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The 1990 AFL draft was the 5th annual draft of Australian rules footballers to the 14 clubs in the Australian Football League. It consisted of the national draft held at the end of the 1990 season, the pre-season draft held before the 1991 AFL season, and a mid-season draft.

Clubs receive picks based on the reverse of the position in which they finish on the ladder during the season. This was introduced as an equalisation strategy in response to the increasing transfer fees and player salaries.

National draft rules

The minimum draft age for the 1990 national draft was 16. Other than the West Coast Eagles, clubs were allowed to select only one West Australian player each and South Australian players were restricted to be only selected by the Adelaide Football Club which would join the AFL for the 1991 AFL season. Players in Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory could only be selected by clubs other than the Brisbane Bears and the Sydney Swans respectively if the player was older than 19 and not required by the 'local' club. Faced with these restrictions the league reduced the number of choices from 8 to 6. In exchange for the SA moratorium, the Crows were excluded from the draft (they could pick any South Australian, but only South Australians).


The talent pool was clearly shallow and most clubs shied away from investing too much hope in the draft. A number of the Victorian clubs, notably Richmond and Fitzroy, couldn't afford to recruit established players so stuck with country footballers and unproven youngsters. Clubs were believed to be looking to Tasmania as perhaps the only recruiting ground which hadn't been ravaged. The under-19's competition was still in operation and clubs had only to list players who had been drafted, and those over the age of 19. Essendon and North Melbourne at this point for example had very talented reserves sides drawn from their metropolitan zones (these zones would later provide the basis for the Northern Knights under-18 teams).


Pre-draft picks included Brisbane taking Darryl White from the Northern Territory which had become their 'zone'. Mitchell White and Glen Jakovich were fair additions to the West Coast Eagles squad. There were a number of notable trades. Brisbane traded Mark Roberts to North Melbourne who also secured Peter Mann from the Eagles. Geelong gave up forwards David Cameron and Shane Hamilton to get Brisbane's number 1 draft pick. The most noteworthy trade though was Hawthorn getting the rights to Darren Jarman, who turned down the chance to join the Adelaide Crows. Incidentally the Rohan Smith listed is the St Kilda one, not the Footscray one. Future Channel 7 commentator Russell Morris left Hawthorn for St Kilda.


Richmond drafted Matthew Clarke and Nick Daffy. Despite the restrictions on recruiting South Australians, Richmond skirted the rule because these two played in Mount Gambier and were registered with clubs in the Western Border Football League (VCFL). Melbourne drafted Allen Jakovich, who although a Western Australian was playing for South Australian National Football League (SANFL) side Woodville, and Brisbane were able to draft two Western Australian Football League (WAFL) players in Peter Worsfold (John's brother) and David Ogg. Matt Clape, Jakovich, Todd Ridley, James Cook, Jason McCartney, Scott Crow, Matthew Young, Stuart Anderson and Paul Sharkey were modestly successful. Matthew Burton, Fabian Francis and Derek Hall would all find success at different AFL clubs.

The only two definite successes were James Hird and Jamie Shanahan.

Bits and pieces

Jason McCartney kept a diary on behalf of The Age newspaper detailing the weeks leading up to the draft. In it he reveals the confusion and uncertainty that a young footballer feels. McCartney from Nhill in Victoria (near the SA border) was hesitant about moving to Melbourne. He went to Adelaide as a guest of Glenelg Football Club and watched the AFL grand final on the big screen, as well as watching Glenelg lose the SA Grand Final the next day.

With Sydney and Brisbane having the first draft picks he signed for Glenelg on a two-year deal. When Sydney and Brisbane traded their selections his hopes lifted. Geelong told him that they would take Hooper first and would be attempting to get the second pick to take McCartney. Geelong were unable to manufacture a trade and Carlton ended up with the selection (they swapped ruckman Warren McKenzie to Sydney). Ian Collins, Geoff Walsh, Bruce Comben and Kinnear Beatson all drove up to Nhill to meet with McCartney, and the next morning David Parkin rang him to ask if everything went well.

On draft day Carlton opted for Tasmanian James Cook. Parkin said that he felt that Cook had the potential to be an even better player. Collingwood drafted him and McCartney openly admitted he was devastated and that Collingwood was last on his list of clubs.

The trades which made the above possible were Carlton swapping McKenzie to Sydney for 2 pick overall, and Collingwood swapping Terry Keays to Richmond for 4th pick overall. One recruiting officer commenting about the decision making of Sydney and Richmond said, "those clubs deserve to be in the position they are in if they are going to make choices like that".


Michael McLean joined the Brisbane Bears after having been not encouraged to stay with Footscray. Sean Simpson switched from St Kilda to Geelong and the Cats again demonstrated their ability to revive careers. David Cloke was encouraged to saddle up for one more season at Richmond who was finding recruiting a ruckman nearly impossible. Kevin Dyson was recruited to Melbourne. Collingwood audaciously recruited the recently retired Gerard Healy in the hope of persuading him to play on, but he didn't.

Pre-draft picks

# Player Recruited by Recruited from Games with new club
1 Paul Mifka Brisbane West Coast 0
2 Danny Noonan Brisbane Clarence 55
3 Roger Smith Brisbane Southern Districts 0
4 Shane Strempel Brisbane Swan Districts 3
5 Darryl White Brisbane Pioneer 268
6 Ben Aulich Sydney Belconnen 0
7 Justin Clarkson Sydney Melbourne 3
8 Jason Love Sydney North Melbourne 23
9 Darren Morgan Sydney Geelong 0
10 Robert Neill Sydney Eastlake 21
11 Brad Sparks Sydney Melbourne 0
12 Glen Jakovich West Coast South Fremantle 276
13 Mitchell White West Coast Subiaco 151

Pre-draft trades

Player Recruited by Recruited from Games with new club
David Cameron Brisbane Geelong 16
Peter Curran Brisbane Hawthorn 14
Rob Dickson Brisbane Hawthorn 2
Shane Hamilton Brisbane Geelong 31
Travis Martin-Benyon Brisbane Nth Melbourne 0
Craig Potter Brisbane Sydney 13
Mark Arceri Carlton Nth Melbourne 17
Joe Cormack Fitzroy West Coast 26
David O'Connell Fitzroy West Coast 21
Darren Jarman Hawthorn Brisbane 109
Paul Bryce Melbourne Nth Melbourne 26
Phil Egan Melbourne Richmond 1
Rod Owen Melbourne St Kilda 9
John Ahern Nth Melbourne Melbourne 0
Peter Mann Nth Melbourne West Coast 39
Mark Roberts Nth Melbourne Brisbane 87
Terry Keays Richmond Collingwood 25
Russell Morris St Kilda Hawthorn 66
Stephen Newport St Kilda Melbourne 39
Sean Ralphsmith St Kilda Hawthorn 30
Rohan Smith St Kilda Sydney 3
Warwick Capper Sydney Brisbane 13
Warren McKenzie Sydney Carlton 21
Ian Dargie West Coast St Kilda 1
Mark Hepburn West Coast Nth Melbourne 13
Dale Kickett West Coast Fitzroy 2

1990 mid-season draft

Pick Player Recruited from Recruited by
1 Laurence Schache West Torrens Brisbane Lions
2 Dale Lewis North Ballarat Sydney
3 Mark Brady Old Scotch Fitzroy
4 Andrew Payze West Torrens Richmond
5 Tim Williamson Casterton North Melbourne
6 Craig Cross Burnie Hawks Carlton
7 Darren Bartsch West Adelaide Geelong
8 Phil Krakouer North Melbourne Footscray
9 Steven Cummings Sandringham St Kilda
10 Craig McNaughton Sandhurst West Coast
11 Damian Stoney Old Xaverians Hawthorn
12 Jamie Duursma Melbourne Melbourne
13 Andrew Hardiman South Warrnambool Collingwood
14 Paul Morrish Richmond Essendon
15 David Greenhill Wodonga Brisbane Lions
16 Paul Smit Springvale Sydney
17 Darron Wilkinson Camberwell Fitzroy
18 Scott Turner Ararat Richmond
19 Anthony Pavey Churchill North Melbourne
20 Darren Read Dandenong Carlton
21 Luke Hampshire Tyrendarra Geelong
22 Jamie Grant Daylesford Footscray
23 Damian Sexton Yarrawonga St Kilda
24 Jamie Weeding Norwood Hawthorn
25 Peter Vandermeer Frankston Melbourne
26 Stephen Anderson South Warrnambool Collingwood
27 David Robertson Euroa Essendon
28 Dean Strauch Golden Square Brisbane Lions
29 Tim Symes Benalla Sydney
30 Darren Collins Port Melbourne Fitzroy
31 Damian Hancock Leitchville Geelong
32 Michael Frost Swan Hill Footscray
33 Bernie Harris Terang St Kilda
34 Stephen Moloney North Melbourne Old Boys Hawthorn
35 Paul Hogarth Northern United Melbourne
36 Jason Morton Wagga Tigers Collingwood
37 Andrew Mills North Shore Essendon
38 Glen Bartlett East Perth Brisbane Lions
39 Nick Tsiotinas Essendon Footscray
40 Chris Melican Glenelg St Kilda
41 Martin Cameron Traralgon Hawthorn
42 David Morrison Devonport Melbourne
43 Michael Thomson Richmond Essendon
44 Barry Spierings Werribee Footscray
45 Jolyon Keeble Old Melburnians Hawthorn

1990 national draft

# Player Recruited by Recruited from Games with new team
1 Stephen Hooper Geelong Tasmania 21
2 James Cook Carlton Brighton Robins/ Clarence (TFL) 25
3 David Donato Fitzroy Clarence (TFL) 12
4 Jason McCartney Collingwood Nhill 38
5 Stewart Devlin Geelong Horsham (VCFL) 0
6 Allen Jakovich Melbourne Woodville 47
7 Damian Hampson Carlton Subiaco 0
8 Paul Gow Footscray Swan Districts 7
9 Matt Clape West Coast East Perth 29
10 David Ogg Brisbane Swan Districts 9
11 Danny Sexton Nth Melbourne Lemnos (VCFL) 0
12 Shane Porter West Coast North Launceston (TFL) 0
13 Todd Ridley Essendon Claremont 25
14 Andrew Hamer Collingwood Lakes Entrance (VCFL) 0
15 Andrew Harrison Brisbane Benalla (VCFL) 0
16 Todd Menegola Richmond Swan Distrists 19
17 Brendan Hehir Geelong Darley (VCFL) 0
18 Dan Miller Nth Melbourne Morwell (VCFL) 0
19 Gary Merritt Melbourne Tatura (VCFL) 0
20 Robbie West West Coast Wodonga (VCFL) 13
21 Richard Ambrose Essendon Shepparton (VCFL) 0
22 Paul Sharkey Collingwood Cath C. Bendigo (VCFL) 26
23 Ben Thomas Brisbane Port Fairy (VCFL) 0
24 John Fidge Essendon Glenelg 0
25 Peter Worsfold Brisbane South Fremantle 31
26 Dale Hall Sydney Hobart (TFL) 0
27 Brad Davis Fitzroy Burnie Hawks (TFL) 5
28 Chris Smith Richmond Assumption Coll. (APS) 0
29 Byron Donnellan Geelong Donald (VCFL) 0
30 Matthew Young Hawthorn St Pats Launceston (Tas) 21
31 Nick Faull Brisbane Golden Point (VCFL) 0
32 Matthew Moylan Footscray Shepparton (VCFL) 0
33 Matthew Kelly Nth Melbourne Wedderburn (VCFL) 0
34 Brad Read Hawthorn East Fremantle 0
35 Stuart Anderson Nth Melbourne Sale (VCFL) 61
36 Matthew Burton West Coast Subiaco 0
37 Glen Hoffman Essendon Jeparit (VCFL) 0
38 Grant McFarlane Collingwood Wodonga (VCFL) 0
39 Nigel Palfreyman Brisbane Sandy Bay (TFL) 15
40 Mark Collins Sydney South Fremantle 0
41 Mark Jenkinson Fitzroy Willaura (VCFL) 0
42 Mark McQueen Richmond North Hobart (TFL) 5
43 Glen Thomlinson Geelong Rochester (VCFL) 0
44 Scott Crow Hawthorn Port Fairy (VCFL) 13
45 Craig Jennings Nth Melbourne Traralgon (VCFL) 0
46 Brian McInnes Footscray Wick.-L. Bolac (VCFL) 0
47 Luke Chambers Brisbane Lucknow (VCFL) 0
48 Willie Rioli Hawthorn South Fremantle 0
49 Nick Daffy Richmond North Gambier (SA) 165
50 Craig Ellis Nth Melbourne Stawell (VCFL) 0
51 Jarrod Carter Essendon North Hobart (TFL) 0
52 Brendon Retzlaff Collingwood Swan Districts 0
53 Stephen Pears Nth Melbourne Perth 0
54 Brian Stanislaus Sydney St Mary's (NTFL) 1
55 Steven Byers Fitzroy New Norfolk (TFL) 0
56 Matthew Clarke Richmond West Gambier (SA) 0
57 Chris Barzen Geelong Mooroopna (VCFL) 0
58 Adrian Goldup Sydney Redcliffs (VCFL) 0
59 Cameron James Carlton Morwell (VCFL) 0
60 Rodney Harvey Footscray Trinity-Ararat (VCFL) 0
61 Michael Scoon North Melbourne Monbulk (VCFL) 0
62 Ben Herrald Hawthorn Assumption Coll. (APS) 0
63 Fabian Francis Melbourne Southern Districts (NT) 1
64 Derek Hall West Coast West Perth 2
65 Stephen Fry Essendon Clarence (TFL) 0
66 Bowden Hamilton Collingwood Colbinabbin (VCFL) 0
67 David Griffin Sydney South Bendigo (VCFL) 0
68 Peter Whyte Brisbane South Barwon (VCFL) 0
69 Gavin Cooney West Coast Clarence (TFL) 0
70 Stuart Johnstone Richmond Melbourne 0
71 Dennis Ryan Geelong Kyabram (VCFL) 0
72 Brian Wilson St Kilda Melbourne 7
73 Anthony McDonald Carlton Ballarat YCW (VCFL) 0
74 Paul Campbell Footscray Cobram (VCFL) 0
75 Robert Panozza Melbourne Wodonga Raiders (VCFL) 0
76 Robert Bowden Hawthorn Robinvale (VCFL) 0
77 Niall Buckley Melbourne County Kildare (Ireland) 0
78 Dean Harding Fitzroy Wangaratta Rovers (VCFL) 19
79 James Hird Essendon Ainslie (ACT) 253
80 Scott O'Donohue Collingwood Bungaree (VCFL) 0
81 Luan Morley Hawthorn North Ballarat (VCFL) 0
82 Leigh Campbell Sydney Campbelltown (NSW) 0
83 Mark Williams West Coast Sandhurst 0
84 John Peter-Budge Richmond St Kilda 0
85 Brad Dowling Geelong Mooroopna (VCFL) 0
86 Sam Jones St Kilda Sandy Bay (TFL) 3
87 Danny Morgan Carlton Boolarra (VCFL) 0
88 Peter Jacks Footscray Ballarat YCW (VCFL) 0
89 Simon Wood Nth Melbourne St Arnaud (VCFL) 0
90 Adam Ahern Hawthorn Devonport (TFL) 0
91 Adam Rudd St Kilda Numurkah (VCFL) 0
92 Jamie Shanahan St Kilda Hobart (TFL) 125
93 Adam Houlihan Essendon Kyabram (VCFL) 0
94 Chris Ryan Collingwood Morwell StVincents (VCFL) 0

1991 pre-season draft

# Player Recruited by Recruited from Games
1 Michael McLean Brisbane Footscray 87
2 Paul Hawke Sydney Collingwood 1
3 Matthew Bourke Fitzroy Hawthorn 2
4 Mark Trewella Richmond Fitzroy 4
5 Sean Simpson Geelong St Kilda 114
6 Tony Antrobus St Kilda Essendon 6
7 Matthew Ryan Brisbane Sydney 18
8 Mark Athorn Sydney Fitzroy 15
9 Justin McGrath Fitzroy Hawthorn 8
10 Andrew Underwood Richmond Essendon 12
11 Jamie Lamb Geelong St Kilda 14
12 Darren Davies St Kilda Footscray 2
13 Darren Tarczon Carlton North Melbourne 11
14 Allan McKellar Footscray Richmond 0
15 Carl Dilena North Melbourne Fitzroy 10
16 Dale Fleming Hawthorn Hawthorn 0
17 Nick Sebo Melbourne St Kilda 0
18 Cory Young West Coast Richmond 1
19 Mathew Medew Essendon Essendon 0
20 Derek Percival Collingwood Golden Square (VCFL) 0
21 Adrian Menara Geelong North Melbourne 0
22 Saade Ghazi Footscray Central District 0
23 Leigh Capsalis Melbourne Melbourne 0
24 Ian Kidgell Brisbane Hawthorn 3
25 Andrew Peck Sydney Melbourne 0
26 Wayne Peters Fitzroy Richmond 0
27 John Mrakov Richmond Collingwood 8
28 Russell Merriman Geelong St Josephs (VCFL) 25
29 Damien Pearce St Kilda St Kilda 0
30 Ben Robertson Carlton Noble Park (VMFL) 3
31 Scott McDonald Footscray Bell Post Hill (VCFL) 0
32 Peter Baldwin North Melbourne Geelong 0
33 Anthony Paynter Hawthorn Brisbane 0
34 Kevin Dyson Melbourne Oakleigh 70
35 Craig McNaughton West Coast West Coast 0
36 Darren Williams Essendon Essendon 0
37 Stephen Anderson Collingwood South Warrnambool (VCFL) 4
38 Jon Henry Brisbane Carlton 0
39 Darren McAsey Sydney Sydney 3
40 Jamie Bond Fitzroy Hawthorn 1
41 David Cloke Richmond Richmond 22
42 Stephen Jankowicz Geelong East Gambier (SA) 0
43 Dean Greig St Kilda Camberwell (VFA) 33
44 Mark Bouw Carlton Carlton 0
45 David Ross Footsray Darwin 0
46 Anthony Palmer North Melbourne North Melbourne 0
47 Mark McLeod Hawthorn Richmond 0
48 George Gorozidis Melbourne St Kilda 0
49 Brad Edwards West Coast Brisbane 0
50 Mathew Strickland Essendon Essendon 0
51 Ross Duffy Collingwood North Hobart 0
52 Paul Williams Carlton St Kilda 0
53 Phil Krakouer Footscray Footscray 7
54 Dean Barwick North Melbourne North Melbourne 0
55 Craig Young Hawthorn Hawthorn 0
56 Passed Melbourne NA NA
57 Peter Higgins West Coast West Coast 0
58 Shane Heard Essendon Essendon 11
59 Gerard Healy Collingwood Sydney 0