Just when Pies fans thought their preliminary final win over Richmond couldn’t get any sweeter…
In my previous articles I nominated only two players – Dean Cox and Bill Hutchinson – as likely to disappear from the AFL’s all-time top 100 game players in 2019. However, there is a third possibility: journeyman Peter Everitt.
If Joel Selwood keeps up his outstanding record of playing at least 20 games in every one of his 12 seasons at the Cats, he will pass Everitt late in the season when he plays his 292nd game. He currently sits on 272 and – barring injury or suspension (not out of the question!) – will reach the target in Round 21 when the Cats meet North Melbourne in Geelong on 10 August.
If Selwood misses more than two games in the home-and-away season, he will need to rely on Geelong making the finals to bump Everitt from the list of top 100 game players – and this cannot be considered a certainty.
If Selwood does have a stellar year, the paths of these two champions to the top 100 list provides a stark contrast and highlights again the achievement of making the list.
Selwood will have achieved his required games at the one club in 13 seasons. Everitt took 16 seasons at three different clubs, and in only six of these seasons did he reach the Selwood-esque total of 20 or more games.
Selwood’s figures were given a boost by playing in 27 finals so far, whereas Everitt figured in only six finals over his career. Selwood turned 30 in May 2018, so it appears inevitable that he will pass not only Everitt on the AFL top 100 list but many others as well.
On the Geelong top 100 list the achievement of 20 games would see Selwood move from 12th to fifth-greatest game player at the club by the end of 2019.
Peter Everitt’s journey started at St Kilda when he was recruited from the Victorian seaside town of Hastings in 1993. He was an extremely mobile 203-centimetre ruckman-forward and carved out a career over the next ten years at the Saints, playing 180 games, including three finals, which still sees him in 36th place in the club’s top 100 game players, and scoring 299 goals to place himself in the top ten goal scorers for the Saints. He also won the club’s best and fairest in 2001 and represented Victoria three times.
His time at Hawthorn lasted four years with no finals but enough goals (67) to see him tied in 85th place with Sam Mitchell, Chance Bateman and Daniel Harford on the Hawks top 100 goal-kickers list.
His final two years at Sydney were his least productive despite yielding three more finals. He played his last game in the 2008 semi-final loss to the Western Bulldogs.
Everitt played in the champion forwards era of Lance Franklin, Matthew Lloyd, Barry Hall, Matthew Pavlich, Matthew Richardson, Nick Riewoldt and Jonathon Brown but still managed to finish in the AFL top 100 goal kickers at the end of his career – only to be usurped by the later batch of Jack Riewoldt, Stephen Milne, Jarryd Roughead, Eddie Betts, Josh Kennedy, Tom Hawkins and Mark LeCras.