Thought I’d actually start this thread.
Trying to restrict it to players you’ve seen - Albert Thurgood and his 70 metre place kicks is probably out for most Blitzers.
And keeping it distinct from players whose goal kicking was remarkably accurate as that’s a different skill set.
The impetus was when I thought Fletcher is a certainty. He could certainly roost a ball. Then I remembered that, watching games of that era, I always felt more comfortable when Wellman was kicking, rather than Fletch.
So, to start things off, a few classically stylish kickers;
Barry Davis, Mercuri, Dean Rioli, Hird
Add a couple of creative kickers;
Derek Kickett would have to be there for the range of his kicking- able to pull out a 55 metre torpedo at crunch times, and spear low spiral passes into the teeth of a howling gale.
Conor is a definite maybe- or possibly he stuffs too many up at this stage of his career.
Then a group of reliably attacking kicks;
Merv Neagle, Winderlich, Bewick, Greg Anderson, Bryan Wood
Just a reminder everyone, this is Blitz after week THREE of isolation. Where are we going to be in another 5 months?!
I always thought Garry Foulds was a great kick. Saw him kick a goal from inside the centre square at Windy Hill one day that blew my mind. Didn’t think it was possible. (Yes, I know this is about field kicks.)
Is that another idea for a thread?
Mercuri was the Rolls Royce
Neville Fields is easily top 10.
Barry Davis top 3.
Tim Watson was also a good kick/pass off either foot, but not a long kick.
Exponential growth, baby.
No love for Kyle “bandits at nine ten o’clock” Reimers?
“Top 10 Essendon interchange stewards 1974-78”
That would be difficult actually. I mean how could you keep it to just 10?
Top 10 I’ve seen, which I take it as watching them at games and not just on TV:
Mark Mercuri - Excellent kick in all situations. At his best (1993-2000 before the injuries started to bite) he could easily carry 50m but it was his vision to be able to spot a player and then to execute that has him #1. Pure silk.
Dean Rioli - Lloydy had Mercs and Rioli as his top 2 best kicks to lead at. Rioli has magnificent foot skills, weighted the ball to perfection. Never kicked the cover off it either, it was all timing.
John Barnes - Might be a surprise here, mainly that a ruckman makes top 3. But go over and watch Barnesy, especially the 2000 season. His recruitment was a game changer for what was already a very good team. Barnes was a highly skilled field kick, and of all in the top 10 the best on both sides. Legitimately a great kick on the left and right.
Mark Harvey - Not just the most courageous player I’ve ever seen, but also a brilliant kick. I loved his kicking style, simple efficient and late in his career from defence his passes was unerringly accurate.
Brendon Goddard - BJ probably has the best depth and penetration to his kicks of the top 10. He could carry 50+ easily but it was his ability to get the ball there quickly that stood out. He didn’t kick up and unders. Also a decent enough kick on the left side.
Gavin Wanganeen - Wanga, before the deliberate out of bounds rule really came into vogue, was the master of kicking the ball to touch. If in trouble and no option to kick to, he had the great knack of being able to clear the ball out of danger 40-50m down the line but not get called for deliberate or kick out on the full. Not a super long kick but over short/medium distance was pin-point.
Michael Long - The master of the dinky little pass that would be weighted perfectly into space for a teammate to mark. He must’ve hit Lloydy about 30 times like that in the year 2000.
Joe Misiti - Not just a great accumulator of the ball, but Smokin’ Joe was a superb user by foot. Again his delivery to forwards was elite, always put the ball into the space that gave the receiver the best chance to mark the ball.
Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti - Right from the time he broke into the AFL Walla has been an immaculate user of the ball. Both sides of the body he can pick targets out at will. For me the best current Bomber by foot.
Dustin Fletcher - Like Goddard his depth and penetration made Fletch a great kick. At his peak he would pass the ball 60m on a dime. A great kick out from behinds as well, could turn defence into attack with one possession.
There’s a few I’ve left out. Rama, Hirdy, a guy who you wouldn’t put up as an EFC great but Damian Cupido has more skill than most.
Glenn Hawker gliding down the wing at Princes Park delivering perfectly to Neal Daniher 1981.
He was a brilliant kick off both feet at pace.
John Ellis. He wasn’t around long but childhood memories of his accurate passes.
Of all the players I’ve seen on video/DVD, Glenn Hawker stands out, along with Leon Baker and Timmy Watson. I only ever attended 2 games that Tim played in, the 1993 QF and his 300th game against Fitzroy at Princes Park.
Oops wrong thread
Lindsay McGie was a fantastic kick. They showed one of his kicks on World of Sport a decade after he retired: it was a kick-in from FB and went way past the centre at the MCG. The WoS “experts” there thought the video must have been doctored as they didn’t think anyone could kick that far.
I think he was conscripted after that. Unlike players from other clubs (eg Ditterich, Hart, even Sheedy) he got sent to Viet Nam and I don’t know if he played for us again.
He did come back for a couple of seasons (68 & 69) and played a few more games but the two missing years really hurt him. I don’t think he was that great a footballer anyway, just a superb kick.
I remember a game at South Melbourne where he drilled a 35 metre stab pass that positively exploded off his boot. His target didn’t have to move and took it at knee level. Even the South supporters applauded.
Tippa is easily the best on our current list.
JD is actually a very good field kick. Prove me wrong.