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X-factor: The players set to light up AFLX

Could AFLX give Jack Watts the perfect start to his Port career? - AFL,Adelaide Crows,Brisbane Lions,Carlton Blues,Collingwood Magpies,Essendon Bombers,Fremantle Dockers,Geelong Cats,Gold Coast Suns,GWS Giants,Hawthorn Hawks,Melbourne Demons,North Melbourne Kangaroos,Port Adelaide Power,Richmond Tigers,St Kilda Saints,Sydney Swans,West Coast Eagles,Western Bulldogs
Could AFLX give Jack Watts the perfect start to his Port career?

Paul Seedsman: The former Magpie has impressed during the AFLX training sessions the Crows have had in the past few weeks. Seedsman's run and carry off half-back, and willingness to break the lines, should excite the fans.

Definite starters: Rory Atkins, Jordan Gallucci, Paul Seedsman

Definite outs: Hugh Greenwood, Brodie Smith, Taylor Walker 

- Lee Gaskin

Zac Bailey: The No.15 pick from last year's draft looks perfect for the shorter version of the game. Bailey is blessed with blistering pace, loves to take the game on and has an excellent sidestep and agility at top speed. Watch for him to take a bounce and kick long goals.

Definite starters: Tom Bell, Zac Bailey, Allen Christensen

Definite outs: Dayne Beams, Luke Hodge, Dayne Zorko

- Michael Whiting

Zac Fisher: This is a game built for speedsters and should suit Fisher down to the ground. He has built himself up in the off-season and his explosive pace will be an asset. Another to watch will be Jarrod Pickett, who has taken it up a notch or two this year after showing impressive glimpses last season.

Definite starters: David Cuningham, Zac Fisher, Jarrod Pickett

Definite outs: Sam Docherty, Darcy Lang, Sam Rowe, Alex Silvagni

- Howard Kotton 

Jaidyn Stephenson: Described recently by coach Nathan Buckley as "easily" the fastest player on the list, and by captain Scott Pendlebury as the type of player the AFLX concept suits "really well", it's hard to go past the Pies' first draft pick from last year. Lighting quick, a good kick and an ability to find the goals are all reasons why the No.6 overall draft selection should excel in his first competitive hit-out as a Magpie.

Definite starters: James Aish, Mason Cox, Brody Grundy, Jaidyn Stephenson

Definite outs: Jamie Elliott, Alex Fasolo, Tyson Goldsack, Levi Greenwood, Jeremy Howe, Darcy Moore, Scott Pendlebury 

- Jennifer Phelan

Pies fans will get their first look at top draftee Jaidyn Stephenson. Picture: AFL Photos

Adam Saad: The Bombers recruit's pace and run and carry ability make him perfectly suited to the AFLX format. Taking the game on and playing with boldness is favourable and Saad has those attributes down pat.

Definite starters: David Zaharakis, Adam Saad, Conor McKenna

Definite outs: Travis Colyer, Joe Daniher, Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett, Kobe Mutch, Jake Stringer 

- Ben Guthrie

Bradley Hill: The Dockers' reigning club champion wants to play AFLX and his elite running power and exquisite kicking would be ideal for the fast-paced and non-stop action.

Definite starters: Andrew Brayshaw, Adam Cerra, Bradley Hill

Definite outs: Sean Darcy, Alex Pearce, Aaron Sandilands

Travis King

Nakia Cockatoo: He is one of the most explosive players on Geelong's list and with the fast-paced nature of AFLX, should he be picked, he would be an asset for the Cats.

Definite starters: Geelong is yet to reveal details of its AFLX squad, but Cockatoo, Brandan Parfitt, Jordan Murdoch and Mitch Duncan would be the types of players suited to the format.

Definite outs: Lachie Henderson, Lincoln McCarthy, Scott Selwood, Stewart Crameri, Mark O'Connor

- Ben Guthrie


Alex Sexton: He's not the biggest-name Sun, but this game could be made for the Queenslander. Sexton has good speed, good endurance and is one of the club's longest kicks. It's not hard to envisage him bombing plenty of 10-point goals.

Definite starters: Jack Bowes, Kade Kolodjashnij, Touk Miller

Definite outs: Tom Lynch, Lachie Weller, Jarrod Witts

- Michael Whiting

Tom Scully: The competition’s best two-way runner will relish the hectic pace of AFLX, and his ability to carry the ball from a quick kick out at speed will be a massive weapon for GWS. Scully is also a fantastic finisher in front of goal.

Definite starters: Isaac Cumming, Matt de Boer, Sam Reid, Tom Scully, Lachie Whitfield

Definite outs: Matt Buntine, Brent Daniels, Brett Deledio, Toby Greene, Rory Lobb, Adam Kennedy

- Adam Curley

Luke Breust: Breust is one Hawthorn player who seems well suited to the AFLX version of the game. He has a big tank, is hard to tackle, reads the play well and knows how to find the goals. But he might be kept out of the first of Hawthorn’s two games on Friday night, with the club planning on playing an under 23 team in the first game against Essendon and then a more experienced group later in the evening against St Kilda.

Definite starters: Luke Breust, Jack Gunston, Blake Hardwick, Oliver Hanrahan, Daniel Howe, David Mirra, Harry Morrison, Liam Shiels

Definite outs: Kaiden Brand, Grant Birchall, Jon Ceglar, Cyril Rioli, Ben Stratton

- Ashley Browne

Christian Petracca: His ability to win the football in tight, burst out into space and finish long-range running goals would translate nicely into AFLX.

Definite starters: The Demons have not yet picked their squad ahead of next Friday night, but Petracca, Alex Neal-Bullen, Tom Bugg and James Harmes would benefit from a fast-paced game.

Definite outs: Jeff Garlett, Pat McKenna, Joel Smith, Aaron vandenBerg, Jack Viney, Sam Weideman

- Ben Guthrie

Christian Petracca's skills should translate nicely to AFLX. Picture: AFL Photos

Shaun Atley: Atley's speed, underrated fend-off and mindset to take the game on with ball in hand were always going to lend themselves favourably to AFLX. But watching him star in the Roos' AFLX trial games at Arden St in mid-January provided evidence to back up those beliefs. It was no surprise that Atley appeared at the AFLX launch last week, with the 154-game North forward certain to be a key contributor at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.

Definite starters: Shaun Atley, Billy Hartung, Shaun Higgins, Alex Morgan, Braydon Preuss

Definite outs: Jed Anderson, Taylor Garner, Kyron Hayden, Declan Watson, Sam Wright

- Marc McGowan 

Jack Watts: Since arriving from Melbourne during the off-season, Watts hasn't missed a beat at his new club. He's completed every training session and his ability to get up and down the ground, and accurate foot skills, makes him an exciting AFLX prospect.

Definite starters: Karl Amon, Robbie Gray, Sam Gray, Jack Watts

Definite outs: Matthew Broadbent, Steven Motlop, Jared Polec, Lindsay Thomas, Chad Wingard

- Lee Gaskin

Callum Moore: The athletic forward has the mix of speed and aerial ability to make his mark on AFLX. With two games to his name, the 21-year-old has been developing quietly in the VFL in his first two seasons, but he is making a case this pre-season to step up in 2018 as a second tall forward. In a format that will reward quick players who can also compete in the air, the Tigers believe Moore will be their secret weapon in an under-23 line-up. 

Definite starters: Shai Bolton, Nathan Broad, Dan Butler, Jason Castagna, Callum Moore

Definite outs: Trent Cotchin, Dustin Martin, Alex Rance, Jack Riewoldt, Daniel Rioli

Nathan Schmook

Tim Membrey: The mobile forward seems well suited for this game. He has the smarts to take advantage of the space that will be on offer, his tank is big enough to cover the ground in the high-intensity matches and the 23-year-old can be relied upon to finish off his set shots.

Definite starters: Tim Membrey, Seb Ross, Jimmy Webster

Definite outs: David Armitage, Josh Bruce, Jack Newnes 

- Dinny Navaratnam

Tim Membrey takes a strong mark in the Saints' intraclub match. Picture:

Dane Rampe: The All Australian defender is quick and does his best work on the rebound so should be ideally suited to AFLX. Rampe’s penetrating left foot will also be a huge asset, so look for the Swans to get him the footy anywhere forward of centre.

Definite starters: Harry Cunningham, Callum Mills, Dane Rampe, Nick Smith

Definite outs: Lance Franklin, Heath Grundy, Dan Hannebery, Isaac Heeney, Kieren Jack, Josh Kennedy

- Adam Curley 

Willie Rioli: The livewire small forward has been lighting up the training track over pre-season. With his blend of pace, goal nous, sublime foot skills and tackling pressure, Rioli should be perfectly suited to the new game.

Definite starters: Liam Duggan, Jack Petruccelle, Willie Rioli, Liam Ryan

Definite outs: Josh Kennedy, Nic Naitanui, Elliot Yeo

Travis King 

Brad Lynch: With the Bulldogs yet to establish who will take part in the series, the West Australian appears one player ideally suited to the format. The third-year rookie has explosive pace, elite agility, is a sound kick on both feet and loves to run and gun off half-back. Draftee Ed Richards possess similar attributes, and the defensive playmaker has had a sound pre-season, so the club may ease him into senior footy via the exhibition series. Livewire forward Luke Dahlhaus has a point to prove after an indifferent 2017 campaign, and the 25-year-old should be a natural in this form of the game.

Definite starters: TBA

Definite outs: Roarke Smith

- Ryan Davidson