When the Western Bulldogs take on the Sydney Swans tonight, a number of milestone will be recorded. Unfortunately two of the three players who also appear on the AFL Top Game Players’ Lists (Robert Murphy and Jarryd McVeigh) won’t be there tonight due to injury, but the third member of this elite group will be there: Matthew Boyd, who returns from injury, will in fact move past Jarryd McVeigh (and Barry Davis) to join Bill Hutchinson (Essendon) and Dean Cox (West Coast Eagles) in equal 91st position on the list.
On the two club’s lists, however both clubs have seven current day players who have made the respective Top 100 game players list, and – apart from the two mentioned above – only one more player (Dale Morris – Bulldogs) won’t be playing tonight.
The most significant milestones tonight are:
Heath Grundy (Sydney) who passes Jared Crouch (who retired in 2009) and who now holds down 20th position on the Swan’s Top 100.
Nick Smith (Sydney) equals the games played record of Brownlow Medallist Peter Bedford and therefore now shares equal 40th position with him.
Luke Parker – although further down the list – is mixing it with former champions. In tonight’s game he will pass 1930’s legendary full back Ron Hillis and Craig Bird, who left the club in 2015. He has now drawn level with two times Best & Fairest winner David Ackerly who left the club in 1986 to join the Kangaroos.
For the Bulldogs, Liam Picken will pass Matthew Croft, Luke Dahlhaus will pass Gordon Casey, Easton Wood (who only moved into the Top 100 this year) will pass former Premiership player Roger Duffy and Sunbury recruit John Hoiles whose careers overlapped in the 1950’s and move into the Top 90.
Jordan Roughead will pass his namesake, Jordan McMahon and equal 1990’s player Todd Curley and goal kicking “freak” Bill Wood who kicked 9.1 in his debut against Collingwood in 1944 and 28 goals in a game for North Sydney whilst in the forces!