And so we attain the top of The Roar’s AFL Prime 50. Now we’re within the kinds of rarefied air the place there’s not way more so as to add past the quantity subsequent to every participant.
Though there’s loads of intrigue in 2019’s prime ten.
Final yr’s prime seven have all been returned to their spot atop The Roar AFL Prime 50, though positions have shuffled a bit.
In the meantime, the eight, 9 and ten spots embody one participant who didn’t make the 50 final yr, and two others who’ve been rewarded for stellar current our bodies of labor. Roughly each participant right here was a unanimous decide inside the highest 15, and when you see the names I believe you’ll agree we’re roughly on the cash right here.
In the event you’re simply becoming a member of us, right here’s how we bought right here.
The Roar’s 2019 AFL Prime 50: 50-41
The Roar’s 2019 AFL Prime 50: 40-31
The Roar’s 2019 AFL Prime 50: 30-21
The Roar’s 2019 AFL Prime 50: 20-11
Let’s get to it.
10. Jack Riewoldt
Final yr’s Coleman medallist and eventual main objective kicker, Riewoldt has been rated as the very best key ahead within the recreation (Lance Franklin’s place is ‘Lance Franklin’ for what it’s value).
It caps a shocking half decade for the Richmond champion, who has shed his former petulant fame to develop into one of the vital revered gamers within the competitors.
Riewoldt’s power is equal components his nous and his work price, personified in his efficiency in a shedding preliminary ultimate (the place I’d’ve rated him greatest on floor). His 10.6, 26-disposal recreation in a rout in opposition to the Gold Coast was one other spotlight of his 2018, notably given he nabbed the final of his bag with lower than a minute on the clock.
This yr we’ll get to see Riewoldt go to work with a genuinely threatening companion at centre half ahead – I believe you play Riewoldt because the deepest menace given Tom Lynch’s mobility – which could see his measured output dip a bit. However these within the know will nonetheless experience his work.
9. Clayton Oliver
A future Brownlow medal candidate – if he can mature his thoughts as quick as he’s matured his recreation – Clayton Oliver has surged from 38th on final yr’s checklist to a spot effectively inside the highest ten.
I believe he’s on observe to Brownlow contender stage in 2019. I ranked Oliver because the fourth greatest participant within the league heading into the yr. The remainder of the panel was extra circumspect, having him within the early to mid teenagers (with out my rating Oliver can be ranked between Stephen Coniglio and Patrick Cripps).
Why? Have you ever seen this man’s deal with? I’m hesitant (not) to cross over into alternate sports activities for metaphors, however Oliver is about as shut as you may get to a Kyrie Irving-style level guard with the ball in hand.
He makes the Sherrin sing, which is a few feat given footballs don’t have a mouth or mind. He can be odds on to interrupt the 30-disposal barrier subsequent yr having gone shut in each 2017 and 2018.
I additionally suppose he’ll be one of many prime beneficiaries of the league’s new centre bounce guidelines; we’d get to see some extra set performs come his approach, and he can showcase his abilities with extra time and area.
eight. Brodie Grundy
We predict the All Australian panel bought it unsuitable. Collingwood’s Brodie Grundy has been rated by the panel because the preeminent ruckman within the competitors heading into 2019, though there was disagreement.
I had Grundy (9) above Gawn (10), Jay had Gawn (6) above Grundy (11), Josh had Grundy (eight) effectively above Gawn (21), Adrian had Grundy (13) simply above Gawn (14), and eventually Cam had Grundy (10) above Gawn (14). Jay’s Gawnism offset Josh’s Anti-Gawnism, and right here we’re.
The panel seemingly went the way in which it did due to Grundy’s uncooked output. Regardless of racking up the second most hitouts within the league, Grundy averaged extra touches than 533 of the 658 gamers that performed a minimum of one recreation in 2018. Disposal counts don’t do his affect justice although; in Grundy, Collingwood has an All Australian ruckman and a high quality, dependable midfielder in a single physique.
He is aware of it too.
Tonight #AFLBluesPies pic.twitter.com/glr4oPiEF8
— Brodie Grundy (@brodiegrundy) April 6, 2018
7a. Tom Mitchell
For what it’s value, that is the place I suppose Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell would have positioned if he have been eligible for choice.
7. Marcus Bontempelli
Hopefully I’m not breaking the panel’s confidence right here. After yesterday’s prime ten predictions from the gang, it was famous there was no point out of 1 Marcus Bontempelli. Properly, right here he’s, in at quantity seven.
The Bont is the AFL’s new younger Scott Pendlebury; an early-career underrated participant as a result of his counting stats are decrease than a few of his friends. Bontempelli’s value isn’t captured on the stats sheet, as a result of he does issues with the ball that don’t earn him something greater than an efficient kick or handball.
He’s a Swiss military knife offensive participant, who simply wants his coach to determine his greatest place is within the guts fairly than as a timeshare tall ahead.
Hopefully for us all this would be the yr Canines’ coach Luke Beveridge exhibits us the bizarre experiments he’s been working for the previous two years have been a part of some grand design. In that case, the Canines are a sneaky finals contender if you happen to ask me.
6. Josh Kelly
The in-demand dynamo, Josh Kelly as soon as extra comes up simply quick of the present pantheon of AFL gamers. There’s not a lot that must be stated about Kelly, apart from he’s an entire fashionable midfielder who nonetheless performs like he has one other gear or two in him as he hits his prime.
Whereas we’re speaking about Kelly, can all of us conform to cease pretending to be shocked when top quality gamers signal short-term offers that get them to free company?
That’s exactly what Kelly goes to do in 2019 – sorry North – as a result of he is aware of in his 26-year-old season he’s going to be top-of-the-line handful of fellows within the league, and he’ll command that very same seven-year deal the ‘Roos have been placing underneath his nostril for the previous few years.
Kelly is the youngest participant within the prime ten, which I believe suggests if we have been re-drafting the league and had the following ten years in thoughts that he’d go decide one.
He’s one other candidate to leap into the 30+ disposals membership, and he may do it averaging greater than a objective and a objective help a recreation. Kelly is a particular participant.
5. Lance Franklin
Buddy has fallen from his earlier standing as a prime three lock, totally on account of his current struggles with harm. Sadly everybody ages.
Nonetheless, when he’s match and firing – idle hypothesis time: Sydney goes to be terribly cautious with Franklin this yr to allow them to get one other two or three years of play out of him from 2020 – there isn’t a participant within the recreation who you’d fairly have with the ball in hand.
We’re attending to the purpose in Franklin’s profession the place we are able to begin cheering for him to achieve a bunch of milestones. Having entered the highest ten all time objective kickers, and leaped over Leigh Matthews into eighth spot, in 2018, Franklin wants 9 objectives to move Matthew Lloyd and attain seventh on the all time checklist.
He wants ten video games to achieve the 300 milestone and 15 extra wins to develop into the 25th participant to 200 wins.
There is no such thing as a better play in soccer than Buddy on the left ahead flank. Cherish it whereas we nonetheless have it, as a result of it’s clear the top is coming throughout the subsequent few years.
four. Alex Rance
There’s a brand new take a look at that may, with 100 per cent accuracy, determine a soccer fan who thinks they know greater than their friends about soccer. It’s referred to as the Alex Rance Check. Simply say the title “Alex Rance” – no context required – to your take a look at topic, and hearken to the response.
If the primary sentence has the time period “overrated” baked into it, the topic has failed. Hating on Rance has develop into the go-to avant garde soccer take, as a result of apparently the fullback of the century – all-time? – doesn’t truly defend.
Boy have I bought a statistic for you unhappy, hopeless individuals. Alex Rance was concerned in 154 defensive one on ones final season, and conceded a objective on 12.2 per cent of them.
That’s essentially the most defensive one on ones, and his price of objective concession was under the league common of 14.four per cent. But it surely will get higher.
What number of defensive one on ones did the second positioned Harris Andrews take part in? 101. What number of defensive one on ones did David Astbury and Dylan Grimes take part in mixed? 117. COMBINED! Go away along with your Rance takes please.
three. Patrick Dangerfield
The 2016 Brownlow medallist retains his spot within the prime three unanimously, an indication of each his consistency and wonderful play as one of the vital damaging midfielders within the competitors.
There’s no possible way of arguing in opposition to the notion he needs to be second or first on this checklist; it’s like deciding the drop you’ll decide up at Dan Murphy’s for the weekend.
Patrick Dangerfield has shouldered an more and more giant load for the Cats since becoming a member of forward of the 2016 season, with the decline of Joel Selwood and the up and down play of a lot of his teammates. That he can carry the burden of working level by way of the center however then head ahead and kick two or three objectives as a centre half ahead speaks volumes.
Dangerfield is essential to Geelong’s prospects in 2019. You would say that about most gamers within the prime 20 or so, however for him it feels just like the stakes are a bit larger. The Cats sputtered on the again finish of final yr; Dangerfield is the participant to spark the membership and preserve them within the premiership dialog past the primary month of the season.
2. Dustin Martin
A yr atop The Roar AFL Prime 50, and Dustin Martin has dipped again all the way down to second place. Like Dangerfield that’s no actual knock on the lad, he’s clearly one of the vital damaging gamers within the league: a singular menace bursting from stoppages and one out on the bottom inside 50.
Like plenty of different gamers we place in these lofty heights, Martin apparently had a “down yr” final yr. If he had a down yr I’d have beloved to see what would represent an enchancment.
Martin’s numbers are obscene. 25 disposals, 12 contested possessions, 9 rating involvements, three centre bounce clearances and 6 inside 50s per recreation; throw 1.three objectives on nearly three photographs a recreation and he’s shut to an entire offensive weapon.
One suspects he’ll get pleasure from not having gamers working in direction of him as he breaks from centre underneath the brand new centre bounce beginning place rule. We may see loads of lengthy photographs for objective if he will get a clear look.
1. Nat Fyfe
The return of the king. Nat Fyfe, soccer man-god, sits atop the throne as soon as extra. As an apart, Fremantle didn’t have one other participant in any particular person’s prime 50.
Sure I’m severe.
Fyfe’s return from a double leg break took the very best a part of two years, however after his 2018 season there’s little doubt he’s the very best participant within the recreation in accordance with our panel (for what it’s value I had him in third, penalising him a contact for his heightened harm danger. If harm was not a factor, he’d be my primary).
He ended up fourth in final yr’s Brownlow Medal depend on a votes per recreation foundation, conservative administration of some niggling accidents costing him seven video games final yr (not that he was eligible for the Medal anyway, after a suspension).
This yr he has had no materials pre-season interruption – an elbow bursa doesn’t cease you from doing a lot I perceive – and is about to rock the league as soon as once more.
One of the best Nat Fyfe Stat continues to be his terribly outlier contested mark quantity. He averaged 1.5 a recreation final season, whereas averaging 29 disposals, 6.7 clearances, 16 contested possessions and 4 tackles.
The gamers who took extra contested marks per recreation collectively averaged 13 disposals, zero.6 clearances, 6.5 contested possessions and two tackles.
And that’s a wrap! The AFL season is lower than three weeks away, be sure you test in on The Roar’s AFL vertical every single day for the very best unbiased soccer evaluation and opinion.