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Thread: Name the Swans Team of 150 Years

  1. #1

    Name the Swans Team of 150 Years

    It's now been 14 years since the Swans announced their Team of the Century. Many players have since joined in the last decade and a half, and many others have developed into fine players.

    By 2024, the Swans will have existed for 150 years. Obviously more players will join over the next 7 years, but from all we have to choose from today, who would be in our best team of 150 years?

    I'm proposing two possible teams.

    BEST SWANS PLAYERS
    1) the team of players/coach who have best represented our club. Minimum of 50 games for the Swans (apart from a player's debut, that's the next big milestone & they would have played a minimum of three seasons). Choose players based on their best football with the Swans (eg Brownlow medalist Len Thompson only played 20 games for the Swans and his best football was behind him, Norm Smith had a less than 30% winning record as a coach with the Swans)

    BEST PLAYERS
    2) a team of players/coach who have represented the Swans but might have been outstanding before or after their time at the Swans - ie they were outstanding VFL/AFL footballers, just not when they played with the Swans (eg Norm Smtih named the coach of the AFL team of the Century with 6 premierships for Melbourne). So they only have to have represented the Swans in a minimum of one game to be eligible.

    A starting point would be the 2003 Swans Team of the Century (and there were even contentious selections then). Who would you replace to name your best Swans team of all time?

    B: John Rantall, John Heriot, Vic Belcher
    H/B: Bill Faul, Ron Clegg, Dennis Carroll
    C: David Murphy, Greg Williams, Herb Matthews
    H/F: Tony Morwood, Laurie Nash, Gerard Healy
    F: Bob Pratt, Tony Lockett, Paul Kelly (VC)
    Foll: Barry Round, Peter Bedford, Bob Skilton (Capt)
    Inter: Bill Williams, Stevie Wright, Daryn Cresswell, Fred Goldsmith, Mark Bayes, Harry Clarke, Mark Tandy
    Coach: Jack Bissett

  2. #2
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    Goodsey and Buddy are definite inclusions. I'm pretty close to saying the same about JPK too. I'm not familiar enough with the players of the past to say much more but I suspect players like McVeigh, Kirk, Maxfield, Jude Bolton, Hall, O'Loughlin, O'Keefe possibly don't quite get to this rareified level. Which players have to make way? Someone who knows more than me will have to be the judge of that. By the time 2024 comes around we'll be able to see whether players like Hannebery, Parker, Heeney and Mills join the conversation.

    Another one I'd like to add in the mix is Paul Roos. Was he not considered last time around or did he simply not make the cut? Even though he played more of his career for the Lions I would have thought he is ahead of at least some of the other players named in the team of the century.

    Also I think that Roos and Longmire have to enter the conversation to be coach too. They both lasted longer than Bissett and each has won a flag like him. Significantly they have done it in an era with more teams when it is much harder to do albeit Bissett made the granny pretty much every year. If Horse gets another flag I think he can take Bissett's place.

    I have to say, I'm not much interested in players in your second proposed team - only the first. Who cares about a team made up of champions who passed through the Swans but never bled for the Bloods? I want heart and soul Swans players. Players like Buddy and Plugger have had long enough careers to earn their place. Both have played grand finals and hopefully Buddy will win at least one flag with us yet.

  3. #3
    Aut vincere aut mori Thunder Shaker's Avatar
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    I would make three teams:
    1897-1936 (40 years) Early VFL and first three premierships
    1937-1981 (45 years) The drought years that still produced several Brownlow medallists
    1982-2024 (43 years) Sydney Swans era

    Qualification: 50-100 games.
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    I have to say, I'm not much interested in players in your second proposed team - only the first. Who cares about a team made up of champions who passed through the Swans but never bled for the Bloods? I want heart and soul Swans players. Players like Buddy and Plugger have had long enough careers to earn their place. Both have played grand finals and hopefully Buddy will win at least one flag with us yet.
    That's fine bloodspirit, just name the first team then.

    I personally appreciate every player that pulled on a Swans jumper ... from Goodsey's 372 games to the plethora of players who played just a single game. To me personally, each contributed in some way to the club I love. In fact I'm almost as fascinated by some of the single game players or handful of game players as I am by the Swan greats.

    BTW I'm not suggesting you don't appreciate them.

    I also had a look at the Swans selection criteria for the Team of the Century. To qualify for the list, players must have taken to the field for at least 75 games for the South Melbourne / Sydney Swans Football Club and either held a leadership role, won a club award, Brownlow medal, All-Australian or state selection.

    I'm not sure how many (if any) quality players failed to qualify based on those criteria.

    And my reason for suggesting the second type of team was to see what the Swans team of greatest players might look like. It's something I found interesting. To be honest, I actually don't think it would look significantly different (except perhaps the coach as you rightly point out that each of our premiership coaches thus far have a solitary premiership to their name while Smith & Barassi have 6 & 4 respectively).

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder Shaker View Post
    I would make three teams:
    1897-1936 (40 years) Early VFL and first three premierships
    1937-1981 (45 years) The drought years that still produced several Brownlow medallists
    1982-2024 (43 years) Sydney Swans era

    Qualification: 50-100 games.
    Actually you have inadvertently made me think of something the years 1874-1896 it's hard to determine if the VFA South Melbourne players would/could earn a spot.

    And for me, the naming of a single side is to see how it would stack up against the best of other sides.

    The other thing I'd love to see is, once a side was named, a statistician (eg from Champion data) conduct a simulated/computer modelled match between the best sides of different clubs. I remembered the Sun (before it was the Herald Sun) did this for cricket teams once (in the 80s or 90s). It's all hypothetical of course but if they can computer model black hole activity or complexes neural network activity, surely they could model a football match to determine which club might field the strongest best team.
    Last edited by goswannies; 1st September 2017 at 01:01 AM.

  6. #6
    McVeigh for Brownlow RogueSwan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goswannies View Post
    ... I personally appreciate every player that pulled on a Swans jumper ... from Goodsey's 372 games to the plethora of players who played just a single game. To me personally, each contributed in some way to the club I love. In fact I'm almost as fascinated by some of the single game players or handful of game players as I am by the Swan greats.
    What about a team made up of those the played less than, say, 25 games for the Swans then?
    I'll start with Luke Vogels on CHF line and Nankervis or Mark Seaby in the ruck?
    "Fortunately, this is the internet, so knowing nothing is no obstacle to having an opinion!." Beerman 18-07-2017

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    The Club's achievements since 1996 should lead to a number of modern players of the past generation coming into consideration.

    I note that for the first 99 seasons of the VFL/AFL (1897-1995) South Melbourne/Sydney made the finals 24 times.

    In the past 22 seasons since 1996 they have reached the finals 19 times.


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    Quote Originally Posted by RogueSwan View Post
    What about a team made up of those the played less than, say, 25 games for the Swans then?
    I'll start with Luke Vogels on CHF line and Nankervis or Mark Seaby in the ruck?
    Premiership player Mitch Morton in a forward pocket

    And despite only playing six senior games for the Swans, on talent Matt Spangher should get a gig.
    Last edited by liz; 1st September 2017 at 02:02 PM.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by RogueSwan View Post
    What about a team made up of those the played less than, say, 25 games for the Swans then?
    I'll start with Luke Vogels on CHF line and Nankervis or Mark Seaby in the ruck?
    You'd probably go with Len Thompson in the ruck over Seaby with the 25 game criteria

  10. #10
    Senior Player Swansongster's Avatar
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    "Torch" McGee would have to be in there somewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by goswannies View Post
    You'd probably go with Len Thompson in the ruck over Seaby with the 25 game criteria
    Seaby has been a part of two Swans premierships (one as an opposition player and one as a non-selected teammate)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by goswannies View Post
    That's fine bloodspirit, just name the first team then.
    I'm just not nearly qualified to do it. I would take the Swans Team of the Century as my starting point, add Buddy and Goodsey and, let's say, Joey and then take three off the interchange - say Tandy, Clark and Bayes (but really I don't think I'm able to meaningfully judge who is most/least worthy across so many different eras). People who have been following the game much longer than me (like Nico, Blood Fever etc etc) might have a better shot but really you need a historian of the game or someone willing to do a lot of research.

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