More Retirements And Delistings

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Lisa Albergo's picture

by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago 

With the trade period concluded, clubs embarked on the next phase of list changes in the form of delistings. Two veterans, Shane Mumford and Travis Cloke also announced their retirements.

Shortly after the trade period concluded, GWS ruckman Shane Mumford, who missed the Semi-Final and Preliminary Final due to a broken foot, has retired after having extensive medical consultations. Mumford injured his foot in the Qualifying Final against Adelaide. He has had degenerative ankle and knee problems for several years. In 2015, he missed the last half of the season after undergoing an ankle reconstruction. Mumford, 31, began his career with Geelong in 2008 and played 21games, then was traded to the Swans where he was a member of the 2012 premiership side and played 79 games. He joined the Giants in 2014 and played a further 72 games and won the Kevin Sheedy Medal as club best and fairest.

GWS' general manager Wayne Campbell praised Mumford and the legacy he leaves behind, “There’s no doubt Shane has put his body through a lot in the last 10 years and unfortunately injury has ultimately led to his retirement. Both on and off field Shane’s impact on the club has been profound. He has been a key member of the playing group and has been integral to our growth ... He has been a hugely popular member of our playing group ...".

Mumford said he felt mentally that he could go on for another year, but medical advice ruled against it, “While my mind was ready .. medical advice told me something very different. I’ve loved my time playing ... but I know this is the right decision when it comes to being able to play with my kids for years to come. I couldn’t have asked for more ... and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped me along this journey." Mumford will remain with the club as an assistant coach and said he was looking forward to continuing with the club.

Western Bulldogs forward Travis Cloke has retired after 13 seasons. Cloke was told by the Bulldogs that his senior opportunities in 2018 would be limited, so he decided to hang up the boots. He spent 12 seasons with Collingwood where he played 246 games and kicked 441 goals. He managed just 10 games and 11 goals in his single season with the Bulldogs. Part of that was due to Cloke taking a leave of absence for several weeks to deal with personal issues. He was Collingwood's best and fairest in 2007, a member of the 2010 premiership side and was named All- Australian twice. Cloke appreciated the club being upfront and honest with him about his prospects in 2018, saying he still had the fire to play on. Football manager Chris Grant paid tribute to a fine career, “It’s important to acknowledge the career Travis has had ... To finish as a premiership player and notch over 250 games is a fantastic career, and he should be very proud ... We thoroughly enjoyed having him ...".

Stewart Crameri was also told by the club that he would not be offered another contract, but has not given up on extending his career with another club/ He said he feels as good as he has in years. Crameri, 29, said he keeps himself fit with his own regimen, "I train by myself and do my own gym program and have a kick by myself. I’m pretty fit ... I know what to do. I’ve kept myself fit so I’m ready to go ... I’ve probably got three-to-four years left in me and I’m pretty fresh mentally and really fresh physically."

Crameri, 29, played 59 games for Essendon 2010-2013 before joining the Bulldogs. He managed only 2 games in the past two seasons due to a hip injury and being one of the Essendon players suspended over the supplements saga. Crameri led Essendon's goalkicking 2011-13 and was the top goalkicker for the Bulldogs in 2014.

Carlton has delisted Dylan Buckley and Ciaran Sheehan. There has also been a mutual parting of ways with Rhys Palmer. Buckley played 39 games since his debut in 2013, while Irishman Sheehan managed six games due to a litany of injuries since being selected as an international rookie in 2014.

Head of Football Andrew McKay thanked the trio for their services, “Dylan has been a popular member of our playing group and was always a team-first player. He is a wonderful character and contributed in a positive way to the culture of our football club ... Ciaran had an unfortunate string of injuries but showed terrific resilience ... He made the most of his opportunities and we will miss his humility and determination ... Rhys, arriving from GWS as a hard-bodied midfielder who provided important experience for our young players. It’s unfortunate that his body is not able to cope with the rigors of AFL anymore ... ".

The club has now made 10 changes since the end of the season, with Bryce Gibbs departing for Adelaide and Dennis Armfield, Daniel Gorringe and Matthew Korcheck announcing their retirements. Kristian Jaksch, Liam Sumner and Andrew Gallucci have also been delisted. Korcheck, another American selected in 2016 as an international rookie, has decided to return to the USA after failing to play any senior games. Sumner will continue to train with the club in the hope of being picked up again in the preseason draft. Gorringe, was originally drafted by the Suns and played 22 games before joining Carlton as a free agent at the end of 2015, but injuries restricted him to just four more games. Jakesch played just seven games for GWS in two seasons before coming to the Blues at the end of 2014. He only managed to add another seven games with Carlton.

Essendon has delisted Ben Howlett and Craig Bird. Howlett played 124 games over seven seasons with the Bombers. Bird was traded to Essendon at the end of 2015 after 137 games with the Sydney Swans, He played 20 games with Essendon. Coach John Worsfold, commended Howlett for helping drive the Club’s strong culture, “Ben is an unbelievably strong character in terms of his leadership and team values. He is always focused on wanting to play his role for the team, to the best of his ability. There’s no doubt 2016 was tough on the (suspended) players ... but the way Ben returned, performed and mentored his younger teammates is a credit to him ... The modern game is relentless and to start as a rookie and go onto play more than 100 games is an outstanding effort ...". Worsfold praised Bird for his efforts over the two years he was with the Bombers, “Craig has been a pleasure to work with ... His attitude, leadership and commitment ... has been outstanding ... Craig played a key role in 2016 through our midfield and helped us through a very tough year."

St Kilda has delisted American-born ruckman Jason Holmes along with fellow ruckman Lewis Pierce. However, the club has already indicated they will redraft Pierce as a rookie. Both Holmes and Pierce struggled for senior games in 2017 with Billy Longer the preferred ruck option and Tom Hickey as the second stringer. Holmes, 27, is a former college basketball player and became the first American to play in the AFL. He debuted against Geelong late in 2015. Coach Alan Richardson said to come in knowing nothing about the game and then play was an enormous achievement, “His commitment to learning, improving, and to St Kilda, over the past four years has been outstanding and his strong character and personality has been an asset ...".Holmes played a total of five games with the Saints. 
Holmes hopes to continue his career at another club in 2018, but if it does not happen, he has been accredited in financial planning. He is also in the process of becoming a permanent resident of Australia.

The Saints have also cut rookie Nick O’Kearney. Despite strong form in the VFL level with Sandringham, the midfielder failed to break into the senior line-up in his two years with the club. Rookie defender Nick Coughlan and international scholarship holder Joe Baker-Thomas have also been delisted. Neither player made their senior debut. Coughlan, 20, was drafted as a rookie in 2015 but struggled with hamstring and foot injuries this season, playing just seven VFL games. Baker-Thomas was recruited from New Zealand in 2013 as an international recruit.

Richmond has delisted defender Jake Batchelor and key forward Ben Lennon. Batchelor was drafted in 2010, debuted in 2011 and played 84 games for the Tigers. Lennon was a first round draft selection in 2013. He debuted in 2014 and played 21 games and kicked 10 goals, He managed only two games in 2017.

Brisbane has delisted Michael Close, Cian Hanley, Claye Beams, Reuben William and Matthew Hammelmann. Beams is the brother of club captain Dayne and was the most experienced of the quintet with 54 games since being drafted late in the 2009. Hanley’s older brother Pearce was a former Lion before joining Gold Coast. He did not play a senior game after experiencing a litany of injuries in three seasons at the club. Close was perhaps the surprise axing given the club's lack of key position forwards and the fact No.2 draft pick Josh Schache was traded to the Western Bulldogs. Close played 10 games in 2017 for a career total of 27 since his 2014 debut. Hammelmann played three games in 2017 but was dropped following all three, while William was limited to three matches after being rookie listed in 2016.

Hawthorn has delisted Billy Hartung, Kade Stewart and Dallas Willsmore. Hartung, 22, is another who will seek out another club after 83 games with the Hawks, Hartung was drafted in 2013 and won a Rising Star nomination in 2015. Willsmore, 22, had one more year on his contract but the club is intent on redrafting him as a rookie. Stewart was drafted in 2015 and played seven games. Hartung debuted in 2014 and played 63 games, Stewart managed just seven games in two seasons and Willsmore played just two games in his debut season of 2017.

West Coast has delisted defender Sharrod Wellingham and small forward Josh Hill. Rookies Tom Lamb, Tom Gorter and Jordan Snadden have also been cut. Lamb played one game in 2015. Wellingham, 29, played 79 games with the Eagles after 92 games with Collingwood, including the 2010 premiership. He had an excellent year in 2015, but struggled after that and fell out of favor, playing only 13 games in 2017. Wellingham was recalled to replace youngster Luke Partington for the Eagles' semi-final loss against GWS, but had minimal impact with just 14 possessions for the game. Josh Hill, 28, also enjoyed a career-best season in 2015, booting 40 goals as a crumbing small forward in support of Josh Kennedy. However, his output dwindled to 24 goals in 22 games in 2016. This past season, ha managed only 16 goals in 12 games. Hill played 107 games and kicked 151 goals for the Eagles after crossing from the Western Bulldogs. He won the Ross Glendinning Medal as best on ground in the 2015 Western Derby. West Coast drafted Lamb in 2014 and had high hopes for the tall, athletic forward. Lamb,. 21, did well with East Perth in the WAFL, but was unable to break into the seniors. Tall defender Gorter has been cut after one season on the rookie list, while midfielder Snadden was unable to get a senior game in two seasons with the club. West Coast previously delisted injury-plagued Simon Tunbridge, while Matt Priddis, Sam Mitchell, Drew Petrie, Sam Butler, Jonathan Giles and Paddy Brophy have retired.

Fremantle has delisted Nick Suban. Suban, 27, was drafted in 2008. A versatile midfielder, Suban 156 games and kicked 60 goals with the Dockers. He played 12 games in 2017 and was awarded Life Membership to the club in early October. Operations manager Chris Bond praised Suban, “Nick’s achieved a great deal ... over the past nine years and to reach 150 games is a testament to his ability and dedication ... The fans saw first-hand how hard Nick worked on the field, and he worked just as hard at training and behind the scenes."

Suban said he leaves the club as a proud Fremantle Docker, "I have really enjoyed my time at Fremantle and want to thank everyone who has helped me over the past nine years. I am proud to be a life member ... but feel like I still have a lot to give an AFL club and hope to play against the boys at some stage next year."

Final Fremantle list changes:
Primary list: Zac Dawson (retired), Garrick Ibbotson (retired), Nick Suban (delisted), , Jon Griffin (delisted), Zac Clarke (delisted), Sam Collins (delisted), Josh Deluca (delisted)

Rookie list: Matthew Uebergang (delisted)
Traded: Hayden Crozier (Western Bulldogs), Lachie Weller (Gold Coast Suns), Harley Balic (Melbourne)

Sources: Club Media Releases: Luke Morfesse (Fremantle), Alison Zell (GWS), Adrian Ceddia ( Western Bulldogs), Alexandra Stewart (Carlton), Natalie MacGregor (Essendon), David O’Neill, (St Klda), Nicki Malady (Richmond), sen.com.au, AFL Record Season Guide, AFL Grand Final Record

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