Ablett ranked best of TAC Cup 25 years

Former Geelong Falcon Gary Ablett Jnr. has been crowned the No.1 player from the 25 year history of AFL Victoria’s TAC Cup competition.

Ablett was announced as the best TAC Cup Top 25 player at the Morrish Medal night, edging out Chris Judd (Sandringham Dragons), Adam Goodes (North Ballarat Rebels), Brad Johnson (Western Jets) and Matthew Lloyd (Western Jets) for the coveted top spot in the rankings.

Chosen from over 1,000 former TAC Cup players drafted to the AFL, Ablett’s 288-game AFL resume was hard to overlook, featuring an overflowing trophy cabinet including:

    • 2 Brownlow Medals (2009, 2013)
    • 8 All Australian selections (2007-14)
    • 5 AFLPA Player of the Year awards (2007-09, 2012-13)
    • 5 club best & fairest awards (Geelong 2007,09 / Gold Coast 2011-13)
    • 2 AFL premierships (2007, 2009)

Celebrating the success of the TAC Cup since its inception in 1992, the remarkable talent to have emerged from the competition was recognised with the ranking of the Top 25, featuring a who’s who of the best players in the AFL over the last two decades. 

The final rankings, decided by a panel including Kevin Sheehan, Anton Grbac and Leon Harris, showcases the long list of achievements by former TAC Cup players in the AFL.

AFL Victoria Chief Executive Officer Steven Reaper said the competition has played an important role in developing players both on and off the field, as the Top 25 list highlights.

“The players recognised in the Top 25 are just a handful the 1000’s that have been educated within our TAC Cup program, helped to be safer road users through key messaging from our valued partner the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), this year focussed on the Towards Zero campaign,” Reaper said.

“Celebrating the 25 year history of the TAC Cup has provided an opportunity to recognise some of the top talent developed within our regions, and to acknowledge our long-standing partnership with the TAC since 1992.

 “AFL Victoria would like to congratulate all the players selected in the Top 25, and thank the TAC Cup regions, coaches, volunteers and local clubs that have played a role in helping these players along the talent pathway.

“It is hard to go past Ablett as No.1 due to his long list of achievements at the game’s highest level.

“Ablett’s talent has been recognised by the umpires, fellow players and his clubs across his career to date, so his place as the best player in the TAC Cup Top 25 is well deserved.


1 Gary Ablett Jnr Geelong Falcons Geelong/Gold Coast
2 Chris Judd Sandringham Dragons West Coast/Carlton
3 Adam Goodes North Ballarat Rebels Sydney Swans
4 Brad Johnson Western Jets Western Bulldogs
5 Matthew Lloyd Western Jets Essendon
6 Luke Hodge Geelong Falcons Hawthorn
7 Sam Mitchell Eastern Ranges Hawthorn
8 Joel Selwood Bendigo Pioneers Geelong
9 Brent Harvey Northern Knights North Melbourne
10 Jonathan Brown Geelong Falcons Brisbane Lions
11 Matthew Scarlett Geelong Falcons Geelong
12 Dane Swan Calder Cannons Collingwood
13 Scott Pendlebury Gippsland Power Collingwood
14 Dustin Fletcher Western Jets Essendon
15 Barry Hall Murray Bushrangers St Kilda/Sydney/Western Bulldogs
16 Jimmy Bartel Geelong Falcons Geelong
17 Steve Johnson Murray Bushrangers Geelong/GWS
18 Jarryd Roughead Gippsland Power Hawthorn
19 Nick Dal Santo Bendigo Pioneers St Kilda/North Melbourne
20 Justin Leppitsch Dandenong Stingrays Brisbane Lions
21 Cameron Ling Geelong Falcons Geelong
22 Robert Murphy Gippsland Power Western Bulldogs
23 Chris Johnson Northern Knights Fitzroy/Brisbane Lions
24 Patrick Dangerfield Geelong Falcons Adelaide/Geelong
25 Dan Hannebery Oakleigh Chargers Sydney


1 Gary Ablett Jnr had his fellow dual Brownlow Medal winners in Judd (six) and Goodes (four) covered for All Australian honours, with the Modewarre FC junior joining Mark Ricciuto and Robert Harvey for the most selections of all-time with eight.

2 Chris Judd amassed five club best and fairest awards across his time at West Coast and Carlton, also enjoying premiership success with the Eagles in his 279 AFL games.

3 Adam Goodes was named the Bob Skilton Medallist – the Sydney best and fairest award - on three occasions, twice in his Brownlow years of 2003 /2006 across 374 games.

4 Brad Johnson also enjoyed six All Australian selections, but was the only member of the top five to not have celebrated a premiership during his 364 game career for the Western Bulldogs.

5 Matthew Lloyd was All Australian five times, to go along with his three Coleman Medals in his 926 goal career. However the Bombers’ goalkicker was the only member of the top five not to have won a club best and fairest across his 270 AFL games.


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