AFL Round 16 – Preview: Channelling Christie Allen

Greetings all from a disgruntled Blue but heartened Aussie cricket follower after watching Agar the ‘Orrible,

Kevin Sheedy has been spruiking his Number One much like Christie Allen did way back in 1980.  The question being asked is what is it all worth.  The variable that seems to have been taken out of the discussion is that the player will be Tom Boyd.  Before clubs get too excited and start committing key personnel and body parts to the Giants an assessment of the risk and value is worth investigation.  There have been 27 number one draft selections with the first in 1986.  There were a few misses in the early years, Lounder, Hutton, Banik – but as time has progressed most top selections have become valuable players to their clubs.  However as for becoming the absolute elite of the competition there has only really been two that have made it to be in the absolute elite of the competition, they are Nick Reiwoldt and Luke Hodge.  I am sure that there will be arguments for Cooney, Deledio, Goddard and Murphy to be in that class but I would rate them in the next tier.  There have been many games lost in order to snare that cherished pick – is it all worth it.

So what does that mean for the Giants and their suitors?  With the risk and records involved giving up one of the top 5 players at a club is fraught with danger, unless one of those is surplus to club requirements.  Then there is what to appease the owners of the selection.  What would they do if it was not traded?  The Giants supposedly have the most dangerous forward combination for the next decade in Patton and Cameron – will they take Boyd or a player that complements their requirements such as a key defender.  What if they have snared Franklin – surely Boyd then becomes surplus?  The battle could be on in earnest for second last.  It’s enough to give me Goosebumps!

The following table provide the stats, achievements and my subjective comments on each of the Number One draft picks.




Selected by





Martin Leslie Brisbane Bears 107 1991 Brisbane Bears B&F Already had 100 SANFL games under his belt when he arrived, and was half through his career but was an excellent player for the new kids on the block.


Richard Lounder Richmond 4 Clearly and famously the biggest failure as Number 1 draft pick


Alex McDonald Hawthorn 107
Haw (46)
Coll (61)
Clubs still learning how to make their selection, Alex was not one of the better ones.  But it does take a good player to get to 100 games, but greater expectations of the  top pick.


Anthony Banik Richmond 49 Richmond Reserves B&F 1994 A man-child at 16 and did not get any bigger or faster and then contracted Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Stephen Hooper Geelong 21 Challenges Richard Lounder


John Hutton Brisbane Bears 36
BB (18)
Syd (5)
Fre (13)
1992 Brisbane Bears Leading Goalkicker Not the greatest selection


Drew Banfield West Coast Eagles 265 2 x Premiership player
West Coast Eagles B&F 1996
The first number 1 selection to reach 200 games, one of the benchmarks and expectation of these selection.  A fantastic clubman for the Eagles for many years.


Darren Gaspar Sydney 228
Syd (21)
Rich (207)
Richmond B&F 2001
All Australian 2000, 2001
Found his niche with the Tiges with a great career.


Jeff White Fremantle 268
Fre (32)
Melb (236)
Melbourne B&F 2004
All Australian 2004
The great white hope for the Dees who chased him from Freo, certainly a hit as a Number One selection.


Clive Waterhouse Fremantle 106 Fremantle Goal-kicking 1998, 2000 Also played the straight man for much Dennis Cometti’s commentary throught the late 90


Michael Gardiner West Coast Eagles 181
WCE (129)
StK (52)
All Australian 2003 Unfortunately remembered as much for his work off the field as on it.  Injury restricting his output so never really reaching his potential


Travis Johnstone Melbourne 219
Melb (160)
BL (49)
Melbourne B&F 2005 Loaded with talent – but unfortunately did not apply it often enough or hard enough to make a difference to his club.  But nevertheless a very serviceable player.


Des Headland Brisbane Lions 166
BL (52)
Fre (114)
Brisbane Premiership 2002 Provided polish to Brisbane without meeting all their club ethos, Freo expected big things from him.  He was serviceable but was not the X-factor they were after.


Josh Fraser Collingwood 218
Coll (200)
GC (18)
Was clearly an excellent Junior player and thrown to the wolves early in his career.  A very clever and smart player, but never really filled out to be the rucking force Collingwood desired.


Nick Riewoldt St Kilda 251 5 x St Kilda B&F
4 x All Australian
2 x St Kilda  Leading Goal Kicking
Club Captain 2005, 2007-Current
The first superstar Number 1 draft pick afer 14 prior selections!  Also the first to captain their club.


Luke Hodge Hawthorn 218 Premiership Player 2008 including Norm Smith Medal
Club Captain 2011-current
3 x All Australian
2 x Hawthorn B&F
Hawthorn got everything they expected and more from a player loaded with talent, aggression. leadership and footy smarts.


Brendon Goddard St Kilda 219
StK (205)
Ess (14)
All Australian 2009-10 Took a while to find his feet in the game but matured into one of the best players in the competition.


Adam Cooney Western Bulldogs 194 Brownlow Medallist 2008
All Australian 2008
Another top pick but has been constrained by injury – a worthy number one pick


Brett Deledio Richmond 186 Rising Star 2005
All Australian 2012
The first top pick to win the Rising star, but then struggled with the attention.  Has welcomed the influx of new talent to the Tigers that has given him more freedom and show his capability.


Marc Murphy Carlton 155 All Australian 2011
Carlton B&F 2011
Club Captain 2013-current
Would have won the Rising Star if not for sustaining a season-ending injury mid-way through his debut year.  Blossomed into one of the leading midfielders in the competition but would help if more teammates apart from Judd demanded attention.


Bryce Gibbs Carlton 145 One of those teammates!  Will play his 200 Games but fast running out of time before he is stamped with the same description of Travis Johnston.  Not many Number One picks are still tagging in their 7th season!


Matthew Kreuzer Carlton 99 Only the second ruckman taken as the top pick.  A lot of unfair pressure on him in my opinion, only 24 years old in a role that takes time for players to develop.  Lining him up with Leuenberger taken #4 the previous year is a fair comparison.


Jack Watts Melbourne 65 Jury still out on Jack.  Will play his 200 games – somewhere, will he have the impact the Dees were chasing?


Tom Scully Melbourne 64
Melb (31) GWS (33)
His dad has a fantastic eye for footy – will his son reach the same level on the ground.  The jury is well and truly out on Tom at this stage – but he does have time.


David Swallow Gold Coast 47 Early days – looks a good player, but plenty more at the Suns are showing more.


Jonathon Patton Greater Western Sydney 10 Looks promising – but already injury prone.  Plenty of time to make that up.


Lachie Whitfield Greater Western Sydney 13 Averaging 17 disposals per game in year one, far too early for judgment


But now onto the games after a bit of a battle last week, some brevity this due to the performance of Ashton Agar and focus on the test match.


Beam me up ($1.21) vs Cabernet Connoisseurs ($5.60)

The Pies get another member of the band back, while Adelaide lose one of their consistent performers for the season.  At the G and with the midfield starting to hum the Pies will be too strong.


Port ($4.70) vs A Cursory Issue ($1.26)

Port have the chance to take another big scalp at home, however the Hawks appear to have most teams covered except the very best.  I reckon they can account for Port, but they will need to work on their game against the Cats and Swans as the premiership will go through them.


Of Curse They Did ($1.02) vs Perhaps it’s a Roos ($40.00)

Melbourne travelling to Kardinia Park – memories can’t be good.  Unlikely to improve.


Cairns ($1.27) vs Tweed Heads ($4.40)

Gold Coast looking for the Hat Trick against the Tigers in Cairns.  Gazza returning will certainly assist, but the Tigers would appear to have more depth and the return of Maric will also give them an advantage.  Most of all they will be stung by last week’s effort.  I reckon the Tiges will get their points this time, but the odds are enticing for the Suns and anything over $4 is good shopping.


Fire Sale ($1.43) vs Tankers ($3.25)

For a team that tanked the Freo game last week the Saints put up a great disguise, they may have left the skipper out but they certainly made it look like they wanted to win!  Meanwhile the Blues who were keen to win sure as hell looked like they tanked!  The talk this week about where the Blues are has been pretty odourous and also an overreaction to what was a very ordinary effort.  Lot’s more can be pulled apart from that, however anyone who genuinely believed Carlton were a top four chance this year was in the land of Darryl John Kerrigan – dreaming!  It is very difficult to tip the Blues this week but surely there will be a reaction to last week so I will.  By the same token the record against St Kilda is horrible losing 16 from 18 – the $3.25 on offer is outstanding value!


Queensland Champs ($2.74) vs Tiger Hunters ($1.55)

The Kangas more than matched up to Richmond last week, the Lions this week should set themselves for this one.  However will be tough missing Black and Moloney.  But North have a sniff of finals and should prevail.


Bondi ($1.02) vs Parrramatta ($42.00)

This rivalry will take a while to develop – Swans to win!


Labradors ($8.00) vs Lab Rats ($1.14)

Surprising odds on this game I expected Essendon to be much shorter and to be able to get $10 on the Dogs.  The no Jobe factor seems to have come in here.  I do rate the Dogs some chance, but there is enough other leaders in the Essendon line up to ensure a victory.


The Corporation ($2.68) vs Brain Buster ($1.56)

West Coast have themselves a chance to get a finals spot and have been playing improved footy, but this week they take on the Freo Stranglers.  The loss of McPharlin could present a problem to Get Stuff Lyon on coverage for Kennedy, but they have been undermanned all year and continued winning.  Under normal circumstances I would rate West Coast a huge chance and tip them, however their record this year at Subiaco is horrid and their noisy neighbour’s is excellent.  Freo to win, but West Coast are fair value ant anything over $2.40


Friar Time.

Ammos have had the week off for skiing (sorry Rep Footy) and the Friars take on the Unicorns from Melbourne High who are in the relegation zone and will be keen to try and escape.  The game on the tight Woodfull-Miller oval should be competitive, a win for the Friars will consolidate their top four spot.  The Under 19s take on the ladder leaders Northern Blues at Preston, but go in with great confidence after being victorious in their last encounter.


Go Friars, Go Blues

Cheers, Sal

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