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The Roar


An early sample of 2019's best 22s

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Roar Rookie
8th November, 2018
1059 Reads

Being stuck somewhere in limbo during the off-season comings and goings, I have decided to pen an article looking at the best 22s of certain teams heading into 2019.

These teams are of interest to me for varying reasons, and I am interested to hear from supporters of these clubs on how close to the mark I am, and how they see things differently.

Teams listed are going under the assumption that all players are fit and ready to go in Round 1. Each team will also contain some personal thoughts on their capabilities.


B: Reece Conca, Joel Hamling, Brennan Cox
HB: Nathan Wilson, Alex Pearce, Luke Ryan
C: Brad Hill, Nat Fyfe, Ed Langdon
HF: Micheal Walters, Matt Taberner, David Mundy
F: Rory Lobb, Jesse Hogan, Hayden Ballantyne
FOL: Aaron Sandilands, Connor Blakely, Stephen Hill
I/C: Adam Cerra, Andrew Brayshaw, Bailey Banfield, Darcy Tucker

  • Conca to play as small defender. Could be handy in that role.
  • Stephen Hill to reinvigorate his career as an inside mid, has been played out of position recently.
  • Cox to get first crack as 3rd defensive tall. Griffin Logue to prove himself at Peel.
  • As always, the wildcard is Harley Bennell. If fit and in form, he comes straight in at the expense of Tucker.
  • Strong team, if they click, they could be very dangerous in 2019.

Gold Coast

B: Jarrod Harbrow, Rory Thompson, Sam Collins
HB: Callum Ah Chee, Jack Hombsch, Pearce Hanley
C: Jack Martin, David Swallow, Lachie Weller
HB: Josh Corbett, Sam Day, Alex Sexton
F: Aaron Young, Peter Wright, Ben Ainsworth
FOL: Jarrod Witts, Touk Miller, Will Brodie
I/C: Brayden Fiorini, Jack Bowes, Anthony Miles, George Horlin-Smith

  • If the draft falls as the majority of football pundits are predicting then Jack Lukosius, Connor Rozee and Bailey Smith replace Corbett, Miles and Horlin-Smith respectively.
  • On paper it looks a competitive team if certain players can fire. Probably a lock for the spoon, but should at least be able to compete against most teams if injuries don’t hit too hard and Stuart Dew can get them working together.

North Melbourne

B: Majak Daw, Scott Thompson, Marley Williams
HB: Jasper Pittard, Robbie Tarrant, Jamie Macmillan
C: Trent Dumont, Ben Cunnington, Jared Polec
HF: Taylor Garner, Mason Wood, Aaron Hall
F: Jack Ziebell, Ben Brown, Jy Simpkin
FOL: Todd Goldstein, Ben Jacobs, Shaun Higgins
I/C: Paul Ahern, Dom Tyson, Shaun Atley, Ed Vickers-Willis

  • This is a strong team on paper. Combination of genuine talent and combative role players.
  • If things go right there is no reason why North can’t make the eight and make life difficult for the top rated teams.
  • This is a lineup that should play fast, exciting football especially under the roof at Marvel Stadium.
  • Lots of depth on this list with Sam Wright, Luke McDonald, Kayne Turner, Luke Davies-Uniacke, Will Walker, Jed Anderson and Cameron Zurhaar waiting in the wings.
  • Highly rated young talent in Tarryn Thomas and Bailey Scott confirmed to be joining the club through the 2019 draft.

Greater Western Sydney

B: Nick Haynes, Aidan Corr, Adam Kennedy
HB: Heath Shaw, Phil Davis, Zac Williams
C: Tim Taranto, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield
HF: Toby Greene, Harry Himmelberg, Brett Deledio
F: Zac Langdon, Jeremy Cameron, Aiden Bonar
FOL: Shane Mumford, Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio
I/C: Jacob Hopper, Matt de Boer, Adam Tomlinson, Harry Perryman

  • Still a really strong team on paper, though depth could be an issue if and when the annual injury toll takes effect.
  • If the Mumford comeback doesn’t happen due to the off-field controversy, Dawson Simpson is a guaranteed starter.
  • When fit, Jon Patton certainly challenges for the best 22. No guarantee due to team balance but certainly challenges.

Brisbane Lions

B: Luke Hodge, Marcus Adams, Darcy Gardiner
HB: Alex Witherden, Harris Andrews, Daniel Rich
C: Tom Cutler, Lachie Neale, Hugh McLuggage
HF: Charlie Cameron, Daniel McStay, Lewis Taylor
F: Cam Rayner, Eric Hipwood, Lincoln McCarthy
FOL: Stefan Martin, Dayne Zorko, Jarrod Berry
I/C: Allen Christenson, Mitch Robinson, Jarryd Lyons, Oscar McInerney

  • Very exciting team who could potentially challenge for finals providing they can turn the Gabba into the fortress it once was.
  • Questions about their key forward depth, is Hipwood ready to consistently tear games apart as we know he is capable of doing? Can McStay, or anyone, provide the support that he needs?
  • I believe McLuggage is ready to go to the next level and contend for an All-Australian spot in 2019.
  • Can Hodge maintain his form, or is his considerable leadership and knowledge best suited to coaching? An exciting, running backman by the name of Cedric Cox will be hoping for the latter, but will on-field leadership struggle as a result?


B: Lachie Plowman, Jacob Weitering, Dale Thomas
HB: Kade Simpson, Caleb Marchbank, Sam Docherty
C: Sam Fisher, Patrick Cripps, Marc Murphy
HF: Mitch McGovern, Charlie Curnow, Sam Petrovski-Seton
F: Jarrod Pickett, Harry Mckay, Alex Fasolo
FOL: Mathew Kruezer, Ed Curnow, Paddy Dow
I/C: Will Setterfield, Lochie O’Brien, Mathew Kennedy, Sam Walsh

  • Things don’t seem so bad as a Carlton supporter looking at that team, do they? If this team can stay fit, and get natural development from some of those talented kids, then Carlton should be at least tripling their win tally from 2018.
  • I am of the belief that the rebuild is on track and the Blues should be challenging for finals in 2020.
  • If injuries occur as they did in 2018, the club will again have its depth tested but should be better placed in 2019 should this happen.


B: Jeremy Howe, Lynden Dunn, Tom Langdon
HB: Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Jack Crisp
C: Daniel Wells, Taylor Adams, Steele Sidebottom
HF: Jordan de Goey, Brody Mihocek, Will Hoskin-Elliot
F: Jamie Elliott, Mason Cox, Jaidyn Stephenson
FOL: Brody Grundy, Dayne Beams, Adam Treloar
I/C: Scott Pendlebury, Tom Phillips, Josh Thomas, Levi Greenwood

  • This is to me probably the strongest best 22 in the AFL heading into 2019. Rock solid down back, ridiculously stacked in the midfield, dynamic forward line and one of the best ruckmen in the game.
  • Only doubt would be the ability of the key forwards to produce on a regular basis but with the ‘swoop squad’, all they really need to do is compete strongly and there are enough options at ground level to outscore most teams.
  • These guys get 15 games each and finals from Daniel Wells and Jamie Elliot, they probably will win the flag.