Vested Interest: Grand Final Edition

The Thornley–Hopkins Trophy

Award for most vests – both red and green.  With one game to go it’s going down to the wire.  Whips are cracking for the coaches’ whipping boys.

Bewick and Breust lead on 7 vests, one ahead of Armfield, Christensen, Rodan and Masten.

My jeweller is on standby to make several copies of the trophy in the case of a tie.

Full standings:

Where is the sub likely to be named on Thursday night?

Green vested subs have become less of a problem as the year has progressed and most DT coaches have less rookies.  However, a wrong vested player might still determine a few grand finals.

So what have we learned?

  • Collingwood is the least predictable – Malthouse is obviously of the Bruce Lee school of sub selection – “my style is no style”.
  • Brisbane is the most predictable – the sub is usually on the interchange in no.4 spot or having a surname starting with Bewick (or Karnezis which is Greek for Bewick).
  • The Scott twins are probably the most frustrating with lots of late exclusions and inclusions, as well as naming subs on the field.

Some teams have quite strong biases for some positions, but these wash out in the overall stats.  In order to be meaningful you have to look on a team by team basis.

The full list follows – I’ve highlighted biases.

I’ve used this information to pick 2 potential green vested players in each team for the last 10 rounds (in order to avoid naming them in my starting 22).  So far my success rate is 55% for 22 man squads, and 48% for 25 man squads.

I’m still in 3 grand finals this week, I lost 2 prelims last week (don’t get me started on Puopolo and Riewoldt).

Good luck everyone,



  • On a slightly unrelated topic, do you reckon I should play Broughton over Stanley? Surely he will be played in the middle with no Pav, Fyfe or Mundy?

  • hey guys its been a while since i have commented. went to europe and got away with doing my team on monday twice, pretty lucky
    anyway great write up and was very quite through out the season
    but if this write up is handy for you now your team isnt grand final ready anyway
    you shouldnt have players who are a chance to be sub any way
    good luck to all this week

  • Great stats! A lot of work has obviously gone in over the year… Thank you.

  • Wow, great article mate, lots of useful info!
    Wished you posted this tad earlier in the finals campaign tho, when most of us actually had players to pick from and trades! :P

    I know I basically have to play all available players I have for the Grannie.. a ’07 Port-like defeat coming up for me I reckon.

    Still interesting tho, will try use your info on the team lists this week!

  • Totally agree about Puopolo, why doesn’t he take himself and his tiny penis back 2 the SANFL!!!

  • Nix, the amount of research you have done to configure all these sums is amazing!! Thanks for the insight

  • Ryder + salary = $415,100

    Best option ?

    Have Cox and Smith but need to trade Ryder….

    Thanks DTers’

    • Monsterford.

      Oh sorry, Mumford.

      • Nix,

        From all of us regular readers thank you sir for all of your hard work in putting things like this together for us to read over.

        Without the work that these guys (tbetta,Dunny,Calvin,Warnie,Roy) If i have forgotten anyone i am terribly sorry.

        Thanks again guys,


        The Unemployed

  • Thanks guys.

    Actually I think I will send some sort of recognition to the most vest winner, via their club, on behalf of readers of this website. I doubt anyone else is monitoring the most vests across the AFL so the winner(s) may not even know. Will be interesting to see if I get a response.

    I want to do more than just send a certificate, but without a lot of work or cash. Can anyone recall seeing any item that could be symbolic of wearing the most vests? (Don’t want it to be insulting though).

  • Just attain a vest, and dye/paint it gold, then frame it. (Cheapie from $2 shop)
    Simple and easily understood to the winner and the coach of the team that this player spent more time than anyone else in the league IN-VESTING.. or something that sounds more like a pun than that :P

    • Thanks for response.

      Actually found a real gold reversible vest – gold polar fleece / navy slick other side. Getting gold side embroidered “Golden Vest 2011”. But this will be on the inside most of the time – so will be wearable for the winner.

      However this means only 1 winner – so in the event of a tie, the winner will be the one with the most total DT points. So current leader is Luke Breust. Actually will be good if someone in the finals wins it so they will still be at the club for the next week or so.

      I will post photos when I get it.

      Test to see if I can post photos into forum …..


  • Example of how to do calculations based on the team stats in the Vested Interest report.

    Following on from a question of who is more likely to get the green vest – Talia or Callinan, and the suggestion that Callinan was a 70% sub chance – it became clear to me that I needed to provide some more info on how to use the tables.

    If anyone adds up all the percentages for any Team in total they come to 300%. So you have to be a bit careful how you use them, and what the “100%” is for each % figure quoted.

    Talia or Callinan is a good example to show how to use the Vested Interest stats – because both players come from Adelaide and were named in different parts of the field.

    Talia is named on field in Back Pocket:
    Adelaide has named their sub on the field only 3 times out of 21 games (14%).
    So you could make the assumption that there is only a 14% chance that ANY of the 18 field players will be named sub.
    But the chance for EACH individual field player (e.g. Talia) being the one named is much less than this – it depends on the likelihood of Talia being the ONE picked from the 18 v the likelihood of all the 17 others being the individual picked from the field 18.
    We don’t have stats on this, but say you decided there were 5 realistic subs candidates named on the field (Talia + 4 others), all having an equal (20%) chance that they would be the field player picked as sub out of the 18 field players.
    Then the overall chance of Talia being picked as sub could be close to:
    14% x 20% = 2.8% (not much).

    Callinan is named on bench in no. 4 spot:
    Adelaide has named their sub on the bench 15 times out of 21 (71%).
    So you could make the assumption that there is a 71% chance that ANY of the 4 bench players will be the sub.
    But in this case we also have stats for each individual position on the bench. Of the 10 times Adelaide has named its sub on the 4 man bench, 7 of them have been in the #4 position (70%).
    So the overall chance of Callinan being named sub could be close to:
    71% x 70% = 50% (which is pretty high out of 22 possible players).

    You could also say that Callinan is nearly 18 times more likely to be the sub than Talia (50% / 2.8% = 17.9).

    As well as the numbers you can also look at the player types shown in all the vested player names:
    – Most of the subs are secondary mid-fielders and flankers like Callinan, not tall defenders like Talia.
    – There is also a trend to give running players a transitional game as sub when coming back from injury – suggesting Callinan again.

    For any stats pedants out there:
    – I know that there are some apples and oranges assumptions here but the above calculations are good enough for this forum and the types of questions coaches ask.
    – take a deep breath … and let it go…


    As you are a maths teacher this could be a good example to go through with your class. One of the problems with learning stats is that it is difficult to imagine how this stuff can be used. But it sounds like they have DT teams so this might help to get them interested.