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

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Push My Buttons
Apr 14, 2016
AFL Club
Other Teams
LA Lakers,Chelsea F.C.
left field; Neale Daniher. 82 games in 12 years, 1 b & f to his name
compared to say his brother Terry; multiple flags, (2 years longer on his career), 284 games.

I've been of the opion that Neale was the more talented of the 4 brothers just couldn't get on the park. Cruelled by knee injuries.


Are We Not Men? We Are...
Sep 8, 2000
Canberra, ACT
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Parramatta, Carlisle, Ross County
John Longmire.

Kicked 98 goals as a teenager in 1990 and followed up with 91 the following season, but injuries (including two knee reconstructions) and the rise of Wayne Carey saw his numbers decline over the course of the decade before retiring with a Premiership in 1999. He still finished with over 500 goals but at an average of only 2.56 goals per game, between 1990 (when he moved to full forward fulltime) and 1994 it was just under 4.

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God Mode

Club Legend
Mar 22, 2011
Mount Olympus
AFL Club
Other Teams
Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bulls
Ryan Gamble. Broke into our best team ever in 2008 and kicked 21 goals from 13 games. Similar to another Geelong talent in Daniel Menzel, I thought he was going to be the next Stevie J. He had an injury interrupted 2009 and never quite made it back into the side after that, being played in defence before being traded to St Kilda.


Formerly "Dos23"
Jul 11, 2005
AFL Club
Other Teams
Melbourne Storm
left field; Neale Daniher. 82 games in 12 years, 1 b & f to his name
compared to say his brother Terry; multiple flags, (2 years longer on his career), 284 games.

I've been of the opion that Neale was the more talented of the 4 brothers just couldn't get on the park. Cruelled by knee injuries.
Nobody argues against that I'm pretty sure.


Premiership Player
May 21, 2015
AFL Club
Um no they havent.

Differing qualification standards per state (and therefore the clubs in those states) over the years.
Why should interstate clubs get the sons of WAFL and SANFL through the father/son rule despite their fathers never even playing games for their clubs


Club Legend
Mar 10, 2018
AFL Club
Andrew Walker - he became a serviceable player and got a nice career for himself in multiple positions. But I remembers his first game when Rex Hunt started naming him 1AW. Was one of the largest hypes I can remember around a players first match after it.

He never really kicked on to be the super star that atleast I thought he’d be after that match, he became serviceable

Guardian Hawk

Premiership Player
Oct 16, 2003
AFL Club
Great call on Mercuri, second in the Brownlow in 1999 and was amazing… could do it all.

That forward line in that era was just staggering. Not sure there could ever have been a better one.

Hird - Lucas - Mercuri
Bewick - Lloyd - Caracella

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.

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Brownlow Medallist
Apr 27, 2011
AFL Club
Fremantle did get concessions on entry. All you need to do is go back and look at the 1994 & 1995 drafts.
Just because you failed to turn first round selections into anything is not a reason to blame West Coast's exceptional development program.
Even the 2001 'wonder' draft, of all players who eventually became household names, you guys select Graham Polak.

No, I am not talking about that other conspiracy, I am talking about all the local talent West Coast were given when they entered the VFL. Hard work is a big part of any sport but if you don't have the quality, you can only get so far. Generational talent is key to any long term success.
Depends on how you view this.

It was Croad ( who was a bust for us but a serviceable AFL player,) & Mcpharlin (best defender in the league for years who had a 200 plus game career for us) for
pick 1 ( Hodge good player who had a 200+ plus career which is what you want from a no.1 pick)
Pick 20 which didnt do much
Pick 36 mitchell ( who also had a 200+ career for Hawks)

Its really p.36 performing which is no gurantee to occur that tilts it Hawks way. Trading 36 is what hurts.

Of note Geelong got to pick G.Ablett who was off limits for a 3rd rounder pick.

The 747

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 19, 2008
AFL Club
Under the rules a year later they would never have been able to get Selwood along with Hawkins in the same draft

Yes because the rules were changed as a result of us getting Hawkins. Same as the rules were changed after the Dogs got Jamar

Same as the PP rules were changed after some clubs were gaming them. And the academy rules after Sydney.

Father Jack

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 23, 2006
between hope and reality
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur FC
Threads like this always take me back to the mid nineties and a bloke called Stephen Jurica for the Tiges tearing it up as a young fella, I'm thinking he looks the goods and will no doubt have a great career in the yellow and black ... and then he just completely disappeared.

He had one of those names that sounded good when yelled out by commentators after a big goal too.

Clark G

Club Legend
Oct 10, 2010
AFL Club
Kane Tenace. Maybe not elite, but thought he’d be a good player with his high speed.


Club Legend
Aug 5, 2022
AFL Club
Going back a bit but two players from the Swans that immediately come to mind would be Dale Lewis and Nic Davis (the latter started at Collingwood). Both were still good to very good players at times, but it wasn’t seen often enough.

Davis in particular showed how good he could be in that ‘05 semi final when he single-handedly sank the Cats (sorry to Geelong folk for bringing that up but hey you’ve had a darn good run since) but I struggle to think of many (any?) other games where he was the match winner despite clearly having the ability.
Davis was one lazy SOB, one of the best kicks of football I’ve seen though.

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