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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I strongly doubt all but a small handful of Newman's many critics 'hated' him as a player or especially not as a person. Criticism (or in many cases just honest appraisal) does not amount to hate, even in the Shouting Across Lines age we find ourselves in.

The first thing I evaluate is whether or not the player was good at their role. In the case of a rebounding defender, they'd have to be good at rebounding, not merely good at getting 20+ possessions and kicking beautifully to nowhere helpful.

I'm honestly not sure if Newman's champions understand any of the above simple points, but plenty of people did and do.
 

This Is Anfield

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Very hard as so many are hard to separate and more than a few worthies will miss out.

1) Agree with the previous caller - Trent Cotchin, has transformed himself from a highly skilled ball winner with perfect hair into a competitive beast and a supreme leader who is still highly skilled with perfect hair. With key others, Cotch is responsible for turning us from the "Timid Tigers" to the current powerhouse that is currently "Eating 'Em Alive". I still clearly remember him getting in the faces of Mitchell, Hodge, Lewis and the rest of the Hawks in one of their flag years, I could be wrong about the season, and we've been tougher and more intimidating as a group ever since, 2016 not withstanding.

2) Matthew Richardson, a one man Tiger army. The highs and lows of loving the Tigers encapsulated into one flawed genius, the magnificent marking, the bombs from outside 50, the misses from 25, the extraordinary athleticism, the extraordinary dummy spits and the 800 goals. He was also the last one to leave the family days and the kids training days. He was, and is, as passionate a Tiger supporter as any of us... a bright light in a dark tunnel.

3) Dustin Martin, how is this guy only number 3? On pure game day talent and big game performance... clear number one and the best since Royce. And still the best to come! Shows just how highly I rate Cotch and Richo's overall worth the "The Club"
What a pleasure it is for Richmond to have the most destructive, charismatic and marketable performer sewn up for life.

4) Jack Reiwoldt, from individual highlight reel while we were on the up, to teamwork personified while we are at the top. The smartest and most complete key forward of the decade just gone.

5) Alex Rance, from Bambi on ice to the GOAT! His influence on building the magnificent backline that we have now cannot be underestimated, that we could carry on, eventually, in 2019 after losing him speaks volumes. Brave, both personally and the way he created/broke up play, skilled and always upbeat. Star.

6) Matthew Knights, always heavily targeted and always brilliant. Clean hands, great mover and a beautiful left foot, another bright light during tough times.

7) Shane Edwards, I am so happy that this guy has blossomed into the recognised superstar that he is. Sees the game quicker and more clearly than the vast majority and is now playing with players that can maximise his unique talents.

8) Bachar Houli, from a hit and miss half forward flanker stolen from Essendon to the most consistent and damaging half back flanker of the modern era. Could arguably have two Norms in his pocket but he won't care about that at all. Wonderful man.

9) Wayne Campbell, did everything he could to lift the club he loved as a boy out of the doldrums but alas, like Richo and Knighter, too much was left to too few. Tireless runner and a far better user of the ball than many give him credit for.

10) Dylan Grimes, winemaker, good bloke and the best one on one defender in the game. Not just a negative spoiler, although he can play that role magnificently, but a great mark, reader of the play and user of the ball. Super courageous as well.

11) Brett Delidio, on talent alone Lids should be top five. Best hands for a medium sized player I have ever seen and what could have been...

12) Duncan Kellaway, as courageous as they came, could win the ball as well, ugly but reasonably effective kick and could, legally unlike grubs like Libba and Crowley, blanket great players regularly... we all loved Dunc!

13) Dale Weightman, before Richo became the heart and soul of the Tigers there was the Flea... starred as a youngster in a great team and starred as lone hand in a diabolical side. You only had to see him perform for Victoria to realise how seamlessly he would fit into today's team.

14) Nick Vlaustin, the Merv Keane of today. A rock who is very, very skilled. Courageous and a great backline leader... still improving.

Really could throw a blanket over about 20 players for the next six spots.

15) Shaun Grigg, super smart, efficient and very important to our development from sh*t side to champion side. Premiership ruckman!!

16) Joel Bowden, like Lids Joel had the talent to be higher but made it look too easy! As others have said... two time AA CHB at his size...

17) Paul Broderick, got the most out of himself. Great creator with vision, great hands and left foot. Great footballer.

18) David Astbury, forgotten man in our outstanding defence, reliable, tough, great in the air and his dependibility allowed Rance, Grimes, Vlas and Houli to do their thing. Love big Dave.

19) Brendan Gale, better footballer than some believe. Great mark and the perfect follower... far more effective around the ground and dropping back that actual ruck work. Extra points for his current influence.

20) Nathan Brown, Darren Gaspar, Tony Free, Ivan Maric, Leon Cameron, Dion Prestia, Kayne Lambert... take your pick.
 
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Drofder

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Bottom line is that because of an extended period of non success, only a small handful of blokes not in our present day group are going to be locks for being in the top 20 eg Richo, Knights, Campbell. The others are always going to be debatable because of that.

I’d probably have Richo, Knights, Campbell, Brown in there. Broderick too. Maybe a case for Newman. Definitely Flea if the criteria or years allow it. Not sure about Bowden, Gaspar (his last 2 or 3 years were terrible) or Kellaway.
 

tropicaltiger

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Never ever understood the Campbell hate, gut running is such an easy thing to do at AFL level.
Pretty sure a lot on here are or were wrongfully salty, coz when our admin was very much disorganised/incompetent and with a few backstabbers and a few overpaid players not giving a fair dinkum toss..... he threatened to walk and take up a juicy offer from north, he stayed and some fans never forgave him. terrific player and i'd have in my top ten in a heartbeat...most lists by those having a crack are bloody good too by the way.
 

Rayzorwire

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1) Agree with the previous caller...
For the record, I've never appeared on talkback radio...at least AFAIK. ;)


14) Nick Vlaustin, the Merv Keane of today. A rock who is very, very skilled. Courageous and a great backline leader... still improving.
Loved the comparison to Merv, very apt. :thumbsu:

He was so tough to leave out. Like Tuck I think the fact he's been such a favourite of mine since his first games means that I feel my opinion must carry some weight of bias, however much I try to avoid it.

He'll be impossible to leave out by the time he hangs up the boots I suspect, glad to see others have already included him.


Definitely Flea if the criteria or years allow it.
Played seven seasons into the era, still racked up huge numbers with his typical class when he wasn't injured, that was good enough for me to not be able to leave him out.


Pretty sure a lot on here are or were wrongfully salty, coz when our admin was very much disorganised/incompetent and with a few backstabbers and a few overpaid players not giving a fair dinkum toss..... he threatened to walk and take up a juicy offer from north, he stayed and some fans never forgave him.
I only rated him (or didn't rate him except to say I thought he was very good in his early years) based on what he did on the field. On the simple premise that a player who demanded the ball so often is obliged to do something useful with it. I screamed at him (internally or externally!) every single time he sought to pad his stats with a telegraphed chip to Andy Kellaway or Gaspar 10m further down the boundary line. He didn't do that game after game, season after season because he's a moron incapable of understanding that he just buggered any chance we had of clearing our defensive zone (he's one of the smartest players we ever had), he did it to get his endless collection of cheap stats up to an acceptable level where nobody could possibly deny he'd played a 'good game.' He played some genuinely great games in the last 3/4 of his career, but they were really few and far between over the long haul, overwhelmingly they were cheap stat-fests.

More than that his antics were quite literally an anchor on our progress and potential. There were games where we spent entire quarters and halves in our defensive end while he pulled these 'chip 10m to the worst kick in the side' stunts and led others by example to play as individuals who did likewise. Supporters just literally pulling their hair out.

I much prefer a full sails ahead and line up the battering ram variety of leader. These days we play with purpose as a united team.
 

AjsGuns

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About to have a punch on at work when a Doggies supporter tried to tell me Matthew Knights was sh*t.

GTFO campaigner.

*Punch on is slightly exaggerated.
Matthew Knights was sh*t ;)

haha just ******* with you, I'm so bored with no footy I'm reading your club forum
..

I'm surprised by some posters rankings, I thought the top 3 would be Dusty, Richo & Rance. Surprised many have Jack Riewoldt ahead of Rance.

my top 3 would be
1. Dusty
2. Rance
3. Richo

Then a gap..

Although I reckon most would have Richo over Rance. Probably rate Rance higher due the amount of football I watched from 2014-2018 and Rance was a god defender over that 5 year stretch.
 
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Bojangles17

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Matthew Knights was sh*t ;)

haha just ******* with you, I'm so bored with no footy I'm reading your club forum
..

I'm surprised by some posters rankings, I thought the top 3 would be Dusty, Richo & Rance. Surprised many have Jack Riewoldt ahead of Rance.

my top 3 would be
1. Dusty
2. Rance
3. Richo

Then a gap..

Although I reckon most would have Richo over Rance. Probably rate Rance higher due the amount of football I watched from 2014-2018 and Rance was a god defender over that 5 year stretch.
Good sensible post cheers , I had rance so high coz they just don’t make defenders like that everyday , he was a once in a 50yr defender. I actually think jack is a tad underrated , when he hangs up his boots his record will look every bit as good as riches and then some , he prob doesn’t have the universal Kobe Bryant style love that richo had and that’s why by default he’s marked under where he should be . Scratch beneath the surface and jack is a bloody star
 

captain blood 17

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In Warner’s article he est that criteria , but doesnt matter here I spose
I think we are splitting hairs. Started in 78, finished in 93. Over 30% of he career after 1986. He's in in my eyes.
 

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captain blood 17

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Criteria or not... Flea deserves a lot of love on here!
I mean if 50% and over is the pass mark, but you have a club legend like this bloke at close to 40? He's in. The bloke that was doing my head in in my list was Craig Lambert. Real close call.
 

Grrr

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Lambert was a great player and super important in that midfield group. His handball was as good as anyones. To me above Grigg and Lambert. Not sure if that makes him top 20 though.
 

Grrr

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Putting in those on the cusp or qualification like Flea and Brown.
In order although you can move them up and down a place or two.

1) Matthew Richardson
2) Dustin Martin
3) Jack Reiwoldt
4) Alex Rance
5) Trent Cotchin
6) Matthew Knights
7) Dale Weightman
8) Nathan Brown
9) Wayne Campbell
10) Brett Delidio
11) Shane Edwards
12) Dylan Grimes
13) Joel Bowden
14) Bachar Houli
15) Nick Vlaustin
16) Dion Prestia
17) Paul Broderick
18) Nathan Foley
19) Tony Free
20) Leon Cameron

21) Newman
22) Craig Lambert
24) Brad Ottens
 

JAKLAUGHING

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Cotch
Rance
Reiwoldt
Martin
Richo
Ottens
Grimes
Weightman
Lids
Brown
Knights
Bowden
Edwards
Vlaustin
Prestia
Houli
Lambert
Foley
Maric
Free
Tuck
Wacko Jacko
 

Rayzorwire

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Criteria or not... Flea deserves a lot of love on here!
Absolutely, he was the Richo of his day in terms of bums on seats, hugely loved player with good reason. When he retired we lost our last link to the '80 premiership and he was the last of them for a long time.

Warner's criteria is 'bulk of their football' which could mean either games played OR season's played, he doesn't specify.

8 VFL seasons, 7 AFL seasons...for mine that is splitting hairs, I couldn't push him out of qualifying. Every season he was fit and played most games he was counted among the best handful of mids in the league.
 

Tigerbob68

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Criteria or not... Flea deserves a lot of love on here!
Flea dragged me around to 5 other 1980 premiership players at a club function showing a replay of the 1980 GF a few years back and insisted that they all signed my 70s style Richmond jumper I had on. He's in based just on that :)
 

69vintage

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B:Vlas,Grimes,D.Kellaway.
HB:Houli,Rance,Cameron.
C:Lids,Knighta,Bowden
HF:Edwards,JR8,Campbell
F-Dusty,Richo,N.Brown(Would've played 100)
R:Ottens,Cotch,The Flea.
I/C.B.Gale & Broderick
Interesting side plenty of talent and footy smarts .
The lack of speed in the forward line shows how the game has changed .

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