Anderson unveils SFL Top 40

On the back of our widely successful Top 40 players in the SFL last season, SEN and Inside Football’s Brett Anderson is back again to fuel discussion on the best of the best in the Southern league.


With some input from a few fellow track watchers and trusted SFL brains, here is the first of a four part series released each day leading into Round 1 – today it’s 40-31.


Remember, the list is purely subjective and based upon personal opinion…feel free to buy him a beer if you want to be bumped up the list for next year!


Join in the conversation & provide feedback on the list so far via @BrettAndersonIF and/or @SouthernFL and include #SFLTop40


40. Nathan Davidson (Chelsea Heights)

An SFL Interleague representative in 2010 whilst playing with Murrumbeena – where he booted 73 goals, including a bag of 11 against Lyndale, Davidson joins the Heighters after stints at Romsey (where he played in a losing Grand Final team in 2012) and in the Queensland state league with Burleigh. A spring-heeled forward with an eye for goal, Davidson will look to fill the breach left by the departures of Phil Smith, Brad Gilder, Chris Mouritz and co. in the Demons front half.


39. Harley Ambrose (St Pauls)

The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. After a year away at Karingal, Ambrose returns to the kennel wiser for the experience and as displayed in the Interleague match, a more rounded footballer. Whether it be running off half back or rotating through the midfield, his clean foot skills and ability to break the lines will be a welcome addition to a St Pauls team looking to go back-to-back in 2014.


38. Tremaine Tohiariki (East Malvern)

One of a number of new faces that have made their way to Dunlop Reserve along with new coach, former St Kilda-listed player Brent Cowell. Tohiariki is a small, pacy midfielder who has been plying his trade for Meeniyan Dumbalk United in the Alberton league, where he was runner up in the comp medal in 2011. Not only is he adept at winning the ball in the middle of the park, but he can also push forward to hit the scoreboard – a trait that the Panthers will hope to see plenty of in 2014.



37. Tom Brown (Highett)

The former Highett junior has made a successful transition into senior football over the past few seasons and in what was a disappointing season for the Bulldogs in 2013, stamped himself as a player of real quality. A consistent performer in both 2011 and 2013, last year was Brown’s break out year kicking 30 goals from 16 matches – including a bag of six against Cheltenham (five in the final term) and featuring in the Doggies best on 12 occasions. Brown will be one of the players relied upon to return Highett to the top division.



36. Jackson Barclay (Cheltenham)

A senior premiership player in the Eastern league with Noble Park at just 21 in 2011, the dreadlocked midfielder returned to the Rosellas the following year and has developed into one of the more damaging runners in the competition. He finished third in the club best and fairest in 2013 ­– was named in the best players on 12 occasions, and was rewarded with selection in the SFL interleague team that played the Western Region at the end of March.


35. James Roscoe (Cheltenham)

Originally from Benalla, Roscoe is entering his fourth season at Jack Barker Oval and his form has gotten better with each passing year. The athletic, rangy defender has developed into one of the most dependable back men in the competition and is rarely beaten one-on-one, or at ground level. He also has the added ability to be able to step into the midfield due to his big motor and knack for getting his hands on the ball at the stoppages.



34. Callum Cathcart (St Pauls)

The youngest player on the list and one of the most talented. Having missed out on the draft at the end of 2013, Cathcart returns to Dogland on a full time basis in 2014 and that spells trouble for opposition defences. He kicked four goals on debut in the TAC Cup as a 17-year-old – including the matchwinner after the final siren and booted 16 goals in his first four matches. Last season he kicked 24 goals for the season for the Dragons as well as 25 goals in 10 outings for St Pauls. Put him alongside Travis Ridgway and Luke James, and the Doggies possess the three best small forwards in the competition…frightening!



33. Dean Francis (Dingley)

The look and the strut might not have changed, but the jumper has for the former Vampire, and now Dingo. Having booted 147 goals over the past three seasons, the 195cm ex-Port Melbourne/Sandringham Dragon has proven himself as one of the premier tall forwards in the competition. Now plying his trade at The Den, if he can maintain his form and fitness, having lacked a genuine key target for their bevvy of talented onballers to kick to in recent times, Francis could prove to be the missing piece of the Dingoes premiership puzzle.



32. Sam Anstey (Mordialloc)

The Mordialloc coach has a football resume unmatched by just about anyone in the SFL. Triple premiership player with St Bedes Mentone, VFL listed player with Frankston and Port Melbourne, Big V representative and club best and fairest winner. Anstey came so close to adding the title of ‘premiership coach’ to his amazing CV in 2013 and remains a key cog in the Bloods midfield machine. Entering the twilight years of his career, he will be desperate to return Mordialloc to the league's top grade.



31. Chris Morrison (Clayton)

Since crossing to the Clays from Old Haileybury prior to the 2012 season, Morrison has been the most consistent figure in the Black and White midfield. Having captained the VAFA Under 21 team in 2010 – in which Clayton coach Ben McGee was an assistant and Collingwood VFL skipper Jack Hellier was also a member, Morrison has been one of the better recruits to land in the SFL in recent times. He has featured in the Clays’ best in 27 of 35 matches over the past two seasons – a number unmatched by any other player in the competition.


TOMORROW: 21-30 revealed


Join in the conversation & provide feedback on the list so far via @BrettAndersonIF and/or @SouthernFL and include #SFLTop40

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