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Opinion

Season 2020 AFL combined team: Top nine vs bottom nine

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Roar Guru
21st November, 2020
2

It would be an interesting game if the top nine teams on the AFL ladder played against the bottom nine teams, with each combined side comprising two players from every team based on their performances in 2020.

Check out the players chosen from the top nine teams.

Top nine

1. Richmond Tigers
Dustin Martin and Jayden Short.

2, Geelong Cats
Patrick Dangerfield and Sam Menegola.

3. Port Adelaide Power
Travis Boak and Charlie Dixon.

4. Brisbane Lions
Hugh McCluggage and Lachie Neale.

5. St Kilda Saints
Dan Butler and Jack Steele.

6. Collingwood Magpies
Brayden Maynard and Darcy Moore.

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7. West Coast Eagles
Nic Naitanui and Brad Sheppard.

8, Western Bulldogs
Marcus Bontempelli and Caleb Daniel.

9, Melbourne Demons
Steven May, Christian Petracca

Team list
B: Brad Sheppard (West Coast Eagles), Steven May (Melbourne Demons), Caleb Daniel (Western Bulldogs)
HB: Brayden Maynard (Collingwood Magpies), Darcy Moore (Collingwood Magpies), Jayden Short (Richmond Tigers)
C: Hugh McCluggage (Brisbane Lions), Travis Boak (Port Adelaide Power, co-captain), Sam Menegola (Geelong Cats)
HF: Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs, co-captain), Dustin Martin (Richmond Tigers), Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong Cats, Co-Captain)
FF: Christian Petracca (Melbourne Demons), Charlie Dixon (Port Adelaide Power), Dan Butler (St Kilda Saints)
Foll: Nic Naitanui (West Coast Eagles), Jack Steele (St Kilda Saints), Lachie Neale (Brisbane Lions)

Coach: Damien Hardwick (Richmond Tigers). Damien Hardwick was undisputedly the best coach in the AFL in 2020.

Damien Hardwick

Damien Hardwick (Photo by Graham Denholm/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Backs
Brad Sheppard was AFL All Australian in 2020 in the back pocket for the West Coast Eagles.

Steven May won the Melbourne Demons best and fairest in 2020.

Caleb Daniel played exceptionally well and was rewarded with selection on the interchange bench for the All Australian team in 2020 and won the Western Bulldogs best and fairest.

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Halfbacks
Brayden Maynard carried the Collingwood Magpies defence at times in 2020. He was unlucky to miss out on the 22 All Australian players chosen but still managed to be selected in the squad of 40.

Darcy Moore of the Collingwood Magpies were selected at centre halfback in the All Australian team in 2020.

Jayden Short deservedly won the Richmond Tigers best and fairest in 2020. He was outstanding in the grand final.

Darcy Moore Collingwood Magpies AFL 2017

Darcy Moore (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Centres
Hugh McCluggage, who plays for the Brisbane Lions, was in the All Australian squad of 40.

Travis Boak was deservedly named vice-captain in All Australian final 22. He led Port Adeliade well in 2020, even though he wasn’t their captain.

Sam Menegola was in the All Australian squad of 40 but should have been on the wing in the final 22 as he was a pivotal player for Geelong.

Half-forwards
Marcus Bontempelli was a great leader for the Western Bulldogs in 2020 and was named on the half-forward flank of the final All Australian team.

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Dustin Martin would play centre half-forward for the team that I have chosen as he would be most suited to that role. He was probably the reason why, along with Damien Hardwick’s coaching, that Richmond won the premiership in 2020.

Patrick Dangerfield was a natural leader for Geelong and was named captain of the All Australian side in 2020 on a half-forward flank.

Patrick Dangerfield

Patrick Dangerfield (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Forwards
Christian Petracca was outstanding for the Demons in 2020. He was named in the All Australian midfield and won the Melbourne best and fairest.

Charlie Dixon had a great season for the Port Adelaide Power in 2020 as he was chosen as centre half forward of the All Australian team. He can also pinch hit in the ruck.

Dan Butler was named in the All Australian squad of 40 and was a big reason why the St Kilda Saints featured in the finals in 2020.

Followers
Nic Naitanui was renowned as being the best ruckman in the competition in 2020. He carried the West Coast Eagles at times.

Jack Steele of the Saints was named on the interchange bench of the All Australian squad of 40.

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Lachie Neale won the Brownlow Medal in 2020.

Nic Naitanui

Nic Naitanui (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Check out the players from the bottom nine teams.

Bottom nine

10. Greater Western Sydney Giants
Nick Haynes and Lachie Whitfield.

11, Carlton Blues
Patrick Cripps and Sam Walsh.

12. Fremantle Dockers
Nat Fyfe and Matt Taberner.

13. Essendon Bombers
Zach Merrett and Jordan Ridley.

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14. Gold Coast Suns
Hugh Greenwood and Matt Rowell.

15. Hawthorn Hawks
Jack Gunston and Chad Wingard.

16. Sydney Swans
Tom Papley and Dane Rampe.

17. North Melbourne Kangaroos
Jy Simpkin and Robbie Tarrant.

18. Adelaide Crows
Rory Laird and Reilly O’Brien.

Team list
B: Rory Laird (Adelaide Crows), Dane Rampe (Sydney Swans), Jordan Ridley (Essendon Bombers)
HB: Lachie Whitfield (Greater Western Sydney Giants), Robbie Tarrant (North Melbourne Kangaroos), Nick Haynes (Greater Western Sydney Giants)
C: Sam Walsh (Carlton Blues, co-captain), Hugh Greenwood (Gold Coast Suns), Zach Merrett (Essendon Bombers, co-captain)
HF: Patrick Cripps (Carlton Blues), Matt Taberner (Fremantle Dockers), Chad Wingard (Hawthorn Hawks)
FF: Tom Papley (Sydney Swans), Jack Gunston (Hawthorn Hawks), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle Dockers, Co-Captain)
Foll: Reilly O’Brien (Adelaide Crows), Matt Rowell (Gold Coast Suns), Jy Simpkin (North Melbourne Kangaroos)

Coach: Alastair Clarkson (Hawthorn Hawks). Despite the Hawks finishing 15th, ‘Clarko’ is the best Coach of the bottom nine teams.

Alastair Clarkson

Alastair Clarkson (Dylan Burns/AFL Photos)

Backs
Rory Laird finished second in the Adelaide Crows best and fairest in 2020. He could play in defence or in the midfield.

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Dane Rampe was a bit of a barometer for the Sydney Swans, with four of the Swans five wins coming with Rampe in the team.

Jordan Ridley was the only Bombers player in the All Australian squad of 40.

Halfbacks
Lachie Whitfield should have been in the All Australian squad of 40 and was the joint winner of the Greater Western Sydney Giants best and fairest in 2020.

Robbie Tarrant of the Kangaroos had a good season in a team that had a disappointing season.

Nick Haynes was named on the halfback flank in the All Australian team in 2020.

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Centres
Sam Walsh was a revelation for Carlton in 2020.

Hugh Greenwood polled 11 votes, the most of any Gold Coast Suns player, in the Brownlow Medal for 2020.

Zach Merrett would be more highly regarded if he played in a better team than Essendon. Despite the fact that they were disappointing, Merrett played well.

Half-forwards
Patrick Cripps of the Carlton Blues would be most suited to playing on the half-forward flank as he wouldn’t have the pressure of being tagged in the midfield.

Matt Taberner was possibly the best centre half-forward in the competition in 2020. He was named in the All Australian squad of 40.

Chad Wingard finished third in the Hawthorn best and fairest in 2020.

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Forwards
Tom Papley had a reasonable season for Sydney as he was selected in the All Australian squad of 40 in 2020.

Jack Gunston had a good season as he won the Hawks best and fairest and was selected in the All Australian squad of 40 in 2020.

Nat Fyfe would be suited to a role in the forward pocket. He was selected in the All Australian squad of 40 in 2020.

Followers
Reilly O’Brien won the Adelaide best and fairest in 2020.

Matt Rowell polled nine votes out of a possible 12 in the Brownlow Medal as he was injured early in the piece in the fifth game of the season in 2020. He was a pivotal player for the Gold Coast Suns when he was fit and available for selection.

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Jy Simpkin won the North Melbourne Kangaroos best and fairest in 2020.