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Football’s Top 10 Greatest Characters of the 21st Century: Brendan Fevola

Finally, we have arrived, number one. And a big one it is, Fev.

Arguably the biggest character ever seen in Aussie Rules football, Brendan Fevola, or Fev, was larger than life. Pure talent mixed with a cocky nature combined to produce one of the most iconic characters the game will ever see. 

Debut at Carlton

Fevola was drafted in 1998 mid draft, and picked early as a great kick of the football. He had natural ability on field, but also had the natural ability to garner negative press off the field too. He was lauded for his genuine skills, but coach Wayne Brittain was not impressed by Fevola’s antics, and wanted to trade Fevola following the 2002 AFL season, where the Blues claimed their first ever wooden spoon. However, Brittain was sacked, and new Carlton coach Dennis Pagan saw that Fevola’s playing ability vastly outweighed his antics. 

Coleman medals and All-Australian guernseys

Fevola went through some rough patches with his kicking, before experimenting with many different styles. Traditional forwards of the time often had extremely long kicking rituals, and so when the 30-second rule for shots on goal was introduced, Fevola like many other had to adjust. In his time at the Blues, Fevola was named All-Australian three times, and won two Coleman medals in 2006 and 2009, which were also two of his All-Australian years. He was also named in the All-Australian team in 2008 after kicking a career high 99 goals, but finishing behind Hawthorn’s Lance Franklin. His trophy cabinet may have grown even further if he had gone longer at Carlton. 

Departure and The Brisbane Lions

After the 2009 season, Fevola was traded by Carlton due to his off-field behaviour. The 2009 Brownlow Medal controversy being the largest motivation for the decision, (see below). In the trade period, Fevola was traded to the Brisbane Lions where he spent just one season, playing 17 matches. In February 2011, Fevola was asked to leave the Lions and his football career concluded. 

Post AFL Football and Television 

During his career, Fevola was a regular on the AFL footy show. Fevola also appeared on the second season of I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, winning the show, and $100,000 which was to be donated to a charity of his choice. Fevola also now has a regular radio slot. He played the 2011 football season in the VFL with Casey Scorpions, before playing many one-off matches for several clubs for an appearance fee. Fevola has drawn many large crowds to country stadiums all around the country and set goalkicking records at many clubs in doing so, including an 18 goal haul for Tasmanian club New Norfolk. Fevola also spent time in the Ballarat football league, Ovens and Murray football league and Western Region football league. He has also played for Victorian representative teams on numerous occasions. 

Never far from controversy

Fevola was notorious for his off-field work, at times more than what he produced on the field. He was involved in multiple physical altercations, including an assault on a barman during the 2006 International Rules tour of Ireland. Fevola was sent home for this indiscretion. However, Fevola’s most remembered faux pas was at the 2009 Brownlow Medal, and ultimately the reason he would be asked to leave Carlton. Fevola was heavily intoxicated and was alleged to have vomited, urinated publicly and assaulted guests throughout the night. He was fined $10,000 for the incident, and was not allowed to appear on the AFL’s Grand Final Edition of the Footy Show. 

A Legendary Man

Despite countless controversies and inappropriate incidents, Fev will always be remembered as one of footy’s great larrikins. A genuinely talented full-forward, who play nowhere near enough football to really show off his skill. In a career spanning just 204 matches, Fevola kicked a massive 623 goals, and was All-Australian three times. A man of genuine ability, Fev will always be the modern era’s greatest character. 

Is Fevola the greatest character of the modern day game. or do you think there is another player we have missed? Comment below.

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Joel Bowes

Joel is a passionate Adelaide Crows supporter and has always loved his footy. Being a member of Real Sport's Aussie Rules writing team, Joel enjoys bringing quality content to other footy lovers via both opinion and in depth research.

Football’s Top 10 Greatest Characters of the 21st Century: Brendan Fevola

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