Debut: Round 6, 2002 vs Western Bulldogs, aged 22 years, 337 days
1054th Carlton Player
Guernsey No. 20
Last Game: Round 16, 2003 vs Sydney, aged 24 years, 48 days
DOB: 1 June, 1979
Andrew Eccles was a right footed midfielder, who came across from the Adelaide Crows in a direct trade for Kris Massie. Both Massie and Eccles were young players with a reputation of sorts: Massie, a very early draft pick who had suffered a broken leg, causing him to miss the second half of 2001; Eccles, a young Victorian who in his debut year, 1998, became a premiership player at the Crows but had been increasingly troubled by hamstring problems and managed just 5 games in 2001. Ironically he played his final game for the Crows against Carlton in the 2001 Elimination Final.
In Eccles' first year at the Blues, the number 20 would struggle for consistency, at times managing some serviceable games and with all Carlton's injuries, he ended up playing 11 games, mostly named as an interchange player. But in 2003, he could only eke out a further 2 games (of minimal impact), before being delisted by the Blues, while Massie would remain at the Crows. In this respect the trade failed, but Eccles was one of a large number of players recruited between 2000-2005 who were very good at VFL level.
Eccles would dominate for the Northern Blues, but just couldn't make the step up to AFL level consistently. It remains an open issue as to how much leg injuries 'hamstrung' Eccles' career. He had definitely lost some pace from his sparkling first season with the Crows, but perhaps this is one we'll never know.
Famous for his 'goose step' kicking action, where he appeared to hold the ball a little differently to others, Eccles moved from the Bullants to North Ballarat in 2004 and continued to perform very well at VFL level.
Eccles was originally recruited from St Mary's in the Diamond Valley League.