To celebrate Grand Final week, Bulldogs Centre is posting each AFL club's greatest team of all-time, and it started yesterday as we presented the teams that finished 18th-16th - Brisbane, Gold Coast and Carlton.
In case you missed it, you can read who made the teams HERE:
Today we present the second part in our six-part series, as we introduce the greatest teams of all time for North Melbourne, Fremantle and Collingwood, the sides that finished 15th, 14th and 13th respectively.
There is a fair amount to like in North Melbourne's team, despite the club's lack of premiership success in comparison to some of Victoria's more established clubs. However, most of North Melbourne's All-time team features players from their two premierships in the 1970s and their two premierships in the late 1990s
Starting with the back-line, you couldn't ignore having the Shinboner of the Century in Glenn Archer, perhaps one of the toughest defenders you could ever imagine and typified what North Melbourne was all about. A two-time premiership defender and a Norm Smith medallist in 1996, Archer also has premiership team mates in two-time best and fairest winner Mick Martyn at full-back as well as 359-game veteran John Blakey and two-time North best and fairest winner Wayne Schwass on the half-back flanks. Rounding out the defensive six are 1983 Brownlow medallist Ross Glendinning at centre-half back and two-time premiership player and four-time club best and fairest David Dench in the back pocket.
Up forward, there is loads of star talent on display, but nobody headlines this forward line more so than Wayne Carey 'The King'. Say what you like about Carey his off-field misdemeanours, but on the field, he was incredible. A two-time premiership captain, a seven-time All-Australian, four-time club best and fairest and a five-time club leading goal-kicker, he was unbelievable, and surrounding him are number of other premiership stars, such as the current league's games record holder and five-time club best and fairest in Brent Harvey and current Sydney coach John Longmire who kicked over 500 goals and won himself a Coleman Medal in 1990. Wayne Schimmelbusch, who captained North from 1979-87 and Jock Spencer who won the club's goal-kicking seven times (1949-52 and 1954-56) occupy the two spots in the forward pocket, whilst former Brownlow Medal and Coleman Medal winner Malcolm Blight takes the final spot in the forward six. On the bench, five-time leading club goal-kicker Drew Petrie alongside seven-time leading club goal-kicker and former club best and fairest John Dugdale will provide the forward rotations.
In the midfield, look out for four-time club best and fairest Noel Teasdale as the number one ruckman, whilst premiership ruckman Corey McKernan will provide back-up. In the middle sees some of North's finest midfielders from the late 90s, with Anthony Stevens, David King and Adam Simpson – all dual premiership midfielders - starting alongside Teasdale at the centre square. On the wing sees Keith Greig, a two-time Brownlow medallist and a member of the AFL's team of the century, such was his influence for North on one wing and Shannon Grant, a 301-game veteran who won the Norm Smith medal in 1999. On the bench providing the rotations include former club best and fairest winners Barry Cable and Jim Krakouer, both are exhilarating players and North's current captain Jack Ziebell, who I believe can win multiple club best and fairests.
B: Glenn Archer, Mick Martyn, David Dench
HB: John Blakey, Ross Glendinning, Wayne Schwass
C: Keith Greig, Anthony Stevens, Shannon Grant
HF: Brent Harvey, Wayne Carey, Malcolm Blight
F: Wayne Schimmelbusch, John Longmire, Jock Spencer
FOL: Noel Teasdale, Adam Simpson, David King
INT: Drew Petrie, John Dugdale, Jim Krakouer, Corey McKernan, Jack Ziebell, Barry Cable
With the exception of Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney, Fremantle's all-time team was perhaps one of the more easier teams to do as quite a number of players feature from Fremantle's only Grand Final appearance in 2013. Of the 24 selected, 13 of them played in that losing Grand Final side.
The first picked was pretty simple as Matthew Pavlich is, at the moment, a fair distance away from the next best Fremantle player, which either is Nat Fyfe or Aaron Sandilands, but I'll get to them a little further down the piece. I named Pavlich at centre-half forward, which is arguably the best position for him. 353 games, 700 goals, a six-time Fremantle best and fairest and an eight-time club leading goal-kicker. How good would it be to see Pav team with Tony Modra, despite playing only 47 games for the Dockers between 1999-2001, still kicked nearly 150 goals before injuries forced him into retirement. And what about the abundance of small forwards this group has. Between Michael Walters, Paul Medhurst, Jeff Farmer and Hayden Ballantyne, this quartet has combined for 1188 career goals and would unquestionably cause plenty of headaches for opposition defenders.
The defence features many of Fremantle's 2013 team as it was a side that thrived on defence under Ross Lyon, but this back six has very few accolades between them. Michael Johnson and Luke McPharlin were one-time All-Australians but their influences in the back half were so critically underrated, as was the work from Lee Spurr and Garrick Ibbotson - players that were tough but were able to provide the drive when required. Accompanying these four are two stalwarts of Fremantle. Shane Parker made his debut in Fremantle's first game and made his name at full back whilst Antoni Grover was a superbly consistent defender, who played over 200 games at the Dockers.
However it is the midfield group from this Fremantle side that I like the most here. You have one of the tallest blokes in VFL/AFL history in Aaron Sandilands, who is a two-time club best and fairest, a four-time All-Australian in 254 games, tapping it down to a very solid on-ball brigade, led by the only Brownlow medallist in Fremantle's history in Nat Fyfe – a two-time club best and fairest and two-time All-Australian. Alongside Fyfe in the square will be another two former club best and fairest winners – one being three-time club best and fairest Peter Bell and the other being Adrian Fletcher, a journeyman who played 231 games over five clubs, but ultimately finding some individual success in his final club at Fremantle, and with the speedy Stephen Hill and former best and fairest winner David Mundy on the wings, makes a solid starting six, and with the likes of ball magnets Lachie Neale, Michael Barlow and Paul Hasleby sitting on the bench along side versatile players such as Shaun McManus and Troy Cook and the negating midfielder Ryan Crowley, there's a lot of midfield talent that the Dockers have displayed over the years.
B: Michael Johnson, Shane Parker, Antoni Grover
HB: Lee Spurr, Luke McPharlin, Garrick Ibbotson
C: Stephen Hill, Nat Fyfe, David Mundy
HF: Michael Walters, Matthew Pavlich, Paul Medhurst
F: Jeff Farmer, Tony Modra, Hayden Ballantyne
FOL: Aaron Sandilands, Peter Bell,Adrian Fletcher
INT: Shaun McManus, Paul Hasleby, Lachie Neale, Michael Barlow, Troy Cook, Ryan Crowley
One of the AFL's proudest clubs, Collingwood's all-time team features so many players from so many eras. From the early days of the VFL, to Collingwood's almighty four premiership victories, to Collingwood's most recent premiership in 2010, the Pies have a very good team assembled here, perhaps one of the best teams of the lot.
The midfield possesses some of the game's greatest players ever to have played the game. Between the four men I have named to start in the centre square, they have a combined 17 club best and fairests. At ruck there is Len Thompson, a former Brownlow medallist and All-Australian who won five club best and fairests at the Pies in a 268-game career before moving to South Melbourne and then Fitzroy. Lining up alongside Thompson will be another Brownlow medallist in Nathan Buckley, a six-time club best and fairest and a seven-time All-Australian, as well another Brownlow medallist and a four-time premiership player in Harry Collier and a Collingwood legend in Bob Rose, arguably one of the greatest Pies' players of all time. On the wings, we'll see a five-time club best and fairest, a five-time All-Australian and Norm Smith medallist in Scott Pendlebury on one wing and Darren Milane, another premiership star and former best and fairest winner in Darren Milane, whose life was tragically cut short due to a car crash in 1991. And with Norm Smith medallist Tony Shaw, Brownlow medallist Dane Swan, Des Tuddenham, Wayne Richardson and Steele Sidebottom all coming off the bench, this midfield has all the makings to be one of the best of all time.
Now imagine having all of these elite midfielders kicking it to a forward line that boasts over 3,300 career goals between just four players. This is an extraordinary statistic, but this looms as one of the most extraordinary forward lines. The focal point is without question Gordon Coventry. He was a key reason why Collingwood won the illustrious 'four-peat' in 1927-1930. He won Collingwood's leading goal kicker award a staggering 16 times as well as taking home the league's leading goal kicker award six times. He would be the first man to kick 1000 career goals in the AFL, en route to 1299 goals. The supporting cast is phenomenal, with eight-time club leading goal kicker and two-time league-leading goal kicker Peter McKenna kicking 838 goals for Collingwood in just 180 games, eight-time league-leading goal kicker and three-time premiership forward Dick Lee kicking 707 goals in 230 games and five-time club leading goal-kicker and 1990 premiership small forward Peter Daicos kicking 549 goals in 250 games. Premiership captain Lou Richards (423 goals) and Brownlow medallist Des Fothergill (337 goals) round out the forward six, with three-time club best and fairest and two-time premiership forward Murray Weideman coming off the bench.
Whilst the forward line is stacked on talent, the back six aren't to be overlooked either, starting with the brother of Gordon Coventry. Whilst he was down forward slotting goals with such regularity, Syd Coventry was floating between defence and midfield, but his leadership and ability to thrive in the contest made him such a great player and lead Collingwood to four successive premierships in 1927-1930. Syd also won the Brownlow Medal and the club's best and fairest in 1927 and would win another best and fairest in 1932. Coventry's premiership team mates Albert Collier and Harold Rumney also feature in the back-line of Collingwood's all-time team. Collier won the Brownlow Medal in 1929 and three club best and fairests in 1929, 1934 and 1935, whilst Rumney won Collingwood's best and fairest in 1931. Rounding out the back six sees two-time premiership defender Jack Regan is named at full-back, two-time club best and fairest Billy Picken (Son of Western Bulldogs' Liam) on one half-back flank and three-time club best and fairest and premiership player Gavin Brown on the other flank.
B: Syd Coventry, Jack Regan, Harold Rumney
HB: Gavin Brown, Albert Collier, Bill Picken
C: Scott Pendlebury, Nathan Buckley, Darren Milane
HF: Lou Richards, Dick Lee, Des Fothergill
F: Peter Daicos, Gordon Coventry, Peter McKenna
FOL: Len Thompson, Bob Rose, Harry Collier
INT: Tony Shaw, Dane Swan, Des Tuddenham, Wayne Richardson, Steele Sidebottom, Murray Weideman
Bulldogs Centre will continue to announce its All-Time Teams on Wednesday, as we present the greatest teams of all time for Hawthorn, St. Kilda and the Western Bulldogs