AFL 1 year ago

Best Retirement Team 2006-2015

  • Best Retirement Team 2006-2015

    MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 06: Chris Judd of the Blues is stretchered from the ground after injuring his knee during the round 10 AFL match between the Carlton Blues and the Adelaide Crows at Melbourne Cricket Ground on June 6, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

At this time of the season, a lot of AFL players call time on their outstanding and maybe not so outstanding careers. 

So while the 2016 team is slowing starting to fill itself out, I've gone back as far as 2006 and put together teams to see which season of retirees was the strongest. I may have also put in a few players that were removed from their clubs for disciplinary reasons and added them in, as they were too good to ignore. 

Some players in the past have called time on their careers, such as Daniel Cross. Such as James Kelly. Such as Mark Hutchings, and have been lured out of retirement, hence why they feature in a couple of squads.

2006:

B: Gavin Wanganeen (Essendon/Port Adelaide), Brad Scott (Brisbane Lions), Drew Banfield (West Coast)
HB: Justin Peckett (St Kilda), Justin Leppitsch (Brisbane Lions), Adam Kingsley (Port Adelaide)
C: Peter Riccardi (Geelong), Paul Williams (Sydney/Collingwood), Rohan Smith (Western Bulldogs)
HF: Blake Caracella (Essendon/Brisbane/Collingwood), Jade Rawlings (Hawthorn/Bulldogs), Stephen Powell (Western Bulldogs/Melbourne/St Kilda)
F: John Barker (Fitzroy/Brisbane/Hawthorn), Saverio Rocca (Collingwood/North Melbourne), Dean Rioli (Essendon)
R: Greg Stafford (Sydney/Richmond), Josh Francou (Port Adelaide), Michael Voss (Brisbane Lions)
I/C: Mark Chaffey (Richmond), Barnaby French (Port Adelaide/Carlton), Jarrad Schofield (West Coast/Port Adelaide/Fremantle), Chad Morrison (West Coast/Collingwood)

Not the overly tallest team in this line-up, and would probably be exposed down both ends of the ground. However we'll find that out with most teams anyway. The stand-out in this group is obviously Michael Voss. He was one of the best players in the modern era at the time having be apart of Brisbane's three-peat and a Brownlow Medallist himself. Gavin Wanganeen was also up there as one of the supreme talents in the competition in his prime, also winning the Brownlow Medal in 1993. 

2007:

B: Chris Scott (Brisbane Lions), Darren Gaspar (Sydney/Richmond), Glenn Archer (North Melbourne)
HB: James Clement (Fremantle/Collingwood), Darryl Wakelin (St Kilda/Port Adelaide), Chris Johnson (Brisbane Lions)
C: Andrew Thompson (St Kilda), Mark Ricciuto (Adelaide), Anthony Koutoufides (Carlton)
HF: James Hird (Essendon), Chris Grant (Western Bulldogs), Byron Pickett (North Melbourne/Port Adelaide/Melbourne)
F: Ben Dixon (Hawthorn), Aaron Hamill (Carlton/St Kilda), Matthew Lappin (St Kilda/Carlton)
R: Luke Darcy (Western Bulldogs), Nathan Buckley (Brisbane/Collingwood), Scott Camporeale (Carlton/Essendon)
I/C: Joel Smith (St Kilda/Hawthorn), Paul Licuria (Sydney/Collingwood), Troy Cook (Sydney/Fremantle), Brett Montgomery (Western Bulldogs/Port Adelaide)
EMG: Richie Vandenberg (Hawthorn), Lance Whitnall (Carlton), Daniel Chick (Hawthorn/West Coast)

SQUAD: Jonathan Hay (Hawthorn/North Melbourne), Rhys Archard (St Kilda), Matthew Robbins (Western Bulldogs), Josh Mahoney (Collingwood/Port Adelaide/Western Bulldogs), Ray Hall (Richmond), Trent Knobel (Brisbane/St Kilda/Richmond), Kent Kingsley (North Melbourne/Geelong/Richmond), Shane Parker (Fremantle), Nathan Brown (Melbourne), Clint Bizzell (Geelong/Melbourne), Matthew Clarke (Richmond/Brisbane Bears/Brisbane Lions/Adelaide/St Kilda), Josh Wooden (West Coast), Brett Voss (Brisbane/St Kilda), Rowan Jones (West Coast), Kasey Green (West Coast/North Melbourne), Chris Heffernan (Essendon/Melbourne), Mark Bolton (Essendon), Nathan Ablett (Geelong), Justin Longmuir (Fremantle), Stephen Doyle (Sydney)

I like this team a lot. It's filled with superstars. Archer, Scott, Clement, Hird, Ricciuto, Kouta, Grant, Buckley, Camporeale. And when someone like Paul Licuria can only fit on the bench, a guy I rated pretty highly, you know this team is pretty good. 

2007 was the year of retirements with this team having the biggest depth of any side that I've put together. 

Premierships, individual awards galore in this team.

2008:

B: Danny Jacobs (Essendon/Hawthorn), Mal Michael (Collingwood, Brisbane, Essendon), Michael Wilson (Port Adelaide)
HB: Heath Black (Fremantle/St Kilda), Nathan Bassett (Adelaide), Mark Johnson (Essendon/Fremantle)
C: Shane Crawford (Hawthorn), Scott West (Western Bulldogs), Nigel Lappin (Brisbane Lions)
HF: Shannon Grant (Sydney/North Melbourne), Fraser Gehrig (West Coast/St Kilda), Adam Ramanauskas (Essendon)
F: Nathan Thompson (Hawthorn/North Melbourne), David Neitz (Melbourne), Jeff Farmer (Melbourne/Fremantle)
R: Peter Everitt (St Kilda/Hawthorn/Sydney), Peter Bell (Fremantle/North Melbourne), Robert Harvey (St Kilda)
I/C: Jason Johnson (Essendon), Scott Burns (Collingwood), Shaun McManus (Fremantle), Michael Braun (West Coast)
EMG: Ryan Lonie (Collingwood), Ben Mathews (Sydney), Jason Saddington (Sydney/Carlton)

SQUAD: Beau McDonald (Brisbane), Ben Holland (Richmond/Melbourne), Nathan Lonie (Hawthorn), Hugh Minson (Port Adelaide), Matthew Carr (St Kilda/Fremantle), Andrew McDougall (West Coast/Western Bulldogs), Rhett Biglands (Adelaide), Luke Webster (Fremantle), Nathan Ablett (Geelong), Shane Wakelin (St Kilda/Collingwood), Ken McGregor (Adelaide)

I like to call this team, the "underrated squad" because there's so many players in this team that were considered underrated throughout their career.

The likes of Danny Jacobs, Michael Wilson, Heath Black, Nathan Bassett, Nigel Lappin, Jason Johnson, the list goes on. A fantastic group of players that always gave it their all when they were out on the field.

2009:

B: David Wirrapanda (West Coast), Leo Barry (Sydney), Tom Harley (Port Adelaide/Geelong)
HB: Joel Bowden (Richmond), Matthew Egan (Geelong), Peter Burgoyne (Port Adelaide)
C: Tadhg Kennelly (Sydney Swans), Adam Simpson (North Melbourne), Nathan Brown (Western Bulldogs/Richmond)
HF: Scott Welsh (North Melbourne/Adelaide/Western Bulldogs), Scott Lucas (Essendon), Michael O'Loughin (Sydney)
F: Anthony Rocca (Sydney/Collingwood), Matthew Lloyd (Essendon), Matthew Richardson (Richmond)
R: Brendon Lade (Port Adelaide), Kane Johnson (Adelaide/Richmond), Chad Fletcher (West Coast)
I/C: Tim Notting (Brisbane), Stewart Dew (Port Adelaide/Hawthorn), Jared Crouch (Sydney), Max Hudghton (St Kilda)
EMG: Russell Robertson (Melbourne), Tyson Stenglein (Adelaide/West Coast), Nic Fosdike (Sydney)

SQUAD: Toby Thurstans (Port Adelaide), Paul Wheatley (Melbourne), Matthew Whelan (Melbourne), Shannon Watt (North Melbourne), Jarryd Allen (St Kilda), David Johnson (Geelong), Shannon Cox (Collingwood), Marty Clarke (Collingwood)

One of the smaller squads in this article, but there's no shortage of firepower up front with all six in the forward line having outstanding careers in front of goal. To have the partnership of Lloyd and Lucas, who were so powerful in the late 90's to early 2000's in your team is always handy.

Not to mention down the other end you've got players that would always step up in the big moments. 

One of my favourite teams this one.

2010:

B: Max Rooke (Geelong), Simon Prestigiacomo (Collingwood), Dean Solomon (Essendon/Fremantle)
HB: Tarkyn Lockyer (Collingwood), Trent Croad (Hawthorn/Fremantle), Andrew McLeod (Adelaide)
C: Tyson Edwards (Adelaide), Simon Goodwin (Adelaide), James McDonald (Melbourne/GWS Giants)
HF: Jason Akermanis (Brisbane/Western Bulldogs), Warren Tredrea (Port Adelaide), Nathan Eagleton (Port Adelaide/Western Bulldogs)
F: Brett Burton (Adelaide), Brad Johnson (Western Bulldogs), Leigh Harding (North Melbourne)
R: Steven King (Geelong/St Kilda), Ben Cousins (West Coast), Brett Kirk (Sydney)
I/C: Des Headland (Brisbane/Fremantle), Shane O'Bree (Brisbane/Collingwood), Josh Carr (Port Adelaide/Fremantle), Paul Hasleby (Fremantle)
EMG: Richard Hadley (Brisbane/Carlton), Paul Medhurst (Fremantle/Collingwood), Trent Hentschel (Adelaide)

SQUAD: Scott Thornton (Fremantle), Corey Jones (North Melbourne), Henry Playfair (Geelong/Sydney), Mark Hutchings (St Kilda/West Coast), Blake McGrath (St Kilda), Adam Pattison (St Kilda/Richmond), Jesse Smith (North Melbourne/St Kilda)

If there was a finals series, I reckon this team would go close to going all the way. 

A little small down forward but so much talent covering every line of the ground. The midfield of Cousins, Kirk, Goodwin, Edwards and McDonald in their prime would cause many teams some headaches.

Warren Tredrea was a star up forward for the Power and although he wasn't your traditional full-forward, Brad Johnson was more than capable in front of goals. Although I'm not sure how he'd go in the same side as Jason Akermanis again.

2011:

B: Steven Baker (St Kilda), Craig Bolton (Brisbane/Sydney), Darren Milburn (Geelong)
HB: Tadhg Kennelly (Sydney), Chad Cornes (Port Adelaide/GWS Giants), Roger Hayden (Fremantle)
C: Ryan Houlihan (Carlton), Cameron Ling (Geelong), Andrew Welsh (Essendon)
HF: Mitch Hahn (Western Bulldogs), Barry Hall (St Kilda/Sydney/Western Bulldogs), Mark Williams (Hawthorn/Essendon)
F: Daniel Bradshaw (Brisbane/Sydney), Brendan Fevola (Carlton/Brisbane), Cameron Mooney (North Melbourne/Geelong)
R: Brad Ottens (Richmond/Geelong), Luke Power (Brisbane/GWS Giants), Brady Rawlings (North Melbourne)
I/C: Michael Gardiner (West Coast/St Kilda), Leon Davis (Collingwood), Daniel Harris (North Melbourne/Gold Coast), Brett Jones (West Coast)
EMG: Dean Brogan (Port Adelaide/GWS Giants), Robert Eddy (St Kilda), Jamie Charman (Brisbane)

SQUAD: Robbie Campbell (Hawthorn/Melbourne), Scott Stevens (Sydney/Adelaide), Marcus Drum (Fremantle/Geelong), Darcy Daniher (Essendon), Ben Hudson (Western Bulldogs/Adelaide/Brisbane/Collingwood), Byron Schammer (Fremantle), Brad Moran (North Melbourne/Adelaide), Leigh Brown (Fremantle/North Melbourne/Collingwood), Andrew McQualter (St Kilda/Gold Coast), Danny Meyer (Richmond/Port Adelaide), Michael Pettigrew (Port Adelaide), Mark Blake (Geelong), Will Thursfield (Richmond), Lewis Broome (West Coast)

Strength everywhere for this team. The forward line would rival the 2009 retirees side with Fevola leading the way, who in all honesty had his career cut way too short, but unfortunately on his own accord.

Brad Ottens went from mediocre to star when he crossed from the Tigers to Geelong and was crucial in their three premierships. Daniel Bradshaw was always in the shadows to Alastair Lynch and Jonathan Brown, but he was a star as well. 

2012:

B:
Lindsay Gilbee (Western Bulldogs), Matthew Scarlett (Geelong), Antoni Grover (Fremantle)
HB: David Wojcinski (Geelong), Kelvin Moore (Richmond), Josh Drummond (Brisbane)
C: Chance Bateman (Hawthorn), Luke Power (Brisbane/GWS Giants), Cameron Bruce (Melbourne/Hawthorn),
HF: Nathan Djerrkura (Geelong/Western Bulldogs), Brad Miller (Melbourne/Richmond), Amon Buchanan (Sydney/Brisbane)
F: Brad Green (Melbourne), Chris Tarrant (Collingwood/Fremantle), Liam Jurrah (Melbourne)
R: Josh Fraser (Collingwood/Gold Coast), Brent Moloney (Geelong/Melbourne/Brisbane), Mark McVeigh (Essendon)
I/C: Ryan Hargrave (Western Bulldogs), James McDonald (Melbourne/GWS Giants), Jason Gram (Brisbane/St Kilda), SImon Hogan (Geelong)
EMG: James Mulligan (Western Bulldogs), Tom Swift (West Coast), Broc McCauley (Hawthorn)

SQUAD: N/A

Probably one of the weaker squads in all honesty, with all due respect.  Only really Matthew Scarlett and Luke Power who had real star power and were among the elite of the competition.

Some quality players in this team, no question, but not many in that elite category. 

I look at this team and think "What could have been?" with the likes of Kelvin Moore, Liam Jurrah, Simon Hogan in the team, all having their careers cut short for different reasons.

2013:

B: Graham Johncock (Adelaide), Jason Blake (St Kilda), Brent Guerra (Port Adelaide/St Kilda/Hawthorn)
HB: Mark Nicoski (West Coast), Chad Cornes (Port Adelaide/GWS Giants), Marty Mattner (Adelaide/Sydney)
C: Andrew Embley (West Coast), Simon Black (Brisbane), Joel Corey (Geelong)
HF: David Rodan (Richmond/Port Adelaide/Melbourne), Mitch Morton (West Coast/Richmond/Sydney), Alan Didak (Collingwood), 
F: Stephen Milne (St Kilda), Justin Koschitzke (St Kilda), Brett Ebert (Port Adelaide)
R: Dean Brogan (Port Adelaide/GWS Giants), Daniel Kerr (West Coast), Jude Bolton (Sydney)
I/C: Shane Tuck (Richmond), Michael Osborne (Hawthorn), Ben Johnson (Collingwood), David Hille (Essendon)
EMG: Adam Selwood (West Coast), Jared Brennan (Brisbane/Gold Coast), Aaron Davey (Melbourne)

SQUAD: Joel Macdonald (Brisbane/Melbourne), Nathan Lovett-Murray (Essendon), Asthon Hams (West Coast), Brad Dick (Collingwood/West Coast), Jayden Pitt (Fremantle), Sam Lonergan (Essendon/Richmond), Max Bailey (Hawthorn)

This squad has the best midfield of all in my opinion. Black, Kerr, Bolton, Corey, Embley just screams absolute quality when you think about it.

Not much star power in defence or up forward, but in saying that, you could always rely on most to do a job for you. Jared Brennan was a talent, but due to his inconsistency, found himself out of the team.

Still to this day, I believe that Simon Black was underrated, despite him winning almost every individual award in the competition. Maybe because I was just one of his biggest fans.

2014: 

B: Campbell Brown (Hawthorn/Gold Coast), Darren Glass (West Coast), Nick Maxwell (Collingwood)
HB: Josh Hunt (Geelong/GWS Giants), Ben Rutten (Adelaide), Heath Scotland (Collingwood/Carlton)
C: Daniel Jackson (Richmond), Lenny Hayes (St Kilda), Dom Cassisi (Port Adelaide)
HF: Ryan O'Keefe (Sydney), Quinten Lynch (West Coast/Collingwood), Jason Porplyzia (Adelaide)
F: Daniel Giansiracusa (Western Bulldogs), Jonathan Brown (Brisbane), Shannon Byrnes (Geelong/Melbourne)
R: Dean Cox (West Coast), Luke Ball (St Kilda/Collingwood), Brad Sewell (Hawthorn)
I/C: Brent Moloney (Geelong/Melbourne/Brisbane), Ashley McGrath (Brisbane), Nathan Bock (Adelaide/Gold Coast), Lewis Roberts-Thomson (Sydney)
EMG: Jake King (Richmond), Kepler Bradley (Essendon/Fremantle), Marty Clarke (Collingwood)

SQUAD: Nick Duigan (Carlton), Jason Winderlich (Essendon), Dayle Garlett (Hawthorn), Tom Williams (Western Bulldogs), Beau Maister (West Coast/St Kilda), Tom Murphy (Hawthorn/Gold Coast), Maia Westrupp (Melbourne), Stephen Gilham (Port Adelaide/Hawthorn/GWS Giants), Karmichael Hunt (Gold Coast Suns), Scott Gumbleton (Essendon/Fremantle), Caolan Mooney (Collingwood), Ben Hudson (Western Bulldogs/Adelaide/Brisbane/Collingwood), Tommy Walsh (St Kilda/Sydney), Patrick Mitchell (Sydney), Kyle Martin (Collingwood)

Put this team into a competition with the others and I believe that they would win with relative ease. Well balanced, star quality, fire power up front, rock solid in defence. What more could you want?

Arguably have the best ruckman of the modern era at their disposal in Dean Cox and he's got, not the quickest midfield, but would be close to the toughest midfield at his disposal to palm down to.

A nice sized depth squad to have as well.

2015:

B: Chris Newman (Richmond), Dustin Fletcher (Essendon), Brian Lake (Western Bulldogs/Hawthorn)
HB: Beau Waters (West Coast), Luke McPharlin (Hawthorn/Fremantle), Rhyce Shaw (Collingwood/Sydney)
C: Andrew Carrazzo (Carlton), Daniel Cross (Western Bulldogs/Melbourne), James Kelly (Geelong/Essendon)
HF: Paul Chapman (Geelong/Essendon), James Podsiadly (Geelong/Adelaide), Jason Winderlich (Essendon)
F: Mathew Stokes (Geelong/Essendon), Adam Goodes (Sydney Swans), Adam Schneider (Sydney/St Kilda)
R: David Hale (North Melbourne/Hawthorn), Chris Judd (West Coast/Carlton), Kane Cornes (Port Adelaide)
I/C: Brent Reilly (Adelaide), Paul Duffield (Fremantle), Nathan Foley (Richmond), Jared Rivers (Melbourne/Geelong)
EMG: Colin Sylvia (Melbourne/Fremantle), Matt Maguire (St Kilda/Brisbane Lions), Leigh Adams (North Melbourne)

SQUAD: Luke McGuane (Richmond/Brisbane Lions), Brent Staker (West Coast/Brisbane Lions), David Ellard (Carlton), Patrick Karnezis (Brisbane Lions/Collingwood), Clinton Young (Hawthorn/Collingwood), Sam Blease (Melbourne/Geelong), Bradley Hartman (Geelong), Hamish McIntosh (North Melbourne/Geelong), James Toohey (Geelong), Andrew Boston (Gold Coast Suns), Greg Broughton (Fremantle/Gold Coast Suns), Andrew Raines (Richmond/Gold Coast Suns), Timmy Sumner (Gold Coast Suns), Dylan Addison (Western Bulldogs/GWS Giants), Mark Jamar (Melbourne/Essendon), Nathan Grima (North Melbourne/Essendon), Daniel Flynn (Port Adelaide), Chris Knights (Adelaide/Richmond), Mike Pyke (Sydney Swans), Ricky Petterd (Melbourne/Richmond)

At the conclusion of the 2015 season, a number of great footballers called it a day with Dustin Fletcher, Adam Goodes and Luke McPharlin all calling time on their illustrious careers. 

Mainly star midfielder Chris Judd who was a once in a generation footballer. Quick, evasive, just one of the best footballers I've seen in my 23 and a half years of life. 

Paul Chapman is another,  three premierships and a Norm Smith Medal is nothing to shy away from. He always stepped up on the big occasions and was a valuable member of the Cats three premierships. 

Beau Waters had his career cut far too short due to injury. Probably too brave for his own good.

2016 CURRENT TEAM: *Subject to change

B:
Justin Clarke (Brisbane Lions)
HB: Matthew Jaensch (Adelaide)
C:
HF:
F:
R:
I/C: Shem Kalvin-Tatupu (Hawthorn), Reece McKenzie (Richmond), Damien Cavka (West Coast)
EMG:

SQUAD: N/A

Sure to be a number of names join this team in a few weeks, and could possibly end up being the best with the likes of Dane Swan and Matthew Pavlich unsure of their futures. 

A few Essendon banned players are yet to confirm whether they'll return, while Adam Cooney remains out of contract for next season also. 

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