Almanac Teams: Noteworthy Nines (1980- )



Melbourne’s Laurie Fowler. [Source: Author]



A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 9 jumper since 1980.



Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 9, mostly from 1980 onwards but I have made exceptions, such as Sam Kekovich in the Number 8 team.


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 a side as possible but this was not a priority


Stats are based on their time in that number



FB:           Laurie Fowler (Melb)                     Brian Winton (St.K)              Shane Heard (Ess)


CHB:       Josh Carr (PA)                                 Max Crow (St.K)                    Brayden Lyle (PA)


C:             Brett Sholl (Carl)                             Derek Kickett (Ess)               Jack Steven (Gee)


CHF:       Les Bamblett (WB)                         Robert Walls (Fitz)                Craig Starcevich (Bris)


FF:          Ron Andrews (Coll)                         Jack Anthony (Coll)              John Georgiades (Foots)


Ruck:     Lazar Vidovic (St.K)                         Brad Boyd (Bris)                    Jack Trengove (Melb)


Interchange:     Milan Faletic (St.K), Mark Gamble (St.K), Damian Monkhorst (St.K), Adam Ramanauskas (Ess)



There are no players from Adelaide, Fremantle, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney, West Coast, Gold Coast or GWS



Games in Number 9 (Years played)

Laurie Fowler 140 (1975-1981)

Brian Winton 5 (1989)

Shane Heard 157 (1977-1987)

Josh Carr 67 (2002-2004)

Max Crow 40 (1983-1985)

Brayden Lyle 90 (1997-2001)

Brett Sholl 35 (1992-1994)

Derek Kickett 77 (1990-1993)

Jack Steven 9 (2020)

Les Bamblett 37 (1984-1988)

Robert Walls 41 (1978-1980)

Craig Starcevich 20 (1994-1995)

Ron Andrews 6 (1984)

Jack Anthony 43 (2008-2010)

John Georgiades 15 (1989-1990)

Lazar Vidovic 70 (1992-1997)

Brad Boyd 15 (1997-1999)

Jack Trengove 86 (2010-2017)

Milan Faletic 24 (1981-1982)

Mark Gamble 13 (1987-1988)

Damian Monkhorst 10 (2000)

Adam Ramanauskas 134 (1999-2008)




Laurie Fowler – Fowler is maybe best known as a Tigers player rather than a Demon, despite playing 140 games at Melbourne compared to 49 at Richmond. Fowler is most remembered for a heavy bump on Carlton captain-coach John Nicholls in the opening minutes of the 1973 Grand Final. Despite becoming a Richmond premiership player in 1973, Fowler was traded to Melbourne after the 1974 season. Fowler would win three Best & Fairests at Melbourne and play for Victoria twice. On a personal note, I used to work with and sit next to his daughter at work, who was one of best and funniest colleagues I ever worked with.



Brian Winton – Is chosen for being the first ever pick in a preseason draft. Season 1989 was the first use of the preseason draft, then held a week before Round 1. St Kilda picked Brian Winton with Pick 1 ahead of John Gastev, Wally Matera and Travis Martin-Beynon (aka The Candy Man). After five games for the season, Winton was delisted at the end of the year.



Shane Heard – Was one of the VFL’s best taggers in the 1980s and played in the 1984 premiership. Heard was involved in an unusual incident in 1985’s State of Origin games for Victoria against South Australia. Heard was not selected in the squad and was smuggled over on a different flight for a role on John Platten. Teammates found out just hours before the match when a curtain in the change rooms was opened with Shane Heard standing behind it. The SA team and viewers found out when he ran out on the ground. Victoria won by 57 points but the match was forfeited as Victoria had played an extra player in Heard.  Heard retired after 1987 but was lured back for one more season in 1991 aged 32.



Josh Carr – Josh played 124 games for Port Adelaide over two stints and 83 for Fremantle. Josh wore 25 in his first two seasons and Number 2 in his second time round at Alberton. It was in Number 9 however that Josh had the most fun. In 2002 Carr got into a fight with Mark Ricciuto at the Ramsgate Hotel in Adelaide the Sunday after the showdown. This ended up involving several players from both sides in a brawl. In 2004 Josh Carr became a premiership player but copped a couple of heavy punches from Jonathan Brown who ended up with a five-week suspension.



Max Crow – Crow was a very good player for Essendon in the late 1970s and early 1980s and could play either end of the ground, generally swapping with Paul Van Der Haar. Despite being a regular player, Crow moved to St Kilda in 1983 and won their Best & Fairest. He is now known as father of Kim Brennan (nee Crow) who won a Gold Medal at the 2016 Olympics in Rowing Single Sculls and a Silver and Bronze at the 2012 Olympics in Single and Double Sculls.



Brayden Lyle – Was drafted from Port Adelaide to West Coast where he played 26 games over two seasons. In 1997 Lyle joined Port Adelaide in their inaugural season and was appointed vice captain. Lyle though was to captain Port Adelaide in their first AFL match with skipper Gavin Wanganeen out suspended. Lyle would also win the Fos Williams Medal in 1997 for SA against Victoria



Brett Sholl – Was drafted to North Melbourne originally, joining his cousins Craig & Brad, however Sholl did not play a game for the Kangaroos and was traded to Carlton. In his second year in 1993 he played 19 games, including the Grand Final, as a pacy wingman. The next year Sholl played only four games (though one was in the losing Semi Final), was delisted and surprisingly did not get another opportunity. He is the father of promising Adelaide youngster Lachlan Sholl.



Derek Kickett – Was originally drafted aged 26 by North Melbourne but was delisted after one season and 12 games. Kickett was then drafted by Essendon in the preseason draft of 1990 and played 19 games including the losing Grand Final. Kickett was a regular player for Essendon and in 1993 he had played 23 out of 25 games before the Grand Final. Kickett had kicked 8 goals in Round 20 but his form dropped after that and in the first three finals had recorded just eight, two & five disposals. With his poor form he was dropped along with David Flood for Mark Harvey & Dean Wallis in the Grand Final. Once dropped Kickett immediately walked out of the club, did not watch the game and did not speak to Kevin Sheedy until 2018 (25 years later). Kickett would go on to play three seasons with Sydney including the 1996 losing Grand Final, which was his last game. Kickett is best remembered for the enormous torpedoes he kicked for goal.



Jack Steven – Was St Kilda’s best player during the 2010s, winning four Best & Fairests in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2018 over 183 games. In 2019 Steven’s mental health led to a period spent time out of the game, he then requested a trade to Geelong to be closer to family in Lorne. Steven wore Number 9 at Geelong but struggled for pace after a legacy of injuries and only played nine games before being dropped for the finals series. He retired at the end of the year.



Les Bamblett – A promising player whose career was ruined by injury, Bamblett started with Melbourne as 19-year-old, playing 11 games for 12 goals. However a contract dispute meant Bamblett left Melbourne for Footscray in a swap for Steve O’Dwyer who was in Footscray’s zone. In 1985 Footscray finished third with Bamblett playing a huge role, playing 24 games and kicking 51 goals, he kicked five goals in a match three times. Sadly Bamblett was dogged by injuries including a knee reconstruction and played only nine more matches over the next three years before retiring. Bamblett also won the 1982 Morrish Medal.



Robert Walls – Walls wore number 42 at Carlton for 218 games, three premierships and was captain of Carlton for 1977-1978. Midway through 1978 Walls was sensationally cleared to Fitzroy aged 28 after a falling out with coach Ian Stewart. He played 41 games with Fitzroy before retiring in 1980. Walls was then appointed Coach at Fitzroy in 1981 and coached for five years before winning a premiership at former club Carlton in 1987 and then moving on to coach Brisbane and Richmond.



Craig Starcevich – Was a Collingwood premiership player in 1990 and during his time at the Pies kicked 124 goals for them. Starcevich along with Troy Lehmann was then traded to Brisbane for Nathan Buckley. Starcevich biggest contribution was being Fitness and Conditioning coach during Brisbane’s three premierships in the early 2000s. He then went to St. Kilda for the same role, but left after 12 months. Starcevich was Brisbane inaugural AFLW coach and remains there today, they have made the 2017 & 2018 Grand Finals under his watch.



Ron Andrews – Andrews was a former Essendon captain who played 151 games. He missed the Preliminary Final in 1983 and was not selected for the Grand Final. Andrews left Essendon for Collingwood where he played six games, including three finals. His last match was the 1984 Preliminary Final against Essendon where he kicked three goals. Collingwood though only kicked five in total for a 133 point loss.



Jack Anthony – Anthony looked like a promising forward for Collingwood 2008-2009. In his first year he played 12 games for 25 goals and his second year played 24 games for 50 goals. His best known goal was in a Semi Final where he slotted a goal from a free inside the last minute to give Collingwood a victory over Adelaide. Anthony was a reliable set shot for goal but fell out of favour for Chris Dawes and in 2010 only played seven games for four goals. Anthony then nominated for the draft where Fremantle selected him; he only played a further eight games for three goals in two seasons.



John Georgiades – Georgiades was drafted in 1988 and was picked in the Round 1 side for Footscray. Then aged 23, the recruit from Subiaco kicked eight goals against Carlton in his first game. He followed with five goals in Round 3, however over the next four rounds he kicked only three goals and was demoted to the reserves. Georgiades would only play two more games in 1989 and six games in 1990-91 for eight goals. John’s son Mitch looks like a promising forward for Port Adelaide. He is already halfway to his Dad’s games total, playing seven in his debut season.



Lazar Vidovic – Vidovic was a cult figure for St Kilda, playing 80 games over nine years. Vidovic was reported several times, including coping a six-week suspension in 1995 against Fremantle in their first preseason night match. Vidovic looked to have timed his run well for 1997’s top of the ladder Saints side when he came for Round 16 and stayed there. However in Round 22 Vidovic did his knee again, and aged 33 he retired. The following week the Saints’ Peter Everitt was injured and St Kilda’s two main rucks were unavailable for the Grand Final.



Brad Boyd – Brad was Fitzroy last ever VFL/AFL captain and was the first player signed from Fitzroy to Brisbane for 1997. The footballing gods were cruel to Boyd and for the next three seasons he was dogged with back issues. Boyd played just one game in his first year and six in 1998. He played the first eight games of 1999 and kicked four goals in Round 1 but after being injured in Round 8, Boyd would not play another game and retired aged 28 with 85 games to his credit. If fit who knows what Boyd could have done in 2001-2003?



Jack Trengove – A super talented junior, Trengove was a worthy Number 2 draft pick. His first two seasons he played 37 games but was appointed co-captain in his third year in 2012 aged 20. Trengove was the youngest captain ever in AFL history. In his two seasons as captain he played 42 games but relinquished the captaincy under coach Paul Roos in 2014. Trengove then suffered a foot injury which restricted him to just two games in 2014, zero in 2015, three in 2016 and two in 2017. Trengove was delisted and drafted by Port Adelaide where he played just three more games. His older sister Jessica has represented Australia in the marathon at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics.



Milan Faletic – A cult figure with his wispy hair. Faletic made his debut for the Saints in 1981 aged 28 where he kicked five goals in his first game. He would finish the year with 21 games and 31 goals but next year he would play only three more games for two goals.



Mark Gamble – Was a St. Kilda fullback who played 22 matches in his first year. He is now the Head Judge of the Criminal Division for the County court of Victoria.



Damian Monkhorst – Best known for being 1990 premiership player at Collingwood, he played 205 games. At age 30, Monkhorst was delisted by Malthouse with young ruckman Josh Fraser joining the club. Monkhorst found himself at St Kilda where he played a further 10 games. Monkhorst since retiring has being ruck coach at a few clubs including Hawthorn in their threepeat premiership years.



Adam Ramanauskas – A premiership player and runner up in for the Rising Star award in 2000, Ramanauskas was an exciting wing and played 74 games in first four seasons. In 2003 Ramanauskas was diagnosed with a form of cancer in the neck and missed eight games. After playing every game in 2004, Ramanauskas played only three games in 2005 after suffering a season-ending knee injury. Sadly the cancer reappeared in 2006 and Ramanauskas did not play a game. Fortunately Ramanuaskas recovered well and played 18 games in 2008 before retiring aged 28 after 134 games, he is now enjoying good health and is an AFL player manager and analyst on radio 3LO.



Some of the forgotten Number 9s are Bruce Lindner & Tony Hall (Adel), Alex Ishchenko (Bris), Stephen Edgar & David Clarke (Carl), Brad Hardie (Coll), Peter Sartori (Fitz), Ray Sterrett (Geel), Warren Campbell (NM), James Ezard (PA), Gary Frangalas (Rich), Damian Kitschke and Tom Lee (St.K), Wayne Henwood (Syd), Glenn O’Loughlin and Brent Hutton (WCE)






To return to our Footy Almanac home page click HERE.




Our writers are independent contributors. The opinions expressed in their articles are their own. They are not the views, nor do they reflect the views, of Malarkey Publications.




Do you enjoy the Almanac concept?

And want to ensure it continues in its current form, and better? To help things keep ticking over please consider making your own contribution.




Become an Almanac (annual) member – CLICK HERE.

One-off financial contribution – CLICK HERE.

Regular financial contribution (monthly EFT) – CLICK HERE.



Leave a Comment