Who's the best Indigenous player ever?

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PenfoldsFan

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The difference in professionalism pre and post AFL inception makes those old players redundant, good in their day but not in the same conversation as your Franklin, Goodes, Mcleod, Burgoyne, Cyril, Wanganeen who would run rings around them.
Burgoyne for mine for the 4 flags with 2 clubs and the longevity thats gone with it, sublime player.
 

sdfc

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The difference in professionalism pre and post AFL inception makes those old players redundant, good in their day but not in the same conversation as your Franklin, Goodes, Mcleod, Burgoyne, Cyril, Wanganeen who would run rings around them.
Burgoyne for mine for the 4 flags with 2 clubs and the longevity thats gone with it, sublime player.
So the past players would only train two nights a week because they would refuse to adapt to modern standards. Makes sense I suppose.
 

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PenfoldsFan

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So the past players would only train two nights a week because they would refuse to adapt to modern standards. Makes sense I suppose.
Well theres no gaurantee that plucking a Maurice Rioli out of the 80's and training him 5 nights a week in the 2000's makes him a 4x premiership player with 35 finals appearances over a 400+ game career, so I'll stick with the guy who did in a thread that asks for an opinion covering all era's.
 

sdfc

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Well theres no gaurantee that plucking a Maurice Rioli out of the 80's and training him 5 nights a week in the 2000's makes him a 4x premiership player with 35 finals appearances over a 400+ game career, so I'll stick with the guy who did in a thread that asks for an opinion covering all era's.
So the players you think are the best now won't be in the conversation in 20 years. Got it.
 

Tiger2709

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Well theres no gaurantee that plucking a Maurice Rioli out of the 80's and training him 5 nights a week in the 2000's makes him a 4x premiership player with 35 finals appearances over a 400+ game career, so I'll stick with the guy who did in a thread that asks for an opinion covering all era's.
It's unfortunate the you never saw Maurice play live but it's all just our opinions, impossible to really know for sure.
 

PenfoldsFan

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It's unfortunate the you never saw Maurice play live but it's all just our opinions, impossible to really know for sure.
Agreed but I believe thats an advantage because its not an emotional decision.
 

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It's unfortunate the you never saw Maurice play live but it's all just our opinions, impossible to really know for sure.

Most people on this site would never have seen a third of the indigenous team of the century play, some more than that.

Maurice Rioli played in the 70s and 80s, Peter Matera in the 90s and early 00s. If someone that saw the careers of both reckons Rioli was better (or not) then that means something. I know how good Matera was, and Wanganeen, Mcleod, Goodes, Chris Lewis, Buddy, Cyril etc. but anything before the 90s is reputation AFAIC. Pretty much everyone my dad's age that talks about WA footy always has Polly Farmer, Stephen Michael or Maurice Rioli as the best indigenous player they've seen.
 

Rod Stroker

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Cyril isn't even the best player in his family.
I've seen all the Rioli's play. I stand by my statement, for pure talent, Cyril is the best I've seen.


I just don't get the Cyril hate on here. Like it's somehow cool to pot the bloke. Baffling.
 

PenfoldsFan

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Most people on this site would never have seen a third of the indigenous team of the century play, some more than that.

Maurice Rioli played in the 70s and 80s, Peter Matera in the 90s and early 00s. If someone that saw the careers of both reckons Rioli was better (or not) then that means something. I know how good Matera was, and Wanganeen, Mcleod, Goodes, Chris Lewis, Buddy, Cyril etc. but anything before the 90s is reputation AFAIC. Pretty much everyone my dad's age that talks about WA footy always has Polly Farmer, Stephen Michael or Maurice Rioli as the best indigenous player they've seen.
And they probably we're in their day but how much of that was pure football ability in a sea of amateurs.
In an age where a bloke gut running all day on the wing has a greater influence on a premiership team than a midfielder racking up 30+ touches, pure ability takes a back seat no matter which era you pluck them from.
 

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TheBrownDog
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I've seen all the Rioli's play. I stand by my statement, for pure talent, Cyril is the best I've seen.

I just don't get the Cyril hate on here. Like it's somehow cool to pot the bloke. Baffling.

I was being slightly facetious. Cyril was a great player, but not the indigenous GOAT. IMO anyway.
 

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Corn Cobbers

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It's unfortunate the you never saw Maurice play live but it's all just our opinions, impossible to really know for sure.
I saw him play and he's one of the FEW from that era who would get up to scratch at today's level pretty quickly

Beautiful player

But my fave is CYRIL
 

PenfoldsFan

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So the players you think are the best now won't be in the conversation in 20 years. Got it.
Well its an interesting consideration because the game has moved even further away from pure footballing ability.
I cant see us witnessing another 1000+ goal key indigenous forward so I think Buddys place is safe and the vigours of medern footy probably wont see too many 400+ game indigenous players either never mind the 4 flags and finals record.
All thats left is athletecism and we're probably close to the ceiling in that area too, I cant see the game getting any quicker or longer in 20yrs.
 

Tim Evans Beard

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I'm going to use this to pump up Stephen Michael again because people who didn't see him play dismiss him.

As great as Maurice was, when he played for Souths there was no question that Michael was the best player in the team.
It is a loss to those people who never saw TI and therefore don’t acknowledge how great a player he was. Of the 3 WA greats (Polly, Cable and TI), I personally have TI comfortably ahead as a footballer and miles ahead as a person.

I also have those 3 as the best WA players and the best National Indigenous players ever.
 

Goosecat

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Well threads like this are of course always arguable. I can only say I personally felt Stephen Michael was the most talented I've ever seen. In a team at Souths including some amazing talent including the likes of Maurice Rioli and Brad Hardie etc he was always considered the best player. Dominating state of origin Ruck at just 188cm and there are few guys in history, with such rare talent and physique, they can literally play every single position on the ground and be the best player in every single position if a coach chose to.
Best Ruck, best mid, best defender and best forward on the ground if you put him in any position. You just can't do that with Buddy or Rioli or anyone else frankly. He was truly the best IMHO.
However I know that's arguable for many reasons so for something a little different I'd like to throw a shout out to another remarkable indigenous player often forgotten. The only midfielder to this day in all WAFL history I think to ever bag 100 goals in a season. The winner of 2 Simpson medals, including state of origin, all australian. Kicked 7 goals from midfield in the biggest WAFL grand final ever that had a state attendance record of over 52k at Subi, not broken till Optus came along. In that game, under that pressure, with an opposition including Maurice Rioli offered $1000 to stretcher him off, you'd think it impossible. When he sparkled, he was dazzling.

How high was he rated:
"Just three days before one of WA’s most memorable football clashes, East Fremantle hero Kevin Taylor was warned by a famous mate that a $1000 bounty had been put on his head.

The match was the 1979 WAFL grand final, which now always hold the Subiaco Oval record crowd for a football game of 52,781 - a figure only bettered at concerts by Adele and U2. The mate was now-late South Fremantle rival Maurice Rioli, who was having a Wednesday night dinner at Taylor’s house and was also the man charged with delivering on the hit.

“Maurice just said, ‘I’ve been set up to knock you out in the first quarter’,” Taylor recalled ahead of another derby battle at East Fremantle Oval on Monday.


Mounted police were called in.
Mounted police were called i C
“At one point in the first quarter, I remember seeing Maurice at the last second. I bent down and he went straight over the top, I could have been on a stretcher and gone ... nice mate. We shared a wink and had a beer a couple of days later.”

If you blink you'll miss it, but checkout the Noongar Footy Magic video link above at 1min 22sec and watch Maurice Rioli attempt to earn that $1000 hit money by killing him !!!
Different timeso_O
 
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HairyO

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I didnt see Polly but Dad did and says he was phenomenal. Changed the game.

In my life there are 2 Riolis with insane talent, Buddy, McLeod, Matera, Goodes. Betts is up there too.

They all played different roles but each would probably be in a best 22 from my life. Betts maybe misses out on a FP spot.
 

Plugger35

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I might be biased but for me it would be Nicky Winmar, he was one of the reasons I became a Saints supporter and I would have him in the top 5 Saints players I've seen in my time supporting St Kilda along with Lockett, Harvey, Riewoldt and Hayes.

He was a sensational player that was equally damaging playing as a forward as he was when he became a midfielder later on in his career.
 

Hawks91b

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i was lucky enough to see Stephen Michael and Maurice Rioli at their best in Perth - what a great combination and individually they were. And also saw Jimmy and Phil doing their stuff in Perth - pretty amazing. And of course being a Hawks fan got to see Buddy, Cyril, Burgoyne doing their thing on a regular basis so very very lucky. Saw the tail of Cable and he was good but had lost the spark. Wanganeen and Mcleod were good but not in the key positions.

As good as all of them are I think Goodes stands out for me. Played at a high level at CHB, CHF, Ruck and Ruck Rover. Won a couple of Brownlow's in different positions, played well in big games and Gf's and was All Australian in different positions and had longevity in the career. Hard to argue that if not the best he is the best.
 

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