Would any AFL club give Fevola another chance?

Michael DiFabrizio Columnist

16 Have your say

    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
    Michael DiFabrizio

    Michael DiFabrizio is based in Mildura, Victoria. He has been an expert columnist at The Roar since 2009, leading to appearances on ABC News 24 and in the Age. Follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelDiFab.

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • August 26th 2011 @ 8:36am
      brendan said | August 26th 2011 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      A friend of mine made a pertinent comment after Fevs brownlow escapade .Isnt the Afl responsible in some way for encouraging alcoholics to attend officially sanctioned events where consumption of beer is not only available (jugs on tables) but encouraged and promoted.Brendan Fevola is the best kick for goal i have seen since Peter Mckenna it would be fantastic if another club picks him up.Stkilda , Melbourne, Western Bulldogs ,Sydney,Fremantle ,Gws,Port and Gold Coast dont have a gun forward so he could fit in.Port might be the best fit as the publicity would help the club if he did trangress i dont think the media would put the boot into him or the club and the supporters if he did play well , they would love to see an ex-vic as one of them give it back to the old enemy.

      • August 26th 2011 @ 9:24am
        adam said | August 26th 2011 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        I agree, Fev is the best kick for goal I’ve ever seen, his accuracy statistics may not agree but I don’t know that. One thing that the Gold Coast have lacked is a big body in the forward line who can either take a pack mark or create ground contests for their young kids to compete at, and they’ve been at a disadvantage this year for it. They might have extremely talented big kids, Lynch, Day, Gorringe, who play forward but they waste energy being out muscled by older stronger defenders and then chasing the defenders running the ball out uncontested and then cant contest for the second half. Lynch playing on a teams second or third best defender would allow him to grow in confidence a lot more than being pushed around by Rutten, Glass, Fletcher, Scarlett etc every week.

        The flip side with Fev is though that the media circus he brings can have a negative impact on the rest of the players.

        How many chances a player deserves is an unanswerable question IMO but I see a difficult quandry here; Fev definately is good enough to play and contribute again at AFL level, but if that opportunity comes at the expence of a 18yo kid from Southport/Wagga/Freo is the club who takes that chance better off in the long run?

      • August 26th 2011 @ 4:53pm
        Jaceman said | August 26th 2011 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

        Channel Nine set him for a fall at the Brownlow because they knew he would drink and had a crew follow him….I dont blame Eddie but I blame Nine..

    • Roar Guru

      August 26th 2011 @ 8:47am
      SportsFanGC said | August 26th 2011 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      No club should be looking at Fevola. He has had far to many chances and the same story from him is always – “I’ve learnt my lesson” but he never does.

      There are hundreds of kids that are going to want to nominate for the draft and they should all be given their first chance at AFL football compared to Fev getting yet another crack.

      If he is serious about the changes he has reportedly made in his life to date then why does he not continue with what he is doing at the moment. Keep playing out your days in the VFL and spending time with your family. There does not appear to be any benefit of him being thrust back into the spotlight and attention of AFL where is ego will at some stage run rampant again with yet another drunken disaster just around the corner.

      There are second chances, probably even third chances but when you are giving 6th, 7th, 8th chances etc there should be a cut off point. Time for some new kids to be given their chance.

      • August 27th 2011 @ 4:23am
        amazonfan said | August 27th 2011 @ 4:23am | ! Report

        But what has he done? At Brisbane, he was investigated, but the charges were dropped. He has had a few incidents, but nothing major, and certainly nothing since he joined Brisbane. In fact, it’s interesting as before he got injured, many commentators were declaring him to be in the best form of his career.

        Anyway sports isn’t about who deserves or ‘should be given’ a chance. You don’t draft a kid because they should be ‘given their first chance at AFL football.’ You do it because you think they can be a good 10 year + player. Whether they deserve a chance is irrelevant. If you believe that your club is better served by picking up Fev, than some kid, you pick Fev, because playing football is entirely about how good one is and whether one can fit into club structures. It doesn’t have anything to do with should, or deserve, and this means, that as long as Fevola is wanted, there is no cut off point. Should has nothing to do with it.

        Now Fevola will probably never play AFL again, and his on-field play (he’s an old-fashioned full-forward who can’t really play anywhere else) is a major reason why. Certainly clubs will look at his off-field behaviour, and while I think he’s been unfairly targeted, there is no doubt that it’s not in his favour. But whether a club picks him up again or not, that he has had X number of chances and there are kids who haven’t had any chances is irrelevant.

    • August 26th 2011 @ 9:18am
      Dan said | August 26th 2011 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      I would like to see him play again, would have to be on a very short leash though basically one strike out sort of thing and a well reduces salary… but yes would be a big risk for any team.
      But GWS wont touch him because it would be a PR disaster if he stuffed up again…

    • Roar Guru

      August 26th 2011 @ 9:20am
      Kazama said | August 26th 2011 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      I think things have become so desperate at Port Adelaide it might be a risk worth taking for them. It could even be a risk they have to take. Bringing Fev on board gives them a top player for a lot less than what he would normally cost, plus instant star power for their team which struggles to draw crowds. Sometimes the biggest risk isn’t taking one at all.

      But I do agree with SportsFanMelb above. I don’t think he deserves another chance at AFL, and there are plenty of young kids out there who do. From a business point of view, though, who is going to benefit Port more in the short term (and they may only have short term if things don’t turn around quickly) – an unknown kid they take at Pick #65, who might never play AFL footy, or Fev? A no-brainer, surely.

    • Roar Guru

      August 26th 2011 @ 9:23am
      SportsFanGC said | August 26th 2011 @ 9:23am | ! Report

      You would think that if any club could pull his head in it might be Sydney – with the well known ‘Bloods Culture’ they have at the club. The problem here is that Fev is not going to move interstate and be separated from his family which lead to some issues in Brisbane last year.

      One strike and your out policy would be an absolute must.

      No chance to end up at either GWS or GC.

      Time to see the next generation of kids coming through the ranks.

      • August 26th 2011 @ 11:36pm
        Ian Whitchurch said | August 26th 2011 @ 11:36pm | ! Report


        The flip side of the Bloods culture is the ‘no d.ckheads’ culture … and while Sydney need a key forward, they dont need one that badly.

      • August 26th 2011 @ 11:47pm
        Titus said | August 26th 2011 @ 11:47pm | ! Report

        Sydney might work well for him because no one knows who he is and therefore no one knows what it is that he has done wrong.

    • August 26th 2011 @ 11:59am
      VikingSven said | August 26th 2011 @ 11:59am | ! Report

      Bring him in on a “NFL-like” 6 week contract and see how he goes.

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