DOB: 26 January 1976
MFC Debut: Round 2, 2002 against Port Adelaide at MCG
Last Game: Round 17, 2004 against Richmond at MCG
From: Central Districts/Adelaide, traded for 2001 Draft selection #56
Number: 19 (2002-2004)
Games: 41 (137 total)
Goals: 56 (206 total)
The former South Australian Under 15 captain and 1991 high school All-Australian was picked up by the Crows in the 1995 pre-season draft, but injuries stopped him from debuting until 1996.
Vardy played an outstanding 1997 but missed the grand final due to a shoulder injury. He went one better the next year, kicking 44 goals and playing in the second Adelaide premiership. Further groin injuries hurt him over the next few years and he was traded to Melbourne at the end of 2001. The year before he'd rejected a trade to St Kilda as part of a wider deal that took Leigh Colbert from Geelong to North Melbourne.
After joining the Demons, Vardy spent most of his first pre-season on a modified program due to groin surgery. Despite carrying an Achilles injury through his first season, Vardy proved a handy target for the Demons in 2002, kicking 39 goals in 21 games, including five in the Elimination Final win. During the year he'd attended an equine hospital to receive ankle treatment more commonly used on horses.
At the end of 2002 he had further surgery on the troublesome Achilles but complications led to it becoming infected three times, requiring a reoperation. When he made his comeback in the VFL, more groin problems restricted him to nine games before season-ending surgery.
Another 11 games followed in 2004, including one of his best performances, four match-winning goals in terrible conditions against Fremantle in Round 11. His season ended with injury after Round 17 and he retired at the end of that year. Vardy said, "I'd love to continue to play football with Melbourne but my body just won't allow me to do so. It would be unfair to my teammates and the Melbourne Football Club if I was to continue on, and I would not like to let them down in that manner."
afl.com.au - 27/11/2003
Age - 12/10/2004
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