Almanac Teams: Super Eights (1980- )

Fitzroy’s Jim Wynd [Source: Author]


A team of best players to wear the Number 8 jumper since 1980.



The criteria is:


  • 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 number for example Gavin Wanganeen Number 1 & 4
  • Stats are based on their time in that number.



I 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 etc.




FB:         Nathan Bassett (Adel)                 Ricky Kennedy (VC) (Foots)        James Frawley (Melb)


CHB:     James Clement (Coll)                  Max Hudghton (St.K)                    Beau Waters (WCE)


C:            Shaun Burgoyne (PA)                 Callan Ward (C) (GWS)                Shaun McManus (DVC) (Freo)


CHF:      Dean Anderson (Haw)                Tim Notting (Bris)                         Phil Krakouer (NM)


FF:         Darren Bewick (Ess)                    Jack Riewoldt (Rich)                     Ronnie Burns (Geel)


Ruck:     Matthew Kreuzer (Carl)              Darryn Cresswell (Syd)                 Jim Wynd (Fitz)


Interchange: Heritier Lumumba (Coll), Michael Roach (Rich), Daniel Wells (NM), Lance Whitnall (Carl)


Emergencies, Mitch Hahn (WB), Hamish Hartlett (PA), Robert Scott (Geel/NM), Graeme Yeats (Melb)


Coach: Bill Stephen


No Gold Coast player in the starting 18



Games in Number 8 (Years played)

Nathan Bassett 210 (1998-2008)

Ricky Kennedy 144 (1982-1991)

James Frawley 139 (2007-2014)

James Clement 146 (2001-2007)

Max Hudghton 234 (1997-2009)

Beau Waters 110 (2006-2013)

Shaun Burgoyne 157 (2002-2009)

Callan Ward 164 (2012- )

Shaun McManus 228 (1995-2008)

Dean Anderson 83 (1988-1992)

Tim Notting 191 (2000-2009)

Phil Krakouer 141 (1982-1989)

Darren Bewick 238 (1988-2000)

Jack Riewoldt 283 (2007- )

Ronnie Burns 134 (1996-2002)

Matthew Kreuzer 189 (2008-2020)

Darryn Cresswell 197 (1995-2003)

Jim Wynd 116 (1989-1994)

Heritier Lumumba 162 (2008-2014)

Michael Roach 200 (1977-1989)

Daniel Wells 243 (2003-2016)

Lance Whitnall 216 (1997-2007)



The Number 8 side is coached by Bill Stephen, a Fitzroy great who wrote the Fitzroy theme song and coached Fitzroy in 1980. The team is very strong for tall and mid-sized defenders and also goal kicking options up forward. It does however lack speed in defence as well as small defence options and class in the midfielder. Gold Coast do not have a player with Luke Russell the likely Number 8 selection from them if forced.



Carlton with Kreuzer and Whitnall, Collingwood with Clement and Lumumba, North Melbourne’s Phil Krakouer, Daniel Wells and Robert Scott and to a lesser extent Richmond with Riewoldt and Roach have selections that could have gone either with a spot in the starting 18 or on the interchange bench. Fitzroy also had interesting selection between Jim Wynd who was good player for a Fitzroy side that was just outside the finals in late 1980s early 1990s and Martin Pike who won Best & Fairest in Fitzroy’s last AFL year in 1996.



The defence is quite tall with Beau Waters and Heritier Lumumba (named on the bench) at 188cm the shortest players. Ricky Kennedy was more of full back but James Frawley and Max Hudghton are capable of playing at CHB. If needed due to match ups James Clement and Nathan Bassett can play key defence positions. Clement is the only defender really capable of playing up forward if needed, shown by kicking 27 goals in one year at Fremantle. Beau Waters was more of intercept defender but would be needed to perhaps play as small defender lock down role, Clement was very good in this role and Bassett could play it as well. Lumumba, Clement and perhaps Waters can give run from defence and if needed Burgoyne, Wynd and Notting can also play in defence, especially if needed to provide extra run.



As said above the midfield is solid but may lack a little class. Matthew Kreuzer was a very good ruckman who was hit with a lot of injuries, the only real back up is Michael Roach who rucked for half a season at Richmond (which did contribute to back injuries later in his career) when Mark Lee was injured and Brian Taylor was at full forward. Ward and Cresswell are very good and brave hardball players in the midfield and Shaun Burgoyne and McManus are well recognised wingers with Tim Notting also capable of playing on a wing. Daniel Wells is probably the classiest player and he is named on the bench. He could play in the midfield and small forwards Bewick, Krakouer and Dean Anderson can run through the midfield.



The full forward spot was between two Tasmanian Tiger Coleman Medalists in Jack Riewoldt and Michael Roach. Roach can also play in second ruck to give Kreuzer a rest and Riewoldt play CHF if Roach is full forward. Lance Whitnall can play either key post or third tall getting him into good forward line spots. Dean Anderson kicked four goals from HFF/on the ball in the 1989 Grand Final and Bewick (nine), Burns (six) and Krakouer (six) are all very good crumbing forwards who were capable of kicking a bag. Tim Notting is named at CHF but would be more suited on HFF or wing. Burgoyne and Wells can also play in the forward line.



The interchange bench picked the best four players available but they also help this side’s weakness. Roach playing as key forward and second ruck, Whitnall as another tall forward, Lumumba as running defender from HBF and Wells as creative midfielder. The emergencies could also strengthen the starting 18 weaknesses with Hahn a capable forward and Hartlett, Yeats and Scott playing small defensive running roles.



There were four club captains in the side are Ricky Kennedy, Shaun McManus, Callan Ward and Lance Whitnall. Ward was co-captain of GWS Grand Final team of 2019 but had a knee reconstruction earlier in the year and missed virtually the whole season. Despite recent injuries, I still nominate Ward as captain. Ward is one of my favourite players from a club besides my own and is as brave as they come; he won the AFL’s most courageous player award in 2018. Ricky Kennedy is vice captain and Shaun McManus is Deputy Vice Captain.



The unlucky players were Neil Clarke (Ess), Martin Pike (Fitz) Nick Suban (Freo), Joshua Hunt (Geel), David O’Hallaron (Haw), Steve Malaxos (WCE)




Phil Dimitriadis has an all-time version HERE




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  1. Phil Krakouer.
    One of my all-time faves.

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