In light of DJ’s recent addition to the podcast – a trip down memory lane, I often find myself thinking about players of yesteryear and wonder whether other fans can also remember these players. I am not talking about your Matthew Lloyd’s, James Hird’s or even to a lesser degree, Peter Sommerville’s – I am talking more about the Aaron Hennemen’s and Daniel McAllister’s of years gone by. Arguably, we at the sock have probably single-handedly made Hennemen more famous than anything he is remembered for on the footy field. But I digress. I now want to pay homage via a regular dedicated piece on the players that are often forgotten about. I want to focus on those players that never really received much praise, if any at all, for “Donning the sash”.
Today, I write about a player who played a whopping 14 games for the Bombers over 2 seasons (2004 & 2005) before being cast aside as if he was a piece of junk by the ruthless Sheed’s. The player I am referring to is none other than Mark Alvey. Alvey was taken at Pick 18 in the 1997 National Draft by the Western Bulldogs. A top 20 pick is certainly nothing to be sneezed at. Essendon then went onto select him in the 2003 draft and he became one of many players that will undoubtedly feature in this space as a retro Bomber over the next few weeks that could have been anything, but didn’t get the chance before being having their careers cruelly cut short.
Alvey was an “inspired” selection by the Essendon recruiting staff. He averaged 11 disposals a game for the bombers as a midfielder/small forward. With those numbers, it’s hard to understand why the Bombers ever delisted him?
My recollections are of him him being an outside player that didn’t necessarily enjoy putting his head over the ball. In fairness, he isn’t the only player that can be accused of that. I don’t recall him running back and taking big courageous marks nor do I recall him being a player that ever changed the course of a game. But I am happy to be corrected.
The most surprising stat from Alvey’s career was that he managed 59 games in total at the highest level. Alvey wasn’t particularly skilful or quick, but one thing that I am sure of is that he was a real top clubman. He strikes me as the sort of bloke who would be great at putting up the padding on the goalposts. The sort of fella that would have the pie warmer ready to go before the fans arrived. You know that guy; the one that is first to the club, and last to leave after all the sweeping has been done. Well done Mark on a great career, and well done on being our first Retro Bomber.