REVEALED: New South Wales’ Greatest Team of All Time

AFL NSW/ACT in conjunction with the Carbine Club of New South Wales, have announced New South Wales’ Greatest Team of All Time. This is the first time a team such as this has ever been officially announced.

The AFL’s purpose is to ‘progress the game so everyone can share in its heritage and possibilities’ and this team is a reflection of the contribution that New South Wales has made to our game.

The team was selected from across New South Wales and includes multiple Brownlow Medalists, All-Australian team members and AFL Premiership winners, highlighting the rich contributions of New South Welshmen to Australian Football throughout the years.

The team was picked by a selection committee that included former Sydney Swans Chairman Richard Colless, journalist Mike Sheehan, Brownlow Medalist Gerard Healy, AFL Commissioner Gabrielle Trainor, AFL NSW/ACT CEO Sam Graham, and noted New South Wales AFL historians Miles Wilks, Rod Gillett and Ian Granland.


  • – The rules governing selection for NSW in State of Origin apply.
  • – If a player went to school interstate but their parents remained in NSW, they remain eligible (e.g. Shane Crawford and Neale Daniher).
  • – A player had to have played a minimum of 100 games in a senior league (VFL/AFL, SANFL, WAFL).
  • – Selection is based on quantitative and qualitative methodologies.
  • – Players must be placed in positions where they predominantly played throughout their careers.

Wagga Wagga’ Paul Kelly is included in the side as the forward pocket, and notionally as the second rover. Having played 243 games for the Sydney Swans, including 182 of those games as Captain, Kelly is synonymous with New South Wales football with the largest AFL primary schools competition in New South Wales and Australia, named the Paul Kelly Cup in his honour. A four-time Bob Skilton Medalist, Kelly won the 1995 Brownlow Medal and was named in the All-Australian side three times – twice as it’s Captain.

Three-hundred gamer, Shane Crawford from Finley has also made the team on the wing. As one of the greatest players to have pulled on a Hawthorn guernsey, the 1999 Brownlow Medalist also won four Peter Crimmins Medals at the Hawks. A four-time All-Australian, Crawford was the Captain of Hawthorn for 121 of his 305 games. He was also a member of the Hawks’ 2008 Premiership winning team.

The Daniher family also feature prominently in the side. From Ungarie in the Central West of New South Wales, the Danihers created an AFL family dynasty with the brothers becoming legends of the game. Melbourne great, Neale Daniher has been named as the Assistant Coach of the side, with Finley’s Allan Jeans named as Head Coach. Terry Daniher has been selected as the team’s half-forward flank after 313 games, with the majority of those played at Essendon. He is a four-time All-Australian, leading the national side on four occasions, whilst also spending six years at the helm of Essendon. He won the Bombers’ Best and Fairest Medal once and took home two Premierships.

Current AFL players in the team include the likes of Sydney Swan, Jarrad McVeigh, who was selected as the half-back flank. McVeigh has played 322 games – so far – for Sydney and has played in four Grand Finals. He captained the side between 2011-2016, leading the team to the 2012 Premiership. McVeigh is also a two-time Bob Skilton Medalist for the Sydney Swans and a 2013 All-Australian team member.  Only six players have played more finals than him in the history of VFL/AFL. No one from New South Wales has played more games in any of the senior competitions.

Other current AFL players include Geelong’s Tom Hawkins (Finley), Kieren Jack (Pennant Hills Demons), Isaac Smith (Wagga Wagga Tigers). Current Sydney Swans Coach and Assistant Coach, John Longmire (Corowa-Rutherglen) and Brett Kirk (North Albury) are also in the run-on squad.

Additional squad members: Dane Rampe, UNSW Bulldogs and Sydney Swans, Stan Lloyd, Newtown and St Kilda, David Murphy, Finley FC and Sydney Swans, Rick Quade, Ariah Park-Mirrool and Sydney Swans, Don Ross North Albury and Footscray, Bernard Toohey, Barooga and Sydney Swans, Geoff Kingston, Wagga Tigers and West Torrens, Daniel Cross, Albury and Western Bulldogs, Perc Bushby, Narrandera and Essendon.

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