Mongrel Hits and Memories

Here at The Mongrel Punt, we are men of many tastes. We are men of different eras, and men who prefer a good burger, a juicy steak, and a cold beer in differing degrees.

But one thing we all agree on is that we love footy, and as such, we have memories and opinions that celebrate the greatness that is our sport.

As the bloke who throws all this together, I have noticed at times just how different we all are – not just in terms of the teams we support – we have a Gold Coast supporter on the books, for God’s sake – but in terms of what aspects of footy appeal to us.

So, in order to reveal a little more about who we are and what floats our individual boats, I decided to formulate a set of questions that would reveal a little about each writer. They’re not your regular set of questions, and I’m pleased with the ones I’ve come up with. Let’s see what these blokes have got.

At the end, feel free to float your own and I can add them next time.




HB MEYERS – Leigh Matthews

I don’t think there’d be any issues with Lethal Leigh standing back to back with you, ready to throw down. He was never afraid to throw the first one, and from the outside looking in, you might think he wasn’t the scariest bloke in the world, but there is a killer instinct in him that would soon change their minds.


BRETT HODGSON – Campbell Brown:

Was an absolute wild man when it came to flying the flag, his loyalty to his teammates was absolutely unquestioned. Campbell, like his old man Mal, loved a scrap and backed down from absolutely nobody. He would get the first shot in well before anybody steps up to me, not to mention he would still come after you no matter how you try to stop him


JIMMY AYRES – Big Bad Bustling Bazza – Barry Hall.

If I had to pick just one player, especially one that I grew up watching from his earliest days at the Saints, to his premiership years at Sydney and finally his Scott Thompson headlocking retirement years at the Western Bulldogs, it would be Barry Hall. This bloke was as hard as your mother-in-law’s head and wasn’t scared of getting his hands dirty when it came to a physical altercation. Everyone has no doubt seen his hit on Brent Staker, it was widely publicized in Australia and abroad. Whether you like the man for his actions or resent him, there is no doubt in my mind that he would be the ideal bloke to have your back in a barney, especially given his junior boxing career. However the straw that broke the Swan’s back was his attempted strike at former St. Kilda teammate Shane Wakelin’s head, in a match against Collingwood, which cost him his place in the Sydney team indefinitely and ultimately signed his papers to leave the club. Ironically, Wakelin would later admit that he took a dive to try and earn a free kick.

If you dive deep enough into the archives with Sandy Roberts, you may just find the footage of his altercation with Sam McFarlane of North Melbourne in a reserves match for St. Kilda. The subsequent strike broke McFarlane’s jaw in three places, requiring it to be wired back together and thus ending McFarlane’s football career. But probably the funniest altercation of his career came in his final season playing for the Bulldogs when Scott Thompson of the Kangaroos thought it would be quite a laugh to taunt Hall throughout the game. When Hall bent a knee to tie his shoelaces, Thompson had this great idea of knocking his opponent to the ground whilst in a susceptible position. Enter the grappler. With skid marks instantly appearing in his jocks, Thompson tried to backpedal like Wile E. Coyote after running off a cliff, but not before Hall could wrap him up in a headlock and like a rabid dog, bark return taunts to the top of the trapped defender’s head – it took four opposition players almost 30 seconds to break Hall’s vice-like grip. Not a doubt in my mind that he’d be one of the first blokes I’d choose to have my back in a fight.


JB EDDY – I’m torn between two blokes.

On one hand, Dean Solomon would be the top of the list. He wouldn’t look to cause trouble, but if it happened, he’d stand back to back until we could get the hell out of there.

The other one is Peter Bell. Besides being a nugget of a bloke, as a lawyer he’d be able to get me out of lockup if we found ourselves in there later. Unless, of course, the arresting officer was a West Coast fan, then we’re probably doing 10-20 hard time, but he’s smaller than me, so I may be able to sell him off for some cigarettes or something. I’m pretty sure that’s how it works. I saw Prison Break. Well, the first season anyway.


MATT PASSMORE – Would have to choose Mark Harvey.

He was a tough player and a coach who was always up for a fight. I ran into him once when he was the coach of Fremantle and asked him what he thought our chances were. His reply was simple: “we might not win the game but we will win the fight.”

How can someone with that priority not be the guy you choose?


SLUGGER – As a Cat’s man that’s really only known footy in the 21st century, my pick is undoubtedly Max Rooke.

The guy was the hardest player I’ve seen play and had such underrated skills. The other thing about Max is that he was very chill and kind of quirky off the field as well. A guy I could really get along with. He would be great support and I could trust he wouldn’t get hot-headed and take it too far. Only doing what needed to be done.


SAM MARCOLIN – Look, there’s one correct answer here. And I’m stunned he hasn’t come up yet. The Sausage himself, Shane Mumford, has to be the go here. You only need to look at last week’s game against West Coast, where he tattooed Jarrod Brander into the GIANTS Stadium turf, to know why. Scarcely has there been a player so keen to hurt his opposition, and the snags after the fight would almost make it worth it


TIM HUNT – Like Sam, I must say that I am surprised my one hasn’t come up yet, though I might be a bit biased. My choice is John Worsfold.

The Eagles first premiership captain (and second premiership coach) was just about the most feared player of his era. His nickname ‘Woosha’ was given to him as a somewhat threatening reminder to opponents that this would be the last noise they would hear before Worsfold would deliver a bone-shattering bump (legal of course) that would leave them prone on the ground, wondering where in the hell that car had come from. Aside from playing style, Worsfold was the type of captain and coach that players would run through walls for, knowing that he would do the same for them. This ability to inspire brings me to another reason why I would choose Woosha – the two of us could quickly become twenty of us, and knowing my fighting abilities (or lack thereof), the more help I can have, the better.


JOE ARTHUR  – I mean…it’s got to be Adam McPhee right?

The former Essendon and Freo utility of yesteryear is someone who, ever since the line in the sand game between Essendon and Hawthorn, I’ve had on my list of people I never want to get on the wrong side of. I don’t think he was ever particularly tough but gee, he did not give a f***. The guy was a complete lunatic and if I’m backed into a corner and up against it, I want an unhinged lunatic taking the spotlight off me so I can make a dash for my life. Additionally, McPhee always struck me as someone who had a bit of a “ride or die attitude” and a real attachment to his teammates – hopefully, this fierce loyalty would make him happy to take a few punches on my behalf.


TRENT SHIELDS – A man who achieved everything in football, and somehow like the villainous Keyser Soze somehow convinced the world he wasn’t a bad guy, Gary Ayres is my man. Feted as a great, in fact the prestigious best player in the finals medal is named after him, able to play on talls or small alike, could move into the middle and outplay anyway, revered statesman coach of Port Melbourne, even has a couple of bags of 5 goals to his name.

However, he was one of the toughest, most calculating enforcers the game has ever seen. Rarely would an opposition player escape the game without subsequent payback in kind from the man known as Conan, nominally for his voluminous calves, but to those in the know due to the delivery of his own brand of brutal justice.

No one was safe, and he did it without spotlight or fear as all players of his era knew who sat atop the food chain. His blindly sublime and efficient skills disguised the hitman inside, but combined he was quite literally a weapon.


FRANK NGUYEN – Luke Hodge. Was often judged for being a bit of a sniper especially in the second half of his career but boy he was such an uncompromising competitor who set the tone for the ‘unsociable’ Hawks. Never backed down from a fight and his hunger never wavered up until his very last game. Became highly respected by doing so.


ALEX DOCHERTY – The first person that often stands out to me in terms of having someone to back you up in a fight is Barry Hall.

I mean look at him, if you could get away with looking at him funny, I reckon you’ve got yourself a big story to tell. He was always built up like a Mack truck and has the runs on the board as well both in terms of talent and in terms of letting the fists fly, albeit many of those times did wind up with big suspensions and eventually being expelled out of Sydney. To be honest, I still have no idea how the hell he got away with that gut punch on Matt Maguire in that preliminary final in 2005. Yes, many of his hits were pretty cowardly and screams of a dog act, but if anyone says that they would love to come across Barry Hall in a back-alley, no-holds barred fight, I’ll show you a liar.

Also, any man that can step up to that Rugby League heathen Paul Gallen in a boxing match and go six rounds with him to a bullshit draw gets a big tick from me. Also any chance to talk about him putting that Arden Street pest Scott Thompson in a headlock will be taken full on. If it was a WWE-version sleeper hold, then it would be marked as a hall-of-fame sort of hold.


MATT OMAN – Easy. Damian Monkhorst.

I’d make sure Monkey hadn’t been fed in a while, and just stand back and watch the big fella literally chow down on everything in sight.

No wait, I’ve got someone better. Grave Danger. Those who know, know.





HB MEYERS – Dermott knocks out Paul Vander Haar.

It happened right in front of me… RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME!

I have never heard an impact like that before – the smack of body on body and the thud of Vander hitting the ground was etched into my memory forever.

The fact that it was Brereton’s physical impact that helped swing the game taught me that you don’t have to have thirty touches to impact a game when you can do the other stuff to change the contest. That hit, his tackle on Daisy Williams and a wild, roundhouse swing at Simon Madden later in the game had the Bombers jumping at shadows. I have not seen a player change the course of a game like since, and now there are rules to prevent it, but being there, in person, and witnessing the carnage that was ‘Demolition Dermie’ made me a fan for life.


BRETT HODGSON-  Leo Barry 2005 grand final.

The game-saving pack mark off Dean Cox’s last gasp forward 50 entry. Arguably the biggest moment in grand final history that was not a score. Nearly 20 years on and there was still a lot of controversy and appreciation alike for the play, mainly with Judd and Sampi. Whether you believe the Eagles deserved a free kick or not, Barry still had to take the grab, and by doing so helped Sydney win their first flag in 72 years


JIMMY AYRES – Anzac Day 2009.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend many, many games of football in my life so far. But the greatest match and subsequent standout moment that I’ve ever experienced in the flesh was Anzac Day of 2009 where David Zaharakis kicked the winning goal for the Bombers in the dying seconds.

I’ve been to my fair share of nailbiters and games with late lead changes, but this game just had reason after reason to be better than them all. Let me paint a bit of a scene. Essendon lost sole ruckman David Hille in the opening minutes of the game to a season ending ACL injury. Defender, Paddy Ryder was thrown in the deep end as the Bombers had no other ruck option. Enter the remainder of Ryder’s career to this very day across three football clubs as a top quality ruckman from that day forth. It was a close game for the most part of the day with the lead being exchanged multiple times. Rain had threatened at patches throughout the day, but never blanketed substantially. Collingwood lead by 14 points with a few minutes left in the game. Needing three goals to win and with the rain picking up and setting in heavily, it seemed unlikely. Leroy Jetta brought the margin back to eight points before a Dom Sheed-like set shot from the boundary off the boot of Ricky Dyson had even the most one-eyed of Essendon supporters gawking in amazement. Within the last minute the ball made its way forward for David Zaharakis who in just his fourth game of senior football, turned to goal and made his roost from a few steps inside 50. The ball sailed through for a goal and the echoing scream was deafening – and I was sitting smack bang next to an instantly deflated Collingwood cheer squad as that goal sailed over our heads. The ball was returned to the middle and before we knew it the Collingwood players dropped to the ground as the Essendon players leapt for joy. We could only assume the siren had gone because it was not to be heard over the cheering and screaming of the Bomber’s faithful. What an end to hard fought, close game from the first bounce, in the biggest annual match of the home and away calender, on one of the most celebrated and respected days in Australia, amongst almost 90,000 passionate supporters of our great game.


JB EDDY – Without a doubt it was Jason McCartney’s comeback game.

Hairs stand up even thinking about it. To almost die in a gutless terrorist attack to the point he was put in a medically induced coma, suffer severe burns to most of his body and to slowly put himself back together was amazing in itself. To make it back to the gym again was another level. To do a bit at VFL level was just unbelievable, and to make it back to play in an AFL side is just beyond all expectations of human endurance and ability.

Playing with a skin suit on so his body didn’t just crack apart, he managed to get a sneaky goal as well. The stats sheet won’t show his impact on the game, but having him back lifted everyone—the players, the crowd, and, if you’ll forgive a moment of melodrama, the nation itself.

Everyone felt vulnerable after the Bali bombings. The numbers of dead and the pictures shook people out of the belief that terror attacks were a problem for other countries. But to see a bloke who had been to death’s door come back and work his way into the team was incredibly inspiring. It’s also a credit to the crowd that every Richmond supporter joined in supporting him when he retired after the match.

I’ll never forget it.


SLUGGER – Tom Hawkins Goal after the siren in 2012 against the Hawks.

Nothing will ever top that moment. I have it framed on my wall. To start so well and be up so far in that match, and to then get wound back by the Hawks, only to rip it from them in the last 30 seconds. Best game of footy I’ve seen, with the best finish. Shout-out to Ash McGrath, who deserves a mention for his goal after the siren against the Cats in 2013, as I also love that moment.


SAM MARCOLIN – Slugger has stolen mine, so I’ll have to go with something else. I reckon, with apologies to Zac Tuohy after the siren against the Dees, I have to go with Matt Scarlett’s toepoke in the ‘09 Grand Final.

The game itself was intense, and what probably gets forgotten is just how good the rest of the game was. I could probably narrate the passage of play just from memory, but I think what sticks in my memory the most is Scarlo running with Gary Ablett with his arms out shepherding. The ultimate team player, and one of the greatest ever Grand Final moments.


TIM HUNT – As an unabashed West Coast supporter, there is one moment that will always stand out – Peter Matera’s running goal to put the Eagles in front in the 1992 Grand Final.

A perfectly weighted pass by Brett Heady found Matera in full flight, running towards attacking 50. His kick from about 55m started drifting towards the left hand goal post before swinging back and going straight through the middle. On a day where he was virtually unstoppable (he kicked five goals from a wing), this goal is easily the most iconic and was replayed in my house growing up at least a hundred times.


JOE ARTHUR  – Heath Shaw’s smother on Nick Riewoldt in the 2010 Grand Final Replay.

As a Pies fan born in the late nineties, this moment is the only Grand Final memory of mine which isn’t tainted by a loss or a draw. It was early in the replay, Collingwood only held a two-goal lead and a goal for the Saints would’ve been a real settler. Instead, Shaw’s monumental effort helped the Pies maintain their momentum and from that point onward, St Kilda looked shot. That smother sucked the life out of the Saints and the Pies ran away with the game. I watched this moment unfold live at the MCG with my old man and as far as footy memories go, it doesn’t get much better.


TRENT SHIELDS – The excited tones of Peter McKenna will forever bring a deathly cold chill to long-suffering Demons fans, but the iconic moment when Jim Stynes jogged through the mark in the tense final seconds of the 1987 Preliminary Final to move Hawthorn deadeye Gary Buckenara within striking distance will forever encapsulate the drama of sport and the innocence of childhood dreams for me.

A true David & Goliath match up with Hawthorn having played in the past four Grand Finals versus the underdog Melbourne, friendless in September for 23 years at this time had ebbed and flowed with more twists and sub-plots than Game of Thrones, until the brutal crescendo.

Unbridled exultations of joy for the victors, gut-wrenching pain for the vanquished, one club took this fortuitous opportunity to build an imposing record unlikely to ever be beaten, while the other remains barren to this day in a true sliding doors moment.


FRANK NGUYEN – Stuart Dew’s five minute burst in the 2008 Grand Final.

Having only been born on the turn of the 21st century, my recollection of AFL history largely starts in 2008, especially as a Hawks fan – call me biased. I didn’t really know much about Dew at the time, but his little cameo at the end of the third quarter, kicking two goals and setting up a couple of others, was so inspiring and it’s a highlights package that I would never get sick of watching. The unlikely ‘bulky’ hero as Dennis Commeti coined him, set up the most unlikely of upsets and played his role in the side to perfection


ALEX DOCHERTY – I’ll give you the biased and the non-biased views.

The biased one is the Western Bulldogs heading to their first Grand Final in over 50 years. It’s easy to talk about what happened a week later, but I love remembering how we got there. Less than a kick the difference in the final minute, the kick goes to the Bulldogs’ half forward area, Macrae gathers the loose ball, handball to Libba, handball to Tom Boyd, handball to Jake Stringer running inside 50 near the boundary. He could’ve blazed away and gone for goal, but he unselfishly kicked it inboard to find Tory Dickson all by himself with about 30 seconds to go.

Everyone live went nuts, Everyone knew they were heading to the big dance. Luke Darcy doing commentary that night sounded like he was almost in tears.  The number of times we got to a Prelim and fell short, was almost a customary trait for a Bulldogs supporter. But that all changed on this night. It was glorious.

The non-bias one was Nick Davis in the 2005 Semi-Final, every time I go back and watch that last quarter, I just get pure chills watching that last minute of the game. Watching Steve Johnson contempt with seeing the ball over the boundary line just outside Geelong’s defensive 50, only to see Luke Ablett come from nowhere and keep it alive, players rushing one another to make sure the result goes their way, and then came the stoppage.

The game is almost 16 years old, but there is still a sense of heart in your mouth with watching it all unfold once more. Nick Davis had already kicked three in the fourth quarter as the Swans worked themselves back from four goals down and he read the ruck tap beautifully and on the boot, sailed through to send the SCG into raptures. Anthony Hudson called it beautifully – we saw it, and we couldn’t believe it!!!


MATT OMAN – The final Showdown at Footy Park.

The first Showdown I saw live in the stands, and without a doubt, the best game of football I’ve ever seen. For Port Adelaide to come back from 4 goals down in the last 5 minutes was just magnificent to watch, and it was led by a 19 year old kid that used that game to stamp himself as a superstar right in front of our eyes. If you’re looking for the true birth of Ken Hinkley’s Port Adelaide, go back to this win, and everything becomes clear.





HB MEYERS – Nathan Brown’s broken leg.

This was a truly horrific injury that made even the most hardened footy fan turn away from the TV. To see his leg bending at right angles after being caught under a tackler… it elicits a physical response in anyone who has suffered a break of any sort.

He was never the same after that moment – just ask him. He went from the position of being a player on the verge of taking over the league to a run of the mill forward, robbing him of what was going to be a stellar career for the Tigers.

I suppose that’s what makes me a little defensive about people talking down Tom Mitchell’s games at the moment – people forget that he suffered the same injury and has come back to the level he is now playing. It’s quite amazing.

Honourable mention to Jarrod Harbrow’s attempted murder of Jordan Lewis. That was as brutal a hit as I have ever seen.


BRETT HODGSON- Dean Solomon elbowing Cameron Ling in 2008.

This was the most blatant act player to player I have seen on live television, where Solomon leaped with an elbow at Ling, collecting him in the jaw and earning the Dockers enforcer an eight week suspension.

The most shocking moment in history was likely John Bourke in a reserves game for Collingwood in 1985, Bourke was reported for kicking a player in the groin, however, during the report he snapped, tripping and pushing the field umpire, elbowing the Collingwood runner then jumping the fence to fight a fan in the stands. Bourke recieved a 10 year suspension- later reduced to seven years. However this was before my time.

One other that comes to mind that is not violence-related happened in Round 10 of the 2015 season. Most players get to retire on their own terms, with their own timing and control over their circumstances, however on this day we saw the career of one of the best players in the history of the game come to an end. Christopher Dylan Judd went up for a mark in the middle of the MCG for a grab but landed awkwardly after some slight body contact from Patrick Dangerfield altered his landing position. Immediately he grabbed at his knee, and as he was being stretchered off he gave one final wave to the crowd, almost to acknowledge he knee his time had come to an end. The crowd sensed the moment and gave Judd a standing ovation. Less then a week later it was confirmed by the champion on TV that his storied career came to an end.


JIMMY AYRES – I honestly can’t say that a lot has “shocked” me on the field in my time. Not a genuine, bonafide, ‘Undertaker’s streak at WrestleMania just ended’ kind of shock anyways. There have been countless surprising or “shocking” upsets and boilovers, but we witness those every season. I would almost call the 2010 drawn Grand Final a shock.

It seemed to be one of the more heavily invested Grand Finals by neutral supporters that I can recall. However I’d say it was more bewilderment and disbelief at what we had just witnessed, that and very few in my company that day actually realised that the ramifications meant a replay the following weekend. The entire emotions of the last quarter and the state of confusion at the conclusion came close to shocking me.

I would almost consider two of the greatest comebacks of all time that I witnessed as shocking. Seeing the Bombers come back from 69 points down against North Melbourne in 2001 was high scoring, free flowing footy at its best. Then there was ‘The Miracle On Grass’ as dubbed by the great Anthony Hudson. Brisbane Lions coming back from 52 points down against Geelong in the absolute dying seconds is spine-tingling stuff. Enhanced only by Huddo’s commentary.


MATT PASSMORE – This is an interesting question to answer. Can I see something shockingly bad,violent or almost shockingly good. I’m tempted to say Barry Hall v Staker, but I’m not sure if I was entirely shocked by a punch on the field. I think I’ll lean with 3 injuries that I can’t split:

Campbell Brown breaking his leg in 2006; James Hird making Subi the house of pain in 2002, which happened right in front of where I was sitting; and Michael Barlow trying to stand on his broken leg in 2010. Barlow’s was so bad you could physically hear the snap from the boundary.  Those horrific injuries linger in the mind I think because of the brutal but accidental nature of them.


SLUGGER – It would probably have to be when Nathan Brown broke his leg playing for the Tigers.

I don’t think I’d really seen something like that before. There was also a game where Geelong played St.Kilda and Joel Selwood went for the footy in the pocket and the Saints player lined him up and got him sweet. Selwood immediately froze and hit the deck and blood started coming out of his mouth, despite not being hit there. That was also pretty shocking.


JB EDDY – Hard to go past the Barry Hall hit on Brent Staker.

Just the most deliberate and savage thing I can recall seeing that was so far out of normal behaviour that it barely registered.

What made it worse though was that no one stepped up to him. You go out on the field thinking the team has your back, and they failed there. Yeah, a fired-up Barry Hall is not someone you want to step in front of, but if one player does, then two can, if two can, five can, and if the whole team is there, I don’t care who you are, no bloke is tearing through 18 fit footy players outside of a Steven Seagal movie.

Sam Marcolin – Andrew Gaff’s punch on Andy Brayshaw in that 2018 Derby.

Probably less violent than Barry Hall’s hit, but arguably more shocking given Gaff and Hall’s respective reputations. The consequences of the hit were hard to watch, with Brayshaw very clearly shaken and missing teeth. At least, though, the Freo players flew the flag in defence of their young player. Gaff’s despair on the bench afterwards was telling.


TIM HUNT – This is a tough one, as moments of violence and horrible injury on the footy field are always shocking in the modern game. I’m going to go with a somewhat notorious incident from the final round in 1994 – Danny Southern choking Peter Sumich.

What started as a fairly standard half-time brouhaha became something a little more serious when Footscray defender Southern literally choked the lights out of Sumich. Hearing both Southern and Sumich recount the incident on Open Mike reinforces how shocking the moment truly was.


JOE ARTHUR  – Hard to go past Barry Hall knocking Brent Staker’s lights out.

In terms of shock value, this was off the charts. I mean, everyone knew Barry wasn’t to be trifled with but I doubt Brent ever thought he’d be smacked across the jaw with a sweeping fist in the fashion that he was. Brutal.


TRENT SHIELDS – I’m going to take creative liberty and move outside the violence angle implied above and recall a result that genuinely shocked me, and I’m sure most watching. While unusual results happen frequently enough throughout the course of a season, it is rare when a truly unwinnable position is reversed and the only response is either giddy delight or stunned silence.

The 2005 Semi-Final was one such occasion as the upstart Cats had an unassailable lead and all the momentum in a low scoring slog at the SCG – enter Nick Davis. A scarcely believable four-goal masterpiece which if it were scripted would’ve been torn up and ridiculed for it’s unlikely nature, eventuated from this situation and immortalised in the impassioned shriek of Anthony Hudson ‘I see it, but I don’t believe it’.


FRANK NGUYEN – I don’t think it gets talked about much considering the status of the player, but Sam Simpson getting knocked out in last year’s Grand Final made for some gruesome viewing.

In a game that was already injury-riddled, with Ablett and Vlastuin going down in the opening minute, Simpson’s K.O was the icing on a pretty ghastly cake. Menegola went back with the flight to mark a kick going inside 50, crashing into Menegola and a Richmond defender. There were three stages of the collision that ensued: firstly, Menegola bumped into Simpson’s torso in mid air, Simpson then smashed his head into the ground as he landed, and to top it all off, while Simpson was lying flat on the ground, Menegola crashed right into Simpson’s exposed rib cage. He was already knocked out by then but still, great courage and commitment was shown from all players on the biggest stage


ALEX DOCHERTY – The most shocking thing I’ve seen live, I do remember watching Daniel Giansiracusa lay out Justin Koschitzke during a game at the Docklands early in the 2006 season.

I was sitting on the opposing wing, but you could hear the sickening clash from where I was and it wasn’t surprising to see both men lay on the ground for what felt like it was an eternity.

Gia eventually got up, but Kosi got stretchered off the field and it was at that point, 12-year old me began to feel a bit sick, I was that worried about his well-being. He did raise the thumb up to let everyone know he was alright, but it wasn’t until I got home that it was a clash of heads on the replay, and the diagnosis later revealed to be a fractured skull and a burst ear drum. It certainly didn’t make things any easier watching him weeks later faint during an TV interview with Mark Schwarz. Whether or not it actually was correlated to the hit, no one can officially confirm it, but I reckon given the nature of the research of concussions and head knocks in footy, it looks dead certain.

I’ve seen a lot of shocking things through the TV screen, I still get a little squeamish seeing the broken leg injuries – Nathan Brown, Michael Barlow and Tim Broomhead from a few years ago definitely come to mind, the Barry Hall hit on Brent Staker was a thing that I couldn’t believe at the time it happened, Matthew Robbins taking a one-handed screamer against Brisbane in 2005 was something i was genuinely shocked at and lastly, upon hearing the death of Phil Walsh in 2015 is something that I never thought I – as I’m sure 99.9 percent of the footy world – would never hear on a Friday morning.


MATT OMAN – The drawn Grand Final of 2010.

This was my first footy trip to Melbourne with my best mate, and I still can’t believe what happened. We couldn’t get tickets to the game, so we bought camping chairs from K-Mart and watched it on the big screen at Federation Square. I had tipped Collingwood, and he went with the Saints, so even though neither of our teams played, there was still some friendly competition. It was a fantastic game, and it deserved a winner, but the atmosphere after the siren was so strange, almost eerie. No one knew what to do next, and everyone in the crowd just dispersed without much fanfare. The shock of it all is still burned in my brain.




HB MEYERS – I loved Dunstall and Brereton. They were the two that gave me enormous joy through the mid to late eighties, but even then, I have to admire what Stewart Loewe and Tony Lockett did at St Kilda.

Whilst Derm had the flair, Loewe was out there week after week, clunking 10+ marks and being this colossus across half forward for the Saints, and whilst if this was a simple battle between full forwards, I would take Dunstall over Lockett, the addition of Loewe to the mix, and his workmanlike efforts, I cannot go past the Saints pair. It feels a bit like blasphemy to write it, but if we’re talking about sizzle and steak, I feel that three of them had more steak than sizzle, and one had a little more sizzle than steak.

I love Derm – great player, and could change the game by exerting physical pressure, but Loewe is the factor here for me – 16+ marks on seven occasions as a key forward… incredible.


BRETT HODGSON- Lockett and Loewe.

The pair from St Kilda may not have spent much time together, however combining the power and goalkicking prowess of Lockett, with the aerial dominance of Stewart Loewe was a match made in heaven. These two dominant big forwards working together no matter the era would be an absolute handful, I’m taking potential over numbers with this one. If I’m choosing a tandem with the runs on the board (so to speak) I can’t go past Franklin and Roughhead- like so many mongrels have already mentioned.


JIMMY AYRES – Franklin & Roughead/Lloyd & Lucas.

Ok, so if you guys reading haven’t picked up on it yet, I’m the indecisive Mongrel that often chucks multiple answers in because I just can’t split them.

Well, here we are again with me being unable to decide which forward duo I think is the best that I’ve seen in my time. Having a massive respect for what Buddy Franklin has achieved in his career, and just a huge fan of his freakish abilities in general has led me to choose him and Jarryd Roughead from Hawthorn for starters. In the late 2000s when Franklin started to hit his straps, they were an unbelievably dangerous pair up forward. Franklin had a knack of doing the impossible and making it look like he barely broke a sweat. Roughead was Mr. Reliable. He didn’t have the flash and flair of Franklin, but he had great hands and was an accurate shot on goal. A real Full-Forward in the traditional sense of the position. My other unsplittable pair is Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas of Essendon. In the mid 90s through to the mid 2000s the two dominated Essendon’s forward line. Lloyd would go on to be the Bomber’s greatest ever goalkicker, finishing his career sitting in 7th on the all time goal kickers list of the AFL, before being overtaken by Lance Franklin in 2019. During cricket in the 70s it was often recited ‘Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, if Thommo don’t get ya, Lillee must’. It was a similar sentiment during Essendon’s strong showings of that era – on the rare occasion that Lloyd was held, Lucas would almost always take the reins. The two dominated in the greatest individual season in history: 2000.

Shoutout to Jonathan Brown & Daniel Bradshaw.


THE SLUGGER – It has to be Franklin and Roughead.

That combinations run together is the best I’ve seen. I also want to give a shoutout to Brown and Bradshaw, as I thought they were a real quality duo for a few years before Voss ruined it when he tried to trade Bradshaw for Fev. How’d that work out Vossy?  In that 08-09 years those two combinations were one of my favourite reasons to watch footy outside of Geelong.


JB EDDY – It’s hard to go past Franklin and Roughhead.

Roughy was probably the more traditional forward, but he had the predictability that allowed the team to find him as an option. Buddy would be anywhere and everywhere, and ready to create options that defenders weren’t ready to cover. Between them, they were extremely tough to man up on.


SAM MARCOLIN – Yeah it’s Franklin and Roughead.

Not sure I can add much to the discourse here but the fact that both players won Coleman Medals says a lot about just how damaging they were. Buddy is obviously the best forward since Lockett but I think Roughead’s talent is maybe overlooked at times.


TIM HUNT – As with the others, it is bloody hard to go past Franklin and Roughead, though I am tempted to go with premiership winning one-two forward punch Quinten (the Q-Stick) Lynch and Ash (he straightens us up) Hansen. Trying to add a little bit of difference, I’ll go with Nick Riewoldt and Justin Koschitzke – namely the 2009 variety.

In a season where the Saints won 20 home and away games (and would find themselves arguably a toe-poke away from winning their elusive second flag), Riewoldt and Koschitzke were a fearsome forward duo, combining for more than 130 goals across the season. Though this doesn’t sound like much, remember it was a Ross Lyon team, so that’s like 200 goals for any normal coach! At the peak of his powers in 09, Riewoldt was the graceful, hard-working centre half-forward who would leave any defender in his wake, where Koschitzke, whose body finally didn’t let him down, was the bash-and-crash, rough-and-tumble full forward.


JOE ARTHUR – Everyone is saying Franklin and Roughead, which is the correct answer, but why not have some fun? In my unbiased opinion, forward duos didn’t get more dynamic than Sean Rusling and Paul Medhurst of Collingwood in late 2007.

Rusling only managed 17 games in his career and played just five games in 2007 due to injuries. However, he kicked 10 goals in those five games in tandem with Medhurst who also kicked 10 goals in those five games. Three of those matches also happened to be Finals and the dynamic Rusling/Medhurst duo was only beaten once – by five points in the Preliminary Final against Geelong, the eventual premiers. The pair were electric! I’ve sworn by this for years, but if Sean Rusling never got injured he would’ve become one of the most dynamic forwards in the game and even 10-year-old me could see that he and Medhurst were always in perfect sync with one another. Oh what could have been.


FRANK NGUYEN – Obviously Franklin and Roughead, not sure how much more I could say about them.

JJK and Darling have been very consistent over the years, but I’m very keen to see how the two most recent Coleman medallists, Hawkins and Cameron, become more lethal as they play more footy fogether.


ALEX DOCHERTY – I’m absolutely going to cheat on this and go with the 1-2-3 because honestly, how can we not discuss the three-pronged Brisbane forward line of Alastair Lynch, Jonathan Brown and Daniel Bradshaw during their three-peat?

It was so hard to actually get on top of one, possibly two without the other actually doing damage on the scoreboard and it was the work of these three in tandem that helped Brisbane get to three premierships and four successive grand finals.

The trio combined for 142 goals in 2001 (Lynch 58, Bradshaw 46, Brown 38). Lynch (74 goals) and Bradshaw (38) combined for over 100 goals in 2002, with Brown only kicking 14 goals in 19 games in down year. The 2003 saw the trio combine for 133 goals, Lynch again kicking 78 goals, but Bradshaw (28) and Brown (27) playing perfect second and third options. 2004 was a strange year, Lynch kicked 40 goals in 13 games in his final year, but Bradshaw (40 goals) and Brown (39) showed that they could be just as effective in Lynch’s absence.


TRENT SHIELDS – I’m going to move slightly outside the parameters of the AFL and nominate two legends of the game, Jason Dunstall and Dermott Brereton. The two Hawks superstars complemented each other perfectly, Dunstall exhibiting a consistency of champion level performance perhaps unequalled, while Brereton displayed all the finesse associated with the indulgent 80s, but possessing a commensurate level of genius.

Together they were unstoppable, each capable of kicking a bag, turning a match with a quarter of brilliance and their record of sharing four premierships in the key forward positions is remarkable. Traditionally two big alpha-male personalities will clash, but these two managed an on-field harmony that propelled the famous Hawks team to reach unparalleled heights. No backline in history could lay claim to being able to keep them quiet, a sheer perfect footballing partnership.


MATT OMAN – As a Hawks fan, I’d probably have to say Buddy and Rough.

Roughie kicked 75 goals in 2008, but he was completely overshadowed. It is just ridiculous that we were able to snare both of them in the same draft, and when you add the forward line talent around them, Dew and Williams, into Gunston and Breust, not to mention the delicious Cyril, there isn’t a defence alive that could consistently stop them.





HB MEYERS – I’d love a “Fly on the Wall” doco as the Cats rose to power around 2007.

The meeting with Stevie J to give him an ultimatum and a suspension, the session that saw teammates and coaches let Gary Ablett know that he was not working hard enough, sit down interviews with all involved – a real look inside the makings of a supreme AFL team.

Also, something on Collective Minds that delves into their successes and doesn’t get bogged down in the catastrophe that was the Adelaide situation. They had great runs with some successful teams, but are not remembered in that context at all.


BRETT HODGSON- June 6, 2003

Jason McCartney returning to football after surviving the Bali bombing. One of the biggest moments not only in the history of the AFL but the sports world, and country in general. It was the perfect return, as Jason kicked a goal, set up the winning goal with a handball in the dying stages and would retire immediately following the match. He may have had only three disposals, however his return meant so much more then a bloke chasing a ball around the bright lights of the MCG.

If I had to pick an alternative documentary that does not tug on the heartstrings as much (also focused on an event that didn’t affect so many people and families) then I would take a Last Dance style approach but instead of covering a player chasing a grand final I would focus on the last (legitimate) season in the career of Tony Lockett,  detailing his chase for his 1300th goal and his last chance to win a premiership


JIMMY AYRES – The effects of World War 2 on Australian Football, the players that returned and the ones who never did.

I’ve always said that the foundation is there for a great quality, Hollywood movie to be made about Australian football throughout the global climate of WW2. From the affects on Australian leagues, to players being drafted to fight overseas, to playing football whilst abroad and to those who bravely gave their lives and were never able to return. Having read and heard first hand a lot of those story’s from returned serviceman and VFL player Jack Jones, I’ve long dreamt of a movie being made that chronicled the lives of our young diggers turned football players and young football players turned diggers, especially one with football nuances. There are so many different aspects that could be involved; the teams that had to withdraw from competitions for numerous reasons throughout the war, the Brownlow Medal being halted for four seasons during the height of the war, different league’s hosting carnivals as fundraisers to support the war effort, prisoners of war playing football and staging competitions all around the world in different countries and war camps. The list could go on forever.


THE SLUGGER – 2016 Bulldogs

The Bulldogs 2016 finals run and Premiership. Finishing 7th and winning it? C’mon. I still remember Peter Gordon going on SEN in the lead up to these finals and having a joke with the hosts about what he would do if the Dogs simply made a Grand Final and how far away that felt for him. He was talking as if he was just hoping to see them make one in his lifetime, let alone 5 weeks later. Their schedule was also crazy in hindsight. Travel to Perth against the Eagles, a ridiculous first week task. Then they play the three-time reigning champs at the MCG, now way they get through. Then they head interstate again to play the Giants on their home deck. In arguably the most intense final of the decade. It should be noted that this would be the climactic moment in the movie as the Dogs had lost what? Seven preliminary finals in a row without making it to a Grand Final? Then you could have highlights of the grand final running through a montage with written text to provide context and updates on people involved. Finish with BT’s call of Boyd’s goal from the centre square. It’s a moment of folklore. Inspirational leader goes down early in the season. Playing a different game style to a lot of teams. Not given a lot of respect. A lot of young stars trying to prove themselves. And don’t forget a couple handy legacy dogs that could have the dynamic scene talking with their fathers about their playing days. It would be fantastic.


SAM MARCOLIN – I reckon there’s definitely a movie in the Kennett Curse, but that seems a little obvious. I’d love a documentary about the formation of the Suns and the GIANTS. I reckon the backroom decisions made would be enthralling. If Gary Ablett had been sent off with a flag last year then I personally would have bankrolled a Last Dance-style doco.


TIM HUNT – Oh man, I really wish AFL stories could (or would) be told in a 30-for-30 style docu-series. For me, the first cab off the rank would definitely be the then VFL’s decision to allow two new teams into their competition.

We could look at the backroom deals that were required in order to get the votes for expansion over the line, and trace the expansion of the VFLs largely suburban based competition into the national behemoth that is now the AFL.


JB EDDY – The story about how Norwood, Glenelg and Port Adelaide were vying for the SA entry into the newly formed AFL.

Rumours and tales abound of the back-door politicking, petty revenge and pure intimidation tactics that were used to try and get each team ahead. I’d really like the full story to come out from all the players regarding how the Crows were able to be the compromise choice.


JOE ARTHUR – I would love an opportunity to see what was going on at Brisbane during its years of dominance in the early 2000s.

Either that, or following around Hawthorn during its three-peat era. I always love seeing the inner workings of a successful outfit and I think a Last Dance-style documentary would work wonders for either circumstance.


FRANK NGUYEN – As Joe said, a ‘Last Dance’ type of documentary would be amazing but I’d like to see it for Richmond, starting from their dark days and finishing in the present, with comparisons between Dusty and MJ, Pippen and Cotchin, Rance and Rodman, Dimma and Phil Jackson.. etc. Also highlighting the Tigers recent off-field troubles and how they have somehow managed to subtly sweep them under the rug while maintaining on-field success.


ALEX DOCHERTY – I think if we’re talking movies, I’d love to see an AFL rendition of the movie ‘Draft Day’ except maybe do it with the trade period, because the core premise of Draft Day was how to use a top-10 draft pick to make the side better and it involves a lot of calling and a lot of unrest within this particular NFL club (promise I won’t spoil it anymore) but perhaps they could do a movie about a side like the Western Bulldogs’ trade period last year.

Back-to-back Elimination Final defeats, the impending situation with Jamarra Ugle-Hagan potentially becoming number one draft pick, then deciding on what to do to ensure they don’t go into draft deficit, and we haven’t even gone through the stories about Josh Dunkley and Adam Treloar respectively. You could probably get 90 minutes out of that. The chances of the Bulldogs retaining Dunkley and getting Treloar were seen as quite slim at the time, and somehow the Dogs managed to do away with both – and look at where they currently sit on the ladder.

Scripting genius.

I’d love to see a Netflix/Amazon documentary series on the AFLW. Lots gets talked about how they juggle their jobs as well as being part-time league professionals, I think it would be an awesome insight to see how they go in a similar vein to Making Their Mark, which I thought was incredible viewing.


TRENT SHIELDS – The backroom meetings and villains of the clandestine mid-90s merger negotiations would make compelling viewing. A greedy and ill-equipped corporation conspiring to essentially eliminate 100 years of history of foundation clubs still casts a very dark cloud over the competition to this day.


MATT OMAN – Something about the Line in the Sand game.

For my money, this kick-started the unsociable Hawks that won all those flags. We were a laughing stock before this (remember pre-season 2004 when Schwab said we’d win the premiership and got laughed at by the journos). And in Derm’s own words, Essendon had beat up on Hawthorn for years. A line had to be drawn. And all those fines and suspensions, at the end of the day, we won a flag four years later, and three-peated some years after that. Essendon have been nowhere ever since.




HB MEYERS – The Dogs in 2016, not just for what it did for the long-suffering supporters of the club, but for what it didn’t do for Lance Franklin and his powerful Swans outfit.

The Dogs came from the clouds to swoop in and take the flag, and set the table for the Tigers to do the same the next year, but in the process, they disrupted what many thought was inevitable – Franklin adding to his premiership tally in the Harbour City.


BRETT HODGSON- West Coast Eagles 1992

Breaking the mould of the “VFL vs the rest” moniker the Eagles dominated powerhouse Geelong in 1992, they solidified the status of the competition as truly being Australia-wide, being the first non Victorian team to win the flag in the history of the competition.


JIMMY AYRES – More indecision.

I find it hard to single out one premiership as “The Most Important” because every premiership is important to the winning club in its own way. But I guess in my lifetime, as I mentioned earlier with its shock factor, was the 2010 drawn Grand Final. As a neutral supporter of both teams, the feelings I experienced at the end of that game still stick with me 11 years on. No-one of my generation had witnessed first hand a drawn Grand Final, and I believe no-one of the generation prior to mine really had either, given it had been 37 years since the last one occurred in the AFL.  It was surreal, such a tight fought contest that literally felt like Collingwood vs the rest of Australia (isn’t that every week though?) and at the conclusion, everyone stood there scratching their heads and feeling on a level with the emotions shown by the players.

The reason I single this Grand Final out is because it has literally changed the game. It will forever be the last drawn Grand Final as the AFL have since amended the rules to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. It’s definitely a football memory that for one reason or another will resonate within me for a long time.


MATT PASSMORE – Every premiership is important but when a team can make a statement with a premiership of come up against the odds than that win gets a bold mark against them. Like Brett, I’d have to choose the Eagles 92 premiership. The VFL v the rest mantra has never wavered but the Eagles had the chance to show the ‘rest’ were here and could beat the best.


THE SLUGGER – I’m biased, get over it. If you know of Geelong in the 90’s you’ll know of a quiet little town with a company called Pyramid. You’ll know of the footy club and losing four Grand Finals in seven years. There was a car factory, a football stadium, Geelong grammar and an oil refinery and not much else. It was coined “sleepy hollow” by those up the highway in the big smoke of Melbourne. Not much was happening in the town and not much looked like happening. The footy club nearly folded and was drowning in debt at the turn of the century, and without the divine intervention of the holy trinity of Brian Cook, the late Frank Costa and Mark Thompson it probably would have.

The 2007 Premiership transformed not only the football club, but the entire town of Geelong.

It started a period of dominance that does not have any modern equal. For the club to still be competitive almost every year since, is a testament to the change in culture it set. Not only that, but you can make the argument that it has helped kick-start the Geelong boom, with the city now becoming a genuine secondary hub of Victoria, rather than just a large rural town, like Bendigo or Ballarat. The city has burst to life with developments in the last decade and, even with the closing of significant traditional employers (long considered the lifeblood of the area), has continued to evolve to continue to remain a fantastic place to live and work, much like how the club has to stay competitive both on and off the field. This premiership launched a new team, a new club, a new stadium, and a new bloody city. It awoke the sleeping giant of Geelong.


SAM MARCOLIN – I’m kinda with Jimmy here. Every premiership is important in its own way, but loathe as I am to say it, I think Richmond’s win in 2017 is the biggest tideturner the league has seen in ages. While I’m the first to knock the Tigers supporters whose footballing memory lasts about four years and stare blankly when you mention stars of the mid-2000s like Joel Bowden MP and Darren Gaspar, this premiership brought a lot of supporters out of the woodwork. It revolutionised the game, with pressure becoming a critical factor, and it led to the start of another dominant era.


TIM HUNT – As an Eagles fan, I put the 1992 grand final right up amongst the top few in terms of importance.

It truly was the moment the game went national, and teams and fans outside of Victoria started to believe they could win it all. However, I’m not going to choose this one. Instead, I’m going to say the 2005 grand final. An oft-forgotten game (at least by me, for obvious reasons), Sydney’s victory marked the time that every AFL playing state had held the premiership cup. I know that South Melbourne had won three VFL flags, in 1909, 1918 and in 1933, but they were before the team moved to New South Wales and became the Sydney Swans, so I’m not counting them. Anyway, the win by the Swans in 05 was the culmination of a journey that the VFL/AFL had been on since at least the early 1980s.


JOE ARTHUR – Port Adelaide 2004.

It broke up Brisbane’s dominance and stopped it from winning four in a row. As a Collingwood fan, I was quite happy to hold on to the single longest streak of consecutive premiership victories. I know it came in a time with less clubs and therefore less competition but hey, most of Collingwood’s premiership-related records aren’t all that flash so I’ll take what I can get. I also love that Grand Final in general, Mark Williams winning as a coach was amazing to see and that Port Adelaide team was full of champion players – Pickett, Tredrea, the Burgoyne and Cornes brothers, Cassisi and my personal favourite, Darryl Wakelin – it was an easy outfit to root for.


JB EDDY – I may be biased, but I’m going with the 1996 flag for North Melbourne. At a time when there was pressure to move or merge, the club was near broke and the media had written them off, they managed to break through for the win and push themselves into relevancy.

As much as North cop a flogging in the media now for their low supporter base, at that stage the club had facilities below that of an amateur team in regional Victoria, they had less support staff than the local cricket club, and the business side of the club was optimistically considered “dire”.

By mobilising the fans and casual supporters, recruiting well (how they got Carey as a steak knives throw in for recruiting Longmire should be considered the greatest recruiting coup of all time) and pushing through to a drought-breaking flag literally made the difference between the club existing or merging/moving.

Sure, there’s still the old talk about moving the team now, but with a healthy balance sheet and deep roots in the North Melbourne suburb, there’s just no business case that makes sense to move the team and lose those elements in favour of a government-supported transplant team whose business model could nosedive in the next election cycle.

The only reason North continue to exist as a team is the 96 flag.


FRANK NGUYEN – As a Hawks supporter, the 2014 grand final was big.

The Hawks finished second that year to Sydney, they had lost to Sydney in 2012, and arguably their biggest marquee player, Buddy Franklin, made the highly controversial move to the Swans in the off season. It was the perfect revenge game for the Hawks, and they pulled it off to perfection.


ALEX DOCHERTY – The 2016 premiership obviously. It was something as a Bulldogs supporter that we’d never hope to witness in our lifetime.

But you can make the case for so many premierships being the most important. Sydney and Geelong’s drought-breaking premierships in 2005 and 07 respectively. Port Adelaide finally breaking that sort of notion that they were choke-artists in 2004. Hawthorn beating a Geelong side that only lost once all year prior to the 2008 Grand Final, Richmond coming from obscurity in 2016 and even in previous years when they did make the finals, but couldn’t even get past the first week, West Coast any time they got to the Grand Final and being automatically written off because of the theory they couldn’t play at the MCG.


TRENT SHIELDS – So many meritorious victories over the years, but for the purpose of this article, none exceeds the West Coast Eagles first triumph in 1992.

The VFL’s expansion into Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and finally Adelaide was seen as a bit of a novelty (for some Victorians it still is), but with the moment Malthouse and Worsfold held that trophy aloft and then promptly packed it onto a place heading to WA the national comp had truly arrived.


MATT OMAN – Adelaide going back to back in 1997 and 1998.

The new kids on the block, and with the Messiah in charge, to come from an elimination final both times, and to win both games without Tony Modra, takes a special kind of magic. These wins really put South Australia at the forefront of footballing excellence, and the reception here in Adelaide was monumental.





HB MEYERS – Jason Akermanis

And if it were wet, I’d pick him twice.

Aker was a magician with the footy in his hands, and I reckon his feats are often undersold given the strength of both the team he played in at Brisbane, and the character he developed and portrayed onfield. Aker was an entertainer by nature, but when it came to executing the skills of our game, there was very little he could not do, and do very, very well. I remember those two goals against Geelong – you know the ones? Where he covered his mouth in mock surprise after he slotted the second with the wet ball from the boundary – he was a freak.


BRETT HODGSON- Brendan Fevola

Despite the character of “Fev” he was truly capable of some freakish feats on the football field. His goalkicking skill, especially set shots has almost been lost in history, however, he was one of the best, especially when the odds were not on his side.

Yes.. Ill roll the dice with the same bloke famous for drinking a colossal amount of sauce at the Brownlow Medal count and screaming “pressure point” in the face of captain Chris Judd

As many writers have added a second player for a snap on goal I will do the same. For me, despite many going with the originator of “The J Curve” I want to be covered in both set shot, and general play. With that in mind I cannot go with anybody other then Neon Leon Davis. He was an absolute master of the mercurial, and particularly if there was an element of importance in the shot, he very rarely faltered.


JIMMY AYRES – Gary Ablett…. Snr.

Ok, so my reasoning for this one is relative to other factors. Two of the potential players that i considered were mentioned in my choices for the best one-two punch forward line earlier in the piece, then my third and fourth choices would’ve been Brendan Fevola or Plugger Lockett but alas, they’ve also been mentioned here today. So to stick with a theme of individuality, I choose God. The one reason that comes to mind for me is although he doesn’t boast the greatest kicking accuracy percentage amongst the great goalkickers of the AFL, at least if I had one foot already in the grave and he happened to miss.. Well, at least the odds are that I would die mere seconds after witnessing something incredible. No doubt that he would’ve soared high and dazzled me with his aerial brilliance before he laid me to rest with his inaccuracy.


SLUGGER  – If it’s a snap around the corner, Steve Johnson every day.

If it’s a set shot, I’m going to have to agree with Mr Hogdson and say Fevola. The guy is the best set shot I’ve seen. I want people to know how badly I wanted to say Tom Hawkins here, who would’ve been a bloody good choice himself, but that is just how good Fevola was.


SAM MARCOLIN – Dom Sheed. That’s it. Has to be.

That 2018 goal is probably one of the greatest footy moments I can remember. He threaded the needle to perfection to cap off one of the greatest ever Grand Finals. Honourable mention to Tom Hawkins though, who does love a big bending set shot.


TIM HUNT – A tough one to finish out this survey. I agree with Sam in that it is tough to go past Dom Sheed – the guy literally kicked a goal from the boundary to win his team a grand final; there’s not too many players past and present who can compete with that.

Having said this, I would have to choose Sheed’s 2018 premiership teammate Mark LeCras. At his best (namely 2009 and 2010), LeCras was just about as safe a set-shot at goal as you are likely to see and had a beautifully natural kicking motion that instilled teammates and fans alike with the belief that every shot at goal was going through the big sticks.


JOE ARTHUR – Jason Dunstall.

With my life on the line, why not request one of the best? Unphased by pressure and he always had the same routine – drop punt, six points. Unfortunately, I don’t have the guts to let anyone try a round-the-corner snap to save my life but kudos to anyone who does.


JB EDDY – Tex Walker.

He’d rather lose a leg than let someone down. I’d back him in. There’s probably some higher percentage players, but his ability to hit a pass or a shot on goal in the clutch moment is better than anyone.


FRANK NGUYEN – Luke Bruest.

Just write it in the book when he marks it on the boundary. Years of small forward craft and experience has led to him kicking some clutch goals over the years, and he’s amazingly accurate too.


ALEX DOCHERTY – Me, I’ve been practicing these types of shots at training the past two weeks, I am as good as certain.

HA! No, I wouldn’t pick me, I can barely win the footy at reserve-grade local footy let alone AFL level.

With a snap around the body, there’d be a few to look at. Stephen Milne and Steve Johnson were very good exponents of the around the body kick. Tory Dickson is someone I’d always back in to kick for my life, he barely misses a shot and always has a set routine with his kicking. Josh Bruce is another one I’d say in recent times has been more certain with a snap on the boundary as opposed to set shot from dead in front.

If we’re talking a set shot on the boundary, Jack Gunston would be up there, I’d certainly back Buddy on the boundary more often than not, but I think Travis Cloke, for all the times he misses the close ones, he looks so much more confident kicking the long-range ones and I reckon I’ve seen more goals he’s kicked from tight angles than I’ve had hot dinners, he’d be a man I’d actually trust to get it done on the boundary.


TRENT SHIELDS –  He isn’t the all-time leading goal kicker because he refused to take responsibility taking the easy approach to snap around the corner. The great Tony Lockett enjoyed a phenomenal goalkicking percentage throughout his storied career, the reason was pretty simple too, an easily repeated routine, a calm demeanour, confidence in his ability and about a million hours on the training track refining his art. Something the modern day sports scientists would never allow.


MATT OMAN – Eddie Betts.

It is completely ridiculous what Eddie can do with a football in his hands. Even better if it’s at Adelaide Oval in front of a packed house. Buddy Franklin too, but only if he’s on the run and outside 50.