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Thread: 2014 All Australian Team

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    Moderator Wogitalia's Avatar
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    2014 All Australian Team

    Figured now that the season is wrapped we may as well have our discussion on this. I generally respect the teams on here higher than the actual team... I've decided to go the extra mile (because I'm a terrible employee!) and pick an entire squad and then the final team from that.

    I've decided to do a pretty formulaic squad breaking it into 6 positions. I've picked 5 KPD and 5 KPF, 6 small defenders and 6 small forwards with 3 ruckmen and 15 midfielders. I think this basically represents the makeup of the modern game.

    Squad

    Key Position Defenders


    Cale Hooker (Essendon) - Outstanding 1st half of the season playing as much as the floating tall but also had his share of lockdown roles which he won without fail. Faded a bit as he became more one on one over the 2nd half of the season but an outstanding season.

    Eric MacKenzie (West Coast) - Basically the same as Talia really with a bit more attacking flair. He takes and beats the best forward week in, week out.

    Ted Richards (Sydney) - Probably the best balanced defender of the group in that he is elite in the one on one contest but also consistently provides the 3rd man up and help defense as well as being a very good rebounder. Probably his best season to date.

    Daniel Talia (Adelaide) - Has been outstanding by any measure. Rarely has his colours lowered and takes the best forward pretty much without fail and regardless of type.

    Harry Taylor (Geelong) - Basically the opposite of Hooker. He didn't start well at all as he overcame an interrupted preseason but his finish was sublime and I don't think there could be many who'd argue against him being the best KPD over the 2nd half of the season.

    On the Cusp: Scott Thompson (North) and Joel Patful (Brisbane).

    Small Defenders

    Grant Birchall - Played all 22 games this year, was rarely beaten in a one on one contest and also provided great attacking rebound on a consistent basis. Is a genuine star of the competition.

    Michael Hibberd - Played 18 games, which had all the competition played 22 would probably have ruled him out, but he was outstanding when fit and battled well when he wasn't. Essendon's form was very strongly correlated with Hibberds. Like Birchall he is rarely beaten one on one, is a great help defender and his rebound is outstanding.

    Nick Malceski - Played 22 games of pure class this year. His ball use has always been elite but he is getting more of it than ever and has also become a very good one on one defender and even better as a help defender.

    Heath Shaw - Played 18 games this year. Moved to GWS and had perhaps his best year yet. He is an elite defender who also provides elite ball use and his leadership in a very young defense could not be understated. Was a fantastic pickup by the Giants.

    Brodie Smith - Played 22 games. Faded a bit towards the end but there is little case against him being probably the best small defender over the first 2/3 of the season. Doesn't lose one on one contests and his rebound was second to none.

    Nick Smith - Played 20 games. The unquestioned best shutdown defender in the league. Had his colours lowered only once all year, by another AA squad member in Breust and even then it was a pretty honourable defeat.

    On the Cusp: Jeremy Howe (Melbourne), Neville Jetta (Melbourne), Alan Toovey (Collingwood), Corey Enright (Geelong) and Shannon Hurn (West Coast).

    Small Forwards

    Hayden Ballantyne (Fremantle) - 19 games for 49 goals. Serial pest and the player we all love to hate but he is without a doubt an elite small forward who does it all.

    Eddie Betts (Adelaide) - 22 games for 51 goals. Great leading small forward who has elite recovery skills and is also a very good forward pressure player. Was a fantastic free agency signing for the Crows.

    Luke Breust (Hawthorn) - 22 games for 53 goals. Elite kick at goal and elite in the forward pressure acts. Has matured in to a fantastic player in every facet of the game.

    Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide) - 22 games for 34 goals. Has taken his game to the genuinely elite level. A true HFF who pushes through the middle. Winner of the AFL Coaches award and deservedly so.

    Brent Harvey (North) - 20 games for 27 goals. Another true HFF who has somehow taken his game to perhaps its highest level yet which at his age seems absurd.

    Devon Smith (GWS) - 21 games for 26 goals. Another true HFF who pushes through the middle. His game winning goal in round 23 just highlights what he has been doing all year. His consistency and impact for a very inconsistent young team has been fantastic.

    On the Cusp: Lindsay Thomas (North), Jamie Elliott (Collingwood), Josh Green (Brisbane) and Jimmy Bartel (Geelong).

    Key Position Forwards

    Lance Franklin (Sydney) - 19 games for 67 goals. The biggest free agent of them all proved to be an astute signing in year one of his mega deal. Coleman medal and some truly dominant displays in leading the Swans to the Minor Premiership.

    Tom Hawkins (Geelong) - 22 games for 62 goals. The big Cat was as good as every, especially over the first 2/3 of the season.

    Tom Lynch (Gold Coast) - 22 games for 46 goals. Lynch's improvement this season was as big a reason as any for the Suns great season. It's always hard to be a KPF on an inconsistent team but his leadup work was simply elite.

    Jarryd Roughead (Hawthorn) - 20 games for 62 goals. Didn't miss a beat without Buddy and continues to be one of footy's true superstars and good blokes. He is a star.

    Jay Schulz (Port Adelaide) - 22 games for 62 goals. Schulz was finally able to stay healthy and put up great numbers as a result. Had an excellent season that ebbed and flowed with his team's success.

    On the Cusp: Josh Kennedy (West Coast), Jack Riewoldt (Richmond), Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda) and Jack Gunston (Hawthorn).

    Rucks

    Todd Goldstein (North) - Finished very hard after a slow start. Is elite by any measure as a ruckman.

    Sam Jacobs (Adelaide) - Bounced back after a poor 2013 to be arguably the games best big man.

    Aaron Sandilands (Fremantle) - Healthy for the first time in forever and turned back the clock to when he was battling Coxy for the title of the games best ruckman.

    Midfielders

    Gary Ablett (Gold Coast) - 15 games at 32.1 disposals. Missed 7 games in the end and still in the squad. Could yet win the Brownlow and was as good as anyone has ever been for his 15 games.

    Dayne Beams (Collingwood) - 19 games at 27.2 disposals. Had a great season before it was prematurely ended, nice bounceback after a horror 2013.

    Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide) - 22 games at 24.9 disposals. A down year for Danger as he battled just about every injury under the sun. Still put up a great season though.

    Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle) - 18 games at 26.8 disposals. Took the proverbial next step this year as he tightened his ball use up. Missed 4 games through suspension but could still win the Brownlow.

    Bryce Gibbs (Carlton) - 22 games at 24.8 disposals. Elite ball user who also took that next step this year and was a real standout in a poor team.

    Pearce Hanley (Brisbane) - 20 games at 25.2 disposals. Perhaps the best run and carry midfielder in the game with elite ball use and hardness. Has already become the 2nd best Irish import to play the game and if he keeps improving at his rate to date could push the great Jim Stynes when it is all said and done.

    Dyson Heppell (Essendon) - 21 games at 28.2 disposals. Did it all for Essendon this year including a stint inside while his captain was out. Had a great season by any measure.

    Josh Kennedy (Sydney) - 20 games at 28.9 disposals. Had arguably his best season yet and was elite by any measure this year.

    Jordan Lewis (Hawthorn) - 21 games at 28 disposals. Another of the proverbial steppers, he matured into Hawthorn's best midfielder this year as the aging stars around him passed in and out. He was the constant in probably the leagues best performed midfield.

    Luke Parker (Sydney) - 22 games at 25.9 disposals. Yet another player who took that next step only he probably took about 3 of them such was his improvement. Has become an elite midfielder who also is an excellent mark for his size and hits the scoreboard. A real chance of winning the best and fairest at the minor premiers.

    Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) - 21 games at 28.4 disposals. Such is his class that we consider this a down season for him. Will be up there come Brownlow night once again and is just a flat out elite player who does it all.

    Matthew Priddis (West Coast) - 22 games at 28.5 disposals. Led the AFL in disposals and was an animal at the clearances all year. Had a fantastic season despite his teams struggles and helped keep them in a lot of games.

    Tom Rockliff (Brisbane) - 18 games at 32.7 disposals. Led the league in disposals per game and tackles and is among the top 5 in just about every measurable midfield indicator. Really the only knock on his season was the 4 missed games.

    Joel Selwood (Geelong) - 22 games at 25.4 disposals. Geelongs heart and soul he had as good a year as he has ever had and should be the Brownlow favourite heading into the big night. Just ticks every possible box as a midfielder.

    Rory Sloane (Adelaide) - 22 games at 23.7 disposals. Adelaide's inspirational leader, Sloane is yet another player who took the next step, the difficult one from very good to elite. His workrate is 2nd to none and is the heir apparent to Lenny as the player that fans of every team love with the way he goes about it.

    On the Cusp: Nathan Jones (Melbourne), Adam Treloar (GWS), Dion Prestia (Gold Coast), Steele Sidebottom (Collingwood), Callan Ward (GWS), Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney) and Marc Murphy (Carlton).


    The Team

    FB - Nick Smith - Daniel Talia - Cale Hooker
    HB - Nick Malceski - Eric Mackenzie - Brodie Smith
    C - Scott Pendlebury - Tom Rockliff - Nathan Fyfe
    HF - Robbie Gray - Lance Franklin - Brent Harvey
    FF - Luke Breust - Jarryd Roughead - Hayden Ballantyne
    R - Sam Jacobs - Gary Ablett - Josh Kennedy
    Int - Joel Selwood - Luke Parker - Matthew Priddis - Tom Hawkins


    That was bloody hard. 3rd KPD was a genuine crap shoot, the two Smith's were coin flips over Birchall and Hibberd ultimately decided by games played and the decision to go the best defender and the best attacker that was left. Hawkins only made it over another midfielder for structural reasons, Roughy is essentially the backup ruck and no second ruck as the majority of teams do not play 2 rucks in the modern game. For mine Franklin and Roughead were an easy 1-2, Hawkins was a crapshoot pick over basically the next 5 options. Ballantyne was a coin flip over Betts but was better on a per game basis in a better team in the end. Hanley, Lewis, Heppell, Sloane and Danger all feel like genuine snubs, in that order as well. Even picking 8 midfielders was absolutely brutal but I wanted to hold the structure of the team and reward non-midfielders. Could easily have classified Parker as a forward and "cheated" that pick but he was a midfielder who kicked goals this year and was good enough to make it anyway. Ablett and to a lesser extent Rockliff were both almost not picked on games missed but they were head and shoulders above everyone else when they played, imo, and thus made it.

    That was seriously hard.

    While I'm at it... my Rising Star vote.

    5. James Aish
    4. Josh Kelly
    3. Luke Dunstan
    2. Marcus Bontempelli
    1. Lewis Taylor

    Near Miss: Zach Merrett and Jake Stringer
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  3. #2
    Fort Kickass Ben the Gooner's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    B: Patful - Talia - McKenzie
    HB: B. Smith - Hooker - Malceski
    C: Hanley - J. Kennedy (c) - Sloane
    HF: Gray - Franklin - Breust
    F: Ballantyne - Roughead - Hawkins
    R: Jacobs - Rockliff - Pendlebury
    I: Fyfe - Heppell - J. Selwood - Lewis

    Rest of the squad: Taylor, Richards, Birchall, Hibberd, Enright, Ryder, Sandilands, N Riewoldt, Harvey, Schulz, Betts, Parker, Ablett, Priddis, Ward, Beams, Gibbs, Prestia.

    Tried to pick 6 genuine forwards and backs as well as two genuine wingmen in the team so there's some unlucky inside mids and possibly a ruck, but it's not a bad balance.

    Rising star:

    5. James Aish
    4. Lewis Taylor
    3. Zach Merrett
    2. Luke Dunstan
    1. Luke McDonald

    Easily the 5 most consistently good kids.
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    I guess they give out points for results and not effort, because Riewoldt worked so hard all season only to have the ball delivered to him by absolute shit ***** so he'll miss out to players that can get it lace out close to every time. It really is an indictment that we had a colossus forward at his very best and we were still dead last and ****ing shithouse.

    Think the Bontempelli train will get him very high up.

    5. Aish
    4. Bontempelli
    3. Dunstan
    2. Taylor
    1. McDonald

    Few kids going to be desperately unlucky not to be in the top 5 but no-one will probably remember in a few years anyway. Zac Merrett overtaking his brother is a solid effort. Bontempelli and Dunstan played the same amount of games in the end. Bontempelli ahead, but Dunstan was an absolute monster for us early. Could really argue Merrett ahead of all of them.
    St Kilda 2011 - Finish 6th, lose first final, lose maligned yet valuable player (Dawson)
    Collingwood 2013 - Finish 6th, lose first final, lose maligned yet valuable player (Thomas)

    St Kilda 2012 - Close to but miss finals, lose marquee midfielder (Goddard)
    Collingwood 2014 - Close to but miss finals, lose marquee midfielder (Beams)

    St Kilda 2013 - Finish 16th, lose Dal Santo, sack coach
    Collingwood 2015 - ?

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    Moderator Wogitalia's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    The rising star is just a shit storm this year, it's about 8 guys who deserve to finish 3rd with no one really standing out to be a first or second type. It's a consistently good group lacking a star.

    Riewoldt was very unlucky, I punished him in the end for the period through the middle when he was hurt and didn't produce but I think he was just as deserving as Hawkins despite not making my squad
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    B: N.Smith - Talia - McKenzie
    HB: Hanley - Taylor - Malceski
    C: Fyfe - Lewis - Pendlebury
    HF: Gray - Roughead - Boomer
    F: Bruest - Buddy - Hawkins
    R: Jacobs - J.Selwood (c) - Kennedy
    I: Hooker - Heppell - Rockliff - Ward


    - I recognise that not all 4 of Talia, E-Mac, Hooker & Taylor will make it but I can't pick who to leave out.
    - Hanley on HBF is more me expecting that to be what AA Selectors will do.
    - Gray would be my starting onballer but he'll be shoehorned into the HFF spot.
    - Ward has been superb.
    - Swap out Heppell or mystery KPD4 for Ablett/Priddis and I wouldn't bat an eyelid.

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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    Ablett has to make it doesn't he? When was the last time a Brownlow winner didn't make the AA side? He may well not win it but his in it up to his eyeballs.
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    B: Joel Patfull Daniel Talia Nick Malceski
    HB: Brodie Smith Eric MacKenzie Pearce Hanley

    (Yes, I only have 1 backman in a finals team, but I just really rate those 6. Brodie Smith has always been my boy, so can't leave him out).

    C: Nat Fyfe Scott Pendlebury Tom Rockliff
    R: Sam Jacobs Gary Ablett Josh Kennedy

    (Ablett was far and away the best player in the league before injury. Won't win the Brownlow, but deserves to make AA)

    HF: Robbie Gray Buddy Franklin Eddie Betts
    F: Luke Breust Jarryd Roughead Tom Hawkins

    (Gray was a no-brainer, top 3 in the coleman (Schulz vs Hawkins could go either way), then Breust and Betts as the small forwards. Betts vs Ballantyne is a tough one, Betts with a few more goals and leading the league in assists gets him over the line for me)

    Bench:
    Dayne Beams Luke Parker Dyson Heppell Jay Schulz

    (I like putting younger up and coming midfielders on the bench for this team and those 3 have had huge years. Schulz doesn't deserve to miss out, so I put him on the bench)

    I personally don't think we had anywhere near a good enough year to have 4 players in the team, and I'm biased because the Crows are the only team I've seen consistently, but I find it hard to believe anyone has had a better year than Talia and Jacobs especially.
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    Moderator Wogitalia's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    I have the feeling that Betts and Smith will probably end up paying the price for Adelaide. Jacobs is a lock (or should be) and Talia has the backing of basically all the commentators who vote that I've noticed and also is very deserving. Say Talia misses if either of them miss though.

    Betts and Smith both have strong cases, Smith probably misses out because of a lack of momentum as he finished poorly and by that I mean his offensive impact fell right away, defensively he was still excellent. Betts has good momentum behind him though.
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    Think it's an indictment on the massive fall away in talent between our top group and the rest that we have this many legit possibilities, yet still missed finals with a weak fixture.
    After Sloane, Smith, Jacobs, Walker, Betts, Dangerfield and Crouch, it falls away ridiculously to the next tier on our list.
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    bit of love for Rance on twitter, ranks very highly in rebounding, spoils and intercepting missing 5 games could hurt him though

    here are goal against numbers Mackenzie 39, Patful 33, Talia 31, Hooker 29, Taylor 24, Rance 23

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    Super Moderator divvydan's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    Official squad of 40 has been announced

    E Betts, S Jacobs, B Smith, D Talia;
    T Rockliff;
    B Gibbs;
    D Beams, S Pendlebury;
    D Heppell, C Hooker.
    H Ballantyne, N Fyfe, A Sandilands;
    T Hawkins, T Lonergan, J Selwood, H Taylor;
    G Ablett;
    C Ward.
    L Breust, S Burgoyne, J Gunston, J Lewis, J Roughead;
    B Harvey;
    T Boak, R Gray, J Schulz,
    B Ellis, D Martin, A Rance.
    N Riewoldt;
    L Franklin; J Kennedy, N Malceski, L Parker, N Smith;
    E Mackenzie, M Priddis,
    T Liberatore.

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    Super Moderator Bunga's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    Todd Goldstein stiff not to make the 40 man squad, Pearce Hanley another one who is unlucky.
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    Super Moderator divvydan's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    Position wise.

    Tall Backs: Talia, Hooker, Lonergan, Taylor, Rance, MacKenzie

    Small Backs: B.Smith, N.Smith, Malceski (Heppell/Burgoyne/Ellis/Gibbs might be given a chance in one of these roles too)

    Mids: Rockliff, Gibbs, Beams, Pendlebury, Heppell, Fyfe, Selwood, Ablett, Ward, Burgoyne, Lewis, Harvey, Boak, Gray, Ellis, Martin, Parker, Kennedy, Priddis, Liberatore

    Small Fwd: Betts, Ballantyne, Breust (Fyfe/Harvey/Gray/Martin/Parker might be given a chance in one of these roles too)

    Tall Fwd: Hawkins, Gunston, Roughead, Schulz, N.Riewoldt, Franklin

    Rucks: Jacobs, Sandilands

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    FFC Agent of Chaos Big Sledge #32's Avatar
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    Hanley can consider himself robbed.

    It was nice to have 4 Crows make it and Tex, Sloane & Danger not be any of them. Means our top tier should be excellent next year.
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    Re: 2014 All Australian Team

    LOL at Brandon Ellis. Htf did he make it!!!

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