Fevola’s talent a waste

He’s gone. Finished at 30. His AFL career all over, ending in a sacking.

What a waste.

The Brisbane Lions called time on Brendan Fevola’s career when they terminated his $1.9 million contract and informed Fevola and his manager, former Lion Alastair Lynch, of his sacking last night.

A club statement said Fevola was sacked because he “had engaged in serious or wilful misconduct through persistent breaches of his obligations as a player”.

It said the club had “lost confidence in his ability to meet his obligations as a player due to these persistent breaches”.

Fevola even offered to play the entire 2011 season with the Brisbane Lions reserves and adhere to any behaviour clauses at the club to ensure he can play on in the AFL, but the Lions thought otherwise.

Brendan Fevola was a genuine matchwinner and a crowd favourite, yet a player who at his best was an absolute star and at his worst, simply ordinary. Unstoppable one week and unmanageable the next.

There won’t be a heap of sympathy, for he was a law unto himself, a repeat offender, but, gee, he could play.

His downfall comes down to his lack of commitment and poor choices, yet he had little support from the AFL and his two clubs – Carlton and the Brisbane Lions in his career.

Who knows what could of been had Carlton pulled him into line in the early years of his career at Princes Park. Straight away?

Many who knew him at junior level said he was destined for trouble. They were right. They saw and knew what he was capable of on and off the field.

Carlton lived in lasting hope which eventually faded. After all, he was good enough to kick 99 goals in a season for a bottom team a couple years ago.

Yet, he couldn’t stay out of trouble. Fev did as he pleased from start to finish – and that was the problem.

Carlton finally sacked Fevola after a series of off-field incidents and warnings by the club at the end of 2009, and he was traded to the Brisbane Lions.

He played his best footy at Carlton and will be remembered as a great player as a Blue, barring his off-field dramas.

As a Lion, he started well but his body let him down as the season wore on. Off-field indiscretions continued, adding to his downfall.

The Carlton-Brisbane deal was a big mistake, no doubt the Lions are aware of that now.

They lost Lachie Henderson and the no.12 draft pick to Carlton which wasn’t orchestrated very well as Daniel Bradshaw left immediately and headed to the Sydney Swans after he and teammate Michael Rischitelli were offered first up in exchange for Fevola.

Rischitelli and Jared Brennan left the club at the end of the 2010 season defecting to the Gold Coast Suns, clearly unhappy with their position at the Gabba.

In effect, Fev cost five players and a three-year deal worth $2.1 million, with Carlton paying $100,000 for each of the first two years.

His fate was determined when the administration virtually declared him guilty of exposing himself to a woman at an event in Brisbane in September.

It was clear that club officials, along with the AFL, were disappointed when police found no case to answer.

It didn’t matter. They were gunning for him.

Yet another fallout with his wife, Alex, at Sorrento during the Christmas break sealed his fate.

He was so distressed by the latest turn of events, he caught a bus back to Melbourne, returned to Brisbane and, surprise, surprise, found trouble with the police.

He went into rehab and out of the club’s plans for 2011 at the same time.

He was a dead man walking, but Brisbane knew it had to get its act together and make a decision.

Not a good look to dump a player the day after he enters rehab for deep psychological problems on top of gambling and drinking problems.

All that’s left now is a financial settlement.

Brisbane is committed to $1.5 million-plus and Fev needs every cent he can find.

Where to now for Fev?

He has aspirations to join former Cat Ben Graham and former Roo and Magpie Sav Rocca as an NFL punter in the US, but even NFL clubs would hold their queries given his off field troubles.

His best hope to remain in the AFL lies with the GWS Giants, which now deems highly unlikely with coach Kevin Sheedy ruling out the possibility of recruiting the 30 year old to Blacktown.

His third and most viable option is to continue to play footy, but at state level. Clubs in AFLQ, SANFL, WAFL, AFL NSW-ACT and the VFL would throw the cheque book at him. A return to Melbourne seems more likely than most.

But first, Fev needs to get his life in order. He remains in a Brisbane rehabilitation clinic and needs to get himself healthy and well before making any other decisions going forward.

It’s a very sad and sorry end to the AFL career of Brendan Fevola.


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