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BRENT Guerra reached the 200-game milestone playing for Hawthorn on the weekend, an achievement made all the better by the fact that he did it having been previously moved on by Port Adelaide and St. Kilda.

All up, 279 footballers to have played for three VFL/AFL clubs since 1897,
with some moving on by choice while others were forced to find new homes.

Whatever their reason, the ten best three-club players make up our list this week.

1. Greg Williams - Geelong 1984-85, 34 games. Sydney Swans 1986-91, 107 games. Carlton 1992-97, 109 games.

'Diesel' Williams sits atop our list of 'three-clubbers' and for good reason. The dual Brownlow medallist is the only three-club player to make the AFL Team of the Century and is generally regarded as one of the game’s greatest ever onballers. He may have only ever played at Carlton had the Blues not rejected him as overweight youngster, but he finally returned to the Blues via Geelong and the Swans.

2. Dermott Brereton - Hawthorn 1982-92, 189 games. Sydney Swans 1994, 7 games. Collingwood 1995, 15 games.

When you think of Dermie, you think of Hawthorn, but after missing the entire 1993 season with a hip injury the champion, centre half-forward moved to Sydney after a pay dispute with the Hawks. The move was short-lived and he returned to Melbourne to play a final season with Collingwood, and while the two moves may have been worthwhile financially, he wasn’t able to add to the five flags and five pre-season premierships that he racked up as a Hawk.

3. Len Thompson - Collingwood 1965-78, 270 games.  South Melbourne 1979, 20 games. Fitzroy 1980, 13 games.

From his debut as an 18-year-old in the 1965 preliminary final against Essendon, Len Thompson was a star. As big as any ruckman, he was as mobile as most midfielders, displaying the attributes that one associates with current-day players rather than ruckmen of the 1960s. During his time with the Pies, he won five best and fairest awards as well as the 1972 Brownlow Medal. He was heartbroken when told by Collingwood he was surplus to requirements in 1979, but he found homes at either end of the Albert Park Lake for the next two seasons (South Melbourne and then Fitzroy) and in doing so was able to bring up is his 300th VFL/AFL game.

4. Brent Crosswell - Carlton 1968-75, 98 games. North Melbourne 1975-79, 76 games. Melbourne 1980-82, 48 games.

It takes a different type to play at three VFL/AFL clubs and Brent Crosswell was most certainly that. He may have been enigmatic but when he was on, 'Tiger' was as devastating as any player in the competition. He was a man made for the big stage, as his two premierships with both Carlton and North Melbourne will attest. Whilst he wasn’t able to reach those heights with his third club, Melbourne, he was still able to play fine football late in his career with the Demons.

5. John Rantall - South Melbourne 1963-72 and 1976-79, 260 games. North Melbourne 1973-75, 70 games. Fitzroy 1980, 6 games.

John Rantall was very much a Swan, playing for South Melbourne in 260 games over two sustained periods and while he spent a much shorter time at North Melbourne and Fitzroy both moves were for good reason. At North he became a member of its first premiership side in 1975, and whilst he only played six games with Fitzroy, he broke the League games record while playing there. For the record, 'Mopsy' Rantall was champion half-back flanker who was rarely beaten.

6. Barry Hall - St. Kilda 1996-2001, 88 games. Sydney 2002-09, 162 games. Western Bulldogs 2010-11, 27 games.

The power forward with a reputation as one of modern football’s meanest hombres has, in fact, been a highly talented player since the day he pulled on a boot for St. Kilda over 15 years ago. He went close to winning a flag for the Saints in 1997 and realised that dream a decade later when he skippered the Swans to a famous victory in the 2005 Grand Final. A growing number of on-field indiscretions saw the Swans move Hall on at the end of the 2009 season and he almost became the first player to play in a grand final with three VFL/AFL clubs when his third club, the Western Bulldogs, were beaten in last year’s preliminary final.

7. Billy Barrot - Richmond 1961-70, 120 games. St. Kilda 1971, 2 games. Carlton 1971, 12 games.

There would be many an old football scribe that would suggest that at his best, Billy Barrot would sit atop this list. Superbly balanced and one of the finest kicks the game has seen, the best of Barrot was on show for all the world to see in the 1967 Grand Final epic between the Tigers and the Cats. On a day when the likes of Royce Hart of Richmond and Polly Farmer of Geelong both starred, it was Barrot who was named as best player on the ground by most of the media experts covering the game. Not one to strictly adhere to club rules, Barrot was sensationally swapped to the Saints in 1971 for dual Brownlow medallist Ian Stewart. But he lasted only two games at Moorabbin before another short stint at Carlton saw the curtain fall on his, at times, brilliant career.

8. Danny Minogue -  Collingwood  1911-16, 85 games. Richmond 1920-25, 95 games. Hawthorn 1926, 1 game.

Not to be confused with Kylie’s sister, this Danny Minogue was a mighty figure at three clubs. Big, strong and versatile, he played in a number of positions but made his name as a ruckman. Minogue captained Collingwood for three seasons and played in two losing Grand Final sides, before heading off to serve his country in World War I. Upon his return to football, he was appointed captain-coach of Richmond and in his first season at the club, led the Tigers to their first League premiership. Minogue and Richmond made it back-to-back wins in 1921 by defeating Carlton in the Grand Final with big Dan named as one of Richmond’s best.  Minogue moved to Hawthorn as coach in 1926, where he played a single game. Not content with playing for three clubs, he coached three more- Carlton, St, Kilda and Fitzroy.

9. Graham Teasdale - Richmond 1973, 6 games. South Melbourne 1975-81, 125 games. Collingwood 1982-83, 14 games.

A high-flying forward with Richmond, Teasdale was part of a famous trade that saw Brian Roberts, Francis Jackson and himself go to South Melbourne and John Pitura head to the Tigers. Pitura flopped at Punt Road, whilst all three former Tigers had an influence with South Melbourne, particularly Teasdale, who won the 1977 Brownlow Medal. Keen to end his career at Collingwood, Graham finally won a release to the Pies but knee injuries meant that Collingwood never saw the best of him.

10. Glenn Coleman - Fitzroy 1980-84, 64 games. Sydney Swans 1986-89, 61 games. Footscray 1990-93, 69 games.

No list of three-club players would be complete without the only man to have played 50 games with three VFL/AFL clubs. Nicknamed ‘Galaxy’, Coleman was no star but he was a consistent performer in the ruck with all three clubs he played for. Given he will be joined by Leigh Brown in the rather exclusive ’50 games for three clubs’ club this weekend, it’s only fair we recognise him whilst he is still the club’s only member.

Mark Fine presents the evening show on SEN 1116 and is the author of The Book of Footy Lists, to be published by the Slattery Media Group later this year.

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