AFL Team 1997-Now: Key Forwards
This category is either very simple, or an absolute ****-fight, IMO, depending on what weighting people want to put on considering only performances within the time frame of the team (1997 onwards) compared to performances over the length of a player's career. Lockett and Carey are probably the two key people in this regard, and I've therefore included separate stats for their 1997 onwards career. Both still make a very strong case, but perhaps slightly less overwhelming than if whole careers are considered.
We're looking for just TWO key forwards at the moment. In later polls the option to go for more key position forwards will be available, should people want it. Obviously this makes it potentially harder than say the midfielder equation.
I've backed off a bit on the level of detail in the stats for each player - we know who these guys are and otherwise, go to Wikipedia or stats.rleague.com. I have included goals per match to help, but it should obviously be taken with a big grain of context given some players are genuine full forwards and others like Riewoldt or Lucas play a lot up the ground as a half-forward, while others like Lynch and Gehrig started in other positions before turning into FFs.
1. Alistair Lynch. Fitzroy/Brisbane. 1988-2004
306 games. 633 goals (2.1 per match). 3 time Premiership player (2001-3).
2. Anthony Rocca. Sydney/Collingwood. 1995-Present
241 games. 413 goals (1.7 per match).
3. Barry Hall. St Kilda/Sydney. 1996-Present
248 games. 605 goals. (2.4 per match).
4. Brendan Fevola. Carlton. 1999-Present
176 games. 527 goals, (3 per match). Coleman Medallist (2006)
5. Daniel Bradshaw. Brisbane. 1996-Present
213 games. 468 goals, (2.2 per match). 2 Premierships (2001, 2003).
6. David Neitz. Melbourne. 1993-Present
306 games. 631 goals. (2.1 per match). Coleman Medallist (2002).
7. Fraser Gehrig. West Coast/St. Kilda 1995-2008
260 games. 549 goals (2.1 per match). 2 time Coleman Medallist (2004, 2005)
8. Jonathon Brown. Brisbane. 2000-Present
172 games. 378 goals. (2.2 per match). 3 Premierships (2001-03). Coleman Medallist (2007)
9. Justin Koschitzke. St Kilda. 2001-Present
130 games. 151 goals (1.2 per match).
10. Lance Franklin. Hawthorn. 2005-Present
92 Games. 275 goals (3 per match). 1 Premiership (2008). Coleman Medallist (2008).
11. Matthew Lloyd. Essendon. 1995-Present
263 games. 912 goals (3.5 per match). 1 Premiership (2000). Coleman Medallist (2000, 2001, 2003).
12. Matthew Pavlich. Fremantle. 2000-Present
205 games. 398 goals. (1.9 per match).
13. Matthew Richardson. Richmond 1993-Present
282 Games. 800 goals. (2.8 per match)
14. Nick Riewoldt. St Kilda. 2001-Present
170 Games. 360 goals (2.1 per match)
15. Saverio Rocca. Collingwood/North Melbourne 1992-2006
257 Games. 748 goals (2.9 per match).
16. Scott Lucas. Essendon. 1996-Present
263 games. 457 goals (1.7 per match). Premiership (2000).
17. Tony Lockett St. Kilda/Sydney. 1983-2002.
281 games. 1360 goals (4.8 per match). (Note: 57 games 1997-2002, for 231 goals (4 per match). Brownlow Medal (1987). Coleman Medal (1987, 1991, 1996, 1998).
18. Tony Modra. Adelaide/Fremantle. 1992-2001.
165 games. 588 goals. (3.6 per match). Coleman Medal (1997)
19. Warren Tredrea. Port Adelaide. 1997-Present
239 games. 520 goals (2.2 per match). 1 Premiership (2004).
20. Wayne Carey. North Melbourne/Adelaide. 1989-2004
272 games. 727 goals (2.7 per match). (1997-2004, 124 games, 341 goals, 2.8 per match). 2 Premierships (1996, 1999).
Only 2 hey. Bit tough, will have a think and come back.
Never knew Neitz won a coleman for what its worth (lived in Singapore from 2000-2002 and only had limited coverage).
I'm going Carey for obvious reasons. Think he would be the best footballer I've seen, and certainly played the best game I've ever seen live at the ground when he kicked 10 vs Essendon (Lloyd kicked 7 the same day including a freakish hack from mid-air from 30 metres away in a pocket).
I've gone for Lloyd over Lockett, and even as I'm doing it, I'm not entirely happy with the decision. My reason is three fold, and its a big enough call that I'll indulge in a bit of a longer explanation why.
One, Lloyd has a much bigger body of work in the period that this team is representing - Lockett really only had two and a half seasons in the timeframe in question (admittedly being bloody awesome in 98 and 99, inc. winning the Coleman for a fourth time in 98).
The second reason is that while Lloyd averages nearly 1.5 goals a game less, he's played the bulk of his career in the time that flooding has been a part of the game, and kicking bags has generally been harder for full-forwards. Lockett would still dominate today, but I don't think he'd kick as many as he did in the 80s and 90s.
Finally, Lloyd is a more rounded player who can play up the ground and perform with a bit more verstility that Plugger. This is by far the weakest of the three reasons, but in combination with the other two issues, helped make the decision.
Jonno Brown is particularly unlucky - would take him at CHF over ANYONE bar Carey, and Nick Riewoldt is also stiff as he'd probably complement the other two the best.
Wasn't the comeback game you were at?
Carey, probably wouldn't be a North fan today if not for this guy.
Lockett, whilst you raise good points about flooding etc. Lloyd, while being an undoubted gun, has been a benefactor of the umpires cracking down on backmen over the last 10 years.
Fairly certain Carey didn't play the come-back game (if this is the game you're talking about where Essendon came back from 12 goals down or something ridiculous like that).
Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong though.
EDIT: I'm wrong.
The game I'm talking about was:
Round 17, 1999
Essendon 7.2 14.7 18.10 24.14 158 Date: Sat 24-Jul-1999 2:10 PM Att:68,831 Venue: M.C.G.
Kangaroos 8.1 10.4 16.8 20.12 132 Essendon won by 26 pts [Match stats]
Carey: 19 kicks, 12 marks, 4 handballs, 10 goals, 5 behinds.
Lloyd: 15 kicks, 7 marks, 2 handballs, 7 goals, 2.
What the stats don't show is that Carey was being double and triple teamed all day and the ball was coming in under heaps of pressure from a pretty up-and-about Essendon midfield. Didn't matter what they tried to stop him however.
Yeah thought so.
I still think Lloyd benefitted from a gun team with great delivery. I am not doubting he is a champion, but he did drop off the minute Essendon stopped making finals (2005 onwards). I acknowledge injury played its part though.
Since I've voted a mix between who would make my team awesome on balance, along with their career achievements:
Traditional FF with traditional CHF. Will be able to surround them with some hard-running forwards and crummers to make a brilliant forward line.
Would have loved to have chosen J Brown along with Carey. Then play the paddock, and watch them take marks running back with the flight :ph34r:
Richo has had an amazing career over that time period too. Would love to see his average marks (and contested marks) from 1997 onwards. Would be more than anyone surely.
The comeback game was Rnd 16, 2001. Funny how your memory plays tricks. I vividly remember watching Carey and Lloyd that day, and that Essendon won, but had conflated it with the comeback game in my mind.
hmmm, would love to hear Tharmi's thoughts on why Barry Hall is better than Carey or Brown.
No more or less controversial than Pasag choosing Fevola.
Hall from 2003-2006 was superb.
Lockett & Carey are givens, so I'm giving 1 vote to Brown. Gun
Simple answer: He's a Sydney fan
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