A Side for this Virus Infected Age

I’ve just paid my subs for the year and there is nothing like handing over some cash to concentrate the mind. It seems easier to spend money electronically than when it’s notes. I was going to give Harmsie the cash at the lunch but the team manager said I should avoid real money.


This got me thinking about this social distancing and footy and I want the combined intellectual might of the Almanac to come up with a side of players that would scrupulously stay at least two metres from their opponent.


I’ll start the ball rolling. Paul Roos (at Fitzroy only), the early Craig Bradley and that fellow Schache, ex -Brisbane and now at the Doggies.



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  1. Dunstall. ‘nough said.

  2. Adem Yze.

  3. Bruce Doull never stood his opponent but somehow his opponent never got a kick either!

  4. Phil Hill says

    Another side would be players you are better being a safe distance from. Dermie, Robby Muir. Maybe combine the two

  5. dan hoban says

    Brad Hardie, Footscray

  6. Lewis Jetta plays half back as an intercepting attacking “defender”, Meets his opponent to shake hands (remember that)?
    Peter Matera waltzing around the MCG wings.

  7. Rabid Dog says

    Brett Backwell (Glenelg, West and Carlton) – if he played any wider he’d be able to order a pie. For my Blacks friends, Young Maddern.

  8. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Young was the first name that came to mind for me too Rabs. Can you think of anyone from the Dogs? Geoff Gillies perhaps?

  9. Che Cockatoo-Collins.

  10. Joe De Petro says

    David Glascott would fall over before anyone came within 1.5 metres. Does that count?

  11. Without specifically naming players, many players who played in losing AFL/VFL teams that suffered thrashings from their opposition were more than good at social distancing because they either let their opponents run riot or were not fit or fast enough to catch up with them. Bruce Doull was better at being socially distant. Also any player that is a spare man in defence is good at social distance. Most ruckmen after the centre bounces and boundary throw ins are good at social distancing. You could also argue that any player who runs away from his opponent with or without the ball and doesn’t get tackled or bumped is good at social distancing.

  12. Unfortunately, we are now dealing with both a Health crisis and an Economic crisis.

    Therefore I have come up with both an AFL team that deals with the Health status and the other one deals with Occupations that
    have either been lost or remain as essential during the Economic crisis.

    This is the Health team:

    B: Josh Hunt (Geelong), Sean Wellman (Adelaide, Essendon), Karmichael Hunt (Gold Coast)
    HB: Wayne Milera (Adelaide), Stephen Icke (S ICKe), (North M, Melb), Robert Murphy (Western Bulldogs)
    C: Lachlan Murphy (Adelaide), Greg Wells (Melbourne, Carlton), John Murphy (Fitzroy, South M, North M)
    HF: Justin Murphy (Rich, Carl, Geel, Ess), Jayden Hunt (Melbourne), Terry Milera (St Kilda)
    F: Mathew Liptak (Doctor, essential), (Adelaide), Darren “Doc” Wheildon (Fitzroy), Allen Aylett (Dentist, essential), (North M)
    R: Rex Hunt (Richmond, Geel, St Kilda), Darrel “The Doc”, Baldock (St Kilda), Marc Murphy (Carlton)

    Please note all the Hunts were included in this team for the surname connection to Greg Hunt, The Minister for Health and all
    the Murphys were included in this team for the surname connection to Brendan Murphy, The Chief Medical Officer for the
    Australian Government. The Mileras were in this team because Milera sounds like malaria. Wellman and Wells are included for obvious reasons and Stephen Icke was for S Icke (sick). Mathew Liotak is a practising Doctor and Allen Aylett was practising as a Dentist when he turned 80. He is currently aged 85 and Dentists are essential at this time. Darren Wheildon had “Doc” as a nickname and Darrel Baldock had “The Doc” as a nickname.

    Here is the Occupation surname AFL team that has mainly suffered but some have stayed during this Economic crisis:

    B: Stephen Baker (St Kilda), John Ironmonger (Sydney Swans, Fitzroy), Michael Gardiner (West Coast, St Kilda)
    HB: Ian Baker (St Kilda), Harry Taylor (Geelong), Gary Baker (Melbourne)
    C: Ross Brewer (Melb, Coll), Josh Caddy (GC, Geel, Rich), Charlie Constable (Geelong)
    HF: Ken Judge (Hawthorn), Phil Baker (Geelong, North M), Charlie Gardiner (Geelong, St Kilda)
    F: Jeff Farmer (Melb, Frem), Brian Taylor (Rich, Coll), Ian Brewer (Collingwood)
    R: Graham Farmer (Geelong), Brett Cook ( Fitzroy, St Kilda), Sudjai Cook (Adelaide)

    Please note the tailors and gardeners have different spelling in these teams but still sound the same. Likewise, with caddie.

  13. To add more depth to the Health team, I would include Fraser Murphy from Carlton. Tom Murphy from North Melbourne and Nathan Murphy from Collingwood have played a handful of AFL games each.

    To add more depth to the Occupation team I would include Peter Dean from Carlton. Sam Fisher and Leigh Fisher, both from St Kilda, could be included too as Fisher can be another name for Fisherman. Also Brad Miller from Melbourne and Greg Miller from South Melbourne. If I wanted to include Occupational surnames from other sports, there is Brian Teacher, the 1980 Australian winner in tennis, former West Indian Test cricketer Seymour Nurse, former Australian AFL player and Test cricketer Keith Miller, and former Australian Test cricketers Craig Serjeant (for Sergeant) and Colin Miller and former English Test cricketer Geoff Miller.

    The entertainment for this match between the Health team and The Occupation teams can be provided by a century partnership between Mike Whitney and Merv Hughes, which is known as Whitney Houston. If Whitney and Hughes take 5 wickets each, the entertainment will be provided by Michelle Pfeiffer.

  14. In breaking news, both Denis Banks from Collingwood and Matthew Banks from Essendon have been added to the Occupation team which is in Economic crisis so their financial position can improve. Graham “Polly” Farmer has been named as Captain Coach for The Occupation team so they can break their ‘drought” and James Hird has been appointed as Captain Coach of the Health team because he is used to a health crisis when he was coach of Essendon and he will “inject” enthusiasm into the Health team.

  15. I have a feeling that the occupation team has already been done:


  16. You’re right about the Occupation team.

    Therefore, I have made a different Economic/Money status AFL team of surnames to do with either money, wealth, or exchange of money or anything of value due to the Economic crisis where unfortunately many people have been queuing to register for Centrelink benefits, as they are and will be short of money.

    B: Chris Bond (Carl, Rich, Frem), Mark Gamble (St Kilda), Tony Jewell (Richmond)
    HB: Jack Billings (St Kilda), Luke Penny (Western B/St Kilda), Kevin Billing (St Kilda)
    C: Graeme Bond (Rich, St Kilda), Daniel Rich (Brisbane), Shane K Bond (Collingwood)
    HF: Bill Nicholls (Hawthorn, Rich), Adam Goodes (Sydney), Shane Bond (West C, Port Adelaide)
    F: Eddie Betts (Carlton, Adelaide), Ryan Gamble (Geel, St Kilda), Troy Bond (Port A, Carlton, Adelaide)
    R: John Nicholls (Carlton), Nick Jewell (Richmond), Doug Nicholls (Fitzroy)

    Please note that John Nicholls and Doug Nicholls are included for the nickels in the US currency. Although it’s different spelling,
    Nicholls sounds the same as nickels.

    The captain coach will be Tony Jewell.

    The entertainment for this team will be provided by Crown Casino. Unfortunately, nowadays it’s not Crown: A World of Entertainment
    but Frown: A World of Unemployment.

    Anyway, it should be an interesting game between the Health and Economic AFL football teams but I think the Health team is a bit stronger on paper.

  17. Once again, to add more depth and financial security to this Economic/Money AFL team, Denis Banks from Collingwood and Matthew Banks from Essendon have become new additions to this team. NAB have agreed to be the sponsors. Transport will be provided by ambulances for the Health team, as these vehicles are good for a crisis. Another Coach for both teams will be Southern Cross Station Underground Coach for transport.

  18. Sorry, I forgot to mention that the main form of transport for the Economic/Money AFL team especially with Denis Banks and Mathew Banks now playing, as well as the security for this team, will be Armaguard.

  19. Finally, if any players from the Economic/Money AFL team are housebound during the Coronavirus they can play Monopoly with one other player, providing they are following the social distancing rule and likewise any players that are housebound from the AFL Health team, can use the weights they have taken away from their respective clubs, to maintain their fitness levels and general health.

  20. It’s just been brought to my attention that the List Manager or any further recruitment of players for the AFL Health team, will be Stephen Wells from Geelong.

    Should the Economic/Money AFL team become in danger of exceeding their salary cap, they will have to revert to “Moneyball”.

    Should there be any issues, disputes or bad blood between the Health and Economic/Money teams, this was will be settled by North Melbourne’s Troy Makepeace!

  21. After just reading Mickey Randall’s tribute on The Footy Almanac to the late and great Kenny Rogers, it has been decided to add Kenny Rogers’ youtube song “The Gambler”, which Mickey has attached to his article, as additional entertainment for the Economic/Money AFL team. This is especially appropriate with the likes of Ryan Gamble, Mark Gamble and Eddie Betts playing in this team.

  22. Firstly, Jacob Surjan (surgeon) from Port Adelaide has been added to the Health team, so they can “operate” more effectively.
    Pat Cash Sr (Hawthorn 1951 to 1955) has been added to the Economic/Money team for obvious reasons.

    Unfortunately, many countries are in now in lockdown (shutdown), soI thought I would do a combined team of sportsmen and sportswomen who have a surname or nationality of a country or a surname that resembles anything to do with a lockdown (shutdown).

    B: Des English (Carlton), Ben Holland (Richmond, Melbourne), Tony Locke (English Test cricketer)
    HB: Andrew Welsh (Essendon), Rohan Welsh (Carlton), Megan Schutt (Australian female cricketer)
    C: Usain Bolt (Olympic sprinter), Peter German (North Melbourne), Peter J Welsh (Hawthorn, Richmond)
    HF: Robin Close (Essendon), Nick Holland (Hawthorn), Alex Bolt (Australian tennis)
    F: Bob Holland (AUS Test cricketer), Tony Lockett (St Kilda, Sydney), Michael Jordan (American Basketballer)
    R: Tim English (Western Bulldogs), Peter Welsh (Footscray), John Holland (Aus Test cricketer)

    Coach: Wayne Britain (Carlton)
    Umpire: Dick French (Test cricket umpire)

    Megan Schutt was included as her surname is like shut, as in close. Tony Locke’s surname is close enough to lock, even if it’s spelt differently but sounds the same. Tony Lockett was included because his surname sounds like lock it, meaning lock the doors of the businesses. Also, the team desperately needs a player of Tony Lockett’s class.

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