Magpies make VFL's greatest 50 players since turn of century
*Pics courtesy of the Herald Sun
The Herald Sun has named its 50 greatest VFL players of the past 20 years, since the turn of the millenium, and as a sign of the strength of the Glenorchy District Football Club, three Magpies made the list.
Congratulations to our superstars Adrian Fletcher, Ben Beams and Ben Atkin who made the cut, as decided by the Herald Sun's VFL guru Paul Amy. They were joined by fellow Tasmanians Ian Callinan and Sam Iles, who also enjoyed outstanding VFL careers.
As a comparison, historic VFL clubs Springvale/Casey, Coburg, Preston/Northern and Box Hill also had three or fewer players in the esteemed list.
35 Ben Atkin, Tasmania Gun running player who was part of the Devils team that competed in the VFL from 2001-08. The image endures of Atkin flying along a wing, not a hair on his head, not an opponent capable of keeping up with him. Played until the end of 2006, departing with honours including the 2003 best and fairest, and state selection in 2003, ’04 and ’05 (when he also snared the Frank Johnson Medal against the SANFL).
33 Ben Beams, Tasmania After 21 games with Melbourne the skilful left-footer returned to Tassie to play with the Devils. He did so for five seasons, serving as captain in four of them, and he often lifted the team with spearing kicks out of the middle and classy goals. Represented the VFL in 2002, 2004 and 2005.
25 Adrian Fletcher, Williamstown The 231-game AFL player had two seasons with the Seagulls. Two wonderful seasons: he won the 2002-03 best and fairests as well as the ’03 Norm Goss Medal as best-afield in the grand final success. Just as he did at the highest level he cruised the field accumulating possessions, never hurried and seemingly resistant to tackles. Former Willy GM Brendan Curry regards Fletcher as the best Towner of the past 20 years.