The numbers on the scoreboard aren’t the only ones that matter in the AFL. Thanks to Telstra Tracker, we now have an array of data on the AFL’s distance kings, speedsters and the top distance teams overall from the 2019 home and away season.

We’re so excited to have technology like Telstra Tracker working for the biggest footy codes in the country. The ability to give fans an insight into the work-rate of a modern AFL footballer, for example, really puts in perspective what it takes to compete at the highest level – it gives a quantifiable look at what amazing athletes they really are.

Did you know that if you combine the running efforts of all players across the regular AFL season in 2019, the players would have travelled a combined total of 111,628 kilometres? That’s over a third of the way to the Moon! So of those total kilometres travelled, who’s the fastest?

AFL 2019 Round 03 - GWS v Richmond
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – APRIL 06: Oleg Markov of the Tigers looks to kick during the round three AFL match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the Richmond Tigers at GIANTS Stadium on April 6, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Richmond Tiger Oleg Markov recorded the highest speed by any player in 2019 – a blistering 37.4km/h against Collingwood in Round 2. 40km/h might seem slow for those of us who get behind the wheel, but on foot it’s an incredible clip. Normal walking speed is just 5km/h on average, and a decent running speed for a normal person is around 24km/h – Markov was one and a half times faster at full sprint.

Humans are by no means the fastest creatures in the animal kingdom because of our physiology. We’re held back by the size and composition of muscles in our legs as well as how little our feet contact the ground to move us forward, but that won’t stop the Richmond Tiger. According to science, Markov’s efforts to run 37.4km/h in Round 2 take him close to the physical limit of human performance – world record sprinters top out at around 44km/h over a 100-metre distance. Not bad, Oleg!

West Coast’s Andrew Gaff can lay claim to covering the most ground in any single game, a whopping 17.6km against Adelaide in Round 10. North Melbourne’s Ben Brown was the player with the highest average distance covered per game across the entire season, moving 15.6km per game.

AFL 2019 First Elimination Final - West Coast v Essendon
PERTH, AUSTRALIA – SEPTEMBER 05: Andrew Gaff of the Eagles takes a mark during the 2019 AFL First Elimination Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the Essendon Bombers at Optus Stadium on September 05, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Photos)

Doctors recommend that we do around 10,000 steps a day, which equates to around 8km. Most of us struggle to get this under their belt, so running at competition speed for over 17km for a sustained 100+ minutes is truly impressive.

As a team, the Sydney Swans covered the most distance in a single game – 306.3km against Melbourne in Round 4, well above the league average for the season of 281.9km.

AFL 2019 Round 23 - Sydney v St Kilda
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 24: Swans players sing their team song after winning the round 23 AFL match between the Sydney Swans and the St Kilda Saints at Sydney Cricket Ground on August 24, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images via AFL Photos)

How to stream AFL

Get free access to stream every match of the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season live, fast and data-free in the AFL Live Official App.

Plus get:

  • On-demand full match replays from 2012 onwards
  • AFL TV for exclusive panel shows, highlight packages and more
  • Special coverage of the 2019 Charles Brownlow Medal and more
  • Premium stats – including live stats as the coaches see it
  • Real-time player and team insights on the Telstra Tracker
  • Worth $99.99

*Data accuracy may be impacted by factors including loss of match day connection to GPS, GPS positional inaccuracy, hard knocks to the player device and difference in live data rates at venues.