Footy: Gigs gives us his well-oiled machine

By Andrew Gigacz

You can have your Dreamteams and your Supercoach comps. Mike Sheahan’s Top 50? Pah!

Having completed some exhaustive analysis and listened to the word on the street, I have come up with a team of players that are a huge chance to set the AFL season alight in 2010.   Now as you read through the details of the players to watch, some of you will begin to believe that I have taken leave of my senses. (The rest of you will know that that happened a long time ago.)

But bear with me. Read through my reasoning, and then take a good look at my selected side. Read through it line by line. Read it again aloud. And then, I promise, you will believe that this is a team that has the sound of one that runs like a well-oiled machine.

But don’t look yet! First, let’s take a look at the players, grouped by team.


The Cats have been up for three years. Expect a letdown to come for several players; in particular the goalkickers. Chapman’s hammies are surely going to hasten his demise, Ablett’s accuracy will be compromised by the fact that one of his eyes will be on the Gold Coast at all times, and Mooney, well, if his body doesn’t fail him, his brain surely will. My theory is that players who possess the “Mooney mental make-up” can only hold their emotions in for so long. I think both Mooney and Hawk coach Clarkson are moving ever closer to boiling point.

So who will step up for Geelong? Look for Simon Hogan to bounce back after the heartbreak of being dropped for the Preliminary and Grand Finals. And as the goals dry up, expect the elevation from the rookie list of the mature-aged James Podsiadly. When he finally gets his chance, he will be a revelation and have other clubs ruing their decisions not to give him a go.


So evenly balanced will the Saints team be this year that, even in success, few of their players will be stand-outs. The possible exception is Farren Ray, who could be ready to make the move from good to great.


Daniel Cross, as good as he is already, will raise the bar even higher and take his game to a new level. And the time has come for fringe player Stephen Tiller to become as household name on the half-back line.   With Bazza Hall slotting in at full-forward, Rodney Eade will continue to be an innovative coach, and his 2010 masterstroke will be to play young Brennan Stack as a roaming centre-half forward. This move will be the making of Stack as a player, and Eade as a coach.


So ingrained is my dislike of Collingwood that I was unable to find a spot for any of their players in Gigs’ 2010 Super Team. As a consolation, I have selected an ex-Magpie (see Sydney below).


Still haven’t forgiven them for what they did to the Dogs in ’97 and ’98. No Crows in the 2010 Super Team.


One word: Black. Week in, week out, Simon Black is the man. Another big year and maybe even another Brownlow coming up. And look out for Cheynee Stiller, another player to suffer the heartbreak of finals demotion, to bounce back and have a big year running off half-back.


Will the Blues rise continue? This will depend heavily on whether they have enough players available each week to form a team. The number of Carlton players to cop a club-imposed suspension could set a new record this year. The man who looms as one of the few to avoid such trouble is Richard Hadley. After a stuttering 58-game career so far, Hadley’s time is now.


Matthew Knights is another coach who has demonstrated that he can be bold and innovative. This year he will have an enormous impact on one particular player, Mark McVeigh. Knights will help Mark to put the troubles of last year behind him and McVeigh will become an inspiration to the team.


Despite the looming potential Clarkson cranial combustion, the talented Hawks are still capable of big things. My tip is that the Hawks big names will be average but Garry Moss will again be elevated off the rookie list and establish himself once and for all.


What to make of Mark Williams’ team? Runners up in 2007, down and out in 2008, and both up AND down throughout last year. A lot will depend on Dean Brogan, often identified as the barometer of the team. I think he’s in for a big year. Robbie Gray’s great 2009 form should continue and Tom Logan could make an impact if moved to a midfield role.


Nah, don’t like ’em after what they did to the Dogs in September ’99.


Another middle-of-the-road year looks likely for the Swans. Rhyce Shaw should be even better in his second year in Sydney, and Kieren Jack will take more giant strides.


North’s year will be in the hands of the tipsters. If the majority of them tip North not to make the eight, then they will. And of course the reverse will also be true. Player-wise, Ben Ross will make his move in his third season and Sudanese-born Majak Daw will come off the rookie list and excite Roo supporters like no-one has for years.


Nobody expects anything from Freo, and absolutely nobody will expect much from Kepler Bradley this year. But as a back-up ruckman to man-mountain Sandilands, he will spend a lot of time up forward, Will Minson-style. But unlike Big Will, he will take many marks and kick quite a few goals.


Another coach, another new beginning. Players to watch: Kelvin Moore at full-back and first-year player Matt Dea (pronounced Day).


The only way is up for Dean’s Demons. And the player to do the lifting will be the seasoned Brad Miller. But it won’t be as a key forward. Bailey will suprise many (especially me if he really does do it) by switching Miller to centre-half-back.


I’m tipping the coaches of the year will be Ross Lyon and Michael Voss. I just can’t split them.

So, these will be the players of 2010. Sure, there are no superstars in the list. And yes, some of these players are not even household names. But take the time to have a look at the team below. As you read it (especially if you do so out loud), you’ll suddenly realise that this is a team that rolls off the tongue and hangs together beautifully.


B: Shaw, Moore, Daw

HB: Stiller, Miller, Tiller

C: Moss, Cross, Ross

HF: Jack, Stack, Black

F: Hadley, Bradley, Podsiadly

R: Brogan, Hogan, Logan

Int: Ray, Gray, Dea, McVeigh

Coach: Ross Voss

About Andrew Gigacz

Well, here we are. The Bulldogs have won a flag. What do I do now?


  1. Poetry, Gigs.

  2. Gigs – your challenge is, as Anson Cameron has previously pointed out, to find a word that rhymes with ‘Selwood’, though I suppose the half back line could be Selwood, Selwood, Selwood.

  3. What about Donald McDonald, the ex-Box Hill coach who filled in for Schwabby at the end of 2004 before Clarko came?

  4. Andrew Fithall says

    Gigs – I should have ignored your advice. The bit about “bear with me”.

    I think the only “well-oiled” aspect of that team was the state of the author at the time of compilation.

  5. Andrew, sadly (or otherwise) I was completely sober when I put the team together.

  6. Josh Barnstable says

    Some of your finest work here Gigs.

  7. Thanks Josh.

    Did you hear that Mr. Fithall? Some of my “finest work”…

    Clearly Mr Barnstable knows quality when he sees it. :-)

  8. Andrew (Keats) Fithall says

    There once was a Cat named Joel Selwood
    Who covered more ground than Mike and Mal could
    He would pass and he’d play
    And take mark of the day
    And kick a few goals ‘cos it felt good

  9. Andrew (Keats) Fithall says

    There once was an elf lord named Selwood
    When travelling the forest of Elruud
    Would be very well fed
    From the flat elven bread
    But his breath, from the bread, would not smell good

  10. Nice work Mr Keats, I mean Fithall.

    There must be more on the way because you haven’t used “Elwood” yet.

  11. Andrew – I like the 2nd one.

  12. Andrew Fithall says

    Gigs – because you asked for it…

    There were four footballing brothers named Selwood
    Approve so many children, Father Pell would
    In the backyard they’d scuffle
    It was such a kerfuffle
    Mum thought them on the path of Jake and Elwood

    With apologies to the Cardinal for his demotion
    And heartfelt apologies to all aficianados of metre

  13. I thought it was good Gigs ;).
    I liked that you used 2 tigers lol :).

  14. Steve Healy says

    Gigs I know you just did that for the fun of it but Miller will not be moving to centre half back!!

  15. Gigs my Supercoach team is the preetyest team ever!!
    it consists of dashing, strapping young men who not only look the part but dress the part. My team is called the ‘Crusaders’ and we have a jumper with darkblue and black stripes (vertical)and shorts. (two colours i love wearing together myself)

    Ralphy (Jon Ralph) had an interesting piece last… i think it was Friday on players he thought whould prove good value ect. Funny thing, most of the players he mentioned i had already put in my team.
    great minds think alike. :)

    ps. someone tell Luke Darcy to make a Comeback, would have loved to have him play for my Crusaders.

  16. Steve Healy says

    danni, why did you chose supercoach over DREAM TEAM! WHY????!!!!

  17. …cos Ralphy likes SUPERCOACH!

  18. Steve Healy says

    Don’t do what Ralphy doesn’t don’t do does :)

  19. 18- okayy thats just confusing.

  20. Steve Healy says

    20- Colin Garland yay!

  21. We really shouldn’t talk on Gigs’ thread guys.

  22. Steve Healy says

    I know, I would reply but that would mean there’d be an extra pointless comment, so I won’t reply.

  23. Now that Podsiadly has played 100 games, my Feb 2010 comments about him are quite prescient! (As for the rest of the players in that team, well, Daniel Cross, Farren Ray, Kieran Jack and Robbie Gray are still going okay!)

  24. bernard whimpress says

    Only just caught up with your original article today Gigs. However given your language gifts I expect better in the comment above. Ray and Gray are OK is fine but surely Cross is showing who’s boss and Jack is having a crack.

  25. Thanks Bernard. You’re right. If I could just go back to the year after ’09, then I could change the line and all would be fine with those words of mine.

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