Best player to never play in the finals?

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malcolm

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Oct 8, 2004
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Jim Deane (2 January 1928 – 13 November 2010) was an Australian rules footballer who played with Richmond in the Victorian Football League (VFL) and South Adelaide in the South Australian National Football League (SANFL).

A half forward flanker, Deane is one of only two South Adelaide players to have won dual Magarey Medals. He won the first in 1953 and the second in 1957, although the latter was not awarded until 1998 when the league decided to give players who lost on a countback over the years their Medal retrospectively. Deane also won six best and fairest awards for South Adelaide and represented South Australia at interstate football on 15 occasions.

Deane coached Myrtleford in the Ovens and Murray Football League from 1958 to 1962. He won the league's Morris Medal in 1958 and 1961.
 

demondavey

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Apr 18, 2005
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Honestly a very good question! I can’t think of anyone but I am probably not thinking hard enough! Probably have to go back to the dark Fitzroy days to find someone. Or even Gold Coast? David Swallow? Did Jarrod Witts play in a final for Collingwood?
 

Upgrayedd

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Had Melbourne failed to coax him out of retirement (1987 where he played in 3 finals in his final 3 matches) then it would've been Robbie Flower for sure.
Was going to say, Robert Flowers was supposed to retire 1986 right? He also injured himself during his last game
 

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Boris the Contradiction

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Not the pick for this thread I know, but Sav Rocca only played in 3 finals over 15 seasons. All were losses.

After the 1994 Qualifying Final against West Coast ("that McGuane" game), he didn't play another final until 2002 (at the Roos).

Far out we were bad in the 90s!
 
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Schauermann

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Honestly a very good question! I can’t think of anyone but I am probably not thinking hard enough! Probably have to go back to the dark Fitzroy days to find someone. Or even Gold Coast? David Swallow? Did Jarrod Witts play in a final for Collingwood?
Swallow is at least high on that current list:

190 Tom Rockliff
174 Jack Watts
161 Pearce Hanley
155 Jack Newnes
139 David Swallow, Brandon Matera
...

Rockcliff or Watts ripping the opposition part in a final? Sounds wrong anyhow...
 
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Thrawn

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Surely Trevor Barker is the top answer to this question.

Although Cripps might get there one day, especially if he stays at that s**thole at Carlton, he'll never get close to playing in a final.
You might want to realise that Bolton isn't our coach any more.

If we had sacked him earlier, we probably would be playing finals this year.
 

jwint43

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Aug 17, 2014
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Swallow is at least high on that current list:

190 Tom Rockliff
174 Jack Watts
161 Pearce Hanley
155 Jack Newnes
139 David Swallow, Brandon Matera
...

Rockcliff or Watts ripping the opposition part in a final? Sounds wrong anyhow...
Best thing is Rocky went to Port chasing finals and now Brisbane look to be a contender whilst Port's best hope is squeezing into the 8 you'd think.
 

Back One Out

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Bert Mills played 196 games between 1930-42 kicking 60 goals. He was captain in 1932, 1934, 1938 and 1940-41. He won the Best & Fairest in 1933, 1935, and 1939 and represented Victoria 11 times and was awarded HFC Life Membership in 1939.

Mills was recruited to Hawthorn from Wangaratta Magpies in 1930. They were tough years the Mayblooms as they were know then won few games. However Mills was a shining light, he soon established a reputation as one of the leading ruckman in the VFL possessing a natural spring for the tap-out and was an exceptional mark and kick. The team was so short on big men that Mills would assume the role of centre half back when he rested off the ball.

At the age of 22 he was appointed captain winning his first best and fairest award the next year. With his blonde hair, good looks and striking physic and all round football ability Mills won The Argus most popular player voted by VFL supporters in 1936. In 1941 he was appointed playing coach before he retired in 1942. Throughout his career, Mills received numerous offers to transfer to more prominent clubs because of his outstanding leadership and playing ability but he could never be persuaded to leave his beloved Mayblooms.

Fifty-nine years later in 2001 when Hawthorn named its Team of the Century Mills was an automatic selection. He was named in the back pocket and second ruckman to Don Scott. His personal playing record was very impressive and many who saw him play readily recalled his inspirational leadership.

Mills received further recognition in 2003 when he was inducted into Hawthorn’s inaugural Hall of Fame. He was one of nine players named. He stands alongside the likes of Kennedy Snr, Matthews, Arthur, Parkin, Hudson, Scott, Knights, and Tuck. He was the only player to be recognized prior to the Hawks first finals appearance in 1957.
 

Back One Out

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A champion centreman who could also play at centre half forward. A master of the drop kick, Bohan had excellent skills on both sides. He captained Hawthorn for two years and won the best and fairest twice, yet he never played in the finals despite coming heart-breakingly close in 1943 when he booted four goals in the last round. “I cried all weekend,” he said years later.



Hawthorn (1938-1946) 131 games, 145 goals
Camberwell (1947-1953) 140 games

Without doubt one of the greatest players in Hawthorn's history, in 2003 Jimmy Bohan achieved the distinction of being named as centre man in the club's official 'Team of the Century'. Perfectly balanced, highly skilled, and a superb kick with either foot, Bohan played 131 VFL games between 1938 and 1946 without once appearing in the finals. He captained the club in 1944 and 1946, and won club champion awards in 1943 and 1945.

His main asset was his phenomenal kicking off either foot. Indeed, many experts believe his kicking was so good it would be superior to most modern footballers. His ability to use the drop kick saw him kick many long goals from the centre of Glenferrie Oval.

In 1947 Bohan caused something of a furore by crossing to VFA club Camberwell without a clearance. He spent seven auspicious years with the Tricolours, playing for the majority of his time there in the hitherto uncustomary position of full back. Although Camberwell was not a successful team during his time there, Bohan himself was recognised as a bona fide champion of the highest order, winning best and fairest awards in 1951-2-3, and running second in the 1952 Liston Trophy.

Bohan was a key player for the VFA at the 1953 Adelaide carnival. In all, he played 140 games for the Tricolours, and in 1994 was chosen as full back and captain of the club's official 'Team of the Century'.
 

Back One Out

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Ruckman Norm Brown joined Fitzroy from North Heidelberg and was almost a lone shining light at times in some dire Lions combinations during the 1960s and early 1970s. He played a total of 181 VFL games between 1962 and 1973, kicking 77 goals. He also represented the VFL. By no means pretty to watch, he was a paragon of strength, courage and almost fanatical devotion to his team. His three successive club best and fairest awards between 1965 and 1967 were extremely popularly received by the Fitzroy faithful.

In 1974 Brown was appointed captain-coach of Port Melbourne and had the immediate satisfaction of leading his charges to a 22.20 (152) to 11.17 (83) First Division Grand Final defeat of Oakleigh. Brown led the Borough to further premierships in 1976 and 1977, although he did not play in the 1977 Grand Final. He played a total of 57 VFA games for Port, retiring at the end of the 1977 season. He carried on as non-playing coach for one more year, but his team failed to annex a third successive flag, eventually finishing third. When Moorabbin re-entered the VFA after a two decade gap in 1983, Norm Brown was the reincarnated club's first coach. He only stayed in the post for one year, steering the side to eighth place (of twelve) in Second Division with a 7-11 record.
 

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