IT WAS Peter Moore in the 1970s and 1980s, Paul Salmon in the early 1980s, Anthony Koutoufides in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Adam Goodes and Matthew Pavlich after that.
In the future, it will be Sam De Koning.
But right now, and already for the best part of seven seasons, it is Mark Blicavs, who at 31 years of age and after a late start to an AFL career, is actually still adding layers to his AFL prototype status.
In 2022 and specifically in the past two matches of Geelong's now very, very real premiership push, among the many roles Blicavs may perform in any given match, he has added the key task of not just stopping midfield guns Christian Petracca, Clayton Oliver and Patrick Cripps at centre bounce contests, but legally pushing them out of the way and running off them to set up his own plays.
A game-high 11 contested possessions and a Cats-high seven clearances against Carlton on Saturday night was another outstanding performance for the mountainous 198cm, 101kg running machine.
Maybe only Jeremy Cameron stands in his way of a third best-and-fairest with the Cats this year.
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Blicavs played mainly in a never-before-seen third-man-up ruck role when he won the first of his 'Carji' Greeves medals in 2015, and as a full-back when he won his second in 2018. He has played key roles off the wing and through the midfield throughout his career.
In the Cats' big win against reigning premier Melbourne in round 17, as well as at times being responsible for nullifying Petracca and Oliver, he more than held his own in the ruck against five-time All-Australian ruckman Max Gawn and his explosive sidekick Luke Jackson.
The extraordinary emergence of future prototype De Koning, all 204cm and 101kg, as a key-position defender this season has actually allowed Blicavs to further enhance, and add nuance, to his own already-established prototype status.
What a weapon for coach Chris Scott, among so many weapons. Blicavs. De Koning. Cameron (who is arguably compiling the best season of an already-storied 10-year career), Tom Hawkins, a fit Paddy Dangerfield, a still-manic Joel Selwood, a freakish Tyson Stengle.
And he's been without probably the best defender in the entire competition, the suspended Tom Stewart, for the past three matches, with one more match-day absence to come. That Stewart has been surplus to requirements in massive wins against Melbourne and Carlton is genuinely scary for all opponents.
Chad and 'Charlie' a perfect match
SAID it a week ago, and will double down now – Chad Warner will win a Brownlow Medal at some stage of his career.
He might even close hard in voting for the 2022 award.
We are witnessing the arrival of a very special and super talent in the form of this 21-year-old taken at No.39 in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft.
A career-high 35 disposals, 15 contested, as well as other match highs in clearances (seven), metres gained (800) and score involvements (11) in just his 31st game against Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday night was a sublime performance. As always, it was fuss-free, heavily impactful on the outcome and full of class.
It was surely worthy of three Brownlow votes, as was his performance against Western Bulldogs the previous round, and maybe the week before against Essendon when he kicked three goals in a losing team.
The Swans knew instantly they had something very special on their books when Warner started training after the 2019 draft. But with COVID hitting the 2020 season early, and effectively shutting down all feeder competitions, they were restricted in how they could properly develop him. They gave him two big-time games, in rounds six and seven, where he tallied a combined nine kicks.
He averaged 17 disposals in 15 matches in 2021, and has increased that to 23 and a half this year.
Warner is deceptively as explosive from a standing start as any player in the competition. He has an old-school football brain, kicks beautifully, has a massive tank and is tough. There is an X-factor to him like very few others.
He some genuine box office about him, too. His lace-out, 50m bullet pass to Buddy Franklin for his 1000th career goal was good theatre. So too his decision to actually exit the SCG moments after Bud kicked that goal, to avoid the madness, and to re-enter via the public gates some time later.
And then there was his no-big-deal-to-him statement: "I told you I'd kick it to you," to Bud when he got back into the change rooms. That was his first game of this season, the 16th of his life, and he was beautifully and innocently happy to remind Bud of his own place in that never-to-be-seen again AFL achievement.
Hold me to it – if injury doesn't get in the way, a Brownlow is coming Chad Warner's way.