The AFL Eras Biggest Underachievers- My Top 5

Which team is the biggest underachiever of the AFL era

  • Essendon (1999-2001)

    Votes: 53 24.9%
  • Collingwood (2010-2012)

    Votes: 9 4.2%
  • Geelong (1989-1995)

    Votes: 25 11.7%
  • GWS (2016-2019)

    Votes: 31 14.6%
  • St.Kilda (1997-99 + 2004-2010)

    Votes: 83 39.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 12 5.6%

  • Total voters
    213

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Tzatziki_Man

Greek Souvlaki 🇬🇷
Oct 2, 2008
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Brothers of Destruction
1. St. Kilda (97-99 + 04-10)
Shock and genuine sadness the great Saints of these two eras didn't win atleast one premiership. Multiple brownlow, Coleman and norm Smith medallists, yet... no premiership. Incredible winning streaks, minor premierships and all australians... with no premiership.

2. Essedon (1999-2001)

How did the widely accepted greatest team of all time - The Essendon Team of 2000, how did they only win ONE premiership? Their dominance was unprecedented. They were one kick away from three Grand Finals and in all that time, managed one premiership. Although in isolation, the 2000 team is arguably the best, its also one of the most underachieving of the AFL era.

3. Collingwood (2010-2012)
Dayne Beams said this team should have been a dynasty and I agree. Their dominance of 2010 and 2011 rival Geelongs in 2007. Yet the coaching transition split the playing group and prematurely ruined their opportunity to tie Essendon and Carlton for most premierships.

4. Geelong (1989-1995)
They werent up to it in the Grand Finals. Mostly blow-out losses and even the 1989 Grand Final provided the history books a flattering scoreline. However, 89, 92, 94 and 95 all losses stings severely.

5. GWS (2016-2019)
The red ferrari.
The hysteria and overly dramatic narrative that overstated their potential dominance resulted in a simple puff of smoke. The Giants underwhelmed. Rather than a champion team, they developed a team of individuals that included some excellent players.
 

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owen87

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 23, 2016
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cats 2012-2020 would need to be up there. Especially since getting Dangerfield and topping up from 2016-2020.
Personally I don't think so, they've been good across that stretch but never the best team in any particular year, they've done genuinely well to remain around the mark for so long.

Saints through that 2004 - 2010 the biggest one in recent times for me, plenty of star power just never quite got there.
 

iameviljez

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 20, 2004
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4. Geelong (1989-1995)
They werent up to it in the Grand Finals. Mostly blow-out losses and even the 1989 Grand Final provided the history books a flattering scoreline. However, 89, 92, 94 and 95 all losses stings.
To be fair, we weren’t THAT great in the early 90s. Amazing forward line, good midfield, awful back half. Arguably we over-achieved in 89 and 94. The major shame for mine is that our two awful years in that stretch - 1990 and 93 - coincided with two years where the flag was an open race.
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
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Saints of the late 00’s win this thread. Riewoldt, Hayes, Goddard, Milne, absolute champions and great finals players. Great game plan and coach. I have them as good as the Cats and Pies even without the flags to show for it. Proof that the bottom 6 probably does get you across the line.

I agree with all of that, their failing though was that they were competing with two great sides, and you'd be hard pressed to say they 'choked' or threw it away in those two main years - 09/10. They played a great grand final against us in 09 and we had to play the toughest match our side of that era ever played. A year later they drew, that's how close they were. So in terms of 'achievements' I guess they did underachieve but not in the same way that, say Essendon of 99 did
 

Power Raid

TheBrownDog
Oct 15, 2004
68,285
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West Perth
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Port Adelaide
Port Adelaide

2001- Finish 3rd
2002 - Top
2003 - Top
2004 - Top

Everyone remembers the great Lions side of this period but these seasons were in fact dominated by Port Adelaide. Unfortunately for Port, we had a coach that couldn't come up with a Plan B and Plan A didn't stack up in finals.

One flag in this period was a fail. Two would have been a pass.
 

Goomba1973

Team Captain
Aug 13, 2018
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Port Adelaide

2001- Finish 3rd
2002 - Top
2003 - Top
2004 - Top

Everyone remembers the great Lions side of this period but these seasons were in fact dominated by Port Adelaide. Unfortunately for Port, we had a coach that couldn't come up with a Plan B and Plan A didn't stack up in finals.

One flag in this period was a fail. Two would have been a pass.
That's a very valid point. We all talk about the Brisbane Dynasty but Port were right there the whole time
 

BruceTempany14

Loving the Eagles and Cats Salt
Aug 4, 2016
811
2,001
AFL Club
Richmond
Port Adelaide

2001- Finish 3rd
2002 - Top
2003 - Top
2004 - Top

Everyone remembers the great Lions side of this period but these seasons were in fact dominated by Port Adelaide. Unfortunately for Port, we had a coach that couldn't come up with a Plan B and Plan A didn't stack up in finals.

One flag in this period was a fail. Two would have been a pass.
good post. Plenty of home and away joy , just didn't translate . Those Brisbane sides were scary though , easily the most menacing footy machine ever.

I really want St Kilda to win one soon , good supporters and a production line of champions, including the greatest IMO Tony Lockett.
 

Tzatziki_Man

Greek Souvlaki 🇬🇷
Oct 2, 2008
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Brothers of Destruction
Port Adelaide

2001- Finish 3rd
2002 - Top
2003 - Top
2004 - Top

Everyone remembers the great Lions side of this period but these seasons were in fact dominated by Port Adelaide. Unfortunately for Port, we had a coach that couldn't come up with a Plan B and Plan A didn't stack up in finals.

One flag in this period was a fail. Two would have been a pass.
Solid, solid pick.

Statistically the Lions dynasty is the weakest of the four this century.

Although all Hawthorn, Richmond, Geelong and Brisbane won three premierships, Brisbane was the only one of the four to never win a minor premiership and the team that finished above them, beat them in the Grand Final of 2004. Port Adelaide were a VERY good team.
 

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Rowan18

Club Legend
Feb 20, 2018
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Solid, solid pick.

Statistically the Lions dynasty is the weakest of the four this century.

Although all Hawthorn, Richmond, Geelong and Brisbane won three premierships, Brisbane was the only one of the four to never win a minor premiership and the team that finished above them, beat them in the Grand Final of 2004. Port Adelaide were a VERY good team.
Lol - three in a row is much harder than having a year off in between. I rate Brisbane's as the best three-peat because they had to put up with crap like having home finals taken off them to play at the MCG. Also ended the mighty bombers dynasty before it started.

I think one of the main reasons no-one rates minor premierships, is that the fixture is not even with who you play twice. I don't really consider H&A finshes as relevant when looking at team's overall performance. It what you do in the heat of finals that counts.
 

Tzatziki_Man

Greek Souvlaki 🇬🇷
Oct 2, 2008
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Lol - three in a row is much harder than having a year off in between. I rate Brisbane's as the best three-peat because they had to put up with crap like having home finals taken off them to play at the MCG. Also ended the mighty bombers dynasty before it started.

I think one of the main reasons no-one rates minor premierships, is that the fixture is not even with who you play twice. I don't really consider H&A finshes as relevant when looking at team's overall performance. It what you do in the heat of finals that counts.
Your salty dig at Richmonds 'year off' aside,

I simply said that Brisbane's dynasty is statistically the worst, because they're the only one without the minor premiership. I didn't interject my opinion on this, just factual statement and an observation thst is genuinely accurate. Comparing the dynasties on ability is impossible and not the point of this thread.

Port Adelaide were an absolutely excellent team in that time and overcame the Lions in 2004 to prove their doubters wrong.
 

Mofra

Moderator
Dec 6, 2005
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1. St. Kilda (97-99 + 04-10)
Shock and genuine sadness the great Saints of these two eras didn't win atleast one premiership. Multiple brownlow, Coleman and norm Smith medallists, yet... no premiership. Incredible winning streaks, minor premierships and all australians... with no premiership.
IIRC Spider Everitt was injured in 97 - if he plays, St Kilda win that flag.

2010 was heartbreaking for Saints fans but Collingwood were the best team that year. Saints were a very good team in 09 too, really really unlucky that there were two other powerhouse teams around that time (Hawks and Cats)
 

Virgin Dog

Norm Smith Medallist
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2008-2010 Bulldogs would be up there.

Robert Murphy
Scott West
Brad Johnson
Matthew Boyd
Shaun Higgins
Daniel Giansiracusa
Callan Ward
Ben Hudson
Jason Akermanis
Adam Cooney (even won a Brownlow in 2008)
Daniel Cross
Brian Lake
Dale Morris
Barry Hall

Our team in these 3 years was seriously stacked. Arguably the best list the Dogs have ever fielded. Lost in preliminary finals in all 3 years, and many of these blokes retired before our eventual flag win in 2016
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
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2008-2010 Bulldogs would be up there.

Robert Murphy
Scott West
Brad Johnson
Matthew Boyd
Shaun Higgins
Daniel Giansiracusa
Callan Ward
Ben Hudson
Jason Akermanis
Adam Cooney (even won a Brownlow in 2008)
Daniel Cross
Brian Lake
Dale Morris
Barry Hall

Our team in these 3 years was seriously stacked. Arguably the best list the Dogs have ever fielded. Lost in preliminary finals in all 3 years, and many of these blokes retired before our eventual flag win in 2016

Again though, had the total misfortune of arriving in an era where there were two better teams. The Dogs side was an awesome team. No disrespect intended to the 16 outfit but this was a better side.

The year St Kilda and Geelong played the round 14 match where we were both undefeated, I am pretty sure the Dogs actually won 8 straight to start the year
 

Virgin Dog

Norm Smith Medallist
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Again though, had the total misfortune of arriving in an era where there were two better teams. The Dogs side was an awesome team. No disrespect intended to the 16 outfit but this was a better side.

The year St Kilda and Geelong played the round 14 match where we were both undefeated, I am pretty sure the Dogs actually won 8 straight to start the year
Oh absolutely, Geelong especially. In 2009, we lost the prelim to the Saints in fairly controversial fashion that is still a sore point for Dogs supporters.

That year, we lost to Geelong by 2 points the first time we faced you, then won by 14 points later that year. Come finals, we lost to you guys again by 14 points in the first week, so we were basically trading wins all year. I truly believe if we made it to the Grand Final that year, we were a very good chance at going all the way (although who knows what would have happened) but that's just not the way the cards fell. Really unfortunate timing having such a good side have to come up against arguably one of the strongest sides (07-11 Geelong) in the AFL era.
 

bungalow_bill

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 11, 2010
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Lol - three in a row is much harder than having a year off in between. I rate Brisbane's as the best three-peat because they had to put up with crap like having home finals taken off them to play at the MCG. Also ended the mighty bombers dynasty before it started.

I think one of the main reasons no-one rates minor premierships, is that the fixture is not even with who you play twice. I don't really consider H&A finshes as relevant when looking at team's overall performance. It what you do in the heat of finals that counts.
Quite possible Lions do a 4 peat if not for some dodgy MCG rule.

Port could be considered under achievers but like the Bombers and Pies had the misfortune to have to contend with the greatest ever team at their peak.
 

Bungeye

All Australian
Aug 19, 2017
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Collingwood
2008-2010 Bulldogs would be up there.

Robert Murphy
Scott West
Brad Johnson
Matthew Boyd
Shaun Higgins
Daniel Giansiracusa
Callan Ward
Ben Hudson
Jason Akermanis
Adam Cooney (even won a Brownlow in 2008)
Daniel Cross
Brian Lake
Dale Morris
Barry Hall

Our team in these 3 years was seriously stacked. Arguably the best list the Dogs have ever fielded. Lost in preliminary finals in all 3 years, and many of these blokes retired before our eventual flag win in 2016
Ryan Griffen
 

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