North incensed as Carey misses out again - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

North incensed as Carey misses out again

By Roger Vaughan 21/05/2009 10:21:31 PM Comments (0)

Wayne Carey, arguably the greatest AFL player of the modern era, has missed Hall of Fame selection for the second year.

His glaring absence from the list of inductees at Thursday night's annual function reignites debate about the Hall of Fame's selection criteria.

The man who best rivals Carey's status in the game over the last 25 years, Geelong star Gary Ablett, also had to wait before his 2005 induction.

While the list of inductees this year featured some exceptionally-worthy figures, including Paul Salmon and Chris Langford, Carey's absence prompted a strong reaction from North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw.

Carey is a two-time Kangaroos premiership captain and played 244 games at the club, before being forced out on the eve of the 2002 season because of his extra-marital affair with Kelli Stevens, the wife of team-mate and then close friend Anthony Stevens.

"It's a nonsense - I don't understand how, when you've got a Hall of Fame that is there to honour the best players in the game, you can not include the best player the game has ever seen for two years in a row," Brayshaw said.

"(That is) especially now that any legal matters he may have had are behind him, I just think it's absolutely ridiculous." The Hall of Fame selection process regularly attracts heated debate and AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick has announced the formation of a sub-committee to review the hall's charter.

Under the current criteria, there was no elevation of a Hall member to elevation status this year.

Fitzpatrick also announced this would change from next year, with the selection committee able to elevate one member per year if it wished.

The current criteria was one reason why a push to elevate much-loved commentator Lou Richards failed.

Carey, like Ablett, would be an automatic selection to the Hall of Fame based on his outstanding playing career.

But candidates are also judged on their character and the pair have had well-documented off-field dramas.

Carey, the two-time North Melbourne premiership captain, retired at the end of the 2004 season after two seasons at Adelaide and became eligible for induction last year.

North inducted Carey into their Hall of Fame two months ago and he made a heartfelt apology at that function.

He played 244 games for the Kangaroos before he left in disgrace.

Carey has also faced assault charges in Melbourne and the United States and has undergone counselling for substance abuse.

Seven former players were inducted - Essendon and Hawthorn star Salmon, two-time West Coast premiership player McKenna, four-time Hawthorn premiership defender Langford, two-time Adelaide premiership captain Mark Bickley, South Australian legend Peter Carey, Richmond's 1948 Brownlow Medallist Bill Morris and two-time Carlton premiership player Ken Hands.

Controversial AFL official Ross Oakley, who became the target of much anger from fans because of merger proposals during his tenure as chief executive between 1986-96, was also inducted.

Oakley was AFL chief executive during a tumultuous period in the league's history.

He oversaw the transition of the league from the VFL to a truly-national competition, with West Coast, Brisbane, Adelaide, Fremantle and Port Adelaide all joining during his time in charge.

Oakley also oversaw the creation of the Hall of Fame in 1996.

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