To celebrate Grand Final week, Bulldogs Centre is posting each AFL club's greatest team of all-time, and as we nearly hit the end of this week-long special article, we've seen the all-time teams revealed for the AFL clubs who finished the 2017 season from 18th up until the preliminary finalists.
In case you missed any of the previous parts, click below for the part you wish to read:
Part One - Brisbane, Gold Coast and Carlton
Part Two - North Melbourne, Fremantle and Collingwood
Part Three - Hawthorn, St. Kilda and Western Bulldogs
Part Four - Melbourne, Essendon and Port Adelaide
Part Five - West Coast, Sydney, GWS and Geelong
Today on Bulldogs Centre, we're at the final part of this special six-part series, as we present the two teams squaring off in the Grand Final - Adelaide and Richmond.
With Richmond's greatest team of all-time, there is unbelievable talent on every line. This side includes goal kicking legends, champion midfielders, and flat-out match-winners. The Tigers made their way into the VFL/AFL in 1908 and have since produced a number of legends and future hall of famers.
In defence, we will see two-time premiership defender and two-time best and fairest Vic Thorp partner up with arguably the game's best defender today in Alex Rance, who is a four-time All-Australian and a club best and fairest winner. Also starting in defence includes coaching legend Kevin Sheedy, who as a player, was a fierce competitor and was a three-time premiership defender and a club best and fairest. Partnering Sheedy in the back-pocket is none other than Jim 'The Ghost' Jess. Like Sheedy, Jess was a fierce competitor and played a huge role in Richmond's last premiership in 1980, he also was a member of the 1980 All-Australian team. On the half-back flanks we have three-time premiership player Mervyn Keane, a skilful defender and two-time premiership player and two-time club best and fairest winner Basil McCormack.
Richmond's forward line is a very interesting, yet so potent. Between Matthew Richardson, Royce Hart, Dale Weightman, Jack Titus and Jack Riewoldt, this group of five have combined for over 3000 career goals. I say interesting because all five of these guys had been focal points up forward for Richmond in different eras. Riewoldt at the moment is the big full-forward at Tigerland, kicking 535 career goals and is a two-time Coleman medallist. He spent a couple of years working in tandem with Richardson, who was a 13-time club leading goal kicker and a three-time All-Australian who kicked over 800 goals. Imagine how lethal it would be seeing Richo team up with Jack Titus, who is the all-time leading goal kicker at the Tigers with 970 goals, including 11 leading goal kicker awards at Richmond, as well as a two-time club best and fairest and a two-time premiership player. Then we have Royce Hart a two-time club best and fairest winner and a four-time premiership player and Dale 'The Flea' Weightman a three-time All-Australian and two-time club best and fairest, with Roger Dean a two-time premiership player and a former club goal kicking champion rounding out the starting six. Two-time Coleman medallist and seven-time club leading goal kicker Michael Roach and two-time premiership player David Cloke are named on the bench as forward rotations.
However, it is the midfield that I think is the most exciting. With ruckman Roy Wright starting, the Tigers have a two-time Brownlow medallist and four-time club best and fairest, and the support cast around him is full of legends. None more bigger than 'Captain Blood' Jack Dyer – a six-time best and fairest, dual premiership player and two-time club leading goal kicker, then there is Kevin Bartlett, a five-time premiership player, five-time club best and fairest, four-time club leading goal kicker and a Norm Smith medallist in 1980, Bartlett was skilled and a champion of the game, but was always unwilling to pass the ball off. Rounding out the starting midfield include Four-time club best and fairest Wayne Campbell, whilst five-time premiership player Francis Bourke and the reigning Brownlow medallist Dustin Martin occupy the wing slots. On the bench providing rotations for the midfield include dual club best and fairest winner Matthew Knights, current captain and Brownlow medallist Trent Cotchin, two-time club best and fairest Maurice Rioli and two-time premiership player Bill Barrot.
B: Kevin Sheedy, Vic Thorp, Jim Jess
HB: Basil McCormack, Alex Rance, Mervyn Keane
C: Francis Bourke, Wayne Campbell, Dustin Martin
HF: Roger Dean, Royce Hart, Matthew Richardson
F: Jack Riewoldt, Jack Titus, Dale Weightman
FOL: Roy Wright, Jack Dyer, Kevin Bartlett
INT: Matthew Knights, Michael Roach, Trent Cotchin, Maurice Rioli, Bill Barrot. David Cloke
Whilst the history of the Adelaide Crows isn't as historic as the Richmond Football Club, the Crows have still produced a solid number of champion footballers and it's really no surprise to see that the majority of this side play in either the 1997-98 premiership years or are currently playing for the Crows now as they prepare for their first premiership in nearly 20 years.
In the Crows back-line we have current stars Daniel Talia, a two-time All-Australian and a former club best and fairest and Rory Laird, arguably one of the game's best running defenders right now, team up with premiership stars Ben Hart, Andrew McLeod and Nigel Smart. Smart was a three-time All-Australian, Hart was a four-time All-Australian and a two-time club best and fairest, whilst McLeod has the most accolades of the trio – two Norm Smith medals, three club best and fairests and five All-Australian selections. Rounding out the starting defensive six is former All-Australian Ben Rutten, who was very underrated as a full-back. Former club best and fairest winner Nathan Bock, 230-game veteran utility Michael Doughty and dual-premiership captain Mark Bickley are the defensive rotations.
Up forward, we'll see the current Adelaide captain Taylor Walker at the centre-half forward position, a two-time club leading goal kicker at the Crows and voted as the best captain of the 18 clubs in the past two seasons, Walker's leadership skills have been amazing since he was appointed ahead of the 2015 season. How good would a forward tandem between Walker and full-forward Tony Modra be? A high-flying full-forward, Modra kicked 440 goals in 118 games at the Crows, he's a former Coleman medal winner and a five-time club goal kicking champion and if it wasn't for injury, he could've been one of the game's greatest goal kickers. Modra will be alongside another high-flyer in Brett Burton, who was a two-time club leading goal kicker, with the freakishly talented Eddie Betts on the other pocket. Rounding out the starting forward six includes two-time premiership stars from 1997-98 in Darren Jarman and Tyson Edwards.
I'd be interested to see how this amazing midfield could fare with the rest. Starting with two-time premiership player and former club best and fairest Shaun Rehn at the ruck. Starting at the square we have Brownlow medallist, an eight-time All-Australian and three-time club best and fairest winner in Mark Ricciuto along with five-time All-Australian, three-time club best and fairest and dual premiership star Simon Goodwin and two-time club best and fairest Scott Thompson. On the wings, we have a three-time All-Australian Patrick Dangerfield, who is a superstar of the game today, but left the Crows before he won his Brownlow medal, along with former team mate and former club best and fairest Richard Douglas, who is a very underrated footballer. Midfielders coming off the bench for the Crows include dual premiership player Kane Johnson, dual club best and fairest Rory Sloane and an emerging star midfielder in Matt Crouch.
B: Ben Hart, Ben Rutten, Rory Laird
HB: Andrew McLeod, Daniel Talia, Nigel Smart
C: Richard Douglas, Simon Goodwin, Patrick Dangerfield
HF: Tyson Edwards,Taylor Walker, Darren Jarman
F: Brett Burton, Tony Modra, Eddie Betts
FOL: Shaun Rehn, Mark Ricciuto, Scott Thompson
INT: Mark Bickley, Michael Doughty, Nathan Bock, Rory Sloane, Kane Johnson, Matt Crouch