The Best of the Least

It’s been a long time since we’ve tasted real success. But that doesn’t mean some damn fine players didn’t put on an Essendon jumper in that time period. We won our last final in 2004. Need you need reminding?

The rules I have given myself is to list the best 22 that have played in our years of dearth. It cannot include players that played in the 2000 Grand Final. Here is my 22. What is yours?

B Houli C Hooker A Welsh
J Ridley M Hurley M Hibbard
D Zaharakis B Goddard B Stanton
J Winderlich J Stringer D Rioli
Tippa P Wright A Monfies

P Ryder
Z Merrett
J Watson

D Hille
D Heppell
J Daniher
S Crameri




that team is a sobering reality of how ■■■■ we have been for 20 years


If your picking Houli who was pretty average for us, I don’t see why you wouldn’t put Kelly, Chappy and Cooney in the side. Arguments for Mal Micheal, Campo and Richards as well.


I’d try and sneak Damian Cupido in there.
As much of a ■■■■■■ he was when he left us, I’d probable add in Adam McPhee.
Andrew Lovett would also be a bit stiff.

I’d take out Houli. He played his best footy at another club and I don’t see Ted Richards on that team, nor Paul Chapman, James Kelly or Cooney.
I’d also take out Monfries. He was good, but I think Cupido pips him.
I’d take out Crameri. Not enough peak years from him and put Lovett in his place.

Adam Saad is a bit stiff, but I cannot find a way to add him in the team.

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Really we have been a team of unaccountable players the last two decades who’ve looked their exiting best playing run and gun slingshot footy. In that vain I’d want to get Dempsey, McKenna, Saad, Raz etc into the team. Just embrace the speed and fun of it

Saad Hooker McKenna
Dempsey Hurley Hibberd
Lovet Watson Stanton
Raz Stringer Davey
Tippa Joe Cupido
Ryder Sheil Merret

Winders, Goddard Heppel Zaka


its a weird best 22, gl ivan


Wow, we still might not even not win a final with that best 22. Rough.


How is Mark McVeigh left out? Only reaaon is you all assume he played in the 2000 GF. He didn’t.


The biggest impact McV had on the field was on James Hird’s head. Which is hardly a criterion for inclusion in this team.


Even if he had have ended Hird’s career that day, he still comfortably gets in THAT team.

B: Saad - Hurley - McVeigh
Hb: Hibberd - Hooker - Goddard
C: Winderlich - Watson - Stanton
Hf: Lovett - Daniher - Tippa
F: Orazio - 2MP - Stringer
R: Ryder - Merrett - Parish
Int: Zaha - Heppell - Hocking - McPhee

Edit: Removed D Rioli. Reluctantly

Added Hocking, as PP2 was right, he should be in there.


B: Baguley Hurley Saad
HB: Hibberd Carlisle Goddard
C: Heppell Watson Zaharakis
HF: Monfries Hooker Stringer
FF: Walla 2MP Daniher
R: Ryder Stanton Merrett

Int: Winderlich McVeigh Lovett McPhee

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Good call on Bags, I’d forgotten him

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I reckon that’s pretty much the correct team.

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Nobody considering Hocking. Was a very important player for us during his time.

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B: Saad - Hooker - Welsh
Hb: Hibberd - Hurley - Goddard
C: Zaharakis - Watson - Stanton
Hf: Lovett - Daniher - Fantasia
F: Tippa - Wright - Stringer
R: Ryder - Merrett - Parish
Int: McVeigh - Heppell - Winderlich - Monfries

A lot of unlucky names like Hille, McPhee, Davey, etc.

Edit: Took out Rioli who played his best footy pre-2002.

Rioli was at the club from 1998 - 2006. We finished top of the ladder at end of H&A 99-01 (a period where he was established in the seniors), and made finals 7 of his 9 seasons at the club. Not sure he should qualify for this team.


Yep this

Yep seems abit odd to include Rioli but exclude Fletch, when the later played through a big chunk of our poor years.