Collingwood 1991-2009: The Forgotten

Inspired by that great Collingwood fandemic Phil Dimitriadis, whose creative Magpie XVIII’s have recently lit up the pages of the almanac, here is my tribute to those who wore the black and white with distinction between the premiership years of 1990 and 2010, but were not quite able to represent the Pies on those two big days.


Some sadly missed selection on the day e.g. McKeon, Richardson, Prestigiacomo.  Some were traded and enjoyed the ultimate success elsewhere e.g. Michael, Williams, James, Mahoney, R. Shaw, Davis (McCartney should also have done so if not for a silly suspension in ’99).  While for others it was simply a matter of timing, as they enjoyed their prime years in between the two premierships e.g. Buckley, Clement, Lockyer, Licuria, O’Bree, Fraser, Medhurst and the Rocca brothers.


A few miscellaneous points: Leon Davis is officially recognised by the AFL as a premiership player (and rightly so) so is not eligible for this team.  Rupert Betheras may have possessed less talent than some of the bench warmers here, but he gets the nod by virtue of him being the heart and soul of the unlikely 2002 campaign which almost snatched a flag out of thin air.  Tarrant get in as a roaming half-forward flanker – the position he played in his All-Australian year of 2003 – though he did return to the club as a darn good full-back in 2011.  Looking at this team, I still shake my head at the Paul Williams trade at the end of the 2000.  I wonder if he could have made the difference in 2002.


Tony Shaw is the only candidate as coach, as the men who preceded and succeeded him, coached Collingwood to flags.


B: A. Richardson, M. Michael, R. McKeon

HB: J. Clement (vc), S. Prestigiacomoo, T. Lockyer

C: P. Williams, N. Buckley (c), P. Licuria

HF: C. Tarrant, A. Rocca, N. Davis

F: P. Medhurst, S. Rocca, R. Betheras

R: J. Fraser, S. Burns, S. O’Bree

IC: B. James, J. Mahoney, R. Shaw, A. Schauble,

E: B. Sanderson, J. McCartney, J. Molloy, S. Wakeklin

Coach: A. Shaw


Who did I miss?

About Damian Balassone

Damian Balassone is a delusional Collingwood supporter who writes poetry and fiction.


  1. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Terrific work Damo. That is a very handy team.
    I do feel a little offended that you failed to include Brad Fuller after his 1998 ANZAC Day heroics!!

    Agree with most of the selections. Probably would have found a spot for Andrew Krakouer and Ryan Lonie ahead of James and Mahoney.

    Two players that gave good service were Mark Richardson and Shane Watson. Richardson was there for 11 seasons and didn’t even play in a final.

    Loved Rupert Betheras. He was Collingwood in 2002 – punching way above his weight and almost tasting the ultimate glory against the odds.

  2. Nice work Damo.

    I guess a consideration in picking the team was weighing up service for the Pies versus service elsewhere. Based on what they did for CFC I’d have Wakelin ahead of Mal at FB. And Richo would surely been more value than Molloy if he played in the 2002 GF. Maybe Watto ahead of Farkyn Lockyer.

    A bit like Phil I’d like to see Krak in there to replace Nick Davis but the team is 1991-2009, not 2011 onwards.

    Never imagined that Mahoney, James, N Davis and R Shaw would get to taste the ultimate success anywhere. So much about right place, right time isn’t it.

  3. Luke Reynolds says:

    Fantastic Damian.
    Wasn’t Betheras wonderful for a brief period of time. Wonder what he’s up to now, recall that he was active with community work while he was playing. Impressive individual. Never been more disappointed with a player leaving our club than Paul Williams. A real star. 2002 (and 2003??) could have been so much different with him and Sav Rocca in the team. Also if Adrian Fletcher was picked for our last spot on the list in ’02 instead of Grumpy Mick’s mate Scott Cummings. Have visions of him dominating in the wet in the 2002 GF.
    Very happy with your selection of Clement as VC, best captain we never had.
    Agree with Watson and Mark Richardson being unlucky to miss your team, otherwise great work!

  4. DBalassone says:

    Some fair points Phil and Jeff. Watson represented the Vics in ’93 and Richo was a loyal servant for more than a decade. I just thought Molloy was outstanding in 2001 when he came across from the Lions. He was runner up to Licuria in the B&F (Bucks finished third). He was a battering ram.
    Luke, Paul Williams won the B&F for Swans in 2001-02 and was an All-Australian in 2003, before going on to play in a flag for them and join the 300 club. Reminds me of recent trade we made to GWS. History repeats. Agree re Adrian Fletcher. He knew how to find the ball. But will never forget Cummings on Anzac Day in ‘2002. One possession at full-forward but was commended for playing his role!

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