Hawthorn have not had a lot to celebrate on the field so far this year as they appear to be in a rebuilding stage.
Despite this, their fans have still been able to enjoy the achievements of some of the AFL’s all-time top 100 elite players.
Shaun Burgoyne is on target to become the fifth player to achieve 400 games and despite the fact that 157 of those games have been played at Port Adelaide and therefore he has not made the top ten game players of all time at the Hawks, there is no doubt in the minds of most supporters that he is a Hawthorn legend and has some claims to being the greatest Indigenous player off all time.
Hawthorn also have two of the AFL’s top 100 goal scorers of all time at the club in Luke Breust and Jack Gunston. Breust has had a steady year, playing all 11 games and scoring 18 goals to move within one goal of Dermott Brereton in ninth position on Hawthorn’s all-time top 100 goal scorers.
In contrast, Gunston has had a terrible year, playing only one senior game and failing to score a goal. This has left him stranded in 100th place on the AFL top 100, but he has been fortunate that the only possibility of usurping him (Richmond’s Tom Lynch) has been laid low by injury. Hopefully, Gunston will be back on the field soon and can score the few goals he needs to remove him from the uncertainty of the hot seat.
Geelong is another club like Fremantle who could have a new top Cat by the end of the 2021 season if all goes to plan. Joel Selwood is currently in third position on the Cats’ all-time top 100 game players list, but he is only 11 games behind Corey Enright, who sits on top of the tree with 332 games.
With 11 games left to play in the home-and-away season plus finals, it is hoped that Selwood can maintain form and fitness and gain the coveted top spot. He has been joined in the top ten by Tom Hawkins, who now sits in equal seventh position with Peter Riccardi on 288 games and a good run home may see him reach the 300 games and top 100 AFL status this season.
Goal kicking wise, Hawkins remains the third greatest goal scorer of all time at the Cats.
It is still possible for Gold Coast to have their first 200-game player by year’s end, a major achievement for a club that only joined the AFL in 2011, 11 seasons ago. When you consider he had already played 70 games at the Western Bulldogs when he decided to be a trail blazer and took the field in the Suns’ very first game, Jarrod Harbrow’s achievements become even more meritorious.
A valuable player all throughout the Gary Ablett era, he is now a rookie-listed player and has played only three games this season, so the task appears beyond him. But whatever happens, he will still be the clubhouse leader at season’s end and is ensured of a seat at any club top 100 functions for many seasons to come.
Similarly the Gold Coast’s greatest goal scorer is in no danger of losing the mantel soon. Tom Lynch, who left the club seeking fame and fortune in 2019 and is already a centurion at his new club Richmond, has a healthy lead of over 100 goals over Alex Sexton, so is at no risk of not being invited to join the club’s elite at any function designed to celebrate their achievements.
The same situation applies at Greater Western Sydney where their number one goal scorer left the club for Geelong with a sizeable gap (over 200 goals) between him and Toby Greene on the Giants’ all-time goal kicking list. However, Jeremy Cameron has already been overtaken on the club’s games played list by Callan Ward and may drop as far as fourth on the Giants’ games played list.