After one of the most exciting AFL seasons in a while a team of any sort would be difficult to pick but here at Sporting HQ, we have decided to pick our post season hybrid team for 2017 where the 18 positions on the ground are filled by only one player from each team.
On the back of some decent seasons, Roberton had his most impressive season in his career despite the Saints underachieving in 2017. He averaged 23.1 disposals, 6.2 marks and 5.6 rebound 50’s. Roberton ranked 3rd in the competition for total rebound 50’s and total kicks while ranking 8th for total metres gained. Roberton was rewarded with a selection in the All-Australian Top 40 squad.
It was another outstanding season for McGovern after his defensive efforts played a key role in West Coast’s stunning journey to the finals. McGovern was ranked in the top 10 in the competition for total intercepts for the third time in a row and was ranked 4th for contested marks per game this season. The 25 year old Eagle capped off his outstanding year with his second consecutive All-Australian selection.
After his year long suspension in 2016 for his involvement in the Essendon drug scandal, Michael Hibberd found a new start with a new club in 2017 and took his new opportunities with both hands. Hibberd was ranked 2nd in average rebound 50’s per game and 1st in average metres gained per game this season while averaged 27.4 disposals for the season. Hibberd’s efforts were recognised in his selection in the All-Australian team for the first time in his career last week.
Half Back Line:
On the back of an fantastic best and fairest winning season with the Blues, Sam Docherty not only continued his consistent form but he managed to improve in most aspects of his game to become one of Carlton’s shining lights in a disappointing season for the club. Docherty increased his numbers for average kicks, marks, disposals and tackles per game while was ranked number one in the competition for total marks, total kicks and total metres gained in 2017. It was only fitting for the 23 year old to be named in the All-Australian team this season and looks likely to win Carlton’s best and fairest for the second consecutive year.
One of the highlights to come out of North Melbourne’s inadequate season was the defensive efforts of Robbie Tarrant. The 28 year old had another admirable season for the Kangaroos, averaging 17.8 disposals, 6.2 marks, 4.3 rebound 50’s and 2.6 tackles. Tarrants experience will be valuable for the young North Melbourne side as they develop.
It has been a rollercoaster of a season for the Magpies but Jeremy Howe’s string of consistency and skill has been encouraging to watch for Collingwood fans in 2017. Howe has had arguably his best season for the Pies since moving from Melbourne at the end of 2015 after ranking in the top 10 in the competition in contested marks per game and intercept marks per game, with a few spectacular screamers along the way.
After his move away from the Swans at the end of last season, Tom Mitchell has quickly established himself as one of the most prolific ball winners in the league. Mitchell averaged a mesmerising 35.8 disposals a game and ranked in the top two in the competition for total handballs, total uncontested possessions, total disposals and total effective disposals in 2017. The 24 year old was rewarded with a place in the All-Australian side and is chance to poll well in the upcoming Brownlow Medal.
22 year old Matt Crouch has been one of Adelaide’s most consistent and most effective players this season and has played an important role in their success so far in 2017. After his breakout season last year, Crouch has combined well with Rory Sloane in the midfield and was ranked in the top ten in the competition for total contested possessions, total effective disposals and total score involvements while averaging 33 disposals and almost 5 tackles a game throughout the home and away season. Crouch was given a place in the All-Australian team this season and could play a role in Adelaide’s quest for their first premiership in 9 years.
After an injury ravaged season in 2016 where he only managed 5 games, Nat Fyfe returned to the form that saw him win the Brownlow Medal just two years ago. To say it was a distressing season for Dockers fans would be an understatement yet Fyfe’s skill and leadership helped put a glimmer of hope into near future of Fremantle. Fyfe was ranked 4th in total contested possessions and 10th in total contested marks while averaging 26.4 disposals.
Half Forward Line:
The Bulldogs could not repeat the fairytale season that saw them win their first premiership since 1954 last season however the development of Jackson Macrae has been something for Bulldogs fans to cheer about in 2017. The 23 year old managed to play every game this season and achieved career high averages in disposals and tackles. Macrae also finished in the league’s top 10 ranking for total effective disposals, leaving Dogs fans some hope for their side to return to September action again soon.
What isn’t there to say about Lance Franklin. Buddy’s role in Sydney’s transformation from an 0-6 side to a team that was just a game outside the top 4 is monumental while his goal kicking just seems to be taken to another level. Besides winning his 4th Coleman Medal and receiving his 7th All-Australian selection last week, Franklin has produced another season of sheer class and pure skill. Franklin ranked in the top 10 for the league in total score involvements, total marks, total marks inside 50 and total inside 50’s. Despite all these achievements this season, the 30 year old doesn’t look like slowing down and is expected to have another outstanding finals series.
Kelly has had a career best season in 2017 and his performances have nothing short of impressive; emphasised by North Melbourne’s huge long term offer for him earlier this year. Kelly averaged over 29 disposals and an outstanding 6.3 tackles in the home and away season while being ranked in the top 10 in the league total inside 50’s and total effective disposals. Kelly is sure to produce a stirring finals campaign on the back of his first All-Australian selection this season.
Full Forward Line:
After his emergence throughout Essendon’s campaign last season, Joe Daniher has established himself as one the league’s most excellent forwards in 2017. Daniher averaged almost 3 goals a game this season and finished 4th in the Coleman Medal while placing in the top 10 in the competition for total marks inside 50 and most contested marks. After his selection in the All-Australian side, Daniher is bound to play a role in the Bomber’s first finals campaign since 2014, however long it may last.
Lynch stood up as co-captain for the Suns this season after an outstanding 2016 which saw him win his second best and fairest and be selected in the All-Australian team. Lynch finished 12th in the Coleman Medal and kicked 44 goals for the season while being ranked number one in the competition for time on ground percentage per game; demonstrating his leadership and presence on the ground for his teammates. Lynch will play a vital role in the Suns’ development over the next few years should he decide to stay.
In another long season for Brisbane Lions fans, the skill of Dayne Zorko has been one of the few highlights for the club. His performances over the season are beginning to work well with young stars like Hipwood and Taylor and his accolades for the year illustrate his importance to the team, winning the club best and fairest for a third year straight while being selected in the All-Australian team for 2017
Ryder has come out of the blocks to become one of the most influential ruckmen in the competition after his absence last season. The All-Australian ruckman for 2017, Ryder ranked 2nd in the league for total hitouts and has also been a strong contributor to the Power’s forward setup, averaging 3.2 inside 50’s a game. Ryder willcplay a significant role for Port Adelaide if they are to go far into the finals this season.
Patrick Dangerfield had one of the most breathtaking seasons in 2016 and although any season after would be difficult to match, Dangerfield continued to perform at the same skill level, the same consistency and the same influence in 2017 as he did in previous years. Danger ranked in the top 2 in the competition in contested possessions per game, clearances per game and total stoppage clearances while also receiving his 5th All-Australian selection and only suspension is stopping him from possibly receiving a second Brownlow Medal.
If there is one name that has continued to be echoed throughout all areas of the AFL throughout the season it has been Dustin Martin, and why wouldn’t it. Martin ranked in the top 3 in the competition for total inside 50 kicks, total score involvements, centre clearances per game, inside 50’s per game and total score involvements. Besides receiving his second consecutive All-Australian selection as well as the AFLCA champion player of the year last week, Martin looks set to add to his accolades this season with a Brownlow Medal and possibly the premiership cup.