Fremantle had the kind of year that promised a lot and then fizzled at the end, as injuries crippled their late-season run, although silver linings could be found everywhere you looked in the postmortem.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the players who had the best nicknames at Port Adelaide, University, West Coast, Fremantle and GWS.
3. ‘The Chad’: Chad Cornes (1999) was the son of SA legend Graham Cornes and played 239 games for the Power.
2. ‘Willow’: Michael Wilson (1997) started his league career by winning the Norwich Rising Star award but was restricted by injuries later in his career.
1. ‘The Hoff’: Justin Westhoff (2007). Recruited from Central Districts, Westoff was a classic swingman, able to play as an extra intercept marker in defence or dropping into attack and scoring goals.
6. ‘Pat’: D.J. Morrissey was another Xavier College recruit.
5. ‘Ken’: Elverine P. Kendall (1908) jut sneaks into University’s top 100 game players in 100th place. Ex-Wesley College.
4. ‘Allan’: Robert A. McCracken (1911). In 1912 he was said to be University’s most improved player, but he opted out of football so that he could concentrate on the hunting season.
3. ‘Alick’: Tom A. Ogilvie was a fine player from Scotch College. He was mortally wounded at Gallipoli and died in August 1915 at Malta.
2. ‘Percy’: Originally from Broome (WA), John Filomeno Rodriguez (1914) played league football while studying at Xavier College. Killed in France in World War I.
1. ‘Sommy’: Leo Malachy Seward (1908) was acknowledged as one of the pre-eminent ruckmen of his day. Leo Seward learned his football at St Pat’s College, Ballarat, and most of his senior career was spent playing in the Ballarat Football League.
3. ‘Nobody’: One of the most complete players to play the game, Matthew Pavlich (2000) has a record as a player who supports the notion that Nobody’s…perfect!
2. ‘Burra’: I was alerted to this classic by one of our scribes. Who else could it be but Fremantle’s greatest game player, David Mundy.
1. ‘Wizard’: Melbourne’s WA recruiter Bernie Dunn profiled Jeff Farmer (1995) with the simple sentence “this kid is a wizard”. Ironically, it was Fremantle that had the first hold on him, and he finished up playing 13 more games for the Dockers than his first club, Melbourne.
Greater Western Sydney
1. ‘Heater’: Heath Shaw (2005) was traded to the Giants in 2014 after a couple of indiscretions and gave GWS four years of great service, retiring in 2017.
West Coast Eagles
3. ‘Bluey’: As pointed out to me, redheaded Guy McKenna (1988) was one of the more famous ‘Blueys’ to play the game. Recruited from Claremont, McKenna was known for his cool demeanour and reliability as a backman. He won the best and fairest at West Coast twice, finishing in the top three another five times.
McKenna boasts two unusual on-field distinctions from his career. In 1994, he was the first player ever ordered from the ground under the blood rule, which had been introduced to the league that week.
Then, in a match against St Kilda 1999, for the first time since Essendon’s Jack Clarke in 1958, McKenna became the third captain in league history to call for a headcount; however, the teams were even.
2. ‘Woosha’: John Worsfold’s other nickname and one more commonly used by spectators during his 12-year career at the West Coast Eagles.
Captain from 1998 until his retirement at the end of 2000, he kicked a goal with the final kick of his career in 2000 which frenzied the crowd at Subiaco Oval.
1. ‘Clark Kent’: Included in my original top 100 list. Away from football, John Worsfold (1987) was a totally different character as a quietly spoken, bespectacled pharmacist, and it was this contrast with the fierce, committed defender who took the field each week that earned him his nickname among his teammates.