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Ben Cunnington 200: A timeline

North Melbourne superstar Ben Cunnington will be walking out in the royal blue and white for the 200th time in this weekend’s game against Greater Western Sydney.

He will be the 32nd player in the club’s history to reach this milestone, just one week after captain Jack Ziebell.

Although a win for the team is the number one priority, marking Cunnington’s milestone game with a victory will surely serve as added motivation for North.

2009

Cunnington is selected by North Melbourne with the fifth pick in the 2009 National Draft.

He is handed the number 10 jumper, made famous by Anthony Stevens.

Ben Cunnington presented the jumper by then coach Brad Scott. 

2010

Cunnington debuts in the round five clash against Hawthorn and finishes with 12 disposals.

He goes on to play in 10 of North’s 11 wins this season, and records 77 tackles in 18 games.

First win Gatorade shower. 

2011

An injury-interrupted pre-season limits Cunnington’s chances and impact in the side.

Despite missing six games over the course of the season, Cunnington starts to prove to be an integral part of North’s new generation of players.

2012

Inconsistency leads to Cunnington being dropped after registering just 5 disposals in the round 12 clash against Adelaide.

Following the suspension of Jack Ziebell, Cunnington comes back into the side a changed player, and is a key figure in leading North to its first finals appearance in four seasons.

Tough as they come. 

2013

Cunnington has a breakout season in 2013, and ranks fourth in the AFL for clearances with 143.

He receives three Brownlow votes for the first time in his career thanks to a 34-disposal game against Melbourne in round 18.

Breaking through the tackle against the Demons.

2014

A Syd Barker Medal win is the crowning achievement of Cunnington’s 2014 season.

He has the third most clearances over the season for North, as well as registering a career-high season for tackles. Also finishes with a career-high tally for Brownlow Medal votes (13).

A four-goal haul against the Bulldogs in Round 21 is also a career-best. 

First Syd Barker Medal.

2015

Consistency becomes a hallmark of Cunnington’s game, with his ability to impact the contest every game making him a key part of North’s midfield.

Once again leading the season’s clearance count for North, his round 14 display against Gold Coast was one of the best of his career, recording 29 disposals, 13 clearances and 2 goals.

A well-earned victory. 

2016

Cunnington is at the forefront of North’s dream start to the season, recording wins in the first nine games. 

He sets the tone in the midfield, with a career-high 16 tackles against the Bulldogs in Round 6. 

A relatively injury-free season sets Cunnington up for a huge 2017. 

Celebrating with great mates. 

2017

Ranking third for clearances and sixth for contested possessions across the AFL, Cunnington cements himself as one of the premier midfielders in the competition.

A runner-up in the Syd Barker Medal proves Cunnington’s consistency in yet another outstanding individual season.

On the run.

2018

Cunnington’s hard-nosed attitude ensures that he is an ever present in North’s midfield, playing every game this season.

Once again, he is the runner-up to Shaun Higgins in the Syd Barker Medal.

He breaks the AFL record for the most contested possessions in a single game, recording 32 in round eight against Richmond and has a career-high tally for disposals (563), as well as a career-high disposal count in one game (39 in Round 19). 

2019

Cunnington sits third in the AFLCA Champion Player of the Year after round 12.

He plays his 200th game in round 13 against Greater Western Sydney.

Strike a pose.