Top 50 for the Purists

Discussion in 'Lists' started by un_eggs, Jul 7, 2018.

  1. un_eggs

    un_eggs Premiership Player

    Essendon
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    One for the connoisseurs:

    I’ve been contemplating this list on and off for a while now. I believe that one of the things that elevates Aussie Rules above many other ball sports is the artistry that players possess and the way in which they can express themselves instinctively on the field. It is one of the reasons our indigenous players are so good to watch. These players I list here are aesthetically the most pleasing players to watch in my time viewing the game (late 70s onward). They are what elevates our game above the rest. I am not looking for the most powerful, dominant, athletic, players. This is based more on the subtleties of a player’s make-up.
    My criteria is based on;

    - Finesse
    - Grace
    - Evasiveness/Elusiveness
    - Instinctiveness
    - Poise
    - Skill
    - Making the impossible seem easy
    - Flair
    - Deftness of Touch
    - Agility
    - Time Slowing/effortlessness
    - Fleet footed/Light on their feet
    - Anticipation/Game sense
    - Composure
    - Vision
    - Excitement Inducement
    - Smooth Movement
    - Speed
    - Athleticism
    - Presence
    - Power

    ...roughly in that order.

    There will be a 50 games minimum and of course this will be somewhat subjective to my taste. It will aim to move from the skilled, smooth movers to the more artistically sublime.

    So counting down from 50;

    50/ Michael O’Loughlin (Syd)
    49/ Michael Turner (Gee)
    48/ Merv Neagle (Ess)
    47/ Chad Wingard (Port)
    46/ Gary Buckenara (Haw)
    45/ Steven Motlop (Gee)
    44/ Chris Lewis (WC)
    43/ Adam Goodes (Syd)
    42/ Tim Watson (Ess)
    41/ Craig Bradley (Car)
    40/ Nathan Brown (Foots/Rich)
    39/ Alan Didak (Coll)
    38/ Marcus Bontempelli (Foots)
    37/ Kevin Bartlett (Rich)
    36/ Steve Johnson (Gee)
    35/ Eddie Betts (Car/Ade)
    34/ Phil Krakouer (Nth)
    33/ Dustin Martin (Rich)
    32/ Winston Abraham (Nth)
    31/ Geoff Raines (Rich)
    30/ Malcolm Blight (Nth)
    29/ Robbie Gray (Port)
    28/ Nigel Lappin (Bris)
    27/ Gary Ablett Jr (Gee/GC)
    26/ Nick Dal Santo (StK)
    25/ Maurice Rioli (Rich)
    24/ Anthony Koutoufides (Car)
    23/ Nathan Buckley (Coll)
    22/ Nat Fyfe (Freo)
    21/ Gavin Wanganeen (Ess/Port)

    20/ Gary Ablett Sr (Gee)- was powerful, brutal and imposing which detracts a little from the requirements of this list but his finesse, instinctiveness, poise etc. are above most and he had an undoubted artistry to his game.

    19/ Doug Hawkins (Foots)
    18/ Sean Burgoyne (Port/Haw)
    17/ Michael Long (Ess)
    16/ Cyril Rioli (Haw)
    15/ Simon Black (Bris)
    14/ Keith Greig (Nth)
    13/ Robert Harvey (StK)
    12/ Scott Pendlebury (Coll)
    11/ Bernie Quinlan (Fitz)
    10/ Jason Akermanis (Bris)
    9/ James Hird (Ess)
    8/ Andrew McLeod (Ade)
    7/ Darren Jarman (Haw/Ade)
    6/ Mark Mercuri (Ess)
    5/ Nicky Winmar (StK)
    4/ Peter Daicos (Coll)
    3/ Peter Matera (WC)
    2/ Buddy Franklin (Haw/Syd)
    1/ Robbie Flower (Melb) - poetry in motion, and possibly the only player I’ve seen who survived the highest level largely on artistry alone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  2. harrow90

    harrow90 Team Captain

    St Kilda
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    Good stuff, bit stiff on Ablett Jr though.
     
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  3. un_eggs

    un_eggs Premiership Player

    Essendon
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    Yeah, possibly.

    As I said, it’s subjective, and I have GAJ rated as the 3rd best player I’ve seen in another thread.

    But the players I have ahead of him here just do something for me aesthetically a bit more. Harvey’s movement through traffic, for example was sublime. His shimmy and side-step were close to the best I’ve seen. For GAJ to make it as high as he does suggests he is still an artist of the highest order.
     
  4. Papa G

    Papa G Brownlow Medallist

    Port Adelaide
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    I know it is your opinion, but Mark Mercuri so high is an eyebrow raiser.
     
  5. un_eggs

    un_eggs Premiership Player

    Essendon
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    I think most Bomber supporters would agree with me here when I say that he was our most aesthetically pleasing player to watch (or very close to it). Smooth moving, evasive, highly skilled above and below the knees, wonderful spatial awareness... he was a delight to watch play. Long, at his best, was probably more like Flower with his fleet footed, turn-on-a-dime, make time stand still style of play but Mercuri was slightly more to my liking from a purist sense.
     
  6. two up

    two up Team Captain

    Adelaide
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    Mercuri was an amazing footballer, check out his goal of the year in 99. Glorious.
     
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  7. un_eggs

    un_eggs Premiership Player

    Essendon
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    Just a reminder of that artistry;

     
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