Although there are still 3 games left (2 preliminary finals and the grand final) to play and three players (Corey Enright, Jimmy Bartel and Jarrod McVeigh) can significantly improve their Top 100 game players ranking, the season is over for all other Top 100 players and it is time for a review.
By season’s end – due to the late entry into the Top 100 of Jarrod McVeigh and Luke Hodge – there was an extraordinary 16 current day players in the Top 100 of all time! This is the best result for a number of years, and it will not be achieved in 2017, unless – contrary to current information – one of the four “enforced” retirees decides to chance his luck at another club (and that club is willing to take on an aging super star). All the retirees nominated so far come from the North Melbourne Football Club except Fremantle’s Matthew Pavlich who with Brent Harvey, Nick Dal Santo and Drew Petrie make up 4 of the top 7 current players in the Top 100 champions.
During 2017, with a reasonable run of luck with injuries and form, three new champions should join the Top 100: Matthew Boyd (Western Bulldogs – if he manages to gain a new contract), Stevie Johnson (GWS) and Leigh Montagna (St Kilda) are all good chances to be invited to the Top 100 party next year, whilst the ones likely to be invited to the party for the last time are Peter Riccardi (Geelong) Peter Bell (North Melbourne and Fremantle) and Ryan O’Keefe (Sydney).
Those who had to make way for this year’s new Top 100 game players were Carl Diettrich (St Kilda and Melbourne),Matthew Scarlett (Geelong), Richard Osborne (Fitzroy, Sydney, Western Bulldogs and Collingwood), Tony Libratore (Western Bulldogs), Matthew Richardson (Richmond), Wayne Schwass (North Melbourne and Sydney) and Andrew Bews (Geelong, Brisbane Bears and Brisbane Lions).
On the goal kicking front, current day players were not quite as prominent, with last game entry Tom Hawkins (Geelong) making up 11 of the Top 100.
Of these, 3 are now retired, with Matthew Pavlich finishing his career in 22nd position with exactly 700 goals, Brent Harvey 518 goals (#52) and Drew Petrie 428 goals (#85).
Based on their goal kicking average both Gary Ablett (Gold Coast Suns) and Mark LeCras (West Coast Eagles) should join the list in 2017.
A significant bag of goals over the whole season could also see Jarrod Waite (North Melbourne), Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne) Kurt Tippett (Sydney) and “Tex” Walker (Adelaide) make it to the 2017 year end party.