Modern greats qualify for AFL Hall Of Fame

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At least two of the AFL modern greats must miss out on Hall Of Fame selection when this year’s inductions are announced on Thursday night.

James Hird, Nathan Buckley, Robert Harvey, Mark Ricciuto, Glenn Archer and Chris Grant all retired in 2007, while Michael Voss bowed out a year earlier.

Under Hall Of Fame criteria, they became eligible for selection three years after they stopped playing.

Last week, Greater Western Sydney coach Kevin Sheedy was seen recording a video tribute to Hird.

Sheedy, already in the Hall of Fame, was Hird’s only coach during their outstanding careers at Essendon.

Hird and his six peers are surely certain inductees within the next few years.

But changes to the Hall Of Fame voting criteria last year means there can be a maximum of six inductees at a time.

Also, this year one of the inductees has to be a former umpire, football administrator or media person.

The inductions of Wayne Carey and Gary Ablett Snr means there will not be the controversy that has dogged the last few annual Hall Of Fame ceremonies.

The character provision in the selection criteria meant Ablett and Carey had to wait before they were picked.

There was also last year’s drama over former Collingwood captain Lou Richards, with the Magpies trying unsuccessfully to elevate him to official legend status.

That prompted the AFL to review their selection criteria and confirm that Richards’ famous media career would not count towards him possibly becoming a legend.

There will be no official legend named this year, again because of selection rules.

There are 23 legends and 233 Hall Of Fame members – under the criteria, only 10 per cent of the members can have legend status.

Hird, Voss, Buckley and Harvey are all eligible to be inducted as players, even though they now coach at the clubs where they forged their brilliant careers.

Hird captained Essendon and played 253 games for the club, sharing the 1996 Brownlow Medal with Voss.

He took over as the Bombers’ senior coach this year.

Voss has coached Brisbane since 2009 after playing 289 games for the Lions, also captaining their 2001-03 premiership teams.

After 20 games in 1993 with Brisbane, Buckley became one of Collingwood’s most famous players with 260 games for the Magpies.

He shared the 2003 Brownlow with Ricciuto and Sydney’s Adam Goodes.

Buckley is now an assistant at Collingwood and will take over from Mick Malthouse next year as senior coach.

Harvey won the 1997-98 Brownlows in a 383-game career at St Kilda, where he holds the club games record and is now an assistant coach.

Ricciuto played 312 games for Adelaide, while Grant had a 341-game career at the Western Bulldogs.

Archer, one of the toughest players in the game’s history, played 311 games for North Melbourne and was named their Shinboner of the century.

© AAP 2014

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