Crio’s Question: Who is your Money Man?

When watching a penalty shootout last weekend (two, in fact, and with no emotional or financial attachment) I wondered at the nerve it took to “step up” or, as a keeper, to stare down your nemesis.

These sorts of defining moments make and break careers, even lives.

Kevin Muscat has never, I think, missed a penalty for the Victory*. Kristian Rees shanked his into the crowd when a goal meant a finals win for Gold Coast on Saturday night.

Steve Waugh was known as The Ice Man. Glenn Trimble, by contrast, in his “moment”, dropped a catch, took 0/32 off four and was scoreless at No.8.

Think Tiger at Augusta and poor old Sharkie standing over the same five footer.

There are goalkickers, jockeys, hoop-shooters, putters and bowlers who you’ll back with your life… and those who put a knot in your stomach.

Who is your  Money Man?

*Galekovic saved one, but Muscie slotted the rebound!


  1. pauldaffey says


    About 25 years ago The Age did a story asking which footballer you would back to kick a goal after the siren. All the stars’ names were rolled out, but the one that stuck in my head was Ken Judge. Judgey was hardly a star but everyone at Hawthorn believed he was nerveless in front of goal. They put him ahead of Bucky, Dermie, Lethal, etc.

    A few years ago, I asked Judgey about the story at the Perth launch of the Almanac (he did a great job, and stuck around for hours). Without saying so, he was very proud of his mention in that story.

    My Money Men these days would be Alan Didak or Mark Williams. Technically, they’re the best kicks for goal in the AFL. I reckon they cut it nerve-wise, too.

  2. A few years ago there was an article in the Hun trumpeting Brad Green as Melbourne’s money man. After that he started missing sitters. Cause & effect? I think so.

  3. John Butler says

    I’m going for an anti money man from the past (and numerous clubs).

    Justin Murphy- generally a good kick, always slotted them when it didn’t really matter, but never ever kicked ’em when the team really needed it.

    Probably not what you were after Crio, but I needed to get that off my chest.

  4. For mine it’s Corey Enright – THE most under rated player in the AFL.

  5. pauldaffey says


    Corey Enright has never kicked a goal.

  6. Rubbish Daff – he’s kicked plenty. I TOLD you he was under rated

  7. Dave Nadel says

    Didak probably is the money man at Collingwood although Medhurst until he missed a pre-season and Anthony until some idiot tried to “improve” his kicking style were both pretty close. Leroy Brown is the current anti-money man – I still can’t believe that he kicked four goals against the Saints two weeks ago, even though I watched all four being kicked on TV at the time.

    James Manson would be my all time favourite anti money man. During the late eighties and early nineties I could be heard shouting at Victoria Park “Don’t stop and think Charlie, just kick it!” every time Manson marked on the forward line. He was alright if he kicked on the run.The longer he took after his mark, the more certain he was to shank it.

  8. Danielle says

    Crio, great question. :)
    i think i would have to say Jack Anthony (aka Superman)
    the sealer against the Crows was the defining moment.
    As he was going back to take the kick i just kept saying, “he’s got it, he’s got this one.”
    it was like i was completly certain of it (i’m not normally certain of anything)
    i probably would have bet my life on it.

  9. I watched some of Federer in January. Down 0-30 he’d serve four unplayable aces, almost as if he’d deliberately offered a child a lolly before crushing it. Contrast that with some of the women whose serves fall apart or slow to nothing when THE moment arises.

  10. Richard Naco says

    They’ve sadly been benched for the last time in their respective careers, but Phil Smythe, Jenny Cheesman & Andrew Gaze were all deadly from the foul line (we’re talking basketball here) (does anybody remember basketball these days?). Even moreso when everything was hanging on their score. And I’ve waffled on ad nauseum elsewhere about Larry Bird’s extraordinary history of last second winning scores.

    Greatest accolade I know of was the Celtic great Larry Bird, commenting on the immortal 76ers player Julius “Dr J” Erving after the latter missed both free throws at crunch time in a game: “It was like watching the sun rise in the west”.

    In footy, nobody before or since ranks with the legendary Glenelg full forward of the 70s, D.K. “Fred” Phillis.

  11. Steve Healy says

    Cant say the Dees have anyone.

    But certainly when the game’s close, its usually the time when Moloney, Bruce, Green and McDonald who always step up for the Dees. I wouldn’t put that tag on Liam Jurrah yet, considering he’s a bit unpredictable and he’s only played nine games and needs to work on doing the simple things better

  12. Steve Healy says

    8- Really, that was a brave bet considering that was his first goal of the night following two behinds

  13. Richard,
    Freddy’d want to be on his left foot! Kicked plenty of “goals” off the field also.

  14. pauldaffey says

    Linford Christie was a very good competitor in championship events.

    Psyched out opponents who often had been beaten him in preliminary meetings.

    The drug issue is a different matter.

  15. Richard, on the topic of basketball – Robert Horry for the LA Lakers.

  16. ^Ex-LA Lakers I should say.

  17. Ian Syson says

    Chris, Technically Muscat has missed one. It was saved by the keeper and Muscat popped it in on his follow through.

    Daffs — Billy Nock! You would have expected him not to stuff it up after the siren!

  18. Ian Syson says

    Chris, Dan’s a bit of a cool head when it comes to penalties as well. Took one last year that was never ever going to miss.

  19. Damian Watson says

    Tony Lockett has a tremendously accurate kick, his set-shot technique is brilliant and big Plugger always seemed unfazed by the pressure.

    Of course I was going to mention Steve Kernahan but 1993 against Essendon still lingers in my mind.

  20. Remember Baddeley when he first started…he’d walk up to a putt and just see the hole.
    Although I missed the T20 the other night it is hardly surprising that Tait fell apart.

  21. Steve Healy says

    19- with help of the 90’s DVD

  22. Damian Watson says

    That’s right Steve- best AFL DVD ever made.

  23. Ian Syson says

    Chris, Why Ryan Harris wasn’t given that super-over is beyond me.

    And sorry for missing your footnote!

  24. What about ‘The Golden Bear’ Jack Nichlaus – never a better man under pressure.

  25. Ian, Yhere’s a bit of Shane Harwood about him. Who’d be your international “go to” man for a super over (hate that term!)? I’d normally be happy to have Vettori for any over but I hear The Bear got him the other night.

  26. Ian Syson says

    I’d have said Bracken a couple of years ago, but that young Kiwi (forget his name) who bowled their super over did a fantastic job of bowling just the right length. In fact the only reason we were held to a tie was his bowling — though White nearly killed him with one of the most ferocious shots I’ve ever seen in the final overs.

  27. Michael Bevan would always get the runs when needed in ODI’s. Nowadays though, Mike Hussey has seemed to have taken over that role.

  28. Stainless says

    I recall a classic Commetti-ism a few years back when Tarkyn Lockyer was having a shot for goal for the Pies. I think it was Dermie who said “down at Collingwood they reckon if your life depended on someone kicking for goal, you’d want it to be Lockyer”. To which Dennis replied “I’d rather my mum”. Stunned silence. “Not the greatest kick in the world but at least she’d care”.

  29. Ian Syson says

    He aint the money man any more:,-Kevin

    Kevin Muscat says he’s “haunted” by his penalty miss in Saturday’s A-League grand final.

    “Shattered… I feel like I’ve let the fans down,” he told AAP. “I’m not going to try and insult you by telling you we’ll be fine and mentally we’ll be okay, because we’ve lost a grand final and it hurts and it hurts deep.”

    Well, my heart bleeds. Couldn’t have happened to a lovelier guy. It’s called karma, Kevin.

    Karma. A noun. From Sanskrit, defined online as “the total effect of a person’s actions and conduct during the successive phases of the person’s existence, regarded as determining the person’s destiny”. Or, in not so many words, what goes around comes around.

    You punch teenagers in the ribs, you get bad karma. You stomp on young men’s backsides, you get bad karma. You charge at referees like a red-eyed elephant in musth, you get bad karma. You send your spit flying around the pitch with the abandon of a backyard sprinkler, you get bad karma.

    On behalf of all Australian football fans who have detested your on-field thuggery for a decade, I say suck it hard.

    The bad karma was a long time coming but it was delivered with exquisite timing. Perhaps there is a benevolent god looking down on us, after all. Certainly one with a brilliant sense of humour.

    I don’t know if there is an Australian football fan with any shred of decency in his or her body who didn’t revel in the schadenfreude at seeing Muscat screw up so badly at the most critical moment of your club’s entire season.

    Karma again, clearly, for your opportunistic moment of gamesmanship that got your side the leveller in normal time.

    As a friend of mine, Chris Bruce, wrote on his Facebook account: “Melbournites, watch the replay and concentrate on Muscat hitting the free kick WHILST THE BALL IS STILL MOVING – it was obvious in real time, but embarrassing in the slow-motion replays.”

    Yes, it was embarrassing. But we’re used to referees turning a blind eye to your indiscretions.

    Divine beings, however, evidently see all. It’s enough to want to turn to eastern religion. I just might after what happened at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.

    Let’s hope it’s the start of more cosmic corrections in the life of Kevin Muscat, footballer.

    As a commentator, no one could ever question he has marshaled the requisite experience over two decades as a professional footballer, and at his peak as a Socceroos defender, to be able to lend some unique insights into the global game. He has always been open and gentlemanly as a media personality.

    But as a sportsman on the pitch, away from the mic, I have always found him wanting.

    And there are others, many with physical and mental scars from having come up against him first hand (which I have not), who will tell you the same thing.

    No one’s perfect, of course. We all make mistakes. Everyone does things we come to regret.

    The difference with Muscat is that he has seemed to operate in a guilt-free zone, without remorse or anything approaching self-criticism.

    After Saturday night, that might just change. We can only hope.

    Muscat might win most of his battles, but no mortal can outmatch his destiny.

  30. Ouch! Can’t say I’m worried about the moving ball as soccer seems to have no self-policing morality at all…ither the ref’s do you or it is OK. I’m not a Muscat man though.

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