*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:
- 6 – Gators
- 5 – Nil
- 4 – Barbarians
- 3 – Ducks
- 2 – Scorpions, Vipers, Jackals
- 1 – Outlaws, Badgers, Titans
- 0 – Wolverines
Gators with some hot young property but the top 4 from this year show that it’s depth that wins premierships.