Derek Thomas Kickett
6 October 1962 (age 59)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 26y 213d
Last game: 33y 358d
Height and weight
Height: 180 cm
Weight: 88 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
AFL: 10,032nd player to appear, 1,227th most games played, 474th most goals kickedNorth Melbourne: 799th player to appear, 569th most games played, 332nd most goals kickedEssendon: 955th player to appear, 241st most games played, 87th most goals kickedSydney: 1,252nd player to appear, 252nd most games played, 97th most goals kicked
Blessed with audacious talent Derek Kickett nevertheless ultimately failed to garner the rewards his ability deserved. In 1987 he finished 16 votes clear of the field in the voting for the Sandover Medal but, having been reported and found guilty earlier in the season, was ruled ineligible. Then in 1993, while with Essendon, he played every match of the year prior to the grand final clash with Carlton for which he was dropped. He did make grand final teams in 1990 (Essendon) and 1996 (Sydney) but both matches ended in defeat.
The early part of Kickett's career saw him lining up with West Perth (38 games and 93 goals, 1984-6) and Claremont (32 games, 70 goals, 1987-8) but turned his back on the WAFL after losing out on the Sandover in the circumstances outlined above. He spent the 1988 season playing 25 SANFL games and booting 48 goals for Central District. A series of eye-catching displays attracted the interest of North Melbourne where he spent an underwhelming 1989 campaign, playing just 12 games and kicking the same number of goals before being de-listed. Essendon coach Kevin Sheedy felt Kickett had not come close to fulfilling his potential at North and warranted a second chance, which was gratefully seized with both hands. Until the heart-rending finale described above he stamped himself as a player of rare class and vitality, playing 77 games and booting 94 goals, but there was no way he was going to remain at the club following what he presumably perceived as the ultimate indignity.
The 1994 season saw him at Sydney where he rounded off his AFL career with a final 63 games and 73 goals over three seasons. Despite looking somewhat overweight at times he consistently proved that he was still capable of flashes of electrifying brilliance.
In 1997 Derek Kickett for Western Australia played his final season of league football with Subiaco for whom he managed 12 appearances and 29 goals. Those who saw him play will be thankful for the memory but disappointed that, in the final wash-up, he did not achieve the sort of rewards his immense array of talents warranted.
Author - John Devaney