Almanac Teams: the long and longer of it

So, we’ve had all sorts of funny teams this silly season (defined as the period between AFL Grand Final day and the first AFLW match of the season). So here’s one that has not been attempted thus far. Compiling a team of players with the longest possible names in the positions they would reasonably expect to play.


First, some ground-rules: hyphenated names do not get a gig (although that may be worthy of a team in its own right); each name can only be used once (so the only best of the Schimmelbuschs and the finest of the Polkinghornes can be picked); players can be selected from any league, based solely on the quality of their name, with preference given to the more interesting/unique.


So here, goes (starting with the forwards at the top, naturally):



F Giansiracusa Hollingworth Schoenmakers
HF Bertelsmeier Schneebichler Quartermaine
C DiPierdomenico (vc) Charlesworth W. Schimmelbusch
HB Greenshields Hickinbotham Hetherington
B Steigenberger Prestigiacomo De Pellegrini
1R Baulderstone Tipuamantamerri (c) Kourkoumelis
INT Shuttleworth Bellchambers Bartholomaeus


CaptainShane Tipuamantamerri – our captain based on the impressive 15 letters in his surname. A Tiwi Islander, ‘Tippa’ played 20 games for Glenelg and 67 games for South Fremantle between 1999 and 2008, including the 2005 WAFL premiership. Thereafter he returned home to captain the Tiwi Bombers in the NTFL, taking out the 2013 Nichols Medal as a tough, quick midfielder.

Vice-CaptainRobert DiPierdomenico – an impressive 14 letter surname earns ‘Dipper’ the vice captaincy of this team. Tippa and Dipper – what a pair! 240 games, a Brownlow Medal and 50,000 premierships with Hawthorn (and a really long name) earns him a place on the wing in this side.

Player/CoachWayne Schimmelbusch – and now to the first decision of this piece: which Schimmelbusch to pick? Yeah, apologies to Daryl but Schimma’s our man here (we’ll make him coach too). Yes, Tippa, Dipper and Schimma – we’re a creative bunch, us Aussies. 306 games for North Melbourne across 15 seasons after a couple of seasons in the VFA, the man on the wing in the Kangaroos’ team of the century can take his 13 letters onto the wing here, too.

Player/PresidentAlan Hickinbotham – how many players have a footy ground named after them? Well, this one does – the only SANFL ground you can park your car at and watch the footy, what’s more. Hickinbotham interrupted his post-war career at South Adelaide with six games at his birthplace, Geelong. A real estate tycoon, wine aficionado and long time, loyal clubman (the Panthers’ president for many years), Hickinbotham takes his 12 letters to a well-earned spot at centre half back in this team and can run the club while he’s there.



Daniel Giansiracusa – Gia was always a good chance of sneaking into this team. Sneak he has, even if as the token Victorian in the forward line, courtesy of his 265 AFL matches.

Albert Hollingworth – South Australia is clearly a fertile breeding ground for long-named footballers. Next cab off the rank is the Port Adelaide goalsneak who played 91 games in the prison bars between 1934 and 1940, kicking 193 goals. He finished up as World War II took hold with three premierships and two best and fairests in his kit bag.

Ryan Schoenmakers – a member of the South Australian ‘sch’ club, and forward line. The oft maligned utility has played 112 games across his nine seasons at Hawthorn but with a heritage that saw him emerge from Adelaide’s north eastern suburbs via the Norwood Football Club with a 12 letter surname, he is more than welcome in our forward pocket.

David Bertelsmeier – back to SA for another big name in footy. David Bertelsmeier played 132 games for West Adelaide from 1963 to 1971. A goal kicking utility his 12 letters and comparative longevity get him a role on a half forward flank in our team.

John Schneebichler – a name that might be foreign to the non-South Australians amongst us (you poor souls), ‘Sneezer’ played 259 SANFL matches in the 1970s and 1980s, the vast majority with South Adelaide as a key position forward/utility. Not the most elegant of players but highly effective, he’ll take his 13 letters to centre half forward here.

Alan Quartermaine – Sandover Medallists do not grow on trees and neither did Alan Quartermaine. An aggressive centreman / half forward who played 108 games for East Perth in the ‘70s and kicked 180 goals, he is the perfect man for our other half forward flank.



Jack Charlesworth – and we welcome our first Tasmanian to the team with the durable and long named centreman from the Cananore club. 196 games between 1912 and 1929 an impressive feat for the regular state representative. His finest moment came tagging Victor Richardson out of the match in Tasmania’s famous victory over SA in 1923. His club ceased to exist in 1941, Jack, himself, in 1960.

Sam Baulderstone – to the present day. When Norwood recruited Sam Baulderstone from Mt Compass in the Adelaide Hills (via North Adelaide and Whyalla), his surname wasn’t the only big thing about him. He gains 5kg with each telling of his story, ending with him becoming a two-time premiership winning ruckman, and the best big man in the SANFL. Big Sam has been named in the Advertiser Team of the Year three times in his 84 games at the club. He’ll be our first ruck, thank you very much.

Spiro Kourkoumelis – you just could not pick this team without Spiro getting a run. Across the ‘80s Kourkoumelis accumulated 97 matches with Carlton and St Kilda, kicking 71 goals. He is a member of the ‘first kick was a goal club’ and will be a more than handy rover for us.



Allan Greenshields – one of the great features of this team is its cultural diversity. Long surnames do not seem to be the province of one particular language or cultural heritage. Greenshields joins the team from post-war Victoria, where he played 58 games for St Kilda and 16 for Carlton across eight seasons. One of his claims to fame, other than a long name, is as 20th man in Carlton’s 1947 premiership winning side, he never actually got a run on the grand final ground. Well, you’re not 20th man in this team – to the half back flank with you, young Greenshields.

Kim Hetherington – do you remember a time when women were women and sportsmen were occasionally named ‘Kim’? Well, our next player does. Kim Hetherington compiled 11 solid WAFL seasons from 1980 to 1990, including 53 games with East Fremantle and 117 more for Swan Districts, culminating in the 1990 flag.

Jim Steigenberger – it’s back to the 1930s for our next 13 letterer. Steigenberger played three games for Fitzroy in 1934 and nine games for North Melbourne across the 1936 and 1937 seasons. Originally from Mooroopna (adj Shepparton), Steigenberger was very much the journeyman, spending time with Melbourne (not cracking a game) and later Port Melbourne and Northcote in the VFA. His impressive name earns him a spot in our back pocket today.

Simon Prestigiacomo – who else would be found at full back of this team but ‘Presti’? Weighing in at 96kg and 13 letters, his 233 games (and three goals) between 1996 and 2010 more than earn him his preferred position in this team.

Kristy De Pellegrini – entirely fitting that an AFLW player runs onto the track for this team. The sparky, originally from the La Trobe Valley, played six games for GWS in the inaugural AFLW season. The strong marking utility can take her 12 letters to a back pocket in this side.



Les Shuttleworth – Wirrabara is a beautiful part of South Australia’s mid north. This is exactly where Sturt found Les Shuttleworth in the 1930s. Shuttling between SA and WA, Les accumulated 23 games for the Double Blues and 47 games for West Perth before the war put an end to his career. He was the 19th man in Sturt’s 1932 premiership victory over North Adelaide, so it seems fitting for him to be our 19thman as well.

Tom Bellchambers – while we’re in present day rucks, Tom Bellchambers’ time at Essendon has gained him 93 AFL games. Sure, he might have greater claims on the first ruck position but this is my team, get your own!

Grant Bartholomaeus – while we’re in the 1980s, what Grant Bartholomaeus’s career with the Sydney Swans lacked in its brevity is more than made up for with a hefty 13 letter surname. Just four senior VFL games across two seasons. He can still be found at the club, however, as head coach of the Swans’ South Academy.

David Polkinghorne – of the available Polkinghornes, David had the most extensive top level career with 164 games for Hawthorn between 1975 and 1984. A reliable defender with an awkward kicking action, a spot on the bench awaits.

So, that’s it. Who did we miss? It seems only fitting that next up will be a team made up of the shortest names in footy.


More funny teams can be found here

About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    From 1997

    Jason Daniltchenko
    Ian Downsborough

    Does Doug Long qualify?

  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas must be number one ticket holder ?

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Ian Stasinowsky Dave surely we can keep going and add more of a Redlegs flavour to the side ?

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says

    .T.P. Heidenreich Norwood President 1940-62

  5. The Fitzroy pairing of Cec Rheinberger and Noel Zunnenberg: are they not worthy of consideration ?


  6. Doug definitely has a long name, Swish. Daniltchenko and Downsborough are in the magoos with Dintinosante, Kolodjashnij and Spassopoulos.

    Nah, Vaas is a really short name, Rulebook. Stassa and Heidenreich just fall a letter short, too. Same goes for the Fitzroy pair, Glen, big but not big enough

  7. Where do you stand on hyphenated surnames?

    Weighing in with 18 letters in his last name (19 if you include the hyphen) is Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.

    Not sure how his career compares with those already selected, but by the number of letters surely gets him a spot.

  8. Hyphens are cheating, RTB (I’m allowed to say that because my kids have hyphenated names), but I reckon a team of hyphens could be assembled

  9. Do the Fitzroy pairing from the 1980’s, Andrew Merryweather and Tony Spassopolous qualify ?

    Ditto Renata Dintinosante who played twice for Richmond during that era.


  10. For the AUFC lads – Bill Mihalopoulopoulopoulopolis? I knew a bloke once nicknamed ‘Wheelbarrow’ because he had so many letters in his name. Mate of ‘Alphabet’

  11. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Good get Rabs, wasn’t that after he anglicised it?

  12. Hey, does Wayne win compared with Daryl because “double u” is almost two “u”‘s meaning Wayne is a six letter word and Daryl is only 5!

  13. Swish
    Of course Doug Long has a long name. Good one!
    I should have named my kids “Winner”. Once a winner always a winner
    …I guess he’d get nicknamed whinner over here.

  14. Yep, all in the Bs Glen. Need a few more games or letters under the belt. Them’s some good nicknames Rabid Dog. Seems reasonable, 6%

  15. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    South had a reserves player in the late 70s, Ron Hoppenbrouwers – used to take up a whole column in the Sunday Mail whenever he made the BPs

  16. Anthony William Watson McDonald-Tipungwuti

    Robert Groenewegen

  17. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Fantastic team Dave. Positions certainly raises the degree of difficulty. Some long names are easy to pronounce, others…Dave Bertelsmeier is a beauty.
    Con Gorozidis played at Full-forward for the Saints in the early 80s
    Athas Hrysoulakis on one half- forward flank, while John Georgiades takes the other. Great stuff.

  18. That’s a cracker, Swish.

    He’d feature highly in a hyphenated team JD.

    Seems like you could assemble a pretty handy Greek heritage team, Phil.

  19. Daniel Flesch says

    Anthony Koutoufides , or is eleven letters not enough? As someone with an active dislike of Carlton even I must admit he’s one of the best players ever.

  20. Mike Shuttleworth says

    Ha ha, great team list, and one that I would love to hear George Grljusich get his tonsils around.

    The 19th man, Les Shuttleworth, is my late grandfather. I have a fantastic pic of him as part of the SA junior representative team. He was a tall, lean silent type and his presence ran through the family, still does in a way. He worked in a variety of jobs including poultry farmer, horse trainer (very unsuccessfully!) and panel beater. I like to think of him as someone who spent his weekends putting dents into people and the week taking dents out of cars.

  21. Dave Brown says

    Thanks for the comment Mike – I love it when people are able to bring stories to the players. The sort of life experience Les had certainly is something that is often lacking in modern footy. I was in Wirrabara on the weekend, still lovely.

Leave a Comment