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The one player each AFL club should poach in season 2021

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Roar Guru
23rd January, 2021
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If you could choose one player from any other team in the AFL for season 2021, who would it be?

There is only one player from each of the 18 clubs that can be used for this hypothetical exercise.

No club is perfect. There isn’t a club in the AFL that doesn’t have a flaw.

The Adelaide Crows need a mid-sized defender with Rory Laird moving to the midfield and due to them trading Kyle Hartigan to the Hawthorn Hawks. Brad Sheppard from the West Coast Eagles would be the perfect fit for the Crows. With Sheppard in the team, it would allow Tom Doedee to play at centre halfback, where he would flourish.

The Brisbane Lions require an extra midfielder. A player who has come so far as an inside midfielder in Taylor Adams of the Collingwood Magpies would fit the missing link. His inclusion would take the pressure off Lachie Neale.

The Carlton Blues are lacking a full back. They can’t rely on Jacob Weitering being the only quality key defender. They would love to have a player of the quality of Harris Andrews from the Brisbane Lions at full-back. This would take some pressure off Weitering as Andrews can make players around him better.

The Collingwood Magpies need someone on the wing with Josh Daicos is capable of moving forward, while Chris Mayne is coming towards the end of his career. A player of the quality of Sam Menegola from the Geelong Cats would help the Magpies improve. He also has the capability to go forward and kick goals, which he showed in the 2020 grand final where he kicked two goals.

Sam Menegola of the Cats celebrates kicking a goal

(Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

The Essendon Bombers need a replacement for Joe Daniher as he was traded to the Brisbane Lions. Matt Taberner from the Fremantle Dockers would take the pressure off the likes of James Stewart and Jake Stringer.


The Fremantle Dockers are missing a small defender who can create run out of defence. Caleb Daniel of the Western Bulldogs should strengthen that weakness on the Dockers team.

The Geelong Cats need a defender that can play centre halfback as Harry Taylor retired in 2020 and Mark Blicavs is a utility. The perfect player to fill the void would be Nick Haynes of the Greater Western Sydney Giants. He is an outstanding player suited to playing centre halfback.

The Gold Coast Suns need another leader and a player capable of playing inside midfield. The calibre of player needed would be Sam Walsh of the Carlton Blues as he can play inside midfield and on the wing. He would also be a good replacement for David Swallow as co-captain as it would take the pressure off Swallow if he relinquished the role.

The Greater Western Sydney Giants are in need of a small defender who has the capability to play multiple roles. A player that would fit the bill would be Jordan Dawson from the Sydney Swans.

The Hawthorn Hawks are in need of a forward as it appears, they will be without Jack Gunston and perhaps Jon Patton for the earlier part of season 2021. They do have Mitch Lewis who is going to be a good player but is still inexperienced. The player who would be suited to play for the Hawthorn Hawks would be Nick Larkey of the North Melbourne Kangaroos.

He averaged the most goals of any North Melbourne Kangaroos player in season 2020. He would take the pressure off Mitch Lewis.


The Melbourne Demons are in need of a small forward. The perfect player to bring into the team in season 2021 would be Zak Butters from the Port Adelaide Power, he was a part of AFL All-Australian squad of 40 in season 2020.

The North Melbourne Kangaroos are in need of a forward who could play in the midfield, due to Shaun Higgins being traded and Jack Ziebell being constantly injured. The perfect player for the Kangaroos to bring into their team in season 2021 would be Jade Gresham of the St Kilda Saints.

The Port Adelaide Power are in need of a key defender. It’s a piece of the jigsaw puzzle missing from their team. The player to fit into that puzzle would be Steven May of the Melbourne Demons.

The Richmond Tigers could do with some more quality in the middle of the ground. A player that would be a great asset to them in season 2021 would be Hugh Greenwood of the Gold Coast Suns. His inclusion would take the pressure off the likes of Shane Edwards and Dion Prestia.

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The St Kilda Saints are in need of a key defender as they have a problem in that area of the field. Noah Balta of the Richmond Tigers only played 17 of 21 games, but still managed to finish eighth in the Tigers’ best and fairest in season 2020.

The Sydney Swans are in need of a midfielder in the prime of their career. They would benefit from the addition of Matt Crouch from the Adelaide Crows who is a quality inside midfielder.

The West Coast Eagles are in need of a full back/key defender in the back half. The player to fit the bill would Kyle Hartigan of the Hawthorn Hawks; he can play anywhere in the back six. In season 2020 he finished eighth in the Adelaide Crows’ best and fairest despite playing only 12 of 17 games.

The Western Bulldogs are in desperate need of a tall defender that is adaptable. The addition of Jordan Ridley from the Essendon Bombers would take some pressure off Alex Keath. Ridley won the Bombers’ best and fairest in season 2020.