The Roar
The Roar


Four players I've liked watching in 2015

6th August, 2015
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Footy players are amazing athletes. No other sport asks so much of its participants. They must be able to run, jump, catch, kick, punch, tackle and bump while at the same time being chased, bumped and tackled themselves.

Not only that, the 120 minutes of game time is the longest of all the football codes, and the playing surfaces are among the largest you’ll find in team sports.

So add endurance to the list of qualities required to play this game.

But while footballers as a whole are fitter, faster and stronger than at any other time throughout the game’s history, some are still more exciting to watch than others.

Before we get too wrapped up in the approaching finals, these are the players I have most enjoyed watching this year. Feel free to add your own favourites to this list.

Jamie Elliott
When Elliott weaves his magic it is as if we are watching the mercurial Peter Daicos all over again. Just like the Macedonian Marvel, Elliott kicks too many miracle goals for them all to be miracles. He can also soar to great heights to pluck the Sherrin from the stratosphere, so he has all the games thrills and skills covered.

Elliot is hugely marketable and a great lure for young and impressionable supporters who might not yet have settled on a team to follow. His value to the Pies on and off the field is obvious, especially seeing as he keeps even non-Collingwood people like myself glued to the TV to see what he might do next.

He may be small in stature but he is big in excitement and his first half of the season was spectacular.


Jack Riewoldt
I remember when Riewoldt first arrived on the footy scene. Commentators and so-called experts were saying that he was too small to be an effective key forward. Then they discovered that he was actually taller than his cousin Nick, and that was the last we heard of the issue.

Good thing too, seeing as he has become the blueprint for what a modern-day forward should be. Yes, he can take the big marks and kick the big goals like the stars of yesteryear, but he is equally as valuable in bringing teammates into the play and assessing what is best for his side when he gets the ball, whether that be a pass to a player in a better position or taking on the opposition himself.

They way he has led by example this year and made the right on-field decisions at the right times is one of the main reasons that Richmond are having such a good season. It is also one of the reasons I love watching him so much – that and the big marks.

Cyril Rioli
A no-brainer I know, but what’s not to love?

Cyril’s been around for 150 games now and the anticipation in the crowd when the ball enters his area is just as intense today as it was back in his debut year. Things just happen when he’s about.

Like Elliot, he can kick the miracle goal and take the big mark. He can also chase down an opponent and lay a big tackle. He is a crowd pleaser of the highest order.

Rioli may be light on for possessions sometimes but he doesn’t need many to hurt a side – remember his 10 possessions against Geelong in the 2008 grand final?


Dodgy hamstrings have restricted but not wearied him, and he remains as lethal as ever.

Michael Hurley
For years Hurley promised Bomber fans so much but injury and a team need to play him forward led to inconsistent form.

His desire could never be questioned though, and now that he has been settled as a permanent defender he is producing the type of football we all hoped he would.

Big bodied and fierce, he attacks each contest as if it were his last and always gives full effort. He is a strong mark and a long kick (on both sides of the body) and his bullocking style of play is a throwback to the old rough-and-tumble of days gone by.

His double act with Cale Hooker has been one of the few high points for the Bombers this season.

So there you have it Roarers – four of the players I have most enjoyed watching this year. Now it’s your turn. Who has set your adrenalin pumping in season 2015?