Clive Waterhouse became a cult figure at Freo, but wasn't worth a No.1 draft pick.
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Richard Lounder (Richmond, 1987)
The draft was something of a lottery in the days before elite talent pathways and national TV broadcasts, and no No.1 selection was a bigger bust than Lounder. At 204cm and tipping the scales around 115kg, the giant forward from Central Districts landed at Punt Road for the 1988 pre-season after the Tigers took him with the first pick. He spent a year in the reserves building strength and fitness before making his debut in round five, 1989 against North Melbourne. With four goals in a six-goal win over North Melbourne, Lounder made a good first impression. That proved the high point of his VFL career, as he managed a total of three disposals in his next three games. He was dropped after a 10-goal loss to Essendon in round nine and was never seen at senior level again.
Lounder returned to Centrals for the 1990 season where he battled an achilles tendon injury, before heading for the relative obscurity of country footy. He conceded in a 2003 newspaper interview that his motivation to play VFL footy wasn't what it might have been, and that his penchant for a beer had hampered his progress.
Anthony Banik (1989)
Surely after the Lounder disaster, the Tigers would have hit the jackpot with their second attempt at the No.1 pick in three years? Not quite. Banik was one of the most decorated junior footballers in memory, earning under-16 All Australian selection at age 14 and dominating the under-17 Teal Cup national carnival for two successive years. However, Banik's scope for development was limited when compared to the likes of eventual West Coast champion Peter Matera (pick four) and Essendon's 1993 Brownlow medallist Gavin Wanganeen (pick 12). To his credit, he defied an ongoing battle with chronic fatigue syndrome to play a useful midfield role with the Tigers in the early '90s, before he was delisted at the end of the 1994 season.
Stephen Hooper (1990)
Just as it is today, a premium was often put on key position players in the early days of the draft. Hooper, a West Australian ruckman aged 21, was taken with first pick overall by Geelong in 1990 and he showed plenty of promise in his first season in Malcolm Blight's freewheeling side of 1991. Strong displays against Footscray and West Coast late in the season underlined his potential, as the Cats fought their way into a preliminary final against eventual runners-up West Coast.
But that was as good as it got for Hooper, who was crippled by knee tendonitis after his first season. After two more seasons and two knee operations, Geelong delisted their prized recruit at the end of 1993. Upon returning to WA, Hooper discovered his injuries were bad enough that he could no longer compete at WAFL level and his high-level football career was effectively over.
John Hutton (1991)
The helmeted full-forward was coming off a 100-goal season for WAFL side Claremont when the Brisbane Bears picked him with the prestigious No.1 selection. However, both the 25-year-old Hutton and the Bears quickly discovered why 185cm spearheads have been few and far between at the highest level. His best performance for the Bears came in round seven against Geelong when he booted eight goals in a fine individual display. Unfortunately for Brisbane, Hutton's tally was surpassed by Gary Ablett's nine goals at the other end as the Cats racked up a VFL/AFL record score of 239. He repeated his eight-goal haul in a 10-goal win against Sydney and finished with a season tally of 43 from 18 games.
He moved to the Swans in 1993, where he managed just five games before returning to the WAFL in 1994. Fremantle offered Hutton a third shot at the big time in 1995 but apart from another eight-goal haul against Sydney in round six, he struggled to have an impact. Errant kicking didn't help and his VFL/AFL career ended when the Dockers delisted him at the end of their first season.
Clive Waterhouse (1995)
With a 100-game career and cult hero status, Waterhouse was less of a bust than the others on this list but he was far from the superstar expected at No.1. However, he was the consensus No.1 pick at the end of 1995, coming off a superb season with the all-conquering Port Adelaide Magpies in the SANFL. Waterhouse was in and out of the side in his first two years but began to realise his potential in round one, 1998 with five goals in a four-goal victory over Melbourne. He managed 30 goals from 16 games that year before coming of age the following season. He combined with star forward Tony Modra for 100-goal seasons in each of 1999 and 2000, before injuries took their toll in his final years.
However, Dockers fans will never forget one special afternoon at Subiaco when Clive booted seven goals in a famous win over WA rival West Coast. Fremantle trailed by 42 points early in the third term but they rallied to win by a point in a match also famous for a nine-game suspension handed to Fremantle's Dale Kickett. It was to be Waterhouse's last great game in purple.
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