Almanac Teams: Round 1 debuts since 1980 (Part 3 – 2001 to 2010)




Geelong would beat West Coast at Kardinia Park in Round 1 by 66 points. West Coast would debut future premiership player Daniel Kerr who had 22 disposals and kicked one goal. Also on debut was 29 year old key forward Troy Wilson who had seven disposals and went goalless. Wilson would end up playing 37 games in three years for 83 goals.


Other notable debut in Round 1  are Daniel Harris (NM) and Ryan Lonie (Coll)


Forgotten 2001 debut is Dylan Smith who would debut for North Melbourne and play 21 games in four seasons at North Melbourne and Fremantle





Previous year runner up Essendon would beat Geelong by 50 points in Round 1, however Geelong would three players with two of them being future premiership players and Brownlow Medallists. Gary Ablett had eight disposals on debut while Jimmy Bartel had 13 disposals on debut. The other debutant David Johnson had six disposals and would play 79 games in eight seasons.


Steven Armstrong had 10 disposals and a goal for Melbourne in their 26 point win over Hawthorn, Armstrong would play 13 games for the season before suffering some leg injuries from the Bali Bombing later in the year. Armstrong would play 79 games for Melbourne and West Coast and was part of 2006 premiership. Hawthorn would debut Mark Williams who on debut would have just one tackle but would play 115 games and play in 2008 premiership.


Other notable debut in Round 1 were David Rodan (Rich), Ryan Hargrave (WB), Paul Medhurst & Graham Polak (Frem)


Forgotten 2002 debut is Ricky Mott who had 9 disposals and 38 hit outs on debut for Sydn3ey and would play 19 games for Sydney and Carlton





The biggest man to play AFL 20 year old Aaron Sandilands debut against Adelaide with 8 disposals and 13 hit outs.


Carlton would debut Jarrad Waite, son of Vin against Sydney where he had ten disposals and kicked 0.2, his lesser known team mate debutant Jonathon McCormick had 19 disposals and kicked two goals. McCormick would play 26 games in total.


Other notable debuts in Round 1 were Daniel Wells (NM), Steven Salopek (PA), Adam Schneider (Syd) and Mark Jamar (Melb)


Forgotten 2003 debuts players are Barry Brooks (St.K) who would play 10 games from 2003-2007 and Matthew Lokan (Coll) who played 46 games in three seasons.





Number 1 draft pick and future Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney debut for Western Bulldogs against West Coast at Dockland gathering 8 disposals and kicking one goal in a 7 point loss.


Melbourne would debut livewire rookie 20 year old debut Aaron Davey who would have 13 disposals and kick one goal.


Other notable debuts in Round 1  were Paul Bevan (Syd), Jacob Surjan (PA) and Nathan Lovett-Murray and Brent Stanton (Ess)


Forgotten 2004 debut is Brent Hartigan who would 35 games in four seasons at Richmond.




The first of the Selwood brothers made their debut in Round 1 with 20 year old twin Troy picked for Brisbane in the season opener. Troy would have 8 disposals in the 23 point win over St Kilda. Eddie Betts debut for Carlton the next day and kicked his first two goals in a 20 point loss to North Melbourne. Lance Franklin would debut against his future side Sydney and had six disposals and did not trouble the scorer.  Number 1 draft pick Brett Deledio would have 9 disposals on debut in 62 point loss to Geelong.



Other notable debuts in Round 1  are Angus Monfries (Ess) and Matthew Egan (Geel)


Forgotten 2005 debuts are Hawthorn pair Josh Thurgood who played 13 games in three seasons and Harry Miller 18 games in two seasons.





Number 1 draft pick Marc Murphy helped Carlton beat Melbourne with 17 disposals and a goal. On a Monday night Number 2 pick Dale Thomas became an instant fan favourite for Collingwood with 16 disposals and two goals. Adelaide would beat Collingwood at Dockland with Bernie Vince on debut having 3 disposals.


Other notable debuts in Round 1  are Mitch Clark (Bne), Paddy Ryder (Ess), Josh Gibson (NM) and Grant Birchall (Haw)





Eventual premiers Geelong lost their Round 1 match to Western Bulldogs at Docklands by 20 points. On debut would be Rising Star winner and 2022 premiership captain Joel Selwood who had 8 disposals on debut.  Number 1 draft pick Bryce Gibbs had 11 disposals and kicked 1 goal against Richmond in a 17 point win.


Other notable debuts in are Lachlan Hansen (NM), Lindsay Thomas (NM), and Mitch Brown (WCE)


Forgotten 2007 debuts is Adam Cockshell who played the first two games of 2007 for Port Adelaide and that was it.





Eventual premiers Hawthorn would debut two indigenous small forwards from Tiwi Island & Darwin in Round 1. Only 12 days separated them in age with Cyril Rioli having 14 disposals and kicking a goal and playing eventually in four premierships. Cameron Stokes would have ten disposals and kick two goals. Stokes would play 20 games in three seasons and the Qualifying Final in 2008. Hawthorn beat Melbourne by 104 points.


Future St Kilda captain Jarryn Geary had a great start to his career with 21 disposals in a 2 point win over the Swans. Reigning premiers Geelong would debut Trent West in the ruck with Ottens out injured. West would have 7 disposals and 4 hit outs in a 9 point win in the Grand Final rematch. West would play 70 games in nine seasons at Geelong & Port Adelaide.


Other notable debuts in are Nathan Brown (Coll), Craig Bird (Syd), David Mackay (Adel), Kurt Tippett (Adel) and Scott Thompson (NM)


Forgotten 2008 debut is Isaac Weetra who played the first two games of the 2008 season for Melbourne





Mitch Robinson had a dream debut for Carlton against Richmond collecting 13 disposals and kicking 3 goals in 83 point win over Richmond. Robinson debuts teammates included Jeff Garlett who kicked one goal among 10 disposals, Aaron Joseph who had 10 disposals and Sam Jacobs who had 8 disposals and 20 hit outs. One of Jacobs’s opponents on the night was also on debut in Andrew Browne who had 4 disposals and 3 hit outs and would play 12 games in three seasons.


Reigning premiers Hawthorn would play three debutants in Round 1 in Ryan Schoenmakers who had 5 disposals, Matt Suckling who had 14 disposals and Brendan Whitecross who had 10 disposals. Hawthorn though would go down to Geelong by 8 points.


2009 Rising star winner Daniel Rich would start his career with 9 point win over West Coast and 21 disposals


Other notable debuts include Taylor Walker (Adel), Neville Jetta (Melb), Michael Hurley (Frem) and Nick Suban (Frem)





Richmond played Carlton in the now traditional season opener of 2010 and would debut future Brownlow and Norm Smith Medallist Dustin Martin who had 18 disposals in the 56 point loss. Also on debut for Richmond were cult figures Ben Nason who had 10 disposals and one goal and Relton Roberts who had 7 disposals. Nason would play 23 games in two season and Roberts two games.


Melbourne would debut Number 1 & 2 draft picks Tom Scully who had 20 disposals and Jack Trengove who had 23 disposals in a 56 point loss to Hawthorn. James Strauss was another high draft pick to debut that day with nine disposals but would play just 24 games in four seasons. 22 year old Michael Barlow debut for Fremantle against Adelaide with 33 disposals and 2 goals. Other debutants this day for Fremantle would be injury ridden high draft pick Anthony Morabito (26 games) with 13 disposals and 1 goal and Alex Silvagni (60 games) with 11 disposals and 1 goal.


Other notable debuts in  are Mitch Duncan (Geel), Ben Howlett (Ess), Lewis Jetta (Syd), Luke Shuey (WCE), Jackson Trengove (PA) and Ryan Bastinac (NM)




Part 1:  1980 – 1989 can be read Here.


Part 2: 1990 – 2000 can be read Here


More from Rodney Here



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