Last Friday night was a fascinating insight into the path two clubs who dominated the AFL for almost a decade have taken over the past few years.

There was plenty of the past out on GMHBA Stadium for both teams, with the Cats having five premiership players (Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan, Tom Hawkins, Harry Taylor and Gary Ablett) and the Hawks nine (Ben Stratton, James Frawley, Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Shaun Burgoyne, Liam Shiels, Issac Smith, Paul Puopolo and Ben McEvoy).

For Selwood and Taylor, Friday night was their 180th win together placing them ten wins behind teammates Jimmy Bartel and Corey Enright who sit second on the all-time VFL/AFL teammate wins list.

But incredibly, 16 of the other players on the field had played AFL for another side prior to playing for Geelong or Hawthorn. For the Cats it was Rhys Stanley (St Kilda), Zach Tuohy (Carlton), Gary Ablett Jnr (Gold Coast), Gary Rohan (Sydney), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) and Luke Dahlhaus (Western Bulldogs). The Hawks had Tom Mitchell (Sydney), Ben McEvoy (St Kilda), Sam Frost (Melbourne), Shaun Burgoyne (Port Adelaide), James Frawley (Melbourne), Jack Gunston (Adelaide), Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide), Tom Scully (GWS), Jon Patton (GWS) and Ricky Henderson (Adelaide). 

You can also add Sam Menegola (Hawthorn & Fremantle) and Jon Ceglar (Collingwood) who both were drafted by other clubs but didn’t play a game.

For the Cats, it was their traded players who got the side off to a flyer with Stanley’s inside 50 resulting in a Dahlhaus goal within the first 15 seconds of the game.

The increase of traded in players for both sides has come about largely due to the success of both sides meaning they didn’t have access to high end talent through the draft.

And both sides have further improvement in this area in the coming weeks with Jack Steven (St Kilda) and Jaeger O’Meara (Gold Coast) in line for selection.  

For the record books, the game with the most players playing who were at their second or more club was back in 1988 between Sydney and Brisbane.