Paul Chapman is a Geelong champion but after 251 games, 336 goals, 3 premierships and a Norm Smith medal, 2 All Australian selections and a best and fairest with the Cats, Chapman has not been offered a new contract and is looking to finish his career at another club.
Here are some AFL heroes who have finished their careers with a season or two (or maybe three) at a different club.
30. Justin Blumfield (Richmond)
Blumfield had played 129 games for Essendon and been one of their best in the 2000 Grand Final when he was part of the Great Fire Sale of Windy Hill at the end of the 2002 season. Essendon had hoped that veterans would have half their wage put outside the salary cap after 10 years playing service but the AFL determined that the verteran must also be over 30 years old. This put the Bombers under a salary cap squeeze that resulted in them offloading 2000 premiership trio Chris Heffernan, Justin Blumfield and Blake Caracella (not a bad centre line.) As a Bombers fan the departure of Caracella was particularly hard to take as he went to bitter foe of the time Brisbane and immediately won a flag in 2003, then finished his career with another two seasons at arch rival Collingwood. Back to Blumfield though he was traded to Richmond where he managed 19 games in two injury ravaged seasons and his career was finished before the age of 27 – what could have been.
29. Josh Fraser (Gold Coast)
Josh Fraser was lauded as the great white hope at Collingwood when he was selected with the number 1 draft pick in the 1999 National Draft. Fraser had a fair career with his share of critics and fans but his time was marked when Darren Jolly was recruited to Collingwood in 2010. Fraser got a farewell game in Round 22, 2010, coincidentally his 200th for Collingwood, before finishing his career with two nondescript years at Gold Coast as the experienced ruckman.
28. Mark Graham (Richmond)
One for the Hawthorn fans. Despite making his debut for Hawthorn in 1993 Graham wasn’t drafted by Hawthorn instead he came though the clubs old metropolitan zone and played under 19s at the club before progressing through the reserves to the seniors. Unfortunately Graham’s timing was terrible – he played in Hawthorn’s least succesful period of the last 50 years, 1993- 2004. 12 years of solid service and fairly wonky kicking at full back were punctuated with fan- terrifying runs down the ground to kick the odd goal. When Terry Wallace took over as Richmond coach in 2005 one of the key planks in his 5 year plan, as articulated to the Richmond board, was, “Get Mark Graham to this football club” And so it was Graham joined the Tigers for a final hurrah.
27. Brendan Fevola (Brisbane)
Brendan Fevola won two Coleman medals, three All Austrlian jumpers and managed 575 goals over 187 games in 11 season at Carlton but it all came to a screaming halt after Fev’s mad evening at the 2009 Brownlow Medal proved to be one too many drunken epsidodes for the Blues. For Fevola it was fortuitous timing as Michael Voss launched one of the craziest recruiting sprees ever seen in the AFL. The centrepiece of this recruiting was Brendan Fevola with Voss outbidding only himself to get Fev up to Queensland on a multiyear, big money deal when no other club would touch him with a barge pole. Fev’s time at Brisbane produced 17 games and 48 goals and ended badly after one season when Fev was sacked after getting locked up for being drunk on New Year’s Eve
26. Mick McGuane (Carlton)
The 1990 Collingwood premiership midfielder is probably best known for his five bounce goal against Carlton in 1994 that won him the goal of the year award and for getting a pain killing injection in his leg one day that left him unable to kick the ball. In 1997 McGuane surprised the football world by joining Collingwood’s enemy Carlton but physically he was shot and managed just 3 games for the Blues.
25. Peter Everritt (Sydney)
A career that began with 10 seasons and 2 All Australian selections at St Kilda moved to 4 seasons at Hawthorn where Everitt clocked another All Australian guernsey but fell out with coach Alistair Clarkson and was accused of rigging a player raffle. Spida then upped sticks and drove/moved himself to Sydney, which he filmed for a tell all story for Chanel 7 news – “A handy cam, a hire truck and a Spida.” At the Swans Everitt rounded out his career with two seasons to finish with 291 games (including 175 losses) and a host of different hairstyles.
24. Tony Francis (St Kilda) & Scott Russell (Sydney)
The Tony Shaw coaching era at Collingwood. Wow, remember that period. What do they say about champion players not making champion coaches? Well I guess Nathan Buckley is different….. Anyway I digress. Tony Shaw made the hard decisions at the end of the 1998 season and cut 1990 premiership teammates Scotty Russell and Tony Francis. Russell played a single season at Sydney in 1999 and Francis one season at St Kilda in 1999, Collingwood, meanwhile, won the wooden spoon in 1999 and Shaw quit at seasons end. Props to anyone who remembered either of these moves.
23. Scott Camporeale (Essendon)
Essendon hate Carlton and no more so in recent history than after Essendon, as red hot favourite, lost the 1999 preliminary final to Carlton. How to seek revenge? Destroy Carlton the next season and everyone else to win 24 of 25 games and the premiership – Done. Recruit all the Carlton blokes who tormented you in 1999 five years later – Done. Wait, what? In one of Kevin Sheedy’s more left field, least successful and most desperate recruiting moves, he started picking up Carlton rejects. First the guy who had the ball in his hand when the siren sounded in 1999 four club wonder, Justin Murphy was lured to Windy Hill in 2004 as well as the 1999 All Australian ruckman, Matthew Allan. After two seasons Allan and Murphy passed the Blue baton to 1995 Premiership player, 2000 All Australian, 233 game, 30 year old veteran, Scott Camporeale, who played the 2006 & 2007 seasons at Essendon.
22. Tony Modra (Fremantle)
High flying full forward Tony Modra announced himself on the AFL scene in 1993 when he kicked 10 goals in Round 1 against Richmond, kicked 119 goals in the season, won All Australian selection, Goal of the Year and Mark of the Year. Modra won the Coleman medal and All Australian selection again in 1997 but missed the Crows premiership after doing his knee in the preliminary final against the Bulldogs. He returned from a reconstruction during the 1998 season but wasn’t selected in the Crow’s 1998 Grand Final team and therefore missed both of Adelaide’s back to back premierships. After 1998 Modra headed west to somewhere where his surfy looks would be appreciated – The Fremantle Dockers. Modra managed 47 games and 148 goals in two and a bit season ‘s at the Dockers before knee soreness forced him to retire in mid 2001. With 440 goals from 118 games Modra is still the Adelaide Crow’s leading goal kicker of all time.
21. Byron Pickett (Melbourne)
Most people would probably remember Byron Pickett the North Melbourne player who burst on to the AFL scene in 1998 and won the Rising Star Award. They would remember the dash and the hardness and the bone jarring bumps – in particular the shirtfront that ironed out Hawthorn’s Brendan Krummel one night at Waverley Park. They might remember that after 100 odd games at North including the 1999 premiership, Picket transferred to Port Adelaide where his trademark style of play was still evident and he kicked four goals in Port’s historic first AFL premiership in 2004 and won the Norm Smith medal.
What people might not remember is that he finished off his AFL career with 29 games at Melbourne in 2006-07. Picket had seemingly lost the desire for AFL football, looking overwieght at times in his final season and getting suspended by Melbourne for texting Neale Daniher on the morning of a match to say he was too hungover to play in a game he was listed as an emergency.