A fair comparison can only be done by assessing a players influence. It's them most difficult thing to compare players in different positions little lone combined with different generations. Afl strategy has changed over the last 20 years to such an extent it's virtually a different game.
Center half forward at the time was perhaps the most pivotal position. Cary's ability to turn a game, dominate an opponent and inspire a team put him second only to Gary Ablett Jnr from an influential standpoint.
From a technique perspective- marking ability, strength/intellect in contested possessions, positional awareness and presence on the field plus a supreme confidence in his own ability is what made Cary so formidable.
No doubt Whitton, Barassi & Matthews are all strong contenders for most influential player from previous generations.
CAREY KICKS AND CAREY GOALS! He is the Michael Jordan of AFL. Why?
Because if you watch Michael Jordan games, you can see he is smiling as he manhandles opponents and does WHATEVER HE WANTS, WHENEVER HE WANTS. Because he just BLOWS BY anybody. Like Jordan, Carey had times he lapsed... but then he ALWAYS (not just 99%) but ALWAYS stood up at the exact right time. that's why we all know MJ as the greatest basketball player of all time. Carey is exactly that in this game. Ablett (both) are simply not like that. Skilled, Great, but take over when they wanted to? Not strong enough. Absolutely no one better than Carey. You had to live in his era to see it.
What a LEGEND! He was like the BEST contested marker I have every seen. He would be taking screamers left right and centre. North Melbourne wont be the same without him he would carry the whole team on his shoulders like a BEAST! LOVE you WAYNE CAREY!
To me a player who can read the ball and take contested marks effortlessly in particular against a centre half back who only needs to negate the play is truly remarkable. In my opinion he was a game changer and the best the games ever seen. (I hate admitting that being a west Aussie)
Best ever, in the air, on his feet, shepherds, ball handling, intimate knowledge of the game, read the play and finish. Best of all could strangle the opposition and in turn win the game when required. A match winner unrivalled.
He is the most courageous, tough and overall amazing player, despite what happened off the field, his reputation on the footy field of being a ferocious and great leader is untarnished
Could turn a game on his own boot, better than anyone who's ever played the game. I've never seen a player command the footy like The King did. The best match winner that ever pulled on a boot.
Was rag dolled week in week out, yet the strength and sheer athletic ability meant that he was an absolute nightmare to match up. See 96 vs melbourne kicked 11 on David neitz and I will never forget the one hander he took on him, body on body contact sheer brute force against a prolific forward in his day. The best we've seen all round!
The king buy far has to be in the top 10 ever to play this game so many of us love. His domination not only week in week out but year to year growing from strength to strength lifting his team mates or wining a game off his own back.it was truly ashame his power went to his head and will probably be remembered for all the wrong things by many if he had not I am sure he like voss, Hird, Buckley, long mire, etc would have had a huge impact with coaching. Thanks for the memories Wayne
his influence on each game was incredible - his brilliance directly resulted in his team making seven preliminary finals in a row and winning two flags
There were lots of coach's sighing relief leading up to the 2002 season when he resigned from the kangas
Like the guys before me said, best contested mark, great leader, and the most complete player to play the game.
Wayne Carey has won more games of his boot than any other player the game has ever seen. A real match winner
Wayne was near on bigger than the game, if he didn't play people didn't watch that game..
This is a man who never knew how to lose to the extent that when he played for the Kangaroos they had the 2nd best win/loss ratio over 9 years other than hawthorns 80s teams..
The most exciting influential player that I ever had the pleasure of seeing! Thank you Duck!
Carey is the Best ever better than Ablett senior, Carey was more consistent in big games!
Wayne Carey the best centre half forward in the AFL and nobody would be better then him
Changed the game for the forward line.
Is anyone else called 'The King'? No. Best ever player & I hope's got his life back in order.
Dominated the hardest position on the ground consistently.
Could also do it ALL!
Still today no1 can match the skill and the way this man played the game...
He's easily the best player as he shows how the game should be played
Well undoutably the best football player of all time, the King ruled football and all others paled in his presence!
Best player the AFL has ever had King Carey! Way better then Ablett
I watched this bloke run around a few times when I could as it was hard living in the country and getting to Melbourne to watch my team. The best one I saw was in '98 against the doggies' to win the minor premiership.C. grant at one end and the 'duck' at the other, WHAT A MATCH! Right to the end. He took the best defenders week in week out most memorable Glen Jakovich and opposition coaches went into crisis mode as to how to quell this great champ. It was a real shame that his off-field discressions led him to leave the club.