Crio’s Q: Regrets at Sunset

If, as the AFL dreamt, the rising Sun brought a new audience to footy’s coverage, at some stage those watchers must, like Karmichael Hunt and other notables, have questioned – Was this such a good idea?

As inglorious debuts go, team and stars “smoked it”. Saturday night’s debacle would take some beating.

Perhaps “the grass is not always greener…”?

Let’s commemorate those who’ve made a brave – nay, foolhardy – move, and recall inaugural performances and initiatives to forget.


  1. John Pitura’s move to the Tigers was always going to end badly.

  2. Peter Flynn says

    J Watkins

    Dr R Park

    Fred Tate (Manchester, 1902)

  3. What about the reverse green grass situation. That is, where the grass is really fu**ing green on the other side – see Brad Ottens.

  4. Andrew Fithall says

    Tiger Woods’ move to monogamy and then to abstinence (as if) has done his game no good.

  5. Dave Nadel says

    Bill Barrot’s move from Richmond to St Kilda

    Geoff Raines and Michael Richardson’s moves from Collingwood to Essendon (which was very good for the Pies but disastrous for the Dons and the players themselves)

  6. Captain Cook’s move to the Sandwich Islands.

    They put him in one didn’t they?

  7. #3 Dips,

    ‘fu**ing’ green. I trust that is ‘fulfillingly’

  8. Daaah! The no brainer. Fev to Brisbane.

  9. John Butler says

    Napoleon’s transfer to Russia didn’t go so well either.

  10. Andrew Else says

    Barry Young to Hawthorn after a breakout year in ’99 raised his currency…

  11. I still feel sick when I remember Dermie running around in a Collingwood jumper, and I don’t even barrack for Hawthorn. Then there’s Mick Martin in a Carlton jumper, and Carey plodding around for the Crows.

    Perhaps the saddest of all is the great Joe Louis making a comeback at the age of (about) 36 to pay his tax bill. It wasn’t a great idea. He fought Rocky Marciano in 1951 who knocked him out. The story goes that Louis was Marciano’s childhood hero and when Marciano knocked him out he returned to his dressing room and wept.

  12. Paul Daffey says

    Neville Fields to South Melbourne.

    Frank Marchesani to Carlton.

  13. Paul Daffey says

    Cheryl Kernot to the ALP.

  14. Another reverse (Dips #3) was Mario Bortolotto from Geelong to Carlton.


  15. smokie88 says

    Nathan Buckley to Collingwood rather than North.
    He could have been a dual premiership player.

  16. Andrew Fithall says

    Dips (#11) – Sav Rocca’s best year with Collingwood was when he had Dermie with him in the forward line. I reckon Tom Hawkins would similarly benefit if he was to have some sort of enforcer alongside taking a lot of the attention of the key backs. Unfortunately for TH, he is surrounded by Geelong players.

  17. #16 Andrew, Sav was a good target up forward for North but was crucified by Dean Laidley’s unfathomable selection policies.
    For Cats fans, I fear waiting for Tom to come good is akin to waiting for Godot.

  18. #16 AF – its a long way down.

  19. Andrew Fithall says

    I know Dips. I’ve been there. That is why I am keeping my eyes skyward.

  20. #16,

    lets hope he’s surrounded by Colliwobbles in the grand final Andrew.

    NB: Phantom was the first to mention Colliwobbles in 2011.

  21. Mark Branagan says

    After some very big predictions, Vladimir Petrov was a bit of a letdown apparently.

    “Diamond Jim” Tilbrook never quite took off after transferring as the highest paid player in history from Norwood to Melbourne, circa 1971. Another wayward investment from the Dees – later followed by the plunge on Carl Ditterich, plus Robert and Bruce Elliott.

    They did however adjust the ledger to a degree with Laurie Fowler (B&F 1975).

  22. Mark,
    John Tilbrook came over from Sturt after a string of Premierships. He flopped badly and then, I think, went off to try being a punter in American Football. Not sure how that worked out!Apparently hits a big golf ball to match those legendary torps of his prime.

  23. Alovesupreme says

    The (alleged) decision by Richmond recruiters not to pursue my idol, Ken Hunter: “we don’t chase half-back-flankers”.
    The Blues’ administration carelessness with brown paper bags.
    Carlton’s discarding Greg Williams the first time around.
    Footscray’s terrible record in letting go future Brownlow medallists probably wasn’t so much a matter of poor decisions, as something forced on them by circumstance.
    Smokie #15: Bucks would certainly have been a triple premiership player, if he’d stayed with the Bears, and I guess it could be argued that he would have been able to get Lions across the line against Port to make it four.

  24. smokie88 says

    #23 ALS, he may well have had the game stitched up by half-time to get us over the line in 98 against the Crows as well !

  25. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Barry Mitchell to Collingwood in 1993 was a waste of time and money.

    Philip Walsh going to Richmond in 1983 was not good for anybody.

    Brad Hardie to Collingwood for 2 games in 1992. What were they thinking?

  26. John Butler says

    Glenn Hawker to Carlton.

    Mick McGuane to Carlton.

    Stephen Reilly to Carlton.

    All = Jack Elliot too late to leave Carlton.

  27. Dave Nadel says

    #16 Full forwards who need enforcers alongside them before they can play their best football are more suited to playing as punters for American Football teams than playing Aussie Rules.

    “Nuts” Coventry didn’t need an enforcer, neither did Peter McKenna or even ANTHONY Rocca. Chris Dawes doesn’t either. I agree with you Andrew about Dermie’s influence on Sav’s career but it doesn’t say much for Sav.

  28. Andrew Fithall says

    Hana Mandlikova struggled after her transfer to Australia.

  29. ‘Nuts’ Coventry was surrounded by enforcers Dave. And he were one.

  30. At what stage do you reckon the Suns’ skipper would have had that classic Saturday night lament…”what have I done”?
    Ch10 probably thought similarly as the Freo game was a beauty.

  31. #30,

    I can’t answer the exact time for your first bit Crio, but I sure hope it is ‘Ground Hog Day’.

  32. Dave Nadel says

    #29 That is my point Phantom. Nuts looked after himself, he didn’t need a virtually retired player from another club to do it for him!

  33. Dave,

    is this heading towards the point that if a player does not run around being a thug but rather is a ball player they are some sort of failure.

    That sort of behaviour may be popular with a lot of game plans but it’s not much fun taking the player to hospital with their face caved in because a coward hit him.

    Some players are not bullies, are not interested in fighting and just want to chase (and get) the ball. I think the bashers are the failures not the ball players.

    Just a thought.

  34. Dave Nadel says

    #33 I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to say that Bill. My real criticism of Sav Rocca was that he seemed to be a one trick pony. He would lead for the ball, if he missed the mark or was jostled off the ball he never seemed to have a second effort to retrieve the ball off the ground as his younger brother would do regularly.

    Peter McKenna was one of the fairest players to play for the Magpies.He never indulged in rough stuff but he couldn’t be intimidated out of a contest either. I regard the fact that Sav had his best season when he was playing alongside Dermott Brereton to be a very revealing fact about Sav. Sav was a wonderful kick and I think the fact that he is now playing a sport where the only thing he has to do is kick might be an appropriate use of his talent.

  35. #15. Smokie, if Buckley had just stayed where he was (Brisbane), who would’ve been a TRIPLE-premiership player.

  36. Allen Jakovich to Footscray on 1996. That move was such a bad one that Footscray had to change their name at the end of that season.

  37. Jeff Dunne to Richmond (101 games for St Kilda, 1 for Richmond)
    Andrew Cross to Richmond (50 games for St Kilda & Fitzroy, 1 for Richmond)
    Noel Mugavin to Richmond (41 games for Fitzroy, 2 for Richmond)
    Jason Baldwin to Richmond (125 games for Fitzroy, 2 for Richmond)
    Ian Baker to Richmond (50 games for St Kilda, 3 for Richmond)
    Kent Kingsley to Richmond (122 games for North & Geelong, 3 for Richmond)
    Paul Hudson to Richmond (242 games for Hawthorn an Footscray, 3 for Richmond)
    Peter McCormack to Richmond (160 games for Collingwood, 4 for Richmond)
    Rod Oborne to Richmond (87 games for Collingwood, 5 for Richmond)
    Steven O’Dwyer to Richmond (84 games for Melbourne, 5 for Richmond)
    Simon Eishold to Richmond (77 games for Melbourne, 5 for Richmond)
    Barry Grinter to Richmond (78 games for Essendon, 6 for Richmond)
    Darryl Sutton to Richmond (91 games for North, 6 for Richmond)
    Ross Brewer to Richmond (168 games for Melbourne & Collingwood, 6 for Richmond)
    Simon Fletcher to Richmond (84 games for Carlton, 6 for Richmond)
    Paul Feltham to Richmond (128 games for North, 7 for Richmond)
    Gary Parkes to Richmond (96 games for Essendon, 6 for Richmond)
    Darryl Cowie to Richmond (56 games for St Kilda, 7 for Richmond)
    Richard Murrie to Richmond (103 games for Footscray & Geelong, 8 for Richmond)
    Alan Noonan to Richmond (182 games for Essendon, 10 for Richmond)
    Terry Wallace (player) to Richmond (174 games for Hawthorn, 11 for Richmond)
    Terry Wallace (coach) to Richmond (Consecutive PF’s for Footscray, disaster for Richmond)

    Not that I’m trying to pick on Richmond on anything…

  38. Buckley @ Collingwood.

    Premierships played: nil.

    Premierships coached: nil.

    He may be remembered as a person who’s timing (not his own fault) gave him a disappointing footy career with no personal holy grail.

  39. John Butler says

    Gigs, that’s not only astonishing, it deserves a full article of its own.

  40. Most blokes are happy to have a shed to hide away in Gigs, you must have an archive to secrete yourself into.

  41. #39 – I’ll try and get there one day, JB.

    #40 – Phantom, it’s an archival shed.

  42. Gigs,

    ‘if my memory serves me well’ Jeff Dunne is now coaching North Launceston whose home ground is York Park. (Aurora Stadium)

    (This Will’s on fire (Cryptic))

  43. Paul Daffey says


    That’s terrible.

  44. Paul Daffey says


    I agree that Mario Bortolotto wasn’t much chop (great expression, though not sure of its origin), but he did play in two flags, in 1981 and 82.

    But then Daryl Freame played in Richmond’s 80 flag team.

    Crio, a future thread might be unlikely (kind term) premiership players.

  45. Paul Daffey says

    The big one for this thread, as far as I’m concerned, is Geoff Raines. And more’s the pity.

    Raines is one of the top few players I’ve seen in a Richmond jumper. He could do anything in his prime. A measure of his worth is that he won 3 BFs in a team that was always around the mark.

    He would swoop on the ball around the centre, run 10 metres and — at top speed – kick a beautiful, low, curling drop punt 60 metres to the top of the goalsquare. He conferred a 70-metre advantage whenever he got the ball.

    Not bad in the air, either.

    It saddens me that he’s remembered as the player who went to Collingwood for money in 1983 and then apparently derailed Essendon’s premiership hopes in 1986.

    Yes, he was no good at both clubs, but he did win a BF in his Brisbane Bears years, and that’s the way I prefer to remember him.

    From what I understand, he went to Collingwood in a huff because Richmond brought in Maurice Rioli to play in the centre. I just wish he’d stayed at Punt Road and become the best wingman or half-back flanker in the competition.

    The business about him and Mike Richardson upsetting Essendon is a shocker. The players apparently blamed that duo for pushing out popular players Steve Carey and Peter Bradbury.

    Collingwood didn’t want Raines and Richardson. It’s not their fault that Sheeds wanted them at the expense of the other two, who were apparently great blokes while Raines and Richardson were just good-looking.

    Anyway, vote one Geoff Raines.

  46. Daff #44,

    yes Daff thats what I was saying. It was the issue Dips raised regarding players that succeeded. His example was Brad Ottens who perhaps did not live up to great expectations at Tigerland yet played in two (soon to be three) flags at Sleepy Hollow.

    Mario Bortolotto was not a star at Geelong but slipped over to Carlton and got two premiership medals (One was recently mentioned by David Parkin where he forgot he was on the bench and he didn’t get a run – but got the gong)

    PS. Not much chop is now possibly related to what you get for a lobster, $20.00. Sheep are now pulling $180.00 on the hoof in Tassie sale yards.

    While on the subject of lobsters, Daff, I had a 2 kilo one delivered to my back door last night; without notice. Well taken with lime juice, balsamic vinegar and cracked pepper on fresh sesame seed bread, fresh orange juice and strong perked black coffee, if you remember.

  47. Dave Nadel says

    #45 It wasn’t quite that Collingwood didn’t want Raines and Richardson. That is an oversimplification.

    After the New Magpies had bankrupted the club (partly by paying too much for players from other clubs like Raines) the players voted to accept a pay cut to enable all players to stay at the club and the club to field a competitive team. Raines and Richardson refused to voluntarily cut their pay, which was their right, and instead chose to leave Collingwood.

    Everyone in football at the time knew what had happened at Collingwood so when Raines and Richardson arrived at Essendon they were seen as mercenaries. To the rest of the Bombers’ players it looked as if two popular players, who would have played for the love of the guernsey, were being pushed out for two more talented mercenaries.

    Raines was a gifted footballer and he did play well for the early Bears, nevertheless for most of his career he seemed to be extraordinarily fond of a dollar. Perhaps Tony Roberts could tell of his experiences with the Raines family rorting the system so Geoff could claim an undeserved student allowance in the late 70s.

  48. You have a sharp memory and a way with words, Commerade Nadel

  49. smokie88 says

    #45. Daff, surely winning a B & F at the Bears was akin to a basketballer winning an MVP with the Washington Generals ?

  50. Paul Daffey says


    I bow to your knowledge. I suppose my main point is that he was a gun at Richmond but that’s forgotten amid the other stuff.


    You must have forgotten Mark Withers.

  51. Greg Miller to Richmond – brings Carey and Longmire to North without so much as using a draft pick; brings Jared Oakley-Nicholls and Richard Tambling using 2x top-ten picks to Richmond

    Denis Pagan to Carlton – 2 Premierships and 7 consecutive Prelims at North, consecutive spoons at Carlton

    One wonders whether these two were in fact trojan horses sent into the clubs on instruction from a devious North Melbourne …

  52. Alovesupreme says

    Reverend Shinboner,
    There have been a couple of attempts to develop the concept of “fanzines” in Australia, mimicking the establishment of some excellent publications in the UK. I guess there, as here, the rise of the supporter website has made print versions redundant. What this is leading up to is a conspiracy theory I saw aired in a late ’90s Richmond fanzine. The writer hadn’t forgiven Robert Walls for his time at Tigerland, but was drawing solace from what he viewed as the Tigers’ revenge, with Barry Richardson wreaking havoc on the Blues from his post on the match committee – chairman of selectors at one stage, iirc.
    I’m not endorsing or disputing the opinion which the bold tiger was expressing, merely reporting a case where sabotage was implied.

  53. Ian Syson says

    Was Roy Keane’s foray into management a good idea? Did well with Sunderland but lost his nerve (hard to imagine I admit) and stuffed up completely at Ipswich. Now he’s coming to Melbourne Victory!!!!

    What say you TomR?

  54. #21 & 22. Diamond Jim Tilbrook might not have been the hit Melbourne had hoped for on the field, but he made it big in another way. A “Rogers” caricature of him appeared in the 1974(?) series of Kellogg’s Footy Star stickers. It’s still on the side of the fridge at Mum and Dad’s house along with a bunch of others including Don Scott, Bruce Nankervis etc.

  55. #43. Daff, what’s terrible? The fact that there were so many on the list or the fact that I was picking on Richmond.

    In fairness, you could probably make a similar list for most clubs. I might have a go at that when I get a free moment and see if Richmond’s record is as bad as I’ve made it look.

    (Where do I go to get a research grant for this sort of thing?)

  56. #10. Andrew, Barry Young’s move to Drysdale didn’t fare much better. Slotted into an undefeated line-up in the run up to the finals. Played minimal time to qualify for finals (quarters, not games). The Hawks lost in the Grannie to Ocean Grove by nearly 10 goals.

Leave a Comment