Over and under
By Daniel Emilo Amato

Overrated #3: Kurt Tippett (Adelaide & Sydney)

Often thought of as a dominant forward of the competition… why?

This was a case where a player has a breakout season very early in their career, and perhaps unrealistic expectations cloud them for the remainder of their football life. 

Tippett hardly ever fired when truly needed, played in two Grand Finals and had little impact in both, only kicked over 50 goals in a year once, in his second season.

Quite simply, he was a confidence player. If he kicked a goal in the first quarter, he would have a good game. If he didn’t, expect no more than 10 touches and no goals.

The only final he ever truly dominated was the 2012 Preliminary Final against Hawthorn, kicking four goals as the best forward in a losing game.

Overrated #2: Dale Thomas (Collingwood & Carlton)

Some were calling Dale Thomas one of the best players in the competition ten years ago.

From 2010-2011, it is agreeable he was in the prime of his career, but he was hardly ‘one of the best’.

While Daisy showed signs of excellence, he was assisted by playing in a successful team.

The truth is, Thomas was sporadic on the field, he would kick a miracle goal from the boundary line and not do much else. His run and chase was impressive, but his distribution was often average for AFL standard.

Great for a highlight reel, but was far from elite. The Collingwood 2010 flag was his best season. The subsequent move to Carlton was majorly disappointing.

Overrated #1: Cyril Rioli (Hawthorn)

Very talented, silky, smooth and a beautifully lethal left foot kick… but sporadic.

Many argue Cyril won Grand Finals off his own boot… He didn’t. 

2015 was the only Grand Final he dominated, gathering 18 possessions, two goals and taking home the Norm Smith medal. 2008 he had good moments and kicked goals, but hardly ‘won the day’. 2013 he was relatively quiet and 2014 he was returning from injury and made hardly any influence on the result. 

Rioli was an extraordinarily gifted player, but did not perform at his peak week in, week out. He had many quiet games and would go unsighted throughout a lot of the home and away season, the odd miracle goal would often camouflage that.

Eddie Betts, Jeff Farmer and Stephen Milne were more consistent.

Underrated #3: Shane Parker (Fremantle)

Is hardly ever mentioned, but was certainly be one of the best defenders during the 2000s, often in the shadows of defenders such as Dustin Fletcher, Ben Hart and Darryl White.

Tough to quell over head, agile, skilful, tough and quick, Parker was able to nullify some of the best forwards in the competition, ie. David Neitz, Michael O’Loughlin and Jeff Farmer with his solid body and marking prowess.

Played 238 games, but unfortunately did not have much on field success, playing just four finals.

Underrated #2: Warren Tredrea (Port Adelaide)

At his best during the 2000s, Tredders was right up there in the Richardson, Rocca, Pavlich mould.

An imposing figure without unbelievable strength over head, remarkable athleticism on the ground for his height and a long, powerful kick.

Potentially playing for the smaller of two South Australian clubs worked against him, but the 2004 premiership captain still kicked over 50 goals on five occasions.

Certainly one of the most underrated forwards of the last 20 years.

Underrated #1: Tyson Edwards (Adelaide)

321 games sees Edwards sitting second for all time Crow games behind only Andrew McLeod. Throughout his 16 season career, a showdown medal in 2006 is the only personal accolade to show for his outstanding career.

What he lacked in pace he made up for in skill. A penetrating, elite kick on both right and left foot saw him at the very top-class of the AFL throughout the 2000s. His ability to kick goals as a midfielder also put him into a rare category.

In the shadow of Andrew McLeod, Ben Hart, Mark Ricciuto, Scott Thompson and Simon Goodwin for the bulk of his career may have had something to do with his lack of recognition.

But he has something some of the greatest players in the games history do not have; a premiership medallion… two of them in fact.

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