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AFLX dream team

hawthornfc.com.au  February 8, 2018 2:44 PM

AFLX: Hawks and Tigers battle in practice match The Hawks and Tigers took part in an AFLX practice match on Saturday morning as both sides prepare for next week.

All clubs are gearing up for their first taste of AFLX, with the round robin tournaments now just a week away.

What would our greats of the past think about the AFL's new millennial brainchild? Better yet, how would they go at it? 

Remember; AFLX doesn't just suit your traditional talented footballer. You need to be quick, possess supreme decision making and be able to play in a variety of positions and on a variety of opponents.

Hawthornfc.com.au has examined a handful of players from decades past by to put together the club’s dream AFLX line up.

Imagine these 10 players, in their prime, lining up alongside each other on a 100m pitch.

We'd pay to see that.

See: AFLX fixture

Defenders 

Chris Mew

One of the best defenders of the 1980s, Mew would have excelled in the game’s exciting, new venture. The five-time premiership player had a preference to mark instead of spoil, which is a valuable inclination in AFLX given the last-touch out of bounds rule. The centre half-back of Hawthorn’s Team of the Century, Mew also possessed a penetrating kick that would have helped pierced the defence of the congested field of AFLX.

Peter Knights

Mew’s 1983 premiership teammate, Peter Knights, stands alongside him in the defence of this dream outfit. Another renowned exponent of high-marking brilliance, Knights’ versatility would be a handy trait when assembling this line-up. The 264-game Hawk’s long kick would see this side turn defence into offence in the blink of an eye. 

 

Midfielders

Chance Bateman

Bateman’s elite foot skills and speed as a wingman would see him be a dominant player in the AFLX game style. Take yourself back to the early stages of the 2008 Grand Final. Bateman gathered the ball on the wing and kicked forward before quickly following up his own work, dashing to 50 metres and slotting the Hawks’ first goal to kick off a famous day. Textbook AFLX! With plays such as these, Bateman would register himself the leading super-goal kicker! 

Gary Ayres 

Legendary coach Allan Jeans once described Gary Ayres as an outstanding driver in heavy traffic with a great ability to navigate through pressure situations. Despite the fast-flowing game that we are expecting from AFLX, we feel there is still a need for a bit of inside grunt. The two-time Norm Smith Medallist provides us with this and, to be honest, any excuse to see that mullet back in full flight.

Roy Simmonds

AFLX was a fair way off its birth in the 1950s when Roy Simmonds was gracing Glenferrie Oval. But the 1956 Club Champion’s skill set would have been perfect for AFLX, had the new code been brought in around the time the Olympics came to town. Simmonds played in almost every position throughout his 192 games in the brown and gold and his foot speed also saw the Team of the Century member leave countless opponents in his dust.

 

Forwards

Lance Franklin

No matter how you want to spin this selection, Buddy is almost the perfect prototype for AFLX. Let him run wild and play him outside the 40-metre arc all day so he can just dob super-goals all day, it would be a sight to see. Only potential issue would be convincing the Swans to let us borrow him back! 

Stuart Dew

Stewie Dew in his prime is a hard man to leave out of any line up. In fact, the forward 40 might be a touch empty with Stewart Dew setting up alongside Franklin. Another super-boot capable of drilling goals from 60 metres out, it would bring a tear to Hawks supporters’ eye to see the new Gold Coast coach pull on the brown and gold again.

 

Interchange

Albert Mills

Seven of the 18 clubs that will be competing in next week’s AFLX carnival weren’t even a part of the league in the 1930s when Mills was skippering the Hawks. But again, Mills would have been a natural star of this new game. Elite skill level, athletic and an endurance king, Bert is a handy player to have sitting on the bench and at the ready. 

Robert DiPierdomenico

Dipper sits alongside Mills on a very strong interchange. We feel the 1986 Brownlow Medallist would just revel in pulling a jumper on again and throwing his body around. As Dipper has told us many times, he was “born to play Grand Finals”, so when (not if) this side makes the AFLX Grand Final, we think we’d be in safe hands. 

Grant Birchall

The fourth and final representative of Hawks from the 21st century, it would be difficult to leave Birchall out of this side. His pinpoint precision would be essential to initiating offensive plays from the defensive line, and he's been known to sneak into the forward line and boot a goal from time to time.

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