JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Folau a 'mozzie bite' on the game: Voss

Israel Folau announces his retirement from the AFL at Thursday's press conference with GWS coach Kevin Sheedy.

Israel Folau announces his retirement from the AFL at Thursday's press conference with GWS coach Kevin Sheedy. Photo: Wolter Peeters

It's been variously described as an embarrassment for the AFL, an experiment that ended in abject failure and hands-down win for rugby league in the much-hyped battle for sporting hearts and mind in Sydney's west.

But Israel Folau's sudden departure from the game barely made a ripple among the AFL elite in the former league star's home town, with Brisbane great and Lions coach Michael Voss brushing suggestions the farce has caused lasting damage to the code.

Folau walked away from AFL after pocketing $2 million in his role as a fulltime promotions vehicle and very occasional contributor to Greater Western Sydney. He kicked just two goals and earned around $25,000 per possession in a season to forget.

Voss was asked whether the game had taken a serious hit after its second high-profile code hopper gave the game away and said he doubted there would be any real impact from Folau's awkward attempt to become a Polynesian powerhouse in the forward pocket.

"Not in this instance. If it was Chris Judd or Jonathan Brown it would. But they're not walking away from the game - Israel is," Voss said.

"He's come from another code and he's going back to that code, if that's what he chooses to do. But our code will certainly carry on. It's bigger than one person.

"In terms of a black eye, no. A blemish. A mozzie bite. That's it."

Lions midfielder Tom Rockliff wasn't surprised Folau had battled to make a fist of things in AFL. He said Karmichael Hunt, who blazed the trail for Folau's switch, had some sort of AFL background on which to build while Folau was starting afresh.

"It's always going to be difficult. You grow up playing a sport - it's always going to be difficult to change. It didn't work for him," Rockliff said.

Hunt, a success story for the Gold Coast Suns, told the AFL website said he respected Folau for making the call to depart a game for which he had little affinity and even less passion.

"Obviously he felt his heart wasn't in it and I guess it would have been unfair to a lot of people including himself, if he carried on," Hunt said.

"I respect his decision."

Folau is likely to return to the NRL and the Parramatta Eels are firm favourites for his signature. It's a shame AFL fans saw only a clueless rookie instead of a dominant athlete but Ricky Stuart is hoping to reboot a player whose powerful physique and aerial ability helped take league's attacking bombs to a new level.

For now, his contribution to AFL will simply read: 13 games, 80 disposals, 22 marks, two goals, 65 hit outs and 18 tackles.


  • I like Mike Pyke. A thinker as well as a footballer. And dedicated. Like Kennelly and Stynes. Need to look inside the heads of cross-code recruits as well as at their body shape and skills.

    David Stephens
    Date and time
    November 02, 2012, 5:26PM
    • I thought Greg Baum's negative article about Israel Folau was absolute rubbish.

      I think the Israel Folau experiment should be considered successful. Israel was improving all the time and still had a lot of improvement left in him. His last game for GWS was very good. He was taking marks and was a devastating tackler as you would expect. This was mostly a marketing and promotional exercise and in that area it succeeded. He would have succeeded as a player if he had another couple of years. The problem is that he didn't have a another couple of years and neither did the AFL. I think it was a win for all concerned and Israel made a lot of money which will be good for him and his family. He is only 23 and he can pick up NRL where he left off. He may even be a better player now with more stamina, speed and better kicking ability.

      Good on the AFL and Israel Folau for taking a risk. They all parted on good terms as friends. Where is the problem?

      Actually I'd like to see him partnering Greg Inglis in the centres for the Wallabies with Billy Slater at fullback. But this is unlikely now.

      BeyondThe Pale
      North Ryde, Sydney
      Date and time
      November 02, 2012, 7:15PM
      • Does "His heart not in it" mean he didn't try? Looks like D.Stephens is spot on. The man's headspace wasn't where it needs to be. Will need to find a lot of heart if he's to make it in NRL.

        glide by
        sth melbourne
        Date and time
        November 03, 2012, 6:38AM
      • @ BeyondThe Pale - Actually I'd like to see him partnering Greg Inglis in the centres for the Wallabies with Billy Slater at fullback.

        Now I would love to see that..... that would be great but agree, very unlikely

        Date and time
        November 03, 2012, 10:23AM
    • Israel Folau was irrelevant to the majority of AFL fans. More like a gimmick than anything. AFL is bigger than a mediocre player from another code trying to learn the game.

      Date and time
      November 02, 2012, 9:54PM
      • AFL fans... Israel who ?
        Happy to take your money but I think you have been had. Trumpeted as a great coup for AFL but really proves, horses for courses.
        Welcome back to the real game.

        up the workers
        Date and time
        November 03, 2012, 1:16AM
        Comments are now closed

        Related Coverage

        HuffPost Australia

        AFL 2015

        Round 1
        Thu, 02 AprTimes shown AEDT
        CAR 78vs RIC 105 Report Stats
        Sat, 04 AprTimes shown AEDT
        MEL 115vs GCF 89 Stats
        SYD 72vs ESS 60 Stats
        BRI 74vs COL 86 Stats
        WBU 97vs WCE 87 Stats
        Sun, 05 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK 78vs GWS 87 Stats
        ADE 140vs NTH 63 Stats
        FRE 75vs PTA 68 Stats
        Mon, 06 AprTimes shown AEST
        HAW 123vs GEE 61 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 2
        Fri, 10 AprTimes shown AEST
        WCE 131vs CAR 62 Stats
        Sat, 11 AprTimes shown AEST
        RIC 66vs WBU 85 Report Stats
        GWS 101vs MEL 56 Stats
        COL 63vs ADE 90 Report Stats
        GCF 76vs STK 104 Stats
        PTA 44vs SYD 92 Stats
        Sun, 12 AprTimes shown AEST
        GEE 60vs FRE 104 Stats
        ESS 78vs HAW 76 Stats
        NTH 133vs BRI 51 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 3
        Fri, 17 AprTimes shown AEST
        COL 140vs STK 66 Stats
        Sat, 18 AprTimes shown AEST
        CAR 84vs ESS 105 Stats
        ADE 80vs MEL 55 Stats
        SYD 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
        NTH 105vs PTA 113 Stats
        BRI 58vs RIC 137 Stats
        Sun, 19 AprTimes shown AEST
        HAW 127vs WBU 57 Stats
        GEE 105vs GCF 96 Stats
        WCE 81vs FRE 111 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 4
        Fri, 24 AprTimes shown AEST
        RIC 51vs MEL 83 Stats
        Sat, 25 AprTimes shown AEST
        STK 81vs CAR 121 Report Report Stats
        ESS 49vs COL 69 Report Stats
        GWS 119vs GCF 53 Stats
        PTA 99vs HAW 91 Stats
        FRE 74vs SYD 60 Stats
        Sun, 26 AprTimes shown AEST
        BRI 65vs WCE 118 Stats
        GEE 67vs NTH 83 Stats
        WBU 125vs ADE 68 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 5
        Fri, 01 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR 45vs COL 120 Stats
        Sat, 02 MayTimes shown AEST
        RIC 76vs GEE 85 Stats
        SYD 73vs WBU 77 Stats
        GCF 118vs BRI 54 Stats
        NTH 70vs HAW 130 Stats
        WCE 120vs GWS 33 Stats
        Sun, 03 MayTimes shown AEST
        MEL 50vs FRE 118 Stats
        STK 80vs ESS 82 Stats
        ADE 91vs PTA 115 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 6
        Fri, 08 MayTimes shown AEST
        COL 59vs GEE 100 Stats
        Sat, 09 MayTimes shown AEST
        NTH 109vs RIC 74 Stats
        WBU 87vs STK 94 Stats
        GWS 108vs HAW 98 Stats
        GCF 78vs ADE 119 Stats
        MEL 50vs SYD 88 Stats
        FRE 80vs ESS 52 Stats
        Sun, 10 MayTimes shown AEST
        CAR 75vs BRI 84 Report Stats
        PTA 68vs WCE 78 Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 7
        Fri, 15 MayTimes shown AEST
        ESS 82vs NTH 93 Stats
        Sat, 16 MayTimes shown AEST
        ADE 119vs STK 73 Stats
        HAW 155vs MEL 50 Stats
        CAR 57vs GWS 135 Stats
        SYD 120vs GEE 77 Stats
        WCE 135vs GCF 43 Stats
        Sun, 17 MayTimes shown AEST
        WBU 88vs FRE 101 Stats
        RIC 105vs COL 100 Report Stats
        BRI 102vs PTA 65 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 8
        Fri, 22 MayTimes shown AEST
        GEE 140vs CAR 63 Report Stats
        Sat, 23 MayTimes shown AEST
        STK 78vs WCE 131 Report Stats
        GWS 108vs ADE 84 Report Stats
        GCF 63vs COL 132 Report Stats
        HAW 69vs SYD 73 Report Stats
        FRE 115vs NTH 42 Report Stats
        Sun, 24 MayTimes shown AEST
        ESS 136vs BRI 78 Report Stats
        MEL 103vs WBU 64 Report Stats
        PTA 43vs RIC 76 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 9
        Fri, 29 MayTimes shown AEST
        SYD 122vs CAR 62 Report Stats
        Sat, 30 MayTimes shown AEST
        HAW 93vs GCF 40 Report Stats
        MEL 54vs PTA 115 Report Stats
        WBU 113vs GWS 68 Report Stats
        RIC 72vs ESS 59 Report Stats
        ADE 57vs FRE 68 Report Stats
        Sun, 31 MayTimes shown AEST
        BRI 86vs STK 108 Report Stats
        COL 112vs NTH 95 Report Stats
        WCE 120vs GEE 64 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 10
        Fri, 05 JunTimes shown AEST
        FRE 70vs RIC 97 Report Stats
        Sat, 06 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR 90vs ADE 99 Report Stats
        GCF 41vs SYD 93 Report Stats
        ESS 53vs GEE 122 Report Stats
        PTA 100vs WBU 62 Report Stats
        Sun, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
        GWS 97vs BRI 67 Report Stats
        NTH 85vs WCE 75 Report Stats
        STK 69vs HAW 132 Report Stats
        Mon, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
        MEL 85vs COL 110 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 11
        Fri, 12 JunTimes shown AEST
        PTA 69vs GEE 92 Report Stats
        Sat, 13 JunTimes shown AEST
        GCF 46vs FRE 53 Report Stats
        WCE 96vs ESS 46 Report Stats
        NTH 75vs SYD 91 Report Report Stats
        Sun, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
        COL 119vs GWS 77 Report Stats
        STK 85vs MEL 83 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 12
        Thu, 18 JunTimes shown AEST
        ADE 85vs HAW 114 Report Stats
        Fri, 19 JunTimes shown AEST
        RIC 70vs WCE 90 Report Stats
        Sat, 20 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR 110vs PTA 106 Report Stats
        GWS 61vs NTH 117 Report Stats
        WBU 146vs BRI 74 Report Stats
        Sun, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
        GEE 89vs MEL 113 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 13
        Thu, 25 JunTimes shown AEST
        FRE 80vs COL 73 Report Stats
        Fri, 26 JunTimes shown AEST
        SYD 77vs RIC 95 Report Stats
        Sat, 27 JunTimes shown AEST
        HAW 114vs ESS 76 Report Stats
        BRI 69vs ADE 82 Report Stats
        STK 56vs WBU 62 Report Stats
        Sun, 28 JunTimes shown AEST
        CAR 103vs GCF 69 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 14
        Thu, 02 JulTimes shown AEST
        SYD 94vs PTA 84 Report Stats
        Fri, 03 JulTimes shown AEST
        COL 91vs HAW 101 Report Stats
        Sat, 04 JulTimes shown AEST
        RIC 78vs GWS 69 Report Stats
        GCF 125vs NTH 70 Report Stats
        WBU 64vs CAR 53 Report Stats
        MEL 60vs WCE 114 Report Stats
        Sun, 05 JulTimes shown AEST
        ESS 52vs STK 162 Stats
        ADE vs GEE 15:20Adelaide Oval
        FRE 84vs BRI 48 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 15
        Thu, 09 JulTimes shown AEST
        PTA 66vs COL 63 Report Stats
        Fri, 10 JulTimes shown AEST
        RIC 71vs CAR 41 Report Stats
        Sat, 11 JulTimes shown AEST
        ESS 69vs MEL 60 Report Stats
        WBU 95vs GCF 73 Report Stats
        NTH 120vs GEE 79 Report Stats
        WCE 147vs ADE 91 Report Stats
        Sun, 12 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS 84vs STK 49 Report Stats
        HAW 115vs FRE 43 Report Stats
        BRI 49vs SYD 70 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 16
        Fri, 17 JulTimes shown AEST
        NTH 93vs ESS 68 Report Stats
        Sat, 18 JulTimes shown AEST
        GEE 72vs WBU 64 Report Stats
        GCF 79vs GWS 94 Report Stats
        COL 56vs WCE 87 Report Stats
        SYD 57vs HAW 146 Report Stats
        FRE 95vs CAR 53 Report Stats
        Sun, 19 JulTimes shown AEST
        MEL 60vs BRI 36 Report Stats
        PTA 113vs ADE 116 Report Stats
        STK 73vs RIC 89 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 17
        Fri, 24 JulTimes shown AEST
        CAR 35vs HAW 173 Report Stats
        Sat, 25 JulTimes shown AEST
        GWS 42vs GEE 69 Stats
        ADE 125vs GCF 80 Stats
        RIC 78vs FRE 82 Stats
        ESS 116vs PTA 129 Stats
        BRI 38vs NTH 110 Report Stats
        Sun, 26 JulTimes shown AEST
        WBU 104vs COL 86 Report Stats
        MEL 46vs STK 83 Report Stats
        WCE 103vs SYD 51 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 18
        Fri, 31 JulTimes shown AEST
        HAW 53vs RIC 71 Report Stats
        Sat, 01 AugTimes shown AEST
        GEE 113vs BRI 57 Stats
        COL 54vs MEL 91 Report Stats
        SYD 117vs ADE 65 Report Stats
        CAR 54vs NTH 118 Report Stats
        GCF 83vs WCE 83 Report Stats
        Sun, 02 AugTimes shown AEST
        PTA 112vs STK 49 Report Stats
        ESS 40vs WBU 127 Report Stats
        FRE 84vs GWS 63 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 19
        Fri, 07 AugTimes shown AEST
        ADE 88vs RIC 52 Report Stats
        Sat, 08 AugTimes shown AEST
        COL 105vs CAR 87 Report Stats
        WBU 128vs PTA 64 Report Stats
        BRI 100vs GCF 114 Report Stats
        GEE 95vs SYD 63 Report Stats
        WCE 74vs HAW 88 Report Stats
        Sun, 09 AugTimes shown AEST
        MEL 92vs NTH 127 Report Stats
        GWS 93vs ESS 61 Report Stats
        STK 59vs FRE 96 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 20
        Fri, 14 AugTimes shown AEST
        SYD 87vs COL 76 Report Stats
        Sat, 15 AugTimes shown AEST
        ESS 59vs ADE 171 Report Stats
        NTH 120vs STK 83 Report Stats
        PTA 111vs GWS 90 Report Stats
        GEE 85vs HAW 121 Report Stats
        BRI 131vs CAR 67 Report Stats
        Sun, 16 AugTimes shown AEST
        RIC 138vs GCF 55 Report Stats
        WBU 153vs MEL 55 Report Stats
        FRE 80vs WCE 104 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 21
        Fri, 21 AugTimes shown AEST
        HAW 86vs PTA 108 Report Stats
        Sat, 22 AugTimes shown AEST
        COL 56vs RIC 147 Report Stats
        GWS 44vs SYD 133 Report Stats
        GCF 97vs ESS 95 Report Stats
        STK 97vs GEE 97 Report Stats
        ADE 131vs BRI 44 Report Stats
        Sun, 23 AugTimes shown AEST
        NTH 94vs FRE 83 Report Stats
        CAR 78vs MEL 55 Report Stats
        WCE 162vs WBU 85 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 22
        Fri, 28 AugTimes shown AEST
        GEE 62vs COL 110 Report Stats
        Sat, 29 AugTimes shown AEST
        GWS 132vs CAR 51 Report Stats
        HAW 134vs BRI 62 Report Stats
        NTH 73vs WBU 96 Report Stats
        ESS 47vs RIC 74 Report Stats
        GCF 51vs PTA 88 Report Stats
        Sun, 30 AugTimes shown AEST
        ADE 126vs WCE 69 Report Stats
        STK 38vs SYD 135 Report Stats
        FRE 108vs MEL 54 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 23
        Fri, 04 SepTimes shown AEST
        RIC 108vs NTH 67 Report Stats
        Sat, 05 SepTimes shown AEST
        GEE 119vs ADE 80 Report Stats
        BRI 130vs WBU 122 Report Stats
        PTA 122vs FRE 53 Report Stats
        HAW 113vs CAR 56 Report Stats
        SYD 127vs GCF 64 Report Stats
        WCE 125vs STK 30 Report Stats
        Sun, 06 SepTimes shown AEST
        MEL 103vs GWS 77 Report Stats
        COL 92vs ESS 95 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 24
        Fri, 11 SepTimes shown AEST
        WCE 96vs HAW 64 Report Stats
        Sat, 12 SepTimes shown AEST
        FRE 69vs SYD 60 Report Stats
        WBU 102vs ADE 109 Report Stats
        Sun, 13 SepTimes shown AEST
        RIC 88vs NTH 105 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 25
        Fri, 18 SepTimes shown AEST
        HAW 135vs ADE 61 Report Stats
        Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
        SYD 51vs NTH 77 Report Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 26
        Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
        FRE 67vs HAW 94 Report Stats
        Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
        WCE 80vs NTH 55 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        Round 27
        Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
        HAW 107vs WCE 61 Report Stats
        View All Fixtures
        AFL 2015
        Overall standings
        Team P W L D % Pts
        Fremantle 22 17 5 0 118.73 68
        West Coast Eagles 22 16 5 1 148.22 66
        Hawthorn 22 16 6 0 158.40 64
        Sydney Swans 22 16 6 0 127.12 64
        Richmond 22 15 7 0 123.09 60
        Western Bulldogs 22 14 8 0 115.12 56
        Adelaide Crows 21 13 8 0 115.71 54
        North Melbourne 22 13 9 0 106.45 52
        View all

        Follow Us on Facebook

        Featured advertisers