Kevin Sheedy had selection headaches in his coaching tenure at Essendon, but few matched the agonising decisions he's made in his best 24 footballers to come out of the Bendigo district.
This week Sheedy reveals the final legs of his team - the two wingmen and the six players on the interchange bench.
"I know everyone is not going to be happy with my decisions, but that's okay,'' Sheedy said this week.
"When there's that much talent coming out of one district, like you have in Bendigo, then some very good payers are going to miss out.
"I'm still wrestling with the decision to leave (Hawthorn premiership player) Brendan Edwards out. I had a lot of time for him and he could quite easily have made it."
Ken Sheldon, Des English and Peter Rohde are other players that could have forced their way into Sheedy's final 24.
"I'm happy for the people of the Bendigo district to have their say,'' Sheedy said.
"All I ask is, if they want someone else in the 24, who do I drop?
"It's a magnificent side. It's pretty hard to drop anyone."
Sheedy selected the team as part of the Bendigo Jockey Club's Golden Mile Raceday festivities. A function to recognise the players was going to be held at the Golden Mile meeting, but spectators are banned from attending the track because of coronavirus concerns.
DOB: November 27, 1959
VFL club: Carlton
VFL games: 164
VFL goals: 146
Highlights: Carlton best and fairest winner 1982
Premiership player, 1979, 1981 and 1982
Sheedy says: "Buckley was a superstar player. He was a rover really, but he could play on a wing. He was aggressive and a tough nut. I'd want him on the ground at the start, particularly if we were playing in a grand final."
NICK DAL SANTO
DOB: February 22, 1984
AFL clubs: St Kilda, North Melbourne
AFL games: 322
AFL goals: 156
Highlights: All-Australian team 2005, 2009, 2011
Brownlow Medal runner-up 2011
Trevor Barker Trophy runner-up 2011
Sheedy says: "Nick knew how to find space and was such a beautiful kick. He was a very good player for St Kilda and North Melbourne."
DOB: December 3, 1954
From: Rod Ashman
VFL club: Carlton
VFL games: 236
VFL goals: 370
Highlights: Premiership player 1981, 1982
Carlton best and fairest runner-up 1981, 1984
Carlton Hall of Fame
Carlton Team of the Century
Sheedy says: "Anybody who averages more than one goal per game as a rover/forward is a star. He annoyed me. When I was coaching Essendon, Ashman and all those rovers Carlton had drove me mad."
DOB: September 23, 1972
From: Golden Square
AFL club: Richmond
AFL games: 297
AFL goals: 172
Highlights: Richmond Hall of Fame
Richmond captain 2001-2004
Richmond best and fairest 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002
All-Australian 1995, 1999
Sheedy says: "He was a ball magnet. Could play in the midfield, on a wing or either end of the ground. Four best and fairest awards at the Tigers and nearly 300 games - you have to be a very good player to do that."
DOB: May 1, 1984
AFL club: West Coast
AFL games: 187
AFL goals: 43
Highlights: West Coast premiership player 2006
International rules representative
Sheedy says: "He could play a good tagging role, play as a small defender or even as a forward who could pressure on. Geez, he was a good player."
DOB: April 25, 1994
AFL clubs: Western Bulldogs, Essendon
AFL games: 129
AFL goals: 226
Highlights: Bulldogs premiership player 2016
All-Australian team 2015
Essendon leading goalkicker: 2018, 2019
Western Bulldogs leading goalkicker: 2015, 2016, 2017
Sheedy says: "I think he's the most improved player at Essendon. He's still young at 25 years of age. He has something extra to him and there's more to come yet. Not many forwards like him can go into the midfield and turn a game like I saw him do for the Bombers last year."
DOB: July 28, 1949
VFL club: Carlton
VFL games: 48
VFL goals: 143
Highlights: Best first year player 1972
Carlton leading goalkicker 1972
Sheedy says: "I spoke to some people at Carlton about Greg and they regard him as a very good player. He didn't play that many games, but when he was at Carlton he showed how good he was. To average three goals per game was incredible."
DOB: January 16, 1958
From: South Bendigo
VFL clubs: Carlton, Fitzroy, Richmond, Essendon
VFL games: 158
VFL goals: 58
Highlights: Carlton premiership player 1979
Sheedy says: "I had Peter at Essendon for a few years and was a fine player. In that Carlton premiership team in 1979 I think he was part of one of the youngest centre lines to win a flag. He was a beautiful mark and a beautiful kick."
SHEEDY'S FINAL TEAM
B: Ray Byrne. Geoff Southby, Fred Swift (dvc)
Hb: Peter Dean, Michael Sexton, Leigh Colbert
C: Jim Buckley, Greg Williams, Nick Dal Santo
Hf: Nathan Brown, Graham Arthur (vc), Trevor Keogh
F: Joel Selwood, Ron Best, Peter McConville
Foll: John Nicholls (c), Dustin Martin, Ron Barassi
Inter: Rod Ashman, Wayne Campbell, Jake Stringer, Adam Selwood, Peter Francis, Greg Kennedy
Read more - Sheedy's sensational centre square
Read more - Sheedy's brilliant backline
Read more - Sheedy's fearsome forward line
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