Local Footy: Lucas kicks goals as ex-AFL players land in Bomber territory

After being controversially delisted by Essendon after last season, Scott Lucas signed on with Essendon District league club Greenvale. On the first night of training, Lucas started an hour late because every under-16 and under-18 player at the club wanted to shake his hand.

Greenvale president Bruce Kent said Lucas had been a popular addition. “He adds a lot, both from a football and club point of view,” Kent said. “For most players, playing with him is the closest they’ll get to the AFL.”

Lucas took a little while to hit form with Greenvale, but in recent weeks he’s fired. On Saturday he kicked eight goals in Greenvale’s big win over Doutta Stars. Last week he kicked seven in the Jets’ win over Oak Park.

Most of the former AFL players in the Essendon District league are not among the competition’s stars. Playing coaches Chris Johnson and Brodie Holland are getting a kick, and Joel Reynolds went close to winning the competition’s best-and-fairest award last season.

Lance Whitnall kicked six on Saturday, while Luke Livingston and Ty Zantuck kicked three. But mostly the former AFL players make strong contributions rather than tearing games apart.

Kent said it was a credit to the competition that so many former AFL players chose to play in it. When asked whether these players cost bucket-loads, he said: “It’s fair to say they don’t play for nothing, but people talk it up a bit.”

Most former AFL players stay at a local club for only a season or two. Stephen Paxman has been at Greenvale for seven years. He joined at the suggestion of his brother-in-law, former Fremantle draftee Anthony Ljubic, after Port Adelaide had delisted him after the 2003 season.

Paxman started at Greenvale as a running half-back and won a club best-and-fairest after kicking 85 goals in a season at full-forward. This season, at 39, he’s back at full-back, where he made his name in 240 AFL games with Fitzroy and Port Adelaide.

Kent said Paxman has been an immense influence at the club. After training, Paxman has a habit of digging a wire brush out of his bag and cleaning his boots in the clubrooms. His example has prompted younger teammates to find old broom heads in forgotten cupboards to clean their boots after training as well.

Paxman played in Greenvale’s 2004 premiership team, the club’s first in A-grade, as well as the 2007 premiership team, which went through the season undefeated. Greenvale this season is on top of the ladder again and Paxman is hoping to round out a well-rounded career with another premiership.

Every former AFL player in the Essendon District league is hoping to add to his career with a premiership. Victory is sweet at every level.

AFL PLAYERS IN THE EDFL

Players:

Aberfeldie: Marcus Barham (Collingwood)

Avondale Heights: Chris Johnson (Brisbane)

Craigieburn: Barry Brooks (Port Adel/St Kilda), Angelo Lekkas (Hawthorn), Ang Christou (Carlton), Lance Whitnall (Carlton)

Glenroy: Aaron Kite (Adelaide)

Greenvale: Steven Paxman (Fitzroy/Port Adel), Scott Lucas (Essendon)

Keilor: Brent Hartigan (Richmond), Hayden Skipworth (Adelaide/Essendon)

Keilor Park: Paul Koulouriotis (Port Adel/Geelong), Damien Peverill (Essendon)

Maribyrnong Park: Luke Livingston (Carlton), Marc Bullen (Essendon), Brodie Holland (Fremantle/Collingwood), Ben Haynes (Essendon/Richmond)

Oak Park: Frankie Raso (Collingwood)

Strathmore: Digby Morrell (Kangaroos/Carlton), Joel Reynolds (Essendon/Geelong), Tristan Cartledge (Essendon/Richmond), Ty Zantuck (Richmond/Essendon), Jordan Doering (Essendon/Carlton)

B-grade

Pascoe Vale: Jordan Bannister (Essendon/Carlton)

Coaches:

A Grade:

Aberfeldie: Dean Rioli (Essendon)

Avondale Heights: Chris Johnson (Brisbane Lions)

Craigieburn: Paul Barnard (Essendon)

Doutta Stars: John Barnes (Geelong/Essendon)

Greenvale: Steve MacPherson (Western Bulldogs)

Keilor: Mick McGuane (Collingwood)

Maribyrnong Park: Brodie Holland (Fremantle/Collingwood)

Strathmore: Digby Morrell (Kangaroos/Carlton)

B Grade:

East Keilor: Steve Kolyniuk (Western Bulldogs)

Comments

  1. Daff
    If what I’ve heard around the traps is anywhere near correct, then Bruce Kent’s comment that “It’s fair to say they don’t play for nothing” qualifies for understatement of the year !!

  2. pauldaffey says:

    Smokie,

    I must admit I don’t know just how much they’re paid, but SEN is getting me on The Run Home tonight to talk about just that issue. They’re heard about resentment on the hustings.

    Footy clubs are reluctant to talk to me about money. I thought Bruce Kent’s quote was revealing to an extent, so I was keen to put it in.

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