From the Herald Sun’s Best 50 VFL players of the past 20 years, to ‘Choco’ reminiscing with the RSN Breakfast Club. Catch up on everything Werribee in this new edition of Media Street.
Five Werribee champions were selected in the VFL’s best 50 players of the past 20 years, compiled by Leader journalist Paul Amy.
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It started out as a top 20, as the editor-in-chief had requested.
Name the best 20 VFL players of the past 20 years, he said.
Well, 20 became 40, which became 50.
And still so many fine players were left out: JJ Liston Trophy winners, club best and fairests, team-of-the-year regulars, leading goalkickers, AFL graduates.
To be considered, players had to have played a minimum of two seasons as VFL-listed players.
Dom Gleeson, Werribee/Geelong: loved by teammates and respected by opponents, Gleeson was a stout-hearted onballer who was fractionally short of 200 games when he retired from the VFL at the end of 2014.
His eight years at Werribee took in a three-year run as skipper and included two best and fairests. He crossed to Geelong in 2011 and was part of its premiership success in 2012. A fine servant of his clubs and the wider competition.
Michael Frost, Werribee: the powerhouse left-footer played only two seasons in the period under consideration, but they were two distinguished seasons: the Tigers’ best and fairest in 2000, team-of-the-year honours in both and state selection in 2001.
Of course, he’d won the JJ Liston Trophy and led the Bees into the grand final in 1998. He could play anywhere on the ground, and it almost took a bazooka to stop him when he went on a barrelling run with the ball tucked under his wing.
Travis Robertson, Werribee: among the best running defenders of the league in the first five or so years after it was revamped in 2000. Robertson was equally happy spoiling or attacking, he was rarely beaten in one-on-one passages of play and he had a hard edge to go with his dash.
Won the Bees’ 2001-02-03 best and fairests, was skipper from 2004-06, played for Victoria three times and had four VFL team-of-the-year selections.
Michael Barlow, Werribee: the midfielder was outstanding for the Bees in 2008-09, piling up possessions, earning team-of-the-year honours in both seasons and winning a best and fairest.
In one match Tigers coach Simon Atkins moved him to centre half forward for the second half – and he played like Wayne Carey. “Someone draft him,’’ Atkins told Inside Football. Fremantle did, and he gave the Dockers excellent service. Barlow returned to Chirnside Park last year and was equal fourth in the Liston despite playing only 13 matches.
James Podsiadly, Werribee/Geelong: as strong as a horse and owning a thumping left-foot kick, “Pods’’ was an outstanding performer at Werribee from 2003 to 2008, winning two best and fairests, the 2008 JJ Liston Trophy and a Frosty Miller Medal as the league’s leading goalkicker.
He crossed to Geelong to captain its VFL team in 2009 and won another best and fairest. Then came belated recognition for his talent when the Cats drafted him at the age of 28. Podsiadly went on to be an AFL premiership player and turn out for 104 games, the last 21 of them with Adelaide. When he was at his best in the VFL no player could hold him.