Almanac Teams: No Harmes in being Goodes, Best of 37 (1980- )



Sydney’s Adam Goodes [Source: Author]


This is a team of best players to wear the Number 37 jumper since 1980.


  • 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 numbers, for example Eddie Betts numbers 18 and 19.




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.



FB:         Brandon Starcevich (Bris)               Tom Barrass (WCE)                       Matthew Warnock (Freo)


CHB:     Brayden Maynard (Coll)                   Michael Johnson (Freo)                Dean Rice (St.K)


C:           Wayne Harmes (DVC) (Carl)          Sean Simpson (Geel)                      Connor Menadue (Rich)


CHF:     Stuart Dew (PA)                                 Trent Hentschel (Adel)                  Roarke Smith (WB)


FF:         Jesse Lonergan (GCS)                      Rory Lobb (GWS)                            Kyle Reimers (Ess)


Ruck:    Adam Goodes (C) (Syd)                    Adam Simpson (VC) (NM)            Angelo Lekkas (Haw)


Interchange: Ryan Lonie (Coll), Adam Selwood (WCE), Andrew Williams (WCE), Mark Withers (Bris)


Emergencies: Daniel Hargraves (Foots), Bobby Hill (GWS), Michael Kol (Geel), David Twomey (Coll)


Coach: Paul Feltham


No player from Fitzroy



Games in Number 37 (Years Played)

Brandon Starcevich 60 (2018- )

Tom Barrass 108 (2015-)

Matthew Warnock 38 (2006-2009)

Brayden Maynard 148 (2015- )

Michael Johnson 244 (2005-2018)

Dean Rice 116 (1987-1993)

Wayne Harmes 168 (1978-1988)

Sean Simpson 114 (1991-1998)

Connor Menadue 39 (2015-2019)

Stuart Dew 39 (1997-1999)

Trent Hentschel 71 (2003-2010)

Roarke Smith 44 (2015- )

Jesse Lonergan 46 (2013-2016)

Rory Lobb 74 at Greater Western Sydney (2014-2018) 57 at Fremantle (2019- )

Kyle Reimers 60 (2007-2012)

Adam Goodes 372 (1999-2015)

Adam Simpson 65 (1995-1998)

Angelo Lekkas 180 (1996-2005)

Ryan Lonie 64 (2001-2003)

Adam Selwood 187 (2003-2013)

Andrew Williams 84 (1998-2002)

Mark Withers 36 (1987-1990)




The Number 37 has never been a sought after number however there is a two time Brownlow Medallist and a Norm Smith Medallist in the team. The general rule of: ‘the higher the number, the higher the lack of quality’ is now starting to show…although the team does have probably the best utility since 1980 in Adam Goodes in the team. It’s a pity there are not ten Adam Goodes in the team as he won one Brownlow as a ruck and another as midfielder/wing. Goodes could also play forward and in his early days played a bit in defence. Four of the players in the team went onto a lower number and three players played less than 50 games with that club.



Clubs with multiple options are Collingwood with David Twomey, Ryan Lonie and Brayden Maynard, Brisbane with Mark Withers and Brandon Starcevich, GWS with Rory Lobb and Bobby Hill and West Coast with Andrew Williams, Adam Selwood and Tom Barrass.



The defence is probably the strength of the team, led by two Western Australians in key posts. Tom Barrass has emerged as a reliable tall defender for West Coast having had a breakout year when West Coast last won the premiership in 2018. Michael Johnson at CHB was an All Australian in 2013 and can play a defensive role but was also a very good intercept marker. Matthew Warnock is the third tall defender who ended up with 55 games for Melbourne as a tight defender, he could allow Johnson to attack. Brandon Starcevich and Brayden Maynard are currently two of the best lock down small- to mid-sized defenders and have been on the fringe of the All Australian squad in recent years. Dean Rice on half back can play as a tight defender but will be needed to provide some run and dash from defence. Other players that can play in defence are Ryan Lonie and Wayne Harmes as running defenders while Sean Simpson, Jesse Lonergan, Angelo Lekkas and Adam Selwood are small defenders.



The midfield starts with Adam Goodes in the ruck and while not much of a tap ruck, Goodes was brilliant around the ground with his marking and mobility. Rory Lobb would play as the second ruck or even solely in the centre square.  Angelo Lekkas takes one of the onball positions and will be needed to give run and be the main possession earner of the starting midfield; Lekkas was known as a very good defensive running player. Adam Simpson in the Number 37 was just starting out and was mainly a run with midfielder/wing or defender. In this side he would be able to play a more attacking role which he showed later in his career. Sean Simpson was always tagging midfielder or small defender and would have first option of the opposition midfield. Connor Menadue I always thought had promise but never kicked on, he won the Grand Final Sprint in 2017 and gets a role on the wing. Wayne Harmes won a Norm Smith Medal as a defender/on baller and is capable of playing wing/HBF and is important for his run in the side. Other midfield options are Lobb in the ruck, Withers and Selwood on ball and Lonergan, Rice and Andrew Williams on the wing.



Rory Lobb is at FF and is a regular second tall forward/second ruck. Lobb’s best year was 29 goals in 2016 with four goals in a match. Trent Hentschel at CHF showed so much promise until knee injuries wrecked his career. Hentschel kicked 94 goals in 71 games with a best of eight goals in a very, very good Adelaide side in 2006. Hentschel was only 23 then but sadly only played 20 more games in five years with no games in 2007-2008. Dew started his career in 37 before moving to 17 and averaged a goal a game in his first three seasons. Kyle Reimers was a small forward that could play taller and kicked eight goals against Gold Coast in their sixth ever match. Roarke Smith and Jesse Lonergan are not really recognised forwards but can be good pressure players and that is what their role in the side would be.  Adam Goodes, Dean Rice, Mark Withers and Andrew Williams would be the other forward options.



The interchange is really the next best four available. Ryan Lonie started his career in Number 37 before moving to Number 3. Lonie was a very good half back when he debuted as a running half back who could kick a goal from outside 50 metres. Adam Selwood missed out in starting 18 due to balance but is a very good defensive midfielder for the side or can play as a smaller defender. Andrew Williams was a very good overhead mark for his size able to play wing or half forward. Mark Withers is a genuine rover who won a Best & Fairest at Brisbane in 1988 but then missed all of 1989 due to injuries and played only 14 more games.



Adam Goodes is the only captain in the side, so he is obviously skipper. Adam Simpson is vice captain as he did lead North Melbourne, but while he was wearing the Number 7. I decided to select Michael Johnson as deputy.



The unlucky players were Marc Bullen (Ess) and Kane Mitchell (PA).




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