Welcome to the Round 4 edition of Footy Prophet’s new weekly series – Fantasy Flashbacks. Each week during the 2016 home and away season, we will look at some of the greatest historical fantasy performances correspondent to the upcoming round – before fantasy football existed.
Fantasy Flashback’s Player of the week for Round 4 is one of the greatest full forwards to have a played the game in former Saint and Swan Tony Lockett.
In Round 4 of 1987 against the Demons and while still at St Kilda, Lockett kicked 12 goals 3, from 20 disposals and 14 marks for a fantasy score of 172.
21-year old Lockett – who was playing in his fourth season of senior football – was unstoppable on the day, kicking all but two of St Kilda’s 14 goals. Yet, as it turned out, it wasn’t enough, as the Demons ran out winners by a comfortable 47 points.
Lockett went on that year to kick over 100 goals for the first time in his career with 117 majors, and in doing so took out the first of four Coleman Medals, while also claiming his one and only Brownlow Medal in a tie with Hawthorn’s John Platten, and being awarded that season’s MVP – a remarkable feat for a full forward. He also took out the first of two best and fairest awards for the Saints.
In a career spanning 18 years (if his ill-fated comeback in 2002 is included), Lockett played 281 games for a VFL/AFL record 1360 goals at an average of 4.8 per game.
As mentioned above, he won the Coleman Medal four times and kicked 100 goals in a season six times. However, had he not been injured in each of the three seasons following 1987 and 1993/4, he could have done so on another five occasions.
1988 – 8 games 35 goals
1989 – 11 games 78 goals
1990 – 12 games 65 goals
1993 – 10 games 53 goals
1994 – 10 games 56 goals
At the end of the 1994 season after 183 games and 898 goals for the Saints, Lockett moved to the Swans with similar hype as was given to Lance Franklin when he did the same almost 20 years later.
Like Franklin, Lockett was arguably the biggest name in the game at the time, and immediately had a profound impact on attendance at home games. Until Lockett arrived, the Swans had always struggled to draw consistently good crowds, but that changed dramatically with Lockett’s arrival.
Lockett went on to kick 462 goals for Sydney over 98 games, leading the club’s goal kicking on five occasions, while also taking out the Bob Skilton Medal in 1995. Two years later he led the Swans to their first Grand Final appearance since 1945, after kicking a memorable point on the final siren against Essendon in the Preliminary Final. Unfortunately, the Swans – and Lockett, didn’t taste the ultimate success, going down to North Melbourne in the decider by 43 points.
A premiership was one of the few things in football Lockett was unable to achieve, in what was a magnificent career. He represented Victoria on five occasions, was a five-time All-Australian, and was included in both the Swan’s and Saints’ Teams of the Century. In 2015 Lockett was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame and named as an official Legend.
As has been mentioned previously he also won the Coleman Medal four times, a Brownlow Medal, an AFL MVP and took out three club best and fairest awards.
But how would Lockett have gone from a fantasy perspective? Well, we know he scored a ripper 172 in Round 3 of 1987, however, that is by no means his highest fantasy score, which he achieved ironically against the Swans in Round 13 of 1992.
On that particular day he booted 15 goals from 20 kicks and 18 marks, producing a mammoth fantasy score of 209, while over his career he would have averaged 69.9 points per game.
Although, that average in itself is hardly impressive, between the years of 1987 and 1996 he would have been a very relevant and popular fantasy option. Over those 10 seasons ‘Plugger’ would have averaged a very healthy 91.3 points overall, with his best of 105.5 coming in 1991. In another five of those seasons he would have averaged above 90.
No doubt in his prime years Tony Lockett would have been a fantasy star.