2007 versus 2017: Who has the best list of retirees?

Brendan Smith Roar Rookie

By , Brendan Smith is a Roar Rookie

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    August is the time of the year when teams start jostling for the final spots on the ladder and when trade rumours start circling.

    Unfortunately, in the words of Stevie J, it’s also the time when some greats will be “leaving the game with nothing left in the tank” and get that lap, tunnel, carry off the ground for the last time.

    Just like this home-and-away season being labelled as the best ever, the same question could go for the class of 2017. Is this the best list of retiring players of all time?

    Before we say yes we have to Marty McFly back ten years to 2007. In 2007 the original iPhone was rolled out, Facebook launched its mobile platform and removed the ‘is’ from your status updates, The Departed was given the gong as the best film at the Oscars and Beyonce’s Irreplaceable was the number one song.

    So is the class of 2017 irreplaceable? There is one year that could rival it, and that is the class of that very year 2007.

    In the class of 07 we said farewell to many, but the standouts included the likes of Nathan Buckley (280 games), James Hird (253), Mark Ricciuto (312), Anthony Koutoufides (278), Glenn Archer (311), Fraser Gehrig (255) and Chris Grant (341).

    Ten years later we add the names Scott Thompson (308), Jobe Watson (217), Matthew Boyd (291), Matt Priddis (235), Steve Johnson (289), Sam Mitchell (324), Nick Riewoldt (334) and Luke Hodge (302).

    So how do the two compare? Obviously there were many more retires in 2007 and there are still so many players that will announce their retirement at this season’s end – we might be adding the names of Shaun Burgoyne, Gary Ablett et cetera – but let’s look at the ‘best’ seven from the class of 2007 and the ‘best’ seven so far this season.

    Year 2007 2017
    Games 2030 2300*
    Brownlow Medals 3 2
    Norm Smith Medals 3 3
    Captains 5 5
    Premierships 6 12
    All Australian Selections 30 21

    Both are stacked with absolute legends of the game. Captains, Brownlow Medallists, All-Australians and football royalty – so who had the better outgoing crop?

    This is a decision for you, and no matter which team list you choose, you can be sure that we will remember the class of 2017 – and I cannot wait for the debate in another ten years!