MELBOURNE spearhead Bayley Fritsch is now the last man standing.
When Gold Coast forward Mabior Chol uncharacteristically struck the post with his set shot in the dying minutes of Saturday afternoon’s loss to Hawthorn, it left Fritsch as the last player in the AFL to have kicked a goal in every single game this season.
Now, with just two matches remaining before finals, Fritsch has the chance to join an exclusive club of just 16 other players in the AFL era to have achieved the remarkable feat of kicking a goal in every single game of a regular season.
Should Fritsch convert against both Carlton and Brisbane in Melbourne’s final two games and add to his tally of 45 goals for the year, he would be just the third Demon to be welcomed into the club.
THE RUN HOME Five teams, three spots. Who misses top four?
He would join David Schwarz (1994) and Jeff Garlett (2015) and ensure it’s the second time in successive campaigns that a player has completed the set after Brisbane’s Joe Daniher managed to do so last year.
Daniher is one of just two players to have kicked a goal in every match in two separate years, doing so in both 2017 and 2021. Recently retired West Coast forward Josh Kennedy is the other, completing the landmark in 2015 and 2016.
Surprisingly, of the 18 times a player has kicked a goal in every game of a season, only five times – Matthew Lloyd in 2000, Jonathan Brown in 2007, Lance Franklin in 2008 and Kennedy in both 2015 and 2016 – has that player gone on to then win the Coleman Medal.
Only five times has it been achieved by multiple players in a single year – 1993, 2008, 2012, 2015 and 2016 – while only once has it been done by three players in the same campaign. That was in 2016 when Kennedy, Tom Lynch and Josh Jenkins all did so.
Before the weekend, Fritsch and Chol had been hanging on as the only two players to have kicked a goal in every game since round 15. That was after, quite incredibly, all three of Charlie Cameron, Tom Hawkins and Max King failed to convert that weekend.
PLAYERS TO HAVE KICKED A GOAL IN EVERY GAME
2021: Joe Daniher (Brisbane)
2017: Joe Daniher (Essendon)
2016: Josh Kennedy (West Coast), Tom Lynch (Gold Coast), Josh Jenkins (Adelaide)
2015: Josh Kennedy (West Coast), Jeff Garlett (Melbourne)
2014: Luke Breust (Hawthorn)
2012: Stephen Milne (St Kilda), Jack Darling (West Coast)
2008: Brendan Fevola (Carlton), Lance Franklin (Hawthorn)
2007: Jonathan Brown (Brisbane)
2006: Matthew Pavlich (Fremantle)
2000: Matthew Lloyd (Essendon)
1994: David Schwarz (Melbourne)
1993: Tony Modra (Adelaide), Jason Dunstall (Hawthorn)