The second last game of the round features a significant milestone.
Former Magpie and current Giant champion Heath Shaw will play his 290th game, which will see him join the top 100 AFL game-players of all time in equal 99th position with former Essendon superstar Bill Hutchison and the West Coast Eagles’ greatest game-player of all time Dean Cox.
He will be welcomed into the club by the nine current members, all of whom – with the exception of Kade Simpson and Jarrad McVeigh – are expected to play this weekend.
If they do play, then Luke Hodge, Gary Ablett, Jordan Lewis, Eddie Betts and David Mundy will all climb at least one rung up the elite ladder, while Shaun Burgoyne and Lance Franklin will edge one game closer to their immediate challenge.
A similar scenario occurs at club level where Lachie Hunter will join Ian Salmon in 100th position on the Bulldogs’ top 100 game-players list in the second clash of the round against Brisbane at Ballarat on Saturday afternoon.
In fact, barring injury of sudden loss of form, this will be a recurring theme at the Bulldogs over the next few weeks.
One by one, the heroes of their 2016 premiership join the elite game-players of the club in a changing of the guard unprecedented in recent times in any of the VFL clubs established in the first half of last century or earlier.
Marcus Bontempelli and Jason Johannisen will follow over the next few weeks, with Tory Dickson likely to follow later in the season.
It is anticipated that they will replace Salmon, Jordan McMahon, Todd Curley and Bill Wood on the top 100 list, giving them nine current players – if Dale Morris is included – on the elite list.
That’s second only to Richmond, who have ten, among the clubs that have been in the VFL/AFL for over 90 years.
Other personal achievements of note during Round 8 include Jack Crisp’s 100th game for the Magpies at the MCG against Carlton on Saturday.
He also played 18 games for Brisbane, including the last six games in 2014 before being traded to Collingwood as part of the Dayne Beams trade.
Since being at Collingwood, Crisp has not missed a game, and with the addition of the Brisbane games, this means he has now played 105 consecutive matches.
That makes him third on the list of current consecutive games behind Port Adelaide’s Justin Westhoff and St Kilda’s Jack Newnes, who have played 130 and 117 games respectively.
More traditional milestones for Round 8 include Alex Pearce, who will play his 50th game for Fremantle and becomes the 85th player to do so, while Adam Kennedy will become the 15th player from Greater Western Sydney to achieve 100 games.