Almanac Teams: Players that played for three clubs in three years




St Kilda’s Garry Sidebottom [Source: Author]


My first team for 2023 is one based on players that have appeared for three clubs in three years.


Similar to the jumper teams, this side is from around 1980 onwards.


From my searching there have been 31 players since 1980 to have played for three clubs in three years.


It includes four players that ran out for three clubs in just two years; this was when you could swap clubs mid-year in the 1980s. The list also contains one who played with four clubs in four years. Three coaches and club captains feature and there are five premiership players.  Jacob Townsend is the most recent.



FB:     Mark Athorn (Foots/Fitz/Syd/Carl)    Peter McCormack (Coll/Rich/Fitz)    Brenton Sanderson (Adel/Coll/Geel)


CHB: Dale Kickett (Fitz/WCE/St.K)               Stuart Wigney (Foots/Syd/Adel)        Richard Osborne (Fitz/Syd/Foots)


C:       David Calthorpe (Ess/Bris/NM)           Geoff Raines (Coll/Ess/Bris)               Paul Morwood (St.K/Syd/Coll)


CHF: Jim Edmond (Foots/Syd/Bris)              Gary Sidebottom (St.K/Geel/Fitz)     Mike Richardson (Coll/Ess/Bris)


FF:     Kevin Caton (WCE/Fitz/Bris)               Mark Jackson (Melb/St.K/Geel)         Rod Owen (St.K/Melb/Bris)


Ruck: Jon Giles (GWS/Ess/WCE)                   Terry Wallace (Haw/Rich/Foots)       Barry Mitchell (Syd/Coll/Carl)


Interchange: Adrian Fletcher (Geel/St.K/Bris), Ben Hudson (WB/Bris/Coll), Grant Thomas (St.K/NM/Fitz), Jacob Townsend (Rich/Ess/GCS)


Other squad members are: Ian Downsborough (WCE/PA/Adel), Jamie Duursma (Syd/Bris/Melb)  Brendan Krummel (WCE/Freo/Haw), Michael Lockman (Rich/Coll/Syd), Darren Ogier (Carl/NM/Syd) Robert Pyman (NM/Coll/Melb), Michael Roberts (St.K/Rich/Fitz), John Rombotis (Fitz/PA/Rich), Matthew Ryan (Coll/Syd/Bris)



Mark Athorn

1 Game Footscray 1989

21 Games Fitzroy 1990

15 Games Sydney 1991

20 Games Carlton 1992


Athorn started at the Bulldogs in 1987 and played 17 games before he was delisted. He was drafted with Pick 51 in the Preseason Draft by Fitzroy and after 21 games for the year was let go. Pick 8 in the 1991 Preseason Draft for Sydney snagged him next, but he was again delisted after one season (and this time 15 games). Carlton took him with Pick 5 in the 1992 Preseason Draft and there he played 30 games over two seasons. His last game was the 1993 Grand Final. Athorn did not play a game in 1994 and ended his VFL/AFL career with 83 games in total.



Peter McCormack

25 Games Collingwood 1984

16 Games Collingwood 1985

4 Games Richmond 1986

1 Game Fitzroy 1986


McCormack played 160 games for Collingwood in ten seasons, before he became one of many player movements in the Richmond/Collingwood war aged 29. After playing the first four games of 1986 season he was traded to Fitzroy for one game in Round 11 and finished with 165 in total.



Brenton Sanderson

2 Games Adelaide 1993

4 Games Collingwood 1994

13 Games Geelong 1995


Sanderson played six games in two seasons at Adelaide, four at Collingwood and 199 games in eleven seasons at Geelong for 209 in total. Sanderson coached Adelaide and was an assistant at both the Crows and Collingwood.



Dale Kickett

15 Games Fitzroy 1990

2 Games West Coast 1991

21 Games St Kilda 1992


Kickett was drafted with Pick 9 by Fitzroy and played 15 games at the club. Homesick in Melbourne, Kickett was traded to West Coast but played just two games at his second home. Delisted, he was next drafted with Pick 38 in the 1992 Preseason Draft by the Saints and played 21 games. Kickett returned to WA again in 1993 and played for Claremont in the WAFL Essendon picked him up in mid-1993. Nine games in 1994 were all he managed for Essendon and after four seasons and four clubs, Kickett finally found his home in the newly formed Fremantle Football Club where he played 135 games for 181 in total.



Stuart Wigney

6 Games Footscray 1991

1 Game Sydney 1992

5 Games Adelaide 1993


Wigney played 47 games in four seasons at Footscray before he was traded to Sydney where he played one game in 1992. He was traded to Adelaide where he played 10 games in two seasons before he finished at Richmond where he played 14 games in two seasons; a total of 72 games.



Richard Osborne

16 Games Fitzroy 1992

16 Games Sydney 1993

18 Games Footscray 1994


Richard Osborne played 187 games in eleven seasons at Fitzroy and captained the club in 1991. He requested a trade at conclusion of 1992 to Collingwood or Essendon but as this fell through he was  taken by Sydney in the Preseason Draft with Pick 1. After one season in NSW Osborne returned to Melbourne and had three years for 51 games at Footscray and two final stints at Collingwood for 283 games in total.



David Calthorpe

21 Games Essendon 1998

9 Games Brisbane 1999

13 Games North Melbourne 2000


Calthorpe was a premiership player and EJ Whitten Medallist at Essendon in 92 games and seven seasons. Calthorpe left Essendon and was drafted with Pick 1 in the 1998 Preseason Draft by Brisbane where he played nine games. He was traded to North Melbourne for one season and thirteen games for a total of 114 games.



Geoff Raines

18 Games Collingwood 1985

2 Games Collingwood 1986

14 Games Essendon 1986

19 Games Brisbane 1987


Geoff Raines played 134 games at Richmond and was a Best & Fairest winner in their 1980 Premiership season. He joined Collingwood amid the trading rivalry in 1983 and played 45 games in three seasons before he quit the Magpies after Round 2, 1986 due to financial issues at Collingwood. Raines joined Essendon from Round 4, 1986 but after an average season he joined the newly formed Brisbane Bears in 1987 where he played 59 games in three seasons for a total of 254.



Paul Morwood

22 Games St Kilda 1985

10 Games Sydney 1986

15 Games Collingwood 1987


Morwood played 85 games from 1977 to 1982 at South Melbourne/Sydney, alongside brothers Tony and Shane. Morwood crossed to St Kilda without a clearance where he played 60 games in three seasons. He then returned to Sydney in 1986 under Dr Edelstein’s regime’s recruiting but was sacked mid-year after ten games due to financial concerns. Paul joined Brother Shane for 15 games in 1987 to finish with 170.



Jim Edmond

22 Games Footscray 1985

17 Games Sydney 1986

12 Games Brisbane 1987


Edmond had nine seasons at Footscray for 154 games and was captain from 1983-1985. Edmond was recruited by the Swans in 1986 but lasted only one season before he was traded to the inaugural Brisbane Bears’ side where he played 17 games in two seasons for a total of 188.



Gary Sidebottom

14 Games St Kilda 1980

7 Games Geelong 1981

7 Games Fitzroy 1982


Sidebottom played 54 games in three seasons at St Kilda, then joined Geelong in 1981 for seven games. Sidebottom moved to Fitzroy for 43 games in three seasons after he missed a bus at Geelong for the 1981 Preliminary Final!



Mike Richardson

21 Games Collingwood 1985

1 Game Collingwood 1986

15 Games Collingwood 1986

22 Games Brisbane 1987


Richardson played 60 games in three seasons at Collingwood and after playing Round 1, 1986 against Essendon, he followed Raines to Essendon after financial concerns at Victoria Park. He played 15 games at Essendon in 1986 and was another traded to the Bears in 1987 for 81 games over four seasons and 156 in total.



Kevin Caton

1 Game West Coast 1988

9 Games Fitzroy 1989

8 Games Brisbane 1990


Caton played for three clubs, in three states, over three years for a total of 18 games. He remained on the Brisbane list in 1991 but did not play.



Mark Jackson

19 Games Melbourne 1982

10 Games St Kilda 1983

19 Games Geelong 1984


Jackson played 41 games in two seasons, but seemingly tested the patience of Ron Barassi a little too much and was traded to St Kilda where he played 12 games before he was sacked mid-season. He moved to Geelong for 31 games in three seasons for a total of 82.



Rod Owen

4 Games St Kilda 1990

9 Games Melbourne 1991

9 Games Brisbane 1992


Owen played 60 games in seven seasons at St Kilda before he was traded to Melbourne where he played nine games in one season. Owen lastly had one season at Brisbane for nine games and 78 all up.



Jon Giles

9 Games GWS 2014

3 Games Essendon 2015

4 Games West Coast 2016


Giles was on Port Adelaide’s list for four seasons but did not get a game. After leaving SA, he became an inaugural Giant where he played 51 games in three seasons. Giles was next traded to Essendon for three games in 2015 and subsequently nine games in two seasons at West Coast for a total of 63 games.



Terry Wallace

21 Games Hawthorn 1986

11 Games Richmond 1987

21 Games Footscray 1988


Wallace played 174 games with Hawthorn where he won three premierships and two Best & Fairests. After a falling out with Allan Jeans, Wallace joined Richmond for 11 games in one season in what was a largely unsuccessful stint. When he next joined Footscray in 1988 it was something of a return to form where he won another Best & Fairest. Wallace played 254 games in total and also coached the Dogs and Tigers.



Barry Mitchell

22 Games Sydney 1992

13 Games Collingwood 1993

21 Games Carlton 1994


Barry played 170 games with Sydney from 1984-1992 and won a Best & Fairest in 1991. Mitchell tried to join Greg Williams in 1993 but was instead drafted by Collingwood where he played 13 games before he was traded to Carlton for 38 games in three seasons and 221 in total.



Adrian Fletcher

6 Games Geelong 1991

22 Games St Kilda 1992

20 Games Brisbane 1993


Fletcher initially played 23 games in three seasons at Geelong, he was traded to St Kilda where he played 22 games in 1992 before he was surprisingly delisted. Fletcher then played 86 games in five years at Brisbane and 79 more for Fremantle in four seasons. He captained the Dockers in 2000-2001 and played 231 games in total.



Ben Hudson

17 Games Western Bulldogs 2011

18 Games Brisbane 2012

7 Games Collingwood 2013


Hudson played 55 games in four seasons at Adelaide, he then play 88 games in four seasons before his first retirement. He moved to Brisbane in 2011 to be a ruck coach but was coaxed out of retirement for 18 games. Hudson retired again at end of 2012 but this time Collingwood convinced him to make one final comeback for seven games in 2013 and a total of 168.



Grant Thomas

9 Games St Kilda 1983

7 Games North Melbourne 1984

4 Games Fitzroy 2015


Thomas played 72 games in six seasons at St Kilda, before one season each at North and Fitzroy for total of 83 games. He later coachedthe Saints.



Jacob Townsend

1 Game Richmond 2019

12 Games Essendon 2020

2 Games Gold Coast 2021


Townsend was an inaugural GWS Giant in 28 games over four years, he made the move to Richmond next for 20 games in four seasons including the 2017 Premiership. After 12 games in 2020 at Essendon he was delisted and Rookie Listed by Gold Coast where he had one season for two games and 62 in total.



Ian Downsborough

19 Games West Coast 1996

7 Games Port Adelaide 1997

8 Games Adelaide 1998


Downsborough played 20 games in two seasons at West Coast before he was traded to Port Adelaide for Pick 1 (which was used on Michael Gardiner). He had just seven games at Port before he joined crosstown rivals Adelaide in 1998 where he played 12 games in two seasons for total of 39. Downsborough holds the distinction of the first player to represent both Port Adelaide and Adelaide in the AFL.



Jamie Duursma

7 Games Sydney 1986

1 Game Brisbane 1987

13 Games Melbourne 1988


Duursma had two seasons and 25 games at Sydney, before he too went north in 1987 with Brisbane…however he played just one game out of Carrara. He joined Melbourne for 33 games in two seasons, including the 1988 Grand Final, before persistent knee injuries forced his retirement after 59 games.



Brendan Krummel

1 Game West Coast 1994

1 Game Fremantle 1995

11 Games Hawthorn 1996


Krummel had nine games in three seasons at Hawthorn before he joined Fremantle’s inaugural list for one game in 1995. Krummel was delisted but was surprisingly scooped up with Pick 5 by old coach Ken Judge in the 1995 National Draft where he played 64 games in five seasons for 74 in total.



Michael Lockman

3 Games Richmond 1986

8 Games Collingwood 1986

7 Games Collingwood 1987

11 Games Sydney 1988


Lockman played one game in 1983 at Richmond before he returned in 1986 for three games from Rounds 1-3. He joined Collingwood in mid-1986 and played 15 games before he later went Sydney for 11 games and 30 in total.



Darren Ogier

8 Games Carlton 1987

2 Games North Melbourne 1988

8 Games Sydney 1989


Ogier had 13 games in three seasons at Carlton before one season each at North Melbourne and Sydney for 23 games in total.



Robert Pyman

3 Games North Melbourne 1995

5 Games Collingwood 1996

19 Games Melbourne 1997


Pyman was a high profile high pick for North Melbourne, where he had 16 games in three seasons before he spent one season each at Collingwood and Melbourne for 40 games all up.



Michael Roberts

14 Games St Kilda 1985

12 Games Richmond 1986

2 Games Fitzroy 1987


Roberts played 77 games at St Kilda from 1978-1985 before he joined Richmond in 1986 aged 26. Another player who only lasted one season at Richmond in the 1980s, Roberts went on to play two games at Fitzroy for a career total of 91.



John Rombotis

22 Games Fitzroy 1996

9 Games Port Adelaide 1997

5 Games Richmond 1998


Rombotis had 26 games in two years at Fitzroy and had very good 1996 in what was the Roys last AFL season. He was Port Adelaide’s first ever draftee at Pick 6 but lasted only one season for nine games before he went to Richmond for 13 games over three seasons and 48 in total.



Matthew Ryan

2 Games Collingwood 1989

10 Games Sydney 1990

16 Games Brisbane 1991


Ryan had five seasons at Collingwood for 45 games before he joined Sydney for ten games and after he was delisted again, headed to Brisbane for 18 games in two seasons and 73 total games.



Alan Richardson (Coach)

Assistant coach Carlton 2012

1 Game as Coach of Port Adelaide after he was appointed Director of Football 2013

22 Games as St Kilda coach 2014


I could not find a coach who quite met the criteria but Richardson was the closest. Having been an assistant at Carlton 2012, he coached one game at Port Adelaide while Ken Hinkley was ill in 2013 and was then appointed Saints senior coach in 2014.



There are a few near misses where players where at a club one of the three years but did not play a game. The best example is Dermott Brereton, who was at Hawthorn in 1993 but did not play a game before he joined Sydney in 1994 and Collingwood in 1995.


There are two high profile examples that crossed from 1970s to 1980s that I would have put in if didn’t have enough players. Phil Carman 1978 Collingwood, 1979 Melbourne and 1980 Essendon and Len Thompson 1978 Collingwood, 1979 South Melbourne and 1980 Fitzroy.




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  1. A great piece of research Rodney. I’ve got one more name for you: the late, great Billy Barrot. Billy’s last year at Richmond was 1970, after which the Tigers’ patience wore thin with his erratic form. He was swapped to St Kilda in a (then) mega-trade for Ian Stewart who, at that time, was known only as “dual Brownlow Medallist, Ian Stewart”. It’s now history that Stewie joined the elite “Triple Brownlow Medallist” club in season 1971, but things didn’t work out so well for Billy.

    At his new home in Moorabbin, he played only a handful of games and it appeared his inconsistency was the only consistent thing about him. He was eventually cleared to Carlton in a 1971 mid-year clearance sale. Fortunately, Billy found a bit of form at Princes Park and he played a dozen or so good games. It was a short honeymoon with the Blues though, and in 1972, Billy teamed up with Big Bob Johnson at Oakleigh. If there’s a footballer who can lay claim to the song “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man”, it’s the late and greatly missed Billy Barrot.

  2. Thanks Ian, Billy is a great one for this.
    It’s sad how his career finished abruptly really after just over12 months from winning a flag

  3. Interesting team Rodney. Have you put together a team of players who played for two clubs in a season?

    I recall way back in 1971 the ubiquitous Billy Barrot, as well Chris Mitchell both playing for Carlton that season. As Ian mentioned Billy Barrot started the season at St Kilda, though only lasted 2 games before going to Carlton. After two seasons out of football Chris Mitchell returned to Geelong for the season opener: before the season was over he was also at Carlton, with his best game for them being against Geelong at Princess Park.

    Neither of these chaps played VFL in 1972.

    There are more examples, John Scarlett being leased from Geelong to South Melbourne in 1977 being an obvious one.

    Anyhow that’s my two bobs worth.


  4. Thanks Glen, that’s a great idea for a side I had not thought of.
    Though nothing I imagine since 1990, still close to a side since 1980 with the likes of Raines, Greene, Richardson and top the side up with your examples

    Will research it and come up with something during the year.

  5. Ta Rodney, there’d be a few chaps in the 80’s who would slot into a team like this. Mid season change of clubs was not uncommon then.

    I made a slight error about Chris Mitchell’s two seasons out of football; 1969-1970. He was actually playing in the West. Being 8 back in 1971 my mind was still, umm, developing.

    I do recall his Carlton debut being against Geelong at Princess Park. He kicked 5 that day, his best game for Carlton. For his former club Doug Wade kicked 8 in a losing score.

    Keep up the good work.


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