Adrian Fletcher

Adrian Fletcher (born 10 October 1969) is a former Australian rules footballer and current assistant coach. He is regarded as one of football's nomads, having played for five Australian Football League clubs in his 13-year career. Fletcher's play relied on being an excellent play reader which resulted in him being a prolific possession gatherer, especially by handball.[1]

Adrian Fletcher
Personal information
Full name Adrian Fletcher
Date of birth (1969-10-10) 10 October 1969
Original team(s) Glenorchy (TFL)
Draft No. 20, 1988 national draft
Height 178 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 84 kg (185 lb)
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1989–1991 Geelong 023 (10)
1992 St Kilda 022 (10)
1993–1996 Brisbane Bears 086 (49)
1997 Brisbane Lions 021 0(4)
1998–2001 Fremantle 079 (24)
Total 231 (97)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2001.
Career highlights
Sources: AFL Tables,

Early career

Fletcher was recruited from the Tasmanian Football League (TFL) club Glenorchy with the 20th selection in the 1988 VFL Draft by the Geelong Football Club after winning the William Leitch Medal as the best player in the TFL.[2] He played 23 games for Geelong between 1989 and 1991, kicking 10 goals. Fletcher was traded to St Kilda in 1992, where he played 22 games, kicking 10 goals. Due to a contract dispute, he left the Saints and was selected by the Brisbane Bears with the 4th selection in the 1993 Pre-season Draft.

Brisbane career

Fletcher made his name as a tough, ball-winning midfielder at Brisbane. Between 1993 and 1996, Fletcher played 86 of a possible 90 games, finishing in the top five of the club champion award in each year.[3] He was a significant player in the Bears' 1996 preliminary final loss to North Melbourne playing on the half back line.

In 1997, however, his form slumped after the lack of a solid pre-season. He fought back, however, and ended up with a season average of 19 possessions per game in 21 games. However, despite a season that, although starting badly, was not considered by Fletcher to be his worst, he was traded to the Fremantle Dockers.

Fremantle career

Fletcher had an immediate impact at Fremantle, finishing second in the club's Best and Fairest award in 1998 and winning it in 1999. He was then named co-captain along with Shaun McManus in 2000 and 2001. At the end of the 2001 season he was asked to retire by the Fremantle club despite being ranked in the AFL's top 20 for overall disposals[2] and also was in the AFL's top five for handballs. He played 79 games for the Dockers ending up with 25 goals.

While at Fremantle, Fletcher is remembered for being the player who kicked the ball to field umpire Peter Carey, when Carey famously and humorously took a chest mark in general play.[4]


 G  Goals  B  Behinds  K  Kicks  H  Handballs  D  Disposals  M  Marks  T  Tackles
Season Team No. Games G B K H D M T G B K H D M T Votes
Totals Averages (per game)
1989 Geelong 485176531292240.
1990 Geelong 49321069319923110.30.211.810.322.12.61.21
1991 Geelong 4620686213019100.30.011.310.321.73.21.70
1992 St Kilda 162210723122345473380.50.310.510.
1993 Brisbane Bears 62015623623547187410.80.311.811.823.64.42.14
1994 Brisbane Bears 6195523621344968350.30.312.411.
1995 Brisbane Bears 623141131929461396490.60.513.912.826.74.22.17
1996 Brisbane Bears 624151734123958090610.60.714.
1997 Brisbane Lions 62141023817241084590.20.511.
1998 Fremantle 2168622514236768400.50.414.18.922.94.32.53
1999 Fremantle 22295298283581105380.40.213.512.926.44.81.715
2000 Fremantle 2204221522043567530.20.110.811.
2001 Fremantle 2213523025048097540.
Career 231 97 77 2819 2479 5298 899 493 0.4 0.3 12.2 10.7 22.9 3.9 2.1 76

Post AFL and coaching career

After being delisted by Fremantle after the 2001 season and not being drafted by another AFL club, Fletcher retired from the AFL, and played for Williamstown Football Club in the VFL for two years. He won the Williamstown best and fairest award in both these seasons and also won the Norm Goss Medal for best on ground in the 2003 VFL grand final, Fletcher's last game of senior football. He also was a development coach for the Collingwood Football Club (Williamstown's AFL-affiliate) during this time.

In 2004, Fletcher joined the Geelong Football Club as an assistant coach, before returning to Collingwood in 2005 as their midfield coach. After the 2007 season he left Collingwood and returned to the Brisbane Lions as an assistant coach, where he remains as of 2011.[6]

He has made several appearances in AFL Legends Matches. His wife, Narelle Fletcher, played 295 games in the Women's National Basketball League.[7]


  1. Top Handballs 1984–2009
  2. Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2002). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (4th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Crown Content. p. 201. ISBN 1-74095-001-1.
  3. Fletch lives at Lions; The Brisbane Times (3 December 2007)
  4. "Moment #59: Umpire Carey's big mark". Australian Football League. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012. Retrieved 29 Sep 2011.
  5. "Adrian Fletcher". AFL Tables. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  6. AAP (3 December 2007) Fletcher returns to Lions; The Age
  7. Howell, Stephen (30 January 2003) Veteran Fletcher ices a stunning career
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