The best "spine" in the history of VFL/AFL

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
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Liking the teams all time spines.

Geelong would have to be top 3 I reckon

FB: Matthew Scarlett
CHB: Reg Hickey
C: Carji Greeves (quite a few options here)
CHF: Fred Flanigan
FF: Ablett Snr

Ruck: Polly Farmer, Ablett Jnr.

Could cheat a bit and put Ablett snr at CHF to slot in Doug Wade.


vomit... Ablett Snr best FF.....

No one thinks that. He would make Best Team ever, but best FF????

And if he played best team ever, they would need to play on certain days and not others, and they would need to pick him when he was in his prime.

Prime Ablett years do compare with the greats.
Non-prime Ablett years - do not.
 

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tenderwarrior

Premiership Player
Oct 26, 2003
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vomit... Ablett Snr best FF.....

No one thinks that. He would make Best Team ever, but best FF????

And if he played best team ever, they would need to play on certain days and not others, and they would need to pick him when he was in his prime.

Prime Ablett years do compare with the greats.
Non-prime Ablett years - do not.
It was a Geelong team, not a best ever.
 

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
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It was a Geelong team, not a best ever.
Good point
Good comeback
Good pick up
Good rejoinder
Well said
succinct
correct


I should have noticed that.


What if we indulge my mistake and ask GOAT spine? Ablett Snr?? I can accommodate Ably Jnr, but not my FIRST pick. But I find it hard to countenance Ably Snr.

Note: I don't ordinarily do a lot of countenancing, day to day.
 

tenderwarrior

Premiership Player
Oct 26, 2003
4,545
3,617
Launceston
AFL Club
Geelong
Good point
Good comeback
Good pick up
Good rejoinder
Well said
succinct
correct


I should have noticed that.


What if we indulge my mistake and ask GOAT spine? Ablett Snr?? I can accommodate Ably Jnr, but not my FIRST pick. But I find it hard to countenance Ably Snr.

Note: I don't ordinarily do a lot of countenancing, day to day.
Haha.

Ablett Snr not the greatest FF of all time as he only played there primarily once he reached his 30's, but achieved the amazing feat of kicking over 100 goals and winning the Coleman in three consecutive seasons. I would name him on a HFF in a GOAT though, and would be one of the first picked.

For a GOAT spine? I can only comment on players I have seen, which is only over the last 25-30 years, so I dont feel enlightened enough to make the call. I am confident enough though to name Carey at CHF and Lockett at FF.
 

Ricky Vaughn

Premiership Player
Feb 9, 2015
3,402
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vomit... Ablett Snr best FF.....

No one thinks that. He would make Best Team ever, but best FF????

And if he played best team ever, they would need to play on certain days and not others, and they would need to pick him when he was in his prime.

Prime Ablett years do compare with the greats.
Non-prime Ablett years - do not.
I thought the presence of Fred Flanagan in particular might alert you to the fact I was only selecting Geelong's all time spine.
 

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Dixie Flatline

Saviour Sam
Jun 3, 2005
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Since we're also doing club's best spine, this is Hawthorn's spine from its team of the century:

FB: Kelvin Moore (1970-1984, 300 games, 21 goals, 3 flags, All-Australian 1979)
CHB: Chris Mew (1980-1992, 230 games, 21 goals, 5 flags, Big V 1984)
C: Jim Bohan (1938-1946, 131 games, 145 goals)
CHF: Dermott Brereton (1982-1992, 189 games, 427 goals, 5 flags, Big V 1986, 1989, 1990, All-Australian 1985)
FF: Peter Hudson (1967-1974, 1977, 129 games, 727 goals, 1 flag, All-Australian 1966, 1969)
Foll: Don Scott (1967-1981, 302 games, 133 goals, 3 flags)
RR: Michael Tuck (1972-1991, 426 games, 320 goals, 7 flags, All-Australian 1979, 1983, Big V 1983, 1990)
Ro: Leigh Matthews (1969-1985, 332 games, 915 goals, 4 flags, All-Australian 1972, Big V 1982, 1983)

The best spine for Hawthorn I've personally seen would look like this:

FB: Chris Langford
CHB: Chris Mew
C: Sam Mitchell
CHF: Dermott Brereton
FF: Jason Dunstall
Foll: Peter Everitt
RR: Michael Tuck
Ro: John Platten
 

DanA

Norm Smith Medallist
May 15, 2006
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FB: Scarlett
CHB: Jackovich
C: G.Williams
HF: Carey
FF: Ablett Snr
Ruck: D.Cox, Ablett Jnr

Of the players I saw (was too young for Leigh Matthews). Four cats!
 

Luv_our_club

Norm Smith Medallist
Feb 14, 2017
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I can't remember a better spine than this (their achievements are substantial, incl longevity)

Langford
Mew
Platten or Tuck
Dermott
Dunstall

West Coast had a great spine in the 1991 era.
Brisbane in the 2001 era.
Hawthorn in 2013 with Buddy, Ruffy, Lake, Gibson, Mitchell
Richmond this year would have been a chance if Rance didn't get injured.
 
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footyfan78

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Aug 27, 2014
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there are no other teams worthy
I find it is rare for actual teams that are premiership teams have a locked in spine.
There is usually one key position rotated or two ruck types with second kind of playing as a tall up forward at times so having a regular second locked in key forward is probably overrated as a need to build premierships teams. In fact our back to back premiership teams of 1981 and 82 had our champion full back miss both games and depth players filled in as talls and up forward we really only need one locked in key forward of Sellers. Even the centre role was rotated in those teams. Harmes would easily transition from back pocket to dynamic centreman when needed. Recent premiership teams show similar things. Like us missing Southby at full back for two premiership years, Rance missed this year for Tigers and did not have Lynch in 2017 so the need for locked in spine is overrated. It is hard to even think of Swans and Eagles mid 2000 sides with obvious two stand out key forwards. Barely can think of same for Dogs 2016 premiership side. Versatility more often that not trumps locked in spine for mine. You probably best have two or three locked in key positions players and have rotating options that harder to plan against.

1982 we had our full forward concussed in opening minutes and useless for rest of grand final and regular full back gone as mentioned in Southby. Still won the flag. Tigers with Roach, Cloke, Jess and Dunne as predictable quality spine easier to plan against.
Mark Lee as ruck and two gun centres of Rilio and Raines failed to get job done.
Opening goals chaos balls in modern talking terms via us. Our less predictable forward line to me, is more often what you want. I do like a more settled back 6 than forward 6 for foundations of a premiership team. History often repeats in that sense.
 

Marcel Proust

Premiership Player
Sep 6, 2018
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Saw thread bump.
Expected it to be from a Richmond supporter claiming their current spine.


Wasn't disappointed.
its a pretty tasty proposition if they stay fit

the footy world was robbed of seeing a Rance, Grimes/Astbury, Cotchin/Martin, Lynch, Riewoldt spine for a season lets all hope they have some luck with from the footy gods this time around
 
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Craze

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Aug 7, 2013
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I find it is rare for actual teams that are premiership teams have a locked in spine.
There is usually one key position rotated or two ruck types with second kind of playing as a tall up forward at times so having a regular second locked in key forward is probably overrated as a need to build premierships teams. In fact our back to back premiership teams of 1981 and 82 had our champion full back miss both games and depth players filled in as talls and up forward we really only need one locked in key forward of Sellers. Even the centre role was rotated in those teams. Harmes would easily transition from back pocket to dynamic centreman when needed. Recent premiership teams show similar things. Like us missing Southby at full back for two premiership years, Rance missed this year for Tigers and did not have Lynch in 2017 so the need for locked in spine is overrated. It is hard to even think of Swans and Eagles mid 2000 sides with obvious two stand out key forwards. Barely can think of same for Dogs 2016 premiership side. Versatility more often that not trumps locked in spine for mine. You probably best have two or three locked in key positions players and have rotating options that harder to plan against.

1982 we had our full forward concussed in opening minutes and useless for rest of grand final and regular full back gone as mentioned in Southby. Still won the flag. Tigers with Roach, Cloke, Jess and Dunne as predictable quality spine easier to plan against.
Mark Lee as ruck and two gun centres of Rilio and Raines failed to get job done.
Opening goals chaos balls in modern talking terms via us. Our less predictable forward line to me, is more often what you want. I do like a more settled back 6 than forward 6 for foundations of a premiership team. History often repeats in that sense.
Great post.

Carlton managed 3 flags in 4 years between 1979 and 1982, with no-one kicking more than 61 goals (Ross Ditchburn in 1982). Contrast that to the numbers being posted by Roach, Taylor, Blight, Templeton, Quinlan, etc. David Parkin was ahead of his time!
 

Mitchell54

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 6, 2013
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Hawks 2013 spine is pretty impressive

FB: Lake
HB: Gibson
C: Mitchell
HF: Franklin
FF: Roughead
Foll: McEvoy Hodge Lewis
 

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