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Plenty in the tank for AFL's overseas born heroes

  • Wednesday, October 17 2007 @ 10:01 pm ACST
  • Contributed by: Sean Finlayson
  • Views: 3,927
General News English-born Fergus Watts' recent delisting by St Kilda and David Rodan's delisting scare last year show just how fragile an AFL career can be. However, many players do bounce back.

Glancing upon the AFL lists, as we head into 2008, there is plenty to get excited about. As these players mature, they become role models for players growing up in their countries. The younger they are, the more potential for long successful AFL careers.

So we decided to look at the ages of some of the current crop of AFL "internationals" and encouragingly the signs are still youthful.

Peter Bell31FremantleSouth Korea
Mal Michael30EssendonPapua New Guinea
Ian Perrie28AdelaideZimbabwe
Trent Croad27HawthornNew Zealand
Kris Massie27AdelaideSweden
Tadhg Kennelly26SydneyIreland
David Rodan24Port AdelaideFiji
Aaron Edwards23North MelbourneSamoa
Adam Campbell22FremantleNew Zealand
Fergus Watts22St KildaEngland
Brad Moran21North MelbourneEngland
Colm Begley21BrisbaneIreland
Alipate Carlisle20Port AdelaideFiji
Heritier O'Brien20CollingwoodBrazil
Martin Clarke19CollingwoodIreland
Kevin Dyas19CollingwoodIreland (yet to debut)
Pierce Hanley18BrisbaneIreland (yet to debut)
Brendan Murphy18SydneyIreland (yet to debut)
Luke van Rheenen18St KildaSouth Africa (yet to debut)

At the veteran end are players like Peter Bell and Mal Michael, who fortunately have committed to at least one year. Besides players like Trent Croad, 50% of all overseas born players in the AFL are under 25 with plenty left in the tank.

Collingwood has the best young talent, with all three of its overseas born players under 21 years old, whilst Adelaide has the most experienced overseas born players.

Ireland has produced by far the most and the youngest overseas-born players for the AFL. Note that this list does not include the Australian-born O'hAilpin brothers.

We could yet see more overseas born rookies come out of the 2008 AFL Draft.