Do it. No prizes but Aaron might do a write up for us if we’re good.
Do it. No prizes but Aaron might do a write up for us if we’re good.
UKL AA team for best picks of the year. To qualify a player must have been drafted as a free agent this year and not been on the same list in the previous draft period. This is far more subjective than the previous two lists and Adam might be wondering why all his draft picks aren’t in this list so suggestions welcome.
Howe, Rich, Biggs and Fantasia are automatic inclusions. Culter and Stretch narrowly pip Bugg, Sheridan, Lonergan and Maynard as the backline clearly continues to cause headaches for coaches.
Surprisingly slim pickings in the midfielders this year. Ross exceeded all expectations to become a starter for the Outlaws. Curnow somehow averaged 102 for the year. Dal Santo provided handy coverage for the Vipers and will at least finish his career as a UKL premiership player. Dunkley, Parish, Blakely and Mills all showed promising signs and were even required to contribute during the year. Mills will be a defender next year as an added bonus for the Gators. Stiff to miss out were Oliver, Gresham, Mathieson and Acres.
Ducks did well to stash Roughead away at the start of the year. Stanley also provided Jackals with handy contributions at times this season. After being overlooked all year Barbarians nabbed Phillips in the final draft. If trades counted then Lobb would surely make it on this list.
Hall slipped to the Vipers in the initial draft and they’d have no regrets after his excellent season. Lyons and Gray improved after a slow and shaky starts to cement themselves in the best 22. Wells bounced back and Jackals will be hoping he continues that form in 2017. Wright capitalised on his lifeline at Carlton and Bird enjoyed success at the Vipers. Unlucky to miss out was Caleb Daniel but it seems there are a plethora of good forward options.
Distribution of players per team is as follows:
Not a poor reflection on the Wolverines and Scorpions that they don’t have a player on this list considering the mature and relatively settled nature of their lists. Some coaches obviously filled their list requirements through trades this year which don’t feature. ‘Rines and Scorps do still suck though.
*24 for rucks because they’re just so damn old.
23 seems to be a big breakout year for a lot of players. Quite a few players that I thought were 22 have obviously aged and were stiff to miss out (Newnes, Johannisen, Neale, Treloar, Mitchell, Ross). Just serves as a reminder that players people considered young when they were drafted might be approaching the half way point of their careers.
Docherty and Laird carry over from the regular AA team but it quickly falls away after that highlighting the lack of decent defender prospects beyond the old men hanging around in that position. Yeo earns a positions without having an excellent year. Williams was a big improver in 2016 but wouldn’t be considered elite for this position yet. Seriously slim pickings when Fantasia makes it but he’s got the name for it. KK makes it onto the bench by default just for showing up really. Moving on.
Coniglio and Viney really stepped it up this year to average 103 and 101 respectively. We’ve come to expect this sort of output from Wines and Macrae but the Ducks will be pleased to see Cripps continuing his 2015 form by averaging a touch under 100 with plenty of upside remaining. The Crouch brothers sneak in on the last two spots with the bench spot especially difficult to decide. Touk Miller very unlucky to miss out.
Had I not extended the age range in the rucks this line would have read Grundy, daylight, Peter Wright, Nankervis. Yuck! Seems that gun rucks under 23 are as rare as hen’s teeth so even more reason for the Barbarians to appreciate the season Grundy has had.
The forwards are very strong and reflective of the amount of young players that were eligible and anchored in this position in our initial draft. Merrett returns as captain of the team. Prolific Bulldogs Hunter and Bontempelli pick themselves based on average and total score. Adams sneaks ahead of Greene due to an impressive average in the 14 games he played. Rounding it out, another midfielder anchored forward, Josh Kelly, has cobbled away and put together a good season for the wooden spooners.
Again, the distribution of AA players per team is as follows:
Gators with some hot young property but the top 4 from this year show that it’s depth that wins premierships.
Shaw leads a largely ageing AA defence. Only Boyd (102.2) averaged higher than Shaw (101.8) but Shaw managed to avoid Alan Didak and played every game. Simpson and Docherty weren’t far behind and also put together excellent seasons while playing every game. Boyd surprised many by playing 20 games this year and Kelly also showed his resilience by playing 20 games and averaging 99. Rory Laird missed games through injury but his average of 96.7 is enough to give him the nod over the also injured Johannisen and Houli as well as the more durable but less prolific Newnes.
Dangerfield put together a dominant season to be the highest averaging and highest scoring player this season. The captain armband sits comfortably on him. Treloar, Neale, Parker and Hannebery also had productive and consistent seasons playing every game of the year and averaging over 108. Rockliff earns the final spot on the field due to his 117 average despite an injury interrupted beginning to the year that saw scores of 24 and 33 amongst his 17 games for the season. Pendlebury has put together another solid and unassuming season and rounds out the midfield narrowly pipping Kennedy.
All hail Gawn as the new ruck king. Vipers should be able to enjoy him for years to come. Easily the simplest line to pick as Gawn, Grundy and Goldstein were undisputed highest averaging and points scoring ruckman for the season. Grundy is even younger than Gawn and a 101 average for the season is very impressive. Goldy fell away this season but still holds a spot on the bench and it’s daylight between him and the next best ruckman.
Even if Merrett doesn’t make the AFL 40 man AA squad he definitely makes the UKL AA squad coming only 7 points behind Dangerfield for the season. In fact, he even earns vice captaincy and at 20 years old the Barbs will be thrilled to have him. All the remaining forwards averaged above 103 for the year and pretty much pick themselves having outstanding seasons and playing no less than 20 games each for the year. Hall narrowly misses out due to games played.
For those playing at home the distribution of AA players per team is as follows:
A big congratulations and fuck you to the Vipers who are the 2016 UKL Premiers. After finishing fourth the Vipers couldn’t afford to make any mistakes and they certainly didn’t by eliminating the Wolverines and Ducks before eventually denying the Titans (1777 vs. 1670) back-to-back premierships. Well done Jero. Not sure that the winnings will cover the promised end of season trip to Vegas but I’m sure the coach has found a way for the boys:
|Nick Dal Santo||120||M|
|Max Gawn (C)||105||R|
|Aaron Hall (VC)||100||F|
|Majak Daw (Rookie)||R|
|Jackson Thurlow (Rookie)||B|