Delisting can be cruel!

It’s a difficult time of year for many players when AFL clubs have to finalise their playing lists for the following season.


Some players become reliable and faithful servants of their clubs without creating a great deal of fuss. They often are those in and out players, who play a couple of good games then it’s back to the VFL but in a sense they are the backbone of many clubs, the unsung heroes.


They are allocated a role to play, which may change from week to week, and generally do a good job fulfilling those expectations giving their heart and soul to the game hoping to make it as a “player”. Others gain a lot of stature  within the club and with supporters for being  good honest toilers who always perform to the best of their ability without starring  becoming fan favourites.


As a supporter it is sometimes difficult to come to terms with  the reasons a club  decides upon that a player no longer fits in with a club’s requirements and subsequently delists them.


Some decisions you can understand but others leave you wondering. And I must admit I was somewhat baffled when I heard Essendon had advised Mitch Brown he would not be offered a contract in 2020.


I thought Brown had performed admirably in the games he played, though, often in trying conditions. One moment back, next moment forward. A good mark, and a good kick for goal, I felt he was never really given the opportunity to settle down in a forward role where I believed he was best suited.


I can only assume Essendon made that decision with the retention of Joe Daniher, especially a fit Daniher; and also implying  Jayden Laverde will be provided with the opportunity to fulfil his potential, and the return of a fit James Stewart, no longer leaves room for Mitch Brown as he unfortunately slides to the end of the pecking order.


I like Laverde and felt he has been starved of opportunities over the past couple of seasons, it is now up to him to grab that chance with one less player vying for the same position.


Probably Mitch will acknowledge his AFL career has ended unless another club sees merit in selecting him in the pre-season draft. I’m sure he will be a good servant to a club if that opportunity arises.


Good luck Mitch Brown, I enjoyed watching you play for the mighty Bombers, and I’m saddened by your delisting.


Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.


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About Colin Ritchie

Retired teacher who enjoys following the Bombers, listening to music especially Bob Dylan, reading, and swimming.


  1. I agree v surprised that Mitch Brown was delisted wonder if the protracted wrangle re Daniher stopped him from being traded as well ? Thanks Colin

  2. I thought Mitch Brown was one of our better forwards during the season. Like you Col, I am very disappointed.
    Rod Oaten

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Surprised, he played very well against us on ANZAC Day.
    Wouldn’t be unhappy if the Pies picked him up.

  4. george smith says

    Bargain – could Mitch Brown be the third tall forward we are looking for, after passing on Jenkins. I also hope he is picked up by the Pies, but I do remember him going missing at times during the ANZAC Day epic…

    While I’m at it, can somebody explain the reason for Daniher going to a club with a plethora of tall forwards – Franklin, Sam Reid, Blakey and Papley, rather than a team with zilch, like Footscray?

  5. This trade period seemed more messy than previous years, Col. So many teams came out with too many players/draft picks and have had to delist some well credentialed players (Brisbane, for example, came out of the trade period with 41 senior players, Oscar McInerny still on its rookie list, and seven picks in the first four rounds of the draft). Cannot help but think that at least some of these players are victims of the AFL’s constant need for grist for its mill and that sucks.

    Conversely, clubs like Adelaide, Port, Sydney, and Carlton have plenty of room on their lists in a not particularly strong draft year, so hopefully more than a few will get another crack at it.

  6. The only draft i like is opening the window as soon as a cool change arrives after a stinking hot day.

  7. Would Mitch Brown be a better prospect than McKernan? I thought Essendon always looked good when i saw them this year.

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