I must admit I found this year the easiest AA team to pick in a while. There are 16-17 players this year that are obvious locks in my humble. There were a few close calls though:
Laird vs Howe (HBF): Both in my 22 but Howe just gets the nod for the starting 18 due to his intercept marking. #TeamBalance
Kreuzer vs Ryder (Ruck): A genuine toss of the coin here but thought these had a margin on Jacobs and then Grundy a further length behind. Just think Kreuzer’s work as a a follower and around the ground was slightly more influential in games than Ryder…and being a Blues fan I love my Kreuz….
Brown vs Daniher (FP): Buddy & JJK I feel are locks at CHF & FF respectively so these two are battling for the 3rd tall forward spot. Just thought Brown, playing in a weaker side was more consistent but as close to 50/50 call as you’ll get.
Sloane vs Shiel: Another two who statistically were close to dead even and while Shiel was more consistent, Sloane’s match winning ability sees him get the nod, in spite of his quiet patch during the year when he was tagged heavily.
Greene vs Gray: Both in my 22 but went with Gray on field as he played 22 games to Greene 16. I reckon if you miss 4+ games, you need to have an exceptional season to make the 22, a truly amazing year to make the 18.
Merrett – I mention him because he has had pretty much the same year from a stats perspective as last year (2016 arguably slightly better) yet couldn’t make the 40 last year and is picked in everyone’s team this year. His certain selection in this years side is as much an apology for his 2016 omission than anything else. Lachie Neale also wondering what else he needed to do in 2016…
The only controversy is that I would have squeezed Clayton Oliver on the bench of the 22 but as he was not picked in the 40, I could not do so (what a joke that was BTW). Other guys I thought that were stiff to miss the 40 are
Jack Maccrae, Nat Fyfe, Mitch Duncan & Trent Cothcin
But if you want blokes in, you have to name bloke who should out. Bont is a gun but is in the squad on reputation and past performances. How anyone could say he had a better year than Oliver beggars belief. Think Maccare will beat him in the Doggies B&F. Another one I love is Josh P Kennedy but didn’t think he had a standout year. Maybe that is the curse of setting the bar so ridiculously high for so long. Adam Treloar was solid but no AA worthy in my humble… Again, staggered anyone would have his year ahead of Ollie’s
Anyway, here it is:
B: Neville Jetta (Melb), Alex Rance (Rich), Elliot Yeo (WCE)
HB: Sam Docherty (Carl), Michael Hurley (Ess), Jeremy Howe (Coll)
C: Josh Kelly (GWS), Tom Mitchell (Haw) VC , Matt Crouch (Adel)
HF: Robbie Gray (Pt Adel), Lance Franklin (Syd), Dane Zorko (Bris)
F: Edie Betts (Adel), Josh Kennedy (WCE), Ben Brown (Nth Melb)
R: Matthew Kreuzer (Carl), Patrick Dangerfield (Geel), Dustin Martin (Rich) C
I: Toby Greene (GWS), Rory Sloane (Adel), Rory Laird (Adel), Zac Merrett (Ess)
Okay guys, let me know what I’ve stuffed up in the comments…