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Missing in action: Who's not getting a game?

Jamie Elliott could provide a spark for the Pies if he can get back in 2018 - 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
Jamie Elliott could provide a spark for the Pies if he can get back in 2018

WITH just seven rounds remaining before the finals, our reporters look at the players who are yet to appear at senior level for your team in 2018. 

Brad Crouch: For the second time in four years, Crouch will miss an entire season through injury. In 2015, it was a foot issue. This year, it's a groin complaint that required surgery in June.

Ben Davis: The 21-year-old half-forward is showing great signs in the SANFL. Has an explosive leap and can produce moments of brilliance. The Crows' leading SANFL goalkicker with 13 goals in 12 games.

Harry Dear: The 21-year-old key forward has had to play in defence in the SANFL at times given the club's injuries. Currently out with a knee injury, he's in danger of being delisted.

Jackson Edwards: The son of Crows great Tyson Edwards has had a solid first year in the SANFL. Will benefit from a second pre-season to build his engine, and should be retained as a rookie.

Elliott Himmelberg: An exciting 198cm key forward prospect who continues to develop his game in the SANFL in his second season on the list. The 20-year-old is signed until the end of 2020.

Paul Hunter: The 25-year-old forward/ruck has missed the past 10 weeks with an ankle injury. It's his third season on the rookie list, suggesting he's another Crows ruckman to be delisted without playing a senior game.

Ben Jarman: The Crows' inaugural father/son selection hasn't missed a SANFL game in his two years on the rookie list, but the 20-year-old's lack of size and pace work against him. No certainty to be retained.

Alex Keath: An ankle injury delayed the key defender's start to the season, but he's returned in the SANFL in the past few weeks. The 26-year-old is signed until the end of 2019. 

Andrew McPherson: It's been a tough first season for last year's SA under-18 vice-captain. A groin issue kept the half-back flanker sidelined for the first half of the season before he injured his hamstring in a SANFL game. He's out indefinitely.

Reilly O'Brien: The 22-year-old ruckman has had season-ending shoulder surgery. Played his two AFL games at the end of 2016, O'Brien is regarded as the long-term successor to Sam Jacobs and is signed for next season. 

Matthew Signorello: The 19-year-old midfielder has had a couple of good games this year – his 24-disposal performance against West Adelaide being the standout – but his kicking often lets him down. No certainty to remain on the list.

Brodie Smith: The All Australian defender has spent the year recovering from a torn ACL sustained in last year's qualifying final. Smith is on track to return in the next two to four weeks. - Lee Gaskin

Connor Ballenden: Not expected to feature much, if at all, the hulking teenage forward can be happy with his first season. Still very raw and plenty to work on.

Claye Beams: The running defender was re-signed as a rookie at the end of last season and has never dropped his head, regularly being one of the NEAFL team's best players.

Jack Frost: Combination of injury and poor form have kept the former Magpie out. Well down the pecking order now, and still has another year on his contract.

Liam Dawson: Played largely in defence, the Academy product has had a solid season, but it's hard to see him cracking the senior team. Out of contract and at the crossroads.

Mitch Hinge: The creative half-back has improved this season and been an emergency on a number of occasions. Still has another year to prove his value.

Corey Lyons: One of the most consistent NEAFL players and spending more time in his preferred midfield role. Has been close to a debut, and the club is happy with his progression.

Marco Paparone: Back and hamstring injuries have continued to dog the versatile West Australian. Six years into his career and out of contract, he faces a real battle to get another deal.

Jack Payne: After playing in the JLT pre-season competition, Payne's first year has been railroaded by a shin injury. The key defender will be fit for the 2019 pre-season.

Sam Skinner: Just back from his third ACL reconstruction, Skinner has now played a couple of games at the lower level. It's hard to see him playing seniors this year, but he's very much part of the club's future.

Archie Smith: Has stalled a bit in his development in a frustrating season. The 22-year-old has been passed by Oscar McInerney as Stef Martin's back-up.

Brandon Starcevich: The first-round draft selection (No.18) continues to improve in his first year. Wouldn't surprise to see him debut before season's end, but no slight on his progress if he doesn't.

Toby Wooller: Only just back playing after suffering a fractured finger on the eve of round one. Will use the rest of the NEAFL season to build into 2019. - Michael Whiting

Claye Beams has been a strong performer for the Lions at NEAFL level. Picture: AFL Photos

Tom De Koning: The 201cm forward is progressing nicely in the VFL. A solid run of form over the last month had him edging closer to a senior debut, but a hamstring injury has stopped him in his tracks. He could return to the selection frame later in the season.

Sam Docherty: Arguably the side's most important player, Docherty went down with an ACL injury in November last year. The Blues immediately put a line through the former best and fairest winner's entire 2018 season.

Jesse Glass-McCasker: The defensive stopper was taken as a project player in the 2016 NAB AFL Rookie Draft. Showed good signs in his maiden year with the club, but hasn't been able to crack the senior team. He'll miss the rest of the year with a knee injury.

Kym LeBois: The livewire forward showed a bit in his first pre-season with the club, but hasn't been able to get his body right this year. Looks unlikely to get his go.

Matthew Lobbe: The ruckman was brought in as a depth player, but looks a fair way behind Matthew Kreuzer and Andrew Phillips in the pecking order.

Harrison Macreadie: The 196cm defender played a handful of games in his maiden season at the club, but has seen his development stunted by fitness issues this year. He's currently battling a hamstring problem.

Cillian McDaid: The Irish recruit was taken as a Category B rookie prior to the year. He's got some way to go in his development, playing just a handful of VFL games.

Angus Schumacher: A booming left-foot kick out of defence, Schumacher has averaged 14 disposals per game in the VFL this season. The club will likely be patient with his development, despite some good signs with the Northern Blues.

Matt Shaw: A 102-game player with Gold Coast, Shaw was Carlton's first pick in last year's NAB AFL Rookie Draft. Hasn't been able to get going in the VFL and looks a long way off.

Alex Silvagni: Named in the club's leadership group before the year, the experienced defender has battled injury problems all season. A ruptured Achilles in his return to VFL action ended his campaign. 

Tom Williamson: The half-back was a big surprise in his maiden season, playing 15 games, but he'll miss the entire 2018 campaign with a back injury. Played a couple of VFL games early in the year, but couldn’t overcome the issue. - Riley Beveridge

Matthew Lobbe has been waiting in the wings for his new club. Picture: AFL Photos

Tyler Brown: The younger brother of Callum Brown, the lightly framed runner has acquitted himself well in defence and on the wing in his first season as he builds a body for AFL footy. Signed a one-year extension to 2020.

Jamie Elliott: The livewire forward's continued injury woes have restricted him to just two VFL appearances. Expected to return in the VFL this week, a fit Elliott would add another dimension to an already dangerous attack. Off-contract at season's end.

Tyson Goldsack: The veteran swingman suffered a seemingly season-ending knee injury in the Pies' final pre-season hitout, but has made rapid progress and could be a late-season bolter. Keen to play on next season.

Kayle Kirby: The 2017 debutant's progress was halted when he collapsed in a VFL practice match in April with a heart issue, which could sideline the exciting forward for the rest of the season.

Max Lynch: The Pies are pleased with the development of the rookie ruckman from New South Wales. Pies coach Nathan Buckley, in his post-match press conference on Sunday, even made mention of his strong VFL performance.

Jack Madgen: The mature-aged rookie defender – a former US college basketballer from South Australia – missed several games with a broken jaw, but has played some solid games on medium to tall opponents.

Sam McLarty: The second-year big man has impressed with his flexibility to play in the ruck, forward and back, and his AFL debut might not be far away, particularly if there are more injuries or some talls need a rest.

Nathan Murphy: A talented junior cricketer, the Pies' versatile draftee is tracking well in an educational season after focusing on footy only relatively recently. Earned a two-year contract extension.

Adam Oxley: The rangy defender has overcome the injury problems that cruelled him last season and led to his delistment and subsequent rookie listing, and has been in the mix for promotion for several weeks.

Rupert Wills: Given the Pies' midfield strength, the big-bodied contested-ball player was always going to battle for opportunities. He has been in contention, but the younger Brayden Sier has gone past him. Contracted for next year. - Ben Collins

Martin Gleeson: The attacking half-back has missed the whole season with an ankle injury that he suffered in the JLT Community Series. He is still some time off returning and might not be seen at senior level this year. 

Aaron Francis: Francis has been on the verge of senior selection after a couple of standout VFL performances as an intercept marker in the back half. Top-10 pick who sought time away from the game earlier this year. 

Jordan Houlahan: The half-forward was never expected to feature much – if at all – for the Bombers in his debut season. He was their first pick at last year's draft and has some talent as a high-marking medium-sized goalkicker, but has some way to go.

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher: A project player taken at the back-end of last year's draft as Essendon identified the need for young tall defenders on its list. Down the club's pecking order for defenders. 

Sam Draper: Essendon is excited about Draper's development as a young ruckman. He has a strong frame and is aggressive and played in the pre-season competition. Recently played one of his best games for the club's VFL side and looks a good prospect.

Trent Mynott: Mynott has played nine VFL games this season having been selected as a rookie for the Bombers in 2017. Been used in a variety of roles but can run and carry the footy. 

Luke Lavender: The Bombers signed the former cricketer as a category B rookie last year and he is being developed as a key position option. - Callum Twomey

Aaron Francis hasn't played senior footy since round seven last year. Picture: AFL Photos

Griffin Logue: The athletic tall backman's season has been derailed by a congenital foot issue and then an ankle problem. Might not be seen this year given he is still a few weeks away from a WAFL return.

Harley Bennell: Has now had seven games back at Peel with only a minor calf hiccup and is building his workload every week. Must be getting close to pulling on purple again.

Hugh Dixon: A serious ankle injury set the tall forward back early in the year, and a minor hamstring strain has slowed his progress again after promising signs at the Thunder with his aerial work.

Tom North: Emerging inside mid played six games early in the year for Peel and was backed off recently for a mini-break, but would hope to debut before season's end.

Brady Grey: A long-term hamstring wrecked the first half of his season, and he pulled up with soreness from his comeback game at Peel.

Lloyd Meek: Slipped behind fellow draftee Scott Jones and Michael Apeness in the ruck pecking order and has spent the season switching between WAFL seniors and reserves.

Lee Spurr: Unsighted all year due to a knee problem, which still doesn't have a timeframe. The veteran defender's career could be over.

Sam Switkowski: Hamstring issues have ruined his first season at the club and hasn't been seen since round three of the WAFL campaign, although the crafty small forward's return is imminent.

Luke Strnadica: Has shown some potential playing as a forward-ruck at Peel but appears a way off stepping up to the elite level. - Travis King

Ryan Abbott: Closing in on a debut as the Cats consider the 27-year-old in a two-pronged ruck division. The 200cm ruckman, in his second year at the club, was emergency on a number of occasions prior to the bye before Rhys Stanley's form improved. 

Charlie Constable: Despite a limited pre-season, the draftee was, according to coach Chris Scott, "excruciatingly close" to breaking through in the first month before he got caught in the midfield log-jam. Spent a month on the sidelines adding conditioning after a concussion on Mother's Day and is now behind in the pecking order.

Ryan Gardner: Has moved forward for 13 goals in six games after Mark Blicavs' form shut the door on his prospects as a key defender. Picking up the nickname 'Plugger' internally, the out-of-contract Tasmanian will need a big VFL finals series to keep his spot on the list.

Matthew Hayball: Stuck behind a number of running defenders in his third year at the club and looks up against it to be retained. Delisted and re-rookied last season, the South Australian has played 11 of a possible 12 VFL games this year.

Lachie Henderson: Three knee surgeries between October and April meant the former Blue needed to start from scratch in his VFL return five weeks ago. Now with four games under his belt, he's set to return to the AFL side in round 18.

Timm House: Has found his spot at home in defence, and looked destined for an AFL debut before the emergence of rookie Jack Henry. Out of contract at season's end, he could be kept for insurance because of the injury-riddled seasons of Harry Taylor and Lachie Henderson.

Gryan Miers: Has played every VFL match in his first year at the club but looks unlikely for an AFL debut anytime soon. Miers has been the victim of Geelong's strong stocks of small forwards.

Sam Simpson: Remains in the frame for senior selection after a fortnight as an emergency. After five games in his debut season last year, Simpson was struck down with a knee injury earlier this year before working back to full fitness. - Mitch Cleary

Sam Simpson could play a part for the Cats in the run home. Picture: AFL Photos

Jack Scrimshaw: Another rough season for the No.7 draft pick from 2016. Scrimshaw has had his injury concerns, but not getting a game in this Suns team must be concerning.

Tom Nicholls: A shoulder injury has made 2018 almost a complete write-off for the ruckman. Nicholls still has a year on his contract, but is stuck behind Jarrod Witts and hasn't played a senior game since 2016.

Harrison Wigg: After three years without a game at Adelaide, Wigg was viewed by the Suns as a distributing half-back, however, breaking his ankle twice has meant the 21-year-old has barely got on the field.

Connor Nutting: Taken late in last year's draft, the Suns Academy product was not expected to play much, if at all, in the seniors this year. The versatile defender has done well in the NEAFL.

Mackenzie Willis: The rugged small defender was brought back on a rookie contract but unfortunately ruptured his ACL early in the season.

Josh Jaska: The lanky key defender was a rookie selection drafted with a longer-term view. Jaska's season has now been cut short by a broken wrist. - Michael Whiting

Aiden Bonar: The club's top draft pick has been close to senior selection a number of times but can't quite break in. Contested ball and tackle numbers have been impressive, but needs to dominate the lower level.

Jack Buckley: The key forward showed some promise in the reserves before he copped a serious hamstring injury. Plenty of developing to do at NEAFL level.

Matthew Flynn: A young ruckman who has taken some big strides this season, both around the ground and playing as a deep forward, but can't get a look-in with Rory Lobb, Dawson Simpson and Jon Patton preferred.

Adam Kennedy: On the cusp of senior selection after racking up some massive numbers in the NEAFL following last year's knee reconstruction. In the frame to play Richmond this week.

Will Setterfield: A pre-season knee reconstruction ruined his year, but the young midfielder has started running. Currently in Europe taking a break before he gets back to rehab.

Zach Sproule: A young key forward who can take a grab, the rookie has kicked 14.15 from 12 NEAFL games this season. Needs to work on his physicality but worth persevering with.

Jake Stein: The former Commonwealth Games decathlete played his best game of his short career when he gathered 21 possessions against Sydney on Saturday. Strong as a key defender but still learning the game.

Lachie Tiziani: Another Giant to have his season ended by an ACL tear, which was a cruel blow after yet another promising pre-season. Has the speed to become a dangerous forward.

Zac Williams: Perhaps the club's biggest loss due to injury this season, the star defender is slowly working his way back after rupturing his Achilles over summer. Back running and still hopeful he can play this year. - Adam Curley

Zac Williams remains optimistic he can still play in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos


Grant Birchall: The four-time premiership player is back running after repeated knee injuries, and is expected to resume ball work next week, meaning a return to the side is now on the cards for the first time in more than a year. 

Kurt Heatherley: Missed nearly two months of footy because of injury, but has played the last six matches in the backline at Box Hill. Had a good match against Essendon last month with eight marks, but is finding the Hawks' back six a tough nut to crack.

Oliver Hanrahan: The midfielder/small forward is serving the classic, old-style Hawthorn apprenticeship and is still to debut at AFL level. His best outing for 2018 was a 20-touch performance against Werribee last month. Was injured towards the end of last week's game against Footscray.

Changkuoth Jiath: Various soft-tissue injuries have held the forward back in his first season with the club, but he excited the hardy Hawks fans who came early to Etihad Stadium last Saturday when he kicked his first goal at VFL level.

Harrison Jones: Medium midfielder who played at half-back last week. Plays with a bit of an edge at times, and enjoyed a bit of push and shove with the Bulldog boys last weekend. His high handball-received figures suggest he has the makings of a Birchall-style link man down the track.

Kieran Lovell: It is surprising that the inside midfielder hasn't played at senior level this year, because he has had some big days out at VFL level including 30 touches against the Northern Blues, 29 against Frankston and 24 against Richmond.

Dylan Moore: Small forward who missed two months of footy because of a fractured shoulder, but has played the last five weeks and kicked two goals against Footscray on the weekend.

Conor Nash: The Irishman is an imposing physical specimen and is still learning the game. He was Box Hill's best on Saturday against Footscray, and shapes as an intriguing key position prospect for the Hawks.

Marc Pittonet: After four years in the Hawthorn system, the ruckman is physically ready, and he has had some great days out in the VFL including 53 hit-outs against Coburg and 60 against Werribee. He ranks third in the VFL for hit-outs to advantage. He could return to the AFL as early as this week.

Jackson Ross: The small forward has averaged 10 touches in eight games for Box Hill in his first season at AFL level.

Dallas Willsmore: The rangy midfielder hasn't had a look in at AFL level this year despite some consistent performances in 12 games at Box Hill. - Ashley Browne

Oskar Baker: One of the fastest players on Melbourne's list behind Jayden Hunt, the first-year midfielder has been in a strong patch of form in the VFL. Racked up a season-high 34 disposals a fortnight ago and is pushing for senior selection.

Harley Balic: The former Docker needs to work on some key fundamentals in his game before being considered for senior selection. Balic has booted 16 goals for the season playing as a permanent forward. A few players ahead of him at this stage.

Lachlan Filipovic: The developing ruckman is still learning his craft at VFL level, and being mentored by Max Gawn at training. Needs to work on staying more involved within a game and getting his hands on the footy more.

Dion Johnstone: Shifted to defence after starting the year as a small forward. Johnstone is working closely with mentor Neville Jetta at training and learning subtle defensive techniques. Still a while away from playing senior footy. 

Declan Keilty: The mature-age defender was best afield for Casey a fortnight ago and has had a solid year. Was close to being picked against the Dockers, but ultimately the Demons' match committee preferred Sam Frost. Could debut late in the year.

Jay Kennedy Harris: Opportunities have been few and far between for Kennedy Harris this season. The 23-year-old has not played at senior level since round 19, 2017, despite consistent form at VFL level. Gathered 25 disposals and kicked three goals at the weekend against North to push his claims for a recall. May look for a new home at season's end.

Mitch King: The young ruckman is partnering with Filipovic in the ruck at VFL level and working closely with Gawn and ruck coach Greg Stafford at training. King needs to work on having a more consistent impact through games and being more versatile. 

Pat McKenna: Returned via the VFL after more than 12 months on the sidelines following persistent hamstring injuries. McKenna was on limited game time against North and will be given every opportunity to play the rest of the year at the lower level. 

Aaron vandenBerg: The tough midfielder racked up 16 tackles and 24 disposals in three quarters in his VFL return at the weekend. It was a terrific return after being sidelined for close to 18 months with a stress fracture in his heel. - Ben Guthrie

Aaron vandenBerg (right) played at VFL level last Saturday. Picture: AFL Photos

Taylor Garner: The exciting forward has endured a horror year, carrying hip and groin injuries throughout the pre-season before three hamstring setbacks. Unlikely to play in the AFL in 2018.

Kyron Hayden: Athletic specimen who underwent pre-Christmas shoulder surgery to fix a long-term issue that cost him five months. Has impressed since returning to the field and looks a nice prospect.

Mitch Hibberd: Wins bucket loads of the Sherrin in the VFL and is an excellent endurance athlete, but hasn't made it closer than being a senior emergency in his third season on North's list.

Tom Jeffries: The category B rookie, a former rugby player and rower, conceded six free kicks in one VFL appearance before playing four games with Avondale Heights in the Essendon District league.

Oscar Junker: Versatile rookie-listed player who has enjoyed continuity this season after a fractured leg meant his debut 2017 campaign was largely a write-off.

Nick Larkey: Sits second in the VFL goalkicking with 29 in 12 games and is yearning for another senior opportunity. Physically stronger than last year and is working on improving his consistency within matches.

Ben McKay: Brad Scott called him and fellow lightly played tall Sam Durdin "ready-made AFL key defenders" in his post-match media conference last week. Biding his time for now, but can also play forward.

Alex Morgan: Had a slow start to his second AFL stop, but the ex-Essendon defender has warmed to the task and been a senior emergency multiple times. Close to making his debut.

Declan Mountford: Ankle and hamstring injuries have ruined the West Australian's 2018 season after he played 12 AFL matches last year. Aiming to return soon through the VFL and finish the season strongly.

Gordon Narrier: The rookie-listed Perth speedster is already putting together a handy highlight reel up forward and will continue to develop in state league ranks.

Dan Nielson: Nielson has played well at times in the VFL, but is stuck behind Robbie Tarrant, Scott Thompson, Majak Daw, Sam Durdin and Ben McKay in the key defender pecking order.

Braydon Preuss: Racking up hit-outs for fun in the VFL against largely inferior ruckmen and would be playing AFL football at some other clubs. Has admitted he's frustrated at his lack of opportunities.

Will Walker: The No.23 pick in last year's draft looks a likely type, whether running through the middle or kicking goals up forward. It wouldn't surprise to see him make his debut before season's end.

Declan Watson: Ruptured the ACL in his left knee at training in July last year, but resumed training with the main group in recent weeks and is looking to play in the VFL in late July or early August.

Josh Williams: Has spent the season honing his craft in the VFL and produced some standout performances in recent times. Tracking well and boasts genuine AFL attributes, particularly with his foot speed.

Tristan Xerri: Is coming along nicely playing as a forward-ruckman behind Braydon Preuss in the VFL. Has strong hands and looks a legitimate AFL option down the track. - Marc McGowan

Joe Atley: The 19-year-old midfielder played three AFL games last year, but has been overlooked this season. Hasn't featured in Port's best SANFL players since round two, and is sidelined with a back injury. Out of contract and is gettable.

Matthew Broadbent: The experienced defender had two surgeries on his right ankle. Returned in the SANFL a couple of weeks ago, only to sustain a minor injury to his left ankle. A chance to play senior football this season.

Willem Drew: The second-year midfielder played only one SANFL game before having season-ending heel surgery. The 19-year-old is out of contract and might need a fresh start. 

Kane Farrell: It's been a promising first season for the 19-year-old half-forward. Has booted 17 goals in 12 SANFL games, including three against Woodville-West Torrens last weekend. 

Billy Frampton: Overlooked for a senior debut when first-choice ruckman Paddy Ryder was injured. In Port's best only once in 12 SANFL games and is in his fourth season on the list. Contracted for next year.  

Joel Garner: The 19-year-old defender had a solid first SANFL season until he had season-ending shoulder surgery at the end of June. A lot to build on next year.

Sam Hayes: Last year's under-18 All Australian ruckman tore his ACL during a training session in June. Before that, he showed promise in the SANFL and is signed until 2021.

Cameron Hewett: The younger brother of Sydney's George has played in defence and through the midfield after an injury-interrupted start to the season. It's the 21-year-old's third season on the rookie list.

Emmanuel Irra: A Category B rookie, the Ugandan-born Irra has played all 12 SANFL games this season, primarily as a medium-sized defender. The 24-year-old will struggle to stay on the list.

Peter Ladhams: The 203cm ruckman has a lot of improvement left in him. The 20-year-old has gotten better every week and deserves another season on the rookie list, or to be upgraded. 

Jarrod Lienert: The 24-year-old 193cm defender is hitting his stride, having missed seven games this season through injury. Was impressive in Port's loss to Woodville-West Torrens last Sunday with his spoiling and intercept marking.

Jake Patmore: A solid first season for the 19-year-old Claremont product. Shows good pace across half-forward, has played every SANFL game and booted three goals against Woodville-West Torrens last Sunday.

Will Snelling: The 20-year-old inside mid has played every game in his third season on the rookie list. The Power are well stocked in his position, and he may have to look elsewhere to add to his one AFL game from 2016.

Jimmy Toumpas: Hard to see the 2012 No.4 overall draft pick remaining on Port's list. Playing on a wing and half-back, the 24-year-old has been named in Port's best in five of his 10 SANFL games. - Lee Gaskin

Liam Baker: Small rookie forward who has put together three strong weeks in the VFL. May be a chance for an AFL debut in the coming weeks, with Dan Butler's injury opening up a spot.

Noah Balta: Second-round draft pick from last year who has developed in the VFL this season, both in defence and up forward. Has impressed with his athletic ability through stints in the ruck but needs to work on his contested marking.

Mabior Chol: Played up forward with spells through the ruck before he broke his foot at training in late May. Underwent surgery and is expected to be out for two months.

Callum Coleman-Jones: Has been given chance to shine in the ruck with when Ivan Soldo and Mabior Chol have been out and has impressed at times. Has kicked two bags of three and has been in the best three times in his first season.  

Nathan Drummond: Returned from his second knee reconstruction in VFL round one and played four games before suffering a hamstring injury. Came back in early June in good form, but is out again with another strain and will miss a couple more.

Derek Eggmolesse-Smith: Mildura product from the Tigers' Next Generation Academy program hasn't played at any level in 2018, but is ramping up training after suffering a stress fracture in his lower leg. Is expected to play before the end of the season.

Ben Griffiths: Told the club of his decision to take up a University of Southern California scholarship in January after the list was finalised. Will combine studies with American football training after being presented with an offer he couldn't refuse.

Shaun Hampson: Managed one VFL game at the start of the season before his long-term back issue flared up. Was on restricted training loads after that and retired at the end of June, aged 30 with 98 AFL games to his name.

Oleg Markov: Half-back/winger who played seven AFL games last year has endured an interrupted year at VFL level. Had a quad injury in the early rounds, and is now out with a medial ligament sprain in his knee. Is inching closer to a VFL return.

Ben Miller: Has been quietly developing down back after arriving at the club via the fourth round last year. The tall West Australian utility has been doing a good job alongside fellow draftee Ryan Garthwaite, who debuted in round 13.

Patrick Naish: A 2018 debut is not out of the question for the father-son draftee, with coach Damien Hardwick last week saying the 19-year-old probably wasn't as far away from it as he thought he was. A half-back who can break the lines and find the goals.

Ivan Soldo: Has been waiting in the wings for his opportunity after playing seven games last year. Has battled a few minor ailments, but has been named emergency 12 times as Toby Nankervis' regular understudy. Has been in decent form.  

Tyson Stengle: Is equal sixth on the VFL goalkicking ladder with 20, having kicked at least one in every game so far. Can be hard to stop in attack when on song, but has the tendency to not get a huge amount of the ball. - Jennifer Phelan

Ivan Soldo hasn't been able to add to his seven games from 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

Oscar Clavarino: Drafted at No.35 last year, this was always going to be a development season for the gangly defender. He's shown plenty of improvement and reads the play well.

Ray Connellan: The Irish rookie was closing in on a debut late last season but has been a bit further away in 2018. Lightning-quick, but struggles to stay involved in the play.

Nathan Freeman: Right hamstring surgery in February delayed his start to the season. The midfielder has managed four straight VFL games after a left shoulder knock left him sidelined. Freeman is winning plenty of the football, but his kicking could be a touch sharper.

Hugh Goddard: After consecutive years ruined by injury, it's taken a while for the backman to work back into form, but he's starting to show signs. Focused on improving his intercepting and rebounding. Hurting his chances is that the Saints have plenty of similar players on their list.

Doulton Langlands: Really built up his body in the gym and has been coming along reasonably well on a wing. Was picked up as a rookie last year and his highlight reel showed a supremely exciting talent, but consistency was an issue.

Darren Minchington: Injuries have hit the small forward hard. A right hip flexor issue has sidelined him twice recently, while he had a left knee operation in March. He has lined up in just three VFL matches this year. The lack of pre-season he had, after a bad ankle syndesmosis injury last June, might have contributed to his hip issues.

Ben Paton: An emergency on seven occasions and has shown signs for Sandringham as a speedy midfielder who can win it. Was drafted at No.46 last year. Right thumb surgery in March delayed his progression slightly.

Lewis Pierce: Playing at Frankston this season instead of St Kilda's VFL affiliate Sandringham has allowed more opportunity to line up in his preferred ruck position. He's going relatively well but despite Billy Longer and Tom Hickey's struggles, Pierce hasn't managed a game. He was named an emergency for the first time this year in round 15. - Dinny Navaratnam

Joel Amartey: The athletic big man has shown some exciting signs playing as a deep forward and has averaged a goal a game in the NEAFL. Huge leap one of his greatest assets.

James Bell: A hamstring injury has limited the speedster over the past two months, but his run and carry has been eye-catching as a wingman or forward. Needs more consistency to be considered for senior action.

Jake Brown: Another of the Swans' Academy products to earn a rookie spot, Brown's skills on both sides of the body make him a midfielder of the future, once he increases his possessions and presence around the ball.

Darcy Cameron: Stiff not to have made his debut this season after putting together a long stretch of good footy, but is stuck behind the in-form Callum Sinclair. Senior chances appear unlikely given he hasn't been given a shot so far.

Jordan Dawson: The gifted forward has had a tough run with a serious quad issue, but is back playing and could be on the radar with Sam Reid's latest injury setback.

Jordan Foote: A foot injury cost him several weeks and despite some strong performances in the reserves, he'll find it tough to break into the Swans' midfield.

Alex Johnson: The luckless defender is back playing after groin surgery and has played some solid footy in the NEAFL. The dream of playing senior footy for the first time since the 2012 Grand Final looks a long way off, but the 26-year-old won't give up.

Matthew Ling: The club's top draft pick had his season cut short by a toe injury, but he demonstrated glimpses of speed and quality ball use in his few games this year to show he's a star of the future.

Jack Maibaum: A solid key defender at NEAFL level, the 20-year-old has been held out of the senior side by Dane Rampe, Heath Grundy, Lewis Melican and Aliir Aliir, and might struggle to get another contract at the end of the year.

Sam Naismith: Progressing well in his rehab from a pre-season knee reconstruction, the ruckman will be ready to go in 2019, and will be keen to get his position back.

Colin O'Riordan: The Irishman struggled in the JLT Community Series but is in line to debut against North Melbourne this week, especially after his 39-possession, two-goal effort last week.

Toby Pink: The tall forward is out of contract at the end of the year and hasn't played much footy because of a serious ankle injury. Could battle to stay on the list next year.

Angus Styles: The young midfielder has played some good footy in defence in the NEAFL, and is worth another crack on the rookie list in 2019. - Adam Curley

Eric Mackenzie: Have we seen the last of the 2014 club champion? Mackenzie's season is over after ongoing foot issues, and he appears likely to retire.

Hamish Brayshaw: Hasn't had much luck in his first season, with a knee problem sidelining him until last month. Has managed three games since and will be looking to finish the year strongly.

Luke Partington: Unclear what the future holds for the out-of-contract South Australian, who managed six games last year but can't get a look-in despite averaging nearly 27 disposals for East Perth.

Josh Rotham: Was getting close to a call-up mid-season, but a groin injury has slowed him in recent weeks. In his second year, was showing promising signs across half-back after 10 senior WAFL games.

Kurt Mutimer: In a similar position to Partington in that he is performing solidly at East Perth without dominating and hasn't added to his four career AFL games. Has another year on his contract.

Malcolm Karpany: After seven games at West Coast, needed a big year in his fifth season at the club but only managed five WAFL appearances before a lengthy knee setback. Future in doubt.

Matthew Allen: Looked on target for a breakout year when he snared five goals against Peel in round five but hasn't kicked on in his third season at the club, and others have overtaken him in the forward pecking order.

Francis Watson: Has seemed close to a debut several times in the past two seasons without knocking the door down. Running half-back has the tools but is still shaving off some rough edges.

Ryan Burrows: Came from nowhere to be picked up in the rookie draft, but hasn't had the impact he or the club would've hoped for, playing seven WAFL reserves games and averaging 12 touches. Not helped by an illness and having wisdom teeth removed.

Tony Olango: Project ruckman hasn't had any luck, with knee, concussion and hamstring issues limiting him to six WAFL reserves games and one senior appearance.

Tarir Bayok: Speedy small has become a more regular feature in East Perth's senior side this year, managing eight games, but still has a way to go before establishing himself.

Callan England: Young rookie was going OK at WAFL seniors level before a recent back injury slowed him down. Lacks size, which could prevent him taking the next step. - Travis King

Luke Partington has been prolific at WAFL level, but can't make the seniors in 2018. Picture: AFL Photos

Tom Campbell: After just 42 games in seven seasons at the Dogs, the 26-year-old is likely to be traded or delisted at season's end. Doesn't have the mobility or flexibility coach Luke Beveridge demands in ruckmen.

Kieran Collins: The hulking key defender was sidelined with an ankle injury until recently, and his form in the VFL since has been sound. With only one senior game in three years at the club, the out-of-contract 20-year-old would be feeling nervous.

Fergus Greene: The second-year forward has been close to earning a senior debut weeks after strong VFL form. The Dogs rate his progress after an injury-plagued past few seasons, so he should win another contract.

Nathan Mullenger-McHugh: The athletic big man has been played at both ends of the ground for Footscray in his two seasons at the club, but he may struggle to get another contract with the plenty of competition in the key position posts.

Liam Picken: The 30-year-old hasn't played since a sickening concussion in the JLT Community Series, and his ongoing symptoms are unlikely to see him return this season. Contracted for next season and is expected to play on.

Callum Porter: Taken with pick 74 in last year's NAB AFL Draft, the midfielder has developed steadily in the VFL and has been named as an emergency on two occasions.

Clay Smith: The wear and tear of three knee reconstructions finally took a toll on the premiership forward, with 25-year-old announcing his retirement this week after just 55 games in seven injury-plagued seasons at Whitten Oval. – Ryan Davidson