AFL 3 years ago

My 2015 All-Australian team

  • My 2015 All-Australian team
  • My 2015 All-Australian team
  • My 2015 All-Australian team
  • My 2015 All-Australian team

Every year there are dozens of players deserving of spots in the All-Australian and the list of those that miss out raises eyebrows.  Take my team for example where there is no spot for Pendlebury, Selwood, Roughead, Parker, Swan, Steven, Montagna, Franklin, Naitanui, Taylor, Cotchin, Treloar, Priddis, Martin, Ellis, Cameron, Breust, either Riewoldt, Boak and Gunston.

 

Now that you have digested that list and assuming you are still reading, here is my All-Australian team for 2015.



BACKS

Heath Shaw - age has not wearied the Collingwood premiership star as he has led the AFL in rebound 50's and provided a lethal form of attack from the last line of defence.  Not a traditional defender but you need drive from the backline in todays game and he is still elite by foot.

Daniel Talia - the best key backman along with the injured Eric McKenzie, Talia has taken on and beaten the best that the AFL has to offer.  At 23 and with 93 games to his name, Talia figures to be a regular in this team for the next decade.

Alex Rance - scrapes into this team ahead of Harry Taylor, despite the profile and reputation not quite matching the on-field exploits. Very rarely beaten one-on-one, Rance ranks mid-range in rebounds 50's and second in one-percenters.

HALF-BACKS

Robert Murphy - the ageless Bulldogs star has been a revelation across half-back, having lost none of his speed nor his fantastic foot skills. Ranks amongst the league leaders in effective disposal percentage and rebound 50's and finds himself tagged every week, the ultimate respect and an indication of his outstanding season.

Jeremy McGovern - has led a crippled Eagles backline with aplomb while still maintaining his outstanding attacking instincts. Brilliantly skilled, McGovern ranks second in contested marks per game amongst all backmen and in the league leaders for one-percenters.

Luke Hodge (c) - arguably having his best season. The dual Norm Smith medallist has averaged a near career-high 27.2 disposals and 6.4 marks per game while being the quintessential leader on the team that everyone fears as it careers towards a flag three-peat.

CENTRE

Patrick Dangerfield - his contract negotiations have been the talk of the footy world, but it hasn't impacted Dangerfield's output.  He ranks amongst the league leader in inside 50's, tackles, disposals, clearances and contested possessions per game and at 25 is nearing his absolute peak.

Sam Mitchell - he probably needs to keep his knees to himself, but when it comes to getting the football no-one can complete with Mitchell.  He leads the league in effective disposals and disposals per game, a unique combination in today's last paced game which summarises his value perfectly.

Andrew Gaff - the league leader in uncontested possessions and it's most improved player, Gaff has advanced from supporter whipping boy to elite outside runner.  Using incredible endurance and vastly improved foot skills (he ranks 8th in effective disposal percentage), Gaff has elevated himself into the top 5 players at a team who has experienced an incredible turnaround of fortunes in 2015.

HALF FORWARDS

Jordan Lewis - deserved the Norm Smith medal last season and has carried on that form in 2015, tallying more than 30 disposals on nine occasions. started like a house on fire and could lead the Brownlow early, but still prone to the odd brain snap like this one

Jake Stringer - "The Package" is a well-deserved first time All-Australian. West Coast aside, there has been no better story in footy than the Bulldogs and Stringer is a huge part of that revival. Sitting seventh on the Coleman Medal table with 44 goals, Stringer's speed and strength make him a particularly difficult matchup.

Robbie Gray - one of the classiest players in the competition, Gray have made the move from dangerous forward to legitimiate midfielder. He is amongst the league leaders in contested possessions, inside 50's and clearances while still kicking 22 goals.

FORWARDS

Eddie Betts - one of the best two small forwards in the AFL and both make this team.  Adelaide were widely criticised for having 'overpaid' for Eddie but would see him as a bargain. A slight mid-season slump has been addressed as Betts sits third on the Coleman Medal ladder.

 

 

Josh J Kennedy - the best forward in the competition this season, Kennedy has led the second best attack and has his team sitting second on the ladder.  With 63 goals, he looks a runaway winner for the Coleman Medal and his game is simple yet brutally effective and efficient.

Chad Wingard - after a slowish start to the season, Wingard has been incredibly consistent tallying at least two goals in his last 12 games. Add to that his impressive tackling statistics (by small forward measures) and the fact he ranks in the top 10 in goal assists and you have the second-best small forward of 2015 in Wingard.

The small forward debate has seen plenty of chatter on Twitter

RUCK

Todd Goldstein - some of the media hype has been a little over the top, but it is hard to argue that Goldstein hasn't been clearly the best ruckman this season.  While some like Nic Naitanui are dominant with their tapwork and other like Aaron Sandilands rack up big but hollow numbers, Goldstein has the perfect blend of ruck work and around the ground play, much like Dean Cox did so well over a stellar career.


Nathan Fyfe - his first half of the year was as dominant as we have seen in recent history.  Fyfe leads the league in contested possessions and clearances and has every major media award plus the Coaches Association award in the bag. The first picked based on his 2015 form.

 

Dan Hannebery - has made a huge jump in 2015. With 139 games under his belt, the 26 year old is amongst the league leaders in uncontested possessions, disposals and inside 50's per game and has dealt with taggers more often that not.  The fact that his effective disposal rate is 4th in the league while having so much of the ball speaks volumes for the season he has had.

INTERCHANGE

David Armitage - if Gaff is not the most improved player in the competition, then Armitage might well be. Figuring in the top 10 in effective disposals, tackles and clearances per game, Armitage is the only player in the AFL to rank in the top 20 in total disposals, uncontested possessions and contested possessions.

Luke Dahlhaus - another potentially surprisingly appearance by a Son of the West, but a totally deserved selection.  Ranking among the league leaders in goal assists, tackles, handballs and contested possessions; Dahlhaus has made the move from small forward to midfielder/high half-forward with little fuss and great success.

David Mundy - team mate Fyfe gets the publicity but Mundy is almost as important to the Dockers. the 229 game veteran has had a dominant season ranking in the top 15 in contested possessions, tackles, clearances and disposals while only once tallying less than 20 disposals in a game.

Josh Kennedy - the Swan star seemingly produces the same year in, year out and does so with a minimum of fuss.  Top 5 rankings in clearances, contested possessions and total disposals are complemented by top 20 disposal efficiency an 11 games where he has tallied over 30 disposals.

COACH

Adam Simpson - either Simpson or Luke Beveridge would be worthy winners here but what Simpson has done with a crippled backline has been nothing short of remarkable.  His cool, calm and collected nature has been a hit with the West Coast players who look legitimate premiership contenders when 24 months ago they were a laughing stock.

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