This fourth part of the six-part series comprises five players that the Hawthorn Hawks, Melbourne Demons and North Melbourne Kangaroos could least afford to lose in season 2021 plus a pre-draft honourable mention.
Moving onto the fourth combined team of 2020, we look at the Hawks, Demons and Kangaroos.
Despite the fact the Demons finished with nine wins, the Hawks with five wins and the Kangaroos just three, Alastair Clarkson gets the nod as coach of this combined team as the Hawks played a good brand of footy in 2020.
Hawthorn Hawks: Luke Breust, James Cousins, Jack Gunston, Tom Mitchell James Sicily, Chad Wingard
Melbourne Demons: Max Gawn, Michael Hibberd, Ed Langdon, Steven May, Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca
North Melbourne Kangaroos: Trent Dumont, Shaun Higgins, Nick Larkey, Luke McDonald, Jy Simpkin, Robbie Tarrant
B: Luke McDonald (North Melbourne Kangaroos), Steven May (Melbourne Demons), James Sicily (Hawthorn Hawks)
HB: James Cousins (Hawthorn Hawks), Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne Kangaroos), Michael Hibberd (Melbourne Demons)
C: Ed Langdon (Melbourne Demons), Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn Hawks, Co-Captain), Trent Dumont (North Melbourne Kangaroos)
HF: Shaun Higgins (North Melbourne Kangaroos, Co-Captain), Jack Gunston (Hawthorn Hawks), Chad Wingard (Hawthorn Hawks)
FF: Christian Petracca (Melbourne Demons), Nick Larkey (North Melbourne Kangaroos), Luke Breust (Hawthorn Hawks)
Foll: Max Gawn (Melbourne Demons), Clayton Oliver (Melbourne Demons, Co-Captain), Jy Simpkin (North Melbourne Kangaroos)
Luke McDonald won the North Melbourne best and fairest in 2020. He played every game and was an important part of the Kangaroos back six.
Steven May finished second in the Demons best and fairest. He could consider himself unlucky not to be selected in the 2020 squad of 40.
James Sicily may have played only 11 games in 2020 due to injury, but he finished equal fifth in the Hawthorn Hawks best and fairest.
Robbie Tarrant was unlucky to have finished sixth in the Kangaroos best and fairest as he had a good season in a team that was disappointing. He averaged an impressive 15.62 disposals per game and missed only one game through injury, which the Kangaroos lost by a point – they may have won it had he been available for selection.
Michael Hibberd may have missed three games for Melbourne in 2020, but he still managed to finished ninth in the Demons best and fairest. He was an attacking defender who provided plenty of run out of defence.
Ed Langdon had a good season for the Melbourne Demons. He played on the wing and relished the opportunity to play for the Demons in his first season at the club in 2020.
Tom Mitchell leads by example. He finished a deserved second in the Hawthorn best and fairest. It’s fair to say that the Hawks are a better team with him in it, as he was sorely missed in 2019 due to him breaking his leg.
Trent Dumont had the capability to play on the wing and in the midfield when needed. He finished fifth in the North Melbourne best and fairest in 2020.
Shaun Higgins had a great season for North Melbourne in 2020. He showed that he was versatile enough to play on a half-forward flank or in the midfield or on a wing.
Jack Gunston won the Hawthorn best and fairest in 2020. He was the only player in the All Australian squad of 40 for the Hawks in 2020.
Chad Wingard finished third in the Hawks best and fairest in 2020. He kicked 18 goals, which was the second most of any Hawks player. He was a pivotal part of their team.
Christian Petracca was Melbourne’s version of Dustin Martin or Patrick Dangerfield. Despite always playing at a high intensity, Petracca was never rested – he played every game and won the Demons best and fairest. He was selected in the midfield of the 2020 All Australian team. He kicked the equal third most goals for the Demons, with 15.
Nick Larkey averaged the most goals of any Kangaroos players, with an average of 1.4 goals per game. He was a pivotal part of the Kangaroos structure even though he played only ten games.
Luke Breust kicked 16 goals in 13 games. He played a pivotal role either in the forward pocket or on the half-forward flank.
Max Gawn was part of the All Australian team in 2020 on the interchange bench.
Clayton Oliver was a part of the All Australian squad of 40 in 2020. He averaged 25 disposals per game and he featured in every game the Demons played in 2020.
Jy Simkin finished second in the North Melbourne best and fairest in 2020. He could consider himself unlucky that he failed to feature in the All Australian squad of 40.