Almanac Teams: North and South

North and South.  Polar opposites.  Literally.  But not necessarily figuratively.  In VFL/AFL terms, both North Melbourne and South Melbourne/Sydney have many parallels.  Both have had their years of struggle, both have had their years of success (but generally more struggle than success).  Blue and white.  Red and white.  As simple as it gets from a colour perspective.


Over time, South went north and North went south.  In the late 70s / early 80s, North pioneered the VFL’s expansion north to Sydney, playing a series of home games at the SCG.  But it was South that made the move north, morphing into Sydney Swans.  And ultimately it was North that then pioneered a (partial) move south, to Hobart.


Along the way, there seems to be an inordinate amount of players who represented both clubs.  Hence, here is a team of players who played at least one VFL/AFL game at both North Melbourne and South Melbourne/Sydney.  Some started South and went North, others started North and then went South, and some started South, went North, and headed South again (e.g. John Rantall).  Some started at one club, but made their name at the second club.  Some made their name at one club and then played out their days at the other.  Some were legends at both clubs, some were journeymen.  Some made their name somewhere else altogether (e.g. John Murphy, Derek Kickett).


Note: ‘Teams with a twist’ has been a recurring theme in recent months in the Almanac, and we can start a new twist of teams of players who had all played at two specific clubs.  Think about how many permutations there are on this one!  Collingwood/Carlton, Richmond/Geelong, Hawthorn/St Kilda are three combinations that immediately spring to mind with numerous examples of players who played at both clubs.  But Dockers/Suns might be hard to fill at this stage!


Here is the team:


B              David Ackerley                          Mark Roberts                            Denis Pagan

HB            John Rantall                             Gary Cowton                            Maurice Boyse

C              Doug Koop                                 John Murphy                            Shane Zantuck

HF            Jason Love                                Darryl Sutton                            Brett Allison

F              Craig Holden                              Craig Davis                                Derek Kickett

Foll          Barry Goodingham                   Shannon Grant                        Wayne Schwass

Int            Daryl Cumming                        Paul Bryce                                 Robert Saggers                         Michael Stilo


Coach       Ron Barassi


Asst Coaches            John Longmire,  John Blakey


CEO         Greg Miller


Music       Not One Direction!


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About Michael Crawford

Born and bred in South Melbourne. Career highlight: 1984 - Sparred with Warwick Capper.


  1. I like it, Mick.
    Some good players there – and some obscure ones also.
    Paul Bryce, I still laugh when I hear his name mentioned.
    A noticeable name who is not there: Dean McRae (87-96 – 81 games with North, 60 with Swans).

  2. I suspect you have discovered a rich vein here Michael.

  3. george smith says

    Remember how Fran the Nanny would always tell Mr Sheffield off for his inability to pick Broadway hits?

    “You passed on cats???”

    Well here is a team of Swans players and Swans recruits who all played in premiership teams – after they left the Swans!

    B: Greg Brentnall (Canterbury-Bankstown) Robert McGhie (Richmond) Chris Daniher (Essendon)
    HB: Shane Morwood (Collingwood) Peter Caven (Adelaide) John Rantall (North)
    C: Darren Millane (Collingwood) Greg Williams (Carlton) Wayne Walsh (Richmond)
    HF: Bobby Davis (Geelong) Wayne Carey (North) Shannon Grant (North)
    F: Terry Daniher (Essendon) John Longmire (North) Mark Roberts (North)
    R: Darren Jolley (Collingwood) David Rhys Jones (Carlton) Norm Goss (Hawthorn)

    Brings out your inner Fran: “You passed on Bobby Davis AND Wayne Carey????

  4. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great team, Michael. Fair bit of traffic over the years. Gareth John as a support ruck and Glen Page as an emergency.

  5. Michael Crawford says

    Thanks Darren and Phillip. Good gets.
    IN: Dean McRae, Gareth John.
    OUT: Robert Saggers, Mick Stilo
    (Glen Page still an emergency)

    George: I think your comment highlights some of the howlers made by the Swans recruiters in past years. Thankfully we now have Kinnear Beatson. Whilst Neville Fields was a handy player, his recruitment was grossly outweighed by losing not just Terry Daniher, but his three untried brothers (Neale, Anthony and Chris) and their progeny (Darcy and Joe) as well (and probably their progeny also!!). Still, I take solace in us giving John Pitura to Richmond in exchange for Brian Roberts, Graham Teasdale, Francis Jackson and $40,000. We definitely won on that one.

    JTH: Thanks – I’d love to see some other ‘two club teams’ being nominated by other almanac contributors.

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