Who will make the 2013 All Australian team?

Samuel Gates Roar Pro

By Samuel Gates, Samuel Gates is a Roar Pro

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    The All Australian side is something that is always hotly debated and never quite the perfect showcase of the league’s true talent.

    The standard of young players this season has been incredible, with the likes of Jaeger O’Meara, Chad Wingard, Tom Liberatore, Dustin Martin, Jamie Elliot, and Jeremy Cameron being among the best in their teams, as well as matching it with the league’s top players.

    Choosing clear winners between the young talent coming through and the established stars for selection isn’t that simple.

    Perhaps the only player guaranteed selection this season will be Gary Ablett Jr. The Gold Coast captain is favourite to win another Brownlow medal and is dominating the new Vero Player Rating system.

    The Magpies’ powerhouse duo of Pendlebury and Dane Swan are likely to be in the mix again, while Fremantle probably deserve to have at least one defender make the cut.

    Many AFL fans can marvel at how well Ross Lyon has masterminded the Dockers defensive strategy. I hope he’s the All Australian coach.

    This year’s selections could also throw up some surprises from teams outside the eight. Don’t be surprised if North Melbourne and the Western Bulldogs get a few on the field. GWS are also hoping for a consolation prize after a tough season with a pick in the forward line.

    The 2013 AFL season has once again shown that the modern game belongs to the midfielders. Sydney proved last season that you can win a flag without having a key focal point up front.

    This year’s top eight has been marked by sides with balanced midfields; players who are capable of winning hard, contested ball and dishing it out to fast outside runners.

    Richmond’s first taste to finals footy in over a decade is testament to their midfield dominance. Trent Cotchin has averaged over 27 disposals a game while Dustin Martin is second in the league for handball receives from a set position with 61.

    The young Richmond runners probably still need time to develop to the standard of Sydney’s engine room though, with Daniel Hannebery and Kieran Jack in career best form this season. This due are capably supported by Josh Kennedy, Jarrad McVeigh, Adam Goodes, Ryan O’Keefe and a plethora promising young players.

    Fremantle’s midfield is also hitting their prime. Nathan Fyfe is playing better then ever and Michael Barlow is a true star of the game.

    A common trend in All Australian selections over the past decade is to include a midfielder on the forward flank. The breadth of talent among modern midfielders cannot simply fit into six on-field positions.

    Expect Adelaide’s Patrick Dangerfield to feature in the forward line as a result of the goal-kicking ability he has displayed this season.

    In selecting defenders, it is interesting to note that Fremantle and Sydney have conceding less points than any other team by a considerable margin.

    For the other sides, Geelong’s Corey Enright and Harry Taylor are definitely two of the best defenders in the league. Carlton’s Andrew Walker could be an exciting selection on the back flank, while North Melbourne’s Scott Thompson has been a big improver.

    There are probably about four or five Fremantle players that could feature in this year’s backline.

    In the forwards, three tall men is a likely option. Jeremy Cameron and Josh Kennedy should be locked in.

    Hawthorn’s Jarryd Roughead has arguably had his best season to date, and I would like to see him start at centre half forward and be used as a second ruck option.

    The league has also given the spotlight to many of the great small forward this year too.

    No one has improved more than North Melbourne’s Lindsay Thomas, and Chad Wingard, Steven Motlop, Jeff Garlett and Jamie Elliot are also in the mix. Dustin Martin probably won’t break into the midfield this year but might be a chance on the flank with his goal scoring abilities.

    Here’s my team starting from the fullbacks. Feel free to give feedback below:

    FB: Corey Enright (Geelong) Luke McPharlin (Fremantle) Scott Thompson (North Melbourne)

    HB: Andrew Walker (Carlton) Harry Taylor (Geelong) Nick Malceski (Sydney)

    M: Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn) (vc) Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs)

    HF: Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn) Chad Wingard (Port Adelaide)

    FF: Lindsay Thomas (North Melbourne) Jeremy Cameron (Greater Western Sydney) Josh Kennedy (West Coast)

    Foll: Will Minson (Western Bulldogs) Kieran Jack (Sydney) Gary Ablett Jr (Gold Coast) (c)

    Int: Dane Swan (Collingwood) Joel Selwood (Geelong) Daniel Hannebery (Sydney) Brendon Goddard (Essendon)

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    The Crowd Says (27)

    • August 21st 2013 @ 9:11am
      Franko said | August 21st 2013 @ 9:11am | ! Report

      So of course I am biased but I find it odd that Kane Cornes isn’t even mentioned in any possible AA.
      He has had the wood on Ablett, Hannebury and Pendelbury (who are all in the above AA) this year but still doesn’t get a mention.

      Last weekend. G.Ablett 12 kicks, 10 handballs, 5 marks, 3 points
      . K. Cornes 15 kicks, 11 handballs, 5 marks, 1 goal

      • Roar Guru

        August 21st 2013 @ 10:01am
        Steve J said | August 21st 2013 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        Crowley has the wood on most premier midfielders – but taggers are extremely unfashionable in an AA team, although every team has a tagger.

    • Roar Pro

      August 21st 2013 @ 9:30am
      Samuel Gates said | August 21st 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      If you look at the season stats, Ablett averages 31.26 disposals a game whereas Cornes averages 27.05. He has had a great season though. It’s hard to include all the top midfielders. Jobe Watson, Trent Cotchin, Travis Boak and Nathan Fyfe couldn’t fit into this side.

    • Roar Guru

      August 21st 2013 @ 9:59am
      Steve J said | August 21st 2013 @ 9:59am | ! Report

      That’s a fair crack, however I can’t see Luke MPharlin in the side given he would have missed 40% of games by the end of the regular season. Michael Johnson is not a true full back, but plays the sweeiping role so I’d almost swap Thompson for McPharlin and bring in Johnson (if you are set on having one Freo player in the team).

      Sam Mitchell on a wing doesn’t make sense – he is a centre clearance player. The best 4 in the centre should be Minson, Ablett, Pendlebury and Griffen. Fyfe on a wing makes more sense than Griffen or MItchell (IMHO)

      Also – where’s the second ruck? With only 2.6 Hit outs a match I can’t see Roughhead taking that spot. Todd Goldstein deserves a spot on the bench before Goddard. In fact Crowley would be a better option on the bench than Goddard.

      I am not a fan of the three power forward AA set up. I know Hawthorn play Franklin, Hale and Roughhead but very few other sides have that set up.

      My criticism of the AA team is that it rarely reflects positions played throughout the season (Dangerfield over Steve Johnson on a HFF would never happen in any coaches book this year) and it always seems a little cobbled together. Either its the best 22 players (regrdless of position) or it should be the best player in the position.

      Is Jeremy Cameron one of the best forward pockets? Not when you consider the role of the forward pocket – crumb, tackle, apply pressure, kick goals, annoy people. Cameron’s tackle count of 25 is one of the lowest in the top 20 goal kickers for the season. Whereas Chris Mayne – 35 goals, 87 tackles, 100+ more possessions, suits that role far better. Even so, Should Cameron be there ahead of Cloke who has twice the contested marks and 20+ more shots on goal?

      One thing to be sure no matter what gets thrown up as the AA team a lot of people will disagree with some of the selections

      • Roar Pro

        August 21st 2013 @ 10:51am
        Samuel Gates said | August 21st 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

        Jeremy Cameron is leading the Coleman while playing in the last placed team in the competition. GWS average at least 10 less inside 50s per game than most sides. If he was in one of the top sides this year he probably would have kicked 80 something goals.

        Fair point about the rucks. There really hasn’t been much between Minson and Goldstein this season; both brilliant rucks. They’re both capable of taking majority of ruck responsibility. Roughead has played deeper in the forward line this season but has shown in past seasons that he can play in the midfield and win a lot of taps.

        I wanted Goodard for his utility abilities and as a possible defender off the bench.

        • Roar Guru

          August 21st 2013 @ 11:20am
          Steve J said | August 21st 2013 @ 11:20am | ! Report

          My main gripe is three power forwards, and if you put Cameron in a pocket then it has to be more than just goal kicking, he has to have that defensive pressure that is a must for forwards nowadays. Which is why I’d go for Mayne or even Ballantyne in that position over Cameron. (note – it is all about the position for me)

          • Roar Pro

            August 21st 2013 @ 8:49pm
            Samuel Gates said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

            I actually have Jeremy Cameron at full forward. Josh Kennedy is in the pocket. His defensive pressure is actually quite good. He has 66 tackles for the season so far which places him 5th best at the Eagles.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 10:21am
      mike said | August 21st 2013 @ 10:21am | ! Report

      Mcpharlin, 13 games this year. Are you serious. A small amount of research goes a long way.

      • Roar Pro

        August 21st 2013 @ 10:55am
        Samuel Gates said | August 21st 2013 @ 10:55am | ! Report

        He’s still arguably the best fullback in the game. He’s also an incredible leader in the Fremantle backline along with Zac Dawson. Scott Thompson could move to fullback while Michael Johnson, Garrick Ibbotson or Josh Gibson could move in.

      • Roar Guru

        August 21st 2013 @ 11:13am
        langou said | August 21st 2013 @ 11:13am | ! Report

        McPaharlan is no chance but the following Freo players will; probably in the squad at least Mayne, Johnson, Mundy, Fyfe, and Barlow

      • August 21st 2013 @ 11:21am
        Jermayn said | August 21st 2013 @ 11:21am | ! Report

        Yeh McPharlin has zero chance to get in this year…. Thompson, Mackenzie and Glass all have had better years than him.

      • Roar Pro

        August 21st 2013 @ 8:49pm
        Jsteel said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:49pm | ! Report

        Mcpharlin a walk up start in round 11, but correct missed too much footy should not and will not get in

    • August 21st 2013 @ 11:30am
      Andrew said | August 21st 2013 @ 11:30am | ! Report

      Travis Cloke is the best power forward in the AFL. He is a must.

      • August 21st 2013 @ 1:17pm
        Connor said | August 21st 2013 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

        The only full forwards or CHF’s that should be in the team are those leading the Coleman. Travis Cloke wont be in the 44 and shouldnt be purely based on that shot he had against Sydney. As well as other things

      • Roar Pro

        August 21st 2013 @ 8:57pm
        Samuel Gates said | August 21st 2013 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

        Travis Cloke had a great first half of the season, especially the 7 goals he kicked against Richmond. He’s also 2nd in the league for marks behind Nick Riewoldt, and only two goals behind the Coleman leaders. He’s kicking for goal at only 56% though. Josh Kennedy on the other hand is at 75%. He’s close to selection but his kicking has let him down again.

    • August 21st 2013 @ 11:41am
      Rich_daddy said | August 21st 2013 @ 11:41am | ! Report

      Nic Riewolt and Jarrad McVeigh I reckon should get a gig.

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