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.
We started off with players 40-31 on Tuesday, yesterday it was 30-21 and today we take a look at players 20-11…
The Vampires skipper got the opportunity to do what all players dream; hoist the premiership cup in 2012, but without his long penetrating left boot and leadership skills, East Brighton may never have made it to the big dance. A versatile performer either down back, in midfield or up forward, Douthie has been an outstanding addition to the SFL over the past few seasons.
“Mercs” is the well-oiled Mercedes in the Doggies midfield. He is a stoppage specialist and beautiful user of the ball when given time and space. His gut-running is a prime example of what it takes to make it at the next level (VFL, where he played for Casey Scorpions), and he sets the bar extremely high for young teammates to follow.
To lead the goalkicking in your first season is a fair achievement, but to also win a final off your own boot (Elimination Final vs. Dingley) is an achievement all on it own. A big unit with vice-like hands and a straight boot, Graham is a handful for any defender. With his partner in crime Matt Andrews having departed, the Rosellas will look to Graham to step it up a further notch in 2013.
You don’t get a nickname like “The Big Show” if you can’t play, and Smith has more than earned this moniker. Whether it be in the goalsquare or in the ruck, the big Demon is an imposing figure and isn’t afraid to knock over anyone in his path to the ball. Having been so close, so many times, Smith would love to finally become a Chelsea Heights premiership player in 2013.
A reluctant footballer at times, Bowman has been at East Brighton since he was 10 year old and he seems to get better with every passing season. He gets handed all the big jobs in the Vampires back half, and his versatility allows him to stand the power key forwards one week, and a slippery, dangerous small the next. He would be the first player picked by Barry Hope and Ben Murphy each week.
One of the most decorated players in the SFL having been a triple premiership player at St Bedes-Mentone and state representative. Anstey joined Mordialloc last season and although the club struggled through a tough year, his class shone out week after week. Having taken on the full time coaching duties in 2013, Anstey will be hoping to lead the Bloods in a quick return to the top division.
Similarities between the Vampires spearhead and Hawthorn star Buddy Franklin come thick and fast. The number 23, the strut, the wayward boot in front of goal. All those aside, the fact is that Francis can really play. It is no coincidence the Vampires have played in two successive Grand Finals since the arrival of the ex-Port Melbourne forward.
Unfashionable, yet extremely effective, Wilson is one of the more underrated players going around in any division. The former Sandringham Dragons best and fairest winner excels in tight situations and loves bursting through contests to send the ball forward. With tattoos down one arm, an innate ability to find space in tight situations and a waddling gait, one could argue Wilson is the SFL’s version of Dane Swan.
Having been invited to do a preseason with Essendon after starring for Warragul and coming under AFL recruiters notice during his time at Box Hill in the VFL, Jansen is one of the more talented players to have graced the SFL over the past few seasons. The rangy, athletic wingman who has also played across half back for the Vampires is a smooth mover and an integral piece of East’s premiership formula again in 2013.
Moor has provided Chelsea Heights with sterling service since crossing from local rival Edi-Asp alongside Trent Downie a few seasons ago. Rarely beaten down back, the strong-bodied key defender is the rock that the Demons have built their back half around. With a bevvy of quality key forwards in the competition, Moor faces the biggest challenges week in, week out. And typically he comes up trumps.
The list so far…
21 – Darren Walsh (Chelsea Heights)
22 – Aaron Purvis (Clayton)
23 – Mark Jamieson (East Brighton)
24 – Brad Gilder (Chelsea Heights)
25 – Tim Quick (St Kilda City)
26 – Luke Bartholomew (Dingley)
27 – Adam McIntyre (St Pauls)
28 – Dan Marshall (Highett)
29 – Jarryd Allan (St Pauls)
30 – Daniel Vaughan (Cheltenham)
31 – Scott Lawrie (Bentleigh)
32 – Mathew Kennedy (Clayton)
33 – Kenton Hall (St Pauls)
34 – Chris Morrison (Clayton)
35 – Mark Tasiyan (St Kilda City)
36 – Ben Fahey (Cheltenham)
37 – Brody Hodic (Cheltenham)
38 – Aaron Sawers (Dingley)
39 – Chris Worner (Hampton)
40 – Steve Arvanitis (St Kilda City)
Do you have a comment to make regarding the first three instalments of the Top 40? Head to www.facebook.com/SouthernFootballLeague to see what others are saying about this list!