The third part of the six-part series comprises the five players that the Geelong Cats, Gold Coast Suns and Greater Western Sydney Giants could least afford to lose in season 2021 plus an honourable mention.
Moving on to my third combined team of 2020, we look at the Cats, Suns and Giants, who would be coached by Geelong’s Chris Scott.
AFL combined team three
B: Jack Lukosius (Gold Coast Suns), Sam Collins (Gold Coast Suns, co-captain), Nick Haynes (Greater Western Sydney Giants)
HB: Lachie Whitfield (Greater Western Sydney Giants), Marc Blicavs (Geelong Cats), Zac Williams (Greater Western Sydney Giants)
C: Josh Kelly (Greater Western Sydney Giants, co-captain), Hugh Greenwood (Gold Coast Suns), Cam Guthrie (Geelong Cats)
HF: Mitch Duncan (Geelong Cats), Jake Riccardi (Greater Western Sydney Giants), Noah Anderson (Gold Coast Suns)
FF: Sam Menegola (Geelong Cats), Tom Hawkins (Geelong Cats), Toby Greene (Greater Western Sydney Giants)
Foll: Jarrod Witts (Gold Coast Suns), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats, co-Captain), Matt Rowell (Gold Coast Suns)
Jack Lukosius had a reasonable season, playing every games and averaging 16.35 disposals.
Sam Collins was the best full back in the 2020 competition. He can count himself extremely unlucky not to have been selected in the All Australian squad.
Nick Haynes finished equal first with Lachie Whitfield in the Giants’ best and fairest and is back pocket in this combined team, despite him being named on a half back flank in the All Australian team. In Round 15 against the Carlton Blues, he was named in a back pocket and he was arguably the best player on the ground!
It’s difficult to fathom why Lachie Whitfield wasn’t selected in the All Australian squad of 40, as he was extremely consistent and GWS’s leading disposal winner. He can play on a half back flank or on the wing.
Mark Blicavs would start at centre half back and would also be the second ruckman as he averaged 8.62 hitouts per game in 2020 (including finals).
Zac Williams may have only played 11 games this year, but he still had a big impact, providing plenty of run off the half back flank for the Giants.
Averaging the second-most disposals for GWS this year, Josh Kelly would play on the wing and through the midfield.
Hugh Greenwood polled the most votes of any Gold Coast Suns, player with 11, which summed up his impact in 2020.
Cam Guthrie was named on the wing in the All Australian team and has a consistent impact in the midfield.
Mitch Duncan finished a respectable fifth in the Cats’ best and fairest and can play either on the wing or on the half forward flank.
Jake Riccardi kicked at least one goal in all but one of the five games he played in 2020.
Noah Anderson was a good addition to the Suns and has the capability of playing different roles.
Sam Menegola was in the All Australian squad but somehow missed selection in the final 22. He averaged the most disposals of any Cats player (including finals) and has the ability to kick a goal.
Tom Hawkins added another string to his bow in 2020, pinch hitting in the ruck, and was named the All Australian full forward.
Toby Greene polled 12 votes, four more than any other GWS player, in the Brownlow Medal.
Jarrod Witts averaged an impressive 28.1 hitouts per game and featured in all 17 matches in 2020 for the Suns.
Patrick Dangerfield can play in the midfield or up forward and was captain of the All Australian team. For this exercise it’s a no brainer to select him in the midfield, as he averaged under a goal per game and would probably get tagged, which would free up other midfielders.
Matt Rowell was a revelation, polling nine out of a possible 12 votes in the Brownlow Medal after being injured, amassing only two disposals in the fifth game of the season, which therefore didn’t come into consideration.