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.
Here is the first of a four part series released each day leading into Round 1 - today its 40-31.
(St Kilda City)
Returning to the Peanut Farm in 2013 after dominating Division Two with Oakleigh District last year. Whilst the big fella is the wrong side of 30, there is little doubt he is still a force both in the ruck and when resting up forward. He will be a big asset to Gavin Mahoney’s men this season.
Having spent the past three seasons kicking goals for Chelsea in the MPNFL, Worner has taken over the reigns at the Tool Box and has already impressed onlookers with his performances and coaching structure. He is no stranger to SFL followers after two seasons with Cheltenham in the middle of the decade.
The dynamic small midfielder added another dimension to the Dingoes lineup in 2012, helping them make their first Division One finals series in the SFL. Blessed with great speed and skills, Sawers is also a danger pushing forward and can hurt opponents by hitting the scoreboard.
Boasting elite kicking skills on both sides of his body as well as great strength and footy smarts, Hodic was a great recruit for the Rosellas last season after starring in Division Two for two seasons. Unfortunately a broken leg sustained in the Elimination Final will see him miss the first half of the season, but we hope to see him back on the field later this year.
‘Uncompromising’ is the best way to describe the way Fahey attacks the footy, and man. Now entering his third year at Jack Barker Oval, the former Benalla star is a genuine leader on the field and has great versatility to play all over the ground. Having seen a few stars depart over summer, the Rosellas will rely on another standout year from their bald-headed hard man.
(St Kilda City)
The former Saints premiership skipper arguably deserves to be higher on this list based on past achievements, but like Arvanitis, he is also on the wrong side of 30 and returning to a side not nearly as strong as the one he departed two seasons ago. A brilliant player forward of centre, Tasiyan will be another solid addition at the Farm in 2013.
Having crossed to Meade Reserve from Oakleigh Amateurs last season, Morrison took no time to make an impact on the competition. A strong inside ball winner, and good finisher in open space, he had a handful of standout performances. With a full year in the SFL under his belt, he could elevate himself further in 2013.
Hall linked with former Sandringham reserves coach Paul Howroyd when he arrived at the kennel a few seasons ago and quietly built a reputation as one of the most reliable defenders in the league. Typically handed the biggest jobs, Hall is an integral part of the Doggies back six and will play a big role again in 2013.
One minute he’s gone, next he’s back. That’s the story of Matt Kennedy’s offseason. After looking like heading to the Eastern league the powerful former league medal winning (at Balwyn) ruckman looks set to again give the Clays midfielders first use in the middle of the ground.
Lawrie nearly won Bentleigh the 2011 Division Two Grand Final off his own boot with five goals from midfield, and in doing so, announced himself to the wider football community as a player of real quality. He’s quick, powerful and has an eye for goal, three attributes all clubs would love in a midfielder.
Do you have a comment to make regarding the first instalment of the Top 40? Head to www.facebook.com/SouthernFootballLeague to see what others are saying about this list!