2012 countdown: Top 10 departures

Written By Unknown on Kamis, 27 Desember 2012 | 14.43

The best pictures of the 2012 AFL season

Corey Enright consoles retiring Geelong veteran Matthew Scarlett after the loss to Fremantle - his final match. Picture: George Salpigtidis Source: Herald Sun

THE Kurt Tippett saga seemed to rip apart rainforests this off-season. But did million-dollar man Israel Folau's defection cause a bigger stir? Or what about Liam Jurrah?

As we count down the rest of the week we'll name the highlights, lowlights and simply strange moments of the year in footy in a countdown of top 10 countdowns.

We've well and truly kicked off the countdowns with the best 10 AFL games of 2012,the top 10 marks, the top 10 goals, the top 10 brain fades and the top 10 individual performances. Yesterday, it was the top 10 recruits of 2012.

Today the countdown continues with the top 10 departures of the year.

Did we get it right? Leave a comment below

10. BRENT PRISMALL (Essendon)

Well, sort of departed. The unlucky former Bomber and Cat went through clubs like Tiger Woods in the lead-up to the pre-season draft. First he stayed on at Windy Hill and was told by James Hird he'd be redrafted, then it was over to train at Alberton where he was reportedly offered a one-year deal, and finally Prismall decided "nah, let's stay in Victoria" and headed back home to train with the Dogs. But in a cruel twist, the Bulldogs signed Nick Lower and then handed their final position on their list to 28-year-old player welfare manager Brett Goodes. With Goodes' former job open and Prismall suddenly unemployed, the Whitten Oval powerbrokers had little hesitation opting for him over a Seek ad. What a whirlwind two months for Prismall, who is stranded on 61 AFL games. And in yet another twist the 26-year-old is expected to sign at Dogs affiliate Williamstown and play there, with Goodes, next season. This was a pretzel of a story.

Brent Prismall trains with the Bombers at Windy Hill. Picture: Wayne Ludbey Source: Herald Sun

9. JASON GRAM (St Kilda)

One of the more bizarre exits from the AFL system we've seen. Gram's career came to a sudden, public and dramatic end in October. The St Kilda line-breaker had his contract terminated after he was arrested and charged before being convicted and fined $5000 on six criminal charges. The 28-year-old played 152 games in red, white and black threads after crossing from the Brisbane Lions. His exit effectively allowed the Saints to sign Dylan Roberton at the death of delisted free agency. With football gone, fingers crossed Gram gets his life on track in 2013. Right now he's enjoying some sun in Thailand… a nice change of pace after 10 sweltering pre-seasons.

Jason Gram has been sacked by St Kilda. Source: Herald Sun

8. MATTHEW PRIMUS (Port Adelaide)

How unlucky is this bloke? Does his knee and misses playing in Port's inaugural flag in 2004 and sacked from the same club after just 47 games at the helm as senior coach. Not sure Primus is all for the AFL's expansion plans… of the 34 losses he coached the two against the baby clubs seemed to haunt him dearly. The Power was the first club to go down to the Suns last year, as serious pressure to retain his job mounted, before they became the first established club to go down at the hands of GWS this season. That was the death knell. So, what's next? If you can't beat them join them – Primus is the new midfield coach at the Suns.

Port Adelaide coach Matthew Primus during a Power training session. Picture: Matt Turner Source: The Advertiser

7. BRETT RATTEN (Carlton)

Much like Primus, Ratten's "coach killer" came against the AFL newbies. After a spirited fightback to crawl into top-eight contention, all the Blues had to do was travel north and eclipse the Suns to keep their season alive. They failed. Miserable. And a prickly Ratten presser after the match pointed to the fact he knew this season would be his last. Ratten decided to coach the final game of the year after being told he was axed and the Mick Malthouse lure materialised. Ratts is off to Glenferrie next year to aid the Hawks. It's been a quiet addition, but that could be one of the recruits of the year.

6. LIAM JURRAH (Melbourne)

Talk about a turbulent year. Jurrah battled an injury curse, was charged over an alleged machete attack, walked out on the Dees and was overlooked by Port Adelaide after a brief training stint at Alberton. Now, he's set to play under Port's eyes in the SANFL with the possibility of reigniting his AFL career in 2014. The mercurial forward was seemingly set for a promising stint at the Dees after being handed Russell Robertson's No. 24 jumper and thumping home 40 goals last year. He could get on the park just once this season – in a 101-point loss to premiers Sydney. Ouch.

Sydney Swans v Melbourne Demons, SCG - Demons Liam Jurrah on a lead. Picture: Anthony Reginato Source: Herald Sun


The AFL lost one of its heavyweights when Adrian Anderson suddenly resigned this month. In his nine years as football operations manager, Anderson handled a lot of big issues he must have at times wanted to handball off. Check this list to see what he put up with. But, he left highly respected for his dealings both with the media and at AFL House after entering a faceless 31-year-old handpicked by Andrew Demetriou.

AFL football operations manager Adrian Anderson. Source: Herald Sun


Seriously, how good was this bloke? Three flags, a best-and-fairest and a mortgage on the full-back post in the All-Australian side. Eight times Scarlett made the team of the year, while after 284 games stopping the league's gorillas he is firmly entrenched among the greats. Scarlett will leave a massive hole in Chris Scott's defence and was hands-down the biggest star to depart the game after 2012. Six times this man collected at least 30 touches, showing his ability to kill sides on the rebound, while like many former Cats he's off to the Dogs in 2013 – as a part-time coach under Brendan McCartney.


Day one of free agency and one of St Kilda's marquee men packs up and shifts to Essendon for mega bucks. Bang. The BJ defection kick-started the new age of AFL. A No. 1 draft pick and Grand Final star walking was big, especially with talk Goddard could have captained the Saints if he had stayed. In fairness he wasn't coming off an outstanding season and the system did adequately reimburse St Kilda, with Goddard winning it the No. 13 draft pick, used to help secure exciting ruckman Tom Hickey.

Essendon recruit Brendon Goddard models the 9 jumper he will wear next year Picture: Michael Klein Source: Herald Sun


Gave up? Mercenary? Did his job? Lacked the ability? Everyone had their say when Izzy walked out on the Giants after just 13 games at the top level. He never kicked more than one goal, picked up more than five kicks in a game and averaged just 1.4 tackles a match, but, gee, his pay cheque would've been handsome. The biggest shock was when Folau snubbed the NRL, instead opting to play with the NSW Waratahs in 2013. Yep, that's three codes in four years for the one-time league great. And it didn't take long for comedians on social media to link him to Melbourne Heart, Sydney Sixers and synchronised swimming at the next Olympics following his defection.

Israel Folau has been visiting prisoners at Parklea prison. Source: Getty Images

1. KURT TIPPETT (Adelaide)

Oh boy. Where do you start? Nearly the preliminary final hero. Now the all-time greatest villain for Adelaide fans. The Crows lost draft picks, Tippett for nothing, huge fines and a spread of embarrassment unlikely to be topped. An uglier departure could not be scripted, and all because Adelaide was hell-bent on keeping the key forward at the end of 2009. But Tippett got to the Swans, will earn about $70,000 a game next season and walked away with his registration in hand and just an 11-game suspension to serve. Thank heavens that two-month saga is done and dusted.

Where to? Kurt Tippett has a big decision to make. Source: Herald Sun

Follow Sam Landsberger on Twitter @SamLandsberger

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