Celebrating the 1990s over the past fortnight has brought back some fond memories, unearthed some bizarre stories and filled us all with that inimitable sense of nostalgia to watch our heroes of yesteryear in action once again.
It's all been fun and games until now. Now comes the watershed moment of our Through the Ages series: the coveted Deliveroo Team of the Decade.
There were some unlucky omissions (sorry Wakes, Bevo and Stevie Sziller!), but overall this team has us all salivating. Just look at that forward-line!
B: Max Hudghton, Danny Frawley, David Grant
HB: Justin Peckett, Darryl Wakelin, Austinn Jones
The perfect combination of desperation and grit, Max Hudghton was one of the toughest full-backs in the league across a 234-game career. Danny Frawley, meanwhile, was both feared and respected league-wide for his uncompromising footy and leadership, and starred at full-back in an era that featured some of the most prolific forwards in the history of the game. David Grant's consistency across nearly 200 games of league football earn the All Australian the final spot on the last line.
Justin Peckett's ability to launch the Saints into attack off half-back is remembered fondly by many of the faithful, and across 252 games, 'Frankie' well and truly made his mark. Darryl Wakelin was one of the Saints’ most prominent backmen throughout the decade, and by 1997 had claimed the centre-half back post as his own. Aussie Jones' lighting-quick pace and love for a coast-to-coast run established him as one of the best half-back flankers in the league, despite being doubted for his small frame and slight figure.
C: Andrew Thompson, Nicky Winmar, Glibert McAdam
FOLL: Peter Everitt, Robert Harvey, Nathan Burke
The Saints' midfield brigade of the late 1990s was the envy of the league, with dual-Brownlow medallist Robert Harvey leading the star-studded line. A list of accolades that beggars belief accompanies the famous No. 35, who still holds the record for the most disposals of any VFL/AFL player ever (a lazy 9,656). Alongside Harves is the fearless hard-nut Nathan Burke, whose helmet became a trademark as well as a reminder of his brutal attack on the ball. The hard-as-nails rover held the record for the most games ever played by a Saint, before his 323 games were surpassed by his great mate, Robert Harvey. Feeding them, the great Peter 'Spida' Everitt, who revolutionised the role of the ruckman in Australian football. One of the first ruckmen to successfully take up a key post in the forward-line and seamlessly switch between the two, Spida's haircuts were almost as eye-catching as his footy.
Andrew Thompson was forced to do it the hard way, toiling in the VAFA before being picked by the Saints aged 24. But Thommo's determination and uncanny smothering ability quickly saw him become a fan-favourite, before he went on to win the 2000 Trevor Barker Award. The mercurial Nicky Winmar was simply in a league of his own. Fast as lightning, deadly by foot and an extraordinary leap, the iconic No. 7 awed the faithful across his 12 seasons in the red, white and black. Gilbert McAdam could've been anything, with his coolness under pressure and athleticism on a wing trademarks of his game. His best performance, however, came in that generation-defining day at Victoria Park in 1993 where he kicked five goals and earned three Brownlow votes in the process.
HF: Matthew Lappin, Stewart Loewe, Tony Brown
F: Jason Heatley, Tony Lockett, Barry Hall
Although we'll admit it's probably a little top-heavy, this is forward-line like no other. The 1990s saw a succession of three bullocking full-forwards, and the Saints faithful voted in force to ensure each was named in the Deliveroo Team of the Decade. Although the bulk of his career was spent at the Blues, Matthew Lappin’s decorated career began with the red, white and black. The skinny flanker enjoyed an incredibly consistent 1997 campaign and possessed electric creativity in front of goal. Beside him, Stewart Loewe owned the centre-half forward post for his entire career, with his aerial dominance and durability forming an incredibly dangerous partnership with the legendary Tony Lockett. Tony Brown is on the opposite flank, and as one of the most respected players in-house during his playing career, the hard-working rover was known to kick a goal.
Jason Heatley had the biggest pair of boots one could possibly fill after Lockett's departure, and armed with deadly accuracy and a clean set of hands, the West Coast import ousted Stewart Loewe as the club’s leading goalkicker in his first two seasons to become an important piece of St Kilda’s arsenal. Beside Heaters, the one and only Tony Lockett. Plugger was simply one of the greatest to ever play the game, whose strength, ferocity, surprising speed and deadly accuracy engrained him as one of the most magnificent full forwards of all-time. His 1,360 career goals still holds the all-time record. Finally - and we're not quite sure how he would share the 50m with Plugger - Barry Hall. While on-field flare-ups resulted in Hall’s name becoming synonymous with the AFL Tribunal, there was no disputing his strength, power and deadly effect in front of goal.
I/C: Joel Smith, Lazar Vidovic, Jason Cripps, Dean Rice
Joel Smith is another case of what might have been at St Kilda, the talented half-back enjoying the bulk of his career at Hawthorn, but he was one of the Saints' brightest young stars as they surged up the ladder in the late 1990s, earning him a spot in the 22. Lazar Vidovic was as big a character off the field as he was on it. The short-tempered ruckman became a cult figure throughout the decade, evolving into an important part of the Saints' line-up. The fiery Jason Cripps' ball-winning ability and competitive style of play in defence rendered him a regular contributor for St Kilda throughout the late 1990s. And finally, strong and no-nonsense winger Dean Rice proved himself as a highly serviceable player during his tenure at Moorabbin, rounding out our 1990s Deliveroo Team of the Decade.
Thanks to all the Sainters out there who voted and helped bring back some great memories of that far-off decade, the '90s.
Be sure to stay tuned into saints.com.au and follow us on our socials for more exclusive #ThroughTheAges content in the coming weeks.
Next up, the 2000s!