Mike Sheahan’s top 50 AFL players is one of the most anticipated columns year in year out in the Herald Sun.
It creates discussion everywhere from the bars at pubs all around the country to around the office water cooler.
With that in mind, Inside Football’s Brett Anderson, along with input from a few Southern league brains, has taken a look at the playing stocks of the SFL and put together his top 40 players for season 2013.
Yesterday we started off with players 40-31, and today we take a look at players 30-21…
The least likely looking footballer in the top 40, but a star across half back for the Rosellas. Ran second in the club best and fairest in his first full senior season and seemingly has more time and space than any other player on the field. All this whilst using a Woolworths bag as his kit bag!
Since joining the Doggies fulltime from Sandringham VFL, Allan has proven himself to be a consistent performer on a wing and through midfield and a big game performer. He takes the game on, uses his pace and can push forward to kick goals. In a star-studded St Pauls outfit, he can slide under the radar.
One of the better ruckman going around and provides a physical presence in the middle of the ground. The Doggies missed him badly in the first 10 weeks last season, and if they are to avoid the drop this year, they will need their star ruckman/coach to lead from the front.
The former Old Haileyburian is an important cog in the Doggies midfield machine providing great run and penetration off a wing and through the middle of the ground. Always one whose up for a scrap and doesn’t mind a few choice words, McIntyre personifies the Dogs fighting, never give up spirit.
Bartholomew burst onto the scene early in 2011 as a goalkicking small onballer who had a great ability to burst away from stoppages and kick long goals. He added consistency to his game in 2012 and was a vital part of the Dingoes first finals venture in the top grade. If he elevates his game again this season, Dingley will be a force.
(St Kilda City)
The former Sandgroper developed into one of the league’s best key defenders in 2012. He has the size, strength and speed to match it with all the star tall forwards in the competition and from reports out of the Peanut Farm, he is looking a million bucks over summer and set for another big year.
Anyone who wins a TAC Cup club best and fairest can clearly play the game and Gilder has provided sterling service over the past few years for the Heights after a short venture in the VFL. Whether it be in midfield or across half forward, Gilder’s physical strength and ball winning ability makes his a nightmare matchup for opposing coaches.
‘Junior’ doesn’t look much, but he is as dangerous as they come, especially around goal. You can’t give him a yard as he really hurts with his touches and his footy brain is normally a step or two ahead of that of his opponents. More time in the midfield has rounded out his game and he’d love to add another premiership medal in 2013.
The 2012 league medallist burst onto the scene with seven goals in Round 1 and continued his fine form throughout the season. Whether it be in midfield, or in attack, Purvis was a constant danger with his athleticism and eye for goal. Having flirted with a return to the VFL with Port Melbourne (previously played at Casey Scorpions), Purvis has headed back to Meade Oval in an attempt to aide the Clays return to finals footy.
Formerly listed by Essendon, Walsh has more talent in his little finger than most, but has only shown it inconsistently of late. A beautifully smooth mover with a good eye for goal, if “Wally” has a consistent season, the Heighters can again challenge for that elusive Division One flag as his best is as good as anyone going around.
Do you have a comment to make regarding the first or second instalments of the Top 40? Head to www.facebook.com/SouthernFootballLeague to see what others are saying about this list!