Matthew Wright is an underrated cog in the Adelaide machine
It's unusual for something not to happen when Matty Wright touches the ball
On the rise: Matthew Wright
At a glance: Wright enjoyed a career-best season in 2012 resulting in his first top-10 club champion finish (ninth). While Rory Sloane, Scott Thompson, Sam Jacobs and Patrick Dangerfield stole much of Adelaide's midfield limelight, Wright was a consistent and internally celebrated performer. He managed to stand up on several occasions when his teammates were struggling. He only managed 30 or more possessions twice in 2012 - in round 16 against GWS and in round 20 against Fremantle - but averaged more than 20 touches a game, highlighting his consistency. While he spent increased time through the midfield, Wright made the most of his attacking opportunities, booting 15 goals for the year. The 23-year-old looks a settled and capable AFL player now and, according to those on the inside at West Lakes, is a vital member of the squad looking towards what promises to be an exciting future.
Plays like: Former Adelaide player Tyson Edwards. In many respects Edwards and Wright are vastly different players. But both share the same workmanlike quality that never saw Edwards receive the external adulation he deserved and probably won't see Wright turn into a celebrated star of the competition. Like Edwards, Wright simply gets on with the role given to him each week and rarely lets his teammates or coach down.
Killer quality: Wright's workrate is up there with the best. He's incredibly hard in contested situations and is always willing to put his head over the ball. When playing on the ball, Wright's quick and clean hands, as well as his superb decision making make him a clearance king.
Best performance: With Adelaide fighting to hold onto a top-four position and push for a top-two spot, Wright was instrumental in his side's round 20 win against Fremantle. His 37 disposals and two goals was an extraordinary display that saw he receive two Brownlow votes.
What they say: "Unsung hero, you look at his numbers and you look at the way he plays the game; he doesn't fumble, it's unusual for something not to happen when Matty Wright touches the ball." – Adelaide list manager David Noble.
Stats that matter:
Sixth in disposals (445 at 20.2 per game)
Fourth in hardball gets (67 at 3 per game)
Fourth in looseball gets (61 at 2.77 per game)
Fourth in frees for (22 at 1 per game)
Sixth in tackles (81 at 3.68 per game)
The views in this story are those of the author and not necessarily those of the clubs or the AFL