With the Continental Tyres AFL Trade Period currently underway, North Media takes a look at some of the most noteworthy trades since the inception of the National Draft.

In: Jason McCartney
Out: Mark Stevens


Over time, it generally becomes simple to discern which team has won a trade, and which team lost, but it can be argued that neither team lost in this 1997 deal.

For his heroic comeback after being caught in the 2002 Bali Bombings, Jason McCartney has become an icon of AFL football, with the goal he kicked in his final game going down as one of the sport’s most memorable moments.

After struggling to break into the Adelaide premiership side of 1997, McCartney arrived at North Melbourne on the eve of the 1998 season, with centre-half forward Mark Stevens moving the other way.

At 191 centimetres tall, McCartney was a strong and versatile player who could contribute at either end of the ground, and played 107 games for North, kicking 15 goals.

14:02 Mins
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Jason McCartney's heroic return (Round 11, 2003)

Look back at the incredible win against Richmond in which Jason McCartney made his heroic return in the royal blue and white stripes following the Bali Bombings of 2002.

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At the culmination of his first season at Arden Street, McCartney would play his old side in the Grand Final, which North went on to lose after infamously kicking 8 goals and 22 behinds for the game, including a 2.11 second term.

A constant in the triumphant Kangaroos’ side of 1999, he would miss just one game for the entire season, the Grand Final victory over Carlton, with suspension in the preliminary final ruling him out of the final game.

It could be argued McCartney’s non-selection for the 1997 grand final, loss in 1998 and suspension in 1999 could see him go down as one of the unluckiest players in AFL history.

However, his importance to all three of those campaigns for both the Crows and Kangaroos illustrates how his class and versatility was to three enormously successful sides.

It was McCartney’s actions after the 2002 Bali bombings that would see him go down in footballing folklore though, recovering from second degree burns to over 50 per cent of his body to once again play AFL football.

Clad in long sleeves and protective gloves, McCartney made his comeback against Richmond with the numbers ’88’ and ‘202’ etched on his jumper, signifying the 202 people and 88 Australians who lost their lives in the attacks.

Finishing with three disposals for the game, he kicked a pivotal goal in the final term, before handing the winner off to Leigh Harding in the final minutes of the contest. North won by three points, with McCartney being chaired off the ground by teammates Drew Petrie and Shannon Grant.

He retired immediately after the game, leaving the playing arena on a high after fighting so hard to make it onto the field one final time.

While Stevens would go onto play 101 games for Adelaide, including their 1998 premiership triumph, McCartney would retire as one of the most inspirational players in the history of AFL football, with his story still revered amongst AFL circles today.


04:41 Mins
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McCartney revisits inspiring tale

Jason McCartney speaks about the recovery and build up to his football return.

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