Craig Smoker

Craig Smoker (born 4 April 1978) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with the West Coast Eagles and the Melbourne Football Club in the Australian Football League (AFL). After his AFL career ended, Smoker also played for Williamstown in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and West Perth in the Western Australian Football League (WAFL).

Craig Smoker
Personal information
Full name Craig Smoker
Nickname(s) Smokes, Choof
Date of birth (1978-04-04) 4 April 1978
Original team(s) Kulin/Kondinin
Draft 30th selection, 1995 Draft
Height 174 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Weight 76 kg (168 lb)
Position(s) Rover
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1996–1997 West Coast 0 (0)
1998–1999 Melbourne 17 (12)
Total 17 (12)
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1999.
Sources: AFL Tables,

Early life

Born on 4 April 1978, Smoker grew up on a farm outside the rural West Australian town of Kondinin.[1][2] He played his junior football with Kulin/Kondinin, before moving to Perth and boarding at Scotch College.[3] Smoker played school football for Scotch and represented Western Australia at the 1994 AFL Under 18 Championships (then named the Commonwealth Bank Cup).[4]

AFL career

West Coast

Smoker, a "rover in every sense of the word", was drafted by the West Coast Eagles with the 30th selection in the 1995 AFL Draft.[4] At 17 years of age,[5] West Coast hoped that he would develop into a "top-line" player.[4] In his first season, Smoker did not play an AFL match, instead spending the season in the WAFL playing for West Perth.[6] He played 19 games in 1996 and kicked 26 goals. Smoker also spent his next season playing for West Perth. Smoker also pursued a career as an agricultural consultant during this time.[1] Although he did not play a senior match for West Coast, Smoker did win West Perth's leading goalkicker award with 34 goals for the season. Due to his inability to get a game[7] in a strong West Coast side[1] and his good form for the Falcons, Smoker was the subject of trade interest from other AFL clubs at the end of 1997,[8] with Melbourne emerging as his most likely destination.[9] The Demons were said to be interested in his "pace and goalkicking ability".[1]


Smoker was traded to Melbourne for the 34th selection in the 1997 AFL Draft.[10] Smoker made his AFL debut in the first round of the 1998 season. He played the first 14 of Melbourne's games,[6] including a round 3 performance against Brisbane where he was matched against Jason Akermanis and received a Brownlow Medal vote and kicked four goals,[11] two of which were in the last quarter.[1] Smoker was dropped for the Demons' round 14 match against West Coast and named as an emergency.[12] Smoker did end up playing in that match, but had a disappointing match against his told team, only having one disposal for the game. He was dropped for Melbourne's next game.[13] He made his way back into the team for Melbourne's round 18 match against Brisbane[14] and he played the following week against Carlton before being dropped for round 20.[15] While playing a reserves match, he was suspended one week for striking.[16] Smoker did not play another senior game for Melbourne in 1998, although he was "on the edge of selection" during their finals campaign and was twice named as an emergency.[17][18]

Following his 16 games in 1998,[19] Smoker's 1999 season can only be described as a disappointment. Although occasionally named in Melbourne's squad of 25,[20] he played only one senior game in Melbourne's "disastrous [sic] season".[21][6] After a poor 1999, Smoker was delisted by the Demons at season's end[22][23] as part of a "significant list turnover".[24] He had played 17 games for Melbourne in two years.[2][3]

VFL career

After being delisted by Melbourne, Smoker began playing with Williamstown in the VFL.[2] He played with the Seagulls for six season, from 2000 to 2005, totalling 94 senior VFL games.[2] During his time with Williamstown, Smoker won a VFL premiership in 2003,[3][25][26] was acting captain for a match in 2004[27] and won a reserves premiership in 2005,[28] despite playing in the seniors for the majority of the season.[29][30]

WAFL career

After winning the VFL reserves premiership, Smoker returned to Western Australia to play for his old club, West Perth, for the 2006 season.[3][31] Smoker played from West Perth from 2005 to 2009, playing his 100th game in his last season.[2][3] During his time with West Perth he also worked for Underground Services.[3] Retiring at the end of 2009,[32] Smoker finished his WAFL career having played 105 games, for a return of 104 goals.

Personal life

Smoker is married to Andrea and has three children, Tyler, Chloe and Trista.[3]


  1. Pearce, Linda (25 April 1998). "Queue ends in Demon frontline". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  2. Pike, Chris (17 July 2009). "Round 17 WAFL preview". WAtoday. Archived from the original on 19 August 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  3. "Smoker to celebrate 100 at Corrigin". WAFL Online. 14 July 2009. Archived from the original on 4 December 2010. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  4. "Who Your Club Selected". The Age. 9 December 1995. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  5. Connolly, Rohan (10 December 1995). "Choices reveal changing trend". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  6. Holmesby, Russell; Main, Jim (2007). The Encyclopedia of AFL Footballers: every AFL/VFL player since 1897 (7th ed.). Melbourne, Victoria: Bas Publishing. p. 745. ISBN 978-1-920910-78-5.
  7. Denham, Greg (10 October 1997). "Alessio stays a Don, so Barnes likely to remain a Cat". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  8. Denham, Greg (30 September 1997). "Dockers in bid to woo Williams". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  9. Denham, Greg; Reilly, Stephen (7 October 1997). "Fletcher likely to join Dockers". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  10. Denham, Greg; Reilly, Stephen (13 October 1997). "Roo seeks move to Swans". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  11. Hinds, Richard (14 April 1998). "Northey in the hot seat". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  12. Linnell, Stephen (27 June 1998). "The origins of a Sheedy idea". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  13. Reilly, Stephen (3 July 1998). "Shanahan, Farmer return for Demons". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  14. Browne, Ashley (31 July 1998). "Crows get big names back for clash with Saints". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  15. Browne, Ashley (14 August 1998). "Eagles recall Mainwaring for clash with Tigers". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  16. "Swan flies free". Newcastle Herald. 26 August 1998. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  17. Pearce, Linda (3 September 1998). "Redlegs in rare shape for finals". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  18. Reilly, Stephan (11 September 1998). "Demons sweat as Lyon faces test". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  19. Reilly, Stephen (22 March 1999). "Melbourne". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  20. Wilson, Caroline (25 June 1999). "$1.6m deal for Richardson to 2002". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  21. "YOUR CLUB – DAILY NEWS ON EVERY CLUB". The Age. 25 August 1999. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  22. Denham, Greg (15 October 1999). "Royal set to leave Bulldogs for assistant coach job at Magpies". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  23. Connolly, Rohan (23 October 1999). "LEFT HIGH & DRY". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  24. Connolly, Rohan (24 February 2000). "MELBOURNE – COUNTDOWN TO 2000". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  25. Oldham, Gordon (22 September 2003). "Veterans stand tall as Seagulls scoop up double". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  26. Schmidt, Dale (14 May 2009). "The moment of truth has arrived!". Williamstown Football Club. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  27. Booth, Ross (25 April 2004). "Seagulls rise to dampen Dolphins' hope". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  28. "Williamstown Reserves win flag". Williamstown Football Club. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  29. Booth, Ross (14 August 2005). "Tigers top after giving Bullants a big start". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  30. Oldham, Gordon (22 August 2005). "Pitt kicks Port clear of Dolphins". The Age. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  31. "Williamstown Football Club New Recruits for 2006". Williamstown Football Club. 14 May 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
  32. Pike, Chris (5 October 2009). "WAFL retires leave massive hole after standout season". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 8 January 2011.
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