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.

License this article

What is AAPNews?

For the first time, Australian Associated Press is delivering news straight to the consumer.

No ads. No spin. News straight-up.

Not only do you get to enjoy high-quality news delivered straight to your desktop or device, you do so in the knowledge you are supporting media diversity in Australia.

AAP Is Australia’s only independent newswire service, free from political and commercial influence, producing fact-based public interest journalism across a range of topics including politics, courts, sport, finance and entertainment.

What is AAPNews?
The Morning Wire

Wake up to AAPNews’ morning news bulletin delivered straight to your inbox or mobile device, bringing you up to speed with all that has happened overnight at home and abroad, as well as setting you up what the day has in store.

AAPNews Morning Wire
AAPNews Breaking News
Breaking News

Be the first to know when major breaking news happens.


Notifications will be sent to your device whenever a big story breaks, ensuring you are never in the dark when the talking points happen.

Focused Content

Enjoy the best of AAP’s specialised Topics in Focus. AAP has reporters dedicated to bringing you hard news and feature content across a range of specialised topics including Environment, Agriculture, Future Economies, Arts and Refugee Issues.

AAPNews Focussed Content
Subscription Plans

Choose the plan that best fits your needs. AAPNews offers two basic subscriptions, all billed monthly.

Once you sign up, you will have seven days to test out the service before being billed.

AAPNews Full Access Plan
Full Access
AU$10
  • Enjoy all that AAPNews has to offer
  • Access to breaking news notifications and bulletins
  • Includes access to all AAPNews’ specialised topics
Join Now
AAPNews Student Access Plan
Student Access
AU$5
  • Gain access via a verified student email account
  • Enjoy all the benefits of the ‘Full Access’ plan at a reduced rate
  • Subscription renews each month
Join Now
AAPNews Annual Access Plan
Annual Access
AU$99
  • All the benefits of the 'Full Access' subscription at a discounted rate
  • Subscription automatically renews after 12 months
Join Now

AAPNews also offers enterprise deals for businesses so you can provide an AAPNews account for your team, organisation or customers. Click here to contact AAP to sign-up your business today.

SEVEN DAYS FREE
Download the app
Download AAPNews on the App StoreDownload AAPNews on the Google Play Store