Photo: Lawrence Furzey
It’s a long, long way from the Nullarbor to the MCG and, as plenty of would-be outback superstars have learnt the hard way, talent alone won’t get you there. You also need determination. Self-discipline. Physical and emotional durability. A taste for hard work. Extreme resilience.
Luckily for AFL fans, Eddie Betts III has all those traits in spades.
Talent was never an issue for Eddie, who sprang from a long line of footballing prodigies. (‘He always played deadly,’ his mum says of his dad’s game.) From his earliest years, when he’d hold his own in rough-and-tumble games with his older cousins in Port Lincoln and Kalgoorlie, it was clear he had an abundance of the stuff.
Eddie was originally drafted by Carlton in the 2004 Pre-Season Draft, where he played for nine years before Adelaide signed him as a free agent at the end of 2013. He moved back to Carlton at the conclusion of the 2019 season.
Eddie is beloved for the flair and joy of his game and is the rare player whose popularity transcends tribal club lines.