AFL Round 1 Stats Crunch: ‘King Richard slips further and ‘The Bont’ hits the big time!

It is interesting to know that when Dick Reynolds finally retired at Essendon in 1951 after making a comeback for the Grand Final) he was the game record holder for the then VFL. Considered by many as the best footballer of all time, Reynolds had an outstanding career, winning three Brownlow medals and seven Best & Fairest as well as being involved as a coach and player in many of Essendon’s premierships.
Last week the two leading current day game players, Nick Riewoldt and Shaun Burgoyne joined Reynolds on 320 games and thus in 38th position on the all time games list!
This means in 66 years, 37 players have managed to accumulate enough games to pass ‘The King’ and -as there are 10 current players in the Top 100 Game Players – the potential exists for him to slip further down the ladder.
The current #3 player, Drew Petrie, was thrown a life-line by the West Coast Eagles, and sits three games behind at present.
#4 on the list Sam Mitchell (also at WCE as his second club) left the injured Scott Thompson (another two club player!) one behind on the weekend, but both would be hoping to climb past Reynolds before their careers are over.
However the task of the remaining current Top 100 players is much harder: Bulldogs Champion Robert Murphy (welcome back!, but the oldest player in the AFL) has yet to reach the 300 game mark, and neither have any of those below him: James Kelly, Brendan Goddard, Jarryd McVeigh, Gary Ablett or Luke Hodge.
Amongst the Top 100 AFL Goal kickers, 4 goals was not enough to improve either Lance Franklin’s or Nick Riewoldt’s positions on the
table, but it took them both within 10 goals of the next 100 goal milestone! One goal was enough for Steve Johnson to equal Essendon’s Bill Hutchinson’s record. Jarryd Roughead was welcomed back with as much enthusiasm as Robert Murphy and it was great to see him amongst the goals. Ex Melbourne and Fremantle player Jeff Farmer was under the pump. being passed on the list by Jack Riewoldt (Richmond) with his one goal, and equalled by Eddie Betts with his 4.
Josh Kennedy’s 7 goals moved him only one rung up the ladder – past Fitzroy’s Garry Wilson.
By contrast, Travis Cloke managed one goal for his new club, Western Bulldogs and this was enough to move him past Bill Brownless, and into a 4-way tie with Jim Freake, Alan Ruthven and the above mentioned Dick Reynolds.
Tom Hawkins, who snuck into the Top 100 at the end of last year replacing Darren Jarman, continued his climb up the ladder to 96th position, putting the flamboyant Warwick Capper into the ‘hot spot’ of 100th place. Capper will no doubt be interest in the goal kicking feats of Mark LeCras and Gary Ablett this season as they currently sit 7 and 10 goals behind him respectively after the weekend!
On the club scene, the Western Bulldog’s Marcus Bontempelli edged his way into the club’s Top 100 goal kickers by kicking the same total number of goals in his 4 year/69 game career as 1970’s player Denis Collins did in his 6 year/100 game career.

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