20. Stephen King (St Kilda)
Stephen King’s final season at Geelong in 2007 included playing in a VFL premiership one week and an AFL premiership the next. However after two best and fairest’s, four seasons as captain and nearly 200 games the Cats decided that King wasn’t in their plans and that Mark Blake, yes i’ll say it again, Mark Blake was their preferred second ruckman to Brad Ottens. Ex-captain King AND Charlie Gardner were traded to St Kilda for pick 90 in the draft which Geelong ultimately did not use. King’s next game of football was his 3rd premiership in as many games with with St Kilda winning the pre-season premiership in 2008. King was not immune to controversy: In 2005 he smashed Jeff White’s face into bits with a swinging leg at a ruck contest then in 2007 he took a half speccie over/ half crushed a goal umpire to mark on the goal line. Surprisingly in both cases he escaped with no penalty. One of his last games of AFL was losing the 2009 Grand Final to the club he had captained, Geelong. Ouch.
19. Brett Allison (Sydney)
Brett Allison is probably best remembered for wearing a long sleeved jumper with the number 33 at North Melbourne and taking the Mark of the Year in 1991 with the back drop of the Southern Stand under construction at the MCG. Allison was a key part of North’s successful teams through out the 1990’s perfecting his role as a goal sneak over 200 games including the 1996 and 1999 premierships. Originally from Canberra, Allison wanted to return ‘home’ to Sydney after winning his second premiership and finished his career with 9 games at the Swans in 2000. No photographic evidence of this stint could be found.
18. Paul Hudson (Richmond)
The son of a gun. Paul Hudson, son of Hawthorn goal kicking legend Peter, carved out a very tidy career across two clubs. He played 7 seasons at Hawthorn including the 1991 premiership then he followed up with 100 more games at the Western Bulldogs including All Australian selection in 1998. At the end of 2001 his career stood at 242 games and 478 goals. Richmond coach Danny Frawley, believed the Tigers, after losing a preliminary final to Brisbane in 2001 were just a few experienced players away from a premiership. Hudson was brought in but only managed 3 games for a solitary goal.
17. Damien Monkhorst (St Kilda)
With a face only a mother could love, ruckman Damien Monkhorst was synonymous with Collingwood after playing in the 1990 premiership but finished off with a season at St Kilda. Probably of more interest to me at the moment though Is ‘Monkeys’ work as ruck coach at Hawthorn. Since 2010 Monkhorst has mentored the likes of Simon Taylor, Brent Renouf, Wayde Skipper, Jonathan Ceglar and Max Bailey. Tough gig! Monkey has brought a lot of scientific style analysis to his role as according to Bailey: “He doesn’t bother with the bag (in ruck practice). He says he’s 150kg and he can cope with blokes jumping into him.” And according to the Hawthorn website “Introduced by ruck coach Damian Monkhorst, Hawthorn’s big men have been playing regular games of muck-around basketball in the club’s Waverley Park gym… [because] In basketball you’ve got six-foot-eight blokes that have a lot of agility” Just mucking around playing basketball mind you, not training as basketballers train to improve agility. Monkhorst also noted that, at 206cm, Bailey was, “tall and straight”
16. Chad Cornes (GWS)
Chad Cornes was a hot and cold key forward before Mark Williams moved him to centre half back for the 2004 season. The results were impressive. Fast forward to 2011 and new coach Matthew Primus was not so keen on Chad preferreing to ‘develop’ younger players. The footage of a fit but not selected Cornes shirtless, training the house down inside the bowels of AAMI stadium while his teammates lost will stick in my mind as a symbol of the flawed logic of AFL clubs not giving themselves the best chance to win. Happily the Giants under Kevin Sheedy had a different philosophy about veteran players and saw them as invaluable onfield coaches and leaders for younger players so Chadwick joined GWS for their first seasons in the AFL.
15. Rodney Eade (Brisbane Bears)
After 229 games on the wing for Hawthorn from 1976- 1987 including 4 premierships, Eade finished his career at the lowly Bad News Bears from 1988 – 1990. Across these three season’s Eade managed to play just 30 of the Brisbane Bears 66 games playing in 11 wins while Hawthorn won back to back premierships in 1988-89. Ouch. Eade headed straight into coaching, leading the Brisbane reserves to a premiership in 1991 followed by heading coaching stints at Sydney, Western Bulldogs and now a director of coaching role at Collingwood.
14. Daniel Bradshaw (Sydney)
Daniel Bradshaw, equally adept as both a key forward and a key defender, played his entire 200+ game Brisbane career alongside Michael Voss including the 2001 & 2003 premierships, but when Voss became senior coach in 2008 he had no qualms shopping around Bradshaw to get a deal done for Bendon Fevola. Bradshaw and Michael Rischitelli were seen touring Carlton’s training facility at Princes Park. Ultimately Bradshaw wasn’t traded to Carlton but the damage was done and he walked out on Brisbane at the end of 2009 to join the Sydney Swans. He managed just 9 games for the Swans and pulled the pin in mid-2011 due to persistent knee injuries.
13. Jim Krakour (St Kilda) and Phil Krakour (Footscray)
The Krakour brothers, Jim and Phil, arrived at North Melbourne from Claremont, Western Australia, on a big money deal in 1982. They set the VFL alight with their skills, goalkicking and freakish ability to find each other with the football. The brothers pretty much had a mortgage on the North Melbourne goal kicking sharing the award in 1983 then Phil won in 1985 and 1987 and Jim won in 1986 and 1988. They finished with remarkably similar records at North Melbourne: Phil played 141 games for 224 goals then signed off with 7 games at Footscray in 1991. Jim played 134 games for 229 goals before finishing with 13 games at St Kilda.
12. Shaun Rhen (Hawthorn)
Shaun Rhen fought his way back from three knee reconstructions to be one of the premier ruckmen int he AFL and an integral member of the Crows back to back premierships in 1997-1998. Despite stiff competition from West Coast’s Ryan Turnbull from the same era wearing number 50, Rhen holds the record for the most games in an AFL jumper in the 50’s with 167 games in the number 52 jumper. Rhen so loved that number he took it with him when he finished his career at Hawthorn with 33 games in 2001-2002.
11. Peter McKenna (Carlton)
Peter McKenna was a goal kicking legend at Collingwood topping the goal kicking for 8 consecutive seasons from 1967-74 kicking 838 goals in 180 for the Magpies. In round 12 1975 McKenna was dropped to the reserves where he suffered a serious kidney injury which ended his season and his Collingwood career. After a season playing for Devonport in Tasmania, McKenna returned to the VFL in 1977 playing 13 games for 36 goals at Carlton. After one season he moved onto the VFA playing at Northcote, Port Melbourne and Geelong West. McKenna was also the owner of a magnificent bowl haircut and a short lived recording career.