Almanac Teams – Exceptional Elevens

South Melbourne superstar, Roy Cazaly




After a few weeks of quirky and ‘Marvelous’ teams by Almanackers, I thought it may be time to go back to basics and reflect on the great number 11s who have graced the game.


It is probably the only team I’ve put together that doesn’t include a Collingwood player. In Magpie history the number has not produced any greats. Shane ‘Cheesy’ O’Bree is the record holder of games played for the Pies in the number, but Ken Turner is probably the best player to choose from after Jarryd Blair and Gerald Betts.


Entertainment is a beauty for ‘The Young Ones’ fans. Nine Below Zero with ‘Eleven Plus Eleven’.


Over to you Knackers. Who are/were your fave Number 11s ?


B: Glen Archer (Nth Melb) Ashley McIntosh (WCE) Bernie Smith (GEEL)


HB: Bruce Doull (Carl) Bert Lenne (Fitz) Mark Browning (Sth Melb)


C: Greg Wells (Melb) Peter Bedford (Sth Melb) Greg Burns (StK)


HF: Dale Kickett (Freo) Alistair Lynch (Fitz/Bris) Gary Buckenara (Haw)


F: Roy Cazaly (Sth Melb) Geoff Blethyn (Ess) Bruce Monteath (Rich)


RUCK: Jim Stynes (Melb) Joel Corey (Geel) Tony McGuinness (Foots/Adel)


IC: Matt Priddis (WCE) Joel Bowden (Rich) Rod McGregor (Carl) Michael Doughty (Adel)


Coach: Damien Hardwick


Entertainment: Nine Below Zero



About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Good to be back on solid ground PD.

    I know I exhibit a terrible bias when it comes to these teams, but surely Stuey Maxfield should at least be on the interchange bench for a handy midfield rotation. Instigator of the famous ‘Bloods’ culture!

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Jim Higgs

  3. Dave Brown says

    From a Norwood perspective, has to be Phil Gallagher. 292 games, the bigger the better, mostly on a wing. Wore that number throughout his career, with the exception of the night the Redlegs flogged a visiting Carlton in one of those national club competitions. Carlton players had been told to keep a close check on No. 11 and it took some time for them (and the commentators) to twig that he wasn’t wearing it.

  4. Rick Kane says

    Always interesting, thought-provoking and sometimes controversial! So, yes Bucky is a definite. But where is Jarman?

    By the way, our son Jackson played against Archer’s son on Sunday. In Colts. Yeah, the two old masters (one who was a brilliant player, the other a really good red wine drinker) watched as their sons fought it out. We won so that’s cool.

    Re pop culture & music & 11 I thought Spinal Tap would have got a guernsey.


  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Dave beat me to it yep,Phil Gallagher incredible big game and key moment player

  6. Very good Phil.

    Until a couple years’ ago “Dogga” Doughty lived a few doors up from us. Beyond being an underrated defender, he maintained his timber front fence impeccably, varnishing it regularly.

    Sad to report the fence is now in some disrepair.

    Archer and Lynch a pair of fierce customers. McGuinness – weight unknown, parts unknown.

  7. LB, there’s more than a touch of flamboyance in this team, I reckon (apart from Doull and Archer of course).

  8. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Thanks Mathilde. Always keeping me honest like a good true blood. If Stuey hadn’t cut his teeth at Richmond in the number 27 he would certainly have been considered. Class player and like Mark Browning in this team – a raking left footer. Time you joined the teamsters union and submitted a team ! Perhaps a team of half-back flankers or flaneurs?

    Swish – Jim Higgs is wonderful get, but where would he play on the footy field? Roving to Devon Malcolm maybe?

    Dave – Great story re: Phil Gallagher. Would love to know more about the night Norwood flogged Carlton. Escort Cup days in the late 1970s – early 1980s? I remember North Adelaide beating Collingwood in 1986. Not a good night.

    Rick – Like Mathilde’s suggestion, Stuey Maxfield, D.Jarman would have been a shoe in had he not gone to the Crows and worn number 3. Nice result for Jackson and the astute winos watching on.
    Thought of
    Spinal Tap, but my predilection for the Young Ones got the better of me. Still love that show and quote it regularly in my conversations with Anastasia. She called me a ‘fascist junta’ the other day after I beat her at monopoly.

    Joel Smith, Clinton Young, Brian Douge, Kevin Coverdale and Jack Brain also notable Hawk 11s.

    Thanks Mickey – ‘Dogga’ as you call him very underrated. Solid, but could also attack when needed. Brett James was another who coulda been a contender at the Pies. Played some good games in his short stint at Vic Park.

    Thanks Book – Must learn a bit more about Phil Gallagher. Cheers

    Smokie – Arch had to get a game in this team. John Burns also a good contender along with the brilliantly named Curly Linton, who was North’s first number 11 in 1925.

  9. Ross Treverton says

    I work under the same bias as MdH and put forward a nomination for Max (Grandfather of) Papley. Broke Bobby Skilton’s run of B&F’s at South in 1966 and was once described by Skilts as the most naturally gifted footballer he’d seen.

  10. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Thanks Ross. Max Papley a fine nomination among a number of classy blood number 11s. Jim Dorgan and Darren Kappler could also have claims in this team. Cheers

  11. Luke Reynolds says

    Phil- Damian Houlihan played a handful of outstanding games in 11 for the Pies, thought he was going to be a star.
    My memory may be hazy but seem to recall Brett James wore number 8 at Collingwood, around the same time as Houlihan?
    Brad Fuller another 11 who didn’t quite make it. And J.Blair given far too many games in the black & white 11 guernsey the past few years.
    Have always thought Ashley McIntosh is highly underrated when talking about the great full-backs of the modern era. Right up there with Scarlett, Silvagni, Martyn, Rutten, Presti, Fletcher & Michael. If not better.

  12. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    From 1998

    Brett James (Adel)
    Alistair Lynch (Bris)
    Mark Porter (Carl)
    Brad Fuller (Coll)
    Damian Hardwick (Ess)
    Dale Kickett (Fre)
    Cameron Roberts (Geel)
    Darren Kappler (Haw)
    Jim Stynes (Mel)
    Glenn Archer (North)
    Nathan Eagleton (Port)
    Joel Bowden (Rich)
    Gavin Mitchell (St K)
    Stuart Maxfield (Syd)
    Ashley McIntosh (WC)
    Todd Curley (WB)

  13. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Cheers Luke – Damian Houlihan looked like he could be anything in those first few games. Some great marks and goals and then faded quickly. Brett James indeed wore number 8 at the Pies, so my bad. I meant to say that he could have been a fine player had he stuck with us for longer. We really have had a dearth of really good number 11s. Blair ? Yeah, Nah. Cheesy O’Bree was okay between 2000-2003.
    Brad Fuller, Gary Shaw, Mark Dreher, Mark Bayliss. Do you remember John Barnett from 1997 ?

    Swish- Some pretty handy 11s in 1998 batch. Gavin Mitchell had a great pornstache and Todd Curley did alright for the Dogs after being prematurely discarded by the Pies.

  14. Rabid Dog says

    Michael Doughty should’ve been selected. A form barometer.

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