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Landing Goddard is Dons' biggest fish in 40 years

Date

Matt Murnane

Des Tuddenham in 1972.

Des Tuddenham in 1972.

BRENDON Goddard was yesterday being hailed as the biggest name Essendon has lured from a rival club in 40 years.

A host of ex-Essendon officials, former premiership players and recruiters from opposition clubs contacted by The Age yesterday said they could not recall the club landing such a marquee signing from another team since 1972.

That was the year Essendon poached Des Tuddenham, a Collingwood captain and best and fairest winner, to Windy Hill to become the Bombers' new captain-coach.

''I can't think of any other player who came from another club with that sort of standing that has gone to Essendon,'' said Alec Epis, a former chairman of selectors and recently-retired board member who has been at the club since the 1950s.

''Goddard is probably the biggest signing they've done since Tuddenham, and that was a big one at the time.''

Free agency took off on its first day in the AFL and it was Essendon that emerged as the major player yesterday securing the hottest property in the market.

Goddard, St Kilda's two-time All-Australian and former No. 1 draft pick, has signed a big-money four-year deal to switch from Seaford to Windy Hill.

At 27, he is almost certain to play out his career in red and black, completing one of the biggest trades in the past 10 years and one of the few of its kind for Essendon.

Another ''big fish'' the Bombers captured was Graham Moss, who crossed from Western Australia one year after Tuddenham.

Moss had been pursued by St Kilda before eventually going to Essendon in 1973 and winning a Brownlow Medal four years later.

In recent times, the Bombers have shown an aptitude for giving players up in return for draft picks, such as the famous deal with Fremantle in 1994 that saw Essendon trade Todd Ridley, Tony Delaney, Dale Kickett and Russell Williams for draft selections that brought Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas to the club.

When the Bombers secured the highly sought after Gavin Wanganeen in the 1989 draft, beating Adelaide for his services, it was considered a major coup for the club and Wanganeen lived up to the lofty expectations thrust upon him, winning the 1993 Brownlow Medal and playing in that year's premiership team.

For whatever reason, Essendon has had much less to do with luring high-profile players from opposition VFL or AFL clubs in the off-season than other leading clubs.

One of the better trades - in terms of bringing in players from rival clubs - completed by the Bombers in recent times came at the end of 1995 when they secured Sean Wellman from Adelaide and Paul Barnard from Hawthorn, who played a combined 318 games for Essendon, in a four-way deal that included club champion Paul Salmon going to Hawthorn and Darren Jarman moving to Adelaide.

Another former Essendon board member yesterday said the Bombers preferred to ''grow their own''.

Two recruiters contacted by The Age spoke about how the Bombers, historically, had also been difficult to deal with at the negotiating table.

''It was just never in the culture,'' said Epis, who played in Essendon's 1962 and 1965 premierships. ''You usually find that clubs that make those really big signings are trying to top up their list. The Bombers always felt that they had players from within that they could use.''

13 comments

  • Geoff Raines, Mike Richardson 1986 from Collingwood, Bryan Wood from Richmond 1984.

    Rene Kink 1983

    Terry Daniher and his entire family from South Melbourne for the amazing Neville Fields.

    Greg Anderson from Port, the biggest fish in South Australia.

    None of these were battlers who couldn't get a game at their own club. Essendon when they topped the ladder in the '80s were financially ruthless and played the game like Carlton and Hawthorn. To say they never got the big fish, (no not Salmon!) is a bit of selective amnesia.

    Commenter
    george smith
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    October 02, 2012, 8:42AM
    • As a Bombers supporter, very happy to get Brendan Goddard. But don't like free agency and would love Brendan Goddard to have been a one club player with St. Kilda. Feel for Saints and their supporters.

      Commenter
      Trevor
      Location
      Port Pirie
      Date and time
      October 02, 2012, 9:19AM
      • What are you talking about? What about Ty Zantuck? That was a pretty big signing. Also there was Matthew Allan, Scott Camporeale, Paul Salmon the second time around, Ilija Grigic, Richard Cole, Mark Williams, Dale Kickett, Jonathan Robran, Justin Murphy, Damien Cupido and Ben Doolan - all mega signings from other clubs.

        Commenter
        DJCJ
        Location
        Melbourne
        Date and time
        October 02, 2012, 9:27AM
        • Mega signings - Which one of those players represents a mega signing!?!? Ben Doolan, bawahahahahaha!

          Commenter
          Jason
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          October 02, 2012, 12:50PM
        • Jason - I think you 'get me', otherwise you may need to look up the word sarcasm in the dictionary mate.

          Commenter
          DJCJ
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          October 02, 2012, 1:46PM
        • I dont think history will shine greatly on Brendon Goddard either, people get under his skin to easily and he goes off his game, 2 premierships and no cup. Although I do rate him as a footballer unlike gary ablett jnr he will struggle without the likes of Montagna, Hayes, Fisher and co to help him be a better player, hopefully he fits into essendon and he plays consistent football, but its not as easy as just throwing on the boots and taking the field there are many other factors that make a good player a great player and Goddard I dont believe has quite got their yet, but still has the chance to prove me wrong.

          Commenter
          Geoff
          Date and time
          October 02, 2012, 2:49PM
      • Alex Epis, the man who bagged Sheeds for 27 years while Sheeds kept winning premierships for the Bombers. Yeah, you'd want his opinion wouldn't ya?

        Commenter
        manny
        Location
        willowgrove sth
        Date and time
        October 02, 2012, 10:28AM
        • @DJCJ

          Was about to post your words exactly. Couldn't agree more.

          Commenter
          Jason
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          October 02, 2012, 12:51PM
      • ..........And Essendumb supporters saying the club never tried to buy a premiership .........mmmmmm look at above comments Essendumb .....as Jack Elliott use to say ........
        PIGS A**

        Commenter
        Bluebaggers
        Location
        Texas
        Date and time
        October 02, 2012, 11:02AM
        • Love how you included John Elliot in a comment about a team buying a premiership!
          He was behind the biggest salary cap breach in AFL history.....still laughing about what he did to Carlton.

          Thanks for that, best laugh I had all day!

          Oh and Essendumb......that's hilarious did you come up with that all by yourself?

          Commenter
          RickyC
          Location
          Melbourne
          Date and time
          October 02, 2012, 12:13PM

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