Almanac Teams: Another Political Football Representative Team




Who do you elect to rate? A team for Australia Votes 2019


“Goldstein to Higgins…” was the passage of play that jumped out at me from the ABC radio commentary on North Melbourne vs Geelong last Sunday. Hmmm, sounds like a marginal proposition, I thought.


That was the germ of an idea. In the political equivalent of Grand Final week, the Almanac needs to (s)elect a Representative side. I thought I’d take a swing.



B: Tim Watson (Ess)   Andrew Dunkley (Syd)   Colin Casey (Sturt)

HB: Ken Hunter (Carl)   Trevor Barker (St K)   Danyle Pearce (St/Port/Freo)

C: Bruce Lindsay (WT/Adel)   Shaun Higgins (NM)   Cameron Bruce (Melb)

HF: Dean Solomon (Ess/Freo)   Denis Banks (Coll)   Sam Mitchell (Haw)

F: Russell Robertson (Melb)   Lance Franklin (Haw/Syd)   John Nicholls (Carl)

1R: Todd Goldstein (NM)   Dane Swan (Coll)   Barry Mitchell (Syd/Carl/Coll)



Int: Michael Moncrieff (Haw), Stephen Wright (Syd), Drew Petrie (NM), Ryan O’Connor (Ess/Syd)

Coach: John Kennedy

Manager:  Graeme Richmond

Home Ground:  Canberra


When I embarked on the exercise, I thought the difficulty would be getting the numbers. But the opposite turned out to be the case – the hard part was deciding who to leave out. Very few of the above have played less than 200 senior games or close to it. A surfeit of talls and forwards (and tall forwards) was the biggest issue. I set out not to use the same seat twice, but made an exception for Mitchell – I just couldn’t bear to leave out one of Sam or Barry. Among those very stiff to miss out are Jobe Watson, Geoff and Brian Cunningham, Sam Fisher and not least, founding father Thomas Wentworth Wills.


Who would get your preference as a member for your team? Who would get the ball lots? Make sure you get a mark in every square, especially the goal square, numbering from 1 to 22.


About Mark Duffett

Expatriate Croweater in Tasmania, still following Centrals in the SANFL. You can take the boy out of Salisbury, but...


  1. Dave Nadel says

    Well done, Mark. Despite, John Nicholls being a 300+ game player I think it would be more appropriate to go with Doug Nicholls since the seat was actually named after him and he is the only VFL, SANFL or WAFL player to have a Federal electorate named in his honour.

  2. yes, and Doug Nicholls became the Lt Governor of SA

  3. Mark Duffett says

    Agreed, Dave and 6%. I certainly meant to include Sir Douglas in my ‘very stiff’ list, and probably should have extended the Mitchell exception to Nicholls.

    In fact, overall there’s such an embarrassment of riches there may be the makings of two teams to face each other…leave it with me.

  4. Dave Brown says

    A very handy side, Mark. Shame there’s no Eden-Monaros to choose, though. Couldn’t find a spot for Sudjai Cook? Ken Cunningham to umpire. Also worthy of note that the number of clubs with electorates named after them has decreased by one this election with the demise of Port Adelaide (the seat… and the club). Leaves Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Fremantle, Richmond, and Brisbane.

  5. Great work, Mark.
    I had actually planned to do this exercise myself, but you beat me to it!
    Great minds…

  6. Terrific concept and research. Thanks Mark. Lots of lesser known footy names among the electorates. Going through the WA Federal Electorates – I used to enter Subiaco Oval through the Merv COWAN gates. Played 193 games for South and East Fremantle and then was a legendary administrator.
    Kaiden BRAND is a current Hawk. Bobby, Dave, Ian and Syd BURT all played VFL while Frank BURT played 86 games for Glenelg in the SANFL.
    Warren CANNING played 7 games for Geelong.
    Prime Minister John CURTIN played with Brunswick in the VFA; had a nephew Claude who played with Fitzroy and North Melbourne; who was the uncle of Hawks star John Barker. Prime Minister Curtin is undoubtedly the greatest genuine follower of Australian Rules among our PM’s –
    How Kelvin MOORE (300 games for Hawthorn and in their Team of the Century) is not the full back or Peter MOORE the ruckman (1979 Brownlow and 249 games for Pies and Dees) is beyond me. They would carry Dunkley and Goldstein and still towel them up.
    Many O’CONNOR’s – Ryan played 87 games for Essendon and Sydney. Won the 2001 Magarey Medal with Port in the SANFL.
    David STIRLING played 7 games for Sydney.
    And lastly the PERTH FC Demons are a proud club in the WAFL as well as the Federal Electorate where I live.
    There are plenty of electorate names with matching players. Just a matter of cross matching player names by political party of the sitting member by playing position and games played. We would have an ALP versus Conservatives grudge match.
    Will run the algorithms and get back to you with the teams by the 2022 Federal Election. (Thanks to Gigs’ site for giving me easy access to all the info).

  7. Andrew Gaylard says

    A terrific pun-rich read, Mark, and I liked the origin story.

    There’s a bit of overlap with my political leaders’ team, for obvious reasons. Tim Watson is the only player common to our 22, although there should have been two: in retrospect my George Bruce is trumped by your Cameron. I dunno how I missed him.

    Have to agree with Peter B that no Moore makes it a lesser team. And I think I would have gone for Kennedy Jnr on the flank rather than Solomon, which would also allow ‘Checker’ Hughes to coach as another common factor.

    Someone will need to revisit this team in a few decades when Corio is renamed Ablett.

    Also: Australian Electoral Commission (boundary umpire).

  8. Mark Duffett says

    Thanks again, all. I hadn’t put together the team/seat correspondence before you pointed it out, Dave. Maybe one can be clawed back if GWS put down deeper roots in Canberra. Definitely KG to umpire – or would you prefer Hayden Kennedy?

    That research way trumps mine, thanks Peter (was thinking of you when I included Bruce Lindsay). I particularly enjoyed the footy connections of John Curtin, about which I’d had no inkling. I’ve been mulling a Right vs Left fixture too – will see if I can get something up before it’s made redundant by a swath of player transfers on Saturday.

    Touché, Andrew. I thought long and hard about Peter Moore, but confess completely overlooking Kelvin.

  9. Mark Duffett says

    And thanks, Smokie. Maybe you could pick the Left and I could pick the Right? ;) I’m actually now curious to see how they’d stack up.

  10. Thank goodness the election will soon be over. I’m well and truly sick of all things political. Here’s a thought, why not a COLOURFUL TEAM eg “Bluey” Adams or lads with surnames such as White, Green, Brown, Black etc. Surely someone smarter than me could set to work on this.

Leave a Comment