We’re getting in direction of the sharp finish now in The Roar’s High 50. After Jay ran via gamers 50-41, Josh did 40-31 and Cam went via 30-21, we’ve now entered the top-20. 4 Eagles are to return within the subsequent ten gamers.
Is that an overreaction to their premiership success or, maybe, an indication that stated success shouldn’t have been the shock it was? These are significantly good footballers.
20. Isaac Heeney (Sydney)
Heeney is every part you need in a footballer. He’s sturdy, courageous, athletic, agile, clear and skilful. By no means off stability and fast off his ft, he’s mainly an enormous cat carved out of granite.
The one actual drawback with Heeney is that there’s solely one in every of him. Comfy and succesful in any space of the bottom, the younger Swan may already be finest utility within the competitors.
He performed maybe his finest sport of 2018 in Spherical 21 in opposition to Melbourne on the MCG the place his spectacular aerial work in defence held off the fast-finishing Demons and all however secured Sydney’s finals berth. What’s simply forgotten is that he additionally booted a pair of targets that day – one in every of six instances final season he kicked a number of targets.
His fundamental counting stats may by no means present his true price, however on influence, Heeney is already one of many sport’s finest gamers.
19. Josh J Kennedy (West Coast)
Since 2014, no participant within the competitors has averaged extra targets per sport than West Coast’s fleet-footed colossus. Simply as soon as in his previous 91 video games has Kennedy been held goalless – the 2015 grand closing, ooph.
The 2-time Coleman medallist leads straight and exhausting, and kicks the identical. An underrated a part of his sport is his strain and tackling, which is among the causes the Eagles can afford to play so tall of their entrance third in an period the place groundballs and strain acts are king.
The most important concern with Kennedy is his sturdiness. He missed 11 of 25 video games final season after lacking 5 of 24 in 2017 and has already been dominated out of the JLT sequence.
Neither Josh nor I had been discouraged, every of us rating him within the top-10. Ryan and Cam had been just a little extra cautious, score him 39 and 42, respectively.
18. Rory Sloane (Adelaide)
A foot harm all however derailed the star Crow’s 2018 and probably Adelaide’s season as nicely, however a recent season awaits and a match Sloane is now co-captain – a place he appeared destined for the second he re-signed with the membership.
Sloane is the last word no-frills footballer, an unflinching inside bull who lacks for little when he finds the ball in area.
Forty-four Brownlow votes throughout the 2016-17 seasons are a testomony to his high quality and at 28 with fewer than 180 video games till his belt it’s affordable to suppose he can get again to that degree after a irritating 2018.
The voters had been totally on the identical web page on Sloane, rating him between 14 and 28.
17. Elliot Yeo (West Coast)
The one man who may rightfully problem Heeney as the sport’s premier utility is the second Eagle on this group.
There’s no a part of the bottom the place Yeo can’t thrive. He can win the exhausting footy, unfold to the surface when required, lock up a person both across the ball or as a defender, and is phenomenal within the air. He could be a little bit of a butcher by foot, however that’s maybe his solely weak spot as a footballer.
Like a number of Eagles, Yeo took his sport to a brand new degree in 2018, setting career-high marks in kicks, disposals, tackles, clearances, inside-50s and contested possessions, whereas nonetheless remembering the place the targets are with a really respectable 14 in 25 video games. He was stiff to overlook out on his second All Australian choice.
At 25, Yeo is simply coming into his prime and the rankings mirror that. Jay was highest at 10, whereas the remainder of us had him within the 20s.
16. Robbie Grey (Port Adelaide)
Grey didn’t appear to be fairly as impactful in 2018, however by the top of the season he’d booted 36 targets whereas nonetheless averaging higher than 20 touches a sport and had was chosen as an All Australian for the fourth time.
The Energy mid-forward is the last word conundrum: he’s the uncommon footballer who isn’t just succesful, however good both as a midfielder or a ahead.
Regardless of spending a lot time close to the targets, his common of two centre clearances a sport was ok to crack the highest 30 and put him forward of the likes of Scott Pendlebury, Stephen Coniglio and Dyson Heppell.
We would have seen the most effective of Grey, however he stays a wizard at stoppages and a headache for defenders any time he’s one on one. Few gamers learn the ball and the play higher.
Jay was highest on Grey at 9, with Josh lowest at 31.
15. Andrew Gaff (West Coast)
Andrew Gaff as been an excellent footballer for an excellent whereas now. Usually mocked for his exterior play, his critics missed that he was in truth an distinctive exterior participant – a sensible and environment friendly runner who used the ball simply the identical.
However in 2018, the winger added a bit extra edge to his sport and if not for a stunning second of insanity by which he assaulted younger Docker Andrew Brayshaw, he could be greater on this record and – rather more importantly – a premiership participant.
Gaff averaged career-highs in kicks, disposals, tackles, clearances and targets final season, and at 26 needs to be proper in his prime to to keep up that degree – he gained’t be missing motivation both.
Ryan was highest at 5, with Jay not far behind at eight. Cam was not fairly satisfied at 30.
14. Patrick Cripps (Carlton)
For those who may choose any participant within the league to win a tough footy, Cripps would most likely be your alternative.
The 2-time Carlton best-and-fairest winner is a mountain of a person who makes use of that measurement to nice benefit in tight conditions.
If there’s a knock on Cripps it’s that his kicking can let him down, which could clarify Jay score him within the mid-20s. No such issues for Cam, who rated his “favorite participant” at No.6.
Eleven targets in 2018 was a pleasant return for the soon-to-be 24-year-old contemplating how a lot was requested of him within the center. It could be time for the Blues to chew the bullet and push him ahead extra recurrently, each for the sake of his physique and to demand extra of his midfield mates, who aren’t but carrying sufficient of the load.
There’s little question Cripps can nonetheless enhance, which is a scary thought.
13. Stephen Coniglio (GWS)
It may be exhausting to pinpoint what it’s particularly that makes Stephen Coniglio such an excellent footballer – he simply does every part actually, rather well.
Desire a exhausting ball gained? He’s your man. Must clamp a harmful opponent? Simply level him out. In search of somebody to push ahead and pinch a aim? Can do.
Coniglio was one in every of eight gamers to common 20 disposals, ten contested possessions and a aim a sport final season, and just one participant in that group (Patrick Dangerfield) averaged extra touches.
His consistency was mirrored within the rankings, with 4 voters inserting him between 11 and 13.
12. Max Gawn (Melbourne)
Evaluating the true worth of rucks is a talent I overtly admit I’m but to grasp. For all of his tapwork excellence, it’s is figure across the floor and significantly within the air that makes Gawn Most worthy.
Simon Goodwin appears to share that view. When Jake Lever’s knee exploded in Spherical 11 due to the shifting Docklands floor nobody appeared to care to speak about, the Demons misplaced their finest intercept marker.
The Demons clearly went to work on the lookout for a solution and after their Spherical 13 bye, they appeared to have one – and it was Gawn. From rounds 14-23, the 208cm ruckman averaged 2.eight intercept marks a sport, which was really higher than the two.5 Lever averaged final 12 months.
With Jesse Hogan out and Braydon Preuss in, it appears the Demons are eager to see if that marking dominance can switch to the opposite finish of the bottom. If it may possibly, this rating will look too low.
11. Jeremy McGovern (West Coast)
Talking of marking, there’s nobody higher at it than West Coast’s intercept king – and he now has a hell of a spotlight to go together with any video bundle designed to stress his largest energy.
After three straight All Australian alternatives, McGovern sits comfortably alongside Alex Rance as the sport’s premier defender.
He is a superb reader of the play and, justifiably, all the time prepared to again himself within the air. His defensive one-on-one numbers dipped final 12 months after being rated No.1 by Champion Information in 2016 and 2017, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to place off the voters, with 4 score him between six and 12.
Ryan, nonetheless, was so determined to keep away from writing about McGovern that he put him at 30, maybe he can clarify himself tomorrow when he reveals the highest 10.