Almanac Teams: Notorious Nineteens (1980- )



Melbourne’s Darren Bennett [Source: Author]



A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 19 jumper since 1980.



Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 19, mostly from 1980 onwards but I have made exceptions, such as Glynn Hewitt in this 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 side as possible but this was not a priority


Stats are based on their time in that number




FB:        Tony Armstrong (Syd)        Zeno Tzatzaris (Foots)            Graham Osborne (Fitz)


CHB:    Chad Davis (St.K)                Darren Holmes (Fitz)               Donald Dickie (PA)


C:          Tim Fleming (Rich)             Ben Beams (Melb)                    James Walker (Freo)


CHF:    Cameron Mooney (NM)      Mitch Thorp (Haw)                  Ricky Nixon (St.K)


FF:        Luke Beveridge (WB)          Darren Bennett (Melb)            Brett Evans (Rich)


Ruck:    Gareth John (Syd)               Patrick Dangerfield (Adel)      Brodie Atkinson (St.K)


Interchange: Daniel Bradshaw (Syd), Neville Bruns (Geel), Craig Davis (Coll), Glyn Hewitt (Rich)


No players from Brisbane, Carlton, Gold Coast or GWS.



Games in Number 19 (Years played)

Tony Armstrong 15 (2012-2013)

Zeno Tzatzaris 33 (1985-1989)

Graham Osborne 36 (1985-1989)

Chad Davis 16 (2001-2002)

Darren Holmes 21 (1995-1996)

Donald Dickie 55 (1997-2000)

Tim Fleming 34 (2003-2004)

Ben Beams 12 (2000-2001)

James Walker 147 (1999-2007)

Cameron Mooney 11 (1999)

Mitch Thorp 1 (2019)

Ricky Nixon 51 (1987-1991)

Luke Beveridge 31 (1993-1995)

Darren Bennett 4 at West Coast (1987) 74 at Melbourne (1989-1993)

Brett Evans 28 (1997-2010)

Gareth John 21 (1990-1993)

Patrick Dangerfield 2 (2008)

Brodie Atkinson 2 (1993)

Daniel Bradshaw 9 (2010)

Neville Bruns 223 (1978-1992)

Craig Davis 102 (1979-1983)

Glynn Hewitt 15 (1973-1974)



Tony Armstrong – Armstrong was recruited from one of the great football towns in NSW, Burrumbuttock. He was drafted by Adelaide in 2007 with Pick 58 and was set to debut in Round 13, 2009 until his housemate Richard Douglas had a swine ‘flu scare and both had to quarantine. Armstrong had to wait until Round 1 of 2010 to play his first game and played 14 games in two years before requesting a trade to Sydney. He played 15 games in two years at Sydney before being delisted and was then picked up by Collingwood as a delisted free agent; he played six games in two years to bring his total to 35 games. Since footy Tony has worked for the ABC on its Grandstand and Breakfast programs, hosts the Yokayi Footy Show on Foxtel and is a newspaper columnist.



Zeno Tzatzaris – Zeno was a cult figure, mainly due to his name before multiculturalism’s impact really hit the AFL. Zeno made his debut in 1984 wearing Number 48, before switching to 19 between 1985-1989 then returned to 48 in 1990. Zeno showed promise as a key defender but suffered from knee injuries with the most games played in a year being 10 in 1987, Tzatzaris played Round 1, 1990 before injuring his knee again. Tzatzaris’ major career highlight was three Brownlow votes in Round 19, 1989 against Geelong; he collected 14 disposals (reportedly while playing mainly on Gary Ablett Sr) Ablett had 21 disposals but no goals (Brownless kicked four, Exell had two from four disposals, if he played on them).



Graham Osborne – Graham was 18 months older than his more famous brother Richard. Graham debuted aged 21 in 1984 while Richard had made his debut in 1982. Graham stood at 179cm while Richard was 182cm tall, but both were similar in looks. He made his debut wearing Number 47 in the 1984 Elimination Final and gathered 15 disposals in Fitzroy’s loss to Collingwood. Osborne played until 1989 but never more than 11 games in a season and finished his career as a premiership player for Fitzroy’s 1989 Reserves.



Chad Davis – Chad is the son of St Kilda premiership legend Alan who played 250 AFL Games (173 with St Kilda, 41 at Melbourne, 33 at Essendon and three at Collingwood). Chad was not picked up as a Father Son pick but as a rookie in 1999. He wore Number 27 in his first year but moved to his dad’s 19 in 2001. Chad was a utility who could play either end and after 15 games in his first year he managed 16 in his last two before being delisted. Davis was also the unfortunate victim of Peter Filandia’s notorious bite on his scrotum in 2002; Filandia was suspended for 10 matches.



Darren Holmes – Holmes started his career at Sydney, he played 42 games between 1991-1994 before being traded to Fitzroy for 21 games in two seasons. Holmes is best known for his tackle on ‘Plugger’ the Piglet while playing for Sydney against St Kilda in 1993. Holmes also had the unfortunate experience of playing in five consecutive wooden spoon sides from 1992-1996 at both Sydney and Fitzroy.



Donald Dickie – A cult figure at Port Adelaide for his name, Dickie was in the original Port Adelaide team and is one few players of Maori heritage to play in the AFL. Dickie played 22 games in Port’s first season in 1997 and 19 games in 1998 where he came runner up in their Best & Fairest.



Tim Fleming – Fleming had two seasons at Richmond for 34 games before he was delisted when Terry Wallace was appointed as coach. Fleming was cult figure who played his first game aged 25 after previously winning Carlton’s Reserves Best & Fairest in 1993. On Wikipedia it says Fleming played for the Malaysian Warriors in 2015 in the AFL Asia competition.



Ben Beams – Beams started his AFL career in 1999 wearing Number 47 before moving to Number 19 the next year. After 11 games in his first year, Beams had struggled for games in a strong Melbourne side, he played six with his last in Round 14. Beams was named emergency for the 2000 Grand Final and was bought into the side after Cameron Bruce was forced to pull out. However he did not get a possession and was delisted after two games in 2001. Beams did have a successful career in Tasmanian footy and was inducted into the Tasmanian Hall of Fame in 2015.



James Walker – Walker is in the best of Number 19 team for his fine career at Fremantle. Walker was known for his pace and that he won the AFL Grand Final Sprint in 2003 & 2004. Interestingly he is also the great grandson of Collingwood and VFL/AFL legend Gordon Coventry.



Cameron Mooney – Mooney had a great AFL career at Geelong; 210 games for 295 goals, played in two premierships with and made the 2007 All Australian side. Mooney’s career at North Melbourne is though lesser known, he played 11 games there – including the 1999 Premiership. He was drafted in 1996 but his debut did not come until 1999 and he only played in the 1999 Grand Final because Jason McCartney was suspended. Like Ben Beams above him in this side, Mooney did not have a possession and a few weeks later was traded to Geelong with others for Leigh Colbert.



Mitch Thorp – Thorp was a highly rated junior key forward in Tasmania who was drafted with Pick 6 in the 2006 Draft by Hawthorn. Thorp wore 31 in his debut game in 2007 but was injured and unable to force his way back into the side until Round 2, 2009 where he wore Number 19. Sadly in a reserves match two weeks later he injured his foot and was ruled out for the rest of the season and was then delisted. In hindsight, drafting a key forward with Pick 6 may have seemed unusual with both Lance Franklin and Jarryd Roughead having been picked two seasons prior…especially as Pick 7 was Joel Selwood! However in reality it never hurt the club as Hawthorn was able to win four Premierships in the next nine years.



Ricky Nixon – Nixon started his career at Carlton having come from Golden Square but only played four games in three seasons for a very strong side. In 1986 Nixon joined a lot of ex-Carlton names like McConville, Marcou, Sheldon, Kourkoumelis, and Jones at St Kilda. He had five seasons at St Kilda with 1990 his best, but in 1991 he only played one game which was St Kilda’s elimination final against Geelong. Nixon moved to Hawthorn for 1992-93 and played eight games; his last match was again an elimination final. In 1994 Nixon became an AFL player agent and became perhaps the biggest and best known; mainly for starting ‘Club 10’ where he managed some of the league’s biggest players like Carey, Dunstall, Ablett, and Jakovich.



Luke Beveridge – Beveridge played 118 total games between 1989-1999, it included 42 games at Melbourne, 31 at Footscray and 45 at St Kilda. After his AFL career Beveridge coached amateur footy before two seasons as an assistant at Collingwood including the 2010 premiership. He then joined Hawthorn in 2012 where he was involved in 2013 and 2014 flags. In 2015 Beveridge was appointed senior coach of the Western Bulldogs and in his second season took the Bulldogs to their second ever premiership.



Darren Bennett – Bennett played in West Coast Eagles first four matches in 1987, he kicked seven goals but never played another game after injuring his knee. Bennett was delisted after 1988 but was drafted by Melbourne with Pick 13 in the 1988 Draft. Bennett started well at his new club, he kicked 87 goals in 1990 season but struggled from 1992 and was delisted in 1993. Bennett went to the NFL as a punter and joined the San Diego Chargers where he played from 1994-2003. His NFL career award included two Pro Bowl and All Pro appearances in 1995 and 2000, the NFL’s Team of the Decade (1990s), induction into the San Diego Hall of Fame and named in San Diego’s 50th anniversary team (1959-2009).



Brett Evans – Evans is another Richmond cult figure of the 1990s  (the Tigers had lots of cult figures…), he started at Melbourne in 1993 where he did not play a game but was a member of their 1993 Reserves premiership. Evans joined Richmond in the 1997 Preseason Draft and was member of Richmond’s reserves premiership team. He made his debut in 1997 aged 25 and had his best year in 1998 when he played 15 games at CHF. Evans was known as the birdman for his love of pigeon racing.



Gareth John – Gareth is the son of former South Melbourne player, coach and AFL commissioner Graeme John. Gareth showed a lot of potential as a young ruck but suffered some bad injuries including a broken hand in his first game in 1990. Despite only playing seven games in his first year, John topped Sydney’s Brownlow votes with seven, including three in his third game. He unfortunately finished the year with a broken foot. In 1991 in a ruck duel against Simon Madden he had his larynx crushed and had to have emergency tracheotomy to save his life. In 1992 John managed six games before an ankle fracture…but he still managed to play out the game in question as the Swans had no fit players on the bench. After another injury prone season in 1993 he was traded to North Melbourne but a back injury restricted him to just one game and 22 games in total. He retired at age 23.



Patrick Dangerfield – Dangerfield was drafted by Adelaide with Pick 10 in the 2007 Draft. He elected to stay home for the year to finish his Year 12 Studies and play for the Geelong Falcons in 2008. Dangerfield did manage to play two AFL games for the season (rounds 20 and 21)  for one goal and an average of six disposals. The next year Dangerfield was given Mark Ricciuto’s Number 32, he went on to play 154 games for Adelaide before he joined Geelong in 2016. Dangerfield has won the 2016 Brownlow Medal, is an eight-time All Australian, Adelaide Best & fairest winner and three-time Geelong Best & Fairest.



Brodie Atkinson – Atkinson was drafted by St Kilda with Pick 16 in 1992 aged 20. He made his debut in Round 11, 1993 and collected 23 disposals, a goal and the Rising Star Nomination for that round. The next game Atkinson had 14 disposals and after two games he was dropped and surprisingly delisted at the end of the year. Atkinson went back to the SANFL and won the Magarey Medal in 1997 and was drafted with Pick 80 in the 1998 Draft by Adelaide. After six years between games Atkinson was picked for Round 1, 1999. He played five games for the year but was again delisted and never played again at the highest level.



Daniel Bradshaw – Bradshaw played 222 games from 1996-2009 with Brisbane where he kicked 496 goals and played in two premierships. At the end of the 2009 season Bradshaw aged 31 was offered as trade bait to Carlton for Brendon Fevola, despite having kicked 58 goals for the year. Bradshaw felt disappointed with the offer and declined a new contract with the Lions, he then and put himself into the preseason draft where Sydney picked him up. Bradshaw played eight of the first nine games for the Swans, he was then recalled for their semi final clash with the Bulldogs. He kicked 28 goals from those nine games which included two bags of six. However knee injuries in 2011 prevented Bradshaw from playing on and he retired from the game.



Neville Bruns – Bruns made the best of Number 19 team after a great career which included 223 games as a rover/wing and included the 1989 and 1992 grand finals. Bruns is best remembered for the 1985 game where he was felled by a king hit behind play from Leigh Matthews which broke Bruns’s jaw. Matthews was suspended for four weeks and also charged by the police for assault and fined $1,000.



Craig Davis – Davis played 163 games for four clubs, Carlton 1973-1975, North Melbourne 1977-1978, Collingwood 1979-1983 and one season at Sydney (1988). He made the most appearances and impact for Collingwood: 102 games for 251 goals. Davis was an instant success at the Pies as a 183cm lively half forward and in Collingwood’s three grand final years he kicked 88 goals in 1979, 52 in 1980 and 55 in 1981. In 1988 five years after his last game at Collingwood, Davis reappeared at Sydney after having been the runner and development coach in the previous year. He was 33 and wore Number 60 for nine games and 17 goals. Craig’s son Nick was drafted by Collingwood as a Father Son in 1998 and played 71 games between 1999-2002 before he returned home to Sydney where he played 97 games and won a premiership.



Glynn Hewitt – Hewitt joined Richmond in 1973 from West Adelaide after he’d led their goal kicking tally. At Richmond Hewitt played 15 games for 15 goals in two seasons with his best haul a five goal game against Fitzroy. Hewitt played 267 games for West Adelaide, Woodville and South Adelaide from 1970-1986 (bar his 1973-1974 Richmond stint) for 526 goals. Despite a clearly impressive career Glynn is better known as tennis star Lleyton Hewitt’s dad.



Some of the forgotten Number 19s are Brad Edwards (Bris), Andrew Merrington and Ricky Mott (Carl), Russell Dickson (Coll), Peter Light (Ess), Clayton Hinkley (Freo), David Loats (Geel), Joseph Daye (GCS), Jarryd Morton (Haw), James Strauss (Melb), Sam McFarlane (NM), Ryan Williams (PA), Daniel Conners (Rich), Luke Penny (St.K), Tom Derickx (Syd), Paul Gow (Foots).




The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in 2021. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order HERE



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  1. How’s the TA in quarantine fact for contemporary relevance! I was just about to register as a pharmacist when the Swine Flu pandemic took off – it was a very scary (though thankfully relatively brief) time.

    I knew Hewitt lined up for the Tiges in the 1970s, but didn’t realise it was for the back-to-back flag years; would have been a very difficult side to break into!

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