Dustin Fletcher

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Dustin Fletcher
Personal information
Full nameDustin Fletcher
Date of birth (1975-05-07) 7 May 1975 (age 39)
Original teamWestern Jets
Draft(F/S) 1992 National Draft, Essendon
Height/Weight198cm / 92kg
Position(s)Defender
Club information
Current clubEssendon
Number31
Playing career1
YearsClubGames (Goals)
1993–Essendon347 (68)
International team honours
YearsTeamGames (Goals)
2005–2010Australia6 (0)
1 Playing statistics to end of 2011 season .
Career highlights

Dustin Fletcher (born 7 May 1975) is an Australian rules footballer with the Essendon Football Club. He is renowned as one of the finest defenders in the AFL, and has played at full-back for his team for many years. He is the son of former Bombers captain Ken Fletcher. He is the oldest player currently playing AFL as well as holding the unique record of being the most watched AFL footballer of all time, with a cumulative attendance of 16,832,416 spectators at matches in which Fletcher played between 1993 to 2011.[1]

Contents

Playing career

Fletcher was a member of the "Baby Bombers" (Essendon's 1993 premiership team) in his first AFL season. He is the only member of that side still playing AFL football. He also played in Essendon's 2000 premiership win and received the club's "Best and Fairest" award (the Crichton Medal). He was selected as an all-Australian player in both 2000 and 2007.

Fletcher was the goalkeeper for Australia in the International Rules series in 2005, 2006 (as co-captain), and 2010.

In Round 13 of 2008, Dustin and his father Ken claimed the record of most VFL/AFL games played by a father-son combination, with 552 games between them. Fletcher played his 300th game in Round 5, 2009. He is playing his 19th season in 2011, and many regard him to be one of the top defenders in AFL/VFL history.[2]

A banner congratulating Fletcher.

In round 9, 2010, Fletcher played in his 322nd AFL game against the Richmond Football Club, overtaking a long-standing record for the second most games for the Essendon team, held by Dick Reynolds; however, at that stage, he still needed 57 games to overtake the outright record holder, Simon Madden.

He is currently the oldest player in the AFL, at the age of 36, and is also the only player remaining from Essendon's 1993 and 2000 premiership sides still playing today. Fletcher will play his 19th AFL season in 2011 after signing a one year contract.[3]

Playing style

Fletcher's execution of the torpedo punt was often used as a set-play clearing strategy by coach Kevin Sheedy. In a game in 2007, Fletcher kicked a 75 metre torpedo punt goal from ten metres behind the centre square. Again, in round 20 2009, Fletcher kicked another enormous goal, again a torpedo, in the game that ended the St Kilda Saints 19 match winning streak. According to The Sunday Age, it was the fifth longest kick in the history of the VFL/AFL.[4]

Personal life

Fletcher is married to Suzie Fletcher and they have two sons – Mason and Max.

Dustin went to Penleigh and Essendon Grammar School, as did Rick Olarenshaw, Trent Cotchin, Robert Hicks, and Scott West.

References

  1. http://stats.rleague.com/afl/crowds/summary.html
  2. Realfooty.com, 28 August, 2009
  3. Script error
  4. Sunday Age, sport section, back page, 22 April 2007.

External links

Awards
Preceded by
Mark Mercuri
Essendon Best and Fairest winner
2000
Succeeded by
Jason Johnson

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