The Footy Almanac Team of the Year: your nominations please

Rightio then, I reckon we should pick The Almanac Team of 2012. And I reckon it could go in the book.

This is not necessarily the best team, but it is a team of players who would appeal to Almanac readers and writers; players who have a bit of the Almanac in them.

So please add your nominations below, and let the discussion begin.

About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three kids - Theo13, Anna11, Evie10. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst three. His ambition is to lunch for Australia.


  1. Bob Murphy and the People’s Beard would be walk-up starters, surely.

    Will Minson?

  2. Strong start Gigs. Agree that Ben Hudson is a very good candidate.

    Anyone with a hint of Picken in the bloodlines?

  3. Nic Nat , Ivan Maric and Josh Bootsma for Litza.

  4. craig dodson says

    Teddy Richards is a win for blokes who get a second chance and he likes to put pen to paper via his Richards report for the Swannies website which is quite entertaining. Standing on someone and off colour sledging rules WIl out for me.

  5. I’ll get the ball rolling Harmsie. Any team that doesn’t have The Iconic Zac in the full backline isn’t a fair dinkum Almanac Team.

    Jumping Jack Riewoldt picks himself. Never mind the Coleman – what about the pout?

    And Jake King – more Brownlow votes than tatts.

    And what about Gumbleton? He’s had more false starts than a junior gold explorer. On his day he’s a world beater. Or so they tell us around at Whingy Hill. You could play him anywhere. In the goal square, in the centre square, or on the second tier of Federation Square.

    I reckon they’ve all got a bit of Almanac in them John.

  6. Sorry, I didn’t see those others. Good team building lads. Who’s the coach?

  7. Chris Dawes – proof that Collingwood players are intelligent
    Harry O’Brien – proof that Collingwood players are socially conscious
    Steele Sidebottom – best name in AFL football
    Andrew Krakuoer – now that’s what I call a second chance.
    Daisy Thomas – the most enthusiastic man in football – even without the haircut

    From other clubs
    Jack Anthony – for Danni
    Aaron Sandilands – the only giant footballer who is as skillful as a shorter player
    Buddy Franklin – he’s probably the best player in the competition but he also seems to be surrounded by melodrama, both on and off the field
    Both Josh Kennedys – to remind their original clubs that they were fools to clear them.
    Stevie J – Geelong (and therefore Almanac) cult figure
    Dustin Fletcher – he will still be playing when he is my age.
    Tex Walker – Another cult figure and the probably already the best player to come out of Broken Hill
    Jeremy Howe – multiple marks of the year while playing for the worst team in the competition.

  8. Buddy’s a must and what about Merritt from Brisbane, big music fan.


  9. Andrew Fithall says

    I think Phantom should be on the bench.

  10. Yes, I agree Wrap, though some have more Almanac in them than others.

    I like Tex as key forward. Any bloke who can get the whole Broken Hill fixture transferred from Saturday to Friday night so the blokes could head to Adelaide for his 21st is worth consideration.

  11. Jeremy Cameron. Sort of the Sergeant York of footy.

  12. I like the Tex Walker and Howe noms so far.

    I’d nominate Jude Bolton. Hard as nails, but always fair. Has been on 1 year deals the past few years so that when he’s had enough, he can walk away. Friendly off the field.

  13. Fev?

    He seems to have landed on his feet (at several clubs).

  14. Collingwood’s Brown, for his desperate, failing chase on Jetta! We became witnesses to an instant trivia question that night.

  15. Lake, for keeping the spirit of Peter Knights alive. A backman who goes for his marks, rather than punch even if he is the only one up.

  16. BROC, for refusing to fade away when everybody was laughing at him. For being too slow, too old fashioned, too old school in how he plays, yet being one of Carlton’s best players. Surely, he IS a Knacker.

  17. Howe from Melb, because, “Stuff it, I think I’ll fly for that!”

  18. Stroppy JAck. 1. For having personality. 2. For winning the Coleman, yet having everybidy bag him for it. (no AA, SFA Brownlow votes, etc…).

    Cotchin, for stealing Richie Cunningham;’s haircut!!!!

  19. Harley Bennell – the coolest name the Almanacers are going to have in their gang

  20. Matthew Scarlett for whacking Ballantyne. And Campbell Brown for whacking whoever’s nearby. Got to have a bit of mongrel in the team.

  21. Andrew Fithall says

    Travis Cloke because he has just written his first two words. His own name. It took an entire season, but it is a start. An entire Almanac article may take some time.

  22. Dustin Fletcher for being old.

  23. Ben Johnson because he’s from Preston.

  24. Lynden Dunn for his moustache. Great courage there. Anyone can sport a tattoo. Isn’t the Almanac being published in Mo’vember?

  25. Agree with Brock McLean – great second half to the year to save his career and also good with the social media!

    Would also suggest Ivan Maric for his mullet and good year at a new club.

  26. nathan jarvis says

    “for whacking Ballantyne” – goot Gawd! You reckon the big bloke whacking the little bloke is wearing the white hat in this story?

    The Mayor of Mandurah is a fairdinkum avatar of all that is right and true and good about the game. He’s looked at himself, noticed he’s four foot three, more annoying than a speed-addled Sydney Silky and fair game for getting punched in the head in any front bar of any pub across the country, and said, “Rightio, I’ll have a go at that – but first I have got to stop in at the TAB for that big collect. Maybe get a pie.”

    Take off your pathetic blinkers and you’ll see a genuine *footballer* who goes out on the paddock, puts his foot to the metaphorical floor and just fucking blows himself up. He loves it, Ballantyne. He plays because he has to. He plays without fear and does everything he can to get the most out of this game. Everything. You may not like all of that everything but you have never given yourself to something like Ballaz gives himself to a game.

    One day Scarlet will be grateful Ballantyne let him put one on the chin. He’ll be able to say, “You know, I hit that bloke once.”

  27. Nathan, Fair enough from your perspective I suppose. By the way who do you follow?

  28. Corey Enright, Corey Enright, Corey Enright. There’s most of the back-line covered.

  29. JPod for the nickname and he writes a weekly column for the Geelong Addy.

  30. Daryl Sharpen says

    Fevvy. For all the good work he did in the ‘Valley o’ Love’ – New Norfolk Eagles. When the man kicked 18.6 on a July afternoon ………. surely that inspired their premiership.

  31. David Downer says

    J.Blake, 2 votes

  32. Hey, is there enough in the AFL for a team of Wrangers?

  33. Jimmy Bartel..because he is Jimmy Bartel. Stephen Milne because you could write a hundred stories about him and still have more to write about. He plays football like he is in the playground at lunchtime, snaps, baulks and celebrations! Chad Cornes because he plays with his passion on his sleeve. This team must also contain Jeremy Howe because he plays the game as it should be played…flying for a big mark every time…he would hve neen playing with Milney at school when they we young. The coach must have to be Brett Ratten…the people’s coach.

  34. I think Martin Flanagan all but endorsed Hodgey as captain with his teriffic essay in the Age last Saturday. Hodge’s response to his illness and how he watched the Prelim from home nailed it.

  35. Stephanie Holt says

    Definitely Jason Blake! Not just for his now broken record of votelessness, but for giving hope for all those probably-not-really-quite-good-enough blokes who nonetheless have that (nothing) special something – dedication? commitment? loyalty? work ethic? modesty? – that keeps them at a club year after year, and then finally gets his chance to show us why with a string of excellent games when our options seemed to have run out. Footy’s ultimate odd-job man.

    Lenny Hayes for the best post-ACL-leaky-heart-valve-old-enough-to-retire season imaginable.

  36. Stephanie Holt says

    And Ahmed Saad. Insane run-up. Brilliant smile. Great story.

  37. Could we pick a team made up entirely of hypenated names:
    Roberts-Thompson etc

  38. Actually, Dips, Lewis Roberts-Thomson should be one of the first players picked for this team.
    LR-T. Rolls off the tongue.

  39. Kelsey Smith says

    I agree with Stephanie Holt, Lenny Hayes is certainly deserving! What a season he has had, and what a role model and inspiration he is to the AFL in general. Talk about hard work, committment and passion for the game!

  40. Shane Kennedy says

    I am a big fan of Jon Griffin. Fills in beautifully for Sandi whenever the toe gets too turfy, but the first dropped when he returns. There should be a queue of clubs trying to poach him and they’ll have the 2013 edition of Ivan Maric.

    Some other considerations:

    Beau Waters – old school hard nut
    Tom Hawkins – just so we can say “see I told you so”
    Dustin Fletcher – to kick some barrels
    Jeremy Howe – to grab the barrels

  41. Neil Anderson says

    Bob Murphy definitely. Always look forward to his analysis on the Thursday post-match, particularly when he compliments the champs (rascals) he plays on. Trouble is, now when I watch him play I wonder whether he is so busy composing his next newspaper article, he forgets he’s still playing a game of footy! As John Kennedy said, “Don’t think…Dooo!… something!!!”

  42. Neil Belford says

    Yep – Haydn Ballantyne. Best small forward in the comp and can bring out the dickhead in almost anyone – on and off the footy field.

    But I think John was looking for teams – so much to do and so little time…

  43. Andrew Starkie says

    Scott Thompson – Nth Melb. Old fashioned.

  44. Almanackers are a bunch of storytellers. Old men, journeymen and those who have done it tough often have very interesting stories.

    B: M McGuire, Fletch, S Morris
    HB: R Shaw, T Lonergan, Staker
    C: Puopolo, J Kennedy, Callinan
    HF: B Harvey, Gumbleton, Le Cras
    F: A Krakouer, JPod,Milney
    R: Orren,Brock,Barlow
    I: Pyke, Kosi, Maloney, Zorko

  45. Neil Anderson says

    This is my team nomination rather than a ‘couple of characters’ nomination. Just read someone saying that Almanackers were a bunch of old men and journeymen telling hardluck stories etc. I was about to object on the basis of it hitting a raw-nerve, but then I realized it was fairly accurate. We may be old but we tell bloody good stories…usually right from the heart. Anyway, speaking of age, I tried to think of a team consisting of good old fashioned names that wouldn’t be out of place in the ‘Jack Dyer’ era for example. And speaking of ‘Jacks’, there were a lot of players in my team called Jack and Tom from the 2012 lists so it wasn’t hard to find suitable anglo-saxon names from days of yore…when men were men.

    Harry O’Brian Ted Richards (C) Bob Murphy
    Jack Grimes Tom Campbell Michael Johnson
    Andrew Collins Bernie Vince Jack Redden
    Jack Redpath Jon Brown Ed Curnow
    Jack Gunston Jack Watts Tom Lynch
    Rucks: Ben Hudson Tom Scully Jack Stevens
    Int: Sam Jacobs Tom Curren Jack Anthony Sam Lonergan

    I wish I could’ve found a Horrie, Maurie, Perc or an Arthur.

    From the cheap seats these were the people’s players. Everyone got the rowdiest for these two.
    Mitch Morton should not have been there. He should not have kicked those two cheeky goals today. He is not good enough but he is. He is a priemership player whilst his two old clubs are dwindling in medicority. Good on ya Mitchos.
    I don’t know there is just someting about LRT that everyone loves.
    Nick Malceski- The People’s Beard.
    Ivan Maric- The People’s Mullet.
    Bobby Murphy and Teddy Richards don’t mind putting pen to paper and both are pretty good at it to. Also Jarrad McVeigh wrote a very nice article in The Age this morning.
    Bob Murphy for Skip.
    Bob Murphy for President.


  48. Geurra,

    strong back pocket with an accurate elbow.

  49. Can’t quite work out the “Almanacker” criteria. It’s a bit self defining, like JTH’s “a Queenslander is a Queenslander” yarn from Friday’s lunch.
    Do we have an “all dickheads” or “no dickheads” selection policy? (JackR, HB and Milney are hanging on the result). Do you have to be able to read? (Buddy and NicNait love Yvette’s cartoons).
    Jarrod McVeigh as Captain, Mitch Morton (for every dog has his day), Adam Goodes, Mike Pyke (every sled dog has his day), Chad Cornes, Ivan and Tex, Beau Waters (the autodidact assassin) are my must includes.
    And all 3 Selwoods.

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