Dustin Fletcher

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Dustin Fletcher
Lance Franklin accompanied by Paddy Ryder (cropped).jpg
Fletcher in August 2007
Personal information
Full name Dustin Andrew Fletcher
Date of birth (1975-05-07) 7 May 1975 (age 42)
Original team(s) Western Jets (TAC Cup)
Draft (F/S), 1992 national draft
Height 198 cm (6 ft 6 in)
Weight 92 kg (203 lb)
Position(s) Defender
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1993–2015 Essendon 400 (71)
International team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
2005–2015 Australia Australia 8 (0)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2015.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2015.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com

Dustin Andrew Fletcher (born 7 May 1975) is a former professional Australian rules footballer who played for the Essendon Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). He is widely acknowledged as one of the finest defenders in VFL/AFL history.[1]

AFL career[edit]

Fletcher was recruited by the Essendon Football Club in the 1992 National Draft. He played his first senior game against Carlton in his senior year of high school at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School.

He was a key member of the 1993 premiership team in his first AFL season, a team which is often referred to as the "Baby Bombers".

Fletcher also played in the 2000 premiership team, a year in which he also won the W.S. Crichton Medal as Essendon's best and fairest and was selected in the All-Australian team.

A banner congratulating Fletcher in 2010.

Noted for his longevity in the game, Fletcher played a total of 400 senior VFL/AFL games, which stands as the fourth-most by any player as of the end of the 2016 season. Fletcher played his 400th game in Round 9, 2015, becoming the third player in VFL/AFL history to reach the milestone, after Michael Tuck and Kevin Bartlett; it would end up being his final game, as he was unable to recover from a groin injury sustained during the match.[2] He holds the outright Essendon games record, having overtaken the previous record of 378 games held by Simon Madden in Round 1, 2014.[3] He is the second oldest player to play a VFL/AFL game, aged 40 years and 23 days at the time of his final game, behind only Vic Cumberland (who played the 1920 season aged 43).[4] With his father, Ken, the Fletchers hold the record for the most VFL/AFL career games played by a father and son, with 664 games between them.

On 12 January 2016, during the summer after his retirement, Fletcher was named as one of 34 past and present Essendon players found guilty over their use of illegal supplements during the 2012 AFL season. As a result, Fletcher was suspended from playing at all levels for 24 months, which with backdating and provisional suspension served resulted in suspension until November 2016.[5]

After serving his suspension, Fletcher will return in 2017 to play suburban football for Essendon Doutta Stars.[6]

Kicking style[edit]

Fletcher's execution of the torpedo punt was often used as a set-play clearing strategy by coach Kevin Sheedy. In a game in 2007, he kicked a torpedo punt goal from more than 70 metres.[7] According to The Sunday Age, it was the fifth longest kick in the history of the VFL/AFL.

International rules series[edit]

Fletcher served as the Australia international rules football team's goalkeeper for five series: the 2005 series, the 2006 series the 2010 series, the 2014 series and the 2015 series. Along with Barry Hall, Fletcher was one of Australia's co-captains for the 2006 series. He is regarded as Australia's greatest keeper throughout the series. He retired from top level football with a final International rules match, at the 2015 series in Ireland.[8]

Statistics[edit]

[9]
Legend
 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team # Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T
Totals Averages (per game)
1993 Essendon 31 17 0 0 128 45 173 43 24 0.0 0.0 7.5 2.6 10.2 2.5 1.4
1994 Essendon 31 13 2 0 76 41 117 27 10 0.2 0.0 5.8 3.2 9.0 2.1 0.8
1995 Essendon 31 22 4 3 199 101 300 94 23 0.2 0.1 9.0 4.6 13.6 4.3 1.0
1996 Essendon 31 23 16 10 235 52 287 105 16 0.7 0.4 10.2 2.3 12.5 4.6 0.7
1997 Essendon 31 16 9 2 175 62 237 76 14 0.6 0.1 10.9 3.9 14.8 4.8 0.9
1998 Essendon 31 18 4 2 186 39 225 57 16 0.2 0.1 10.3 2.2 12.5 3.2 0.9
1999 Essendon 31 19 3 8 198 51 249 74 18 0.2 0.4 10.4 2.7 13.1 3.9 1.0
2000 Essendon 31 23 14 6 276 81 357 93 26 0.6 0.3 12.0 3.5 15.5 4.0 1.1
2001 Essendon 31 21 4 4 239 62 301 78 18 0.2 0.2 11.4 3.0 14.3 3.7 0.9
2002 Essendon 31 18 3 2 202 44 246 51 30 0.2 0.1 11.2 2.4 13.7 2.8 1.7
2003 Essendon 31 14 0 0 145 34 179 44 14 0.0 0.0 10.4 2.4 12.8 3.1 1.0
2004 Essendon 31 20 1 3 220 42 262 70 28 0.0 0.2 11.0 2.1 13.1 3.5 1.4
2005 Essendon 31 17 0 0 226 37 263 70 13 0.0 0.0 13.3 2.2 15.5 4.1 0.8
2006 Essendon 31 16 0 0 211 67 278 98 12 0.0 0.0 13.2 4.2 17.4 6.1 0.8
2007 Essendon 31 19 3 2 309 85 394 144 30 0.2 0.1 16.3 4.5 20.7 7.6 1.6
2008 Essendon 31 18 2 3 198 84 282 96 18 0.1 0.2 11.0 4.7 15.7 5.3 1.0
2009 Essendon 31 18 1 1 218 102 320 86 30 0.1 0.1 12.1 5.7 17.8 4.8 1.7
2010 Essendon 31 16 1 1 216 75 291 79 28 0.1 0.1 13.5 4.7 18.2 4.9 1.8
2011 Essendon 31 19 1 0 213 76 289 77 32 0.0 0.0 11.2 4.0 15.2 4.0 1.7
2012 Essendon 31 18 1 2 244 45 289 88 20 0.1 0.1 13.6 2.5 16.1 4.9 1.1
2013 Essendon 31 13 0 0 151 47 198 63 14 0.0 0.0 11.6 3.6 15.2 4.8 1.1
2014 Essendon 31 15 1 0 198 81 279 103 11 0.1 0.0 13.2 5.4 18.6 6.9 0.7
2015 Essendon 31 7 1 1 80 36 116 35 6 0.1 0.1 11.4 5.1 16.6 5.0 0.9
Career 400 71 50 4543 1389 5932 1751 451 0.2 0.1 11.4 3.5 14.8 4.4 1.1

Honours and achievements[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anderson, Jon (27 May 2010). "Pick 1: Fletcher or Scarlett?". Herald Sun. 
  2. ^ "Dustin Fletcher: Facts and figures of 400 games". Herald Sun. 29 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Baum, Greg (21 March 2014). "Essendon ignores drama to notch memorable win". The Age. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  4. ^ Anderson, Jon (6 May 2015). "Essendon's Dustin Fletcher is the second-oldest player to play the game as Michael Tuck lauds his longevity". The Age. Retrieved 4 August 2015. 
  5. ^ Travis King (12 January 2016). "Guilty: court bans the Essendon 34 for 2016". Australian Football League. Retrieved 12 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Chris Cavanagh (6 November 2016). "Essendon champion Dustin Fletcher commits to play local footy with Essendon Doutta Stars". Moonee Valley Leader. Essendon, VIC. Retrieved 6 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Clough, Michael (24 April 2007). "AFL Round 4 Review". Ohmy News. Retrieved 11 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Dustin Fletcher set for Irish farewell tour after fitness test
  9. ^ http://afltables.com/afl/stats/players/D/Dustin_Fletcher.html

External links[edit]