koberulz
Two years ago

Is This The Best Wildcats Core/Era Ever?

1987-1995: Four grand final appearances (87, 90, 91, 95) over nine years for three titles (90, 91, 95).

2010-2017: Six grand final appearances in eight years (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017) for three titles with a chance to add a fourth.

Fisher/Vlahov/Grace/Crawford: two grand finals in seven years for one title.

Martin/Redhage/Knight/Wagstaff: five grand finals and two titles in seven years, with a chance at a third.

It's a little hard to compare, given Ennis/Beal/Prather/Cotton coming in and out, far higher in the rotation than Baker/Carroll/Earp/Bruton, but the modern unit certainly has a case.

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Isaac  
Two years ago

I think you'd have to say so, purely on their consistency and effectiveness. None of those four are showboaters or typical highlight reel players, just team-oriented winners sticking to their system. Great example of a core to attach incoming players to.

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John  
Two years ago

Best thing Perth did was to let Bevo Go, and get Gleeson to coach going for his 3 championship.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

As a fan I don't fear this Wildcats team. Not at all and I think adelaide beat them in the finals series. Also as a fan that old school core scared the shit out of me I had nightmares growing up wondering how jerry Denmark would cover fisher Vlahos Crawford. So my instinct says no.

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Haz  
Two years ago

For me this current era is the better one. More GFs, more championships, up the top for a longer period of time (92 and 94 were poor seasons) The only downpoint for me is that there are only 8 teams playing. Back then there were 14 and Melbourne/SE Melbourne were also just as dominant. So winning a title back then was a huge achievement let alone doing it 3 times.

Winning one now is also huge, but with only 8 teams, lessens it a bit. Still, id go with this era purely on volume of consistency and number of titles won and GFs played.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Is this a joke?

Grace Fisher Vlahov Crawford and co. coached by Dpc Hurley were the greatest. More depth and teams to gp through back then as well.

Honestly some of you people started following NBL yesterday.

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Haz  
Two years ago

Ill bite - ive been following since 91. This era has been more successful between the two eras. I loved the 90s but the standard is better now, quality of teams are better now. No easy beats.

Yes more teams to go through to win back then, and a great era for the club, but this era is comparable, if not better. Its a good debate.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

The best Wildcats era was the one from 1987 to present.

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Gus3232  
Two years ago

Hey Kobe, don't forget the 1993 Grand Final as well. Try as I might, I am unable to.

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paul  
Two years ago

Good discussion. I think what's really impressive about the current era is they have a 64% winning percentage despite there not being many real easybeat teams over that period.

What's impressive about the early era is it really went from 87-03, with 11 SF appearances, two lost GFs and four titles, and they stayed up the top through the league going way up in standard from the late 90s.

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BOL  
Two years ago

The current crop doesn't even compare to the 90's era team.

With a core group consisting of Grace, Crawford, Vlahov and Fisher who are all Hall of Famers that alone should end the discussion.

Yes the current team are comparable due to their success. But the league in the 90's was more competitive in my opinion and they played a more entertaining style

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Gus good point. Even though we lost the '93 GF my god it was the most epic ending to a GF of all time. Both teams were quality and at least it meant Gaze finally won a title. Along with the Wildcats best core that was the best Tigers core. Quality back then was ridiculous.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

I think people who think this is the best Cats team may be too young to remember back far enough. Just like the kids of today think Kobe was better than Jordan.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

The players were certainly better in the early to mid-90s but this team is gunning for its fourth title from six appearances in eight seasons. The 90's team didn't come close to that.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Because the competition was tougher.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

"Because the competition was tougher."

This was one of, if not the, the toughest and closest season in history

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Close in relative quality to each other. Not overall quality vs. say a 1993 season.

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Mike  
Two years ago

The Grace/Fisher/Vlahov/Crawford era was undoubtedly better

More teams an more talent back then too

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paul  
Two years ago

The flat-out talent level across the teams is far higher now than in 1993 when the NBL was emerging from a semi-pro league. Have a chat to Joey Wright about how much the standard has improved since when he played.

That can't be factored into the comparison though, the Wildcats of each era could only play against whatever oppo was put in front of them.

IMO, the NBL didn't become a high-quality league across the board until the mid-late 90s when the number of teams dropped and players from the participation boom started to reach adult age.

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LV  
Two years ago

Absolutely, 100% the best

So good they're near certainties for the title. It's Perth then daylight. Unbeatable!

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LV  
Two years ago

(Just putting the mozz on them)

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

"The Grace/Fisher/Vlahov/Crawford era was undoubtedly better"

After the above group it's daylight.

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Luuuc  
Two years ago

The difference is that back then, our stable core were also our best players.
In the recent grand final era most of our top players have been imports, so it's not really comparing apples with apples.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

The best Aussies played NBL back then. Now they are all in NBA or Europe.

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paul  
Two years ago

Out of interest, 1993 was a 14-team comp, and the top 28 local scorers or average two per team were:

Gaze
Ronaldson
Vlahov
Ninnis
Withers
Heal
Hubbard
Bradkte
Reidy
Borner
Johnson
Svaldenis
Reece
Lucas
McKay
Goodwin
Close
Hill
Parkinson
Pearce
Blades
Corkeron
Stewart
Smyth
Keogh
Armfield
Cottrell
Steele

This year in an eight-team comp the top 16 local scorers or average two per team were:

Newley
Penney
Goulding
Lisch
Johnson
Sobey
Cadee
Bairstow
Kickert
Creek
Abercrombie
Webster
Ogilvy
Gliddon
Andersen
Jawai

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paul  
Two years ago

* Loggins should be in that 93 list, he was an Aussie by then.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

"Fisher/Vlahov/Grace/Crawford: two grand finals in seven years for one title."
I feel that's a little misleading.
From 1990 to 2000, the Wildcats won 4 championships
Grace 4
Vlahov & Crawford 3
Fisher 2

The difference I feel was that in those days the power did come from the core. Once Grace and Fisher naturalised, their imports were role players.

In the modern era, none of the imports have stuck around, except for Redhage, who has only been a role player in the last couple of seasons.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Yep the 90s can't be beat. 2000 championship was 1999-2000 season. Four in ONE decade.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Its 11 years.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

rounding down obviously

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koberulz  
Two years ago

Best thing Perth did was to let Bevo Go, and get Gleeson to coach going for his 3 championship.
Bevo wouldn't have done any worse.


Grace Fisher Vlahov Crawford and co. coached by Dpc Hurley were the greatest. More depth and teams to gp through back then as well.
Yes, not having an 0-28 Geelong team in the mix makes things much easier now.


Hey Kobe, don't forget the 1993 Grand Final as well. Try as I might, I am unable to.
I was counting it when this was going through my mind on the way home last night, obviously slipped my mind between then and posting.

What's impressive about the early era is it really went from 87-03, with 11 SF appearances, two lost GFs and four titles, and they stayed up the top through the league going way up in standard from the late 90s.
98/99 was the closest they came to missing the playoffs until this season, and they were promptly bundled out (as they had been the year before). I'm not sure you can stretch it that far.


the league in the 90's was more competitive in my opinion
The team that finished second-last this year missed the playoffs by one game.

The difference is that back then, our stable core were also our best players.
In the recent grand final era most of our top players have been imports, so it's not really comparing apples with apples.
Yeah, this is what my last paragraph was getting at. In terms of era I think the current eight-year run has it easily, but in terms of core it's a closer discussion.

Once Grace and Fisher naturalised, their imports were role players.
Todd Lichti, role player. That's a new one.

Grace and Fisher also didn't naturalise until after the 1987-1995 window.

Yep the 90s can't be beat. 2000 championship was 1999-2000 season. Four in ONE decade.
If they win this year, that gives them three more years to get another in order to tie it, with more grand final appearances. Had Redhage and Martin not gone down in 2011 & 2013, they'd probably have surpassed it already.

But I also think it's silly to claim that the 2000 team has much at all in common with the 90-95 teams.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

"Had Redhage and Martin not gone down in 2011 & 2013"

Yeah and how about all those "what ifs" in the 90s that could have led to more titles for us?

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koberulz  
Two years ago

Can you name any?

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

What if Vlahov's shot goes in at the end of '93 game 3! What ifffffffffffff?

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koberulz  
Two years ago

That's not comparable.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Because no one ever got injured back then either, or had to play at not 100%. hahah good one. The 2011 & 2013 qualifer "oh we wuz injured!!11" that is abused on here can be used by any other team losing in a GF. The end result is the end result, deal with it.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

The 2011 & 2013 qualifer is also disrespectful to the great threepeat Breakers side.

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koberulz  
Two years ago

We came within two Braswell fluke shots of sweeping the 2011 Breakers team even without Redhage, and were better than the 2013 team throughout the regular season.

Regardless, even without those the 2010-2020 team has two more grand final appearances and two fewer championships than the 1990-2000 team, with three seasons still to go.

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koberulz  
Two years ago

*and this season's grand final

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

"We came within two Braswell fluke shots"

Come on I'm a Cats fan but they won. We didn't.

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PeterJohn  
Two years ago

From 1990-2000, nine different clubs played in grand finals and five different clubs won championships. Pick any seven consecutive years in that period and at least four different clubs won championships.

In the 2010-2016 period, five clubs have played in championships and two clubs have won championships.

Regardless of the relative standards of the NBL between the two eras, winning championships was harder in the 1990s. Part of the reason is that winning championships is about beating the the top few teams, not the scrubs that all the top teams beat - then and now.

In the 2010-2016 era there's been a consistent gap between the top 5/6 teams and the rest. Every season bar this one has seen the top four as a race in 5 or 6, just like it was in the 1990s.

The top 4/5 teams in the 1990s usually contained a Boomer or ex-Boomer or two (major tournament standard, not Oceania champs), one or two naturalised imports and a couple of star imports. While the standard at the bottom of the NBL is higher now than then, I don't think the standard at the top level of NBL is higher now than then. I think the coaching and training are better now and in-game tactics are better, and better executed as a consequence. But that's not the question.

Given all of that, I'd take the 1990s Perth core over the 2010-2016 core.

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paul  
Two years ago

"I think the coaching and training are better now and in-game tactics are better, and better executed as a consequence. But that's not the question."

Spot on. The 80s/90s team could only play in the league they were in at the time.

It's an interesting side discussion though. In sports that are timed (aths, swimming etc) everyone knows the standard improves over time.

Team sports are exactly the same, as those involved over long periods like D-Mac and Joey Wright know, but there isn't the definitive proof like a 100m time so it leaves it open to disussion, which is much more interesting really!

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paul  
Two years ago

"The top 4/5 teams in the 1990s usually contained a Boomer or ex-Boomer or two (major tournament standard, not Oceania champs), one or two naturalised imports and a couple of star imports."

Cairns - Jawai, Wortho + three imports
Perth - Martin, Redhage + three imports
NZ - Penney, Abercrombie, Vukona etc + three imports
Melbourne - Goulding, Andersen + three imports
Brisbane - Bairstow, Gibson + two imports
Sydney - Newley, Lisch, Maric + two/three imports

The talent today in pretty much every team is as good as the best teams in the early 90s (or any other period), plus the benches are deeper, the sports science, training, scouting, strategy and defence advanced by two decades.

If you were to compare the late 90s, early 2000s to today for standard I would agree, but the Australian talent before that period was very shallow due to extremely low participation levels.

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FSTOS  
Two years ago

I think the earlier core is better. BUT that is because that core was generally the teams top 4 players. There was also not a huge gap between any of those 4.

The later years core was arguably at worst only 2 of the top 4 players in the team and maybe 3 before age caught up with Redhage. The gap between them and Ennis, Prather and Cotton(possibly as well) was also larger.

I think to compare you need to look at Grace/Fisher/Crawford/Vlahov Vs the Martin/Redhage/Knight/Ennis or Martin/Knight/Prather/Cotton for example.......but then that's not a core over time is it...

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paul  
Two years ago

That's a good distinction FTSOS. Interestingly, Grace was the only Cat to be a major player in four championships, something Martin will match if they win this year.

Current Wildcats in each championship:

2010 - 3
2014 - 5
2016 - 7

1995 Wildcats in each championship/GF:

1987 - 1
1990 - 3
1991 - 4

Interestingly, the current group has kept more of a core together.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Are you not counting Wagstaff as a major player?

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paul  
Two years ago

No, I would put him as a role player.

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PH  
Two years ago

I think another way to look at this might be to consider the ultimate record of the players?

Grace - 482 games
Crawford - 371 (504)
Fisher - 247 (417)
Vlahov - 349
Torrance - 253 (305)

That pretty impressive. Only Redhage is in the same company, with Martin closing in

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Did you just realise that when looking up the stats? lol

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Trust me no one wanted the Doomsday Double. That's long gone and very unfortunate that is. The kids running around in Perth uniforms are kids, no balls, mostly with minimal talent and pussies.
Vlahov, Fischer, Crawford, and the list goes on.
Perth had the WALL. The wildcats today have a fence and no DEFENCE.
Undoubtedly talented and the money that they have to put that side and those previous sides has always been above any cap. None of which are enforceable.
No comparison at all. Different game, different era and again no comparison.
Plyers are retiring because they are old and the game has left them behind. No big men banging, the refs are incapable generally and yet crowds love it. Dumb arse calls, now the flopping rule. Talent is sensational but the hard bangers are long gone. Jawai is a typical example. Pussy.
Paul having a few locals and 3 imports makes a better game? Piss off please. Add naturilsed players in there too. Even worse. Redhage retire. Jawai retire please. Wortho hard nosed but becoming even more thuggish if that's possible.
Martin should retire. Knight too. No comparison sorry. /endrant
+ Bring back the Doomsday Double. MOst of the kids here wouldn
t know. Perth / Adelaide in 2 days. Frid / Sat, Or Sat Sund. Either direction. Less leams, less games = more rest time. That's been forgotten too. Fewer games.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

^^ Bravo. The good old days have been replaced by a much diluted product with pussies as players.

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PH  
Two years ago

And another thread gone off the rails

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

The title reads as it were a Dazz generated topic.

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koberulz  
Two years ago

I think the earlier core is better. BUT that is because that core was generally the teams top 4 players.
Yeah, if you look at the cores in isolation the Fisher/Vlahov/Crawford/Grace unit wins.

I guess what I was getting at with the 'core', though, is to refer to the teams built around that core, rather than just the core itself.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

HAHA this is Hilarious.

The best post ive read for a long long time!

Do not insult the likes of Crawford,Grace,Fisher and Valhov by comparing them to today's team.

Would not even be close.

No ones in todays team is as good as any of them.

Vlahov would put Prather through a wall the first time he tried his euro step and he woulnt go in the keyway again.

Hv a look at some of the Wildats players who have been on court for the wildcats in recent championships hahahaha! Comical!


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Anonymous  
Two years ago

I know anon #889, it's so disrespectful. But the kids these days don't understand. Let's put some context out there - please take note the original poster of this topic has stated that Kobe was better than Jordan. Yes, you heard me.

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koberulz  
Two years ago

Hv a look at some of the Wildats players who have been on court for the wildcats in recent championships hahahaha! Comical!
You mean players like Matt Earp, Craig Evans, and Robbie Dempster? Oh, wait...

please take note the original poster of this topic has stated that Kobe was better than Jordan.
Yes, that is definitely something I said and not something you just made up right now.

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paul  
Two years ago

Having thought about it, if Perth beats the Hawks in the GF this era will unquestionably be the Wildcats' greatest. That would make six GFs and four titles in eight years. That's remarkable.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Yes it would count if the Hawks had a full squad. Perhaps another * is in order.

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

"Yes it would count if the Hawks had a full squad. Perhaps another * is in order."

Maybe four *'s are needed, as in you are speaking a load of ****

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Anonymous  
Two years ago

Having thought about it, no. 90s team way better.

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