Demons saw best days of Wizard
Demons saw best days of Wizard

Former Fremantle favourite Jeff Farmer believes he played his best football at Melbourne.

Farmer was a high-profile signing for the Dockers at the end of the 2001 season after seven years, 118 games and 259 goals for the Demons.

The man known as Wizard finished his career having played 131 games and kicking 224 goals for the Dockers, but in an interview on the Demons' website yesterday he admitted he had failed to produce his best form after moving back to WA.

"I look back and I've got to agree … my best time football-wise was at the Melbourne Football Club," Farmer said.

"Some of the things I did, I think the reason they were sort of special or captivating was that I actually wasn't afraid to give the impossible a go.

"If it came off it looked beautiful, if it didn't, well it wasn't going to stop me from attempting to do it again either."

Farmer was drafted by the Demons in 1994, aged 17.

The Tambellup product's ability to turn a game was quickly evident, but his 2000 season showed a genuine match- winning ability which put him in the elite bracket of small forwards.

Farmer kicked 76 goals, finished runner-up in the Coleman Medal and earnt All-Australian selection in a season in which the Demons advanced to the grand final, only to lose to Essendon.

The Bombers lost just one match all season and won the big one by 10 goals.

Twelve months later, he accepted a three-year offer to join Fremantle as part of an off- season recruiting spree which also landed Hawthorn key- position pair Trent Croad and Luke McPharlin.

At the time, the Demons said they couldn't match the Dockers' offer, but Farmer denied that was the case.

"Two of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make was to come over to Melbourne to begin with and then even harder to leave the football club," Farmer said.

"It was never about money, because I could have stayed at the football club and received the same money.

"Basically the family strings pulled at my heart and I had to leave the football club."

Farmer's best return for the Dockers was 55 goals in 2006 when the club made its first preliminary final, but his on-field exploits were sullied by some off-field incidents.

He told Melbourne's website his fondest memories were performing in front of packed stadiums.

"I tried to be an entertainer as well," he said. "A lot of the times when I did my exciting things was on the back of getting the crowd up and going and creating the noise and also getting the adrenalin pumping.

"That was probably one of the great things about being able to play, the crowd, the interaction with the crowd as well.

"I've had some wonderful moments over my time."

·The AFL website reported yesterday that Melbourne had recovered their 1948 VFL premiership flag.

The flag appeared on eBay this week with a reserve price of $80,000 and once the Demons became aware of the listing, the club contacted the auction website and the AFL's integrity department.

"… I actually wasn't afraid to give the impossible a go. If it came off it looked beautiful …"" *Jeff Farmer *

The West Australian

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