AFL PLAYERS often get asked, ‘What would you be doing if you weren’t playing footy?’
And while the answer is rarely, ‘Competing at the Olympics’, we thought we would hypothesise anyway.
So, with the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games kicking off this week, we reveal which Demons would have a chance at bringing home gold.
Golf: Jayden Hunt
Angus Brayshaw is that kid who told you he’d be representing the school in district sports, but then the teacher surprises the class and picks someone else.
Jayden Hunt is the quiet achiever who plays off a handicap of two and would get the job done.
Hockey: Christian Petracca
“Hey man, I hate to admit this but this is my first trophy. Only problem is that goofy golf guy on top. Maybe the guy at the trophy store could put a little hockey guy on there.”
Christian Petracca’s ability to quote every line from Happy Gilmore puts him in the conversation here.
But we’re not sending him to play golf, we’re unleashing him at the sport his character is truly passionate about: hockey.
Table Tennis: Bayley Fritsch
Table tennis is undoubtedly the most fiercely competed in sport at the club, and some players would be disappointed not to receive the call-up here (namely, Christian Salem).
But if we disclude Shannon Byrnes – the club’s player development manager who spent his 11-year football career perfecting the art – then Bayley Fritsch appears to be the best option for success.
Basketball: Luke Jackson
If the Boomers needed one player to fill Ben Simmons’ void, we’d be sending Luke Jackson.
Sure, Petracca and Ben Brown have skills, while non-bandwagoning Lakers fan Charlie Spargo can hit a jump shot, but Jackson’s junior experience at national level gives him the nod here.
Weightlifting: Adam Tomlinson
Apparently this photo was a warm-up, so ignore the weight, but Adam Tomlinson can hit the gym.
An ACL injury could potentially pose as an issue for the key defender, but he was fully fit in 2020 when these Olympics are apparently happening, so that’ll do.
Tennis: Lily Mithen
Well, this is the closest we’ll get to having an Olympian.
Jenniffer Brady will be representing USA in tennis, but if you close your eyes just a little, you may see Lily Mithen with a medal around her neck.
Sport Climbing: Ed Langdon
According to the official Olympics website, sport climbing is making its debut this year, where participants will be required to display three skills: ‘speed, bouldering and lead’.
Any listeners of Gus and Gawny will know Ed Langdon is the man for this event – no explanation required.
Surfing: Nathan Jones
A lot of the boys would put their hand up to surf on the global stage, and they will all tell you they’re the most deserving, because it’s pretty hard to disprove them from the sand.
But we’ve opted to send Nathan Jones out of respect – sorry Harmesy.
Taekwondo: Shelley Heath
Now this one is legitimate.
At the age of nine, Shelley Heath was an Australian Taekwondo champion.
And if you’ve seen the 160cm winger tackle on the footy field, you’d be backing her to be on the podium once again.
Trampoline Gymnastics: Georgia Campbell
The attached photo tells the story.
Melbourne’s new father-daughter recruit, Georgia Campbell, is a weapon on the trampoline.
Road Cycling: Max Gawn
Max Gawn seems to know a lot about cycling, and he has the little shorts and glasses that all the big dogs wear.
So as long as he looks the part, the skipper is probably our best option here.
Boxing: Tayla Harris
Recruiting Tayla Harris in the off-season was timely.
She’s a professional boxer who has tasted success in the sport, so she may be one of the few players who could genuinely compete at the level.
Athletics: Alex Neal-Bullen
Alex Neal-Bullen, Melbourne’s time trial king, would be a walk-up starter at the long-distance events.
Few, if any, work harder at their craft than this man, and you just feel he’d give any other athletics event a nudge, as well.
Beach Volleyball: Shae Sloane
Sure, Shae Sloane has retired, but we can still claim her, right?
Prior to being recruited in 2018, Sloane was a national volleyballer, so we’ll send her out to the beach to give it a go.
Soccer: Jackie Parry
Salem will no doubt think he should be picked purely based on his supposed FIFA skills, but Jackie Parry has real talent.
The key forward played soccer in Canberra prior to being drafted to the AFLW, so she can head to Tokyo alongside Performance Manager, Darren Burgess, who knows a thing or two about the game.
Archery: Alan Richardson
Alan Richardson may seem like a strange choice for archery, and to some degree, it is.
But the club’s General Manager of AFL Performance has recently decided shooting plastic archery arrows at windows and scaring staff members at Casey Fields is amusing, so let’s see if that practice has paid off.