Would the AFL’s all-time leading goal-scorer Tony Lockett be the success he was if he played today? Andy Maher and 2008 Brownlow Medallist Adam Cooney have locked horns over the topic.
The former Western Bulldogs and Essendon player believes Lockett would struggle to even touch the ball while the SEN Afternoons host believes the ex-St Kilda and Sydney forward will continue to boot bags of goals.
Adam Cooney - No
“He wouldn’t get a kick.
“Do you know what 99 per cent of the football population say at the moment? That the key forward who sits at home is dead, everyone says that.
“If the ball gets turned over 60 metres out on the half-back flank, does Tony Lockett sit in the goalsquare? If he plays on Alex Rance, Alex Rance is 70 metres away from him up the field getting a switch and booting the ball inside 50.
“I don’t think it matters offensively how good you are in the modern game, if you don’t have a defensive bone in your body, you will expose not only yourself, but your whole team going back the other way.
“All he would need to do is get himself fit. If he could get himself to the modern day fitness, then I have no doubt he would still dominate.”
Andy Maher - Yes
“Tony Lockett wouldn’t get a kick? You’re fair dinkum dreaming mate. That is as silly a comment as Kane Cornes saying Dustin Martin is not a superstar.
“They would say to Tony Lockett ‘You are so good at what you do Plugger that we are going to back you in.’
“No key forward plays like a key forward anymore, because of you and your modern way of thinking about the game.
Everybody has got to run 50 shuttle runs every AFL game, so by the time there is a position for a key forward to play like a key forward, use their size and strength and be a long target, they’re exhausted or out of position.
“I want to see another Tony Lockett come in to the game and challenge the whole perception that unless you can run 15 kilometres, you have no value in the modern game.
“I’ve got absolutely no doubt he would (kick 10 goals a game). I saw him kick 10.7 at Moorabbin against Carlton in a premiership run with two out on the full… They had three on him for the entire day and he kicked 10.7!”
Listen to Adam Cooney on SEN Afternoons with Andy Maher below: