Following on from the announcement of the 2017 Division 1 Team of the Year at the annual SFNL Grand Final Breakfast last Friday, the SFNL Media Team put their heads together and selected a Team of the Year for Division 2. The selection criteria was that same as that which underpinned the Division 1 team, with players picked on the basis of:
Below is the team as selected by the SFNL Media Team:
BRANDON TURNER (Caulfield)
The brother of North Melbourne’s Kayne Turner had another exceptionally consistent season. Not only a brilliant intercept mark and rarely beaten one one one, Turner is super damaging with ball in hand and launches attacks from the last line.
ANTHONY O’SHEA (Caulfield)
It’s hard to think of another key defender in the competition that is a more effective at nullifying opponents of any size than O’Shea. A beautiful kick and a golden fist, any forward that lines up on the big Bear is in for a long afternoon.
JACKSON FRY (Chelsea Heights)
While a foot injury prematurely ended his season before the finals, it’s easy to overlook Fry’s super year as one of the Heighters’ defensive lynchpins. Looks to create with ball in hand at every opportunity, but equally accomplished defensively.
ANDREW JANSEN (East Brighton)
While it may have been Sparkles’ final season at the Vampires, the veteran showed no signs of easing up with a brilliant farewell year. Tall, has plenty of footy smarts, loves to run, and is damaging on the rebound.
JARROD WILKIN (Mount Waverley)
One of Division 3’s all-time greats, the retiring veteran capped a brilliant first season in Div 2 by taking out the Mountain Lions’ Best & Fairest. Although he spent much of this year in the ruck, he also excels in the defensive half of the ground. A very mobile big man, Wilkin has the versatility to play anywhere.
NATHAN HERRINGTON (Chelsea Heights)
A smooth mover with exceptional skills, Herrington stood out with his ability to create both off half back and through the centre. Enjoyed a consistent year and was one of the key factors in the Heighters’ flag tilt.
JACKSON SMITH (Mount Waverley)
After taking the Division 3 competition by storm last year, the tearaway teenage winger acquitted himself with aplomb in the higher grade. Tall, quick, wins plenty of the footy and is long and penetrating by foot, Smith would be close to the League leader in metres gained.
JAKE SEMMEL (Murrumbeena)
A raging bull in the centre, Semmel forms half of one of the most dangerous stoppage duos in the League alongside Liam Wilson. Played all 22 games for the Beena this year, and used his strength to win plenty of contested footy.
JOEL WILLIAMS (Chelsea Heights)
The dynamic and explosive Williams was again in tremendous form in 2017. Wins plenty of the footy and rarely wastes a disposal.
TIM WERNER (Keysborough)
A highly-skilled forward that can run through the midfield, Werner starred for the Burra with 36 goals for the year. Lightly framed, but is great above his head and burns opponents with his explosive pace.
CHRIS BRYAN (Keysborough)
The ex-Collingwood and Carlton big man made a welcome return to Keysborough this year, stamping his authority on the competition. Finished second on the League goalkicking table with 55 majors, and stood out with his great hands and booming left leg. Also spent time in the ruck and defence.
MATTHEW BAXTER (Chelsea Heights)
Transferred from neighbouring Chelsea Seagulls in May and got only got better as the year wore on. A smart player that’s capable of feats of brilliance, Baxter capped off a stunning debut season with the Meneilly Medal for BOG in last week’s Grand Final.
STEPHEN HAWKINS (Skye)
Quick on the lead and sticky hands, Hawkins had a stellar debut season at the hangar booting 51 goals. Has shown an ability to kick big bags of goals, including eight against eventual grand finallist Murrumbeena in Round 7. An excitement machine that puts bums on seats.
PHIL SMITH (Chelsea Heights)
‘The Big Show’ was one of the first blokes picked in this side after taking out his second consecutive Superboot award. Finished with 69 majors for the season, and when on song there is no defender in the league that can stop him. An absolute mountain of a man with the best hands in the competition.
MARK JAMIESON (East Brighton)
The wiley Vampires veteran was again a standout in 2017. A cunning player with a full bag of tricks, Jamieson played all 18 games this season and was rarely missing from his sides’ best each week.
ADAM BALLARD (Caulfield)
The Caulfield captain was clearly the standout ruckman of 2017. Big Ballard no only competes well in the air, but also does a power of work around the ground, adding another dimension to his game. Super athletic, can run all day and is versatile enough to play multiple positions.
TOM BROWN (Highett)
A classy ball-winner, Brown was one for the few shining lights in what was an otherwise disappointing season for Highett. The Dogs skipper was a picture of consistency, contributing week in, week out, and standing up in the big moments.
LIAM WILSON (Murrumbeena)
Arguably the most important recruit for any Division 2 side this year, the two-time Ellis Medallist transformed Murrumbeena into a genuine premiership contender. An elite ball winner with exceptional footy smarts, Wilson’s big-game experience has also proved valuable for his younger teammates.
GEOFF HUMPHREYS (Keysborough)
While he didn’t quite reach the same heights as his stellar 2015 campaign in which he won the Bennett Medal, Joffa nevertheless remains one of the most damaging midfielders in the comp. Strong as an ox and hard as nails, Humphreys can win his own footy and impact the scoreboard. A 2017 Interleague rep.
STEFAN FEEHAN (Springvale Districts)
It wasn’t the greatest of seasons at Newcomen Road, but the first-year Demon was one of the standouts up forward. The big-bodied Feehan booted 42 goals from 16 games after transferring from Dingley and make the most of every opportunity.
JORDAN THOMAS (Skye)
While renowned as a damaging, strong, goalkicking midfielder – he booted 13 for the season – Thomas has excelled in multiple roles this season. In particular, his efforts down in defence on occasions won him plenty of fans, particularly with the SFNL Media team.
REAGAN MADDAFORD (Heatherton)
Tough as a $2 steak and as uncompromising as they come, Maddaford was clearly the Tonners’ best player in 2017. He used his strong frame to advantage around the contests, and never took a backward step. Versatile enough to play multiple roles.
BRAD CANAVAN (Chelsea Heights)
The coach of the premiership side deserves selection in the SFNL Team of the Year. Not only has he built a terrific list, but had his charges primed for success after last year’s disappointment and firing on all cylinders in the big dance after just one match in the month leading up to it.