Andrew Lovett continued to be a distraction for the Saints this year, despite never having played a game for them.
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As the annual AFL player meat market approaches, we take a look at the trades that went wrong.
The two-time Coleman Medallist's short-lived stint in Brisbane was huge news from the moment Carlton decided to put Fevola on the trade table. The Lions left it until the last minute to make a deal for the Blue, but it came at a huge cost. Disgruntled club champions Daniel Bradshaw and Michael Rischitelli were offered as part of the Fev trade and they eventually left for Sydney and Gold Coast, respectively.
Still, the prospect of a fit Fevola joining Jonathan Brown in the forward 50 was frightening, and it even worked for a time. He booted 39 goals in the first 11 rounds as Brown added 35, before injury struck both big forwards. Fevola limped towards the off-season, where his career at Brisbane was to fall apart. Dogged by a nude photo scandal involving model Lara Bingle earlier in the season, Fev was also investigated over claims he flashed a woman at a park after a football clinic. No charges were laid in either case.
The constant stream of controversy took its toll on the club, though, which won just three games after round four. The final straw came when Fevola, who was recuperating from groin surgery, was arrested on New Year's Eve for public drunkenness and spent the night in police cells. He was sacked within the month, with the Lions paying him about $1 million as compensation for the remaining two years of his contract.
The deal: Brendan Fevola and pick 27 from Carlton to Brisbane for Lachlan Henderson and pick 12.
What could have been: Daniel Talia (pick 13 to Adelaide), Jake Carlisle (pick 24 to Essendon), Mitch Duncan (pick 28 to Geelong), Sam Reid (pick 38 to Sydney).
In the post-mortem of St Kilda's heartbreaking loss to Geelong in the 2009 grand final, one thing became clear: the Saints needed to supercharge their midfield. Essendon flanker Lovett, with his deft foot skills and quicksilver pace, fitted the bill despite reports and rumours of a flaky off-field personality. Undeterred, the Saints swooped with their first-round pick at No.16 and the Bombers gleefully accepted.
That was as good as it got for St Kilda. Lovett reportedly struggled to fit in with his new teammates, and further failed to endear himself to club officials by getting himself arrested for public intoxication just six weeks after his move to the Saints. But the real blow came when he was charged in February 2010 with the rape of a woman on Christmas Eve at a teammate's house. The club moved swiftly to terminate his three-year, $1 million contract, citing repeated breaches of club policy. Lovett was eventually acquitted of all charges in July 2011 after a high-profile court case.
While the waste of a first-round pick was costly, the damage done to the Saints' reputation was arguably just as bad. No club needs the distraction of a long-running police investigation and subsequent court case, let alone one in premiership contention. What toll it took on St Kilda is unclear, but it certainly didn't help.
The deal: Lovett from Essendon to St Kilda for pick 16.
What could have been: Daniel Menzel (pick 17 to Geelong), Nathan Fyfe (pick 20 to Fremantle), Ryan Bastinac (pick 21 to North Melbourne).
When Melbourne limped meekly out of yet another finals series in 2005, the club decided they needed some hardness. And there was none harder than Pickett, a former Rising Star winner and Norm Smith Medallist with a penchant for not-quite-legal shirtfronts. The Demons happily handed over pick 28 for the hardman, plus a downgrade of their third and fourth-round selections.
Unfortunately, Pickett's best days were well and truly behind him by the time Melbourne came calling. He started in fine form, playing in the first 17 games of the season and earning a handful of Brownlow votes before a hamstring injury stalled his progress. He played in the Demons' two finals that year before heading off on a summer break that proved his undoing.
Pickett returned to training in less than ideal condition and remained that way for much of the pre-season. As his passion for the game waned, so too did his adherence to the basics - like turning up for matches. He effectively ended his career at Melbourne when he sent coach Neale Daniher a text before a round seven game declaring he was too hungover to sit on the bench as an emergency.
The deal: Pickett and picks 54 and 62 from Port Adelaide to Melbourne for picks 28, 44 and 60.
What could have been: Bernie Vince (pick 32 to Adelaide), Sam Gilbert (pick 33 to St Kilda), Robert Warnock (pick 42 to Fremantle), Andrew Swallow (pick 43 to North Melbourne).
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