Everyone loves a first goal scorer bet and we’ve broken down all the key numbers to help you find an early winner in this Saturday’s AFL Grand Final.
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While the betting market tends to be dominated by forwards, in recent years it has generally been midfielders that have kicked the first snag, with 11 of the last 13.
The starting position of the first goal scorer in Grand Finals dating back to 1980 is as follows:
Collingwood have the edge on first goals in 2023, kicking the opener in 14 of 25 matches this year. Brisbane have only booted the first major in 11 games.
The Lions and Magpies are ranked fourth and fifth respectively for first quarter scoring, both averaging 24 points in opening stanzas.
There is only one player on either list who has kicked a first goal in a Grand Final in former Hawk Jack Gunston, who started the scoring in the 2013 decider. It’s unlikely he’ll be adding a second to his tally, however, given he hasn’t played since Round 22.
First Goal Scorer Tips
While he hasn’t had his biggest season in front of the sticks, De Goey is in good first goal form, kicking the opener in two of his last ten matches. The star midfielder has attended 85% of centre bounces on average in the last three weeks so you can be sure he will be amongst the action early on Saturday.
Going against the midfield trend with the Brisbane tall who has some strong numbers supporting his case for an opening goal. Daniher has kicked the first snag in two of his last three away games against the Magpies and two of his last four away finals. The Lions’ mids aren’t strong goal kickers, with McCluggage, Neale and Dunkley only booting 16 between them in 2023, so a forward looks a stronger play for the visitors.
Previous AFL Grand Final First Goal Scorers
The Grand Final first goal scorers since 1980 are listed below:
1980: Dale Weightman, Richmond, Midfield
1981: Mark Williams, Collingwood, Midfield
1982: Wayne Johnston, Carlton, Forward
1983: Richard Loveridge, Hawthorn, Forward
1984: Leigh Matthews, Hawthorn, Forward
1985: Dermott Brereton, Hawthorn, Forward
1986: Jason Dunstall, Hawthorn, Forward
1987: Wayne Johnston, Carlton, Forward
1988: Peter Schwab, Hawthorn, Midfield
1989: Gary Ablett Snr, Geelong, Forward
1990: Paul Salmon, Essendon, Forward
1991: Peter Sumich, West Coast, Forward
1992: Trevor Poole, Geelong, Midfield
1993: Paul Salmon, Essendon, Forward
1994: Tony Evans, West Coast, Midfield
1995: Craig Bradley, Carlton, Midfield
1996: Tony Lockett, Sydney, Forward
1997: Jason Heatley, St Kilda, Forward
1998: John Blakey, North Melbourne, Midfield
1999: Brett Ratten, Carlton, Midfield
2000: James Hird, Essendon, Midfield
2001: Alastair Lynch, Brisbane, Forward
2002: Anthony Rocca, Collingwood, Forward
2003: Alastair Lynch, Brisbane, Forward
2004: Josh Carr, Adelaide, Midfield
2005: Mark Nicoski, West Coast, Bench
2006: Ashley Hansen, West Coast, Forward
2007: Cameron Mooney, Geelong, Forward
2008: Tom Lonergan, Geelong, Forward
2009: Max Rooke, Geelong, Forward
2010: Darren Jolly, Collingwood, Ruck
2010: Tyson Goldsack, Collingwood, Defender
2011: Travis Varcoe, Geelong, Midfield
2012: Xavier Ellis, Hawthorn, Midfield
2013: Jack Gunston, Hawthorn, Forward
2014: Josh Kennedy, Sydney, Midfield
2015: Luke Shuey, West Coast, Midfield
2016: Luke Parker, Sydney, Midfield
2017: Rory Sloane, Adelaide, Midfield
2018: Travis Varcoe, Collingwood, Midfield
2019: Jeremy Cameron, GWS, Forward
2020: Dion Prestia, Richmond, Midfield
2021: Christian Petracca, Melbourne, Midfield
2022: Tom Hawkins, Geelong, Forward