Demons key backman Steven May and North Melbourne ruckman Todd Goldstein were both overlooked for the shortlist of the best 40 players this year from which the All-Australian team will be selected and announced on Thursday.
Last year’s AFLPA most valuable player Patrick Cripps was not rated in the best 40 players this year after carrying a shoulder injury through much of the season.
Geelong dominated the squad with five of their players named, the same as minor premiers Port Adelaide, while fellow top-four sides Richmond and Brisbane had three players each in the squad.
The omission of May from the squad of the best 40 players this year – not broken down into sub categories of best players in areas of the ground – means the decision on the All-Australian key defenders will be a choice between Harris Andrews, Jacob Weitering, and Darcy Moore.
Richmond’s Dylan Grimes, Freo’s Luke Ryan and Port’s Tom Jonas all equally play as undersized defenders and intercept marking half-backs.
Essendon’s Jordan Ridley, who became the least-experienced player to win Essendon’s best and fairest award this year, is also in the frame for one of those positions as a medium-tall, intercept-marking defender.
Last year’s premiers had three players nominated; Dustin Martin, Nick Vlastuin and Grimes. Former Tiger Dan Butler was picked in the squad after his outstanding season since his shift to the Saints.
Ten players from last year’s All-Australian team have again been nominated this year – Andrews, Marcus Bontempelli, Patrick Dangerfield, Nat Fyfe, Max Gawn, Grimes, Tom Hawkins, Jack Macrae, Lachie Neale and Scott Pendlebury.
If Dangerfield makes the final team it will be his eighth All-Australian gong. He would be just the sixth person to reach that milestone.
His teammates Cam Guthrie and Sam Menegola were shortlisted for the team for the first time while 2020 Coleman medallist Tom Hawkins was a certainty not only for the shortlist but undoubtedly for the final team.
Port’s Charlie Dixon was also on the shortlist, meaning he and Hawkins are almost assured selections for the two key forward posts.
Last year’s All-Australian ruck Brodie Grundy missed the best 40 after an indifferent year but surprisingly, former All-Australian Todd Goldstein was also overlooked despite ranking third in the competition for total stoppage clearances. Geelong’s ruck and utility Mark Blicavs was named in the 40.
Nic Naitanui and Max Gawn were both on the shortlist and will, with Blicavs, compete for the first ruck position.
Bulldog Tom Liberatore was unlucky not to be named on the short list after an excellent year.
The All-Australian selection panel features Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Steve Hocking, Glen Jakovich, Chris Johnson, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson and Warren Tredrea.
The All-Australian selectors, along with Kevin Sheehan, choose the winner of the AFL Rising Star award.
Brisbane LionsHarris Andrews, Hugh McCluggage, Lachie NealeCarltonJacob WeiteringCollingwoodTaylor Adams, Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Scott PendleburyEssendonJordan RidleyFremantleNat Fyfe, Luke Ryan, Matt TabernerGeelongMark Blicavs, Patrick Dangerfield, Cam Guthrie, Tom Hawkins, Sam MenegolaGWSNick HaynesHawthornJack GunstonMelbourneMax Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Christian PetraccaPort AdelaideTravis Boak, Zak Butters, Darcy Byrne-Jones, Charlie Dixon, Tom JonasRichmondDylan Grimes, Dustin Martin, Nick VlastuinSt KildaDan Butler, Jack SteeleSydneyTom PapleyWest CoastAndrew Gaff, Nic Naitanui, Liam Ryan, Brad SheppardWestern BulldogsMarcus Bontempelli, Caleb Daniel, Jack Macrae
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