AFL 1998 – Twenty Years On: West Coast Eagles (7th)

The Eagles were bobbing like a cork in the mid-table ocean as the new century beckoned.

Mighty Mick’s influence was waning but they had a couple of solid young citizens on the up in Cousins and Gardiner. Young Fletcher’s career hadn’t yet raised a blip on the footy records machine.

Of the fistful of these Eagles to move east after this, Jason Ball beat his old team for the 2005 flag, the G-Train bagged a couple of Colemans, Mitchell White couldn’t get onto Kardinia Park often enough, Gardiner proved to be no Saint and Schofield was a Port premier. Chad Morrison departed at precisely the wrong time. A few went into coaching.

Any other names here ring a personal bell?


AFL Debuts 1998: Jaxon Crabb, Todd Holmes, Rowan Jones, Andrew Williams

Kept Under Wraps 1998: David Antonowicz, Laurie Bellotti, Callum Chambers, Trent Cummings, Chad Fletcher, Todd Nener, Trent Simpson, Heath Younie

Never Heard of Him: Todd Holmes

Delisted at end of 1998: Trent Cummings, Tony Evans, Illja Grgic, Andy Lovell, Neil Marshall, Shane Sikora, Conrad Chambers, Todd Nener

Traded at end of 1998: Jarrad Schofield

Retirements at end of 1998: John Worsfold


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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. Interesting photo of Ben Cousins. I’d be surprised if this would be of use tracking him down nowadays.

    Daniel Metropolis, first five kicks, five goals. Not bad.

    Jaxon Crabb. Has there ever been another Jaxon in senior football ranks?

    Ilija Grgic : handy ruckman.

    Keep up the good work ‘Swish’. Would you be able to conjure up the VFL playing lists from 1968, a 50th anniversary present?!


  2. Tony Evans is Director of Football at Claremont.
    Drew Banfield and Ashley McIntosh were both Assistant Coaches of the mighty Swanny Tigers Yr 7’s when time permitted.
    Nick Stone has a Tyre Shop in Dunsborough.

  3. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks Glen! I’ll see what I can do. (Will the 1969 Carnival teams do instead? I’m working on that one.) UPDATE – all 12 lists are shown in the 1968 Grand Final Record, available on-line on the State Library of Victoria site.

    Cheesy, mate, is there anyone that *hasn’t* coached at the Swanny Tigers? Is his nickname “Bridge” or “Fire”?

  4. Yep Swish, the 1969 carnival listings would be a good perusal.

    It was held in your ‘City of Churches’, with the Big V romping it in.

    There were some interesting players, some who were good in the lesser leagues but never made it to the VFL, as well as some good cricketers. Look forward to it.


  5. I saw David Antonowicz play a couple of games for the Western Jets. I thought he was going to make it as a really good player at AFL level. Sliding doors: I wonder what might have happened had he been drafted to another club. He was last heard of a couple of years ago at Melton South in the Ballarat League

  6. Jaxon Crabb I recall had a brother named Jaymon who played in a couple of Australian Opens as a wildcard. Don’t think he made it inside the ATP top 200 though.

  7. Luke Reynolds says

    Had forgotten that Ilija Grgic and Anthony Lovell ended up at the Eagles. Well played with the Fletcher line.

    Glen- can’t think of another Jaxon, Jaxson Barham was as close as I could get.

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks again eagle-eyes. I completely missed that Jaxon (the only) Crabb spent a season at Alberton in 2002.

  9. Rowan Jones and Andrew Donnelly both went into finance, with rather different results.
    Rowan Jones B.Comm, CFP, GDip. App Fin is a successful investment adviser with a large firm and writes a weekly column in the Money section of the West Australian newspaper.
    Andrew Donnelly founded a large insurance broking business, but ran foul of the law in 2016 when a Supreme Court judge ruled he “knowingly aided the dishonest misuse of trust monies”.

  10. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks PB – I’ve noticed that there are many in these lists so far and to come that have had brushes with the law and/or have other reasons to be regarded as sh*t blokes. That’s my next task I think.

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