Almanac Teams: These go to eleven (1980-)



This is a team of best players to wear the Number 11 jumper since 1980


  • Starting 18 will be 1 player from each club. I have tweaked it after the Number 3 team.  Brisbane Bears & Brisbane Lions will be 1 club, with Fitzroy, Gold Coast and GWS competing for the last 2 spots in starting 18.
  • Teams will try to be as balanced as possible but if a number has several rucks as its best player an alternative will be picked. I will explain my selections below the team
  • Players may appear under multiple number for example Gavin Wanganeen Number 1 & 4



Stats are based on their time in that number.



I also have two teams per number, one is a best of and the other is based on players picked for different obscure/unusual reasons like cameos, unknown brothers, fathers, known for other reasons etc.




FB:           Damien Hardwick (Ess/PA)       Ashley McIntosh (WCE)                   Dale Kickett (Freo)


CHB:        Mark Browning (C) (Syd)           Glenn Archer (NM)                            Bruce Doull (Carl)


C:              Greg Anderson (Ess)                    Shane O’Bree (Coll)                           Joel Corey (Geel)


CHF:        Gary Buckenara (Haw)                Joel Bowden (Rich)                           Jackson MacRae (WB)


FF:            Doug Barwick (Fitz)                     Alistair Lynch (DVC) (Fitz/Bris)    Harley Bennell (GCS)


Ruck:        Jim Stynes (Melb)                        Leigh Montagna (St.K)                     Tony McGuinness (VC) (Foots/Adel)


Interchange: Max Gawn (Melb), Darren Jarman (Haw), Matt Priddis (WCE), Earl Spalding (Carl)


Emergencies: Greg Burns (St.K), Michael Doughty (Adel), Stuart Maxfield (Syd), Joel Smith (Haw)


Coach – Damien Hardwick


No GWS player in the starting 18



Games in Number 11 (Years Played)

Damien Hardwick 88 at Essendon (1998-2001) 54 at Port Adelaide (2002-2004)

Ashley McIntosh 225 (1992-2003)

Dale Kickett 135 (1995-2002)

Mark Browning 174 (1979-1987)

Glenn Archer 311 (1992-2007)

Bruce Doull 329 (1972-1986)

Greg Anderson 103 (1988-1992)

Shane O’Bree 227 (2000-2010)

Joel Corey 276 (2000-2013)

Gary Buckenara 154 (1982-1990)

Joel Bowden 265 (1996-2009)

Jackson MacRae 160 (2013- )

Doug Barwick 76 (1984-1987)

Alistair Lynch 120 at Fitzroy (1989-1993) 186 at Brisbane (1994-2004)

Harley Bennell 67 (2012-2015)

Jim Stynes 251 (1988-1998)

Leigh Montagna 265 (2005-2017)

Tony McGuinness 109 at Footscray (1986-1990) 109 at Adelaide (1991-1996)

Max Gawn 109 (2015- )

Darren Jarman 109 (1991-1995)

Matt Priddis 238 (2007-2017)

Earl Spalding 102 (1992-1997)



The Number 11 is a solid team but its main weakness is a lack of genuine CHB and a CHF in starting 18, with both players better suited to a flank. The rucks are the strength of the team and the running players on the wings and options that can play wing and hbf. There is though lack of depth in the goal kicking area.


Teams that had multiple options to choose from were Adelaide with Tony McGuiness and Michael Doughty, Carlton Bruce Doull and Earl Spalding, while Spalding was very good at Carlton it was hard to leave the Flying Doormat out. Essendon with Greg Anderson, Damien Hardwick, David Zaharakis and Damien Peverill, had plenty options, fortunately Hardwick wore 11 at Port Adelaide and there was no real option at Port Adelaide.  Geelong with Joel Corey was an easy choice but if Greg Williams had stayed for longer than 2 years he may have got in. Hawthorn had Gary Buckenara, Darren Jarman and Joel Smith all very good players. North Melbourne had Glenn Archer who was most obvious option with Michael Firrito the other option out. Sydney Mark Browning and Stuart Maxfield were both club captains who were in contention. West Coast with Ashley McIntosh and Matt Priddis with McIntosh getting in for a Full Back need. Fitzroy had Alistair Lynch and Doug Barwick with Lynch being chosen for Brisbane.


The backline is a good mix of lock down player, running defenders, intercept marking. It does lack a true CHB with Archer or Doull required to play that role. There is help available from Earl Spalding who started at Melbourne as a CHB, Joel Bowden who won a Best & Fairest as CHB/HBF and Alistair Lynch who started at Fitzroy as a FB. Dale Kickett provides a bit of class and also a lockdown role in defence. Hardwick and Archer provide the muscle in defence with both playing a lockdown role or Archer intercept marking. Doull and Browning would give some run from defence and McIntosh was an All Australian FB.


The midfield starts in the ruck with two Melbourne champions Jim Stynes and then Max Gawn on the bench, both very good around the ground and if needed can take a mark up forward. McGuiness was one of the best rovers in the competition in late 1980s and early 1990s and Shane O’Bree was a reliable centre for Collingwood during an era when they made the Grand Final. Joel Corey and Greg Anderson were All Australian wingman with Leigh Montagna able to play on ball or wing.  Other options in the midfield would be Jackson MacRae, Harley Bennell, Darren Jarman and Matt Priddis.



The forward line on first look may lack multiple goalkicking options, especially with no recognised CHF. Alistair Lynch is three-time premiership Full Forward, Joel Bowden at CHF is more suited to a flank and played a lot of his career in backline but his first year or two he did pinch hit as marking CHF at 188cm and kicked four goals there in a quarter against West Coast one Monday night in 1997. MacRae is more suited to on-ball where he would swap with Montagna. Bennell was a goalkicking forward at Gold Coast with a PB of six, Gary Buckenara was one of the best half forwards in the league in 1980s and kicked over five goals ten times with his best being seven. Doug Barwick could play on a flank or out of the goal square when at Fitzroy and his best was seven. Earl Spalding on the bench is a premiership CHF and Darren Jarman would also provide class up forward.


The bench has a second ruck in Max Gawn who is also as mobile as Stynes and can pinch hit deep forward, Earl Spalding who is picked as Carlton’s Number 11 where he was mainly a CHF but can play CHB, Matt Priddis who is ball magnet midfielder and Darren Jarman who can provide class in the midfield or forward line.


There was only three club captains in the side in Mark Browning, Tony McGuiness who captained for one year and Alistair Lynch who was co captain with Michael Voss, with this in mind Browning is named captain as he was the longest serving.


The unlucky players were an emergency, Damien Peverill & David Zaharakis (Ess), Greg Williams (Geel), Joel Smith (Haw), Stephen Icke (Melb), Michael Firrito (NM), Touk Miller (GCS).


As mentioned, this is not the first time a number eleven team has been suggested on The Footy Almanac, Phil Dimitriadis gave his version of an all-time list HERE.




Read more of Rodney’s teams HERE.






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  1. Hayden Kelly says

    Good team ,love your work . Not sure Jackson McCrae would be terribly enthused about starting on a forward flank whilst Shane O’Bree commanded the centre .
    Keep up your good work .

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Despite no genuine CHB I really like that backline. Always thought Ashley McIntosh was one of the most underrated full-backs of the modern era, I’d have him equal to anyone in that position in my time watching the AFL.

    Really looking forward to where you go with the Collingwood number 11 in your Obscure Number 11 team!

  3. Thanks Hayden for your words I appreciate it. Macrae definitely worthy on ball and probably better player than OBree, just think Obree probably not suited to HFF.

    Thanks Luke, McIntosh was a key player for Eagles, rarely beaten, mobile and attacking.. Him and Jakovich can make a case as best team key defenders in 1990s

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