Leading up to the AFL National Draft, we will look at the top 10 picks from then – going back 30 years, 25 years, 20 years, 15 years, 10 years and five years.
READ PART 2: AFL Draft Rewind – 1994
READ PART 3: AFL Draft Rewind 1999
In the first edition of this series – we look back 30 years ago to the 1989 National Draft.
This was was the fourth time the VFL/AFL had conducted a national draft and it was a very different beast to what we know it to be today.
Zone recruiting was still a thing, the SANFL had a retention scheme which saw the likes of the Jarman Brothers being picked up by the Brisbane Bears but never to even set foot into the club and all clubs with the exception of West Coast were restricted to one player from Western Australia amongst a few other restrictions enforced by the League.
Pre-Draft picks, trades, post-draft and the preseason & midseason draft was also in place back in 1989.
We take a look at the top 10 pics from the 1989 National Draft and how they fared for the clubs that selected them.
PICK 1 (Richmond) – Anthony Banik
From: Won Wron Woodside
Games Played for Club: 49
The National Draft was a different beast back in 1989, but the Tigers who were at an all-time low had hope in Anthony Banik.
Banik showed promise in the early stages of his career at Richmond but contracted chronic-fatigue syndrome which limited his ability to play.
He was able to recover from the illness but was delisted in 1994 by the Tigers after 49 games.
A recent profile of Banik on the sports website “Sports Hounds” he tells of being informed he’d been drafted to whilst at school, rattling tins to save the Tigers and the struggles of Chronic Fatigue, something that got the better of the likes of Alistair Lynch at one stage.
PICK 2 (Footscray)– Matthew Croft
Games Played For Club – 186
The first player drafted by Footscray after the club almost merged with Fitzroy in the 1989 off-season, Croft made his debut for the club a couple of years later.
Croft was in/out of the senior side in the early part of his career but established himself as a reliable defender and someone that could also get the job done up forward.
The Bulldogs got a solid investment out of Matthew Croft, who retired at the end of 2004 after 186 games and 72 goals.
The ultimate club man, he now sits on the board of the Western Bulldogs.
PICK 3 (St.Kilda) – Jody Arnol
From: North Hobart
Games Played For Club: 14
Unlike in today’s day and age, a player with tats was a rare sight back in 1989, but the Saints took a punt on Jody Arnol at pick 3 in the 1989 National Draft.
Arnol played only 13 games for the Saints from 1990 -91 and mostly used as a punchline at this time of the year.
Whatever you thought of his footy career, he was ahead of his time when it came to tats, and had nowhere near enough compared to today’s standard.
PICK 4 (West Coast) – Peter Matera
FROM: South Fremantle
GAMES FOR CLUB: 253
West Coast did pretty well out of recruiting this kid. Five-time All Australian, Two-time premiership player (1992, 1994), Norm Smith Medalist (1992), Club Champion, Inducted into the Australian Football Hall Of Fame.
Matera’s efforts in West Coast’s 1992 Premiership was something to behold – five goals from the wing, the iconic moment of Matera “Sets Sail For Home”.
Fair to say, West Coast picked the right player.
PICK 5 (Brisbane Bears) – Brad Rowe
FROM: East Fremantle
GAMES PLAYED FOR CLUB: 14
Rowe played for the Bears at a grim time for them as then Club owner Christopher Skase fled to Spain, the club trained in temporary sheds behind Carrara and then found himself at Collingwood two years later.
Rowe played most of his best footy at the Pies including kicking six against the Swans at Victoria Park in Round 15, 1993.
He would finish his footy career at Fremantle in 1996 and play a total of 73 AFL Games, 80 goals.
PICK 6 (North Melbourne) – Mark Brayshaw
GAMES FOR CLUB: 32
More known for being former North Melbourne chairman/TV/Radio host James Brayshaw’s brother, Mark himself had a crack at a footy career with the Kangaroos.
Brayshaw’s best known for his work off the field, having become CEO of Richmond from 2000-2004, sat on the North Melbourne board and is now CEO of the AFL Coaches Association.
His three sons, Angus, Hamish (recently delisted) was drafted by West Coast and Andrew came into the spotlight after the Andrew Gaff incident in the second 2018 Derby.
Angus Brayshaw has been the standout since being drafted by Melbourne in 2014.
Mark played chief peacemaker between the two and even earnt himself an interview on FOX Footy’s Open Mike
PICK 7 (Carlton) – Stephen Edgar
FROM: East Fremantle
GAMES FOR CLUB: 14
Edgar had two seasons at Princes Park, got delisted, moved back to Perth and returned to East Fremantle and won a flag with them back in 1994.
His profile in the Footy Record revealed he liked pineapple juice.
Not really a footy story that stands out, but he played 14 more AFL games than most people reading this ever will.
PICK 8 (Sydney) – Brad Tunbridge
FROM: East Fremantle
GAMES FOR CLUB: 50
Brad Tunbridge could not have played for the Sydney Swans at a worse time.
Playing 50 games from 1990 – 93, the days for the Swans were grim but the ruckman was solid and he was even Sydney’s equal highest Brownlow vote-getter in 1992 with Dale Lewis – 8 votes.
PICK 9 (Fitzroy) – Dale Kickett
GAMES FOR CLUB: 15
Kickett would end up playing for five AFL clubs throughout his career but is best remembered for his time at Fremantle where he would play 135 games for the Dockers and of course, belt the crap out of Micheal Gardiner and the entire West Coast Eagles side in that infamous “Demolition Derby” of Round 21, 2000.
Kickett would play 15 games for Fitzroy in his very first season, but being a country boy from WA the big smoke of Melbourne didn’t quite suit him and ironically, he found himself at West Coast the following year – nine years before he would beat the living suitcases out of them.
He would go on to play for St.Kilda and Essendon but it would be Fremantle where Kickett would call his own.
PICK 10 (Collingwood) – Daryl Groves
GAMES FOR CLUB: 0
Groves did not manage one senior game for Collingwood or at any other AFL club.
The man remains a mystery and an asterisk.
Did he even set foot in Victoria Park?
The following season wasn’t the best to miss out on playing for Collingwood – they won the flag!