- John Barnes (Australian rules footballer)
Infobox afl player NEW
playername = John Barnes
fullname = John Barnes
birthdate = Birth date and age|1969|6|1|df=y
originalteam = Cobram
heightweight = 193cm / 95kg
dead = alive
years = 1987–1990
clubs = Essendon
games(goals) = 012 (12)
coach = notcoach
statsend = 2001
premiership side, 2000
John Barnes (born 1 June 1969) is a former
Australian rules footballer in the Australian Football League.
Barnes had a long and successful VFLAFL career, which included 2 State of Origin games for Victoria.
Early career - from Essendon to Geelong
The young Barnes was a ruckman/forward recruited by Essendon in 1986 from
Cobram, Victoria. With an abundance of tall timber at Windy Hill, he was traded after five fairly anonymous seasons, to the Geelong Football Clubfor Sean Denham. During this period, he even turned up to training on one occasion with dyed pink hair. It was under the coaching of Malcolm Blightand later Gary Ayresthat the young larrikin, country boy would mature and flourish as one of the league's best players during the mid 90's. Deveopling into a vocal, hard working tap ruckman he would go on to feature prominently in the losing 1994, and '95 Grand Final sides. Despite these bitter displays by the Cats, he had earned a reputation as a domineering, workhorse ruckman who could be relied upon consistently and for the big occasion. It was during a round five encounter at Princes Park against Carltonin 1997, after a marking duel he landed awkwardly on his left elbow, dislocating it. The injury did not hamper his career however and he resumed ten weeks later. Despite the poor fortunes and lack of success for the Cats during the late 90's, he was delisted by the club in 1999.Barnes played a total of 144 games with 65 goals to his credit with the Cats. Barnes level of skill has being compared to the great James Allen, one of the all time greats of the game.
Return to Essendon
It was Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy however who tempted Barnes back to Windy Hill, and he was promptly selected at number #59 in the
1999 AFL Draft. Ironically a shortage of ruckmen at the club lead Sheedy to reacquaint the much-needed Barnes with his former club. He would eventually prove instrumental in becoming the final piece in the 2000 premiership side. A season later after defeat to the Brisbane Lionsin the 2001 Grand Final, Barnes decided he'd had enough after a serviceable, yet slower season.Barnes totalled 58 games and 25 goals with the Bombers during his original tenure and return to the club.
These days he figures as a runner for Essendon and during the 2005 season, was controversially suspended for two matches by the AFL for interfering with play.He participated in the 2006
AFL Legends Match, playing for Victoria.
In 2004, he played for the East Keilor Football Club in the
Essendon District Football League, however he only played for one season. At 2007, he is one of the assistant coach's for his sons Under 12 football team in the EDFL. John Barnes also contributed to the 2007 Grand Final Edition for the AFL Record talking about premierships. John is now the ruck coach for the Western Bulldogs in the 2008 season.
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