Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The AFL Player Stats That Give Players an Advantage

The AFL has a long history of sporting legends that have gone on to prove their worth for their teams. Each legend has certain something have set them ahead of the pack when it comes to physical and mental strength and focus. From the tallest AFL player in history, to some of the fastest AFL players that you see in the modern game, here are a few of the AFL player stats that have changed the way the modern game is played.

The Oldest AFL Player

In some sports, age is just a number, but in the aggressive, physically demanding world of the AFL age can be a factor in determining your presence on the pitch. It may seem as though modern players are getting younger with each season, but don’t tell that to DustinFletcher – currently the oldest active player in the AFL at 39 yrs.

Dustin Fletcher
Fletcher, who currently plays for Essendon is one of the modern game’s finest defenders, having played in over 396 games for the club and 7 major games for the national side. Retiring from international duty in 2014, Fletcher continues to show his wise head at the back of the field for Essendon, running the game from the back and earning his place in history as the oldest active player.

Vic Cumberland

The oldest AFL player in history was St. Kilda legend Vic Cumberland. Playing up to the age of 43 before retiring, Vic was known for his ruthless style and passion for the game. He died a few years after retirement from a motorcycle accident, but that didn’t stop him from taking his place in the history books, and to this day is the oldest ever player of professional AFL football.

The Highest Paid AFL Player

Due to the immense popularity that AFL has always had, money in the sport has never been hard to come by. As clubs get richer from the ticket sales and merchandise the price of players also increases, with a number of high profile acquisitions taking place in recent seasons. Although the number of $1m plus players has diminished over previous seasons, more players are earning in the region of $500,000 a year.

Gary Ablett
It is believed that the two top earners in AFL are Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett who is thought to be earning at least $1m per season, Carlton’s Chris Judd and Nick Riewoldt of St. Kilda.

Chris Judd
The Average AFL salary is thought to increase to a whopping $300,000 this season based on previous figures, with all teams spending roughly $181.5 million on players and wages. This trend is expected to continue, but with salary caps and regulations coming into force, it will take an impressive accountant to pick the perfect team.

Nick Riewoldt

The Shortest AFL Player

Though many people think that size and strength is an important factor in determining your abilities at a given sport, team sports such as AFL require a good balance of speed, power, strength and intelligence to create the perfect side. Some players have what it takes in the form of many of these factors, while others break the rules on physical presence even at short statures.

Jim Bradford
The shortest player to ever play in the AFL was Jim “Nipper” Bradford who played for North Melbourne and Collingwood during the 1940s. He stood at a height of 153cm but didn’t let his diminutive size hold him back as he was named as the rover in Camberwell Football Club’s team of the century.

Caleb Daniel
The shortest AFL player in the modern game is Caleb Daniel who plays for Western Bulldogs. Again, not letting his smaller size hold him back, in the draft combine he scored an equal best of 16.1 in the beep test.

The Tallest AFL Player

Height plays a part in certain aspects of the game, but jumping ability proves even more important in the air. If you combine those two attributes you get one of the best tactical advantages in the fast, modern game. The title of the tallest AFL player in the modern game goes to Fremantle player Aaron Sandilands at a whopping 211cm.

Aaron Sandilands
Sandiland’s height plays an important factor in the way he plays, with his massive reach and leaping ability, Sandilands controls the air in devastating form as ruckman. Sandilands is the tallest AFL player ever along with Western Bulldogs player Peter Street.

Fastest AFL Player

Speed, agility and a tactical mind set are what’s needed to play AFL at the very highest level, and a combination of these abilities will set you in good form throughout your career. Some of the fastest players to ever play in the AFL have appeared in recent years, and are known for their lightning quickness.

Stephen Hill
Each year the AFL conducts a series of tests on each player to determine their overall scores in a number of skills including leap, sprint and a 3km run. These scores can help determine the fastest AFL players in each of the sections. The best ever agility run was made by Stephen Hill of Fremantle, scoring a total of 7.7 in the tests.

Joel Wilkinson
The 20m sprint test is claimed by Joel Wilkinson of Gold Coast with a score of 2.75 seconds. This lightning speed over short distances has helped Joel Wilkinson to become an essential pick in the draft. The beep test, or shuttle run is a good test of a player’s speed and agility, with Billy Hartung scoring an impressive 16.06 to be the fastest AFL player ever.

Billy Hartung

Youngest AFL Player

In the AFL, many older players have become essential in a team pick due to their wise decisions and playmaking abilities. Whilst the younger players have fresh agility, speed and physical prowess, some of the youngest players to ever play for a senior squad have arrived in recent seasons.

The youngest player in the modern game is Kayne Turner who was 18 years old when he made his debut for the Kangaroos. The rookie weighed just 65kg but packed in all the ability required by the senior squad and is hoped to become one of the most dynamic players in the modern game.

Claude Clough
The youngest AFL player ever was Claude Clough who made his debut for St. Kilda at the young age of 15 years and 209 days old. Back in 1900, much was put on the athleticism of younger players, who had a penchant for speed, agility and dynamism within the early game.

Sports records are fun to look back on as part of the history of the game, as well as learning new things about your favourite players and games. Some of the best AFL athletic sports records have been made in recent times and some think that with the current crop of players and teams, those records will surely be broken in the not too distant future.

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