AFL 3 months ago

Naming Your AFL Club's All-Time Team Part Three

  • Naming Your AFL Club's All-Time Team Part Three

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 23: Brad Johnson and Chris Grant of the Bulldogs celebrate during the round sixteen AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Western Bulldogs at the Telstra Dome July 23, 2006 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

To celebrate Grand Final week, Bulldogs Centre is posting each AFL club's greatest team of all-time, and after the first two parts, we've seen the all-time teams revealed for those who finished the season from 18th-13th 

In case you missed either part or both parts, click below for the part you wish to read:

Part One - Brisbane, Gold Coast and Carlton
Part Two - North Melbourne, Fremantle and Collingwood

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Today on Bulldogs Centre, we reach the halfway mark of this special series as we go through the teams that finished 12th-10th - this being Hawthorn, St. Kilda and the Western Bulldogs.

Hawthorn

Upon looking at Hawthorn's greatest-ever side at first glance, this is without a doubt, one of the scariest sides that I've written up in terms of superstar talent and in terms of premiership success. The majority of this side has featured in Hawthorn's premierships in the 1970s, 1980s or in the 21st century.

Between Jason Dunstall, Peter Hudson, Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead, who will come off the bench, these four have combined for over 3000 career goals. The forward line has a frightening blend of exciting and extraordinary goal kicking talent. Dunstall at full-forward was obvious, given that he had kicked 1254 goals in his career and is a 12-time club leading goal kicker, a three-time Coleman medallist, a four-time club best and fairest and a four-time premiership star.  Hudson won Hawthorn's leading goal kicker award six times and took home the VFL's leading goalkicking award four time, kicking over 700 goals in just 129 games. Franklin at centre-half forward is perhaps the game's greatest forward today. Four of his seven All-Australian selections were at Hawthorn, he was a a two-time premiership player, and won two of his four Coleman medals at the Hawks, as well as six leading goal kicker awards, booting 580 goals in 182 games before crossing to Sydney. 1987 Brownlow medallist and four-time premiership player John Platten, five-time premiership player Dermott Brereton and four-time premiership player and Norm Smith medallist Cyril Rioli round out the starting six up forward, with current Hawthorn captain Jarryd Roughead and Gary Buckenara providing the rotations on the bench.

In defence, we have some of the more finest defenders to have ever played the game. At full-back there is Kelvin Moore, who was arguably one of the greatest full-backs in the 1970s, he was a three-time premiership player and a former club best and fairest. It would be awesome to watch him and Chris Mew team up in defence as Mew's career was starting just as Moore's was ending. Mew was a five-time premiership defender at Hawthorn and starred at centre-half back. Mew's team mate Chris Langford won four premierships in the 1980s as he starred in the back-line in the 1980s. Three-time premiership defender and two-time club best and fairest Peter Knights and four-time premiership player (Three as captain) and two-time Norm Smith medallist Luke Hodge are named at the half-back flanks, whilst Josh Gibson is named in the back pocket as he is an amazing third-man up in defence and it showed, winning best and fairest awards in two of Hawthorn's three premiership seasons between 2013-15. Col Austen, Gary Ayres and Andrew Collins, all three defensively magnificent players are named on the bench.

Then it comes to the midfield, where it features a number of premiership medallions and a handful of Brownlow medals in there as well. Captain of Hawthorn's team of the century Graham Arthur will come off the bench, but it's the starting six that has all the makings of a dominant group.With the centre line featuring Sam Mitchell in the centre square, and Shane Crawford and Robert 'Dipper' DiPierdomenico named on the wings, this trio have a combined 12 premiership medals, three Brownlow medals, and nine club best and fairests between Crawford and Mitchell alone. 'Dipper' was an extraordinary tough as nails player in the Hawks' glory years of the 1980s. Mitchell was a renowned clearance specialist who made winning contested ball look so easy and Crawford was a champion midfielder in his own right, winning multiple best and fairests and earning multiple All-Australians. But the two big stars of the midfield are none other than Michael Tuck and Leigh Matthews. For Tuck, he was the league's games record holder for 25 years, until it was broken last year by Brent Harvey. Along with his longevity, he was a seven-time premiership player, a four-time premiership captain and a two-time All-Australian, whilst Matthews is highly regarded as the game's greatest player of all time. Four premierships, eight club best and fairests, a six-time club leading goal kicker and a Coleman medal winner, Matthews ability to tear a game apart as a midfielder and as a forward was what made him so great, kicking 915 goals in 332 games.

B: Josh Gibson, Kelvin Moore, Chris Langford
HB: Luke Hodge, Chris Mew, Peter Knights
C: Robert DiPierdomenico, Sam Mitchell, Shane Crawford
HF: John Platten, Lance Franklin, Dermott Brereton
F: Peter Hudson, Jason Dunstall, Cyril Rioli
FOL: Don Scott, Leigh Matthews, Michael Tuck
INT: Jarryd Roughead, Andrew Collins, Graham Arthur, Gary Buckenara, Col Austen, Gary Ayres

St. Kilda

Despite only winning one premiership and a number of wooden spoons since their first season all the way back in 1897, there have still been a number of great players that have come and gone through St. Kilda. The forwards are renowned goal kickers, the midfielders are champions of the game and the defenders are quite underrated. 

In the back-line, we start with Verdun Howell and Neil Roberts, both men having been named at full-back and centre-half back in St. Kilda's team of the century, nothing changes here as they have both been Brownlow medallists and have won club best and fairests. Howell is one of only five men in this all-time team to feature in St. Kilda's only premiership in 1966. Team mate Kevin Neale lines up in the back-pocket, but with over 300 career goals to his name, could also be used as a forward. On the other back-pocket, there is a former club best and fairest winner and a former captain in Danny Frawley, who was a highly regarded full-back between the late 1980s and early 1990s. On the half-back flanks I've named two-time club best and fairest Trevor Barker, a club legend known for his high-flying marks from 1975-1989 and Brendon Goddard, who's drive and skill from half-back played a huge factor in St. Kilda's Grand Final runs in 2009 and 2010 – so much so that he was rewarded a spot in the All-Australian team on both years. Goddard's team mate from 2009-10 in Sam Fisher also gets a spot in this team, named as a rotation on the bench after a solid career in defence.

The forward line is loaded with superstar goal scorers. Between the starting six I have, they have combined for a total of 3607 career goals – Add the career goals kicked from the two forwards I have on the bench and it's 4438 career goals between eight players. The full-forward and centre-half forward slots were obvious choices, selecting Tony Lockett and Nick Riewoldt respectively. Lockett kicked 898 of his 1360 goals at St. Kilda, winning two Coleman Medals, two All-Australians and two club best and fairests, whilst Riewoldt is highly regarded as one of the game's best centre-half forwards, kicking 707 goals and is holds the all-time league record for marks. A six-time club best and fairest, a four time club leading goal kicker and a five-time All-Australian, Riewoldt is currently the longest-standing captain of the club. Riewoldt's partners-in-crime Stephen Milne and Fraser Gehrig also line up in the forward line, both playing vital roles in St. Kilda's rise in the mid-2000s. Milne kicked over 570 goals during his time with the Saints, leading the club's goal kicking in four separate seasons, whilst Gehrig (390 goals in 145 games) is a dual Coleman medallist and a former All-Australian. Rounding out the forward six sees Bill Mohr, a 12-time club leading goal kicker and dual best and fairest on one half-forward flank and 1966 premiership player Barry Breen named on the other. Two-time All-Australian and and former club best and fairest winner Stewart Loewe and 1966 premiership captain Darrel Baldock are the forwards coming off the bench..

Which brings us to the midfielders. Starting from the square we've got former club best and fairest winner Carl Ditterich palming the ball down to a pair of dual-Brownlow medal winners in Robert Harvey and Ian Stewart. Harvey is the most recent Saint to win the Brownlow, having won the award in 1997 and 1998, whilst Stewart won the prestigious award in 1965 and in the Saints' premiership year in 1966. Rounding out the midfielders in the centre square is a Norm Smith medallist and a three-time club best and fairest in Lenny Hayes, who was as tough as they come. Nathan Burke and Leigh Montagna occupy the wing slots, but both play very contrasting styles. Burke, a three-time club best and fairest and four-time All-Australian, was a well-respected footballer who consistently showed courage any time he stepped onto an arena, whilst Montagna relied on his speed to accumulate disposals. Nick Dal Santo and Nicky Winmar (two-time club best and fairest) also show a lot of speed and finesse, and having them along with ball-winning midfielder Jack Steven coming off the bench makes the midfield group a dangerous prospect.

B: Kevin Neale, Verdun Howell, Danny Frawley
HB: Trevor Barker, Neil Roberts, Brendon Goddard
C: Nathan Burke, Ian Stewart, Leigh Montagna
HF: Barry Breen, Nick Riewoldt, Bill Mohr
F: Stephen Milne, Tony Lockett, Fraser Gehrig
FOL: Carl Ditterich, Robert Harvey, Lenny Hayes
INT: Stewart Loewe, Nick Dal Santo, Darrel Baldock, Nicky Winmar, Sam Fisher, Jack Steven

Western Bulldogs

For my Western Bulldogs, there is a solid blend of 21st century stars and the stars that won Footscray's maiden premiership in 1954, and despite having won a second premiership last year, only two of the 2016 premiership team have found themselves on this team, due to the superstar talent that has come through from 1954 to last year.

Starting in defence, I have named none other than the man who was branded 'Mr Football', Ted Whitten. Recognised as one of the greatest players of all time, Whitten was a five-time club best and fairest winner, a premiership star in 1954 and as well as an inspirational leader in defence, proved he could do it down forward as well, taking home Footscray's leading goal kicking on four separate occasions. Whitten's premiership team mates in Charlie Sutton, John Schultz (Both back-pockets) and Herb Henderson also join him in the defensive six, whilst another member of the 1954 team in Wally Donald comes off the bench. Sutton was both captain and coach of Footscray's 1954 premiership team, Schultz was a Brownlow medallist and a five-time club best and fairest, whilst Henderson was highly regarded as a full-back in the 1950s. Named on the half-back flanks are some of the Doggies more modern-day champions, with the recently retired duo of Robert Murphy and three-time club best and fairest Matthew Boyd - both of them former captains and five All-Australians between them (Three for Boyd and Two for Murphy).

In the middle, sees a good range of midfielders capable of great damage. With the tall trio of Scott Wynd, Gary Dempsey and Norm Ware, they have a combined three Brownlow medals and 12 club best and fairests between them, and with athleticism a handy commodity in AFL these days, I'm quite certain we can see these three be used in a variety of roles around the ground. Dempsey will be the starting ruck, with seven-time club best and fairest Scott West, a brilliant midfielder since Footscray entered the competition in Allan Hopkins and Brownlow medallist Tony Liberatore all starting in the centre square, with club legends Doug Hawkins and Rohan Smith both starting on the wing, both men having played 300 games or more and both men possessing such skill and poise required to be a wingman. Coming off the bench as midfield rotations will be former club best and fairest Brian Royal and the young star that is Marcus Bontempelli, who took home the club's best and fairest in their premiership season last year at just 20 years of age – He could effectively be a top three Bulldog by the time his career is all said and done.

Up forward, expect a lot of goal-kicking firepower from a forward line capable of significant scoring power. At full-forward is the man who currently holds the Bulldogs' record for most career goals in Simon Beasley. A Coleman medal winner in 1985 after slotting 105 goals for the year, Beasley kicked 575 goals in just 154 games in the 1980s. At centre-half forward is Chris Grant, an absolute champion of the 1990s. A two-time club best and fairest, a three-time All-Australian and should've had a Brownlow around his neck too. In the pockets, we have a three-time club best and fairest, six-time All-Australian and three-time club leading goal kicker Brad Johnson and a Coleman medallist, a five-time club leading goal kicker, a two-time club best and fairest and a 1954 premiership forward in Jack Collins who also led the competition in goals that year with 84 goals for the year. On the flanks see two Brownlow medallists with contrasting careers – on one flank there's Kelvin Templeton, a two-time club best and fairest, a two-time Coleman Medallist and five-time club leading goal kicker, and on the other flank there is Adam Cooney, when he won the Brownlow in 2008, was at the top of his game, his pace was too much for midfielders, and his ability to find the goals made him a special player. Alby Morrison, a five-time club leading goal kicker and a two-time club best and fairest will come off the bench.

B: Charlie Sutton, Herb Henderson, John Schultz
HB: Robert Murphy, Ted Whitten, Matthew Boyd
C: Doug Hawkins, Scott West, Rohan Smith
HF: Kelvin Templeton, Chris Grant, Adam Cooney
F: Brad Johnson, Simon Beasley, Jack Collins
FOL: Gary Dempsey, Allan Hopkins,Tony Liberatore
INT: Scott Wynd, Marcus Bontempelli, Brian Royal, Alby Morrison, Norm Ware, Wally Donald

We're halfway through naming each AFL club's All-Time Teams, and it doesn't stop there as on Thursday we present the All-Time teams for Melbourne, Essendon and Port Adelaide

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