Almanac Teams – Terrific Tens

Ray Wilson gets a nod at Half-back Flank


This team has to have one of the best full-forward lines in history. Who do you play
at full forward, Pratt or Coleman? Yet, St Kilda’s Bill Mohr scored more goals in his
career than either of them. 1,953 between them, so the records say.


Who would be coach, Sheedy or Kennedy?


There are connections everywhere in this team. Ray Wilson is named at half-back. A
Hawthorn premiership player who wore number 10 between 1966-1972. Sons Ned
and Tony have contributed to the Footy Almanac over the years.


Ned was outstanding as editor, consultant and genuine good guy. His support and
behind the scenes work for the Tom Wills Grave Restoration project will always be
appreciated. Ned always sent encouraging emails and was front and centre at Footy
Almanac functions. Thanks Ned.


Tony or ‘Tinsel’ as some like to call him on this site wrote arguably the most
insightful and entertaining footy novel ever produced in Players. Making News is also
a prescient and underrated work of sports fiction that ought to have been read more
widely. Both novels deserve a place in late secondary school English curriculum in my
humble opinion.


Kevin Sheedy was often opposed to Peter Crimmins, whose ailing health was the
inspiration for Kennedy’s ‘Don’t Think Do !’ speech.


I bumped into Sheeds at the Olympic Hotel In Preston back in late 2003. Somewhat
starstruck, I blurted: “G’day Sheeds, what are you doing here?” (The Olympic is not
the sort of pub you’d expect to see a legend of the game) It ain’t the NFA that’s for
sure. Deadpan, Sheeds replied: “Just having a quiet punt.”
In other words: “$#@& off and let me gamble in peace.”


B: Kevin Sheedy (Rich) Danny Hughes (Melb) Laurie Serafini (Fitz)


HB: Ray Wilson (Haw) Neil Roberts (StK) John Sharrock (Geel)


C: Marcus Ashcroft (Bris) Scott Pendlebury (Coll) Paul Williams (Coll/Syd)


HF: Joe Ryan (Foots) Fred Flanagan (Geel) Alan Noonan (Ess)


F: Bob Pratt (Sth Melb) John Coleman (Ess) Bill Mohr (StK)


Ruck: Carl Ditterich (Stk/Melb) Anthony Stevens (Nth) Barry Mitchell (Syd/Carl)


IC: Matthew Robran (Adel) Michael Braun (WCE) John James (Carl) Josh Francou (Port)


Coach: John Kennedy (Haw)


Entertainment: John Kennedy’s half-time speech in the 1975 GF (listen to it here, with thanks to Tony Wilson and his wonderful site:


Links to previous Almanac Novelty Teams are here


About Phillip Dimitriadis

Carer/Teacher/Writer. Author of Fandemic: Travels in Footy Mythology. World view influenced by Johnny Cash, Krishnamurti, Larry David, Toni Morrison and Billy Picken.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Glad to see big Carl in. My first love in footy and a wonderful 10.

  2. Dave Brown says

    Another good team, Phil, that would be greatly enhanced by the addition of Matty Robran’s father and Josh Francou’s uncle, Barrie who wore No. 10 for North Adelaide

  3. McAlmanac says

    By virtue of being a Legend of AFL, some kind of dispensation must be made for Barrie Robran.

    Special mention to South Melbourne’s spring heeled John Roberts (another fine Findon High export).

  4. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I think you mean “Legend of Australian Football” McA, but yes.

  5. Dave Nadel says

    Official team artist – Rupert Betheras (Collingwood)

  6. Of current players, Mr B Cunnington is a gun. Tough as nails, seriously under-rated by the footy fraternity.

    And speaking of being under-rated, McA, I saw john Roberts take some huge grabs. What a high-mark he was.

  7. G’day Phil, Sheeds was known to pop into the Royal Oak in North Fitzroy for a punt. Other football identities who were seen there, enjoying the pastime,included Jimmy Buckley, ‘Tuddy’, and Micky McGuane. It was part of the lure that made the Royal Oak the great local it is/was.

    Sadly the TAB goes after April 30, as new owners move in. Let’s see what happens after that. As we know the future is unwritten.


  8. Good to see Ashcroft there; a 300-game jet that I worry sometimes gets forgotten in the fervour over the Fab Four.

  9. John Mossop was a handy number 10 during his days @ the ‘Cattery’.


  10. Neil Kimpton says

    A great team BUT…and I admit prejudice brought on by age and club loyalty
    There’s a rover from the greatest ever ruck combination ever (Nicholls, S Silvagni and Gallagher) who must get a spot.
    Adrian (Gags) Gallagher wore No. 10 in three premierships. He was fearless ,extremely skilled( a great mark for a little bloke) and could kick a goal-236 in 165 games in the Dark Navy Blue.
    Plus… if you were picking a cricket team to represent the VFL/AFL he’d be in there too !!

  11. Stainless says

    Not sure why I’ve suddenly got an Essendon focus, but both Gary Foulds and Gary O’Donnell would be worth consideration in this lineup – at least on the bench.

  12. Sharrock on a back flank! Should still be able to bag 4.2 no dramas.

  13. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Thanks for the responses folks.
    Yvette – Big Carl a ruckman and a rockstar came on the scene at the right time to be footy idol.
    Dave – Didn’t know Barrie was Josh Francou’s uncle. Maybe if he spelled his name ‘Barry’ he might have got a guernsey !

    McAlmanac – John Roberts a great high flier but didn’t do it for long enough at South/Sydney.

    Swish – Nice correction. We need to de-condition ourselves from this AFL shit. One thing to hijack the game, but leave our nomenclature alone !

    Dave N – Yes, Rupert as artist in residence. Will never forget his team lifting and crowd-rousing goal in the 2002 Prelim. In fact he was great throughout 2002.

    Smokie – Cunnington was close, but Anthony Stevens was a Shinboner with two flags under his belt. ‘Lurch’ Goodingham also close. David Ackerly pops up again for North and Ray Huppatz wore it for 12 games in 1978 including the GF where he picked up 27 touches and scored 2 goals.

    Glen ! The Royal Oak was a favourite of one Ian Syson. Had a few good sessions there when I used to imbibe ! John Mossop was a killer in the 1981 Qualifying Final. I remember travelling to VFL Park for the Prelim and we were in the car worried about who could combat him. He was quieter that day and well, you know the result. Mike Woolnough was a skillful half-back who also had some good games at Collingwood. Whatever happened to Grant Tanner, Darren Troy and Stephen Hooper?

    Neil – Yes, good call on Gags, but I put Barry Mitchell in because he spoke so well at the Almanac lunch last Friday ! Jim Stafford and Jim Francis were also considered as old timers.

    Stainless – Gary O’Donnell will have to wait until I get to number 44. Got I feeling he’ll be need more then ! Gary Foulds a worthy contender. Famous jumper at Essendon number 10. Mark McVeigh and Ian Shelton also contenders. For your Tigers, Shane Edwards has given great service, Nick Daffey, Greg Stafford and Tim Gepp also wore 10 with some success. Michael Roberts Jnr wore it in 1986 and whatever happened to Alister Scott?

    Adam – My teams are famous for their versatility !

  14. ned_wilson says

    Look at that classic footy card! Thanks for your kind words Phil. Very keen to get to a lunch very soon. Was disappointed dad didn’t make the “raking left foot” team, but great to see him here.

  15. Peter Crossing says

    Barrie Robran
    North Adelaide No 10
    SANFL’s greatest ever.
    Chose number 10 when he joined North because that was John Coleman’s number.
    Career of both terminated by knee injuries.
    Josh Francou probably wore No 10 because Barrie did.
    They have won 4 Magarey Medals between them – Barrie three, Josh one – all for North Adelaide.
    Josh is not related to Barrie as far as I know. Josh’s father Maurice was a North Adelaide straight through hard man who played in the same team as Barrie. He played “in the same team” as Barrie rather than “alongside” him. No-one could keep up with Barrie.
    Barrie was also an A Grade premiership cricketer with Prospect District Cricket Club.

  16. DBalassone says

    Excellent research and team Phil. Still dirty on that Paul Williams trade at the end of 2000 – he only went to to win two B&Fs, All-Aust, 300 game club and play in a flag, after we let him go.

    In retrospect, Josh Francou stiff to miss the Best Baldies team?

  17. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Julie Robran (Australian netballer and sister of Barrie and Rodney) married Ken Francou who is the brother of Maurie (Josh’s dad). So there’s an extended family relationship.

    Also, Chris McDermott was the first Crows’ #10

  18. G’day Phil, where’s Ian gone? I’ve not seen him for about 18 months.

    The 1981 qualifying final was Mossop’s final hour, with 7 goals. The Preliminary final a fortnight later was like 1980; a coulda, shoulda, but didn’t. Though it allowed them to escape a grand final defeat until 1989, then the following three shots@ the big one.

    Grant Tanner did his knee late in 1997 against Essendon in a clash @ the “G”; that finished him. Darren Troy very muscly, slow, good handballer. John Devine prefered him to Paul Couch in the centre, then Malcolm Blight arrived. ’nuff said. Stephen Hooper a high draft pick who never delivered. Yes those 30 seasons of supporting Geelong had their moments.


  19. John Butler says

    A good side that has John James on the bench.

    No Gags Gallagher? Magpie retribution, I suspect. You really need to move on.

    Jim Francis was pretty handy as well, by all accounts.

    With a forward line of Pratt/Coleman/Mohr you’d be hoping to get the ball on the ground if you were defending. And you’d probably need help achieving that.

    Onya, LB.

  20. Peter Crossing says

    Well done Swish. Your expertise in SANFL intricacy is awesome.
    I should have remembered the connection, just like I should have remembered to put Fred Wooller in my wool/sheep industry team. Not sure if I’ve been forgiven for that yet.
    Do you think McDermott also chose No 10 in homage?

  21. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I put it all down to my one season at Ingle Farm Noughts (Maurie was coach of the A’s). I was also in attendance the Saturday afternoon in 1981 when Barrie turned up to Rowe Park and the following week Antrobus, Dave Robertson and Paul Zoontjens were Roosters.

  22. Peter Crossing says

    Dave Robertson – “Robbo”
    Saw him gather the ball at half back on Prospect Oval one day. He put on the after-burners and took off.
    Somewhere past half forward he was pinged for running too far.
    He was not too impressed with the decision.

  23. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Ned – Didn’t know Ray was a leftie as well. Would be great to catch up at a lunch soon.

    Peter C – Barrie was highly decorated and rightly has claims for a place in this team.

    Swish – Chris McDermott was very close. Robran’s role as ruck got him the nod ahead of CM.

    Glen! Haven’t seen Ian for a while either. He is still at VU, I believe. Troy for Couch in the centre? Yeah – Nah.

    Damo – I’m with you re: Williams leaving prematurely along with Mal Michael and Sav. Not one of MM’s greatest decisions. Imagine them playing in 02-03? And yes, Francou considered for the ‘Baldies’ and just missed by a short hair.

    JB – Retribution would have been if I’d included Alan Mangels or Brad Shine ! 1915 premiership player Paddy O’Brien wore 10 between 1914-25.

  24. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Phil yep best player I have seen,Barrie Robran also must add the Norwood perspective,Roger Woodcock 602 goals from a half forward flank

  25. Luke Reynolds says

    Totally agree with Damian’s thoughts on Paul Williams. Very sorry to see him leave when he did, fond memories of him bouncing along the Victoria Park wing and kicking great goals on the run.
    Loved Betheras, while Pendles clearly in the top few players I’ve seen wear the black & white.
    Blake Caracella was a classy player cut down by injury, while the other player I remember wearing number 10 for the Pies was Mark Orval, also cut down by injury, and more famous these days as ‘Angry Dad’.

  26. Shane ohnson says

    Great to see the underrated Ashcroft in…had 19 REAL touches in a quarter one day at the Gabba!

  27. How about Bluey Shelton, number 10 at Essendon? I have heard (or read) Kevin Sheedy say that Shelton was the reason why he wore number 10 at Richmond. Shelton was a direct descendant of Richard Shelton, the young boy that Ned Kelly saved from drowning in Hughes Creek, Avenel, in 1865. In other words, if not for Ned Kelly, Sheedy would almost certainly not have worn number 10 for Richmond.

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