Top 50 Bulldogs - 1985 - 2018

wayniac

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#26
Great topic to debate.
This won’t be a popular view because he’s turned out to be a headcase but Brian Lake spent 3 years at the Dogs as the competition’s best fullback. I have never ever seen a more dominant player in our jumper and yes, I’m making this call fully aware of how good Scarlett was.
OP had him at 12 which is high but I would want Lake in my best Bulldogs team over at least half the players listed in the top 10.
Don't agree on Lake. Buddy Franklin gave him a bath in the 2008 finals. 8 goals and Roughead kicked 4. Watched in frustration as Rocket tried to match up Dale Morris on Buddy to stop the carnage. He might have mastered his position later in his career but he never won us a damn thing and his attitude sucked. Classic was his faked injury in the tied game against Richmond when Minson slotted the goal for him.

Buddy is still turning it on while Lake embarasses himself all over the world.
 

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#27
Don't agree on Lake. Buddy Franklin gave him a bath in the 2008 finals. 8 goals and Roughead kicked 4. Watched in frustration as Rocket tried to match up Dale Morris on Buddy to stop the carnage. He might have mastered his position later in his career but he never won us a damn thing and his attitude sucked. Classic was his faked injury in the tied game against Richmond when Minson slotted the goal for him.

Buddy is still turning it on while Lake embarasses himself all over the world.
Don’t agree, even the best have bad days and Lake, onfield, was undoubtably the best for that 3 year stretch. An out and out superstar that toyed with opposition forward lines.
 
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Thread starter #28
Great topic to debate.
This won’t be a popular view because he’s turned out to be a headcase but Brian Lake spent 3 years at the Dogs as the competition’s best fullback. I have never ever seen a more dominant player in our jumper and yes, I’m making this call fully aware of how good Scarlett was.
OP had him at 12 which is high but I would want Lake in my best Bulldogs team over at least half the players listed in the top 10.
He was a gun. Hard to justify a better ranking though, as the top 10 are household names. Let's just say, there is very little in it between the talent and contribution of Lake versus the five ranked on either side of him. Thanks for your post RWB. I'd love for you to try and use the list to name your best 22 starting lineups.
 

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#29
Using your list ( the best 22 are there so omissions are irrelevant) and being old enough to have watched all of their games as an adult, this would be my positional best 22 line up

B: Hardie Lake Morris
HB: Wood Foster Murphy
C: Hawkins West Johnson
HF: Brown Grant McPherson
F: Bontempelli Beasley Smith
R: Wynd Boyd Royal
I/C: Darcy Libber Snr Cooney Gilbee

Hate leaving out Wallis, a great servant of the club but Boyd and West best him out in middle, Murphy and Gilbee skill levels exceed him coming off half back and he was never a forward. Came down to him and Libber.
Easton and Hardie only two great years but they were great in those years. Foster and Lake automatics at key positions ( Kennedy tough and solid but not in their league) and Morris probably the best Bulldog Backman since Henderson ( EJ played everywhere). Murphy, Gilbee and Smith can switch with no loss of skill down back.

Centre line is indisputable, other than wanting Johnno as a forward and putting Macrae in ( maybe in a few years)

Grant and Beasley automatic and Darcy can come off bench if Grant needs to go back. Darcy’s forward craft puts him in ahead of a personal favourite in Purser.
Brown is polarising figure but a much needed classy forward in any Bulldogs team.
SuperMac will probably raise eyebrows but was a top small forward in 85 and played on every line over his career and adds some toughness to this team. Bubba plays everywhere too and that kick has to be in the team.
Bont slots in because...Bont but list is not flush with forwards an he can be a top forward and switch with Hawk and Johnno on the wing.

Ruck division sells itself for me. Wynd best pure ruckman I saw play for Dogs. Dempsey best mark, Darcy and Purser great followers but Wynd’s tapwork was phenomenal and his groundwork underrated. Boyd’s foot skills were inconsistent but so were West’s but his contribution underrated until his premiership year. Workrate was phenomenal. Royal easily best rover we had ( never saw Bisset ) and just had Libber covered in all areas skill wise.

Bench already covered other than Cooney. His best was brilliant and match winning and could be an effective forward. That put him ahead of Griffin.

Can’t fit Kretiuk in ahead of Morris or Easton ( his best beats Kritter’s mongrel ) and Cameron gets beaten positionally by others - could arguably replace Gilbee on bench.

Best ofs always cause disagreements but I’m happy with my team.


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Thread starter #30
Using your list ( the best 22 are there so omissions are irrelevant) and being old enough to have watched all of their games as an adult, this would be my positional best 22 line up

B: Hardie Lake Morris
HB: Wood Foster Murphy
C: Hawkins West Johnson
HF: Brown Grant McPherson
F: Bontempelli Beasley Smith
R: Wynd Boyd Royal
I/C: Darcy Libber Snr Cooney Gilbee

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Great side - you have only 4 players outside my listed top 22 in your selected side. I'd argue strongly that you could find a spot for both Wallis and Cameron though!
 

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#31
Great side - you have only 4 players outside my listed top 22 in your selected side. I'd argue strongly that you could find a spot for both Wallis and Cameron though!
So you have to name the swaps then - that’s how you play this game. I justified my decisions for their omissions. Who do you drop?

And best 22 doesn’t always fit into a team if the best 22 include too many of the same type. I went for versatility too.


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#32
Using your list ( the best 22 are there so omissions are irrelevant) and being old enough to have watched all of their games as an adult, this would be my positional best 22 line up

B: Hardie Lake Morris
HB: Wood Foster Murphy
C: Hawkins West Johnson
HF: Brown Grant McPherson
F: Bontempelli Beasley Smith
R: Wynd Boyd Royal
I/C: Darcy Libber Snr Cooney Gilbee

Hate leaving out Wallis, a great servant of the club but Boyd and West best him out in middle, Murphy and Gilbee skill levels exceed him coming off half back and he was never a forward. Came down to him and Libber.
Easton and Hardie only two great years but they were great in those years. Foster and Lake automatics at key positions ( Kennedy tough and solid but not in their league) and Morris probably the best Bulldog Backman since Henderson ( EJ played everywhere). Murphy, Gilbee and Smith can switch with no loss of skill down back.
Centre line is indisputable, other than wanting Johnno as a forward and putting Macrae in ( maybe in a few years)
Grant and Beasley automatic and Darcy can come off bench if Grant needs to go back. Darcy’s forward craft puts him in ahead of a personal favourite in Purser.
Brown is polarising figure but a much needed classy forward in any Bulldogs team.
SuperMac will probably raise eyebrows but was a top small forward in 85 and played on every line over his career and adds some toughness to this team. Bubba plays everywhere too and that kick has to be in the team.
Bont slots in because...Bont but list is not flush with forwards an he can be a top forward and switch with Hawk and Johnno on the wing.
Ruck division sells itself for me. Wynd best pure ruckman I saw play for Dogs. Dempsey best mark, Darcy and Purser great followers but Wynd’s tapwork was phenomenal and his groundwork underrated. Boyd’s foot skills were inconsistent but so were West’s but his contribution underrated until his premiership year. Workrate was phenomenal. Royal easily best rover we had ( never saw Bisset ) and just had Libber covered in all areas skill wise.
Bench already covered other than Cooney. His best was brilliant and match winning and could be an effective forward. That put him ahead of Griffin.
Can’t fit Kretiuk in ahead of Morris or Easton ( his best beats Kritter’s mongrel ) and Cameron gets beaten positionally by others - could arguably replace Gilbee on bench.
Best ofs always cause disagreements but I’m happy with my team.
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Great team selection!
Only one I would change if we are talking the ‘best of’ each player would be Stringer on the forward flank replacing Super.
 

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#33
Great team selection!
Only one I would change if we are talking the ‘best of’ each player would be Stringer on the forward flank replacing Super.
Fair enough. My view on Jake is probably a bit coloured now and his best was scary and I rejoiced in it as much as anyone. Saying that, his best lasted a year and a half and unlike Super it wasn’t injuries that took their toll but attitude. Super stuck with the club during the dark days of 89 that I remember only too well and resurrected his career in 92 to play a second finals series. ( also spent quite a bit of time with Super when he ran the Dogs in Schools program in early 90s which impressed me and may have influenced my choice?!) Along with Nathan Brown, he could play whole games and high possession games in the midfield not 5 minutes of impact. One of my criteria was versatility and Super and Brown beat Stringer in that regard. As for ‘best’ as criterion I think I only used that in the Cooney vs Griffen decision, a tough call as I loved Griff ( again may be coloured due to the GWS thing) Hardie’s two years of Best was Best in League and Best at Club so I’ll take that. Easton was all Australian and premiership captain so again a pretty good 2 years and positionally required as best half back IMO.

If we’d got a couple more 2015s out of Jake, even with the move to Dons, he may have got the nod but we didn’t so I’ll stick with my iffy call on Macpherson.


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#34
Fair enough. My view on Jake is probably a bit coloured now and his best was scary and I rejoiced in it as much as anyone. Saying that, his best lasted a year and a half and unlike Super it wasn’t injuries that took their toll but attitude. Super stuck with the club during the dark days of 89 that I remember only too well and resurrected his career in 92 to play a second finals series. ( also spent quite a bit of time with Super when he ran the Dogs in Schools program in early 90s which impressed me and may have influenced my choice?!) Along with Nathan Brown, he could play whole games and high possession games in the midfield not 5 minutes of impact. One of my criteria was versatility and Super and Brown beat Stringer in that regard. As for ‘best’ as criterion I think I only used that in the Cooney vs Griffen decision, a tough call as I loved Griff ( again may be coloured due to the GWS thing) Hardie’s two years of Best was Best in League and Best at Club so I’ll take that. Easton was all Australian and premiership captain so again a pretty good 2 years and positionally required as best half back IMO.
If we’d got a couple more 2015s out of Jake, even with the move to Dons, he may have got the nod but we didn’t so I’ll stick with my iffy call on Macpherson.
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I absolutely love Super. I just rate players with that X-factor that makes it seem like they are a level above everyone else on the field. Whilst Super was as tough as nails, reliable and skillful, Stringer elevated himself above everyone all the time in 2015 and sporadically in the 2 years after that.
The only other position I’d question is Rohan Smith in a forward pocket as, I assume, the small forward role. I would probably swap him out for Akermanis, Hudson or even Kolyniuk for a bit of magic in the forward pocket.
Great discussion for a really boring off-season.
 
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Thread starter #35
So you have to name the swaps then - that’s how you play this game. I justified my decisions for their omissions. Who do you drop?

And best 22 doesn’t always fit into a team if the best 22 include too many of the same type. I went for versatility too.


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Yep, Cameron and Wallis for MacPherson and Brown. And also McGuinness just shades Gilbee in my view.

Royal, Johnson and Darcy fill the forward voids while Cameron and Liberatore take the wing and roving spots.
 
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mcgleereturns

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#36
I’ve had a bit to do with Super over years as well and absolutely love him. I just rate players with that X-factor that makes it seem like they are a level above everyone else on the field. Whilst Super was as tough as nails, reliable and skillful, Stringer elevated himself above everyone all the time in 2015 and sporadically in the 2 years after that.
The only other position I’d question is Rohan Smith in a forward pocket as, I assume, the small forward role. I would probably swap him out for Akermanis, Hudson or even Kolyniuk for a bit of magic in the forward pocket.
Great discussion for a really boring off-season.
Smith wasn’t a definite for me and thought about Kolyniuk. Underrated and wished he was in Prelim in 97. Probably wanted to reward his 300 games but also my versatility theme as explained. Hudson did give good service but he competes with Nathan Brown for me. Aker is a gun but not a Bulldog for me. I liked to pick players who started as Dogs.
Small forwards were hardest to pick.


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Thread starter #37
Smith wasn’t a definite for me and thought about Kolyniuk. Underrated and wished he was in Prelim in 97. Probably wanted to reward his 300 games but also my versatility theme as explained. Hudson did give good service but he competes with Nathan Brown for me. Aker is a gun but not a Bulldog for me. I liked to pick players who started as Dogs.
Small forwards were hardest to pick.


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Hard to disagree with you.

Regarding Kolyniuk, he is pretty close to my top 22 also and may have been the difference in 1997 if the MC didn't roll the dice with Jose. But, if that happened, 2016 may have unfolded totally differently, and that script couldn't be more perfect.
 

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#40
Interested to know why you picked 1985. Your thread of course to pick. I had in mind the 30 year anniversary would be a good period but likely would make some key changes to your list, losing a few of the 80’s players like Beasley, Hardie etc. Do you also judge them only on the games after the cut off or get to judge the whole career if they ‘qualify’?

Hall is an interesting one too having only played 39 games but otherwise meeting the 2 season requirement. Arguably the best Bulldogs recruit in that period. His 2010 first year was remarkable in many ways, straight into AA, BOG in the pre season final and kicked more goals in a season than anyone but Beasley.

All a long way of getting to a final plug for perennial underated performer Tory Dickson. He would make an interesting comparison for the other dead eye in your list Paul Hudson. It’s true Hudson made AA but (I think) Dickson has more goals than anyone on your list in finals bar club legends Grant and Johnson - and at a better average. The deciding factor for me would be that I’d take Dickson’s 6 kicks in the 2016 PF over Hudson’s 6 kicks in the 1997 PF but I’d like both in a pocket kicking for goal.
 

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#41
Interested to know why you picked 1985. Your thread of course to pick. I had in mind the 30 year anniversary would be a good period but likely would make some key changes to your list, losing a few of the 80’s players like Beasley, Hardie etc. Do you also judge them only on the games after the cut off or get to judge the whole career if they ‘qualify’?

Hall is an interesting one too having only played 39 games but otherwise meeting the 2 season requirement. Arguably the best Bulldogs recruit in that period. His 2010 first year was remarkable in many ways, straight into AA, BOG in the pre season final and kicked more goals in a season than anyone but Beasley.

All a long way of getting to a final plug for perennial underated performer Tory Dickson. He would make an interesting comparison for the other dead eye in your list Paul Hudson. It’s true Hudson made AA but (I think) Dickson has more goals than anyone on your list in finals bar club legends Grant and Johnson - and at a better average. The deciding factor for me would be that I’d take Dickson’s 6 kicks in the 2016 PF over Hudson’s 6 kicks in the 1997 PF but I’d like both in a pocket kicking for goal.
I’d hazard to guess 1985 as the beginning of our Preliminary final run ( not a lot of success between 61 and 85 other than 2 losing elimination finals and being a nursery for other teams Brownlow medalists) and the group of players that many on the forum first remember as great players ( other than Templeton, the late 70s/early 80s didn’t offer up a lot)

Barry is an interesting one. 85 start meant Beasley beats him to Full Forward ( different era but the man kicked 5 bags of 10+) and the Great Man Chris Grant can’t be replaced in a Bulldog team by a late career champion recruit. Bench possibility but as I’ve said I stick to players who started as Dogs.

Ah, the vexing Tory Dickson debate..........15 goals in 5 finals ( should have been 18 missed 3 absolute sitters for him) but we forget Del-Re’s 92 effort of 13 in 3, record 8 in one ( another candidate for a best of gig) James Cook 10 in 2 FFS in 97,and Jack Collins ( outside time frame) 11 in 2. Gets the job done Tory. His record against Adelaide would have been handy in 97! Wasn’t on the OP list and those I chose offered more in other areas. Matty Robbins had similar output over a 3 yr period too.


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Thread starter #42
Interested to know why you picked 1985. Your thread of course to pick. I had in mind the 30 year anniversary would be a good period but likely would make some key changes to your list, losing a few of the 80’s players like Beasley, Hardie etc. Do you also judge them only on the games after the cut off or get to judge the whole career if they ‘qualify’?

Hall is an interesting one too having only played 39 games but otherwise meeting the 2 season requirement. Arguably the best Bulldogs recruit in that period. His 2010 first year was remarkable in many ways, straight into AA, BOG in the pre season final and kicked more goals in a season than anyone but Beasley.

All a long way of getting to a final plug for perennial underated performer Tory Dickson. He would make an interesting comparison for the other dead eye in your list Paul Hudson. It’s true Hudson made AA but (I think) Dickson has more goals than anyone on your list in finals bar club legends Grant and Johnson - and at a better average. The deciding factor for me would be that I’d take Dickson’s 6 kicks in the 2016 PF over Hudson’s 6 kicks in the 1997 PF but I’d like both in a pocket kicking for goal.
1985 was a personal choice, as it was the year I properly started following the Club. I was aged 9 and was hooked by the efforts and magic of that year. I first did a 10 year anniversary Best Team since '85 when I was in my VCE Year and carried it on ever since. In my inaugural list, Bamblett was in my top 30!

Regarding Dickson, by season's end, I am hoping he squeezes onto the list. He is just outside. I rate him very highly and it has been a huge shame that he has suffered with injuries since 2016. Let's hope his body holds up and he goes out with a bang this season!
 

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#43
Barry is an interesting one. 85 start meant Beasley beats him to Full Forward ( different era but the man kicked 5 bags of 10+) and the Great Man Chris Grant can’t be replaced in a Bulldog team by a late career champion recruit. Bench possibility but as I’ve said I stick to players who started as Dogs.

Ah, the vexing Tory Dickson debate..........15 goals in 5 finals ( should have been 18 missed 3 absolute sitters for him) but we forget Del-Re’s 92 effort of 13 in 3, record 8 in one ( another candidate for a best of gig) James Cook 10 in 2 FFS in 97,and Jack Collins ( outside time frame) 11 in 2. Gets the job done Tory. His record against Adelaide would have been handy in 97! Wasn’t on the OP list and those I chose offered more in other areas. Matty Robbins had similar output over a 3 yr period too.


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I was more looking at the total 50 than a starting 22 so I agree I’d have Beasley in front of Hall in the team but both on the list given the criteria. Similarly I’d have both Hudson and Dickson outside the 22 but would probably have Dickson in front on Hudson on the list. Impossible to prove of course but just to be contentious I’d say we win the 97 prelim with Dickson.

If you did tweak the criteria though to, say, post fightback and a 50 game minimum you suddenly lose Hall and Beasley and maybe you only have a small forward line left - save for DelRe. In that scenario I have Dickson in my best of past 30 years side.

As for DelRe and the Diamond Dogs of 92 he did kick 8 but in a game lost by 10 goals when Brownless kicked 9 and wasn’t seen much after that unfortunately. Cook is also a bit enigmatic like that. Maybe it was the way the prelim finished but he rarely comes up as influential in that game which is odd for a 6 goal haul. Either way in terms of picking a side they’d both be playing for a key position whereas Dickson/Hudson is a small forward/leading forward role I’d be picking for.
 

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#44
Yes the search for a key forward since Beasley has been a challenge bar Chris Grant.
Adrian Campbell, Wigney,Del-RE, Ballantyne Sexton, Grgic,Jakovich, Hargraves, Minton-Connell, Cook, Bandy, Saunders, McDougal, Bartlett, Rawlings, Hunter, James, McGuiness, Skipper, Welsh, Wiggins, Walsh.............. so many greats that just roll off the tongue.

We have lived off the medium/small forward ( Johnno/Brown/Hudson/Osborne/Stringer/Robbins/Smith/Dickson/Murphy ( Jason Watts FFS)for 30 years


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DelRe

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#45
Yes the search for a key forward since Beasley has been a challenge bar Chris Grant.
Adrian Campbell, Wigney,Del-RE, Ballantyne Sexton, Grgic,Jakovich, Hargraves, Minton-Connell, Cook, Bandy, Saunders, McDougal, Bartlett, Rawlings, Hunter, James, McGuiness, Skipper, Welsh, Wiggins, Walsh.............. so many greats that just roll off the tongue.

We have lived off the medium/small forward ( Johnno/Brown/Hudson/Osborne/Stringer/Robbins/Smith/Dickson/Murphy ( Jason Watts FFS)for 30 years


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Poor Mitch Hahn!

Agree on the dearth of FF. I’d venture we’d be the only club struggling to field a decent FF in a best of 30 years team. Could you imagine telling an opposition supporter we’re going with DelRe (with the greatest of respect)!

Without thinking too hard I’d contemplate

Stringer Grant Johnson
Hudson Hawkins Dickson

Hawkins was a cunning forward more than a winger in the 90s. Not exactly a tough mans forward line but the half forward line offers two in Grant and Johnson who has strong hands. Stringer I’d swap for Brown but with Hudson and Dickson you have a very same feel.
 

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#46
Apologies to Mitch Other than Murphy, the others all cracked 40 in a season so he slipped my mind.

Maybe we just rotate our almost FFs’ best games over the season.
Throw in Grgic’s 6, Cook’s 6, Minton Connels 6 Delres 8, Rawlings 7, Hunters 7, Hargreaves 5, Ballantyne 5, Welsh 5, Campbell’s 5, Bartletts 5, swing in Croft’s 5, a Darcy pre knee 6 goal effort v Adelaide and some 2002 vintage Daniel Bandy and we got ourselves an 80+ goal full forward, my friend!


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#47
Don't agree on Lake. Buddy Franklin gave him a bath in the 2008 finals. 8 goals and Roughead kicked 4. Watched in frustration as Rocket tried to match up Dale Morris on Buddy to stop the carnage. He might have mastered his position later in his career but he never won us a damn thing and his attitude sucked. Classic was his faked injury in the tied game against Richmond when Minson slotted the goal for him.

Buddy is still turning it on while Lake embarasses himself all over the world.
You have it the wrong way round. Morris started on Buddy in that game and Brian went to him later.

You say he didn’t win us a damn thing. Well that would disqualify all bar 42 players in the clubs history for this exercise.
 

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#49
Amazing some of the players rated in here wouldn’t make my top 500.

And the under rating of players like Hardie is unbelievable.
 
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