July 21, 2024

returned to their original clubs

A trade back to GWS would have seen Rory Lobb join the likes of Eddie Betts and Gary Ablett jnr in an exclusive club

FOR A while, it looked like Rory Lobb was about to join an exclusive AFL club.

But alas – for Greater Western Sydney, trivia buffs and the historians of the game – he didn’t and stayed with Fremantle.

The club? The ‘Players Who Returned to Their Original Club After Playing Elsewhere’ Club.

There are more than you might think.

For the sake of brevity, we’ve decided to look back only to the turn of the century to identify which players made a return to their original home for a second stint.

And interestingly, Fremantle has been involved in more of these transactions than any club over the past 20 years.

With Adam McPheePeter BellHeath Black and Brad Wira, the Dockers have four players who have returned ‘home’ after going elsewhere in between.

They have also been the middle stop for three others – most famously Trent Croad and also Josh Carr and Chris Tarrant.

Lobb’s aborted move back to western Sydney would have added to the list, and the brief flurry of interest in Brisbane’s Lachie Neale returning to the Dockers was another purple-themed trade talking point.

While the Dockers have a long history of being involved on ‘prodigal son’ moves, they don’t have a monopoly on these trades.

One of the greatest players ever, Gary Ablett jnr, is perhaps the biggest name on the list after he went back to Geelong ahead of the 2018 season to round out his career with the Cats, following a seven-year stint with Gold Coast.

There’s also Eddie Betts, who played his final two seasons back at Carlton following an incredible career with Adelaide.

Betts kicked over 300 goals for both clubs and was still good for 27 majors in 19 games in his final season with the Blues.

Here’s a quick rundown of players who returned to their original clubs after a stint elsewhere.

 

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