Would any AFL club give Fevola another chance?

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Brendan Fevola of Brisbane looks on after a loss in the AFL Round 12 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. Slattery Images

Brendan Fevola of Brisbane looks on after a loss in the AFL Round 12 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne. Slattery Images

So after 33 goals in his past five matches with the Casey Scorpions in the VFL, the media are now pondering whether Brendan Fevola will be given another chance to play in the AFL. The GWS Giants are one club reported to be circling.

Is it just me, or does this sound a little crazy?

Barry Hall and Ben Cousins have showed what can happen when a star player is given a second chance, we all know that. But Fevola already has already been given his “second” chance, that was when the Brisbane Lions threw him a lifeline.

For Fev to end up on an AFL list next year, a club would have to give him his third chance – that in itself makes the proposition seem highly unlikely.

Then you have to remember the way the media handled the Hall and, more particularly, Cousins stories. In Hall’s case there was a sense certain people were waiting for him to snap and when the moment came, with the infamous Scott Thompson headlock incident, it received huge attention.

With Cousins it was worse. Footy and non-footy journalists alike were waiting for him to fall back into his old habits.

When he was admitted to hospital after an adverse reaction to a sleeping pill, the proverbial field day was had. “Cousins pill drama” screamed one TV graphic. “Controversy has intervened again,” wrote the Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph.

“He will be a drug addict until the day he dies,” said Nine’s Craig Hutchison, in response to a fellow host having the audacity to describe Cousins as a “recovering” drug addict.

This was all because of an adverse reaction to a sleeping pill. Imagine if he actually had fallen back into his old habits!

If Fevola is picked up by an AFL club again, the media will be waiting. And they won’t just be waiting for him to actually slip up again – they’ll simply be waiting for the mere hint that the old Fev is back.

What club would want to take that risk on board?

The other issue here is that the club most likely to draft Fev should not draft Fev. The GWS Giants will probably require all the experience they can get in their first season, but this isn’t the way to go about it.

The Giants need to show potential supporters they’re about more than just publicity and headlines. Those two things were a big part of why they got Israel Folau and Kevin Sheedy – such a big part that many locals think publicity was the only reason these men were recruited.

The Giants don’t need another human headline. They need to start convincing everyone they are a genuine club that’s ready for the AFL level.

This is not to suggest that if Fevola was recruited by an AFL club he would resort to his old ways. In fact, he may thrive if he’s given another chance.

But the prospect of him being given that chance does seem rather unrealistic.

Michael DiFabrizio is completing his journalism degree. As an AFL writer, he has been an expert columnist at The Roar since 2009, and appeared in The Age and on ABC television and radio. Follow Michael on twitter @mdifabrizio

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