The Chris Lewis "players who lost it a few years early" thread

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iameviljez

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This question occurred to me while discussing Tex Walker's fall from grace over his late 20s... who else just seemed to be tapped on the shoulder by Father Time a few years before everyone else?

I don't mean players like Modra, Stoneham, Nathan Brown and Schwarz, who copped awful injuries and were never the same again - I mean players like Chris Lewis, Aaron Davey and Travis Cloke, who just seemingly woke up one day in their twenties unable to play AFL footy anywhere near their previous standard.
 

PhatBoy

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This question occurred to me while discussing Tex Walker's fall from grace over his late 20s... who else just seemed to be tapped on the shoulder by Father Time a few years before everyone else?

I don't mean players like Modra, Stoneham, Nathan Brown and Schwarz, who copped awful injuries and were never the same again - I mean players like Chris Lewis, Aaron Davey and Travis Cloke, who just seemingly woke up one day in their twenties unable to play AFL footy anywhere near their previous standard.
would Adrian McAdam count? I am too young to remember the specifics of his drop off but I remember the start of his career
 

Altum Volantes

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Peter Sumich had clearly peaked by 1994 (age 26) and was out of the league before he was 30.

Basically kicked 400+ goals before he was 25 - finished with just over 500

Chris Lewis was an interesting one. He was great in 1994 - should have been All Australian....but was the last great season he played, age 25.
 

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iameviljez

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Peter Sumich had clearly peaked by 1994 (age 26) and was out of the league before he was 30.

Basically kicked 400+ goals before he was 25 - finished with just over 500

Chris Lewis was an interesting one. He was great in 1994 - should have been All Australian....but was the last great season he played, age 25.
Admittedly, in Lewis' interview on Open Mike, he suggested that Malthouse's insistence on players who are equally good in attack and defence sidelined him to the half-forward line and he didn't enjoy a great relationship with Mick.
 

Scotland

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Was Sumich injured after 1994? I can't remember if he was injured or playing in the WAFL.

For us I'd say Chad Fletcher and Tyson Stenglein.

Fletcher barely missed a game for 5 years and even got an AA selection. Then after a much publicised Vegas incident played plenty of WAFL footy in his last 3 years and was gone at 29.

Stenglein came over from the Crows at 24, played 4 full seasons, half the games in his last season and was done at 29 also. Was never a star but was an important player in our midfield setup.
 

Altum Volantes

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Was Sumich injured after 1994? I can't remember if he was injured or playing in the WAFL.
If I remember right, he struggled with injury in 1995, I can distinctly recall being keen to see how Jason Heatley would go in the AFL with Suma out!.

Would have played his share of WAFL footy in 96 and 97 - he even won WCE goal kicking that year with something like 30 goals. Played in a flag for Souths too I think?

Game just passed him by I think - that style of full forward was a dying breed - even in 1997.
 

budge27

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Wasn't my era but didn't John Longmire begin declining younger than most?
Longmire blew his knee out at the end of 95 after kicking 58 goals which was less than his other seasons but never really came back the same player and he may have even done his knee again but snagged a flag playing in the backline in 99 then retired. Only kicked 17 goals in his last 45 games which was mainly down back and as a backup ruckman though.
 

RUNVS

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Longmire blew his knee out at the end of 95 after kicking 58 goals which was less than his other seasons but never really came back the same player and he may have even done his knee again but snagged a flag playing in the backline in 99 then retired. Only kicked 17 goals in his last 45 games which was mainly down back and as a backup ruckman though.
So doesn't really fit into this thread then. Thank for that. I mean Cooney declined a lot well before his time too but it would not be fair to include him as he had a knee problem which prevented him getting back to his best, he didn't just have an early natural decline.
 

Hank Scorpion

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Interesting thread, not many names immediately come to mind.

Nathan Bock? Was a pretty solid KPP in the middle of his career at Adelaide. Went up to Gold Coast and can barely remember hearing anything about him since.
 

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fnerd

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Peter Sumich had clearly peaked by 1994 (age 26) and was out of the league before he was 30.

Basically kicked 400+ goals before he was 25 - finished with just over 500

Chris Lewis was an interesting one. He was great in 1994 - should have been All Australian....but was the last great season he played, age 25.
Admittedly, in Lewis' interview on Open Mike, he suggested that Malthouse's insistence on players who are equally good in attack and defence sidelined him to the half-forward line and he didn't enjoy a great relationship with Mick.
Decent thread

Perfect example in Chris Lewis.
Often wondered the same thing with him.
Starred early on in his career , was WC player of the Finals if I remember correctly in 1990.
Was just about their most promising player in a star studded young squad.
Then yeah just kinda drifted off to has been status when he still should’ve been in peak of his career.

Also spot on with suma. Forget how young he still was ,relatively speaking by the time his career was over.

Then again most of that early 90s eagles team were done before thirty... don pyke, tony evans dean kemp Brett heady.. even Mitch white seemed to fall off a cliff
 

Randall Stevens

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Despite being talked about largely for his post career activities now, he was a serious talent in the mid 80’s, kicking totals of 92 and 103 goals in 1986 and ‘87, and taking spectacular marks. After a failed (but well paid) move to Brisbane and a brief return to Sydney, he was finished by 1991 at 28 years of age.
 

Catsace

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There's a lot of Eagles in that list, Mitch White was 27 or so when Geelong got him, but he really struggled and played only 20-odd games before retiring a spent force. David Wirrpanda started as a very young man, but peaked probably before halfway into his good career, but he retired relatively young. Troy Menzel came and went extremely quickly, was very promising early at Carlton, went back to Adelaide but is already gone before age 25.

David Spriggs was a promising young player in the same draft as Enright, Ling, Corey etc but never regained his form after injuring a knee in a off-season incident in the early '00s. Stuart Anderson was a Premiership player at the Roos in '96 but just disappeared into the ether a couple of years later after joining Freo....and a guy who i saw dominate in a game in late '95 for the Dogs in Daniel Hargreaves..but sadly he was out of the comp in just a few short years afterwards.
 

mouncey2franklin

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Jack Ziebell.

Was a genuine match-winner until 2018.

Last year was a struggle.

This year he has no place on an AFL oval.

Turned 29 earlier this year.

In his prime he could kick four goals from ten touches and scare defenders into turtle-shelling in his presence.

Was never a great midfielder, too much hack kicking forward, but could add a degree of difference and be worth a rotation or two in his prime.

I remember his four-goal game against Geelong back in the day, kicking the match winner from the paint, awesome stuff.

That was 2012. Boy did I get drunk that night. PM me if you want some crazy stories.

He also has a few 4/5 goal games subsequent to that. His career was no fizzer, that's for sure. Tonnes of highlights.

But it would seem that he is well and truly done now, before his 30th birthday.

One more year on his contract, hopefully he and the club can come to an arrangement whereby he 'coaches' in 2021.
 

ioppolo

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Adam Hunter's shoulders suddenly went to sh*t in 2009 and that was that. Was 29
 

wagstaff

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Peter Sumich had clearly peaked by 1994 (age 26) and was out of the league before he was 30.

Basically kicked 400+ goals before he was 25 - finished with just over 500
Yeah, the Sumich decline was a standout considering how good he was in his first few years in an era made for full forwards.

Declined so rapidly that I recall Commetti making a quip about his loss of form while commentating a match when he was still on the WC list.
 

wagstaff

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Best Richmond example in recent decades I can think of is Nick Daffy.

Started off as a capable mid-size forward (won the club goalkicking in 1995) and then surprisingly developed into an excellent midfielder in 1998, winning the B&F.

Yet by 2001 he could barely get a game and was traded to the Swans. And he was a wipeout at Sydney - traded for a top 20 pick and playing only one senior game. He was gone from the game before he turned 30.
 

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