Dunstall tells why he wouldn't be a legend today

Former Hawthorn champion Jason Dunstall flashed a wry grin when he delivered his personal assessment of how he would have fared in the modern AFL environment.

"I wouldn't get through pre-season, to be brutally frank," the 59-year-old said.

On Monday, it was announced Dunstall would be elevated to Legend status in the Australian Football Hall of Fame on June 18.

The four-time premiership Hawk is only the 32nd person in the history of the game to be given that title.

But Dunstall, who who sits third on the all-time list of AFL/VFL goal-kickers with 1254 majors, isn't sure he would have flourished under the demands of the modern game.

"I don't know if I'd be a good enough athlete, honestly," he said.

"But you kind of think if you were brought up in a different time, you'd be physiologically a little different and better prepared to come into the game.

"Because they have such a great pathway now, which wasn't really in existence back in the eighties.

"Look, maybe, but I don't know where I'd play because I'd be too small to play midfield. I'd be a (forward) pocket or a flank, I think."

Jason Dunstall in his playing days.
Dunstall had six 100-goal seasons, but says 'it's such a different game now'.

Dunstall was listed at 188cm and 98kg, making him shorter and heavier than Brownlow Medal-winning modern midfield beasts Patrick Cripps (195cm, 92kg) and Nat Fyfe (192cm, 96kg).

The former Hawthorn captain kicked a century of goals in six separate seasons and would rightfully have few regrets about how his glittering 269-game career played out before his retirement in 1998.

But he said his advice to his younger self would be a simple message.

"Be a better athlete before you get here and work on your endurance a little bit," he said.

"But I was lucky, we never ran up and down the ground the way they do now. It's such a different game."

One that he still loves?

"Whilst the game's changed a lot, the basic premise for me hasn't," Dunstall said.

"There are still some great games to watch and still some where I think I've just wasted a couple of hours.

"That's forever and a day the way it's going to be. It's a fantastic sport, you just enjoy the ride while you can."

Dunstall was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002.

Since retiring as a player, he has served as an assistant coach and board member at Hawthorn and is now a respected media commentator.

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