Analysis Michael Warner ranks Richmond’s top-20 players of the modern era, from 1987 to now

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Rayzorwire

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Feb 25, 2007
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7. WAYNE CAMPBELL

Prolific, hard-running midfielder who played 297 games across 15 seasons, the fourth most for the Tigers. Captain in 2001 when the Tigers reached a rare preliminary final. Another Tiger who played the bulk of his footy in an ordinary team.
Professional stat whore who spent the vast majority of his career working out how he could get his '25+ possession tick' by chipping 10m dumb and slow to nowhere. By pack skirting and using his 'leadership' to demand the ball, so he could go on to do nothing with it. No footballer was more adversely affected by the change to the 15m kick-mark rule, 10m to nowhere was his bread and butter. Was a very good player in his early days when he ran his guts out for Northey, then went on to become our biggest liability for 5 times as long as he was an asset to the club.

10. JOEL BOWDEN

Highly-skilled left foot kick who could play any position. Played 265 games, kicking 171 goals. His football smarts triggered an AFL rule change after conceding two behinds in the final 30 seconds against Essendon at the MCG protecting a six-point lead in 2008.
Professional stat whore who you'd hold up as the ultimate example of a midfielder who refused to get fit enough to play the role, or a defender who got constant ball but barely broke a line in his entire career. So much talent, so little application. Dumped to the VFL by the first coach who had the guts to call it like it is. Earned a great living cheating the club and its supporters.

15. CHRIS NEWMAN

Skipper during some of the darkest years. Played 268 matches, despite suffering a gruesome broken leg against Collingwood in 2006. Exceptional left-foot kick with an uncanny ability to kick a long bomb from outside 50m. Kept his club together when a leader was needed.
Professional stat whore who masqueraded as a 'rebounder', but literally never actually rebounded. He point blank refused to even attempt breaking lines with run or by foot. Spent his entire career (bar one game where the coach called him out and he played a blinder) putting no genuine desire into his football, just going through the motions directing the ball slow and sideways to nowhere.

20. KANE JOHNSON

Hard-working, efficient midfielder who came to Tigerland in 2003 after playing in two Adelaide Crows premierships before his 21st birthday. Captain for four years in another tough period.
His attitude to 'leading the club' was best exemplified by him inviting the entire team over for a huge party two weeks before season start, then going on to get so blind drunk he got arrested for pissing on the wall of the local police station (had no idea where he was). Played one genuinely great season in 2004, then settled down into the 'Richmond Culture' of the era where football was just a way to earn a buck. Body was shot in later years (that's where partying like he did gets you), gave us 25% of what his contract cost us.

-------------------------------

The four blokes above are the epitome of why we were the joke of the league in those days. Anyone who includes them in a 'best players' list just has absolutely NFI what a successful football club culture looks like. If Hardwick (or any of the greats who coached through the eras concerned for that matter) was asked off the record what he thought, I have no doubt he'd concur.

Who would I include instead?

I'd start by basing the selection criteria not strictly on years of service, but impact and contribution to our brief periods of minor success.

Cameron and Ottens were shining lights in how and why we went so far in 2001, I'd much rather include both than the four cheating footballers above, regardless of time served. Brown, Charles and Coughlan are prime examples of others who made a huge difference in brief careers, much rather include any of them.

Hogg was a bona fide elite player second only to Richo as a long-time servant in the key forward role.

Tuck and Jackson literally carried the side on their backs and gave their heart and soul for the club over long and massively underrated careers, much rather include them and blokes like Andy Kellaway, Broderick, Bond and Rogers who never failed to give their absolute best for the club.

It's no coincidence that we started becoming a genuinely successful club only after the four 'club leaders' above and their massively negative influence were no longer stinking up the place.
 

JAKLAUGHING

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Professional stat whore who spent the vast majority of his career working out how he could get his '25+ possession tick' by chipping 10m dumb and slow to nowhere. By pack skirting and using his 'leadership' to demand the ball, so he could go on to do nothing with it. No footballer was more adversely affected by the change to the 15m kick-mark rule, 10m to nowhere was his bread and butter. Was a very good player in his early days when he ran his guts out for Northey, then went on to become our biggest liability for 5 times as long as he was an asset to the club.



Professional stat whore who you'd hold up as the ultimate example of a midfielder who refused to get fit enough to play the role, or a defender who got constant ball but barely broke a line in his entire career. So much talent, so little application. Dumped to the VFL by the first coach who had the guts to call it like it is. Earned a great living cheating the club and its supporters.



Professional stat whore who masqueraded as a 'rebounder', but literally never actually rebounded. He point blank refused to even attempt breaking lines with run or by foot. Spent his entire career (bar one game where the coach called him out and he played a blinder) putting no genuine desire into his football, just going through the motions directing the ball slow and sideways to nowhere.



His attitude to 'leading the club' was best exemplified by him inviting the entire team over for a huge party two weeks before season start, then going on to get so blind drunk he got arrested for pissing on the wall of the local police station (had no idea where he was). Played one genuinely great season in 2004, then settled down into the 'Richmond Culture' of the era where football was just a way to earn a buck. Body was shot in later years (that's where partying like he did gets you), gave us 25% of what his contract cost us.

-------------------------------

The four blokes above are the epitome of why we were the joke of the league in those days. Anyone who includes them in a 'best players' list just has absolutely NFI what a successful football club culture looks like. If Hardwick (or any of the greats who coached through the eras concerned for that matter) was asked off the record what he thought, I have no doubt he'd concur.

Who would I include instead?

I'd start by basing the selection criteria not strictly on years of service, but impact and contribution to our brief periods of minor success.

Cameron and Ottens were shining lights in how and why we went so far in 2001, I'd much rather include both than the four cheating footballers above, regardless of time served. Brown, Charles and Coughlan are prime examples of others who made a huge difference in brief careers, much rather include any of them.

Hogg was a bona fide elite player second only to Richo as a long-time servant in the key forward role.

Tuck and Jackson literally carried the side on their backs and gave their heart and soul for the club over long and massively underrated careers, much rather include them and blokes like Andy Kellaway, Broderick, Bond and Rogers who never failed to give their absolute best for the club.

It's no coincidence that we started becoming a genuinely successful club only after the four 'club leaders' above and their massively negative influence were no longer stinking up the place.
Yeah loved both Tucky and Wacko Jacko my idea of hard players...and Leon's kicking and Otto's marking/rucking...
But jeez Razor If your gonna bash those four players you mentioned for being stat whores why not point the big fat finga at Richo for chasing the ball and not being a team player...?!?
 

tora tora tora

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You'd want to be a special player to keep out premiership players from drought busting 2017 flag & or 2019 team member
1. JACK RIEWOLDT 2. TRENT COTCHIN 3. DUSTIN MARTIN 4.MATTHEW KNIGHTS 5.. VLAS 6.Rioli 7 BRETT DELEDIO 8. SHANE EDWARDS 9.Nank 10. Prestia 11. DYLAN GRIMES 12. Lambert 13. HOULI 14. Casatagna 15. Caddy 16. RANCE 17. Jack Graham 18. Broderick 19. Ottens 20 Leon Cameron
Apologies to Broad Towner, Shai, Butler Kmac
 
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tropicaltiger

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I liked the list, surprised Nathan Brown not in at around 10-11, I've followed the Tigers since the 'Roger Dean' days and seen all the Champs, and been amazed and thrilled by them all at various stages.

But only Richo and Dusty have taken my breath away as well. Royce up there with Dusty/Richo but played much earlier.
 

WATiger86

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Even though he left us, surely lids > Shedda on almost all footballing criteria imaginable?

*Good bloke-o-meter being where Shedda has lids covered comfortably
 

Bojangles17

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Professional stat whore who spent the vast majority of his career working out how he could get his '25+ possession tick' by chipping 10m dumb and slow to nowhere. By pack skirting and using his 'leadership' to demand the ball, so he could go on to do nothing with it. No footballer was more adversely affected by the change to the 15m kick-mark rule, 10m to nowhere was his bread and butter. Was a very good player in his early days when he ran his guts out for Northey, then went on to become our biggest liability for 5 times as long as he was an asset to the club.



Professional stat whore who you'd hold up as the ultimate example of a midfielder who refused to get fit enough to play the role, or a defender who got constant ball but barely broke a line in his entire career. So much talent, so little application. Dumped to the VFL by the first coach who had the guts to call it like it is. Earned a great living cheating the club and its supporters.



Professional stat whore who masqueraded as a 'rebounder', but literally never actually rebounded. He point blank refused to even attempt breaking lines with run or by foot. Spent his entire career (bar one game where the coach called him out and he played a blinder) putting no genuine desire into his football, just going through the motions directing the ball slow and sideways to nowhere.



His attitude to 'leading the club' was best exemplified by him inviting the entire team over for a huge party two weeks before season start, then going on to get so blind drunk he got arrested for pissing on the wall of the local police station (had no idea where he was). Played one genuinely great season in 2004, then settled down into the 'Richmond Culture' of the era where football was just a way to earn a buck. Body was shot in later years (that's where partying like he did gets you), gave us 25% of what his contract cost us.

-------------------------------

The four blokes above are the epitome of why we were the joke of the league in those days. Anyone who includes them in a 'best players' list just has absolutely NFI what a successful football club culture looks like. If Hardwick (or any of the greats who coached through the eras concerned for that matter) was asked off the record what he thought, I have no doubt he'd concur.

Who would I include instead?

I'd start by basing the selection criteria not strictly on years of service, but impact and contribution to our brief periods of minor success.

Cameron and Ottens were shining lights in how and why we went so far in 2001, I'd much rather include both than the four cheating footballers above, regardless of time served. Brown, Charles and Coughlan are prime examples of others who made a huge difference in brief careers, much rather include any of them.

Hogg was a bona fide elite player second only to Richo as a long-time servant in the key forward role.

Tuck and Jackson literally carried the side on their backs and gave their heart and soul for the club over long and massively underrated careers, much rather include them and blokes like Andy Kellaway, Broderick, Bond and Rogers who never failed to give their absolute best for the club.

It's no coincidence that we started becoming a genuinely successful club only after the four 'club leaders' above and their massively negative influence were no longer stinking up the place.
Modssssssss troll alert 🚨
 

Rayzorwire

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 25, 2007
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Bowden was a star and Newman was a gun. Victims of circumstance.
Every coach Bowden ever had lamented his lack of desire to get the best out of himself. Could have been a star, undoubtedly had the talent, but he knew he'd get a game every week just coasting. So that's what he did, trained lazy, played an entire career full of only patches of brilliance as a result. He had every right to conduct his career the way he did (I certainly don't dislike him as a person for it), but buggered if I'll ever applaud the way he went about it, call him a 'star' or hold him up as anything other than a prime example to young footballers about how even rare and precious talent won't make you genuinely successful without a good measure of hard work to go with it.

I forget which game it was so many years have passed (pretty sure it was a Dreamtime game, I commented heavily on it at the time), but the way Newman played that night was utterly magnificent. He played on 'angry pills' because he'd been questioned by the coach over his desire to put his heart into his football and be a genuine leader. He ran his guts out, threw himself into contests and the opposition around him were taking backward steps left, right and centre because he was formidable. A man possessed.

That happened once in his whole career and it only occurred out of hatred for his coach. "I'll bloody show him" he thought and he went out and played the game of his life. What he showed me and others who knew enough to see what had happened that night, was that he could have played like that every week, or at least often, when it counted. He chose not to.

As for his ability, I defy anyone to show me examples of him breaking a line. That's what rebound defenders are supposed to do - he was a lousy man-on-man defender by anyone's definition. People got so excited over a young Andrew Raines back in the day because after years of suffering through Newman's garbage, Richmond supporters had utterly forgotten what an attacking rebound defender even played like.

Neither Bowden or Newman would get a game in our current side (nor Campbell or Johnson). Not because they lack talent, we just wouldn't tolerate the entitled, cheating attitude they brought to their football. Almost everyone else on the list would vie for a slot, as would plenty left off. Quite a few would make us a better side.

But jeez Razor If your gonna bash those four players you mentioned for being stat whores why not point the big fat finga at Richo for chasing the ball and not being a team player...?!?
Richo conducted himself the way he did because he wore his heart on his sleeve and would have given anything to see us succeed. He bled yellow and black and dug deep to give his absolute best every time he stepped out and nobody could ever doubt it. He was idolised for that more than his ability. He sacrificed hundreds of thousands of dollars to remain a Tiger. In other words, he was the opposite kind of club servant to the four I mentioned.

Nobody ever tried to poach Bowden, Campbell, or Newman (or would have wanted Johnson in the 2nd half of his career). Nobody was even close to silly enough to want to pay the very good money we were prepared to pay them to import the kind of player they were.

I didn't like how Richo could give his teammates a royal baking now and again for not kicking it to him or kicking it at his ankles, none of us liked to see it, but I will never hang someone who tried that hard on the club's behalf for so long because now and again he lost his sh*t out of complete frustration.

He played in an era where key forwards were supposed to demand the ball. What would you prefer him to have done?
 

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