1. Jack Viney
Hard-nosed Demon Jack Viney was kept to just 10 games in 2018 due to ongoing foot issues. Even though the Melbourne midfield is deep his value to the side as captain of the club is immense. Look for him to reinstate his position as one of the best clearance mids in the game in 2019.
2. Aaron Hall
Is a change of scenery all the Tasmanian needs to turn his career around? Hall was one of the predominant metre-gained midfielders in the competition over the 2016 and ’17 seasons but injuries and a fall from favour of new coach Stuart Dew saw him seek out a trade to North Melbourne at the end of last season. The Kangaroos will be hoping the forward-turned-midfielder will regain his best form and add some needed speed and class to their side.
3. Nic Naitanui
Would be a second go at a comeback for Naitanui. 2018 was supposed to be the triumphant return from his first ACL and tragically he did a second. There are few more rewarding players to watch, and he’s a real professional and likely to rehab his knee perfectly, so fingers crossed Nic Nat can return to his best and take on Grundy and Gawn for title of the AFL’s best ruck.
4. Rory Sloane
The widely admired Adelaide midfielder had the year from hell last season. Personal tragedy, injury, contract speculation, club scandal and Adelaide’s poor on-field performances stacked on top of each which saw the Crows missing out on finals after making the Grand Final the previous year and Sloane finishing on only 12 games. With fellow Crows Brodie Smith and Brad Crouch also due to have better luck with injury in 2019 this year could be the fairytale to redeem Sloane’s nightmare.
5. Toby Greene
Arguably the greatest heel and small forward currently in the AFL, Toby Greene was unable to get up to much villainy or kick many goals in 2018 due to foot problems. A crucial part of the GWS forwardline it is looking like a tough road back fro Toby as his ankle failed to heal over the off-season and he went in for surgery in November.
6. Dan Hannebury
After his best football dropped away in 2017 things really came undone for Dan this year. Will a change of scenery at St Kilda be what the hard-running mid needs or has his body just taken too much of a battering over the years? He’s on a five year contract so there is less pressure to perform in 2019 and that might be just what he needs.
7. Chad Wingard
One of the biggest trade shocks in recent history saw Chad Wingard at Hawthorn and Ryan Burton unceremoniously shunted off to Port Adelaide. Wingard, the two-time All Australian is only 25 but in a (comparative) mid-career slump. The Hawks have gotten the best out of many a former opposition player and The Chad is definitely one to watch this year.