Image Sources: The Bendigo Advertiser

With a number of Brownlow Medals, All-Australians and premierships produced from the talents of Bendigo Pioneer graduates, a collective list of the junior state league side's best is one to behold.

With the greater Bendigo region having grown some of this century's best-ever midfielders, the Pioneers' greatest ever midfield ensemble stands as a stunning cohort that could compete with anyone.

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Across their 28-year history, we look at the best players to be products of the Pioneers and name their greatest ever side.

Defenders

Premiership Hawks duo Brent Guerra and Rick Ladson both enjoyed the journey from Bendigo to Waverley in their venture of success, playing key roles in Hawthorn's 2008 grand final win.

Guerra added another flag to his career highlights, also featuring in the Hawks 2013 win over Sydney and ending his career with over 250 games across stints with the Power, Saints and Hawks.

Despite losing to Guerra in 2008, Geelong defender Josh Hunt was able to add two premierships of his own after first joining the Cats from the Pioneers.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 17: Jarryn Geary of the Saints celebrates after scoring a goal during the round 17 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Melbourne Demons at Etihad Stadium on July 17, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

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Saints skipper Jarryn Geary and Richmond recruit Robbie Tarrant are among the ranks of current Bendigo defenders plying their trade in the AFL.

Former Blues swingman Andrew Walker also adds plenty of excitement to the alumni of Bendigo stars, having played over 200 games in the navy blue.

Midfielders

Overflowing with contested ball-magnets and Brownlow Medal winners, the Pioneers have produced some of this century's best midfielders.

The quartet of Selwood brothers in Joel, Troy, Scott and Adam all hail from Bendigo, with Geelong Captain Joel leading the charge in having claimed three premierships, six All-Australian selections and three Carji Greeves Medals.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 15: Scott Selwood of the Cats (left) celebrates with his brother Joel Selwood of the Cats during the 2017 AFL Second Semi Final match between the Geelong Cats and the Sydney Swans at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on September 15, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Adam Trafford/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Joining Selwood as a triple premiership player is Richmond superstar Dustin Martin. A three-time Norm Smith Medal winner, 'Dusty' has put together an unparalleled career that boasts a glorious trophy cabinet.

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Martin and Port Adelaide star Ollie Wines add Brownlow Medals to the Bendigo history books, with the latter having claimed 'Charlie' in 2021 following a sensational season at Alberton Oval.

Former St Kilda and North Melbourne star Nick Dal Santo also adds plenty of professionalism to the Pioneers alumni, with the three-time All-Australian a key figure in the Saints' strong run in the 2000s.

Premiership Eagle Michael Braun and former Kangaroo and Suns midfielder Daniel Harris also add to an impressive engine room from the region.

Forwards

Morrish medallist and two-time All-Australian Nathan Brown is among the Bendigo stars to have enjoyed a fruitful career at AFL level.

Brown played 219 games across his time with the Bulldogs and Tigers, with injuries limiting his stellar career.

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Champion Bomber Dean Solomon adds a premiership cup to decorated books in Bendigo, having played 209 games across his time with Essendon and Fremantle.

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Former Kangaroos and Hawks forward Nathan Thompson adds four leading goalkicker awards to the Pioneers' accolades list, claiming two at each club.

Premiership Bulldogs and Essendon star Jake Stringer adds plenty to the attack, while former Collingwood and Fremantle swingman Chris Tarrant was a high-flying asset in his prime.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Jake Stringer of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal during the 2017 AFL round 02 match between the Western Bulldogs and the Sydney Swans at Etihad Stadium on March 31, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

ex-Hawthorn and Sydney forward Ben McGlynn and former North Melbourne spearhead Corey Jones also add to the forward structure.

The 'best of the Bendigo Pioneers' side: 

FB: Brent Guerra, Robbie Tarrant, Jarryn Geary
HB: Josh Hunt, Andrew Walker, Adam Selwood
C: Nick Dal Santo, Joel Selwood, Michael Braun
HF: Jake Stringer, Dean Solomon, Nathan Brown
FF: Ben McGlynn, Chris Tarrant, Corey Jones
FO: Nathan Thompson, Ollie Wines, Dustin Martin
INT: Daniel Harris, Scott Selwood, Colin Sylvia, Rick Ladson

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