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  1. #1
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    How good was....Brian Royal?

    Brian Royal was well before my time. All I know of him that he was the Assistant Coach who got so close to being a Senior Coach at many clubs, but no cigar.

    So how good was he?

    What position did he play?

    What current player is Royal most like?

    Over to you.
    HEIGHT IS OVERRATED: CALEB DANIEL > TOM BOYD

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  3. #2
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Fine player for both Footscray and Victoria was Royal. Mostly played as a rover but could also go forward and hit the scoreboard. Finished his career more playing as a forward. Not quick but always contributing. I've never seen anyone have so many of his kicks smothered though!

    The player comparison of today that comes to mind is Robbie Gray. Just checked their stats on AFL Tables and their disposal and goal averages are remarkably similar with Royal just slightly ahead on both counts.

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  5. #3
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Brilliant player. In the mix for a top 5 spot in my all time best Doggies players
    Never hate your enemies. It affects your judgment.

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  7. #4
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Brian was a fantastic player, the classic rover, in and under and can also play outside. Excelled at State level mixing it with the best players. No doubt an A grader.

    Finished his career on 199 games and 299 goals, which was a bit sad.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  8. #5
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Possibly the Lee Matthews if you weren't having a Lee Matthews. A bit watered down (less violent, probably not an adulterer either.…)

    Super skillful and could kick a goal. Check out this:

    https://www.footywire.com/afl/footy/...s--brian-royal

    When I started following footy earnestly, Brian Royal was clearly an acknowledged gun in my family and kicked 42 goals out of a pocket in 1992.

    Spending time in the middle, but mainly playing forward, he was a gun but from what I have been told he was a sublime rover in his day.

    Always being selected for VIC actually means something.

    Having played in the era of Williams and Platten, he was up against it in terms of broader recognition.

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  10. #6
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Doctor View Post
    Brilliant player. In the mix for a top 5 spot in my all time best Doggies players
    ****! Huge call.

    Who are the other 4?
    HEIGHT IS OVERRATED: CALEB DANIEL > TOM BOYD

  11. #7
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    He was selected at state level as a rover in an era of legendary rovers. Was a little hungry in front of the sticks which made us love him even more.

    Scott West credits Royal a lot with helping him early in his career. Think of a Scott West who could kick and you get the picture of the type of player Royal was. Westy once said Royal taught him how to be tough, footy tough. Bevo would love him these days as rovers who can play as a genuine small forward are gold in modern football, and Royal was very good at it.

    I was lucky enough to catch the radio interview with Royal on 'This is your sporting life' a few months ago. He really was unlucky to never get the chance to coach at senior AFL level.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

  12. #8
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    This good.

    He plays his 199th game and did his knee in a R20 loss against Essendon. it was pretty clear he was done. It was a huge knee injury and that was it Brian Royal wasn't going to play any more footy for us. The next week we play West Coast at home and Choco limps out on his crutches just before the game into the players' race. The crowd spot him and a chant of "Choco Choco" starts near the race and spreads right across the ground. They wanted him to come out and take one final salute.

    Brian didn't want to do it but the crowd wouldn't let up the chant so he was eventually persuaded to limp out onto the ground and the crowd (mostly Footscray supporters, Perth being a long way away from Footscray and the Whitten Oval was a cold inhospitable place even for Melbourne based opposition supporters) rose as one and gave him a standing ovation. I had never seen anything like it.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  13. #9
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Twodogs View Post
    This good.

    He plays his 199th game and did his knee in a R20 loss against Essendon. it was pretty clear he was done. It was a huge knee injury and that was it Brian Royal wasn't going to play any more footy for us. The next week we play West Coast at home and Choco limps out on his crutches just before the game into the players' race. The crowd spot him and a chant of "Choco Choco" starts near the race and spreads right across the ground. They wanted him to come out and take one final salute.

    Brian didn't want to do it but the crowd wouldn't let up the chant so he was eventually persuaded to limp out onto the ground and the crowd (mostly Footscray supporters, Perth being a long way away from Footscray and the Whitten Oval was a cold inhospitable place even for Melbourne based opposition supporters) rose as one and gave him a standing ovation. I had never seen anything like it.
    Yep I remember that. Poor guy was in tears but if he went out and sat on the bench the whole game to get his 200 up not a single supporter would have complained.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

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  15. #10
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Early in his career I happened to be standing next to a group of guys that had come down from Bairnsdale which is where we recruited Brian from. They all called him Kaiser so I asked them why. They said it was his nickname back home in Bairnsdale and when I gave them a curious look one of them just said "Because he's the king mate"
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

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  17. #11
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mofra View Post
    Yep I remember that. Poor guy was in tears but if he went out and sat on the bench the whole game to get his 200 up not a single supporter would have complained.
    Absolutely we would't have cared although there is a certain poignancy to 199 games and 299 goals. He also got a standing ovation the Thursday night before when he walked into the Selector's Table dinner. I can't remember if Harry Beitzal had introduced him or if Brian just tried to sneak in up the back and Harry spotted him and got him up onto the stage-which now that I think about it I can't have been an easy thing to do with a bung knee!

    I can still see the surprised look on his face and him just sort of blinking and looking around the crowd. I genuinely don't think he knew how much the fans rated him.
    WASH YOUR HANDS!!!

  18. #12
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    At his best he was a brilliant footballer, one of the best. He had a penetrating kick off either foot and worked harder than just about every other player.

    Injuries really curtailed his career
    Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.
    Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
    And what started here will indeed have changed the world for the better.

  19. #13
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

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  21. #14
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    The best of choco was a little before my time - but I did see him from 1989-1993. The stats would indicate he is criminally underrated, and in reality one of our best ever players.

    I have watched the 1985 1st Semi vs North Melbourne a few times, he has 21 possessions and 5 goals in that game playing as 1st rover, who then goes forward. Absolutely deadly. Scrolling through his career stats there is an absurd amount of games where he has 20+ and multiple goals. He kicked 5 in his second last game (his last was when he did his knee) so he was far from a spent force if he hadn't have done the knee.

    Quite rightly is our 'starting' rover in the team of the century.

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  23. #15
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    Re: How good was....Brian Royal?

    He was a brilliant rover and small forward. Just a natural footballer who did all the common things uncommonly well. Mugs don't kick 5 goals in a state of origin game against WA.

    And he tore his ACL before even playing his first game, which robbed him of some crucial pace.
    "You've got no fear of The Underdog, that's why you will not survive"
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