd actually has a much better goals per game average than Franklin who might I add did leave Hawthorn after two premierships and only 2 Coleman's, Lloyd has 3 colemans ;) meanwhile his AA's were predomaaintly won at Sydney (5 v Hawks 4) so again, semantics but you are underselling Lloyd here.

You stated Roughy had versatility, Lucas won a club b&f as a CHB and was a 2 x club b&f winner. Roughead 0. Roughead kicked 107 more goals in 13 more games, take away Lucas' 1.5 seasons where he played defence and goals per game he was pretty much on par with your man.

Bewick's 6 state of origin games suggests in one of the toughest era's in AFL history he was on the cusp of AA selection so maybe not at the level of your man, his (1.4) goals per game is actually not as bad as Breusts (1.8) and has 2 premierships under his belt (comparable to Breust's 3).

Mercuri literally came second in the Brownlow medal in 1999, whilst Rioli's 1.4 goals a game is nice, Mecuri's 1.16 for a midfielder resting forward appears much much better.

I'll give you Gunston, we had a plethora of guys in and around that 3rd tall fwd role. Paul Barnard (140 games for Essendon) was the most consistent and Gunston has him covered easily.

Hird is Hird as you mentioned.


Now I am not disagreeing with you, just feel you are seriously dispelling that Essendon team due to your Hawthorn bias. Franklin's Colemans were margins - 2017 (+4, J.Kennedy played 5 less games)
  • 2014 (+4, Roughead played 1 more game)
  • 2011 (+13, T.Cloke played 3 more goals)
  • 2008 (+14, Fev second with 3 less games)

Compare that to Lloyd's dominance in his era where he won Colemans'

  • 2000 (+ 33, Jeff Farmer played 2 less games)
  • 2001 (+ 46, Richo played 1 more game)
  • 2003 (+ 15, same amount of goals as second placed Neitz)


Now Buddy is nice and all but I don't think people realise just how dominant Lloyd was at his peak. The closest a player got to his dominance was probably Gehrig who incidentally kicked 7 more goals in 1 more game than my man in 2004. Buddy's highlights seduces a lot of people, and obviously more so the Hawks supporters but digging deeper players from yesteryear was just as good, if not better when you dig a little deeper.

For the record, I do agree that Breust, Gunston were easily better players than the aforementioned Bombers guys but underselling the 'stars' when you do dig deeper.

I’m certainly not getting into a Buddy v Lloyd discussion but I totally agree with one thing in isolation, people completely forget how incredible Lloyd was early in his career.

His last five years were affected by the big hammy injury, plus us being a mess of a club. He still had a couple of 60-goal seasons in there.

But from his first full season in 97 (at 19yo) to 2004 he kicked 63, 70, 87, 109, 105, 47, 93 and 96 goals.

At this stage (2004) he was 26yo -arguably just into a key forward’s prime - and had 695 goals to his name. He was incredibly durable and you would’ve thought he had 7 years left. Unfortunately the end came quick and he was done by 30, which made a lot of people forget the first half of his career.

As for Lucas, I’ve made the argument he’s the single most underrated Essendon player I’ve seen. Super #2 forward, won a B&F, went to CHB and won another B&F, Lloyd went down early in 2006 and he went to full forward and kicked 70 goals.
 

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