In part 1 of this series I nominated the players likely to achieve personal historic or traditional milestones in 2020.
I covered the AFL and all the teams alphabetically from Adelaide to Hawthorn in part 1, so in part 2 we’ll finish with the final eight teams.
It will be very much touch and go whether Nathan Jones can wrest the title of Melbourne’s greatest game player from David Neitz by the end of 2020. He currently sits 20 games behind the former captain and full forward and, in a season comprising 22 games excluding finals, he would have to have an amazing injury-free year for an old bloke. He may have to settle for breaking into the AFL top 100 game players and passing the 300-game mark.
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Scott Thompson’s retirement means that Todd Goldstein now holds the mantle of the Kangaroo’s highest game player on its current list, but even a stellar year free from injury or form loss would not propel him into the top ten game players of all time. Shaun Atley should pull on the Kangaroos jumper for the 200th time early in the season.
Port Adelaide Power
Kane Cornes is safe in the No. 1 game player spot at Power despite three current-day top ten players playing on. Ollie Wines and Tom Jonas will be hoping to celebrate a 150-game milestone.
Although Jack Riewoldt could move up as high as No. 6 on the Tigers top 100 game-played list, the player he would usurp – former star forward Matthew Richardson – will still be many goals ahead of him on the goals kicked ladder.
St Kilda Saints
With the recent defection of ex-Northern Knights utility Jack Newnes the Saints have been left with only two top 100 game players. Captain Jarryn Geary will most likely play his 200th game during the season but will still be down the list, while future champion Sebastian Ross has just made it into the top 90 game players at the club so has a long way to go.
With the three top ten game players ahead of him all retiring, Josh Kennedy now sits as the top current-day game player at the Swans. Another good season will see him make top ten also.
West Coast Eagles
Can Shannon Hurn make it to No. 1 game player at the Eagles, along the way usurping Darren Glass, Glen Jakovich and Dean Cox? Three more players may bring up the 200-game milestone – Andrew Gaff, Jack Darling and Will Schofield – giving the club a very experienced look.
In contrast to the Eagles, the most experienced player at the Bulldogs is captain Easton Wood, who has just made it into the top 50 game players of all time at the club and is still a long way from the 200-game milestone. However, by the end of 2020 there may be another six players around the 150-game mark, and even the unloved Tory Dickson may make the top 100 game players at the Bulldogs.