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Opinion

Season 2020 AFL combined team: Six of six (Swans, Eagles, Bulldogs)

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Roar Guru
20th November, 2020
3

Moving onto the sixth combined team of 2020, I look at the Swans, Eagles and Bulldogs.

The fact that the Western Bulldogs played such an attacking and exciting brand of footy meant that Luke Beveridge gets the nod as coach, just ahead of Adam Simpson.

AFL combined team number six
Sydney Swans: Harry Cunningham, Jordan Dawson, Jake Lloyd, Luke Parker, Tom Papley, Dane Rampe

West Coast Eagles: Liam Duggan, Andrew Gaff, Jeremy McGovern, Nic Naitanui, Liam Ryan, Brad Sheppard

Western Bulldogs: Marucs Bontempelli, Caleb Daniel, Tim English, Lachie Hunter, Jack Macrae, Bailey Smith

B: Brad Sheppard (West Coast Eagles, co-captain), Dane Rampe (Sydney Swans), Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs)
HB: Liam Duggan (West Coast Eagles), Jeremy McGovern (West Coast Eagles), Jake Lloyd (Sydney Swans)
C: Andrew Gaff (West Coast Eagles), Jack Macrae (Western Bulldogs), Harry Cunningham (Sydney Swans)
HF: Jordan Dawson (Sydney Swans), Tim English (Western Bulldogs), Luke Parker (Sydney Swans, co-captain)
FF: Tom Papley (Sydney Swans), Liam Ryan (West Coast Eagles), Lachie Hunter (Western Bulldogs)
Foll: Nic Naitanui (West Coast Eagles), Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs, Co-Captain), Bailey Smith (Western Bulldogs)

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Nic Naitanui

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

Backs
Brad Sheppard had an outstanding season in 2020. He was selected in the back pocket of the 2020 All Australian team. He led from the front for the West Coast Eagles.

Dane Rampe was a key player for the Sydney Swans at full back. Unfortunately he was injured and only played 11 games. He was a bit of barometer for the Swans as they won four of their five games in 2020 with Rampe in the team.

Caleb Daniel won the best and fairest for the Western Bulldogs in 2020. He was selected on the interchange bench in the 2020 All Australian team.

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Halfbacks
Liam Duggan finished fifth in the West Coast Eagles’ best and fairest in 2020, which was impressive.

Jeremy McGovern may have played 12 of the 18 games for the West Coast Eagles due to injury, but he was a pivotal part of the Eagles’ structure.

Jake Lloyd won the 2020 best and fairest for the Sydney Swans. He averaged the sixth most disposals of any of the players in the AFL in 2020.

Centres
Andrew Gaff finished second in the West Coast Eagles’ best and fairest. He was one of four Eagles that was a part of the All Australian squad of 40 in 2020.

Jack Macrae was one of three Western Bulldogs players named in the starting 22 of the All Australian players in 2020.

Jackson Macrae

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Harry Cunningham finished fifth in the Sydney Swans best and fairest in 2020. He played his best footy when on the wing and should be renowned as a utility player capable of playing different roles for the team.

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Half forwards
Jordan Dawson was a player that managed to play every game with the exception of one game. He had the ability to play multiple roles and is a player with plenty of potential. He finished ninth in the Sydney Swans’ best and fairest and established himself in their best 22.

Tim English showed that he was capable of taking good marks and would be a revelation if given the opportunity to play as a centre half forward and a second ruck.

Luke Parker has the capability to play through the midfield or on a half forward flank, which is where he was selected in this combined team. He proved that he is a natural leader and finished second in the Sydney Swans’ best and fairest.

Luke Parker

(Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/Getty Images)

Forwards
Tom Papley showed that he should be regarded as one of the most naturally talented players in the competition. He was named in the All Australian squad of 40. It was imperative for the Sydney Swans that he didn’t leave the club as he is an exceptional player.

Liam Ryan was named in the forward pocket in the All Australian team. He had the capability to play as a full forward as he showed that he had the ability to take big marks in a pack.

Lachie Hunter was a revelation for the Western Bulldogs, as he averaged the second most disposals. The Western Bulldogs were a different team with him in it.

Followers
Nic Naitanui was named as the starting ruck for the All Australian team in 2020.

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Marcus Bontempelli may have played plenty of time in the middle of the ground in 2020, however he had the capability to play forward at times as well. He was named on the half forward flank of the All Australian team in 2020.

Bailey Smith played every game for the Western Bulldogs in 2020. He averaged the third most disposals for the Bulldogs and was extremely consistent as he finished seventh in their best and fairest.