Almanac Teams: Hit for Six (1980- )

Tony Modra in his Adelaide days.




A team of best players to wear the Number 6 jumper since 1980.


The criteria is:


  • Starting 18 will be one player from each club. I have tweaked it after the Number 3 team; Brisbane Bears and Brisbane Lions will be one club, with Fitzroy, Gold Coast and GWS competing for the last two spots in the 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 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:       Josh Gibson (Haw)                   Peter McCormack (Coll)                                Sean Wellman (Ess)


CHB:   David Grant (St.K)                    Andrew Dunkley (Syd)                                  Kade Simpson (DVC) (Carl)


C:         Shaun Grigg (Rich)                   Drew Banfield (WCE)                                    Jarrad Schofield (PA)


CHF:   Brad Johnson (C) (WB)            Alex Sexton (GCS)                                         Lachie Whitfield (GWS)


FF:      Shannon Grant (NM)                Tony Modra (Adel/Freo)                              Luke Power (VC) (Bris)


Ruck:  Brad Ottens (Geel)                    Glenn Lovett (Melb)                                      Danyle Pearce (PA/Freo)


Interchange: Craig Bolton (Syd), Anthony Daniher (Ess), Ian Fairley (NM), Elliott Yeo (WCE)


Emergencies: John Barnes (Geel), Tyson Goldsack (Coll), Tony Hall (Haw), Chris Naish (Rich)


Coach: Neale Daniher


Tony Modra was picked for Adelaide but also wore Number 6 at Fremantle
Danyle Pearce was picked for Fremantle but also wore Number 6 at Port Adelaide



No Fitzroy player in the starting 18



Games in Number 6 (Years played)


Josh Gibson 160 (2010-2017)

Peter McCormack 160 (1976-1985)

Sean Wellman 178 (1996-2004)

David Grant 137 (1988-1995)

Andrew Dunkley 199 (1993-2002)

Kade Simpson 342 (2003-2020)

Shaun Grigg 171 (2011-2018)

Drew Banfield 258 (1994-2006)

Jarrad Schofield 131 (1999-2004)

Brad Johnson 355 (1995-2010)

Alex Sexton 127 (2013- )

Lachie Whitfield 150 (2013- )

Shannon Grant 243 (1998-2008)

Tony Modra 118 at Adelaide (1992-1998) 47 at Fremantle (1999-2001)

Luke Power 282 (1998-2011)

Brad Ottens 116 (2006-2011)

Glenn Lovett 125 (1989-1999)

Danyle Pearce 154 at Port Adelaide (2005-2012) 104 at Fremantle (2013-2018)

Craig Bolton 170 (2003-2010)

Anthony Daniher 118 (1987-1994)

Ian Fairley 211 (1984-1996)

Elliott Yeo 138 (2014- )



The Number 6 side has a very strong defence and its midfielders are even more defensively inclined. The forward line is weak for key positional goal kicking and will rely on Tony Modra for goals with Brad Johnson also having the ability to play full forward. Even the interchange bench is mostly defensive, though Ian Fairley can play at CHF. Through emergencies and unlucky players there is only really help from Tony Hall alongside Arnold Briedis and Michael Moncrieff who retired in the early 1980s.



Collingwood had several options for the Number 6 spot, with Peter McCormack getting the nod. McCormack was a very reliable FB in the early 1980s, playing in two grand finals before becoming embroiled in the Richmond/Collingwood trade war of the time. Tyson Goldsack missed out as there were a lot of similar players in Wellman, Gibson and Bolton in the side. Brodie Holland was considered as a small forward option.



At Essendon Anthony Daniher misses out to Sean Wellman but gets an interchange spot; Daniher was an All Australian FB at Essendon but in his early days at Sydney with Rod Carter at FB, Daniher would play on a wing/HBF and kicked 20 goals one season. Brad Ottens gets the ruck berth over another former Cat in John Barnes, while North Melbourne options were Shannon Grant and Ian Fairley which was hard to pick between as there were spots in the 18 for a goal kicking small forward/onballer and a CHF. Sydney had two great defenders to choose from between Andrew Dunkley and Craig Bolton. Modra wore Number 6 at both Adelaide and Fremantle but was a much better player at the Crows,while Danyle Pearce was probably better at Port Adelaide but Fremantle did not have another Number 6 in the conversation. Port did had Jarrod Schofield; Pearce played 100 games for both clubs.



The defence is very good, with two FBs starting in McCormack and Dunkley, it then has Anthony Daniher who can also play there named on the bench. Ian Fairley was known more as a CHB, but is likely to be needed up forward. Craig Bolton named on the bench is a more assured CHB but Wellman and Gibson can also play the role or as a third intercepting defender. There is a lack of pacy small defenders in the team; David Grant played taller than his height suggested and Kade Simpson is the only running player selected in the backline. Schofield, Banfield, Whitfield, G. Lovett, Pearce and Yeo can all play in defence if needed for a match up role and to provide some extra legs.



The midfield has a bit of dash but lacks a rover and classy attacking players with only those named in forward line to play a dual role in Johnson, Whitfield, S.Grant, Power and perhaps Yeo that could be considered to have that factor. Schofield and Grigg are very smart wingmen that while never considered quick, never stopped running and found themselves in good spots. Banfield can play a tagging role in the midfield if not the backline. Pearce is not a recognised on-baller but was picked as rover for team balance, while Glenn Lovett was injury prone but when fit was a vital cog to Melbourne’s side in the mid-1990s, winning a best and fairest in 1992 and placing second in 1993. Brad Ottens is the lone ruck in the side and mainly played the position at Geelong over forward; he is after all a three-time premiership winner, playing very well in those sides. His support is limited to a premiership back up ruck: Grigg.



The forward relies on Tony Modra to kick goals as there aren’t many tall forwards to choose from. Alex Sexton is a goal kicker but is 185cm and more of a makeshift full forward or third tall. Ian Fairley started off his career at CHF, though was not a noted big goal kicker with 28 goals his highest total in one year. Brad Ottens can also play forward (moreso the Richmond version than the Geelong) but will be required to ruck almost all day. Fortunately Brad Johnson named as HFF can play a deep goal kicking forward when not on the ball, Shannon Grant and Luke Power can be goal-kicking crumbers with both able to kick five goals in a match. Whitfield is better off HBF/midfield but has played limited periods in the forward line.



The bench looks a bit unbalanced but they can play multiple roles. Yeo in the midfield/HBF may allow Pearce/Banfield to play back. Craig Bolton will be required down back. Fairley and Daniher on balance may have been lucky picks ahead of John Barnes and any of Briedis/Moncrieff/Hall as a forward or Brodie Holland, Naish or Seb Ross as an extra midfielder. I thought however Daniher and Fairley had better careers and if they played like their younger selves then the team is more flexible with Fairley as a forward/ruck and Daniher as HBF/wing. John Barnes is probably the most unlucky alongside Tony Hall who we never got to see the best of after a knee reconstruction in 1989.



There were only two club captains picked in the side, Brad Johnson and Luke Power. Johnson being the long-time leader of the Bulldogs was the obvious pick as skipper.



The unlucky players were Hugh McCluggage (Bris), Jon Dorotich (Carl), Brodie Holland (Coll), Gary Moorcroft (Ess), Michael Moncrief (Haw), Arnold Briedis (NM), Mark Chaffey (Rich), Seb Ross (St.K)



Phil Dimitriadis has an all-time version HERE





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  1. Gosh, Peter McKenna not even considered in the unlucky list?

  2. Oops, didn’t realise it was 1980 onwards.

  3. Thanks Paul unfortunately did not see Peter McKenna play, and have based from my vintage.

    Phil deservedly put him in.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    Got that Modra card signed by the great man at Victoria Park in 1994 and still have it. What a superstar he was for a few seasons.

    Didn’t see McCormack play for the Pies but seems to be highly rated by players from that era.

  5. I think I was there with you Luke, as have Modra and Rehn signed cards from 94.

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