Betts in June 2019
|Date of birth||26 November 1986|
|Place of birth||Port Lincoln, South Australia, Australia|
Calder Cannons (TAC Cup)|
|Draft||No. 3, 2004 pre-season draft|
Round 1, 2005, Carlton|
vs. Kangaroos, at Telstra Dome
|Height||174 cm (5 ft 9 in)|
|Weight||74 kg (163 lb)|
|Representative team honours|
|International team honours|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of R23,2019.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2010.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Eddie Betts (born 26 November 1986) is a professional Australian rules football player who plays for the Carlton Football Club in the Australian Football League. Betts was originally drafted by Carlton with pick No. 3 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.
Betts was born in Port Lincoln, South Australia and raised by his mother in Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. He played junior football for the Mines Rovers Football Club, before moving back to Port Lincoln, where his father lived, to play for the Mallee Park Peckers. While in Port Lincoln, Betts' off-field behaviour was an issue, which included smoking, drinking, drugs and truancy. As a result, his mother arranged for the 15-year-old Betts to move to Melbourne and begin a TAFE program run by Indigenous former footballer Phil Krakouer.
In Melbourne, Betts played football for Templestowe, where he won the EFL Division 3 league best and fairest in 2002, and TAC Cup football for the Calder Cannons. He represented Vic Metro as a 16-year-old in the 2003 AFL Under 18 Championships and was selected in the Under 18 All-Australian team that season. He was too young to be selected in the AFL draft at the end of 2003, and he played another season with the Cannons, but was hindered by osteitis pubis. He was overlooked in the 2004 National Draft as a result.
After being overlooked in the National Draft, Betts was recruited to the AFL with pick 3 in the 2004 Pre-Season Draft by the Carlton Football Club. He attracted attention as a lively small forward during the 2005 pre-season, and made his AFL debut in round 1 against the Kangaroos. He kicked 19 goals in 19 games in 2005, playing as a permanent small forward and becoming a fan favourite. The next year, Betts won the Goal of the Year for his goal in round 21 against Collingwood, a banana kick from the boundary under pressure.
Throughout his first four seasons, Betts had a consistent output of roughly a goal per game. From 2009, Betts' goalkicking output increased, kicking 38 goals in 2009, then 42 in 2010 to top Carlton's goal kicking for the first time, while also making the top 10 in the club best and fairest. Betts started slowly in 2011, being on the cusp of being dropped early in the season, but rebounded to kick 50 goals for the season, including a career-best eight goals against Essendon in round 18.
Betts kicked 48 goals in 2012, stepping up in the absence of several of the Blues' key forwards to become their major forward target. In that year he led the club's goalkicking, was runner-up in the club best and fairest count and was named in the 40 man All-Australian shortlist for the second year in a row.
Betts kicked 27 goals in 18 games in a 2013 season interrupted by a suspension and a fractured jaw, including five goals in Carlton's two finals. At the end of the season, Betts entered the market as a restricted free agent, and in October he notified Carlton he had accepted a four-year contract understood to be worth about $2 million (AUS) to join the Adelaide Crows. Carlton had 72 hours to match the Crows offer but declined to do so, allowing the confirmation of Betts' switch to occur on 4 October, the first day of the free agency period.
In his first season at Adelaide, Betts played all 22 games and kicked a career-best 51 goals, leading Adelaide's goalscoring and finishing eighth in the Coleman Medal. He also had more goal assists than anyone else in the AFL and was ranked third in the league for tackles inside the forward 50. Betts played his 200th AFL game against Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval in round 17.
On 26 May 2015, the AFL launched an inquiry into Betts' signing with Adelaide after the outgoing Carlton coach, Mick Malthouse, claimed to have been told by the current Carlton and former Adelaide CEO, Steven Trigg, that Adelaide had illegally signed Betts 18 months prior to him departing Carlton. Adelaide categorically denied the claim, as did Carlton and Betts' manager. Betts and all other parties were subsequently cleared of any wrongdoing in the affair. Following on from this controversy, Betts improved on his stellar 2014 season by kicking 63 goals in 2015, finishing third in the Coleman Medal, and finally achieving All-Australian honours. Betts also was awarded the Goal of the Year in 2015 for the second time in his career; against Fremantle in wet conditions, he managed to control the ball near the boundary at half-forward and kicked a left-foot torpedo punt from 50 metres out on the boundary line, which dribbled through for a goal.
In a Showdown in round 3, 2017, Betts was racially abused by a Port Adelaide club member. The offender was evicted from the ground and had his membership suspended indefinitely. In the Crows' next match, Betts was given the honour of tossing the coin before the match along with Essendon player Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti before kicking 6 goals, taking the lead in the Coleman Medal in the Crows' 65-point win. This included 5 first-half goals, and he and McDonald-Tipungwuti kicked 10 goals between them for the match. In round 7, he kicked his 500th career goal against North Melbourne in the second quarter, before being flattened by defender Scott Thompson and immediately getting a set shot to kick his second goal in a row. Overall he got three goals for the match in spite of the Crows losing by 59 points. Betts had another good performance in 2017's Sir Douglas Nicholls Indigenous Round, kicking three goals in the Crows' 100-point win over Fremantle. In August 2017, Betts was admitted to hospital with appendicitis and missed Adelaide's round 19 draw against Collingwood but returned the week later for the Showdown and kicked 4 goals, pushing up to second place on the overall showdown leading goals kickers, only behind captain Taylor Walker. Betts was apart of Adelaide's losing grand final team that year, kicking one goal in the match.
In 2018, Betts kicked only 29 goals for the year, making it his worst return in 5 years at the crows. Also in 2018, Betts missed 4 matches due to hamstring injuries, while before this only missing one match in his first 4 seasons at Adelaide.
On Round 5 of the 2019 season, he played in his 300th AFL game, against the Gold Coast Suns. In front of a roaring crowd and with 6 minutes left in what turned out to be an easy win, he scored a classic left-footed banana that won him an unparalleled 4th AFL Goal of the Year award.
Betts married his long-term partner, Anna Scullie, in a surprise wedding in August 2015, after several years' engagement. They have four children: Lewis (born in October 2012), Billy (born in March 2015) and twin daughters (born in April 2018).
In 2014, Betts' first year at Adelaide, he converted a series of difficult shots at goal from the right forward pocket at the northern end of Adelaide Oval. Then-coach Brenton Sanderson dubbed that area of the ground the "Eddie's Pocket", and the name has caught on with fans and commentators. Betts' 2015, 2016 and 2019 goal of the year winning goals were from the opposite pocket, the left forward pocket at the same end.
|Totals||Averages (per game)|