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Halfway 2018 All Australian team: The midfield

Max Gawn of the Demons in action. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
Roar Guru
18th June, 2018
30
1014 Reads

Following my All Australian defence selections, attention turns to the midfield.

The engine room of every All Australian team is hotly contested, but midfielders such as Joel Selwood, Patrick Dangerfield and Dustin Martin consistently find themselves in line for selection. However, 2018 has seen some of the most consistent midfielders in the competition decrease their output. As a result, none of those above three found their way into my team.

Similarly, to the defence, only players who have competed in over eight matches for the season will be considered, and relevant statistics will reflect as such.

Centre line

Jack Macrae (wing)
The Bulldogs midfielder has had the most consistent year of his career, ranking elite in ten separate statistical categories. Macrae is an elite accumulator and distributor and is ranked as the third highest midfielder in both disposals and effective kicks.

Macrae sits first in the competition for Supercoach points, highlighting his incredible season.

Patrick Cripps (centre)
Cripps is undoubtedly an incredible young leader and a sensational midfielder. Despite being consistently tagged and receiving little by way of support, Cripps ranks first in contested possessions and second in clearances.

Often noted is the Carlton mid’s sheer height, which has seen him develop into a dominant force in the air, ranking fourth in his position for contested marks.

Andrew Gaff (wing)
The West Coast superstar is one of the competitions elite runners. Gaff ranks first in uncontested possessions attesting to his ability to spread from contests. The 2015 All Australian is also an exceptional user, ranking as the second-best midfielder in effective kicks.

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Patrick Cripps Carlton Blues AFL 2017

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Followers

Max Gawn (ruck)
The ruck position was the most difficult selection of the side. The battle between Brodie Grundy and Gawn was incredibly close. They are the second and third-highest Supercoach scoring players in the competition. Grundy is undoubtedly the most elite ruckman around the ground, but Gawn is a colossus in ruck contests. Ultimately it came down to Gawn’s ability inside 50. Gawn averages more points, goal assists, and marks inside 50 than his Collingwood rival.

Nathan Fyfe (ruck-rover)
Aside from a brief brain fade against Collingwood, Fyfe has had a sensational season, ranked as the third-highest Supercoach midfielder. The Brownlow medallist is the league’s most prolific contested ball-winning midfielder, sitting first in contested marks and second in contested possessions. Fyfe also presents a serious threat on offence, averaging almost a goal a game.

Tom Mitchell (rover)
The Hawthorn ball magnet has continued on from his dominant 2017. The former Swan’s tank is exceptional playing almost 90 per cent of the game time. Mitchell is elite in 15 statistical categories, including ranking first in disposals and clearances and third in contested possessions.

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Bench

Brodie Grundy
A phenomenal ruckman. The Magpie is rated elite in clearances, contested possessions, effective disposals and tackles.

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Jake Lloyd
A perpetually underrated player. The Sydney wingman is the competitions most elite ball using midfielder. First in effective kicks, second in disposal efficiency and fifth in metres gained.

Unfortunate exclusions

  • Clayton Oliver
  • Ben Cunnington
  • Ed Curnow
  • Adam Treloar
  • Mitch Duncan
  • Elliot Yeo