So we thought we would compile a list of some of the greatest follically challenged players of the modern era.
An obvious choice for this list, Judd’s record speaks for itself. He won two Best and Fairest awards for West Coast and three for Carlton in his 279 game career. He is a six-time All-Australian, two-time AFLPA MVP, two-time Brownlow Medallist, a Norm Smith Medallist and Premiership captain. Admittedly, his best days were when he was at West Coast when he still had hair, but he is still a champion of the game who was brilliant both before and after he was forced to opt for the bald look.
When the little master retires he will no doubt go down in the history books as one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Ablett has achieved every award the game has to offer. He is a two-time premiership player, two-time Brownlow medalist, five-time ALFPA MVP, two-time Geelong Best and Fairest winner, three-time Gold Coast Best and Fairest winner and an eight-time All-Australian. And to add further value to his credentials he has definitely done his best work on the field since becoming a chrome dome. He is not only a blistering midfielder, averaging 25 disposals over his career, including averaging over 30 per game for the last six seasons, but he can also play forward, kicking 361 goals so far in his 270 games.
Jarman had an illustrious 165 career for North Adelaide in the SANFL, before joining Adelaide, where he played 110 games, when they joined the AFL in 1991. He is a two-time All-Australian, a member of the Adelaide Team of the century and of the South Australian Football Hall of Fame. He also represented South Australia in State of Origin football on 15 occasions.
Mick Martyn is widely regarded as one of North Melbourne’s greatest defenders. He played 287 games for North between 1988 and 2002, where he was part of the 1996 and 1999 premiership teams. He was renowned for tough and aggressive play and was he was a big bodied defender. He played 13 games for Carlton after defecting from North in 2003.
Hall is considered one of the best forwards of the modern era. He kicked 746 goals in 289 AFL games for St. Kilda, Sydney and the Western Bulldogs. He is an 11-time club leading goal kicker, a four-time All-Australian and of course the 2005 Sydney premiership captain. But Hall is just as well know for his temper as he is for his goal scoring ability. Who could forget Big Bad Bustling Barry’s knockout punch on Brent Stalker that earned him a seven match suspension back in 2008.
Chappy has a record to rival any of the greats of the game. The dangerous forward/midfielder has looked about 40-years-old from early on in his career thanks to a terrible receding hairline. Despite what may have been a disadvantage with the ladies, he made the most of a brilliant football career, with a wonderful football brain and goal sense, playing 251 games with the Cats for 336 goals. He won three premierships with Geelong, as well as a Norm Smith Medal, a Best and fairest and three All-Australian awards. He is not only a sublimely skillful player, but also a bit of a hot head, with Chappy always keen to get rough when necessary, finding himself in trouble with the tribunal on several occasions throughout his career. He moved to Essendon in 2014 and has played 26 games over the past two season with the Bombers.
Matera played 253 games for West Coast between 1990 and 2002, including the 1992 and 1994 Premierships, both against Geelong. He won the 1992 Norm Smith Medal and was an All-Australian on five occasions. He was named in the Indigenous Team of the Century and in 2006 he was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame. He had a great ability to break a game wide open and had an innate goal sense, scoring 218 goals for the Eagles, playing predominantly through midfield and on the wing.
Smart’s shiny chrome dome helped Adelaide to win the 1997 and 1998 premierships. The diligent defender was Adelaide’s first ever All-Australian in 1991, and he went on to collect three All-Australian awards as well being named in Adelaide Team of the Decade.