Representing northern metropolitan Melbourne, the Northern Knights have been a strong side in the state league highlighted by their four premierships in a row between 1993 to 1996.

A string of household names have risen from the Knights' development program and have gone on to become stars at the AFL level.

From premiership players to best-and-fairest winners and a Brownlow Medallist, the star power in this side is impressive and would certainly be hard to beat.

Having crunched the numbers, here is our the best team of AFL stars who graduated from the Knights' system.


The Northern Knights defence boasts multiple premiership players who were a part of dynasties at their respective clubs.

Leading the way in defence are three-time premiership players Chris Johnson and Dylan Grimes. Johnson won his three with the Lions whilst Grimes with the Tigers. Given their prowess, these two defenders would prove a nuisance to opposition forwards on a weekly basis.

The key defender spots were locked up by talented Bomber, Michael Hurley and strong Pies' defender, Simon Prestigiacomo.

Hurley is a two-time All-Australian in the AFL and starred for the Knights at state league level by earning selection in the TAC Cup Team of the Year in the two seasons he played at Cramer Street.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 31: Michael Hurley of the Bombers kicks the ball during the 2018 AFL round 02 match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on March 31, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Prestigiacomo was a mainstay in the Magpies side as a key defender throughout the late 90s and 2000s. 'Presti' and knew how to shut down the star forwards of the competition, with Jonathan Brown and Matthew Richardson both saying he was one of the hardest defenders to play against.

Rounding out the Knights backline are Magpies' premiership players in Heath Shaw and Ben Johnson.

Shaw was a consistent defender across half-back for both the Pies and GWS, and was a key member of the 2010 premiership side.

Johnson was a hard-nosed defender and one of Collingwood's best players throughout the 2000s, capped off with a premiership in 2010.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 27: Heath Shaw of the Magpies runs with the ball during the round 18 AFL match between the Collingwood Magpies and the Greater Western Sydney Giants at Melbourne Cricket Ground on July 27, 2013 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Prezioso/Getty Images)


The Northern Knights have produced some serious talent in the centre circle over the years, with premierships, best and fairest winners and All-Australians sourced straight from the engine room at Preston City Oval.

Headlining the midfield is current star Bulldog, Marcus Bontempelli. Recently voted the best player in the AFL in 2021 by the Zero Hanger team, 'The Bont' has a premiership, four All-Australians and four best and fairests at the age of 26 and should continue to deliver for years to come.

AFL Rd 10 - Western Bulldogs v St Kilda
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 22: Marcus Bontempelli of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal during the 2021 AFL Round 10 match between the Western Bulldogs and the St Kilda Saints at Marvel Stadium on May 22, 2021 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Other midfield stars that arose include two-time premiership Kangaroo, Adam Simpson, three-time premiership Tiger and Brownlow medallist, Trent Cotchin, two-time All-Australian, Leigh Montagna and Collingwood great, Paul Licuria.

For the ruck position, Carlton cult figure, Matthew Kreuzer lands his spot.

When healthy, Kreuzer was as influential to his team as any other player and was the most talented ruckman to come out of the Knights program.

Current Knights alumni in the AFL include current Magpie, Patrick Lipinski and Blues midfielder, Jack Newnes.

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The Northern Knights definitely know how to develop skilled players inside the forward 50.

Leading the way in the Knights forward line is all-time games record holder, Brent Harvey.

'Boomer' played 432-games for the Kangaroos, which included a premiership, four All-Australians and five best and fairests.

A crafty small forward who would run rings around his defenders, kicking 518-goals across his career.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 30: Brent Harvey of the Kangaroos is chaired from the field after his record breaking 427th match by teammates Drew Petrie (left) and Michael Firrito (right) during the 2016 AFL Round 19 match between the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on July 30, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Key Collingwood forward, Anthony Rocca is also a must-have in the side. The big brute booted 415-goals across his 242-game career, which included four leading goalkicker awards with the Magpies.

Other notable inclusions in the forward line are premiership Bomber, Gary Moorcroft, three-time premiership Tiger, Kane Lambert, Carlton great, Lance Whitnall and skilled Don, David Zaharakis.

Further Knights alumni in the forward line include Eagles speedster, Jack Petrucelle, Crows live-wire, Lachlan Murphy and Bombers forward, Kyle Langford.


Talented players to come out of Preston City Oval that deserve a spot in the side include two-time premiership player, Blake Caracella, premiership Swan, Rhyce Shaw, skilled Bomber, Brent Stanton and premiership Tigers in Jayden Short and Nick Vlastuin.

The 'best of the Northern Knights' side: 

FB: Chris Johnson, Michael Hurley, Dylan Grimes

HB: Heath Shaw, Simon Prestigiacomo, Ben Johnson

C: Adam Simpson, Leigh Montagna, Paul Licuria

HF: Brent Harvey, Lance Whitnall, Gary Moorcroft

FF: Kane Lambert, Anthony Rocca, David Zaharakis

FO: Matthew Kreuzer, Marcus Bontempelli, Trent Cotchin

INT: Blake Caracella, Rhyce Shaw, Brent Stanton, Nick Vlastuin, Jayden Short [sub]