Players who have actually got better in their early 30s

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Seeds

Hall of Famer
Sep 15, 2007
37,567
33,387
I don't know
AFL Club
Geelong
Tom hawkins just won the coleman at 32. In the last 3 years he has been a top 3 key foward in the comp in each year. Before that he was more like a 4-8 top key foward. Clearly improved in his thirties.

what other players have oddly got better after they hit 30?
 

Seeds

Hall of Famer
Sep 15, 2007
37,567
33,387
I don't know
AFL Club
Geelong
Didn't Kevin Murray win the Brownlow at 31?

I'd argue Shaun Burgoyne has had more impact as a player in his 30s but don't know if that necessarily makes him better,
Burgoyne is a weired one. He peaked around 2006-07. But theN was an average mid for many years before getting much better in his 30s again albeit in a pinch hitting role.
 

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Seeds

Hall of Famer
Sep 15, 2007
37,567
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I don't know
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Geelong
Ablett Sr won his three Colemans and four AAs after he turned 30.
True although ablett probably peaked around 27 in the 1989 season. His 1993 season at 31 was nearly as good. After that though he lost he pace and leap due to a knee injury that plagued him for the last four seasons of his career.
 

Breretonisahood

Senior List
Feb 26, 2013
186
220
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Peter Hudson went down with a serious knee injury at 26 in 1972 then returned for a final valedictory season at 31 in 1977. He kicked 110 goals. I reckon VFL footy had improved considerably in that 5 years so his effort at 31 was pretty damn good.
 

00Stinger

Duel Group 1 winner
May 8, 2007
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Whilst he was good throughout and his best season came as a 29 year old, Sam Mitchell won his AAs at 29, 31 and 33. He won his Brownlow at 30.
tbf that was more symbolic of how under rated he was when he was younger

He should have had a couple of AA's in his mid 20's too
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
21,853
23,242
AFL Club
Geelong
Probably hard for me to judge non-Cats players as I don't pay THAT close attention to them.

Alistair Lynch is one from memory who had some of his best years at the back end.

Corey Enright for me was better after 30 than he was before it.
 

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SSSSSS

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 18, 2011
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Six decades of domination
Feel that this will become a more common occurrence with the advancements in sports science.
 

Ron The Bear

Avatar changing soon!
Jul 4, 2006
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Minimum 50 games before and after 30yo. Improvement due in many cases to playing closer to goal.

PlayerGms < 30Gms 30+Gls < 30Gls 30+Diff
Quinlan, Bernie2511151.563.70+2.13
Blight, Malcolm123551.853.95+2.10
Ablett senior, Gary1461023.535.06+1.53
Lynch, Alastair1831231.542.85+1.31
Harris, Dick D.144522.493.63+1.14
Mueller, Jack163531.502.51+1.01
Merrett, Roger1901231.011.96+0.95
Jarman, Darren1281021.312.14+0.82
Coventry, Gordon1981083.964.77+0.81
Bartlett, Kevin2471561.642.38+0.74
Waite, Jarrad154901.272.01+0.74
Titus, Jack1871073.063.71+0.65
Vallence, Harry140643.343.97+0.63
Matthews, Leigh243892.593.21+0.63
Goodes, Adam2521201.061.64+0.58
Johnson, Brad269951.381.96+0.57
Hall, Barry204852.432.95+0.53
Petrie, Drew2221101.181.66+0.49
Olliver, Arthur200721.181.65+0.48
Giansiracusa, Daniel213521.181.52+0.34
Neitz, David247592.002.31+0.30
Pavlich, Matthew256971.912.18+0.27
Kickett, Derek66861.031.29+0.26
Milne, Stephen188872.012.26+0.26
Akermanis, Jason248771.241.48+0.24
Kernahan, Stephen173782.883.08+0.20
Whitten senior, Ted2111101.071.23+0.16
Schimmelbusch, Wayne234721.121.26+0.14
Lee, Dick174563.043.18+0.14
Harvey, Brent2481841.151.27+0.12
O'Loughlin, Michael247561.701.79+0.08
Chapman, Paul222581.301.34+0.05
Moriarty, Jack118523.883.92+0.04
 

Altum Volantes

92 - 94 - 06 - 18
Aug 4, 2003
17,838
12,453
WA
AFL Club
West Coast
Nic Nat turned 30 in May and this year has been his best footy, so I guess you can add him too.

Shannon Hurn’s 2 AA Gongs came at 31 and 32.

I reckon 30 is the new 28 - especially for the best players.

Someone like Fyfe will play until he’s 38.
 

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