The year is 2019, and after being selected on the bench for the All-Australian team the year before, Collingwood ruckman, Brodie Grundy has emerged as the number one man in the game at his position.
With a combination of tough bodywork and second efforts that, as commentators told us over and over, had hi playing more as that of an additional midfielder, Grundy leapfrogged over Max Gawn to take the number one ruck role in the 2019 team of the year.
It was close to the most impressive ruck season I’d seen in a long while.
At 25 years of age, it seemed as though Grundy was destined for greatness. His tank was just about the best in the game as far as rucks are concerned, and he was able to grab the footy and have a bounce when required. Not quite to the level of Peter Moore dashing around the field on his way to two Brownlows, but effective enough that no other big man was going to catch him.
It was like Grundy had watched Dean Cox, taken all the great work that West Coast big man had done, and applied it to his game as best he could. And it worked!
Sadly, 2019 would be the peak of Grundy’s career. Following it, he signed a seven-year deal with the Magpies at roughly a million dollars per season. I can vividly remember some lamenting the deal at the time. Their argument was that anything could happen in seven years, right?
Yes… and something did.
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