Almanac Teams: The raking left-footers



How often do your hear a long and penetrating left-footed footballer described as a ‘Raking Left Foot Kick’?


Why can’t right-footers be raking? They can be prodigious, booming, penetrating, and line-breaking, but not raking for some reason. Why so?


It’s one of those terms dedicated to lefties only, like they are part of an exclusive club. With this in mind, I decided to go for team renowned for their kicking skills.


Some players in the 22 may not have had stellar careers in terms of success and longevity, but they are remembered for making an art out of kicking the footy a long distance.


The team is bereft of old-timers so those with longer memories feel free to dispute !


Strangely enough, there have been few lefties who became successful coaches. Wonder why?


Simon Goodwin (the only player in this team) may change that with the Dees in years to come.


Who would you nominate and who have I missed?



B:             Joel Bowden (Rich)                       Ben Graham (Geelong)                       Shane Zantuck (Melb)


HB:          Mark Browning (Syd)                      Peter Foster (Fitz/Foot)                       Les Parish (Fitz)


C:                 Greg Anderson (Ess/Adel)            Neville Fields (Ess/Sth)                     Wayne Schwass (Nth/Syd)


HF:            Stewart Dew (Port/Haw)                 Lance Franklin (Haw/Syd)                   Wayne Johnston (Carl)


F:                 Alan Didak (Coll)                         Peter Sumich (WCE)                           Nathan Eagleton         (Port/WB)


Ruck:    Peter Everitt (Stk/Haw/Syd)     Luke Hodge (Haw)       Tony McGuinness (Foot/Adel)


IC:    Simon Goodwin (Adel)      Paul Couch (Geel)          Greg Tivendale (Rich)          Daniel Rich (Bris)


Coach:       Mark Thompson (Geel/Ess)


Entertainment:      Paul McCartney – My Brave Face


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. I’d make Mark Browning the skipper.

    And I’d have Mark Bayes in the side.

    Ripper team.

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    Bayes, the very definition of a raking left-footer. Tho the term seems to have lost currency in favour of silky-skilled left footer.

  3. Written with Elvis Costello

  4. Steve Hodder says

    I’m guessing you are about the same age as me, so how did you leave out Royce Hart? I remember watching him kicking a mammoth torp on “The Big Reply”. He was a deadly drop punt kick for goal too. I think he was a much better kick than Franklin.

    John ‘Bomber’ Hendrie was as raking as they came and would be my first pick for a half-forward position.

    I’d have Simon Madden ahead of Everitt in the ruck.

    Grant Birchall?



  5. Fraser Gehrig (WCE and StK) could hoof it. I reckon he was a long kick than Suma, but maybe less “rakey”.
    John Sharrock from Geelong sticks in the memory. ‘Ragsy’ Goold from Carlton – thumping more than raking kick? Raking implies a certain elegance.
    Skilton and Cable were beautiful kicks, but they stabbed more than raked. Raking requires legs like Elle.
    Polly Farmer defined “raking” when other players only used shovels.
    Great idea Lord Bogan. What else to do with the obscure trivia we accumulate down the years?

  6. You must be on the left-handed cigarettes to leave out Ange Christou…

  7. Colin Ritchie says

    David Myers, Essendon has got to be up there with them.

  8. I’d nominate a couple of Queensland players (one of which has recently moved down Alberton way): Josh Drummond (Bris) and Trent “the Cannon” McKenzie (GCS/Port). Stonking kicks of the sinister variety the pair of them.

  9. Mark Bayes instantly jumped to mind.

  10. Adam Muyt says

    Darren Kappler. Best & Fairest at the Roys in the late 80s. Beautiful watching him in full flight. Loved his left foot.

  11. Peter B., if raking requires the legs of Elle, how does Stuart Dew qualify? One of the great recent rakers in my view.

  12. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    How did I forget Jack Dyer ? !!

  13. DBalassone says

    Good one mate. Must admit Mark Bayes came to mind for me too, but also Scott Lucas who loved drilling them from 60m (the only time I ever saw Lucas kick on his right resulted in the mark of the century by Moorcroft).

    With due respect to G.Anderson, I reckon he used to shank em a bit. Good, hard runner though. I would replace him with Ryan Lonie.

  14. Good list. A couple more to consider are Kade Simpson and Brendan Fevola.

  15. Stuart Maxfield?

  16. Chris Rees says

    I equate raking kicks with wingers, not so much forwards. Gotta have Leon Cameron.

  17. DBalassone says

    Fev def. was a right footer.

    And so was Leon Cameron, I reckon, he just loved kicking on his left.

  18. Paul Minogue says

    Not all lefties are rakers. In my mind it is about distance and trajectory. In my minds eye Neville Fields was a quintessential raker. Agree also with Mark Bayes. Michael Long and Ange Christou I think would also qualify as raking left footers. Malcolm Blights left foot could probably qualify as raking, but he was a natural right footer (although at times it was difficult to tell).

    Just found the Herald Sun had a go in 2013 –

  19. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Excellent suggestions and nominations folks.
    JTH – Mark Browning textbook. Hard to think of a better kick coming off half-back.

    Earl – Mark Bayes should probably be in the team. I’ll taking ‘raking’ over ‘silky skilled’ any day.

    Slim – Jimi Hendrix stiff to miss being the entertainment. There’s a raking guitarist if ever there was one.

    Steve – I was too young to see the best of Royce Hart , but he definitely stakes a good case for CHF. Buddy’s goals from distance stand out over 12 years, however. Madden was a fine kick, but Everitt could roost it much better. Bomber Hendrie a great get. A target of John Kennedy Snr’s famous ‘Don’t Think, Do !’ speech in 1975.

    PB – Considered G-Train Gehrig. I watch a lot of Suma in early 90s as West Coast games seemed to be a staple every second Sunday. He could rake them. Some great 1960s nominations. Polly Farmer also invented the raking handball. Was he as good a kick though?

    Litza – Oh all right. Woof Christou in for Bowden in the back pocket. If only Val Perovic was a left footer…

    Colin – David Myers an emerging raker. Matthew Lloyd could rake them. Was considered for full-forward.

    Jarrod – Josh Drummond not far away. Couple of more good seasons would help his case.

    Tony – Bayes for Foster at CHB.

    Adam – Kappler was a glorious kick for the Roys and later Sydney. Almost got in. Michael Poynton was another Roy Boy who had a raking left foot.

    Damo – Scott Lucas should be in. Good get. Ryan Lonie was one of the best left footers I’ve seen at Collingwood. Crosisca could roost them on his day. No love for Travis Cloke?

    Malby – Kade Simpson safe rather than raking. Fev was a right-footer.

    Jonesy – Stuart Maxfield a fine nomination. Matthew Knight also stiff to miss.

    Chris – Was Leon Cameron left, right or just damn good on either side? Hard to tell. If he was a genuine lefty he deserves serious consideration.

    Paul – Michael Long was somewhat of an underrated raker. Great suggestion. My early memories of Neville Fields are vivid. Beautiful kick of the footy coming out of the centre. Herald Sun article had Tony Shaw in the team. My mates and I used to call him ‘Superboot’ sarcastically ! Shawry couldn’t kick over the proverbial jam tin.

    Couple of more to consider: John Holt from North and Peter Bradbury Ess/Coll.

  20. DBalassone says

    On his day Trav could rake (e.g 2011 GF).

    A few more:

    Clinton Young (and half of 2008 Hawks team).

    Laurie Keene – didn’t he kick one from 100 metres out once?

    Matthew Lokan could roost but just couldn’t find the pill enough.

  21. DBalassone says

    Ps I’m sticking up for Shawry here. Wasn’t long kick but always hit target with short passes. I did see him kick a torp goal from outside 50 in the ’89 Elimination, I swear. No one believes me.

  22. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    Showing my age and bias, but …

    Nick Malceski. The most accurate of rakes. And quite effective on goal too!
    Rampe may well challenge him (in the fullness of time) for the HB left foot honours at the Swans.

  23. Gah…can’t believe I got Fev’s kicking side wrong. Thanks for pointing that out. *embarrassed*

  24. Brilliant, LB. Gee, S.Dew was a great kick. Got, as is said in the country, good purchase. Dare I say he was an unlikely footballer? There’s something about the aesthetic of the left-legged kick.

  25. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Damo – Remember that ’89 Elimination Final well. Shawry must have kicked that torp with an 8 goal breeze ! Another who played that day and was a fine kick was David Robertson. Like Lokan, just couldn’t find it enough.

    Mathilde – Malceski could rake it with the best of them before the knee. Rampe on the way. Mattner could rake on his day. Although bias may not be encouraged, it is certainly tolerated on these posts.

    Malby – No stress mate. Memory has been playing tricks on me since 1974.

    Mickey – Dew’s kicking in the 2008 GF was outstanding. Perhaps the difference. Is the left legged kick more aesthetic or exotic because it is rarer?

    It is interesting that we don’t have many pre-television nominations for this team. Would love to hear about those who raked before 1965. Cheers

  26. Keiran Croker says

    Skilton, Bayes, Maxfield, Kappler and Malceski are Swans who others have noted. Going further back Max Papley was outstanding. More recently Ryan O’Keeffe was pretty good too and Adam Sneider.

    Great team though Phil. We could go on and on, I’m sure we have missed some other good ones.

Leave a Comment