Please welcome our newest contributor, Steve!
For AFL Footy Stats lovers (like Nick and me!) 2016 promises to be another great year for counting down (up?) the number of games current day champions need to either improve their ranking or reach the landmark of being counted in the Top 100 game players or goal kickers of all time.
This is a remarkable achievement when you consider that AFL\VFL football has been played for well over 100 years now and therefore not even 1 person from each season is making the list.
2016 could see Michael Tuck’s incredible record of 426 games being challenged by North Melbourne’s ‘Boomer’ Harvey. Last year “Boomer” passed the 400 game mark (along with Dustin Fletcher) and went on to finish the year in 2nd place on the all time list, passing Kevin Bartlett’s 403 games along the way. This means that – with an injury free year in which he is able to maintain his form – if he can notch up 17 games this year he will equal the former Hawthorn champion on 426 games.
A similar season (15 games) from the Fremantle Dockers legend Matthew Pavlich could see him reach 350 games: becoming the 15th player to reach this milestone and joining Western Bulldogs/Footscray player Doug Hawkins on this mark.
Geelong’s Corey Enright could also reach the top 25 game players of all time if form and injuries don’t get in the way, and he can play 19 games for the year.
Much more modest seasons are required for:
Nick Dal Santo who sits on the log jam number of exactly 300 games and therefore one game will lift him above the pack of 10 players who sit in equal 61st position!
Four other current day players who also sit in the top 100 game players of all time should also surpass the 300 game mark this year: Nick Riewoldt (298), Shaun Burgoyne (295) Drew Petrie (293) and Robert Murphy (292).
If – as expected – Sam Mitchell, Scott Thompson and Jimmy Bartel all have reasonable seasons, then they can be expected to join the Top 100 game players list, giving a remarkable total of 11 current players on the list.