AFL 1998 – Twenty Years On: Essendon Bombers (8th)

These Dons were highly overrated according to the nameless Footy Record pundit, who probably tagged them as underachievers three years later.

Twenty of the list shown here played in Essendon’s 2000 flag side and Hardwick was a big part of Port’s 2004 premiership. Plenty of them remain prominent in the footy world, but some have blended back into obscurity. Michael Long hasn’t of course, and our nation is all the better for his work.

If you’ve bought chocolate from, given out some spreadsheet tips to or just hung out at The Hangar with any of these names in the past decade or two, you know the drill by now.



AFL Debuts 1998: Mark Bolton, Simon Easthaugh, Judd Lalich, Dean Solomon

Kept Under Wraps 1998: Robert Di Rosa, Jordan Doering, Winis Imbi, Mark Johnson, Daniel McAlister, Lachlan Oakley, Dean Rioli, Matthew Watson, Tim Williams

Never Heard of Him: Lachlan Oakley

Delisted at end of 1998: David Calthorpe, Ryan O’Connor, Matthew Watson, Tim Williams, Winis Imbi

Traded at end of 1998: Ricky Olarenshaw (to Collingwood), Andrew Bomford (to Sydney), Che Cockatoo-Collins (to Port Adelaide)


Thanks to , ,  

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About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. I have a brilliant story about one of the above players, and his efforts to be included on the AFL’s goal umpiring roster a couple of years’ back. It is truly hilarious – but best left to being told face to face.

  2. Hmmm.

    Smokie, did this chap also play for a second AFL team ?


  3. Lots of familiar names here Swish. If Warney had a musical written about him then James Hird could/should too.

    How did they only win one flag?

  4. Always looking for an Aaron Keating connection… the great thing about Keating’s AFL premiership in 1997 as a backup to Shaun Rehn and David Pittman was he then went back to Norwood the next week and won a premiership as the backup ruckman to Simon Eastaugh.

    Whatever happened to that Hird bloke?

  5. Did Sheeds not say of Mark Bolton “He is not the best footballer I ever coached, but he is the best person i ever coached.”

  6. Stone Cold Steve Baker says

    *wipes a tear*

    What a side!

    Summa the Plumma – as his work van decals said.

    Andrew Ukovic with the surname that lent itself to the derogatory description of his ability a little too easily.

    The People’s Elbow did a magnificent profile on Matthew Banks in The Guardian recently.

    Baby-faced assassins: Dean Solomon and Jason Johnson.

    Always had a lot of time for Berbakov as a player too.

  7. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks all. (Bruuuccce loved Berbakov from memory)

    I saw Fletcher’s last game, a mere 17 years later.

    Here’s the Elbow’s piece on Banks

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    And to be fair, it the Record scribe involved in all of the 1998 reviews was Greg Hobbs

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