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The Roar



Picking the AFL's best players aged over 30

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Roar Guru
8th April, 2020

This was a fun exercise and an extremely challenging one at the same time.

It was quite interesting to note that some of the top names in footy are now 30-plus.

Out of all the age groups, this one was the easiest one to pick the leaders: it’s clear that both Scott Pendlebury and Trent Cotchin warrant being captains, which was why they were made co-captains.

B: Ben McEvoy (Hawthorn Hawks), Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne Kangaroos), Bachar Houli (Richmond Tigers)
HB: Shannon Hurn (West Coast Eagles), Michael Hibberd (Melbourne Demons), Isaac Smith (Hawthorn Hawks)
C: Ricky Henderson (Hawthorn Hawks), Scott Pendlebury (co-captain, Collingwood Magpies), Shane Edwards (Richmond Tigers)
HF: Trent Cotchin (co-captain, Richmond Tigers), Lance Franklin (Sydney Swans), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats)
F: Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide Power), Tom Hawkins (Geelong Cats), Jack Riewoldt (Richmond Tigers)
Followers: Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne Kangaroos), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide Power), Rory Sloane (Adelaide Crows)
Interchange: Joel Selwood (Geelong Cats), Gary Ablett Junior (Geelong Cats), Dayne Zorko (Brisbane Lions), Lewis Jetta (West Coast Eagles)
Emg: Tom Rockliff (Port Adelaide Power), Levi Casboult (Carlton Blues), Joshua J Kennedy (West Coast Eagles), Joshua P Kennedy (Sydney Swans)

Joel Selwood Geelong Cats AFL 2017

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Ben McEvoy would be a key defender as well as the second ruckman.

Robbie Tarrant is still a quality player, finishing second in the North Melbourne best and fairest for the 2019 season.

Bachar Houli was a part of the 2019 All Australian team.

Shannon Hurn is a player that can provide plenty of run off the halfback line.


Michael Hibberd is a player that has a lot of ability in terms of the attacking run he can give his team. It would be great if he got the opportunity to play at centre halfback.

Isaac Smith has the ability to play on a halfback flank and on the wing.

Ricky Henderson has adapted to his role of playing on a wing as he started his career as a forward for the Adelaide Crows. He managed to finish second in Hawthorn’s best and fairest for 2019.

Scott Pendlebury is the best captain in the competition. Along with that he reads the game well.

Shane Edwards finished second in Richmond’s best and fairest in 2019.


Half forwards
Trent Cotchin is in the team for leadership and for the fact that he doesn’t need to get a lot of the ball to influence the game.

Lance Franklin would play less game time in order for him to avoid getting injured and to have more of an influence on the game, but would start at centre half forward.

Patrick Dangerfield was on the half forward flank for the 2019 All Australian team.

Robbie Gray is still capable of having an influence on the game in the forward 50.

Tom Hawkins is a quality player who is still capable of kicking goals.

Jack Riewoldt is a player that is a mobile tall forward.

Todd Goldstein is a quality ruckman.

Travis Boak is an outstanding player.


Rory Sloane finished second in Adelaide’s best and fairest in 2019.

Rory Sloane

(Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Joel Selwood finished in the top ten in Geelong’s best and fairest in 2019.

Gary Ablett Junior would play predominantly as a crumbing forward as this team is full of midfielders and the role of a small forward would suit him.

Dayne Zorko finished second in the Brisbane Lions’ best and fairest in 2019.

Lewis Jetta would have a big impact if he spent time on the bench, because he has the capability to provide plenty of run.

Tom Rockliff is a player with plenty of ability.

Levi Casboult has the capability of playing in the ruck and up forward.


Joshua J Kennedy is a player that is a good key forward, but wasn’t selected in the final 22 as he is past his best.

Joshua P Kennedy finished in the top ten in Sydney Swans’ best and fairest in 2019.