AAP AFL

Five greatest coaches of VFL/AFL

By AAP Newswire

THE VFL/AFL'S TOP FIVE COACHES OF ALL TIME (in alphabetical order)

ALASTAIR CLARKSON

Coached: 2005-current (Hawthorn). Record: 217 wins, 133 losses, 2 draws. Premierships: 4. Grand Finals: 5. All finals: 16 wins, 10 losses.

The modern-day mastermind rebuilt the Hawks in his first two seasons and since then has missed the finals just once. Four premierships include three consecutive flags from 2013 - a remarkable feat given the equalisation measures in the competition.

MICK MALTHOUSE

Coached: 1984-89 (Footscray), 1990-99 (West Coast), 2000-11 (Collingwood), 2013-15 (Carlton). Record: 406 wins, 305 losses, 7 draws. Premierships: 3. Grand Finals: 7. All finals: 27 wins, 22 losses, 2 draws.

No man has coached more AFL games or won more finals than the shrewd tactician. Durability personified, led the first non-Victorian team to win the premiership (West Coast) and broke a 20-year drought at Collingwood.

JOCK McHALE

Coached: 1912-1949 (Collingwood). Record: 466 wins, 237 losses 10 draws. Premierships: 7. Grand Finals: 16. All finals: 26 wins, 30 losses 2 draws.

Second behind Malthouse on the games coached list, was at the Magpies' helm for an astonishing 38 consecutive years - a record surely never to be neared, let alone broken. His seven premierships is also a competition record.

KEVIN SHEEDY

Coached: 1981-2007 (Essendon), 2012-13 (GWS). Record: 389 wins, 283 losses, 6 draws. Premierships: 4. Grand Finals: 7. All finals: 23 wins, 20 losses.

Four flags in 27-straight years as Essendon's coach when the ex-plumber gained status as the craftiest coach in the business. A visionary and expansionist, answered the AFL's call to lead GWS in their fledgling seasons.

NORM SMITH

Coached: 1949-51 (Fitzroy), 1952-67 (Melbourne), 1969-72 (South Melbourne). Record: 253 wins, 192 losses, 7 draws. Premierships: 6. Grand Finals: 8. All finals: 16 wins, 8 losses.

Five premierships in six years at Melbourne from 1955 confirmed his status as a legend of the game. Chosen as coach of the AFL's team of the century and best-afield in the grand final wins a medal in his name.