Craftiest players in the league?

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The City Boyz

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Jul 23, 2016
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Was trying to think of players who mightn't be the most naturally talented or take the best marks, but stay in the team through great reading of the game and genuine footy smarts, seeing things other players don't
Tory Dickson was a good example for us, also Duryea comes to mind
 

windyhill

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Feb 4, 2001
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Just on Duryea, that last play in the Briz final where he was one on one in the forward 50 with Charlie Cameron, outstanding bit of football.
 

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Trav 20

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 5, 2004
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The Corridor
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Dees
Bayley Fritsch
 

Kim Hagdorn

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Oct 7, 2009
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Liam Ryan.
 

Jason mp

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Ryan Lester.
 

Biffinator

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Dec 8, 2007
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Gary Rohan - it takes real skill to avoid the football in September.
 

juss

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Feb 23, 2009
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Jack Riewoldt
I'd argue he doesn't fit the not the most talented or not the best mark category though.... he was pick 13 in his draft year and has gone on to a HOF career.

Liam Baker would be my nomination for us. No real AFL gifts including being a midget, taken as a rookie, gets by purely on his toughness and football brain/craft/game sense.
 

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Johnny Karate

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Dardy McCrafty was. But actually Toby Greene.
 

manureid

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Robbie Gray. No big physical gifts, not fast, massive bag of tricks and footy smarts.
 

Liam Boy

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Some people call Jack Mahony "Crafty"...
 

Guardian Hawk

Premiership Player
Oct 16, 2003
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Murrumbeena
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Luke Breust.

No physical advantages really. Not quick, not especially strong, not tall, not a huge leap.

Still one of the best small forwards of the modern era due to his ability to read the game, be at the fall of the ball at his version of full pace, find space and exceptional skills.

Bayley Fritsch was a great nomination. I think Jack Gunston was his predecessor (not tall, not big, not fast but reads the game better than most, uses his body/positions really well and has sticky hands and good skills).
 

Generation X

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Luke Breust.

No physical advantages really. Not quick, not especially strong, not tall, not a huge leap.

Still one of the best small forwards of the modern era due to his ability to read the game, be at the fall of the ball at his version of full pace, find space and exceptional skills.

Bayley Fritsch was a great nomination. I think Jack Gunston was his predecessor (not tall, not big, not fast but reads the game better than most, uses his body/positions really well and has sticky hands and good skills).
I'd rate Gunstan is a much more talented footballer than Fritsch though, definitely in the elite category.
 
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Ron The Bear

Up yer arse, AFL
Jul 4, 2006
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I'd argue he doesn't fit the not the most talented or not the best mark category though.... he was pick 13 in his draft year and has gone on to a HOF career.
I'd argue he qualifies on this description alone!

"The riddle of Jack Riewoldt is how this unprepossessing physical specimen has managed to take the competition apart. Not a freak athlete like Lance Franklin, a monster with locomotive power like Tony Lockett or an explosive fast-twitch forward in the Gary Ablett senior/Jason Dunstall ilk, what we are witnessing is the arrival of a freaky forward whose major assets are either pure footballer - marking, reading the play - or above the shoulders."

https://www.examiner.com.au/story/456396/the-riewoldt-riddle/

This tap to a free Dusty when opposed by three didn't even rate a mention.

 
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Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
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I think some people are underestimating players athleticism. Fritsch is exceptionally quick on a lead and Bruest would be one of the strongest small forwards in the last 20 years just regularly breaks tackles.

Most crafty player I can think of Milne. He had no right to kick as many goals as he did.
 

juss

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Feb 23, 2009
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I'd argue he qualifies on this description alone!

"The riddle of Jack Riewoldt is how this unprepossessing physical specimen has managed to take the competition apart. Not a freak athlete like Lance Franklin, a monster with locomotive power like Tony Lockett or an explosive fast-twitch forward in the Gary Ablett senior/Jason Dunstall ilk, what we are witnessing is the arrival of a freaky forward whose major assets are either pure footballer - marking, reading the play - or above the shoulders."

https://www.examiner.com.au/story/456396/the-riewoldt-riddle/

This tap to a free Dusty when opposed by three didn't even rate a mention.

He's an elite mark, has one of the best leaps in the game jumping on people's heads for a decade, elite foot skills for a forward, can kick goals from all angles so goal kicking is obviously a skill.

Yes he has an elite footy brain, but I think despite not being an elite athlete in terms of size or speed, his talent can't be question.
 

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