Apart from the obvious claim of being Good Friday specialists (this is the first AFL game played on this holy day!), the winner will have much to celebrate with two milestone games, and a new member of a club’s Top 100 game players.
Goal kickers Travis Cloke (Western Bulldogs) and Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne) celebrate 250 games and 200 games respectively whilst Easton Wood will join Harry Baker and Ian “Bluey” Hampshire in equal 100th position on the Western Bulldogs Top 100 game players list.
Whilst most supporters of the Bulldogs would recognise Hampshire as the player who took over from Royce Hart as coach after his sacking in 1982, Harry Baker would be less well known, being recruited from Kingsville Amateurs in 1926 and serving the club well as a tall half back until retiring in 1934.
Travis Cloke in his 249 games has kicked 445 goals and occupies outright 73rd position on the Top 100 all time AFL goal kickers whilst everyone’s favourite player, Robert Murphy will play his 299th game. Robert currently sits in 78th position on the games played list, and will be joined in the AFL Top 100 by Matthew Boyd who – after the game – will sit in equal 99th position with Peter Bell and Ryan O’Keefe.
The Western Bulldogs have now used 997 players throughout the club’s history and that is 3 players less than North Melbourne’s exactly 1000 players. The Bulldogs after this weekend will boast 2 of the current 12 game players in the Top 100, and 2 of the only 5 to reach their totals representing only one AFL club.