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Which is the best team of the 21st century?

Which is the best team of the 21st century?


  • Total voters
    130

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kreuze_missile

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 9, 2008
10,312
7,711
AFL Club
Carlton
Would North Melbourne's "best team of the 21st century" even make the top 4 in 2024?

Serious question.
 

Guardian Hawk

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 16, 2003
5,405
9,576
Murrumbeena
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I think the team listed by the OP would be better with Lynch in as a key forward (with Riewoldt), moving Richo to the wing, amd getting rid of Grigg. Also would bring in Shai Bolton and get rid of Astbury. That would bring in some outside speed and run

Lynch and Bolton for Grigg and Astbury would be a significant improvement and make that side all the more formidable (and I rate Astbury). Richo on the wing would probably be a little cheeky though given he played 1 (albeit very good) season there out of 17 (and even then, still spent plenty of time forward). That season still surprises me though - was a thing of beauty watching this massive CHF galloping down the wing.

I'd put Lynch (or Riewoldt) in the pocket, move Edwards to HF and put Deledio on the wing (and punt Grigg). Bolton in for Astbury on the bench. Would look much better to me.
 

RUNVS

TheBrownDog
Feb 28, 2007
50,770
65,945
Sydney
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Sydney
RUNVS how on Earth is LRT in there ahead of Leo Barry, a two time AA? That's a big upgrade and better for team balance.

It is a tough one but on team balance LRT is needed.

Craig Bolton is in the team as he is our best key defender of the era but the good thing about Bolton is he could play on small as well as tall.

Then we have Richards who was again good on the talls, but not the very very tall players. LRT could play on the very tall players in a way our other defenders could not.

The problem with Barry is he is basically Rampe's height, maybe even a bit shorter and in my opinion Rampe is almost as good defensively but he is a lot better when attacking.
 

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Guardian Hawk

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 16, 2003
5,405
9,576
Murrumbeena
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Would North Melbourne's "best team of the 21st century" even make the top 4 in 2024?

Serious question.

I'd say yes but it was a harder call that I expected it to be when you posed the question.

It lacks star power but I think they'd still make it only because the bottom 6 (of any 23 year rep side) is going to be stronger than the bottom 6 of any single season side. Still, to have only a couple of AA players in a rep side really is surprising.

Had it been from '97 onwards (i.e. since the last team of the century), it would have looked a hell of a lot stronger.
 

RUNVS

TheBrownDog
Feb 28, 2007
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I'd say yes but it was a harder call that I expected it to be when you posed the question.

It lacks star power but I think they'd still make it only because the bottom 6 (of any 23 year rep side) is going to be stronger than the bottom 6 of any single season side. Still, to have only a couple of AA players in a rep side really is surprising.

Had it been from '97 onwards (i.e. since the last team of the century), it would have looked a hell of a lot stronger.

Yes, GWS and Gold Coast have a pretty big excuse for having poor best 22's of the 21st century given they both have less than half the time in the 21st century compared to the other clubs. North Melbourne not so much but it does show that North has really lacked a lot of star power for a long time now.
 

JackFlash

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 28, 2012
10,933
10,220
Melbourne, the lost City.
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
QPR, Buffalo Bills
Geelong, their record is clearly the best in the 21st century over a long period of time.
Essendon in 2000 was a great team, but didn't go on with it and was overshadowed by Brisbane.
Brisbane, the triple flag wins were amazing without ever finishing on top in any of those years.
Hawthorn is the 4th best but has had an ordinary last few years
 

Fadge

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
16,907
16,352
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
Geelong, their record is clearly the best in the 21st century over a long period of time.
Essendon in 2000 was a great team, but didn't go on with it and was overshadowed by Brisbane.
Brisbane, the triple flag wins were amazing without ever finishing on top in any of those years.
Hawthorn is the 4th best but has had an ordinary last few years
A club that hasn't won a final in the last 20 years (85% of the time period in question), are the second best team of the 20th century?
 

Grand Uncle Horace

Nice to see the famous NMFC#wishboner spirit livii
May 24, 2017
51,276
68,155
Old South Grandstand
AFL Club
Sydney
Brisbane fantastic mix of highly skilled and big Occassion players
Geelong brilliant team with the players that kept the Cats competitive 07-22 + 4 Cups
Hawthorn Star power everywhere
Melbourne This team would be great fun to watch.

HM to West Coast.
 

JackFlash

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 28, 2012
10,933
10,220
Melbourne, the lost City.
AFL Club
Geelong
Other Teams
QPR, Buffalo Bills
A club that hasn't won a final in the last 20 years (85% of the time period in question), are the second best team of the 20th century?
The Essendon team of 2000 was virtually unbeatable, that season alone puts them up there and while i acknowledge their past 20 years haven't been so good and they should've won at least 3 flags with that team, i cannot place Brisbane or Hawthrorn ahead of them. Their season is incomparable in the modern era, only my team Geelong went close in 2008, but we blew the GF. The difference is Geelong won more flags, won the most H&A games and played more finals. Those who didn't see that Essendon team play are the only ones who will be critical.
 

RUNVS

TheBrownDog
Feb 28, 2007
50,770
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The Essendon team of 2000 was virtually unbeatable, that season alone puts them up there and while i acknowledge their past 20 years haven't been so good and they should've won at least 3 flags with that team, i cannot place Brisbane or Hawthrorn ahead of them. Their season is incomparable in the modern era, only my team Geelong went close in 2008, but we blew the GF. The difference is Geelong won more flags, won the most H&A games and played more finals. Those who didn't see that Essendon team play are the only ones who will be critical.

This isn't the best team over 1 season though, this is the best possible team over the 21st century assuming all the players were of playing age.

There is an arugment for the Essendon team of 2000 being the best team of a single year, but this is a combined 21st century team discussion, so all players that played a significant amount of high quality football in the 21st century.
 

Fadge

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
16,907
16,352
Melbourne
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Collingwood
The Essendon team of 2000 was virtually unbeatable, that season alone puts them up there and while i acknowledge their past 20 years haven't been so good and they should've won at least 3 flags with that team, i cannot place Brisbane or Hawthrorn ahead of them. Their season is incomparable in the modern era, only my team Geelong went close in 2008, but we blew the GF. The difference is Geelong won more flags, won the most H&A games and played more finals. Those who didn't see that Essendon team play are the only ones who will be critical.
So even though Essendon 2000 were better than any individual Geelong team, Geelong trumps them based on their performances in other seasons, but no other teams are assessed based on their performances over multiple seasons when we are considering a 24 year period?

And you can't place a team like Brisbane ahead of Essendon, because Essendon were so good that they 'should have won three flags', even though Brisbane actually won 3 consecutive flags, the first of which was against...... that mighty Essendon team?

Gotcha.
 

JackFlash

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 28, 2012
10,933
10,220
Melbourne, the lost City.
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Geelong
Other Teams
QPR, Buffalo Bills
So even though Essendon 2000 were better than any individual Geelong team, Geelong trumps them based on their performances in other seasons, but no other teams are assessed based on their performances over multiple seasons when we are considering a 24 year period?

And you can't place a team like Brisbane ahead of Essendon, because Essendon were so good that they 'should have won three flags', even though Brisbane actually won 3 consecutive flags, the first of which was against...... that mighty Essendon team?

Gotcha.
IMO the Geelong team of 2008 was better than Essendon of 2000, (Then stumbled) but the thread is titled "Which is the best team of the 21st century" not era. Brisbane never finished on top in any of their Premiership years and while winning 3 flags in a row was a great effort, i don't think any of their teams was better than Essendon of 2000. Sure they won in 2001, but in their only meeting in 2000 Essendon won by 64 points against the 5th placed Lions at the Gabba. I'll stick to them being the 2nd best team i've seen. I suppose you could argue the 21st century begins on January 1st, 2001. In that case, i will move Richmond into the top 4 and change to:

Geelong
Brisbane
Hawthorn
Richmond.

So where does Essendon sit in the best teams of the 90s?
 

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Fadge

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
16,907
16,352
Melbourne
AFL Club
Collingwood
IMO the Geelong team of 2008 was better than Essendon of 2000, (Then stumbled) but the thread is titled "Which is the best team of the 21st century" not era. Brisbane never finished on top in any of their Premiership years and while winning 3 flags in a row was a great effort, i don't think any of their teams was better than Essendon of 2000. Sure they won in 2001, but in their only meeting in 2000 Essendon won by 64 points against the 5th placed Lions at the Gabba. I'll stick to them being the 2nd best team i've seen. I suppose you could argue the 21st century begins on January 1st, 2001. In that case, i will move Richmond into the top 4 and change to:

Geelong
Brisbane
Hawthorn
Richmond.

So where does Essendon sit in the best teams of the 90s?
If you're talking one off teams based on a given season, I suggest any reasonable person would have Essendon 2000 on top, possibly of all time.

But that's not what this thread is about.

I'm also not sure what a game in 2000 has got to do with a team's performance in 2001.

Also, given your rationale, neither Brisbane or Richmond ever finished on top in their premiership years. How do they both make the top four, ahead of the likes of Port Adelaide 2004, Collingwood 2010, Melbourne 2021 and Collingwood 2023?
 

Fadge

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2007
16,907
16,352
Melbourne
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Collingwood
Geelong first, Hawthorn close second.

Daylight third.
I'm not sure there's daylight to third.

Using 2001 as the starting point, I do think there is a logical order as follows (multiple premiership winners listed):
1699154192944.png


Sydney marginally ahead of Collingwood due to 5 more finals appearances, despite Collingwood getting to the final 4 on three more occasions. (this could go either way)

Collingwood marginally ahead of Brisbane. Despite one less flag, 5 more finals appearances, with 4 more top 4 finishes.
 

Caligo

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2023
3,556
2,836
AFL Club
Hawthorn
I'm not sure there's daylight to third.

Using 2001 as the starting point, I do think there is a logical order as follows (multiple premiership winners listed):
View attachment 1846430

Sydney marginally ahead of Collingwood due to 5 more finals appearances, despite Collingwood getting to the final 4 on three more occasions. (this could go either way)

Collingwood marginally ahead of Brisbane. Despite one less flag, 5 more finals appearances, with 4 more top 4 finishes.
One of us has fundamentally misunderstood what this thread is. Are we arguing about which club has won the most stuff over the last 23 years, or are we arguing about which best 22 created over a span of careers over the the last 22 is the best? Your stats relate more towards the former. Comparing individuals would surely be a better means of considering the latter.

(I obviously thought we were doing the latter)
 

Caligo

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2023
3,556
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Hawthorn
Brisbane ahead of Hawthorn. Even just that 2002/2003 GF would probably beat just about every other team.
That isn't what is this thread is though is it? Aren't we comparing the best 22 you can make across all 23 years of this millenium? If that is the case I am taking hawthorn over Brisbane every day of the week. The mid and back lines wash each other out a bit, but the forward line discrepancy is pretty massive.
 

VinnieB

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 28, 2021
5,954
8,521
AFL Club
Collingwood
That isn't what is this thread is though is it? Aren't we comparing the best 22 you can make across all 23 years of this millenium? If that is the case I am taking hawthorn over Brisbane every day of the week. The mid and back lines wash each other out a bit, but the forward line discrepancy is pretty massive.
Yeah I know and disagree. I'm not so sure Hawthorn can compete against Brisbane's midfield. Voss, Black, Lappin, Neale is probably the best midfield lineup. Key forwards like Brown and Daniher and Bradshaw, supported by Akker, Pike, Cameron etc. There's 4 brownlow medallists in that team.

You said it was daylight between Geelong and Hawthorn and the rest. I disagree. I think Brisbane is battling against Geelong for number 1.
 

Robroy22

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 24, 2012
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15,072
Jindabyne
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Don't know why you bothered to tamper with the Brissy teams of 2001-2004.
Harris Andrews and Cameron might force their way onto the bench but that original side (let's say the 2002 GF team) Brisbane would absolutely WIPE THE FLOOR with any one of your other contrived "best of" sides.
They were a ruthless blend of power, speed, ball skills and attacking flair that took all before them.

so in order of merit it'd be:

1. Brisbane (under Matthews)

.....The length of the Flemington Straight

2. Geelong
3. Hawks (with Buddy)
4. Richmond (they did win 3 of 4)
 

Caligo

Premiership Player
Aug 18, 2023
3,556
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Hawthorn
Yeah I know and disagree. I'm not so sure Hawthorn can compete against Brisbane's midfield. Voss, Black, Lappin, Neale is probably the best midfield lineup. Key forwards like Brown and Daniher and Bradshaw, supported by Akker, Pike, Cameron etc. There's 4 brownlow medallists in that team.

You said it was daylight between Geelong and Hawthorn and the rest. I disagree. I think Brisbane is battling against Geelong for number 1.
It is true that is a pretty incredible starting midfield. I think the next four Hawthorn roll into their midfield are better than what Brisbane offer though. I saw some stats on the number of times Hawthorn won the clearance when roughhead was roving that were quite simply unbelievable on one of those panel TV shows about a decade ago, but could never find the stats again whilst searching online.

Daniher and Brown vs Franklin and Roughhead is a pretty stark difference though. Michael and Leppitsh would be utterly demolished, whereas Lake and Croad should hold their own reasonably well.
 

Catsace

Premiership Player
Apr 15, 2007
4,859
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Geelong
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Geelong
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For my 4 in no particular order I am going to have to go

Geelong - Hard to go passed them to be honest. Amazing defence, amazing midfield. Only slight knock, and it is only slight is I think there are better forward lines out there, but that is a pretty small knock.

Hawthorn - Amazing forward line, and amazing midfield. Both would be extremely hard to stop. Only small knocks, their rucks division is a little weak and their defence a tiny bit undersized, but a team would need to actually get the ball there in order to exploit that and that would be tough.

Brisbane - A little tougher here I will admit but their forward line consisting of Lynch, Brown, Aker, Brayshaw and so on would be super hard to stop. They may not have the depth of quality in their midfield as a few other clubs but they do have a few stars there. Their defence is very good as well.

West Coast - They have not been so good recently but that best 22 of the 21st century is filled with quality. Amazing midfield, a very strong forward line and a strong defence as well. Not sure how they would do against Geelong's best 22, but I feel like they would give it a crack.


Just re West Coast and Geelong, Cats defeated the Eagles by plenty at KP in 2005, lost at KP after being 9 goals up in 2006, and then won by 39 points in Rd 7 2007, the game after '157', but before Geelong was being thought of as a powerhouse. Eagles wins at Subi over Geelong in '03, '04, 05 were by 16, 2 and 22 points respectively. So peak Eagles had a challenge with the Cats even at home, and were beaten away except for the 9-goal turnaround game in '06.
 
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VinnieB

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 28, 2021
5,954
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AFL Club
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It is true that is a pretty incredible starting midfield. I think the next four Hawthorn roll into their midfield are better than what Brisbane offer though. I saw some stats on the number of times Hawthorn won the clearance when roughhead was roving that were quite simply unbelievable on one of those panel TV shows about a decade ago, but could never find the stats again whilst searching online.

Daniher and Brown vs Franklin and Roughhead is a pretty stark difference though. Michael and Leppitsh would be utterly demolished, whereas Lake and Croad should hold their own reasonably well.
ok....
 

PhatBoy

Hall of Famer
May 5, 2016
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Don't know why you bothered to tamper with the Brissy teams of 2001-2004.
Harris Andrews and Cameron might force their way onto the bench but that original side (let's say the 2002 GF team) Brisbane would absolutely WIPE THE FLOOR with any one of your other contrived "best of" sides.
They were a ruthless blend of power, speed, ball skills and attacking flair that took all before them.

so in order of merit it'd be:

1. Brisbane (under Matthews)

.....The length of the Flemington Straight

2. Geelong
3. Hawks (with Buddy)
4. Richmond (they did win 3 of 4)

Well in the 2004 prelim as defending premiers they didn’t exactly wipe the floor with the kindergarten version of the 2007-11 Geelong side…. Which didn’t yet have Hawkins, Selwood, Ottens, Cameron, Dangerfield so not really sure on what basis you could say that a vastly improved version of that 2004 Cats side (the one that won a grand final by 20 goals 3 years later) plus about 1400 goals worth of key forward talent, a Brownlow and 14(?) all Australian jerseys in the midfield, an AA ruckman…..

You don’t think that would create a competitive game?

Edit: we also added two All Australian centre half backs into the mix within the next 6 years 😂
 
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VinnieB

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 28, 2021
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Well in the 2004 prelim as defending premiers they didn’t exactly wipe the floor with the kindergarten version of the 2007-11 Geelong side…. Which didn’t yet have Hawkins, Selwood, Ottens, Cameron, Dangerfield so not really sure on what basis you could say that a vastly improved version of that 2004 Cats side (the one that won a grand final by 20 goals 3 years later) plus about 1400 goals worth of key forward talent, a Brownlow and 14(?) all Australian jerseys in the midfield, an AA ruckman…..

You don’t think that would create a competitive game?

Edit: we also added two All Australian centre half backs into the mix within the next 6 years 😂
But all you’re doing is choosing 1 yr, when they seemed to be past their peak.

Brisbane’s best team over this century is hard to beat. That forward line including Brown, Aker, Cameron, and you choose any of Bradshaw, Lynch and even Daniher would be probably better than any other teams’.

A backline including Leppitsch, Michael, Andrews would close down pretty much all the best forward lines.

And not sure any team can match a midfield comprising 3 Brownlow medalists.