Six years on from the Brisbane Lions horror 2013 trade period, here is a look back at the “go-home five” and their careers as the current crop of Lions shoot for finals glory.
As the Lions ready for their first tilt at September since 2009, much has been made of the club’s list building and management.
Having snared potential Brownlow Medallist Lachie Neale from the Fremantle Dockers during last season’s trade period, and uprooting Lincoln McCarthy and Marcus Adams from their respective Victorian clubs, the Lions’ bold recruiting strategy has been cited by many as the reason for the club’s meteoric rise back into finals action.
However, it was not that long ago that the Lions were struggling to retain any of their high-profile young talent, headlined by the 2013 trade period in which a number of the club’s young talents requested trades back to their home states.
Dubbed the “go-home five”, Elliot Yeo, Jared Polec, Sam Docherty, Billy Longer and Patrick Karnezis all left Brisbane following a poor season on the field which culminated in the sacking of coach, Michael Voss. Here’s a look at where the group are now:
Pick No. 30 selection in the 2011 national draft, Yeo played a total of 27 matches for the Lions at his two years at the club. Traded to the West Coast Eagles for Pick 28, Yeo has become an invaluable member of the West Coast midfield, playing a key role in the club’s 2018 premiership win.
Beginning his career at the Eagles’ in a utility role, playing primarily along half-back and through the midfield, Yeo has moved into a more central midfield role in the last two seasons.
An All-Australian representative in 2017, Yeo also boasts two John Worsfold Medals (2017, 2018) as the Eagles’ Best and Fairest winner. Yeo has maintained his impressive form in 2019, averaging 23 disposals, and kicking 11 goals so far this season for the Eagles.
Traded to Port Adelaide, Polec has since moved on from Alberton, leaving the Power for North Melbourne at the conclusion of the 2018 season. Polec struggled to make his mark at Brisbane as injuries ravaged his early years at the club, with the outside midfielder playing just 16 games in his first three seasons.
Back home in South Australia, Polec found a regular place in Port Adelaide’s midfield during the 2014 season, however injuries would once again see Polec miss a considerable amount of football in the two following seasons.
Following a career-best year in 2018, Polec requested a trade to North Melbourne, joining the Kangaroos along with teammate Jasper Pittard for pick No. 11 and a future-fourth round draft selection.
A running backman, Docherty managed 13 games in his three years at the Lions before being traded to Carlton for pick No. 33 in the 2013 national draft.
After initially suffering injury setbacks at Carlton, Docherty soon found a consistent place in the Blues’ lineup and was a shining light in an otherwise disappointing 2015 season.
Building on his 2015 form, Docherty had a break out 2016 season when he won the John Nicholls Medal as Carlton’s best and fairest; averaging 21 disposals and 9 marks from 19 matches.
2017 would go down as Docherty’s most impressive year yet. Leading the league in kicks and marks, Docherty was rewarded for his fine form with an All-Australian selection, playing off half-back. Two ACL injuries, suffered in both the 2017 and 2018 preseasons have ruled Docherty out for the past two seasons.
However, Carlton has repaid the faith in their gun backman, naming him as a co-captain of the club alongside rising star Patrick Cripps.
Selected by the Lions with the No. 8 pick in the 2011 national draft, Longer requested a trade back home to Victoria after two years and nine senior games at the Lions.
Landing at St Kilda, Longer has been in and out of the Saints side since, but a consistent 2017 season saw the ruckman set a new club record for hitouts of 656 at an average of 38.59 from 17 matches.
Longer is currently taking a break from football to focus on his health and wellbeing following a concussion in a VFL game at the end of May.
A versatile forward who could also run through the midfield, Karnezis was taken at pick No. 25 by the Lions in the 2010 national draft.
Karnezis struggled for regular game time in a Lions forward line headed by club legend, Jonathan Brown, and was traded to Collingwood in exchange for Jackson Paine. A move back home to Victoria did not kickstart Karnezis’ career, as he managed just four games for the Pies before retiring at the end of the 2015 season.