Crio’s Q: The All Australian Argument

by Chris Riordan

Quite rightly it is oft repeated that footy is not an individual game, yet it is also true that great players are what we go to watch. Although from year to year I could not recite the All-Australian team, it can be an interesting source of discussion at around this stage of the season.

Let’s put up some names and, by week’s end, I’ll try to position a team.

Points to ponder (Part 1)…

“Jumping” Jack Riewoldt is now favourite for the full-forward post.

Milne shading a good cast of small forwards.

Pav for CHF!

Sandilands the colossus

Hodge, Goddard, Ablett, Hayes in the middle and Lake at fullback.

Has Barlow lost his chance with the broken leg?

Could Pods play a second forward role?

Could Juddy miss out?

So here’s this week’s challenge before KB or whoever start their shortlist….the All-Aust nominees.


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    It might be premature, but I will state that Leon will struggle to repeat his 2009 selection!

    Listening to the “experts” on On the Couch, Michael Barlow will find it difficult because, being a mid-fielder, the competition for places is against a largish pool of very high quality players. The shortage of games will therefore be a significant factor.

    If they select the team to play at Kardinia Park – Podsiadly is in.

    Milne? All Australian? Yuk!

  2. Got on the anti-Milne queue Andrew, but his performances are pretty good – though it is not yet September! Better than Ballantyne, Medhurst, Buchanan or those other point-post lurkers!

  3. What about Fast Eddie Betts for the sneaky spot?

  4. John Butler says

    Eddie would give it a shake, but Milne’s been better.

    Who would be centre half forward, given N Riewoldt and Brown’s extended absences? Pavlich? Even though he rarely plays there.

    Presumably J Riewoldt will sew full forward up.

  5. I guess Browny could still be a show if he returns fit, but Pav has to play somewhere.
    And, what of your Blueboys JB? Any other noms…young Bryce off a back flank?

  6. Small forwards: Mark Le Cras does a lot of good things in a side that doesn’t do many good things.

  7. Really good player, sort of like Johnno has been for the last couple of years?

    Gigs, do you give “The Beard” a chance as 2nd ruck; he’s had a fantastic season?

  8. Andrew Fithall says

    Ruckman: Sandilands

    Collingwood potential reps: Harry O. Dane S. DAISY T! Scott P.

    Full Back: BLake (although it would be nice to get a repeat speech from Scarlett when Geelong are not represented in the Grand Final as he most recently provided 2006?)

    Full Forward (and sole Richmond rep): The other Reiwoldt.

    I like Gigs’ suggestion of that French bloke from WCE.

  9. Crio, (comment 7). Yes, absolutely. When I saw your mention of Sandilands I immediately thought of the Beard and said to myself “he can’t be far behind”.

  10. John Butler says

    Ryder would have to be a shot for ruck. (after Sandilands)

    As for Blues Crio, there’s one walk-up start (I think we know who that is).

    Jordan Russell would have been a chance until a month ago. Very patchy the last few weeks (like the team).

    Bryce has been given too many stopping jobs to really figure. If they release him to the midfield permanently then watch out.

    Kade Simpson must be some sort of outside chance. He’s had his most consistent season ever.

  11. Steve Healy says

    Judd is a tough one, I reckon he’d be just outside the best 22 at this stage.

    I was considering Josh Kennedy from West Coast but he has had a poor last couple of weeks, Riewoldt and Pavlich are certain key forwards. Betts, Milne, Steve Johnson are probably all in the team based on the first 14 rounds.

    I’d strongly consider Richard Douglas from Adelaide on a half forward flank, Lake at full back, Gilbert and Enright somewhere in the backline.

    Mark Jamar as 2nd ruckman!

  12. John Butler says

    Brian Lake would have to fit in at full back surely.

    Scarlett’s missed too many games. And his ego doesn’t need any more inflating.

  13. John Butler says

    Yer dreamin’ Steve

    Juddy has been BOG at least half a dozen times (I’m talking reality, not umpires).

    Enright and Gilbert would be good choices.

    If they’re picking the side on performance, not reputation, them N Riewoldt can’t be a chance.

  14. Steve Healy says

    Harry Taylor at CHB as well.

    And I reckon Brad Green’s a good chance to make the squad

  15. Steve Healy says

    Judd’s been good but I still think his last season was better, as were his days of 2005-06.

    And I think there have been better on-ballers in the competition this year

  16. Steve, I know what you mean but if they all lined up in the schoolyard and I was Captain, Juddy’d be one of your first picked.

  17. Steve Healy says

    I agree with that Crio, Judd is a champion and he is usually an automatic selection because of his leadership and hardness. But I do think the All Australian selectors should look further to the likes of Swan, Boyd, Montagna, Hayes, Mitchell, Cross, Griffen, Jude Bolton, just to name a few

  18. It’s hard to dismiss the claims of Hodge, Hayes, Goddard and Ablett as I mentioned. No way Griff, Crossy or Boyd are there at the moment. I hope by Rd 22 they’ve proven me wrong.

    Give us your “back 6” Steve.

  19. In a truly just footy world, Brian Lake would be well on the way to winning a second consecutive Brownlow (having escaped the Match Review Lottery Board’s wrath for giving Buddy one in the chops).

  20. John Butler says

    Hodge would be a certainty this year- he’s been brilliant. The only question would be where he’s named.

    Goddard could be named in almost any position.

    Taylor would have to be a chance at CHB if he finishes the year off well.

    I think people are underestimating how well Judd’s played this year. Like Ablett, he’s held to an impossible standard.

  21. It will be fascinating to watch when the Dogs play Richmond – I can scarcely believe I’m writing that! – as Lake and Jumping Jack have the best hands in the game. On Friday night Roughhead got an early (questionable) free and goal for being shepherded out of the marking contest by Morris. You could see Lake’s frustration, which was at Morris…essentially he was inferring that he’ll mark it anyway! On Sunday i saw the new Disco (No 8 ) and he has really improved. He makes multiple leads, chases, and kicks well. And his hands are fantastic. His eyes just don’t leave the ball.
    Everyone (including Umps) out of the road…let’s see a Vander and Knightsy scenario!!

  22. John Butler says

    Looking at last year’s team, there should be quite a turnover.

    You would think the following won’t repeat from last year:

    C Bolton, Maxwell, Goodwin, N Riewoldt, Davis, Fevola, J Brown, Goodes.

    A few others would be shaky.

  23. John Butler says

    Agreed Crio.

    Will the umps let them play? Will the coaches?

  24. And that’s gotta be a pretty good thing JB. So many “stars” retire and we think they’re irreplaceable but the kids of today have plenty of heroes. Browny and Roo are the big names and, further injury notwithstanding, they’ve got season’s left. Fev’s gone. Harry O’s taken over from his skipper in a lot of ways and Daisy’s returned to form to make up for Neon’s demise. It is a great pageant.

  25. Looks like my pre-season “super-team” (which you can find here: ) hasn’t quite cut it. Maybe Kieran Jack could be a smoky? But I am very proud to have identified Podsiadly as a contender as far back as February.

  26. February 2005/06/07???

  27. Actually, yes, Crio! For years I said the Dogs should have given him a run.

  28. John Butler says


    You’re a brave man to undertake such an exercise. Even the newspaper pundits’ efforts usually look pretty sick by season’s end. They just rely on us forgetting their predictions.

  29. JB, the nice thing about mine is that when you read the team out loud, it still sounds good!!

  30. Steve Healy says

    Back 6 is a toughie.

    ill take a stab Enright, Lake, Gilbert, Gibbs, Taylor and Hodge. Although Hodge could probably be put in the middle, if that was the case O’Brien, Malceski or Harbrow would be good chances

  31. John Butler says

    Which has to put you one up. :)

  32. Steve, if the back 6 is going to include Gilbert and Gibbs, then Gilbee has to be there too? It just sounds right somehow. Gibbs, Gilbert, Gilbee…

  33. John Butler says

    #31 was directed to Gigs BTW

    That’s a pretty fair effort Steve.

    Bryce is an interesting one. I suppose I look at it from the perspective of what might be if he was released into the middle. But he’s played a lot of good defensive games. Only Green has really stitched him up.

    Green’s been a good player for a long time. He’s had another good year, but the selector’s might think his time passed.

  34. John Butler says


    You’re always looking for that special angle.

  35. Goddard could be named on a wing to free up another midfield place. In honesty, most sides name 6 or 7 midfielders so the All-Australian team will need similar…the bench can be a ruck, a sweeper and a couple of midfielders.

  36. John Butler says

    That’s why I’d push Ryder’s credentials. He can be used in other spots when Sandi is rucking.

    But they don’t usually try to pick a balanced side.

    eg. no taggers. If they wanted one, Jones of the Saints would be hard to go past.

  37. #35 Crio says “the bench can be a ruck, a sweeper and a couple of midfielders”.

    A sweeper required, eh? Well West Coast do have a Lewis BROOME on their rookie list…

  38. Steve Healy says

    37- hahaha nice one Gigs. Although Lewis Broome is the shortest player since Liberatore (I think) so he’s more like a feather duster.

    Gibbs has certainly picked up a role sweeping off half back and has done a great job




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