Fans help pick Australian football’s finest players

10 Have your say

    If picking the best player ever is a recipe for countless pub debates, Australian football has gone several steps further by asking fans to also nominate the sport’s best team and best coach.

    Will the chosen one hail from the so-called “golden generation” of the last two World Cup finals – players like Lucas Neill, Harry Kewell, Tim Cahill, Mark Bresciano, Craig Moore, Mark Schwarzer and Mark Viduka?

    Or from the first Socceroos to reach the big stage in 1974, where the likes of Peter Wilson, Jimmy McKay, Johnny Warren, Ray Baartz and Manfred Schaeffer stood tall.

    Or perhaps from the in-between years – someone like Aurelio Vidmar, Charlie Yankos, Frank Farina, John Kosmina, Ned Zelic or Paul Okon?

    How about an old-timer such as Joe Marston, the first Australian to appear in an FA Cup final?

    Fans can vote online at by Friday June 22.

    Their votes will determine 50 per cent of the outcome, the other half coming from a judging panel of leading players, commentators and administrators, including Jack Reilly, Andy Harper, Craig Foster, Melissa Barbieri, Les Murray, Jamie Warren, Moya Dodd and George Negus.

    The winners will be announced at a Johnny Warren Football Foundation fund-raiser in Sydney on July 12.

    “We have an embarrassment of riches in Australian football,” said judging panel member George Negus.

    “To try and select the nominees, let alone the greatest ever winners, is a tough task.”

    The 72 nominees are:

    Greatest Australian team( In 1-4-3-3 formation):

    Goalkeepers: Ron Lord, Ron Corry, Jim Fraser, Mark Bosnich, Mark Scwharzer.

    Defenders: George Keith, Doug Utjesenovic, Alan Davidson, Tony Vidmar, Luke Wilkshire, Paul Okon, Joe Marston, Manfred Schaeffer, John Watkiss, Peter Wilson, Charlie Yankos, Milan Ivanovic, Alex Tobin, Ned Zelic, Craig Moore, Lucas Neill, Col Curran, Harry Williams, Jim Tansey, Stan Lazaridis, Scott Chipperfield.

    Midfielders: Jimmy Rooney, Johnny Warren, Murray Barnes, Paul Wade, Brett Emerton, Jimmy McKay, Paul Okon, Vince Grella, Josip Skoko, Jason Culina, Ned Zelic, Tim Cahill, Les Scheinflug, Ray Richards, Oscar Crino, Robbie Slater, Mark Bresciano.

    Strikers: Atti Abonyi, Frank Farina, Aurelio Vidmar, Tim Cahill, Adrian Alston, Ray Baartz, John Kosmina, Graham Arnold, Mark Viduka, Branko Buljevic, David Mitchell, Eddie Krncevic, Harry Kewell, John Aloisi, Reg Date, John Watkiss.

    Greatest Australian player: from the above nominees.

    Greatest Australian female player: Julie Dolan, Julie Murray, Cheryl Salisbury, Jo Peters, Joanne Millman, Collette McCallum, Alison Foreman, Heather Garriock, Lisa De Vanna, Melissa Barbieri.

    Greatest Australian coach: Joe Vlasits, Rale Rasic, Frank Arok, Eddie Thomson, Terry Venables, Frank Farina, Guus Hiddink, Pim Verbeek.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (10)

    • Roar Guru

      April 13th 2012 @ 7:21am
      Fussball ist unser leben said | April 13th 2012 @ 7:21am | ! Report

      I lodged my team last night. And, what a team of champions it is. Then I looked at the names I’d left out – Cahill, Schwarzer, Grella, Krncevic, Moore, etc. etc. – and I realised I could form another 4 equally strong teams.

      Then I looked at the names of our elder statesmen – guys who played in the 60s & early 70s, including our 74 WC team (Warren, Marston, Baartz, Abonyi, Peter Wilson, etc.) – and I realised I’m not remotely qualified to judge their attributes.

      Regardless of which players are chosen in our “Greatest Ever Football Team”, this exercise has highlighted the strength, depth & richness of AUS football over the past 60 years.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 8:34am
      MelbCro said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:34am | ! Report

      A list of nominees with no Billy Vojtek? Automatic fail

    • April 13th 2012 @ 8:37am
      j binnie said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:37am | ! Report

      Fuss- Have addressed this elsewhere before I read this, and appreciate that you now understand where I was coming from.Perhaps the player who deserves to be first in was Ivanovic,already a huge star with Red Star Belgrade when he arrived here and the man that super coach Terry Venables decided to leave on the bench when winning 2-0 in a final world cup qualifier. We drew 2-2 and were out of the WC. Ivanovic, in his prime, was probably one of the outstanding center-backs in European football and his inclusion late in the game would probably have ensured passage through to the WC finals. Probably Terry’s “greatest ever” tactical boo-boo. jb

      • Roar Guru

        April 13th 2012 @ 8:46am
        Fussball ist unser leben said | April 13th 2012 @ 8:46am | ! Report


        I totally understand – and agree – with your concerns about the limitations & inadequacies of any exercise to name “greatest ever” anything.

        Milan Ivanovic is definitely in my “best XI” playing alongside Ned … although, I’m sure, Ned would be instructed by my greatest ever coach, Zvonimir “Ralé” Rašić, to drop a bit deeper and assume the sweeping role behind the back 3.

      • April 13th 2012 @ 2:22pm
        Lucan said | April 13th 2012 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

        Ivanovic was a great. Imagine if he got a run off the bench ahead of Ernie Tapei that night?

        Originally had Bosnich in my XI, but the weight of numbers on Schwarzer’s career sheet is too hard to ignore. I ended up entering 2 teams, one with Zelic in defence and the other with him in mid.

    • Roar Guru

      April 13th 2012 @ 9:18am
      mds1970 said | April 13th 2012 @ 9:18am | ! Report

      If I did a team, it would be skewed towards the current golden generation – I’m too young to remember the 1974 team and my interest in the round-ball code didn’t really start till I was in my mid to late 20s.
      But Mark Schwarzer would definately have to get a gig in my team. An international career that spanned 20 years is extraordinary, from his heroics in that qualifier against Canada (that I didn’t see at the time but heard about many years later) to a couple of great saves in that immortal qualifier against Uruguay and some solid performances at the last two World Cups. If he makes it to Brazil in 2014, it would have to be up there in the record books among the longest-lasting international careers.

    • April 13th 2012 @ 9:16pm
      ManInBlack said | April 13th 2012 @ 9:16pm | ! Report

      Australian Football’s best players……let me see, Gary Ablett Jnr, and snr,……Jezza, Juddy,……….

      seriously, when I saw this I thought it was just a careless double up on the “Will the AFL’s best player please stand up”.

      in reality, it’s effectively a carelessly named double up of the far, far more appropriately titled article “Who is Australias greatest ever Socceroo?”

      • April 13th 2012 @ 9:48pm
        Titus said | April 13th 2012 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

        What about “Who are Australian Footballs best players, excluding AFL players”

        • April 14th 2012 @ 7:32pm
          ManInBlack said | April 14th 2012 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

          ha!, yep, pay that one.


          actually – was the clue that capital A (Australian) and small f (football) was distinct to referencing the official name of a code.

    • April 16th 2012 @ 6:26pm
      bob butchard said | April 16th 2012 @ 6:26pm | ! Report

      Such a difficult task to pick a single player to be the best of the lot. I agree with comments about Ivanovic, he was all clas and would be in my team as the first defender selected.I was first introduced to football here when I arrived from UK in the mid-60’s. The quality that Rasic brought together still brings memories of class, industry and invention that would still shine through today in any arena. There have been many individual stars but the one I have been most impressed by has been Mark Viduka. His early days in Melbourne showed a promise that he has fulfilled wherever he travelled. His time in Europe and later UK was highlighted by his 4 goals AT ANFIELD against a pretty good Liverpool side is timeless. He led the Australian side with distinction, he could be provder or scores but he was forever a team leader.

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