Almanac Teams: The Elevens Hour (1980- )

Geelong’s Greg Williams [Source: Author]


A team of more obscure/lesser known players to wear the Number 11 jumper since 1980.



Here’s my second team of players to wear the Number 11, 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 side as possible but this was not a priority


Stats are based on their time in that number



FB:           Sean Bowden (Rich)                Todd Breman (WCE)          Travis Gaspar (WCE)


CHB:        Stephen Icke (Melb)                Allan Stoneham (Ess)         Dale Kickett (Freo)


C:              Glenn Hawker (Carl)               Greg Williams (Geel)          Daryl Schimmelbusch (NM)


CHF:        Peter Featherby (Geel)            Rick Davies (Haw)               Paul Sarah (Rich)


FF:            Mark Bayliss (Coll)                  John Hutton (Bris)              Leigh Tudor (Geel)


Ruck:        Peter Street (WB)                           Nathan Buckley (Bris)    Gary Shaw (Coll)


Interchange:  Damian Houlihan (Coll), Bruce Monteath (Rich), Geoff Parker (Ess)  Earl Spalding (Carl)


No players from Adelaide, Fitzroy, GWS, Gold Coast, Port Adelaide, St Kilda or Sydney




Games in Number 11 (Years played)

Sean Bowden 6 (1990-1991)

Todd Breman 23 (1989-1990)

Travis Gaspar  7 (2004-2005)

Steven Icke 78 (1982-1987)

Allan Stoneham 72 (1980-1983)

Dale Kickett 135 (1995-2002)

Glenn Hawker 27 (1989-1991)

Greg Williams 34 (1984-1985)

Darryl Schimmelbusch 37 (1980-1981)

Peter Featherby 81 (1980-1983)

Rick Davies 20 (1981)

Paul Sarah 26 (1981-1983)

Mark Bayliss 4 (1989)

John Hutton 18 (1992)

Leigh Tudor 60 (1993-1996)

Peter Street 34 (2006-2008)

Nathan Buckley 20 (1993)

Gary Shaw 32 (1983-1986)

Damian Houlihan 11 (1994)

Bruce Monteath 118 (1975-1980)

Geoff Parker 1 (1987)

Earl Spalding 102 (1992-1997)




Sean Bowden – The eldest son of Richmond premiership player Michael, Sean was drafted in 1988 and played the first five games in 1990 but only played one more after that in 1991. His younger brothers Joel (1996) and Patrick (2006) would also play for Richmond. Michael, Sean and Joel all wore Number 11.



Todd Breman – Breman was a mid-sized player who was a very good kick of the ball and on occasions could play tall at FF or FB. His personal best was five goals for Richmond against West Coast. Todd also played 10 games for West Australia’s Sheffield Shield side in 1986 and 1987 as a medium pace bowler; he took 22 wickets with a best return of six for 76.



Travis Gaspar – Younger brother of Damien and Darren, Travis was Pick 14 in the 1999 draft. Travis managed just 28 games in five years including 2005 Grand Final (his final game) due to numerous foot and hamstring injuries.



Steven Icke – Icke played most of his career under Ron Barassi. Icke started at North Melbourne in 1975, playing 120 games and he featured in the 1977 Premiership. In 1982 Icke joined Barassi at Melbourne where he played 78 games and won the 1982 Best & Fairest. Icke later became list manager at Fremantle and Football Manager at Carlton.



Allan Stoneham – Stoneham started at Footscray playing his first game aged 16 years and 11 months, wearing Number 3 (the first player in the jumper since Ted Whitten in 1972). In 1980 Stoneham joined Essendon and played four seasons in the Number 11 jumper. Stoneham is most known for an incident against Hawthorn in 1983 where he was cleaned up by Robert DiPierdomenico on the half time siren. This left Stoneham with concussion and a massive shiner. Stoneham retired at end of the 1983 season aged 28 after 200 games; he was also reserves premiership captain that season.



Dale Kickett – Kickett’s first four years in the AFL were spent at four different clubs (Fitzroy, West Coast, St Kilda and Essendon for a total of 46 games). Kickett was then traded to Fremantle with Todd Ridley and Tony Delaney for picks which provided the Dons with Matthew Lloyd and Scott Lucas. Kickett would play 135 games for Fremantle and win the 1997 Best & Fairest and be the first Docker to play 100 Games. Kickett was also one of the main players in the infamous 2000 ‘demolition’ derby’s all-in brawl; he was suspended for nine games over three striking incidents.



Glenn Hawker – Hawker was a regular for Essendon between 1978-1988, playing 200 games across wing and the half back line. He played in two premierships and won the 1986 Best & Fairest. In a surprise move, Hawker joined Carlton in 1989 where he struggled for regular games in a relatively poor Carlton side.



Greg Williams – Williams hailed from Carlton’s Bendigo Zone, but was initially rejected by the Blues for being too slow. Williams would make his debut in the hoops alongside Gary Ablett, Mark Jackson, David Bolton and Robb Hawkins. Williams had 38 possessions in his first game and played the first 12 games averaging 28 possessions before missing the last 10 games with a knee injury. In 1985 Williams won Geelong’s Best & Fairest and AFL MVP. Williams received a very good offer to join the Swans in 1986 with Bolton, Bernard Toohey and coach Tom Hafey. Williams would win a premiership later on at Carlton, alongside a Norm Smith Medal, two Brownlows (at Sydney and Carlton) and become a member of AFL, Carlton and Sydney Teams of the Century.



Daryl Schimmelbusch – Darryl was two years younger than brother Wayne but much smaller at just 165cm. Daryl made his debut aged 23 after winning the 1977 Gardiner Medal (equilvent to reserves Brownlow). Daryl had four seasons in the seniors before moving to West Torrens. His best year was 1980 when he played 21 games.



Peter Featherby – Before Williams at Geelong there was Peter Featherby who was a ball magnet in the centre. Featherby started off at Footscray, where he played 42 games in 1975 and 1976. Featherby re-joined the WAFL at Subiaco before being lured back to Geelong again in 1979. In Round 16 of 1981 Featherby amassed a then record 48 possessions (including 40 kicks), and kicked 4.5. He also won the club’s Best & Fairest in 1981.



Rick Davies – Davies was a well-established champion for Sturt in the SANFL. Davies was one of the leading rucks in his time in the SANFL, even though he was only 188cm tall. Davies was 29 when he joined Hawthorn in 1981 but played as forward; he kicked 37 goals for the year. Davies returned to Sturt in 1982 and played forward where in 1983 he kicked a league record 151 goals. In 2003 he was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame.



Paul Sarah – Sarah started his career for Geelong in 1972. Sarah played the first two games in 1980 for Geelong but after 128 games for Geelong he was traded to Richmond where he lined up in the seniors in Round 3 and playing against Geelong in Round 6. Sarah would play 11 games for Richmond in 1980 including the first two finals. Sarah was one of three omissions for the Grand Final as Richmond had David Cloke, Barry Rowlings and Bryan Wood to come into the Grand Final Team. Sarah’s moustache was one of the best in the VFL in his day.



Mark Bayliss – Bayliss was drafted with Pick 11 in 1988, with the thought that he would take over from Brian Taylor as Collingwood’s Full Forward. Bayliss was 23 and 193cm but struggled, playing only four games in 1989 and none in 1990 before being delisted with just six goals to his name. Bayliss like BT had a reputation for a short temper and once jumped the fence in a WAFL match to remonstrate with supporters during play.



John Hutton – Hutton kicked 100 goals in the WAFL in 1991 for Claremont. He was then the Number 1 Pick in the 1991 Draft, selected by Brisbane at age 25. Hutton would play 18 games and kick 43 goals including eight against Geelong the day Geelong registered the highest score ever of 37.17.239. He would kick eight goals again in Round 22 against Sydney but was weirdly delisted after one season for no obvious form or other reasons. Hutton would play for Sydney in 1993 but only managed five games after being picked up in the preseason draft. Hutton would be reunited with his Claremont coach Gerard Neesham for Fremantle’s inaugural year in 1995;  he played 13 games for 27 goals including another bag of eight against the Swans. Hutton’s AFL career was over in 1996 – three years, three clubs for the Number 1 draftee. He is also remembered for wearing a helmet in every game.



Leigh Tudor – Tudor was one of many North Melbourne players like Tim McGrath, Liam Pickering, Darren Steele and Brad Sholl who joined Geelong in early 1990s. Tudor found it hard to get games in three seasons at North (a total of eight) but once at Geelong he was a regular in the Forward Pocket roving packs to Ablett and Brownless. Tudor is best remembered for his boundary line centering kick that found Ablett in the goal square in the 1994 Preliminary Final, won by Geelong won after the siren. Tudor would go on to be a highly respected assistant coach at Geelong, Sydney, North Melbourne and now Essendon.



Peter Street – The first ‘two metre Peter’, Street was equal tallest player to play at 211cm with Aaron Sandilands and Mason Cox. Street joined the Bulldogs after 17 games for Geelong in three seasons. He played five years at Geelong for 61 games; his best year being 2006 with 21 games and finals. Street retired after 2008 to join the police.



Nathan Buckley – Buckley was one of the most highly sought after young players outside the AFL. However he was zoned to Brisbane because of their access to NT players; Buckley was considered a Territorian as he had spent most of his life there between the ages of 10-17 even though his family had moved a lot. In 1992 Buckley played in the SANFL for Port Adelaide at age 20, he starred for the premiership winners, claiming the Jack Oatey medal (Best on ground in the SANFL Grand Final) and Magarey Medal. Buckley wanted to play in Melbourne and was reluctant to join Brisbane but a supposed secret deal was done that Buckley would play for Brisbane in 1993 only and then could be traded to his club of choice. Buckley’s much anticipated first season was a personal success, he played 20 games kicked 21 goals and won the inaugural Rising Star Trophy.



Gary Shaw – Shaw was a high priced recruit for financially struggling Collingwood, he joined the Pies from Queensland via Claremont. His transfer fee was $300,000, which was big money in 1983. He won the Simpson Medal (Best on ground in the WAFL Grand Final) in 1981 and Best and Fairest in 1982. Shaw did not live up to his reputation at Collingwood and played just 32 games in four years before crossing to Brisbane in their inaugural season for six more games. Shaw struggled with injuries and form, he missed all of 1985. He is perhaps best remembered for his curly hair.



Damian Houlihan – Houlihan was Pick 15 in the 1992 AFL draft for Collingwood, who once again had hopes of a new messiah in the forward line. Houlihan came from the same club (Corowa-Rutherglen) as another great forward of the era, John Longmire. Houlihan stood out with his long locks and displayed during the year that he could play either forward or back in 11 games. He kicked six goals, the best being three goals in his first game. Houlihan would not play another game, despite being drafted by North Melbourne in 1998. His three brothers also played, Adam at Geelong, Ryan at Carlton and Josh at St Kilda.



Bruce Monteath – There is no other spot in this team for Monteath than on the bench and being named captain. Richmond changed captains frequently in late 1970s and 1980s, Monteath found himself as skipper of the 1980 side which contained former leaders Bartlett and Bourke and future captains Cloke, Wood and Rowlings. Monteath started 1980 well, he kicked eight goals from HFF against Melbourne in Round 9 and five in Round 16 against St Kilda. Monteath was injured in Round 21 and missed Round 22 and the Qualifying Final. He played in the Semi Final and had 17 possessions and kicked a goal, however for the Grand Final he was named on the bench. In an era of minimal interchange rotations, Richmond made two for the day in 1980 bringing on Monteath and Darryl Freame onto the ground during time on in the last quarter. Monteath registered just one kick and two handballs but would hold the premiership cup aloft at the end of the day. Monteath moved back to WA after the end of the season aged only 25.



Geoff Parker – Parker played three games for Essendon, his first was wearing Number 11 in 1987 and in 1989 he played two more games sporting Number 25 on his back. Parker was a midfielder but is best known for his cricket prowess. Parker made his state debut aged 17 for Victoria and between 1985-1999 played 37 First Class matches for Victoria and South Australia, never really cementing his spot in the team. Parker had batting average of 27, with a top score of 117 and took six wickets. Parker captained the Australia U19 team in the 1988 Youth Cup. He is now a recruiting manager for Port Adelaide and his nephew Will is a promising spin bowler for Victoria who also made the decision between cricket and football.



Earl Spalding – A very good player at Melbourne and Carlton, and a key performer at CHF in the 1995 premiership season; Spalding played every game and kicked 34 goals. Spalding was also a very good cricketer, lining up in four games for WA as a fast bowler. Though he never made a first class run, he did take 12 wickets with a best of four for 37 and those wickets included David Hookes and Aravinda De Silva in tour match against Sri Lanka.



Some of the forgotten Number 11s include: Barnaby French, Cain Ackland, Robert Warnock (Carl) Glenn Howard, John Barnett (Coll), Tony Malakellis, Cameron Roberts (Geel), Chad Cornes, Taylor Adams, Jack Steele (GWS) Michael Murphy, Warwick Angus (NM), Nathan Steinberner, Marlon Motlop, Mitch Banner (PA) John Manton, Wayne Hernaman (Rich) Tony Antrobus, Jeff Hilton, Gavin Mitchell (St.K) Paul Holdsworth (Syd), Peter Davidson (WCE) Terry De Koning, Con Gorizidis (Foots)





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  1. Matt Zurbo says

    Good stuff! Surprising overall lack of champions in this number.

    11 for me will always be Monteeth! Putting hm on the bench was your only real option.

  2. No Greg Burns????

    A travesty

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Some good cricketers in this lot Rodney, 11 being an appropriate number!

    Had anticipated Damian Houlihan’s selection, reckon I was at the majority of his games. A few goals in his first few games but more remember him playing a couple of cracking games at CHB at Victoria Park in 1994. From memory he never came back well from a bad back injury.

    John Hutton was a guy I loved watching, was staggered when Brisbane let him go.

    Mark Bayliss was a guy who loved talking himself up but sadly very little return.

  4. Thanks Matt, agree Doull was the only genuine superstar in best of team. Monteath for all his qualities is remembered as a bench player in Grand Final.

    Thanks Mick, had Burns as an emergency in best of team, Montagna got automatic Saints spot.

    Thanks Luke, I did see he was drafted by North not a jockey size like his brother.

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