AFL Legends Side: 1970-2014

Here is my best AFL team from watching 45 years of football.

These are not necessarily the best squad of 22 players, but rather those who best fit into the allocated positions in a team.

Having constructed the A side, I then looked at some of the great players who were excluded, and selected a B side. Even then, the following greats still couldn’t get a guernsey: Chris Grant, Simon Black, Mark Ricciuto, Nathan Buckley, Terry Daniher, Paul Van Der Haar, Tim Watson, Ross Glendinning, Craig Bradley, Peter Matera, Dean Cox, Stephen Kernahan, Matthew Lloyd and Adam Goodes.


Legends A Team

B:       Steven Silvagni    Matthew Scarlett    Bruce Doull

HB:    Alex Jesaulenko    Peter Knights       Andrew McLeod

C:      Keith Greig      Gary Ablett Jr.    Wayne Schimmelbusch

HF:    Gary Ablett Sr.    Wayne Carey      Peter Daicos

F:      Malcolm Blight     Tony Lockett     Kevin Bartlett

R/R:    Simon Madden    Chris Judd    Leigh Matthews

Int: Bernie Quinlan, Gary Dempsey, Michael Tuck, Garry Wilson.



Legends B Team

B:        Chris Mew    Geoff Southby    Wayne Harmes

HB:     Ken Hunter    Glen Jakovich    Francis Bourke

C:        Robert Flower    Greg Williams    Doug Hawkins

HF:     Gary Lyon    Royce Hart    Wayne Johnston

F:         Jonathan Brown    Jason Dunstall    Jason Akermanis

R/R:    Peter Moore    Michael Voss    Robert Harvey

Int: Kelvin Templeton, Dermot Brereton, Geoff Raines, Mark Ricciuto.






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About Philip Mendes

Philip Mendes is an academic who follows AFL, soccer, tennis and cricket. He supported Fitzroy Football Club from 1970-1996, and on their death he adopted the North Melbourne Kangaroos as his new team. In his spare time, he occasionally writes about his current and past football teams.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Great job Philip. And brave.

    As with any of these, the retort to any objections will always be “but who would you have in/out instead?”

    Am I the only person who thinks that Scarlett shouldn’t be in either team. Did he ever (as we South Aussies would say) stand an opponent?

    I admired Aker, but I wouldn’t have him in front of many of your omissions.

    Never thought I’d say this but Hird went OK as a player.

    Only two current day players, no love for Franklin or Hodge, for example ?

  2. Not too bad Philip but agree with Swish that a bit more love might have been afforded current players.

    Hodge in the back pocket >>>> Chris Mew one might contend.

    Nathan Buckley surely gets a gig in there somewhere. Pretty boy Raines was a beautiful kick too but for game in game out consistency and all round ability over a long career, for much of it carrying an ordinary side, Bucks was phenomenal.

  3. Philip Mendes says

    Mark – some good points. Hird was in my original list, but seems to have dropped off for some reason. Had a unique ability. I always thought Aker was a great finisher who had an ability to win games off his own boot which some of the other more decorated players don’t. Hodge I rate as a tremendous leader equal to Voss, but not as a good a player. I actually rate Sam Mitchell much higher and very close to Greg Williams. Buddy is going to be a talking point for many years. Has two Coleman Medals from memory, close to a Brownlow this year, does things other players can’t do, probably the modern day equivalent of Blight or Ablett Senior. Couldn’t pick him at Full Forward ahead of Plugger or Dunstall, and not quite as solidly consistent yet as either Brown or Kernahan, but very very good. In 4 or 5 years time we may be describing him as one of the greatest ever.

  4. Philip Mendes says

    Jeff – Mew is in my B side, and very very close to the A side. Chris Langford was another great Hawks defender who went very close to shading Southby in the B side. I rate Raines very highly for starring in a very good Richmond side. He probably dudded his reputation at Collingwood and later Essendon and Brisbane, but aesthetically great to watch. Can’t agree on Buckley. Too much of an individualist – I can’t recall him lifting his team mates to a higher level.

  5. sean gorman says

    No G Wang in the B’s at least? Id pick him over the keg on legs. Could play either end and was incredible…….

  6. Philip Mendes says

    Sean – never thought Wanganeen was that good a player although certainly had one tremendous year to win a Brownlow. But so did Woewodin and a few others.

  7. Philip Mendes says

    From that Essendon side, I thought Mercuri was a much better player.

  8. Good effort.
    Reckon the B side would give the A side a good run for its money.
    Love the bench in the A side though.
    I would have Voss for Judd personally.
    Reckon I would have found room for another ruck in the B side only one genuine and I dont reckon Moore could ruck all day. Maybe room for Cox or another

  9. Philip Mendes says

    Julian – good point about ruckman. Not a lot on offer though other than Cox unless you go back to the 1970s for say Don Scott or Mike Fitzpatrick. Of course Scott Wynd won a Brownlow, but didn’t do a lot else.

  10. Cat from the Country says

    Instead of complaining who is in and who is out, make your own lists.
    This is one opinion.
    You have yours. Let’s see them!

  11. Philip, Buckley nearly lifted his battler team to a flag against what was supposedly one of the greatest teams of all time.

    Raines not in the same stratosphere as Bucks, sorry. Your comment that Raines starred in a good side (for a couple years) doesn’t make much of a case. NB was All Australian 7 times, 10th most Brownlow votes of all time etc etc.

    Hodge and Wanganeen labelled ‘not that good a player’. Pls.

    But that’s just my opinion, they are still reasonably close to what I’d pick.

  12. One more observation, fwiw, Peter Matera was one I’d try and squeeze in, at least into the B side.

    Thanks for having a good stab Philip, you took on a tough task.

  13. Philip do you remember one Gavin Brown

  14. Philip Mendes says

    Jeff – agree was hard to leave out Matera. I felt though the latter part of his career was not as good as that period from 1992-94, although Geelong supporters still turn pale at the mention of his name.
    Snowman – Gavin Brown is currently a very impressive assistant at my club North Melbourne – but yes great player as was the late Darren Millane, but I don’t think quite in that top elite. You could probably say the same about guys like Dipper, Glen Archer etc.

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