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Adam Cooney’s smartest footballers of all time


2008 Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney has listed the four smartest players he ever encountered on a football field during his decorated career at the Western Bulldogs and Essendon.

4 - Brian Lake

“Football IQ of the highest order. Wasn’t fit, didn’t train hard and didn’t really do weights but read the ball just about better than anyone off the boot.”


3 - Sam Mitchell

“In terms of game nous and his positioning on-field, he would always set up to be in a position to be a receiver off the back… He would always be that outlet player that would dish off to a (Grant) Birchall running off half-back. A good kick on both sides of the body and again a player that could change his mind mid-kick. The kick off one step was brilliant, elite hands and a potential coach in waiting.”


2 - Dane Swan

“A pretty laconic sort of guy but used angles pretty well when he ran. He was a smart runner, he had elite speed and pretty good endurance as well. He worked a lot harder than what he makes out, the perception of him, but he could beat a tagger, read the ball off a ruckman’s hands really well. He looked unfit but got the job done.”


1 - Eddie Betts

“He’s got skill. He can take a hanger. He can use the one glove. Kicks it on his left foot or right foot and gets his angles right when he curls and dribbles the ball. Kicks it through people’s legs and nutmegs people. Left-foot barrels from the boundary line…he has got it all. He outsmarts opponents. He is one step ahead.”


Listen to Adam Cooney on SEN Afternoons with Andy Maher below:

Adam COONEY SEN Afternoons Brian Lake Sam MITCHELL Dane SWAN Eddie BETTS

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