Talented players display their skills in the hope of helping their team claim victory every Australian Rules Football season. However, like all sports, AFL has seen some real legends come and go; players whose charisma and sporting abilities have been larger than life.
The mere mention of their names usually brings a twinkle to the eyes of avid fans, who eagerly recall what they consider those players’ best moments on the field. Any ranking of those top players is sure to be subjective, so here are the top 3 in alphabetical order.
Gary Ablett Sr
Gary Ablett Sr made his professional AFL debut with the Mulgrave-based Hawthorn Football Club in 1982. That debut was definitely not a sign of things to come. Instead, it was quite the opposite.
A country boy at heart, Ablett was not comfortable in the city, and that discomfort translated to his games. After playing only 6 games, he relocated to the countryside, where he joined the Myrtleford Ovens and Murray Football League club. In 1984, he was wooed by Geelong, and it turned out to be a match made in heaven. It wasn’t long before Ablett’s superstar skills became apparent. He booted an incredible 1,030 goals in the 248 games he played in his professional career. Ablett’s positions included half forward flank and wing/full forward.
Wayne Carey picked up where Ablett left off in the 1990s, and his was the name on the lips of AFL fans and punters alike. You can bet on the game’s current top players at quality sites such as Ausbet. Built like a tank, Carey used his bulk to his advantage.
His performance on the pitch was also marked by the kind of speed you wouldn’t expect from someone who stands 197cm tall and weighs 97kg, as well as by an almost supernatural accuracy when kicking the ball at the goal or to a position. Carey played for North Melbourne and for Adelaide. He played in 272 games, in which he was responsible for 727 goals. He retired from AFL in 2002, but that didn’t last long. He made a comeback in 2003, but a recurring neck injury forced him back into retirement after one and a half seasons. Carey’s position was centre half-forward.
Leigh Matthews’ unbelievable Aussie Rules Football career began in 1969, and it continued until his retirement in 1985. However, that was not the last the sport saw of ‘Lethal’, because he continued to contribute as a respected coach to Brisbane and Collingwood.
Matthews was midfield or forward for Hawthorn, and his career spanned 332 games in which he racked up a whopping 915 goals. His style of play could not be called graceful. Instead, it was powerful; so powerful, that opposition players feared facing him on the pitch. Matthews’ remarkable talents lead to the AFL naming him as the 20th century’s greatest player.
These are only 3 players who skills truly shone on the pitch. Others who deserve an honourable mention include Essendon’s Dick Reynolds, Footscray’s (Western Bulldogs) Ted Whitten, who was nicknamed Mr Football.