Which club has had the best under 22 players for the past six seasons? – Sporting HQ

Sporting HQ

AFL

Which club has had the best under 22 players for the past six seasons?

Before the final 22 under 22 team drops for this year, we here at Sporting HQ thought we’d look through all the players who have been selected in this makeup team since 2012, and therefore, which club has had the best proven run of young talent.

Adelaide:
2012 nominations:
Daniel Talia- Full back
Taylor Walker- Centre Half Forward
Rory Sloane- Interchange
Patrick Dangerfield- Centre (captain)
2013 nominations:
Daniel Talia- Back Pocket
2014 nominations:
Daniel Talia- Full Back
Brodie Smith- Half Back Flank
2015 nominations:
Rory Laird- Back Pocket
Jake Lever- Centre Half Back
2016 nominations:
Rory Laird- Back Pocket
Jake Lever- Centre Half Back

2017 nominations:
Jake Lever- Centre Half Back
Matt Crouch- Rover
Verdict: 7/10
The Crows have had a good run with young players coming in through the draft, and this is a large reason for their consistent finals appearance over the last 4-5 years, barring this year as a write off.

 

Daniel Talia has been a very consistent performer for the Crows since his debut.

 

Brisbane:
2012 nominations:
Jack Redden- Interchange
2013 nominations:
No Brisbane Players made the team in 2013
2014 nominations:
No Brisbane Players made the team in 2014
2015 nominations:
No Brisbane players made the team in 2015
2016 nominations:
No Brisbane players made the team in 2016
2017 nominations:
Harris Andrews- Full Back
Eric Hipwood- Full Forward
Verdict: 2/10
For a team that has had a lot of high draft picks over the last decade or so, the Lions have largely failed to make them count, with just one player nominated before 2017.

Harris Andrews will have a long and successful career for the Lions, if he chooses to stick around for it.

Carlton:
2012 nominations:
No Carlton players made the team in 2012
2013 nominations:
No Carlton players made the team in 2013
2014 nominations:
No Carlton players made the team in 2014
2015 nominations:
Patrick Cripps- Centre
2016 nominations:
Patrick Cripps- Centre
Jacob Weitering- Full Back
Sam Docherty- Back Pocket
2017 nominations:
Charlie Curnow- Centre Half Forward
Verdict: 3/10
Similar to the Lions, Carlton have been going through a rebuild for almost as long as anyone would care to remember, and no nominations in 2012, 13 and 14 has made that very difficult.

Without Crippa, Carlton would be hurting so much more.

Collingwood:
2012 nominations:
Steele Sidebottom- Wing
Dayne Beams- Rover
2013 nominations:
Steele Sidebottom- Half Back flank
2014 nominations:
Tom Langdon- Back Pocket
Jamie Elliot- Forward pocket
2015 nominations:
Brodie Grundy- Ruck
Tom Langdon- Interchange
2016 nominations:
Darcy Moore- Forward pocket
Brodie Grundy- Ruck
2017 nominations:
No Collingwood players made the team in 2017
Verdict: 6/10
With a nomination just about every year, Collingwood clearly still have a lot of talent on their list, with all but one of these players still at the club.

After a nomination for the 22 under 22 team in 2016, Brodie Grundy has experienced his best season in 2018.

Essendon:
2012 nominations:
David Zaharakis- Half Forward Flank
Michael Hurley- Interchange
Dyson Heppell- Half Back Flank
2013 nominations:
Jake Carlisle- Centre Half Back
Dyson Heppell- Centre (captain)
2014 nominations:
Dyson Heppell- Centre (captain)
Jake Carlisle- Interchange
2015 nominations:
No Essendon players made the team in 2015
2016 nominations:
Zach Merrett- Wing
2017 nominations:
Andrew McGrath- Back Pocket
Orazio Fantasia- Forward Pocket
Zach Merrett-Ruck Rover
Verdict: 6/10
The Bombers have been in a similar boat to the Pies over the last five or so years, and have also had a pretty similar haul at the draft with young players over this period.

Zach Merrett has emerged as one of the best accumulators of the AFL over the last few seasons.

Fremantle:
2012 nominations:
No Fremantle players made the squad in 2012
2013 nominations:
Nat Fyfe- Wing
Michael Walters- Interchange
2014 nominations:
No Fremantle Players made the squad in 2014
2015 nominations:
Lachie Neale- Wing

2016 nominations:
No Fremantle players made the team in 2016
2017 nominations:
No Fremantle players made the team in 2017
Verdict: 3/10
This lack of nominations for Fremantle isn’t a huge surprise, with Ross Lyon’s cross to Perth at the start of the 2012 season, and his renowned refusal to play youngsters contributing a large part to this.

Lachie Neale is Fremantle’s most recent nomination for the
22 under 22 team.

Geelong:
2012 nominations:
Steven Motlop- Forward pocket

2013 nominations:
Steven Motlop- Forward Pocket
2014 nominations:
No Geelong Players made the team in 2014
2015 nominations:
No Geelong players made the team in 2015
2016 nominations:
No Geelong players made the team in 2016
2017 nominations:
No Geelong players made the team in 2016
Verdict: 1/10
Couldn’t get much worse for the cats, with just the one nomination. This is also a bit of a surprise, with development of young players into stars a key aspect of Geelong’s plan over the best part of the last decade.

Often thought of as a recruiting genius, has Stepehen Wells missed a beat with the top talented draftees?

Gold Coast:
2012 nominations:
No Gold Coast players made the squad in 2012
2013 nominations:
Rory Thompson- Full Back
Trent McKenzie- Half Back Flank
Tom Nicholls- Ruck
Jaeger O’Meara- Ruck Rover
Dion Prestia- Interchange
2014 nominations:
Trent McKenzie- Back Pocket
Kade Kolodjashni- Back Flank
David Swallow- Interchange
Dion Prestia- Interchange
Harley Bennell- Wing
2015 nominations:
Tom Lynch- Half Forward Flank
Adam Saad- Half Back Flank
Kade Kolodjashni- Back Pocket
2016 nominations:
Jack Martin- Interchange
2017 nominations:
Jack Martin- Half Forward Flank
Peter Wright- Ruck
Verdict: 9/10
While Gold Coast are unquestionably terrible, seeing all these nominations has to make one wonder how they haven’t achieved more in their short time in the AFL yet. Their problem is player retention, not drafting, as only five of these players are likely to still be at Gold Coast after this year’s trade period.

Jack Martin has become one of Gold Coast’s biggest hopes.

Greater Western Sydney:
2012 nominations:
Phil Davis- Back Pocket
Callan Ward- Half Back Flank
2013 nominations:
Jeremy Cameron- Full Foward
2014 nominations:
Adam Treloar- Half Forward Flank
2015 nominations:
Adam Treloar- Wing
Jeremy Cameron- Full Forward
Dylan Shiel- Interchange
Devon Smith- Interchange
2016 nominations:
Zac Williams- Half Back Flank
Stephen Coniglio- Wing
2017 nominations:
Josh Kelly- Wing
Verdict: 9/10
Similar to Gold Coast, the Giants have been very strong at drafting and developing good players. Unlike the Suns however, most of these players have actually stuck around, with only two of these players on other lists in the competition.

Co-captains Phil Davis and Callan Ward were both nominated for the 22 under 22 team in 2012.

Hawthorn:
2012 nominations:
Luke Breust- Forward Pocket

2013 nominations:
Luke Breust- Forward Pocket

2014 nominations:
Jack Gunston- Full Forward

2015 nominations:
No Hawthorn Players made the squad in 2015
2016 nominations:
No Hawthorn players made the squad in 2016
2017 nominations:
Ryan Burton- Half Back Flank
James Sicily- Interchange
Verdict: 4/10
A key part of Hawthorn’s strategy has been to rebuild on the go, which more than accounts for the lack of nominations here. That being said, they have still done reasonably well with their under 22’s, as when compared to Geelong, who have been in a similar position since the creation of this team, they have plenty more nominations.

Luke Breust has the most Hawthron nominations for the team.

Melbourne:
2012 nominations:
Jeremy Howe- Interchange
2013 nominations:
No Melbourne players made the team in 2013
2014 nominations:
No Melbourne players made the team in 2014
2015 nominations:
No Melbourne players made the team in 2015
2016 nominations:
Christian Petracca- Half Forward Flank
2017 nominations:
Jayden Hunt- Half Back Flank
Clayton Oliver- Centre
Verdict: 4/10
While the last few years has looked brighter in terms of talent, Melbourne’s lack of youth between 2012 and 2015 has cost the Dees not just an earlier finals berth, but supporters thousands in September ski holidays as well.

‘Clarry’ is well on his way to becoming one of the game’s best inside midfielders.

North Melbourne:
2012 nominations:
No North Melbourne players made the team in 2012
2013 nominations:
Aaron Mullett- Interchange
Jack Ziebell- Interchange
2014 nominations:
Luke McDonald- Interchange
2015 nominations:
No North Melbourne players made the team in 2015
2016 nominations:
No North Melbourne Players made the team in 2016
2017 nominations:
No North Melbourne players made the team in 2017
Verdict: 2/10
Just about what most would have expected from North, as before this season no obvious names would have jumped out at the thought of North Melbourne’s youth.

Jack Ziebell is one of only three Roos to be nominated for the 22 under 22 team.

Port Adelaide:
2012 nominations:
Jackson Trengove- Centre Half Back
2013 nominations:
No Port Adelaide players made the squad in 2013
2014 nominations:
Chad Wingard- Forward Pocket
2015 nominations:
Jack Hombsch- Full Back
Chad Wingard- Forward Pocket
Ollie Wines- Rover
2016 nominations:
Ollie Wines- Interchange
2017 nominations:
Ollie Wines- Interchange
Verdict: 5/10
A relatively good haul from the Power here, with Ollie Wines and Chad Wingard being standouts. However, only four players in total selected over six years could be a cause for concern.

Ollie Wines has become a symbol for Port Adelaide’s future, as their likely next captain.

Richmond:
2012 nominations:
Dustin Martin- Half Forward Flank
Alex Rance- Back Pocket
Trent Cotchin- Ruck Rover

2013 nominations:
Brandon Ellis- Back Pocket
Dustin Martin- Forward Pocket
2014 nominations:
Brandon Ellis- Interchange
2015 nominations:
Brandon Ellis- Interchange
2016 nominations:
No Richmond players made the team in 2016
2017 nominations:
Daniel Rioli- Interchange
Verdict: 4/10
Plenty of great young talent here for the Tigers, however the worry will be the fact that only five players have been nominated. That is more than likely to change the year though, with plenty of good young talent establishing themselves for the tigers.

Perhaps surprisingly considering the other names on the list for Richmond, Brandon Ellis has the most nominations for the Tiges.

St Kilda:
2012 nominations:
No St Kilda players made the team in 2012
2013 nominations:
No St Kilda players made the team in 2013
2014 nominations:
No St Kilda players made the team in 2014
2015 nominations:
No St Kilda players made the team in 2015
2016 nominations:
Tim Membrey- Interchange
2017 nominations:
Jack Billings- Half Forward Flank
Verdict: 1/10
Dreaful list management from the Saints is most of all that can be said for St Kilda here. The fact that they have had plenty of early draft picks after finishing low on the ladder for the last six years, and have failed to use it to draft good young players is a huge concern for the club.

For a player with so much supposed talent, Jack Billings has, so far, failed to live up to the hype.

Sydney:
2012 nominations:
Dan Hannebery- Wing
2013 nominations:
Dan Hannebery- Wing
2014 nominations:
Luke Parker- Wing
2015 nominations:
Luke Parker- Half Forward Flank
2016 nominations:
Callum Mills- Half Back Flank
Isaac Heeney- Half Forward Flank
2017 nominations:
Callum Mills- Back Pocket
Tom Papley- Forward Pocket
Isaac Heeney- Interchange
Verdict: 7/10
Only five individual players have been nominated for the Swans, but they are five very good players that would walk into any lineup in the AFL at their best. A big reason for the swans continued dominance of the last decade and a half.

Two of the swans most recent nominations, Isaac Heeney and Callum Mills have been revelations for Sydney as they have developed.

West Coast:
2012 nominations:
Jack Darling- Centre Half Forward
Nic Naitinui- Ruck
2013 nominations:
Jack Darling- Centre Half Forward
2014 nominations:
Jack Darling- Centre Half Forward
2015 nominations:
Elliot Yeo- Half Back Flank

2016 nominations:
No West Coast players made the team in 2016
2017 nominations:
No West Coast players made the team in 2017
Verdict: 3/10
Pretty poor player development from the Eagles over the last six seasons, with just three individuals nominated. However, those three are All Australians at their best, which is the only reason West Coast haven’t scored lower.

It is clear to see just how much talent Jack darling has, he’s been nominated for the under 22 team three times, and this season Darling has finally delivered on his enormous potential.

Western Bulldogs:
2012 nominations:
No Western Bulldogs players made the team in 2012
2013 nominations:
Tom Liberatore- Rover
2014 nominations:
Marcus Bontempelli- Half Forward Flank
Tom Liberatore- Ruck Rover
2015 nominations:
Jake Stringer- Wing (captain)
Marcus Bontempelli- Ruck Rover
2016 nominations:
Jake Stringer- Forward Pocket
Marcus Bontempelli- Ruck Rover (captain)
2017 nominations:
Marcus Bontempelli- Wing (captain)
Verdict: 3/10
At first glance, it appears to be a solid effort from the Dogs, with at least one player nominated every year. However, on closer inspection, only three individuals have actually been nominated, a large reason to why they couldn’t capitalize on their 2016 success by carrying it into the future.

‘The Bont’ is gong to have a lot to do with the future success of the Dogs.

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