Review Player Rankings for 2019

WallyStringhaus

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Aug 27, 2015
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Thought I would throw together a list ranking each player for the 2019 season.

Listing below, write ups to follow.

Not Ranked: First Year Players yet to Debut
- Buku Khamis
- Ben Cavarra
- Jordon Sweet
- Laitham Vandermeer

Not Ranked: Retired Players
- Tom Boyd
- Liam Picken
- Dale Morris

38. Brad Lynch
37. Cal Porter
T36. Fergus Greene, Lukas Webb, Lin Jong
33. Fletcher Roberts
32. Ryan Gardner
31. Roarke Smith
30. Bailey Williams
29. Billy Gowers
28. Lachie Young
27. Rhylee West
26. Will Hayes
25. Lewis Young
24. Mitch Wallis
23. Tom Liberatore
22. Bailey Dale
21. Josh Schache
20. Ed Richards
19. Toby McLean
18. Jackson Trengove
17. Taylor Duryea
16. Tory Dickson
15. Matt Suckling
14. Zaine Cordy
13. Pat Lipinski
12. Tim English
11. Bailey Smith
10. JJ
9. Easton Wood
8. Lachie Hunter
7. Sam Lloyd
6. Caleb Daniel
5. Aaron Naughton
4. Hayden Crozier
3. Josh Dunkley
2. Jack Macrae
1. Marcus Bontempelli
 
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WallyStringhaus

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Aug 27, 2015
896
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Not Ranked - The Untried:

Buku Khamis – 18 VFL Games
Jordon Sweet – 17 VFL Games
Ben Cavarra – 12 VFL Games
Laitham Vandermeer – 15 VFL Games

Pop Quiz: Can you name the 1st year senior listed players that didn’t crack a game in their debut season under Luke Beveridge?
  • Declan Hamilton
  • Fergus Greene
  • Cal Porter
We can now add Cavarra and Vandermeer to the list. Both look capable and I am sure will be given a try at Senior Level in 2020. Sweet was an emergency in the back half of the year so isn’t far away whilst Khamis needs a lot more development.
 

WallyStringhaus

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Not Ranked – The Retirees:

Tom Boyd

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For many of us, this will be our lasting image of big Tom. Strong and full of passion, he carried the team on his back as effortlessly as he carried Toby that day. For me when I think of Tom Boyd, I think of the stoic and resolute young man who had just been out marked and had a goal kicked on him in the Prelim. With Cameron and Patton laughing and taunting, Boydy didn’t so much as nibble at their bait and jogged back nonchalantly to the centre to take the next ruck contest. In his no fuss manner he won the hit-out and followed up with a bone crunching tackle. It was his skill and class that helped us win the flag. It was his guts and determination that helped us make it in the first place.

A final word on THAT contract. We all laughed for years as player after player signed on, joking that another ‘victim’ of Boyd’s contract had been claimed. In the end there was only one victim, the man himself. There is no doubt that we needed to take a stand as a football club after what happened at the conclusion of season 2014 and it is doubtful that any of us would change a damn thing. What has to be acknowledged though, is that the contract would have been a contributor to the demons that weighed him down. It placed expectations on him that he couldn’t possibly meet. It opened him up to the savages in the media, the fickle fans, teammates and most probably his own sanity. Here’s hoping we are never in a position where we feel the need to throw those sorts of reckless terms around ever again.

Thanks Tom for your contribution to our proud football club. Forever a Bullgod.

Liam Picken

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From the Williamstown battler to a genuine finals match winner. What a ride Liam Picken gave us all.

EF: 23 possies, 9 marks and 2 goals against the Eagles
SF: 24 possies, 8 marks and 3 goals against the Hawks
PF: 21 possies, 6 tackles and 6 clearances against the Giants
GF: 25 possies and 3 goals against the Swans

The very definition of a big game player.

Dale Morris

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Has one photo ever summed a player’s career so succinctly? Playing with a broken back, cramping, undersized and exhausted. He summons one last burst of energy and brings down the greatest player of the 21st century and creates the Premiership sealing goal.

There’s a spot in the backline in the Bulldogs greatest team of all time waiting for you Dale, it’s been well earned.
 

WallyStringhaus

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Under the Pump in 2019:

38. Brad Lynch
0 AFL games, 18 VFL games

Anyone else see that coming? After a promising start to his career in 2018 Lynch fell off a cliff in 2019. It wasn’t just failing to crack a game in the seniors, it was his form in the reserve grade that was so concerning. Contracted for next year and needs it to be a big one.

37. Cal Porter
0 AFL games, 18 VFL games

Earlier I posted a list of names who failed to debut in season one under Bevo. After two seasons that list becomes Declan Hamilton and Cal Porter. Seems to be a pure mid so may struggle to get a game moving forward despite being an emergency late in the year.

T36. Fergus Greene (4 VFL games), Lukas Webb (13 VFL games), Lin Jong (9 VFL games)

I’m lumping these guys together. All had serious injuries/ailments that prevented them from making an impact in 2019. Interesting to see if Webb is retained, Jong and Greene have one year remaining on their contracts.
 

WallyStringhaus

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Stick a fork in them:

33. Fletcher Roberts
2 AFL games, 18 VFL games

AFL history is littered with players who despite being very limited in what they offer, will be forever known as Premiership players. Think Aaron Keating, Brent Macaffer, Matt Spangher, etc…Fletcher Roberts is that guy for us.

32. Ryan Gardner
2 AFL games, 11 VFL games

Carlton finished 16th in 2019. Ryan managed one kick against them. Enough said.

The Disappointments:

31. Roarke Smith (5 AFL, 13 VFL games)
30. Bailey Williams (9 AFL, 12 VFL games)
29. Billy Gowers (10 AFL, 8 VFL games)

All of these guys have shown promise in previous seasons but dropped away in 2019. Williams in particular was a major disappointment. He started his season with Isaac Heeney taking a screamer on his head and finished it languishing in the reserves and without a contract for 2020. Gowers went from our leading goal kicker in 2018 to struggling to get a kick in the two's.
 

WallyStringhaus

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Showing Promise:

28. Lachie Young (6 AFL, 14 VFL games)
27. Rhylee West (3 AFL, 15 VFL games)
26. Will Hayes (9 AFL, 11 VFL games)
25. Lewis Young (5 AFL, 14 VFL games)

Both Young’s look to have a long future ahead in our backline. Hayes showed some encouraging signs but should be depth only. West has all the hardness and drive of his old man which should see him have a long and distinguished career. 2nd in the Liston shows he has his father’s ability to attract the umpires eye. Looking forward to seeing what he produces in 2020.

Have these old dogs got some new tricks?

24. Mitch Wallis (10 AFL games)
23. Tom Liberatore (15 AFL games)

It’s a conundrum. We looked a better side in the second half of the season without these two warriors, yet they were sorely missed when the heat got turned up to 11 in the finals.

Liber started like a house on fire but once Dunks was moved into the middle he became almost redundant.

Mitch got by-passed in the midfield by the likes of Smith and Lipinski and the late season form of Dale puts him in a tough spot to win back a role in the forward half. Interesting year ahead for both these fellas.
 

Yojimbo

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
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Please don't stick forks in any of the players, interesting with a subtle hint of the great Mofra's bottom
fifty in a purely tribute form of course. Look forward to your forensic CSI like autopsy of the remaining
players, torment them with stats they will hate you for it like Batman. :thumbsu:
 

WallyStringhaus

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Building Slowly:

22. Bailey Dale
10 AFL games, 10 VFL games

Man did this guy fight his way out of the corner in the back half of the year. A lot of us knew he had talent but what he produced went beyond that. He became a real threat with his marking ability and nous around goals. If we are to push for Top 4 next year he really has to back it up and produce a 40+ goal season.

21. Josh Schache
14 AFL games, 7 VFL games

I'm still a believer in what Josh can bring to the table. Many have questioned his desire but I think we saw some real fight in the back part of the season. He posted career high's in Tackles, Contested Possession, Clearances and Goals per game. Kicked 19 Goals from the final 10 games of the season, proving that like Bailey Dale, he is capable of kicking 40+ goals in a season. The addition of Josh Bruce will only help him become more dangerous as most defenses do not have a third tall that stands 200cm and runs all day. Hopefully we can get Josh over the line. Not sure what has happened to Schache's Contested Marking skills. In his debut season he took 16 in his first 9 games, he has managed just 21 more across the next 45.

Should be higher on the list:

20. Ed Richards
20 AFL games

Just isn't finding enough of the ball. Had 11 games of 15+ possessions in 2018. In 2019 that number dropped to just 3. Has the talent to be a Top 10 player on our list but what's his best position? Looked at home as an attacking back flanker but it is a position we are over stocked in. Has shown a knack around goals but isn't consistent enough. Spent some time on the wing but the aerobic capacity isn't up to speed (yet). Big pre-season for the young fella coming up. Perhaps a haircut also...

19. Toby McLean
19 AFL games

Went from a Top 10 finish in the B&F to playing reserves football this year. Like Libba, Tobes game was stifled by the astronomic improvement made by Josh Dunkley and Pat Lipinski. Take a gander at some of these numbers;

Disposals: (2018) 23.86, (2019) 15.68
Tackles: (2018) 5.73, (2019) 3.26
Inside 50: (2018) 3.64, (2019) 2.42
Clearances: (2018) 4.09, (2019) 0.95
Contested Poss: (2018) 9.45, (2019) 5.74

Where does he fit moving forward?
 

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WallyStringhaus

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Solid Citizens:

18. Jackson Trengove
16 AFL games, 4 VFL games

I think it says a lot when you are left out of the starting 22 for both the opening and final game of the season. This was despite Jackson playing a really solid and dependable role when he was in the team. He was a rock in defense, taking on the oppo's best key forward and strong in the ruck when Timmy was missing.

In fact, these are his numbers when he has been the sole ruckman in the past two seasons;

2018 -

22 possessions, 2 Goals, 28 Hit Outs and 10 Clearances Vs. Port Adelaide (Loss)

15 Possessions, 4 Tackles, 17 Hit Outs Vs. St.Kilda (Win)

21 Possessions, 6 Marks, 20 Hit Outs Vs. North (Win)

17 Possessions, 1 Goal, 8 Clearances, 24 Hit Outs Vs. Carlton (Win)

16 Possessions, 7 Tackles, 15 Hit Outs Vs. Richmond (Loss)

2019 -

21 Possessions, 6 Tackles, 6 Clearances, 27 Hit Outs Vs. Brisbane (Win)

18 Possessions, 1 Goal, 6 Tackles, 23 Hit Outs Vs. Geelong (Loss)

14 Possessions, 6 Clearances, 24 Hit Outs Vs. GWS (Win)

17. Taylor Duryea
14 AFL games

Just an absolute pro. Averaged Career high's in Possessions, Rebound 50's and Spoils. Will play a lot more footy for the Dogs.

16. Tory Dickson
17 AFL games

Has shown that he still has the ability to hit the scoreboard. Averages as many Tackles Inside 50 as Willie Rioli and Shai Bolton and more than guys like Papley, Jack Martin, Ablett, Wingard and Liam Ryan. Would love to see him get an injury free run at it.

15. Matt Suckling
19 AFL games

Like his ex Hawks mate in Duryea, you know what you are going to get from Suckers. He can be a bit hit and miss sometimes and make some awful decisions but the pro's outweigh the con's. Went from averaging almost 25 possessions per game in 2018 to 20 in 2019 but at age 31 that is probably to be expected. Will 2020 be his last season?

14. Zaine Cordy
23 AFL games

He's a battler young Zaine. Plays undersized in both height and weight but gives his all. Not an Interceptor or Rebounder or Contested Marking player and can quite often get beaten in the air by bigger, stronger opponents. Should benefit greatly if we are able to add Alex Keith Keeth Keef Keath. Finishes higher on these rankings purely because he managed to play a full 23 game season.
 

WallyStringhaus

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Aug 27, 2015
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The future A-Graders:

13. Patrick Lipinski
14 AFL games, 6 VFL games

Knocked the door off the hinges in making his way into the Senior side and never looked back. I'm really bullish about this guy. He has great size, clean hands, amazing tank, beautiful skills and can impact the scoreboard. I love mids that can score or put others in a position to. Finished tied for 8th in Average Goal Assists per game across the entire comp and kicked 11 himself. The kid can really play.

12. Tim English
20 AFL games

Watch out AFL, big Timmy is coming! After getting mauled earlier in the year he averaged 25 Hit Outs per game across the last 4 weeks of the season. His Contested Marking got stronger as well, taking multiple in 6 of the last 11 games and at least one in each of the last 7 games. He is growing before our very eyes. Mike Sheahan tipped him to be the player of the decade...you can see why.

11. Bailey Smith
23 AFL games

Couldn't have asked for more from the first year player. Was strong and fierce and showed some much lacking aggression towards the opposition. 22 Possessions and 14 Tackles against Port in the wet was the highlight for me. I'm expecting him to be Top 5 on this list next year. Could not be happier that we missed on Chad Wingard. The kid will be an absolute jet! Will he follow in Naughton's footsteps and finish Top 10 in the B&F?
 

WallyStringhaus

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Aug 27, 2015
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The Core:

10. JJ
20 AFL games

Average Possessions, Tackles, Inside 50's and Goal Assists all up on the past two seasons, where he finished 2nd and 7th in the CSM. Has become a consistent performer without being truly elite within the competition as a whole. Like many others he turned in his worst performance of the year in the Elimination Final. Missed the start of this season so hopefully he gets an injury free run at the pre-season.

9. Easton Wood
23 AFL Games

Forced into a different role due to injuries and lack of depth and applied himself well. Not the Wood of 2015/16 but we saw some glimpses late in the season when Lewis Young was added into the mix. Debates have been waged over whether or not he should continue as Captain. The playing group clearly love him and when the chips were down and we faced the most intense heat of the season in a do or die game, who was our clear best player?

8. Lachie Hunter
23 AFL Games

We all know my thoughts on Lachie. I'm a strong believer in the theory that the players who accumulate the most uncontested possession should be the most damaging players in the team. Lachie is not that. What he is though, adds so much to the team dynamic. In the wake of the news about Danny Frawley I've softened my stance on Lach. He loves the Club and gives everything he has got every single week, running himself to exhaustion. Sure he has his deficiencies but hell, who doesn't? Thanks again for another solid year of footy Lachie...It is time to talk about you no more.

7. Sam Lloyd
23 AFL games

Came into a new environment and absolutely thrived. Had 69 Scoring shots, won the goalkicking award and had 14 assists. Kicked multiple goals on 14 occasions and did everything that was asked of him.

6. Caleb Daniel
17 AFL games

Add me to the subscribers who believe we missed his poise and precision in the Elimination Final. Ranked top 10 in average Rebounds per game and his disposal efficiency was parallel with players like Houli (who was AA) and Saad (who was close). Was prone to the odd howler and did get caught out defensively one on one but again, sometimes the pro's outweigh the con's.

I'm a believer that the growth of Dunks, Lipinski and Smith and their improved defensive work will see the likelihood of Daniel being caught out defensively mitigated. We debated his worth in the back end of the season when we seemed to play better without him but to me he is still a lock and had a very fine season.
 

Yojimbo

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 14, 2012
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Lachie Hunter at 8, I am feeling a lot of healing WallyStringhaus that leaves only five. The trio of demi
gods from the bubble of excellence, Marcus Bontempelli, Jackson Macrae and Josh Dunkley. The
former Fremantle flyer and lord of the air Hayden Crozier and the number one contested mark in the
AFL and pin up boy for red headed people all around the world Aaron Naughton. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, BOOM,
who needs the Sutton when Waldo's finger is on the Button, bravo and encore this is dog-watch like
quality.
 

WallyStringhaus

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The Elite:

5. Aaron Naughton

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"Looking for Naughton and why not? Ohhhhhhhh have a look at him!!! He is tearing this game to shreds!" Cried James Brayshaw as he took the mark pictured.

I'm going to go off on a bit of a tangent here. The above photo is of a young star of our great game doing what he does best, launching himself at the ball and providing long lasting memories for us, the fans of the game. What he did that night reminded me of Wayne Carey at his absolute peak. Contested Marking forwards have always been what sets our game apart from the rest of the world. It makes our sport truly spectacular.

The AFL have spent so much time tinkering with rules over the years that it barely resembles the game i grew up loving. When Gil and Steve Hocking sit down over the summer and decide what other changes they can make to 'improve' the game, they need to have a life sized photo of this picture hanging on the wall. It's simple, let our stars do what they do best.

I was thinking about footy in the late 80's and the early 90's and I can recite to you all of the premiers from that time. I know that Carlton beat Hawthorn in 1987 and if I think about it really hard I could probably tell you half a dozen players from that flag winning side. What stands out about 1987 in my memory banks though is Warwick Capper taking hangers every week and kicking 100 goals, Jason Dunstall dominating and kicking 90 goals, Tony Lockett winning the Brownlow and kicking 100 goals.

In 1993, the Baby Bombers won the flag and Modra, Ablett and Dunstall all kicked 120+ goals. I looked back on the 93 season on AFL Tables to see who took the most Marks, it looked like this;

1. Stewart Leowe - 184
2. Jason Dunstall - 166
3. Tony Modra - 163
4. Paul Salmon - 157
5. Wayne Carey - 150

All big, strong and dominant forwards...

In 2019 it looks like this;

1. Brad Sheppard - 183
2. Tom Stewart - 175
3. Mitch Duncan - 172
4. Ricky Henderson - 159
5. James Sicily - 158

Medium Defenders or outside wingman...really??? Are these the kinds of players we want to be taking the most marks in the game?

The other thing that stood out was the amount of Hit Outs. In 1993 Justin Madden led the comp with 363. The same number would have ranked him 17th in 2019. Witts led the comp with over 1000! WTF...

To the powers that control our game, the answer is pretty clear. Instruct your umpires to pay a free kick when a player drops the ball in a tackle or disposes of the ball incorrectly. It may see the free kick count soar but it will halt the endless stoppages and also allow players to move the ball quickly into their forward lines where players like Naughton can dominate the game. In addition, if players such as Naughton and Charlie Curnow and Jack Riewoldt are not given the run to fly at the footy pay them free kicks too. Players whose objective it is to hold and scrag will soon get the message and our game can go back to being about the superstars whose sole objective is and always has been getting the ball.

Here's hoping you get a bit more protection next year Aaron. Tremendous season.
 

WallyStringhaus

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4. Hayden Crozier

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If you asked the general footy public to name the most courageous players in the league, I'm doubtful Hayden Crozier would even register a vote. To me he is the absolute epitome of courage. Both fierce and fearless he continually puts himself where angels fear to tread.

Solid defensively, an elite interceptor, outstanding decision maker (#1 ranked Dog in DE%) and a leader to boot. Croz has turned out to be an absolute steal and a very astute trade. In the same trade period, Melbourne paid two first rounders for 19 games (thus far) of Jake Lever. Adelaide paid two first rounders for Bryce Gibbs, who spent half the year playing SANFL. We paid pick 40 & 82 for Hayden and a future 4th.

You've endeared yourself to all of us with the way you play Croz. Hopefully next year the media start paying attention.
 

WallyStringhaus

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Aug 27, 2015
896
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This was easily the toughest call in this listing. Jack and Josh were nearly as inseparable as they were in the above photo.

There is an age old argument in sports, when judging players, about the better player and the more valuable player. Which is more important?

Jack is clearly the more rounded player. As consistent as a metronome, he knows his own game inside out. Statistically speaking he was slightly down on last year's numbers, averaging less;

Marks, Goals, Tackles, Rebound 50's, Inside 50's, Clearances, Contested Possessions and Marks whilst increasing in Clangers.

Where he did go to another level was in his assists, ranking 4th in the league.

Dunks spent the 1st six weeks of the season playing the dreaded forward/relief mid role before being unleashed into the midfield full-time. His numbers once he went in were absolutely off the charts and saw him named in the AA squad of 40. Contested beasts who can be as potent offensively as they are defensively are worth their weight in gold, Josh fits the bill here.

His value to the team was immense as we shot up the ladder in unison with his stratospheric growth.

Was it any coincidence that GWS were able to shut both him and Bont down in the Elim Final and we duly got pumped in the process? Does this mean he is a more valuable player than Jacko?

3. Josh Dunkley
2. Jackson Macrae

To me Jack Macrae remains so underrated, I couldn't then go and do it myself by placing Dunks ahead of him. Might be a different story next year though. I get the feeling that like his great mate Bont, Josh wants to push himself to be the absolute best that he can be. Unbelievable season from both these guys.
 

WallyStringhaus

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1. Marcus Bontempelli

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Pictured: Marcus Bontempelli solidifying his position as the AFL's most protected species whilst Toby Greene by-stands innocently.

What more can be said about the great man? All Australian, AFLCA player of the year, potential Brownlow and in all likeliness a third Charles Sutton Medal. All at the tender age of 23.

What I said in the Naughton write up goes double for players like the Bont, just let them have a fair run at it.

Spectacular season Bonti, go work on your set shots so you can lead us to another flag in 2020...
 

WallyStringhaus

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Good analysis. Thanks for putting it together.

You've nailed the top 5 for mine.

Personally I'd have Caleb a fair bit lower, and Wood would have been in late twenties if not for his strong finish.
Yup, i can see it with those two. I still think we suffer from seeing Wood as the AA version who has gone downhill ever since...i honestly don't think it's him, it's the role he's being asked to play.

Once i was able to wrap my head around that I started to see him in a different light. I remember the game against Port where Gray made him look silly on a couple of occasions (he's not the 1st and wont be the last) and he was getting slaughtered on this board. He played so strongly outside of that one or two errors and had a season high in spoils.

He needs to be unleashed next year. We'll be a better team for it.
 

Snarls Barkley

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Like it, great work mate. Must’ve taken a bit of time but I enjoyed it.

Top 5 is spot on. I would have Lloyd lower personally but think the list is well done and well argued.
 

Bont2Bruce

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Excellent work mate. Found myself nodding in agreement to almost everything I read. Only beg to differ on Easton Wood who I don't think was anywhere near our top 10 this year. I'd have him somewhere lower than Taylor Duryea who I think gave us more than Wood did in 2019 despite playing less games.
 

WallyStringhaus

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Aug 27, 2015
896
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Like it, great work mate. Must’ve taken a bit of time but I enjoyed it.

Top 5 is spot on. I would have Lloyd lower personally but think the list is well done and well argued.
Thanks mate. Lists are hard, we all have our own opinions on players worth.

Didn't take as long as you'd think. Once I got going it just flowed...plus I'm on holidays :thumbsu:
 

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