AFL RETIREMENTS AND DELISTINGS
By Ben Jensen FOLLOWING TRADE WEEK and heading into the AFL National Draft, like his correspondent dozens of players are hoping to keep their careers alive, while the reality (hopefully not for myself) is they will not find a new AFL club and have to move on with life. At Geelong, the big news, although not a complete shock by any means, was the formal departure of 2007 Premiership forward Nathan Ablett, while the delisting of this season's club VFL best and fairest winner Jason Davenport was a surprise after fellow midfielder Brent Prismall was traded to Essendon. FULL LIST, CLUB BY CLUB
Seven Saints have been given the Khyber by St Kilda as they clear out their list. Among them is former Geelong VFL premiership forward Charlie Gardiner, who although featuring in the finals series is being let go after just one year. Also given the flick from the main list are Jayden Attard, Matthew Ferguson and Michael Rix, while rookie-listed Glenn Chivers and Luke van Reenan also received their marching orders.
St Kilda is set to draft Ben Cousins in the National Draft with a late pick, after being reportedly the only club interested in the wayward midfielder and 2006 Premiership player.
Other former players hoping but unlikely to find a new home include mercurial former Sydney and Collingwood forward Nick Davis. As one wag suggested, "He wouldn't cost much and if you could keep him off the KFC would be a good addition." Former teammate at Collingwood Brodie Holland is another hoping to get another chance. Holland, Copeland Trophy medallist in 2006, had a terrible year but with a switch in playing styles to that of Geelong and Hawthorn he will struggle.
Ruckman such as former Saint and Blue Cain Ackland, Magpie Chris Egan and former Melbourne and Docker Jeff White may have more chance of being picked up.
The Bombers finally had to cut talented but obscenely injury-prone key forward Courtney Johns loose while they also ended the Mal Michael experiment, which to be fair turned out better than Carlton's effort with Mick Martyn but at last Martyn scared off thieves from training.
Amazingly the Dockers had not a single main-listed player 'delisted', the eight departees either retiring or being traded, amoung them star Peter Bell, stalwart Shaun McManus and wayward but exciting forward Jeff Farmer. Another club to really clear our their list is Port Adelaide, with several Premiership players being delisted or retiring. The Lonie brothers, Nathan at Port and Ryan at Collingwood both retired, while Port also delisted an unlucky pair of Ryans in Williams and rookie-listed Willitts.
Perceived as having one of the oldest lists in the AFL, Sydney raised eyebrows with only two players so far leaving, one of them ruckman Peter Everitt retiring after 291 games at three clubs since beginning at St Kilda in 1993. The other was Ben Mathews, who played 198 games and memorably wouldn't give Tony 'Plugger' Lockett his number four jumper back during his brief un-retirement in 2002.