Monday, 31 March 2014

2014 Round 4, Quarter time.

1st April Birthdays.

David Cockatoo-Collins 1978, Frank Considine 1934, Percy Jackson 1894,
Jim Pleydell 1944, Darryl Poole 1972, Dion Scott 1970, Lazar Vidovic 1965.

PLAYER OF THE DAY. Carl Steinfort, born 1st April 1977.

Carl just made it  into the 1996 season, playing the last game of the home and away fixtures and then a finals game with Geelong.  He was there from 1996 to 2000 and played 65 games for 19 goals.  1997 saw him have a good year as a tall on baller but overall he was not able to play a lot of games overall and he moved to Collingwood in 2001 when contract negotiations fell through at Geelong.

Only missing 4 games in 2001 due to minor injuries he had very consistent year and was part of Collingwood 2002 grand final side.  In his two years with the Magpies he played 27 games for 7 goals but was delisted at the end of 2002.

 Source: The Encyclopaedia of VFL/AFL Footballers.

Essendons 3 Marks.
Between the years 1992 and 1996 Essendon had 3 Marks in their team who were each great servants of the club in their own right.
Mark Harvey was with the club from 1984 to 1997 and played 206 games for 170 goals.  He made an immediate impact at the club in the forward line suffering some hard knocks from opposition players but always bouncing back.
A part of the flag side in his first year, he was there for a second in 1985 and was selected in the Victorian and All Australian sides that year also.
There was talk of him moving to North Melbourne but he stayed with the Bombers re finding his form on the back line and was in his third premiership side in 1993.
 Mark Mercuri spent 13 years at Essendon from 1992 to 2004 and played 207 games, kicking 242 goals. As a goal kicking midfielder/half forward he would be every teams dream as he seemed to perform effortlessly.
He was part of Essendon's premiership winning team in just his second year at the club and was got a second premiership medal in 2000.
Unfortunately dogged by injury for a good part of his career he did have strong years, such as 1994 when he got his first Victorian jumper and 1999 when he came runner up in the Brownlow and won Essendon's best and fairest.
Mark Thompson. You can tell by the fact that Mark only kicked 50 goals in his 202 games that he was mainly a defender, though obviously had his forays forward as a utility.

At the club from 1983 to 1996 he was a premiership player in 1984 and '85 and was captain in the 1993 flag side.

He was the best and fairest winner in 1987 and 1990 and played for Victorian once.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of VFL/AFL Footballers.


Collingwood had a long premiership drought from their 1958 win until the next in 1990.  Even though there have been longer dry spells for other clubs, it seemed worse for the Magpies as they made the grand-final a number of times but just could not win the game.  Between ’58 and ’90 they played in 8 grand finals including three in row in 1979, 1980 and 1981.
Of course it was not always this way, in fact after a couple of second places in 1925 and 26 they went on to win four premierships, ’27, ’28, ’29 and ’30.
The Collingwood football club was founded in 1889 making it one of the oldest clubs, and since then they have played in 43 grand finals (including replays) and have won 15. 
So it is a bit unfair for people to talk about the ‘Collywobbles’ when actually they are one of the most successful clubs of all time.
Source: The Clubs (Complete History Of  Every Club In The VFL/AFL).

Terry Wheeler - Coach and Player.
Terry coached Footscray from 1990 to 1994 and was in charge in 91 games of which they won 50 drew 1 and lost 40 giving him a winning percentage of 55.49%. He guided the team to the finals in 1992 where they won one match but lost two.

As a player he was also at Footscray, from 1974-1983. He played 157 games and scored 18 goals.
Starting his career as a rover/forward pocket he moved to the back line and in true 'Bulldog fashion' he was a tough player and never took a backward step, which the fans loved.

 Source: AFL statistics & The Encyclopaedia of VFL/AFL Footballers.


Friday, 28 March 2014

2014 Round 3, Three quarter time.

29th March Birthdays.

Brent Green 1976, Richard Hadley 1983, Chad Morrison 1978,
Ewan Thompson 1977, Simon Verbeek 1967.

PLAYER OF THE DAY. Andrew Dunkley, born 29th March 1973.

Andrew had played for St. Kildas under 19 and reserves teams but when it didn't look like he was going to make the grade he moved down to Tamania to play with North Launceston.  It was during this time that Sydney recruiters saw him and decided to draft him.

Having a big body and good game sense he became an important part of the Swans back line and even though he was not a long kicker his kicks were very effective.

He was on the Swans list from 1992 to 2002 and played 217 games for 11 goals and retired whilst still being a very valuable player for the club.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.
Fitzroys Early Years.

The Fitzroy Football club was founded in 1883 and by February 1884 they had been accepted into the VFA competition as a senior member.  Their first victory came on 31st May 1884 in a win over Melbourne (4 goals to 1).
From there they moved along steadily, picking up players and even employing a professional trainer to condition the players.
They also had some very handy players including Jim Grace who was the highest goal scorer in the VFA in 1890 and 91.  He also won the club goal kicking 7 times.  His brother Mick also played for the club and was named champion of the colony in1899.
From the inception of the VFL in 1897 until 1910, Fitzroy had some great results finishing first on 4 occasions, 2nd 3 times and 3rd once.  There were only 5 times during that same period that they found themselves in the bottom half of the ladder.
Source: The Clubs (Complete History Of  Every Club In The VFL/AFL)
Some Interesting Nicknames.
There are some interesting nickname placed on Footy players.  Some are obvious, some a little harder to understand.  Here are just a few of the many.
Banger - Robert Harvey.
Blue - Guy McKenna. From his red hair.
Cowboy - Kevin Neale. Because of his bow legs and rolling gait.
Curly - Rod Austin. From his curly hair.
Disco - Michael Roach.
Duck - Wayne Carey.  He did almost seem to waddle!
General - Ian Paton. Named after the American General George Paton.
Ghost - Jim Jess. Probably due to his 'ghostly' appearance.

Source: Great Australian Football Stories by Ken Piesse & Wikipedia.

The First Brownlow Medalist.
'Carji' is the nickname that was given to Edward Greeves when he was just a baby and is the name that people seem to always know him by.
He was a student at Geelong College and the teachers there would not let him play in  the VFL until he was 19.  By that time he had shown his skills as an all round sportsman in Cricket, Tennis and Rowing.
On joining Geelong in 1923 he talent was obvious by his sublime kicking style and agility playing in the centre. He won the Brownlow in just his second year and also came second in 1925,1926 and 1928.
By the time he finally left Geelong in 1933 he had played 124 games, kicked 17 goals and was part of the 1925 and 1931 premiership sides.
Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.
Richmond Number 1's.

Dan Minogue - 1920-25. 95 games 38 goals.

Having been a miner Minogue was a strong bodied man and was captain coach of Richmond for the whole time he was there. Though he had lost some pace by 1920, he was important in the clubs premiership that year and was still there for their back to back premiership in 1921.

Perce Bentley - 1925 - 40. 263 games 275 goals.

Bentley had a great tactical knowledge of the game and was a big, highly feared ruckman.  He was the captain of the team in 1932 and1933 and then captain coach until 1940.  In that time he was in 2 premiership teams, 1932 and 1934.

Mark Lee - 1977 - 91. 233 games 94 goals.

Yet another ruckman to wear the number 1 jumper at Tigerland, Lee hailed from Mildura and came to the club with big expectations on him.  He was just under 2 meters tall, but still mobile and had good skills.  A real leader in the clubs 1980 premiership side it was unfortunate that he probably didn't quite make the 'superstar' status that people expected of him.

Michael Gale - 1994 - 98. 91 games 20 goals.

Michael is probably best remembered for the blond pony tail that he wore.  Originally playing for Fitzroy, he was a half back flanker/wing and suffered from a chronic knee complaint.  He had had a knee reconstruction in 1991 and nine screws put in an injured shoulder none the less he played some exciting football for the Richmond football club.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

2014 Round 3, Half time.

27th March Birthdays.

Dean Laidley 1967.

PLAYER OF THE DAY. Reg Hickey, born 27th March 1906.

Reg was Geelong through and through, serving the club as player, captain and coach over a period of 35 years.
He played 245 games and scored 24 goals from 1926 to 1940.  Playing most of his career on the half back line, he was a great aerialist and had a dashing turn of pace, which the team used as he broke out of the backline and delivered the ball downfield.
Geelong won the premiership in 1932 and 1937 with him as captain/coach and again in 1951 and 1952 with him as non playing coach.  He also won the clubs best and fairest twice and represented Victoria on 18 occasions.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

Dual Magarey Medalist.

Jim Deane was a dual Magarey medallist with South Adelaide in 1953 and 1957, with the second being awarded in 1998 when the SANFL changed the way they handled tied medals.

He also won six best and fairests at South Adelaide and played for the state fifteen times. 
In 1954 he began playing with Richmond but was only there for two seasons, playing 33 games and kicking 17 goals.
Following his time at Richmond he coached Myrtleford in the Ovens and Murray League from 1958 to 1962 and South Adelaide in 1971 and 1972.
Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers & Wikipedia.

Drawn Grand Finals.

There has been a lot of discussion about what should happen if both teams are level at the end of a grand final.
Whilst it can be an issue as everybody has to redo everything the next week, the fact is that there have only been 3 drawn grand finals in the history of the VFL/AFL.
The first grand final draw was in 1948 between Essendon and Melbourne.  Essendon had finished on top of the ladder with 16 wins, 1 draw and 2 losses.  Melbourne were second with 13, 0 and 6.
In the drawn grand final Essendon scored 7.27.69 to Melbourne's 10.9.69.  In the replay, Essendon scored 7.8.50 to Melbourne's 13.11.89.  The win gave Melbourne their 6th premiership.
In 1977 North Melbourne and Collingwood played off for the flag. North probably had the momentum having appeared in the previous three grand finals, winning in 1975.  Even so it was actually Collingwood that had finished first at the end of the season with 18 wins and 4 losses to North Melbourne's third place with 15 and 7.
The first grand final ended up with North Melbourne kicking 9.22.76 to Collingwood's 10.16.76. In the replay North Kicked and amazing 21.25.151 to Collingwood's 19.10.124. 
Collingwood appeared again in the most recent draw in 2010.  They were on top of the ladder with 17 wins, 1 draw and 4 losses and their opponents, St Kilda, had finished in third place on 15,1 and 6.
At siren time to end the first grand final Collingwood had 9.14.68 to
St Kilda's 10.8.68.  However, in the replay it seemed that the previous game had taken its toll on the Saints as Collingwood beat them easily 16.12.108 to 7.10.52, giving Collingwood its 15th flag.

Source: Wikipedia.

Craig & Brad Sholl.

Of the two Sholl brothers Craig is the older, and spent his whole footballing career at North Melbourne.  Starting in 1987 he played 235 games for 165 goals and finished in 2000.
Beginning in the backline he earned 6 state guernseys as a defender then in 1996 he was pushed forward and pretty much stayed there.  He made a good forward as he knew how to play on back men.
Part of North Melbourne's 1996 and 1999 premiership sides he won the best and fairest in 1991.
Brad on the other hand played for two clubs. North for just 2 seasons (1993-94) in only 2 games and Geelong from 1995 to 2002 for 169 games and 46 goals.
Like his older brother he was a defender, but due to the back pocket position being taken he didn't have many opportunities at North and so he moved on to Geelong.
Once there he was able to show his abilities and became a fixture on the back line, occasionally going forward to kick a goal or two.
Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers


Monday, 24 March 2014

2014 Round 3, Quarter time.

25th March Birthdays.

Tom Collier 1989, Chris Connolly 1963, Derek Murray 1980.

PLAYER OF THE DAY. Ray Jencke, born 25th March 1966.

Scoring 27 goals in 194 games Ray was a servant of the Hawthorn football club from 1986 to 1997.

Playing off the half back flank, he was selected in the state side in his second year of 1987. He also played in a loosing grand final team that year, however knee surgery slowed down his progression and he was unable to keep a spot in the senior team until 1990.

A Victorian representative on three occasions he was in the 1991 Hawks premiership side and was known for his great kicking on either foot.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

Gavin Brown - Collingwood Favourite.

It is not surprising that Gavin was a favourite of the Collingwood army as he played with them from 1987 to 2000 in 254 games and kicked 195 goals.

Nicknamed 'Rowdy' due to his reserved nature off the field, he was just the opposite on it, being a very 'hard at the contest' player and was considered by many as the ultimate club man.

A member of the 1990 premiership team he also won the clubs best and fairest award three times, was an All Australian twice and captained the club  from 1994 to 1998.
Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.


A Team Of Champions.

The final 7 people from Ben Collins champion team, the interchange bench and the coaches.

All of the coaches were players as well but I am only listing their achievements in coaching.

                                                   Bob Davis. 
                                             Geelong 1948-1958.
                                                            189 games 149 goals.
                                                 2 premierships. 
                                             3 times All Australian.

                   Charlie Sutton.                                     John Todd.
        Footscray 1942 and  1946-1956.            South Freemantle 1955-1966.
                173 games 65 goals.                                  132 games. 
                     1 premiership.                                  1 Sandover Medal.
                1 time All Australian.                            1 time All Australian.
             Ron Barassi. - Coach.                            Allan Jeans. - Coach.
                Carlton 1965-1971.                                St. Kilda1961-1976.
         North Melbourne 1973-1980.                  Hawthorne 1981-87 & 1989-90.
        Melbourne 1964 & 1981-1985.                           Richmond 1992.
                Sydney 1993-1995.                                      575 games.
                 513 games (total).                      358 wins, 215 losses, 2 draws.
        274 wins, 235 losses, 4 draws.                           4 premierships.
                   4 premierships.

             Mick Malthouse. - Coach.                       Denis Pagan. - Coach.
                 Footscray 1984-1989.                      North Melbourne-1993-2002.
                West Coast 1990-1999.                            Carlton 2003-2007.
                Collingwood 2000-2011.                            344 games (total).
                    662 games (total).                      175 wins, 167 losses, 2 draws.
           385 wins, 271 losses, 6 draws.                         2 premierships.
                    3 premierships.
Note: I have only included full coaching terms.

Source: The Champions & Wikipedia..

Top Goal Kicker Award.
An award has been presented to the top goal kicker of each season since 1897 but it was just known as the Leading Goal Kicker Medal until 1955.  Since that year it has been known as the Coleman Medal after Essendon's goal kicking great John Coleman who had retired in 1954.
Until 1954 it was awarded at the end of the home and away games but since 1981 it has been at the end of the season. 
John Coleman played only 98 games for Essendon but kicked 537 goals.  His career would no doubt have been longer had he not suffered a serious knee injury.

Source: AFL Record Season Guide 2013.

Friday, 21 March 2014

2014 Round 2, Three quarter time.

22nd March Birthdays.

Ben Kane 1983, Michael Gardiner 1978.

PLAYER OF THE DAY. Darren O'Brien, born 22nd March 1969.

Darren was drafted to Collingwood in 1996 and was there for two seasons playing 24 games and kicking 9 goals.

Coming from West Perth as a midfielder/defender he was a mature age player and did not play his first senior AFL game until he was 27.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

Top 3 Draft Picks 1986.

Number 1.  Martin Leslie.
Recruited from Port Adelaide, Martin actually did not join the Brisbane Bears until 1989.  He was at the club until 1995 and in that time played 107 games and scored 11 goals.

He was a solid, reliable defender and was the Bear's joint Best & Fairest winner in 1990 and was selected in the All Australian team in 1988 while still playing in South Australia.

Number 2.  Steven Sims.
Steven Sims was a great player for his South Australian clubs so you can see why

St. Kilda drafted him.

Unfortunately, for some reason he did not play any senior games with the Saints.

Number 3.  Steven Febey.
Probably the best performer of the top 3 draft picks in this year, Steven hailed from Tasmania and played his first game for Melbourne in 1988.  From then until 2001 he played 258 games for 40 goals.

Having a basketball background he was a good mover and in his first game he was pitted against Robert Dipierdomenico. You can understand why he used all his evasive skills to keep out of 'Dippers' reach!

Playing most of his footy on the half back flank, Steven represented both Victoria and Tasmania in state  games.

Some other players that went on to be great servants for their clubs but were selected further down the order include Darrin Pritchard, Craig Kelly, Simon Minton-Connell, Andy Lovell, Alastair Lynch, and Darren Jarman.

Source: AFL Record Season Guide 2013 & The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

Keith Stackpole.

When you mention the name Stackpole most people immediately think of Keith Stackpole the Australian cricketer.  He played mainly as a middle order batsman in 40 tests between 1959 and 1974 and hit 2807 runs.
He had followed in his fathers footsteps by joining Victoria's Sheffield Shield team.  However, unlike his father he chose cricket over Aussie Rules.

Keith Stackpole Snr played for Collingwood from 1935 to 1939 in 34 games and kicked 26 goals.  He then joined Fitzroy and was there until 1944 playing 94 games for 203 goals.

Due to the number of rovers at Collingwood Keith found it hard to be a regular in the senior side and was 19th man in their flag sides of 1935 and 1936.  Had he stayed at Collingwood he would have got his chance as they had a number of players leave the club.

The move to Fitzroy however paid off for him as he was able to really shine there and was in the Lions premiership side of 1944.  He also showed great team leadership qualities.

Source: Wikipedia & The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

A Team Of Champions.

Today we are looking at the forwards from Ben Collins champion team in his book 'The Champions'.  

                             Wayne Carey. - CENTRE HALF FORWARD.
                                       North Melbourne 1989-2001.
                                                                Adelaide 2003-2004.
                                       272 games 727goals. (Total).
                                                 2 premierships. 
                                         2 pre season premierships.
                                            1 Michael Tuck Medal. 
                                            7 times All Australian.

            James Hird. - HF FLANK.                    Royce Hart. - HF FLANK. 
               Essendon 1992-2007.                           Richmond 1996-1977
               253 games 343 goals.                          187 games 369 goals.
                    2 premierships.                                  4 premierships.
            3 pre season premierships.                        1 time All Australian.
                 1 Brownlow Medal.                                 
                 1 Jim Stynes Medal.               
                5 times All Australian.                                 
                                                    Peter Hudson - Full Forward.                              
                                     Hawthorn 1967-1974 and 1977.
                                           129 games 727 goals.
                                                1 premiership.
                                            3 night premierships.
                                              4 Coleman Medals.
                                            2 times All Australian.

        Darren Jarman. - Pocket.                        Robert Harvey. - Pocket.
            Hawthorn 1991-1995.                               St. Kilda 1988-2008.
             Adelaide 1996-2001.                               383 games 215 goals.
       230 games 386 goals. (Total).                         2 Brownlow Medals.
                 3 premierships.                                  1 Michael Tuck Medal.
         2  pre season premierships.                     3 pre season premierships.
            3 times All Australian.                              8 times All Australian.

Source: The Champions ,The Encyclopaedia Of AFL Footballers & Wikipedia.

Neil Balme - Coach as a Player.

The last we heard of Neil Balme was as coach of Melbourne from 1993 to 1997. But between 1969 and 1979 he played for Richmond in 159 games and kicked 229 goals.

He was a no holds barred, tough ruckman who was used in the forward line due to his hard at it style of play.

Originally from Subiaco in Western Australia, he was part of Richmond's 1973 and 1974 premiership sides and was equal highest goal kicker for the team in 1972.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.


One person who played a big part in the formation of Aussie Rules was a cousin of Thomas Wills named Henry Harrison. It is quite probable that he actually played the game for Melbourne and was asked chair a meeting to review the rules, which took place in 1866.

Harrison played for and in fact captained both Melbourne and Geelong and played until 1872 then continued to be involved  in the game as an administrator both at Melbourne FC and in the VFA.  He passed away in 1929 after many years of service to this great game.
Source: A National Game.

Number 3's at North Melbourne.

Three of the great players to wear number 3 at North Melbourne are:

Jack Wrout. 
Although he later moved to Carlton he played for North from 1931 to 1936.  With a return of 52 goals from 53 games from a small half forward he was a shining light for the struggling North Melbourne team.

Anthony Rock. 
From 1988 to 1998 Anthony kicked 138 goals in 178 games for the Kangaroos.  After joining the club as a 14 year old he made his way up through the ranks until he made it into the senior side.

He was a very popular player and was part of the premiership side of 1996 and played for Victoria on 4 occasions.  His career finished at Hawthorn where he moved in 1999.

Brady Rawlings.
Yet another fine footballer from Tasmania, Brady started with North in 1999 and was there until 2011.  He played 245 games and kicked 82 goals.

During 2004 he played his best football, subduing some of the stars of opposition teams week in and week out.  This culminated in him winning the clubs Best & Fairest award.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

2014 Round 2, Half time.

20th March Birthdays.

Robert Walker 20th March 1970.

PLAYER OF THE DAY. Chris Schmidt, born 20th March 1989.

Starting at West Adelaide, Chris was first drafted to Brisbane in 2007 but spent a lot of time in the QAFL and only played 2 games. He moved on to Adelaide in a trade deal and after missing the 2009 season he managed 13 games in 2010 and 2011. He has since returned to where it all began at West Adelaide.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

Mark Bickley - Hall Of Fame Member.

Mark has the honour of captaining Adelaide's first premiership team in 1997 and was there again when they won back to back in 1998. 

Originally from South Adelaide he started his career at the Crows in 1989 and was there until 2003.  In that time he played 272 games and kicked 77 goals.  Playing in the midfield, his forte was to do the 'one percenters', tackling and smothering, that are important to any team. 

As well as playing in Adelaide's two premierships he also played 7 games for South Australia and is a member of the SA hall of fame.  He was inducted into the Australian Football hall of fame in 2009.

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers & AFL Record Season Guide 2013.

Umpire Abuse.

It sometimes seems that Aussie Rules fans take it as a given that they will give the umpire 'stick' and it seems it has been done since the first umpire put a whistle to his mouth.

One of the worst examples was in 1896 in a VFA game between Collingwood and North Melbourne. The umpire was Jack Roberts who was a past player for Carlton. 

Apparently it seems that there were some old wounds from a previous game between the two clubs and the umpire became the target of the frustration of the fans.

According to newspaper reports from the time, at one stage a crowd actually invaded the field and wanted to get at the umpire and players but were driven off before much damage was done.  When the umpire tried to get off the ground at the end of the game the mob wanted to attack him again.

A Collingwood player named Bill Proudfoot came to his rescue.  Bill was a big man who, as well as playing in Collingwoods VFA side went on to play 108 games for them in the VFL, ending in 1906. As well as being a footballer he was a policeman and he put one arm around umpire Roberts and shielded his own head with the other.

The police commissioner later banned his officers from playing football but Bill got around that by playing under an assumed name.  This rule however must have been removed at some stage as there were a number of policemen who played in VFL teams later.

Source: Our Game (Jim Main) & The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

A Team Of Champions.

More of Ben Collins champion team from his book 'The Champions'.  This time it is the centre line and followers.

The achievements of these players often goes beyond what I have listed here, but this gives an indication of what they did throughout their career.

                                        Greg Williams. - CENTRE.
                                             Geelong 1984-1985.
                                                                Sydney 1986-1991.
                                              Carlton 1992-1997.
                                       250 games 217goals. (Total).
                                                 1 premiership. 
                                         1 pre season premiership.
                                             2 Brownlow Medals.
                                            1 Norm Smith Medal.
                                            1 E J Whitten Medal. 
                                           6 times All Australian.

            Nathan Buckley. - Wing.                    Michael Long. - Wing.
                     Brisbane 1993.                            Essendon 1989-2001.
             Collingwood 1994-2007.                      190 games 143 goals.
          280 games 284 goals (Total).                      2 premierships.
                  1 Brownlow Medal.                      2 pre season premierships.
                1 Norm Smith Medal.                        1 Norm Smith Medal.
                   1 Magarey Medal.
                AFL Rising Star (1993).
                 7 times All Australian.                                 
                                                          Jim Stynes. - Ruck.                               
                                          Melbourne 1987-1998.
                                           264 games 130 goals.
                                             1 Brownlow Medal.
                                           2 times All Australian.

             Ron Barassi. - Follower.                       Bob Skilton. - Follower.
                Melbourne 1953-64.                        South Melbourne 1956-1958,
                 Carlton 1965-1969.                                    1970-1971.
          254 games 330 goals. (Total).                     237 games 412 goals.
                    6 premierships.                                  3 Brownlow Medals.

Source: The Champions & The Encyclopaedia Of AFL Footballers.

Six Backmen Turned Forwards.

Nowadays most players are expected to be able to play in just about any position on the ground, but years ago players tended to 'own' a position, so it was quite a change for a player to go from one end of the ground to the other. 

Here is a short list of some players that did that and made a success of it.

Phil Baker.
North Melbourne 1971-75 and 1977.  97 games 116 goals.  Geelong 1975 9 games 9 goals.

Kicked 6 goals in the drawn '77 grand final with Collingwood and 3 in the replay.
Fraser Gehrig.
West Coast 1995-2000.  115 games 159 goals.  St. Kilda 2001-08.  145 games 389 goals.

Obviously found his niche at St.Kilda.
Ross Glendinning.
North Melbourne 1978-86.  190 games 214 goals.  West Coast 1987-88.  40 games 111 goals.

What a return at West Coast, averaging almost 60 goals per season.

Fred Goldsmith.
South Melbourne 1951-59.  119 games 107 goals.

Not bad for a guy who won a Brownlow as a fullback.

Alastair Lynch.
Fitzroy 1988-93.  120 games 173 goals.  Brisbane 1994-2004.  186 games 460.
Imagine what he could have scored if he hadn't suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome.

Ken McGregor.
Adelaide 1999-2008.  152 games 114 goals. 
Actually started as a forward, went back and then finished up in the forward line again.

 Source: The Greatest Game by Ken Piesse & The Encyclopaedia Of AFL Footballers.

 Rene Kink-Journeyman.

Rene was known as 'the incredible hulk' due to his resemblance to the TV character of that name.  But it may surprise you to know that by day this big, barrel chested player plied his trade as a hairdresser.

Coming from Ararat in Victorias central west he joined Collingwood in 1973 and was there until 1983 for 154 games and 240 goals.

He made a name for himself by replacing Collingwoods goal kicking hero peter McKenna in his first full senior game, the 1973 preliminary final.  And he was only 16 at the time.  Just as well he kicked 3 goals!

With up and down form and disagreements with coaches, he moved to Essendon during 1983 and played there again in 1985 for a total of 20 games and 35 goals.

His final club was St. Kilda in 1986 but he was obviously past his prime as he only played 7 games, but did still manage to kick 5 goals.

He played for Victoria twice and retired just short of his 30th birthday. 

Source: The Encyclopaedia of AFL Footballers.

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