Almanac Cricket – Boxing Day memories: The best Test innings by an Australian (other than Bradman): Kim Hughes v West Indies, Melbourne, 1981/82

James Grapsas is not a straight numbers man. He has a suite of criteria by which he judges innings. Here he lauds the great Kim Hughes’ knock of Boxing Day 1981.

James Grapsas’s Blast from the Past: Daryl Vernon

James Grapsas begins a new series on players from days gone. They won’t necessarily be household names. In this first story he speaks with Richmond and Swans player Daryl Vernon whose experience offers insight into the life of the fringe VFL player in the early `80s.

The First Goal – How Much of an Advantage?

Stats-porn warning! The prevalence of numbers and what they tell us about a game of footy is increasing exponentially from simply looking at kicks, marks and handballs at a furious pace. James Grapsas contributes this mighty [and rigorous! – Ed] probability-based investigation on the importance of scoring the first goal and how it explains the likelihood of your team winning games. An amazing body of work.

The bottom of the record

This is a tribute to all the players who have played a senior VFL/AFL game wearing a guernsey number of 50 and above.  The players whose names appear just above the omnipresent Mr “Rushed” at the foot of the player list in the Record, and who have used (in some cases temporarily) a locker that [Read more]

Higher than 58: A Brownlow medalist

Replacement jumper number 85 – Harry Taylor Dependable Geelong key defender Harry Taylor, who has worn the number 7 guernsey with distinction since his debut in round 2, 2008, wore a very unusual number 85 replacement jumper in Geelong’s big win over Melbourne at the MCG in round 19, 2008.  Taylor was under heavy fire [Read more]

Number 58: A premiership Bomber in Cats colours

Number 58 – Sean Denham Recruited from Melton South, midfielder Sean Denham started out in senior company in number 58 in the last two home and away rounds of 1987.  Col Hutchison, formerly the long-serving statistician at the AFL, found that Denham wore the highest guernsey number for Geelong at the top level, excluding replacement [Read more]

Number 57: The Battle of Britain

Number 57 – Russell Mitchell Donning the rare number 57, mid-sized player Russell Mitchell was recruited from Geelong club Bell Post Hill and played two games for Geelong in 1985-1986. At the beginning of 1985, Mitchell was playing with Bell Post Hill and thought he would try out for Geelong at the end of the [Read more]

Number 56: Gerard Toohey, a triple premiership captain and Woof Woof

Number 56 – David Simpson and Gerard Toohey Recruited from Numurkah, not far from Shepparton, David “Harry” Simpson was a tall player (190 cm) who played three games for the Cats in the number 56 guernsey at the tail end of the 1984 season. Simpson arrived at Kardinia Park in 1981 and showed early promise [Read more]

No. 55: Austin McCrabb and Mark Neeld

With no players since 1980 having represented the Cats in Number 54, we skip to two Geelong favourites who wore the Number 55. Number 55 – Austin McCrabb and Mark Neeld Colac farmer Austin McCrabb was a cult figure with Geelong supporters who stepped out in the number 55 jumper for the final two home [Read more]

No 53: Red heads, hyphens and grand finals

  In the fourth of this 10-part series, another Geelong champion has been revealed as the custodian of the Number 53, as has a West Coast premiership player and one of the game’s greatest hyphens. Number 53 – Ron Watt and Barry Stoneham Ron Watt was another local recruit in this list, from Geelong West, [Read more]

Number 52: A dual premiership number

In the third of this 10-part series, we look at former AFL players to have donned the number 52. We again invite readers to recall players from other clubs who sported the number 52 at senior level, whether that number was allocated to the relevant player at the time or was a replacement guernsey. Number [Read more]

Number 51: Who dons thee

In the second of this 10-part series, we look at former AFL players to have donned the number 51. WE again invite readers to recall players from other clubs who sported the number 51 at senior level, whether that number was allocated to the relevant player at the time or was a replacement guernsey. Number [Read more]

At the bottom of the Record

This 10-part series is a tribute to all the players who have played a senior VFL/AFL game wearing a guernsey number of 50 and above.  The players whose names appear just above the omnipresent Mr “Rushed” at the foot of the player list in the Record, and who have used (in some cases temporarily) a [Read more]

A navy blue and white comparative

By James Grapsas On 4 October 2011, Ben Jensen wrote an informative analysis of the best teams of all time (Geelong ninth best team of all time).  Geelong’s feat of winning three premierships in five years (including four Grand Finals), which was ranked 9th in the article, soon brought to mind the performance of Carlton [Read more]