Five players back on the scene

By – Jackson Clark

A long-term injury is perhaps the quickest way a player can find themselves on the forgotten footballers list. Below are five players that are likely to burst back onto the scene in season 2014.

Taylor Walker:

Adelaide Crows spearhead Taylor Walker enjoyed a stellar 2012 season kicking 63 goals and experiencing a dominant finals series. Walker became something of a cult-figure in the competition with his laid-back style and flowing mullet. He had a slow start to the season last year before rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in his side’s round six match against Carlton. Walker starts the season as one of the favourites for the Coleman Medal and a big year from the man known as “Tex” will go a long way in increasing the Crows’ finals chances.

Dale Thomas:

Thomas’s move to Carlton during trade period didn’t get the attention it deserved due to Lance Franklin’s arrival at Sydney. But make no mistake Daisy Thomas’ best football is as good as almost anyone’s in the competition. The former Collingwood livewire was one of the most damaging players in the competition during the Magpies’ premiership season. A series of surgeries on his troublesome ankle restricted him to only a handful of games last season. Coach Mick Malthouse will be happy with his re-acquaintance of Thomas and will be hoping he can recapture some of his blistering form.

Alex Johnson:

At still only 21 years of age, Alex Johnson offers plenty of security in an already staunch Sydney defence. Johnson played 45 games in his first two years of football and was one of the Swans’ most impressive players in the premiership winning year of 2012. Johnson was often given the tough task of minding the opposition’s best forward and was unfazed by the pressure. A serious knee injury in the pre-season and subsequent setbacks from ACL surgery meant his career came to a temporary halt but he will be hoping for a return to good football in 2014.

Jonathan Patton:

Jon Patton has the potential to become one of the most dominant players in the AFL. The 20-year-old key forward was drafted with selection number one in the 2011 draft and has already shown good signs at AFL level. Patella tendonitis and an ACL injury have affected his first two seasons of football but the giant forward will be hoping for a breakout season in 2014. It is scary to think about the potential of GWS’ forward line when including Jeremy Cameron and recent selection one draft pick Tom Boyd.

Chris Knights:

Knights found himself in new colours last season when he was picked up by Richmond after 96 games with Adelaide. The long-kicking half forward flanker experienced a career best season with the Crows in 2009 with 43 goals but has failed to recapture that form due to niggling injury concerns in the preceding years. His move to Richmond rejuvenated him and gave him a fresh start. After starting in the VFL, Knights was quickly brought into the senior line up and established himself as a probably best 22 player before injuring his knee against Port Adelaide. Knights created another avenue to goal for the Tigers and no doubt the side from Punt Road will be eagerly awaiting his return.

Twitter – @JClark182

About Jackson Clark

Born and bred in Darwin, Northern Territory, I am a young, aspiring football writer that lives and breathes the game of Australian Football. I'm also a keen player and coach.


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Jackson Walker has the potential and natural ability to be elite and a superstar of the comp it is so refressing to have a player with some flair and a actual character but the comp must beware how in his and , Pattons case a big guy does take a while longer to recapture touch . In , Pattons case with , GWS forward line riches could he do a ,
    Chad Cornes and become the dominant , CHB of the game ? Easier to run straight ahead than twisting and turning after a knee reco too . Thomas after virtually , 2 yrs out of the game his injuries not ability will decide whether it is a recruiting master stroke or a flop . Glad you included , Johnson his , 2012 finals series was brilliant it was definitely a case of the player getting under the radar of every , 1 his return to , Sydneys defence is important . Knights is interesting in , 09 it looked like he was developing in to , 1 of the most influential players in the game when he did his hammy in the final against the pies it changed the game injuries and his own want and desire disappeared did he get comfortable in the hero worshiping environment in , Adelaide ? He wa bought back in to the crows side late in , 13 and proceeded to play a mystifying game against , Brisbane when his desire and wont for the hard ball and contest bore similarities to , England quite rightly his papers were stamped never to play for the crows again . Upon returning the less physical game of the , VFl comp compared to the , SANFL gave him some confidence when he came in to the , Richmond side he showed glimses of his best but it is now , 5 yrs since he was a vital player which is a he’ll of a long time in footy .
    Thanks Jackson

  2. Daniel Menzel

  3. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Alex Fasolo

  4. Nic Naitanui; Shannon Hurn; Mark LeCras; Beau Waters; Luke Shuey; Sharrod Wellingham. Hope springs eternal.

  5. Glen Potter says

    The Cats will welcome back Daniel Menzel, Hamish McIntosh and Dawson Simpson.

  6. David Zampatti says

    Anthony Morabito.

    Oh, and if we’re compiling lists: Jonathan Griffin and Clancee
    Pearce and Garrick Ibbotson (and even Kepler).

    Springs run dry. Hope is the saddest word, Pete.

  7. Phil – who??

  8. daniel flesch says

    Ryan Schoenmakers , Matt Suckling , Brendan Whitecross. All out last season with knee injuries.The first two to replace Brent Guerra and help out Gibson and Lake . Whitey to come back late in the season to plug gaps forward and back. And while not injured or on the come-back – Sam Grimley to replace the departed Buddy Whatsisname . … Worst jumper and best team- great combination.

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