THIS was my first crack at selecting a top 50 players in the VFL. It was based on selected rules.
That is firstly that every player selected was VFL-listed only. Into analysis for positions came not only the players’ form from 2011 but also what we predict the players’ season and impact on the team will be in 2012.
Also in the selection process, any player that is not on a VFL list in 2012 is ineligible. This meant that many Port premiership stars – who would have been in the top order for this exercise – were not named.
It was difficult not to select Shane Valenti for pole position. He is a two-time Liston Trophy winner and most believe he was the most unfortunate not to be handed another AFL lifeline. Essendon had a big sniff.
Toby Pinwill was the Norm Goss Medal winner in last year’s VFL grand final. I still think he’s the biggest impact player in the league.
Sam Dwyer had his best season of his career last year and was unfortunate to miss out on an AFL chance. So too was Bendigo’s Ben Duscher, who slots in at No.4 after one of his most blistering seasons.
Williamstown’s Ben Jolley is the clubs’ premier play-maker and was close to snaring a Liston Medal last year.
Werribee’s Travis Tuck had a brilliant finish to last season – and the former Hawk was apparently close to resurrecting his AFL career. Perhaps if it wasn’t for his sanction for half a dozen games early in the season, he may have won a Liston.
Willie Wheeler is the competition’s best young gun. He is certainly on the rise and one of Coburg’s brightest.
Chris Cain could have easily jostled for an earlier position. He had another fine season and one of the best in the flag win last year.
Daniel Pratt is perhaps the surprise pick at No.9. He is an experienced campaigner from North Melbourne who was arguably the best recruit over summer. Box Hill landed him and he is sure to impress.
Myles Sewell consolidates the top 10 with the final pick. Only two years ago though, he would have been No.1. His fall from grace is perhaps more of a confidence slide than anything else.
Key recruits over summer such as Nathan Ablett, Carl Peterson, Marc Lock and Beau Dowler are also selected in the top 50 but it was more of a guessing game of their immediate impact.
All of those, however, have the proven ability to be match-winners.
We want to hear some feedback so feel free to leave a comment…who would your No.1 pick be…who did we miss out on? Let us know because it is up for debate.
Brent Diamond’s Top 50 VFL players
1. Shane Valenti (Port Melbourne)
2. Toby Pinwill (Port Melbourne)
3. Sam Dwyer (Port Melbourne)
4. Ben Duscher (Bendigo Bombers)
5. Ben Jolley (Williamstown)
6. Travis Tuck (Werribee Tigers)
7. Willie Wheeler (Coburg Tigers)
8. Chris Cain (Port Melbourne)
9. Daniel Pratt (Box Hill Hawks)
10. Myles Sewell (North Ballarat)
11. Ben Sharp (Werribee Tigers)
12. Tyson Thomas (Northern Blues)
13. Jamie McNamara (Williamstown)
14. Tom Sundberg (Collingwood)
15. Michael Stockdale (Williamstown)
16. Dean Galea (Port Melbourne)
17. Danny Nicholls (Casey Scorpions)
18. Nick Peters (North Ballarat)
19. Marcus Darmody (North Ballarat)
20. Sam Pleming (Port Melbourne)
21. James Wall (Williamstown)
22. Matt Little (Bendigo)
23. Brett Goodes (Williamstown)
24. Derrick Micallef (North Ballarat)
25. Marcus Marigliani (Sandringham)
26. Dom Gleeson (Geelong)
27. Adam Cockie (Sandringham)
28. Michael Lourey (Sandringham)
29. Michael Searle (North Ballarat)
30. Ryan Gale (Port Melbourne)
31. Ben Ross (Werribee Tigers)
32. Will Johnson (Box Hill Hawks)
33. Oliver Tate (North Ballarat)
34. Carl Peterson (Northern Blues)
35. Rick Ladson (Bendigo)
36. Nathan Ablett (Werribee Tigers)
37. David Mirra (Box Hill Hawks)
38. Jye Bolton (Werribee Tigers)
39. Marc Lock (Box Hill Hawks)
40. Troy Selwood (Geelong)
41. Billy Burstin (Port Melbourne)
42. Liam Hoy (North Ballarat)
43. Brett Eddy (Collingwood)
44. Nick Carnell (Coburg Tigers)
45. Kris Pendlebury (Collingwood)
46. Robbie Castello (Werribee Tigers)
47. Luke Potts (Frankston)
48. Lachie George (North Ballarat)
49. Beau Muston (Box Hill Hawks)
50. Adrian Bonaddio (Port Melbourne)
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