Almanac Teams: Lappin up the Tranquilli-ty; Obscure 37s (1980- )

 

Adelaide’s Adam Saliba [Source: Author]

 

A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 37 jumper since 1980.

 

 

Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 37, mostly from 1980 onwards but I have made exceptions, such as Glynn Hewitt in the Number 19 side.

 

 

It is a light-hearted team based on cult figures, forgotten/lesser known players or stats/cameos associated with them, players known for other deeds, sons, fathers & brothers and forgotten players.

 

My criteria, similar to my previous efforts was:

 

  • Attempt to include one player per club
  • I have tried to create as balanced side as possible but this was not a priority

 

 

Stats are based on their time in that number

 

 

 

 

FB:          Matthew Lappin (St.K)                 Neil Peart (Foots)                             Luke Ottens (Melb)

 

CHB:      Athas Hrysoulakis (Coll)               Glenn Manton (Ess)                        Brendan Whitecross (Haw)

 

C:            Peter Matera (WCE)                       Robert Handley (Haw)                   Bailey Rice (St.K)

 

CHF:      Darren Bradshaw (Bris)                 Dan Foley (Rich)                             Andrew Tranquilli (Coll)

 

FF:          Ian Callinan (Adel)                         Tony Lockett (St.K)                         Adam Saliba (Adel)

 

Ruck:      Jim Stynes (Melb)                          David Twomey (Coll)                      Jamie Lawson (Syd)

 

Interchange: Jake Edwards (Carl), Tom Fields (Carl), Max Gawn (Melb), Richard Lounder (Rich)

 

No players from Fremantle, Geelong, Gold Coast, GWS, Fitzroy or North Melbourne.

 

 

 

 

Games in Number 37 (Years played)

Matthew Lappin 9 (1994)

Neil Peart 9 (1985)

Luke Ottens 4 (1999)

Athas Hrysoulakis 19 (1987-1990)

Glenn Manton 7 (1993)

Brendan Whitecross 72 (2009-2012)

Peter Matera 5 (1990)

Robert Handley 15 (1985)

Bailey Rice 11 (2018)

Darren Bradshaw 1 (2002)

Dan Foley 6 (1983)

Andrew Tranquilli 12 (1993-1995)

Ian Callinan 32 (2011-2013)

Tony Lockett 12 (1983)

Adam Saliba 3 (1992)

Jim Stynes 13 (1987)

David Twomey 41 (1979-1983)

Jamie Lawson 16 (1991)

Jake Edwards 5 (1998)

Tom Fields 2 (2015)

Max Gawn 26 (2011-2014)

Richard Lounder 4 (1989)

 

 

 

Matthew Lappin – Lappin was drafted by the Saints in 1993 with Pick 40 – the same year as his cousin Nigel was selected with Pick 2, both of them from Chiltern. Lappin had the nickname of ‘Skinny’ and when he debuted he looked like a leftover Little League player due to his slight frame and youthful looks. He made his debut in Round 12, 1994 against Geelong and played nine games for the year. Lappin moved to Number 22 in 1995 but only played ten games in 1995-1996. 1997 was his best year at St Kilda; 20 games for 20 goals and all finals. Lappin played 16 games in 1998 but was traded to Carlton for Picks 22 and 55. His first year at Carlton resulted in Mark of the Year for 1999 and another Grand Final appearance. Lappin made the All Australian team in 2004 as a small defender, he retired in 2007 with 251 games, 55 for St Kilda and 196 for Carlton and 247 goals in total. In 2015 aged 39 as an assistant coach at Gold Coast, Lappin played for Gold Coast reserves due to numerous injuries.

 

 

Neil Peart – Neil Peart started his career at Collingwood, he made his debut aged 23 in 1982 for 13 games. Peart was involved in the Collingwood-Richmond wars and moved to Richmond in 1983 where he played 31 games in two seasons. Peart left Richmond mid-1985 without playing a game for the season after a fallout with coach Paul Sproule and joined Footscray. Peart played his first game for Footscray in Round 16 and played nine of the last ten games including qualifying and preliminary finals. In 1986 with Sproule gone as coach, Peart was convinced to re-join Richmond, however he only played nine games in two seasons due to injury. Peart finished up in 1987 with 62 career games.

 

 

Luke Ottens – Luke is almost four years older than Brad and 10cm smaller at 194cm. Luke was originally rookie listed by Port Adelaide in 1997 but was delisted at the of the year. He was picked up by Melbourne with Pick 50 in the 1997 Draft, the same year Brad went Pick 2. Luke debuted in Round 1, 1999 against his brother; he played the first four games of the season as a backup ruck and tall defender. Ottens was dropped after Round 4 and did not play another seniors match after injuring his left knee in 1999 which required a reconstruction and then after four reserves games in 2000 he injured his right knee (which also required a reconstruction). He was delisted at end of 2000 and he returned first to Glenelg and then Encounter Bay.

 

 

Athas Hrysoulakis – Round 1, 1987. Leigh Matthews in his first full season as coach named seven debutants. Collingwood got done by the Swans at Victoria Park to the tune of 91 points – Warwick Capper kicked nine goals. The debutants included four players who played in a premiership three years later in Gavin Brown, Gavin Crosisca, Michael Christian and Craig Starcevich. Another who made his debut (from the Collingwood Zone) was Athas Hrysoulakis. Hrysoulakis showed some silky skills on the half back line with 12 disposals, was something of a cult figure over nine games in 1987 (but none in 1988). In 1989 he played forward and kicked five goals against the Swans. After two games in 1990 he was delisted and was picked up by Richmond in the 1991 mid-season draft but did not play a game.

 

 

Glenn Manton – Manton had three seasons at Essendon for three numbers, starting with 53 in 1992, 37 in 1993 and 25 in 1994. Manton played 21 games in three seasons at Essendon without holding a regular spot and he was delisted after the 1994 season. In 1995 Manton was picked up by Carlton in the Preseason Draft and played 12 of the last 15 games mainly off the bench –  the season was capped with a premiership. Manton was a regular Carlton player in defence after 1995 over 157 games between 1995-2003 for a total of 178.

 

 

Brendan Whitecross – Whitecross was drafted by Hawthorn with Pick 29 in the 2007 Draft from the Zillmere Eagles in Queensland. Whitecross debuted in the Grand Final rematch against Geelong in Round 1, 2009. Whitecross played the first ten games and 13 for the season in 2009 with his best game in Round 3 with 29 disposals. Whitecross was a regular for Hawthorn from 2010-2012 for 59 games and up until the qualifying final in 2012, all of Hawthorn’s finals. That was the start of Whitecross’s bad luck, where he ruptured his ACL and he missed playing in the Grand Final. He moved to Number 11 in 2013, but the bad luck continued. Whitecross returned to the seniors in Round 14, 2013 and played 12 games but ruptured his ACL again in the preliminary final and missed the 2013 Premiership. No games in 2014 meant another flag missed. From his return in Round 3, 2015 Whitecross was not the same player and played just 27 games in four seasons and unfortunately he never played in a the big dance. Whitecross finished with 111 games.

 

 

Peter Matera – Matera was Pick 4 in the 1989 Draft from South Fremantle. Matera debuted in Round 1, 1990 against Collingwood, just days short of his 21st birthday. Matera was dropped until Round 7, then he played the next four games before not reappearing again for the rest of the season. In 1991 Matera moved to Number 30 and played every game for the season, kicked 32 goals, won All Australian selection and perhaps formed the greatest centreline since 1980 with Dean Kemp and Chris Mainwaring. Matera next year went one better with a Premiership, Norm Smith Medal (which included five goals in the Grand Final) and one of the best finals series ever by a player where he kicked ten goals from the wing in three finals. Matera went on to play 253 games for 217 goals, and along with his two premierships and Norm Smith Medal, won a Best & Fairest, five time All Australian and is a Hall of Fame inductee. Peter’s brothers Wally (24 games, 1987-1988) and Phillip (179 games, 1996-2005) also played for West Coast.

 

 

Robert Handley – Handley was one of the recruits of the year in 1985, 15 games as an onballer in a very strong Hawthorn side. Handley was 20 and played 15 games for 17 goals and played in all of Hawthorn’s finals. Handley moved to Number 8 in 1986 but struggled to recapture the same form. He played eight games in 1986-1987 and none in 1988. Handley was traded with Peter Russo and Paul Harding to St Kilda at the end of 1988 for Pick 1 of the 1988 Draft, which was Alex McDonald. Handley played just four games for the Saints and moved to Central Districts in the SANFL where he played 135 games.

 

 

Bailey Rice – Bailey is the son of ex-Saint and Carlton player Dean who played 100 games with both clubs. Bailey had the choice of either, but chose St Kilda and was taken by them with Pick 49 in the 2015 Draft. Rice debuted in Round 9, 2018 and played 11 games for the season with his best game against Sydney with 20 disposals. Rice did not play a game in 2019 and has since moved to the USA to try his career as a punter in their college system.

 

 

Darren Bradshaw – Darren is two years younger than Daniel and was picked by Brisbane with Pick 16 in the 2002 Rookie Draft. Bradshaw at 185cm was smaller than Daniel and debuted in Round 15, 2002 against Richmond as his brother was out injured. Darren had three kicks and kicked 0.1 and was out the following week. Darren was delisted at the end of the year and went to West Adelaide where he kicked 97 goals in 2003 and won the Ken Farmer Medal.

 

 

Dan Foley – Foley joined Richmond in 1982 from West Perth aged 22. Foley debuted in Round 11, 1983 and in his fourth game he kicked five goals against Essendon. Foley moved to Number 15 in 1984 but played just one game in 1984 and six games in 1985 before he returned to WA. He played 13 games in total for nine goals at Richmond. Foley returned to West Perth and won the Best & Fairest and goal kicking with 46 goals. In 2016 Foley was a contestant on the TV show ‘The Block’.

 

 

Andrew Tranquilli – Tranquilli took over the coveted Number 37 from Hrysoulakis having come from Marcellin. Much like Hrysoulakis he was a cult figure who wore long sleeves and started his career as a defender and ended up as a forward. Tranquilli played one game in 1993 and then played Round 1, 1994 with little impact. Tranquilli’s third match was his best game against West Coast Round 13, Tranquilli kicked 6.2. Tranquilli remained in the seniors and played Collingwood’s final against West Coast. He played ten games and kicked 18 goals for the season. In 1995 hamstring injuries restricted Tranquilli to one game, two kicks and two goals. However further injuries and unable to regain form in 1996 and he was delisted after 12 games and 20 goals. Andrew’s wife is Allison who competed for the Opals in the 1996 and 2000 Olympics where she won a Bronze and Silver medal.

 

 

Ian Callinan – Callinan was drafted by Adelaide with Pick 64 in the 2010 Rookie Draft after a career with the Tasmanian Devils from 2001-2006 which included a JJ Liston medal in 2005 and then four years at Central Districts from 2007-2010  where he won four premierships, two Best & Fairests and a Jack Oatey Medal in 2010. Callinan played three games in 2011 having made his debut aged 28 after preseason injury meant he missed half the season. In 2012 Callinan played 23 games for 39 goals including four bags of four goals. In 2013 Callinan played just six games for three goals and retired at the end of the year to captain Adelaide’s inaugural SANFL team for 2014-2015.

 

 

Tony Lockett – Lockett started his career at St Kilda in 1983 aged 17 in Round 4 against Geelong, he kicked two goals. Lockett played Rounds 4 and 5 and then came back in for the last games of the season, he played 12 games for 19 goals with a best of 5.4 against Richmond in Round 20. He moved to Number 14 from 1984-1987 and then Number 4 from 1988-1994 before he wore the same number at Sydney from 1995-1999 (and three games in Number 46 in 2002). Lockett is the league’s greatest ever goal kicker, he played 183 games for St Kilda for 898 goals and at Sydney 98 games for 462 goals to finish up with 281 games and 1360 goals. Lockett won the Brownlow in 1987, four Coleman Medals, two Best & Fairest at St Kilda, five All Australians and is a Legend in the Hall of Fame. Lockett kicked 100 goals six times and kicked 10+ goals in 22 games with a best haul of 16 goals.

 

 

Adam Saliba – Saliba was one of the inaugural Crows on the Adelaide list in 1991 from North Adelaide. Saliba did not play a game in 1991 but made his debut in Round 15, 1992 aged 19; he played three games for two goals. Saliba’s first game was his best with 26 disposals and one goal. In his next game he got eight disposals and his third game 18, but he did not receive another game. His form was good enough to get him a game for the South Australia’s state of origin side during this period. Saliba though is best remembered for one of the great mullets – one that could be comparable to Wayne Weidemann.

 

 

Jim Stynes – Stynes came to Melbourne in 1985 aged 18 after he responded to an advertisement to join Melbourne Football Club in the Dublin papers. Stynes played U19s for Melbourne and also seniors at Prahran. Stynes debuted in Round 3, 1987 against Geelong and got five kicks. Stynes was dropped and reappearred in the seniors between Rounds 9 and 11 before he came back in Round 16 for the rest of the year. Stynes played a valuable role in Melbourne’s 1987 finals campaign as extra ruck/forward and was in Melbourne’s best players with four goals in the finals. Stynes’ 1987 is best remembered for his run through the mark after the siren when Gary Buckenara was kicking for goal which gave away a 15 metre penalty. Stynes came back from this setback and moved to Number 11 in 1988. He improved and played every game for 26 goals. Stynes did not miss a game until Round 5, 1998 for 244 consecutive games.  Stynes played 264 games, won the 1991 Brownlow, two time All Australian, four time Best & Fairest winner and was an inductee into the Hall of Fame. Stynes also did a lot of charity work for his own charity Reach and was president of Melbourne from 2008-2011 but sadly passed away from cancer in 2012.

 

 

David Twomey – David is from a family of Collingwood royalty, with his grandfather Bill Twomey Snr (54 games, 1919 Premiership team) and his uncles Bill Twomey Jnr (189 games, 1957 captain), Mick (157 games) and Pat (55 games). All three played in the 1953 Premiership and Mick played in 1956. David debuted with three games in 1979 and in 1980 he played seven including the preliminary final but was dropped for the Grand Final for Ricky Barham. Twomey’s best year was in 1981 with 21 games including the Grand Final. He struggled in 1982-1983 but when Collingwood made a preliminary final in 1984 Twomey played 21 games. Twomey changed to Number 8 in 1984 but left Collingwood after one game in 1985 to finish with 63 games.

 

 

Jamie Lawson – Lawson was a 168cm cult figure for Sydney who was noted for his speed and pressure. Lawson debuted against Geelong in Round 7, 1991 and played 16 games for eight goals. Lawson moved to Number 1 in 1992 and played 18 games with his best game of 30 disposals and two goals against Brisbane. He was a mainstay in the Sydney team until a horrible accident against Richmond in Round 19, 1994 where he broke his tibia which led to compartment syndrome. Sadly Lawson never played again and retired at the age of only 22 and with 61 games to his credit.

 

 

Jake Edwards – Jake is a third generation VFL/AFL player. He is the son of Allan Butch Edwards who played 113 games for Richmond, Collingwood & Footscray from 1975-1984. Jake’s grandfather is Arthur Edwards who played 120 games from 1951-1960 including the 1954 Premiership. Jake was drafted by Carlton with Pick 36 in the 2005 Draft. Jake debuted in Round 1, 2008 against Richmond and played five games for four goals in three stints in the seniors. Edwards was delisted at the end of the 2009 season and played for Darley in the Ballarat league; he then appeared on ‘Married at First Sight’ in 2021.

 

 

Tom Fields – Tom is the son of ex-Essendon & Sydney midfielder Neville Fields who had played 200 games. Tom was drafted with Pick 41 in the 2014 Rookie Draft by Carlton from South Adelaide. Fields debuted aged 22 against Richmond in Round 15, 2015 and played two consecutive games before he was dropped and delisted at end of the 2015 season.

 

 

Max Gawn – Max was drafted with Number 34 in the 2009 Draft and was presented by president at the time Jim Stynes with his first number, 37. Gawn debuted in Round 11, 2011 against Geelong and showed promise as a ruck despite injuries and moved to Stynes’ treasured Number 11 in 2014. Max has become one of the best rucks since Simon Madden and a well-loved personality of the game. Max is now a premiership captain, has been skipper for the Dees since 2020 and is a five-time All Australian and two time Best & Fairest winner in over 170 games. His parents have a great little café in Loch in Gippsland.

 

 

Richard Lounder – Lounder was the Number 1 pick in the 1987 Draft from Central Districts as a 203cm 116kg ruck. Lounder did not come over until 1989 and he debuted in Round 5 against North Melbourne aged 22 where he kicked 4.2 from his six kicks. Lounder played the next three games but only got three disposals and no goals. Lounder returned to South Australia at the end of 1989 and retired from football in 1991.

 

 

Some of the forgotten Number 37s are: Rudi Frigo (Bris), Adrian Bassett (Carl), Greg Daniels (Coll), Merv Harbinson (Ess), Tommy Floyd (Geel), Stuart Cameron (Fitz), Garry Moss (Haw), David Flintoff (Melb), Michael Passmore (NM), Fabian Deluca (PA), Ty Esler (Rich), Justin Sweeney (St.K), Robert Teal (Syd), Paul Mifka (WCE), Ian Rickman (Foots)

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Roger Lowrey says

    Did you forget about Geelong’s Sean Simpson (1990s) and his son Sam (current) or is one or other in your earlier team?

    RDL

  2. This is a great side. Another fine Boyd moment.

  3. Jarrod_L says

    Thanks again Rodney, I’m finding it more enjoyable to see your sides with these higher numbers from a knowledge gaining perspective…tell you what though. it’s been a bit tough to think up witty or relevant titles for 74 sides! (I secretly love it though, haha)

    RDL, Sean is in the best of side in the guts: https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/almanac-teams-no-harmes-in-being-goodes-best-of-37-1980/

  4. Thanks Roger I had as Jarrod mentioned Sean made best of team, this is more of a obscure team

    Thanks John I really appreciate it coming from you,

    Thanks Jarrod you do such a great job on the edit and I love your weekly introduction to see what you come up. The higher the number has been a bit harder with best of but really enjoyed the obscure team for remembering some classic players who had a brief cameo.

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    All Collingwood supporters of a certain age fondly remember Hrysoulakis and Tranquilli very fondly!

    Jamie Lawson was playing brilliant football at the time of his injury, such a shame his career was cut short.

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