Lenny Hayes – Former Australian Rules Football Player
Lenny Hayes, born on 14 January 1980 is an Australian rules footballer. He played for St. Kilda Football Club in the AFL.
He was the on-field leader in saint’s midfield and was the former captain at St. Kilda. He is perhaps the most famous boy of Redfield College and a respected member of the AFL. He remains in the clinches and puts his body throughout for the sake of his team. He remained captain in 2004 and co-captain in 2007.
Lenny Hayes began his football career with Pennant Hills in Sydney AFL. He grew up in Sydney and was a standout player in the 1998 TAC Cup and was awarded with the best player award in the competition. He debuted in AFL the following year and has a great start. He improved a lot throughout the year and earned AFL rising star nomination in the final round.
The year 2004 was a great year for Hayes, where he was made captain for the season by considering the policy of rotating captaincy to different players. He was made the captain St. Kilda 2004 Wizard Home Loans Cup and enjoyed the winning side.
Hayes had a strong start in the 2006 season, but ruptured in Round 9 against kangaroos. He went through a minor knee reconstruction due to which he had to stay sidelined till 2007. He returned in the 5th game in the 2007 season, but unfortunately he suffered a broken collarbone, which sidelines him for 3 weeks. Despite of his injuries, he managed to come back and played 19 games for the season.
In the year 2007, he was made co-captain and became part of the Saints leadership group. He dubbed the ‘Young Saints” and included in the leadership group. In 2008, he played in St. Kilda’s 2008 NAB Cup and enjoyed the club’s 3rd pre-season cup win. Lenny Hayes played his 200th game against Brisbane in Round 9 of the 2009 season and gained 31 possessions in a 16 point victory of Saints’. He earned 3rd position in Brownlow Medal 2009.
In the year 2009, he played 19 out of 22 matches and was away for a few rounds. St. Kilda was qualified in the 1st position for final series and won the club’s third minor premiership award. The 2009 season was excellent for Hayes and he was selected in All-Australian Team 2009 as midfield player. It was his 3rd All-Australian Team award. After being qualified in the preliminary final wins, he was qualified in the 2009 AFL Grand Final. St. Kilda was defeated by 12 points in the Grand Final.
The year 2010 started well, where he played 25 games. He received a number of honours and awards for his performance during the 2010 season. The year 2010 can be said as one of the best periods of his career. Hayes could not play in 2011 due to multiple injuries in his left ACL.
Hayes regained his performance in 2012 and played 23 games. He won Trevor Barker Medal as the best and fairest player for the season. He made a brilliant recovery from the ACL injury. In 2013, he has an interrupted 15th AFL season with an average of 23 disposals per year.
Lenny Hayes played 14 matches in 2014 and led the club in possessions with an average of 24.9.
Post Football career
Lenny Hayes announced his retirement from AFL on July 15, 2014. At the time of retirement, Hayes held the all-time record in AFL/VFL for most tackles in a career. He has 1,496 tackles at an average of and still holds the record till date. With a total of 263 games and 89 goals, he had a great football career and remains in the position of best players in the AFL.
Awards And Achievements
- St. Kilda Football Club Best and Fairest Award Winner 2003, 2010, 2012
- Norm Smith Medal Winner 2010
- 1998 AFL National Draft
- AFL Rising Star nominee in 1999
- Madden medal Winner
- All Australian Team member 2003, 2005 and 2009
- 2003 International Rules series – Australian Squad
- Ian Stewart Medal
- Morrish Medal 1998