AFL Players with Strong International Connections - Previous

This page is an attempt to document the various players previously in the AFL with strong international connections, but does not include players recruited from other countries - see separate lists at the bottom of this page. As a strongly multicultural society with a history of migration, many other players also have international links and not all can be explored here, however suggestions relevant to international footy development are welcome.

Wayne SchwassNew ZealandThe New Zealand born (1968) North Melbourne and Sydney great played 282 VFL/AFL games, including the 1996 premiership with the Roos. He won 3 best and fairests and has since had a media role, including commentating on the 2005 International Cup, won by the Kiwis. He works with the Sunrise Foundation to address depression and mental health issues amongst athletes, both elite and recreational.
Sanford WheelerUSABorn in California (USA) in April 1970, Sanford (Matthew) Wheeler moved to Australia at age five. He was a teenager before he took up Australian football but still managed to be signed by Sydney. He went on to play 43 games between 1989 and 1994.
Peter BellSouth KoreaBorn in South Korea (1976) to a Korean mother and American father, he was adopted by an Australian couple and was raised in Western Australia. He first played for Fremantle in their inaugural year (1995) before being de-listed, but was picked up by North Melbourne for the 1996 season, where he became a star player and won two premierships. Peter returned to Fremantle in 2000, and was their captain from 2002-2006. Fans at Subiaco Oval rang a bell every time he gains a possession in home games. He won a best and fairest at North Melbourne and three with Freo. He also holds a Law Degree. Retired from AFL level in 2008.
Damian CupidoSouth AfricaBorn in South Africa in 1982, Cupido grew up in Australia. He showed early promise when drafted by Brisbane but inconsistency saw him traded to Essendon, where he at times was becoming a star as a small forward, peaking in 2003. But inconsistency returned, along with perceived laziness and injury, and he was de-listed at the end of 2005. In 2006 he played for South Adelaide in the SANFL, then moved to West Adelaide in 2007, before departing with reports of some personal issues in 2009.
Mal MichaelPNGBorn 1977 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, family moved to Australia shortly afterwards. Drafted to Collingwood then moved to Brisbane, where he was three time premiership fullback. Controversially moved to Essendon in 2007 after "retiring". Maintains strong ties to PNG where his father returned and who is heavily involved with footy there. Established the Mal Michael Foundation to improve conditions in PNG. Has also represented Australian in International Rules. Retired (permanently) from AFL level in 2008.
Adam CampbellNew ZealandBorn 1985 in Christchurch, New Zealand, played rugby union as a child. Family moved to country Victoria in 2001, began playing footy locally, drafted to Fremantle in 2003, debuted in 2006. Delisted at the end of 2009 after 13 games.
Luke van RheenenSouth AfricaBorn 1988 in South Africa before moving to Australia, the 201 cm ruckman was rookie listed by St Kilda for the 2007 season, and retained on that list for 2008, but de-listed at the end of the season, without ever making an AFL debut.
Trent CroadNew ZealandBorn 1980 in New Zealand, Trent's grandfather Eric Boggs was an All Black (New Zealand Rugby Union national representative). Drafted in 1997, Croad was a star for Hawthorn at centre half back and centre half forward, but was traded to Fremantle at the end of 2001, where he performed less well. In a strange twist he was traded back to Hawthorn, where he became a premiership player in what was ultimately his last game - a broken foot in the 2008 Grand Final becoming a career ending injury, with Croad eventually retiring in January 2010. He also represented Australia in International Rules, remains a keen supporter of the All Blacks, and has been used by Hawthorn to promote their Hanz Up program in New Zealand.

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