Nick Riewoldt will become the ninth Queenslander to post 200 AFL games this weekend in a start to the 2011 AFL season that has kept Queensland football historians and statisticians more than a little busy.

Wednesday, 6 April, 2011

Nick Riewoldt will become the ninth Queenslander to post 200 AFL games this weekend in a start to the 2011 AFL season that has kept Queensland football historians and statisticians more than busy.

Riewoldt, Queensland’s only No.1 AFL draft pick, will post his double-century for St.Kilda against Essendon on Sunday.

The man they call ‘Saint Nick’ will follow Queensland AFL games record-holder Jason Akermanis (325), Marcus Ashcroft (318), Michael Voss (289), Jason Dunstall (269), Gavin Crosisca (246), Mal Michael (237), Max Hudghton (234) and Scott McIvor (200) to this significant milestone.

Riewoldt, at 27 years and 175 days old, will be the second-youngest Queenslander to play 200 AFL games, just behind Akermanis  (27 – 108) and just ahead of Ashcroft (27 – 197) and Voss (27 – 270).

Riewoldt’s entry to the 200 Club comes after no less than seven Queenslanders have made their debut in the first two rounds of the 2011 AFL season.

The Brisbane Lions’ Claye Beams became the 119th Queenslander to play at the elite level in Round 1, and was followed by no less than six more in Round 2, when the Gold Coast Suns officially joined the competition.

Zac Smith, Charlie Dixon, Alik Magin, Marc Lock and Karmichael Hunt were five Queensland debutants in the very first Suns side on Saturday night, while the Lions’ Broc McCauley made his debut for the Lions on Sunday, stretching the total list to 126.

So, two weeks into the season the Class of 2011 is within striking distance of the previous biggest AFL intake in any one year.

That mark stands to the credit of the Class of 2006, when no less than 10 Queenslanders first tasted senior AFL football – Scott Harding, Rhan Hooper, Wayde Mills, Cheynee Stiller, Luke McGuanme, Sam Gilbert, Marty Pask, Courtenay Dempsey, Marcus Allan and Brad Moran.

Season 2007 saw nine debutants – Jarrod Harbrow, Tom Williams, Ricky Petterd, David Armitage, Brad Howard, Albert Proud, Daniel Dzufer, Will Hamill and Shaun Hampson.

Season 2008 also still ranks above that of 2011 with eight debutants – Kurt Tippett, Jesse White, Gavin Urquhart, Brent Renouf, Scott Clouston, Rhys Magin, Sam Reid and John Williams.

Already season 2011 has seen Queensland’s AFL Brother/Brother Club secure two new sets of members.

Claye Beams joined older brother and Collingwood premiership team member Dayne Beams in the AFL Club with his debut in Round 1, and Alik Magin followed older brother and ex-Essendon rookie Rhys Magin into the club in Round 2.

The Cockatoo-Collins brothers head the list of Queensland siblings to have played at the elite level – all three of them.

Che Cockatoo-Collins, who played 160 games for Essendon and Port Adelaide form 1994-2003, is the best known member of the family, but twin brothers David (two games) and Donald (nine games) also played senior football at Melbourne after being drafted together in 1995.

The Voss brothers head the cumulative AFL games aggregate for Queensland families – Michael played 289 and Brett 170 for a total of 459.

The Keating brothers share the distinction of being the only Queensland pair each to taste premiership success – Clark was a three-time premiership winner with the Brisbane Lions in 2001-02-03 and Aaron, who, despite playing only six AFL games in total, was a premiership player with the Adelaide Crows in 1997.

The only other Queensland brothers to play AFL football were David and Stephen Wearne.

Ken and Brett Grimley remain the only father/son combination to have played at the level.

Ken Grimley was the second Queenslander to reach what was then VFL level, playing  nine games at Fitzroy in 1957, while Brett Grimley was the 16th and played 18 games at Fitzroy from 1985-87.

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