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R1, 2019: Who makes the cut in your club's season-opener?

Jesse Hogan is set to line up at full-forward for the Dockers - 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,News
Jesse Hogan is set to line up at full-forward for the Dockers

WITH club lists all but settled for the 2019 season, AFL.com.au reporters have tackled the big task of picking the best 22 for each team for the opening round next season.

Players suspended for round one, or who have long-term injury concerns likely to keep them on the sidelines early in the season, have been left out of the sides. They are denoted with an asterisk in the following lists.

TEAM EXPLAINED: Set to receive a big boost to the midfield with Brad Crouch back training after missing all of 2018 with osteitis pubis. His combination with brother Matt, Rory Sloane, Bryce Gibbs and Hugh Greenwood will allow Paul Seedsman and Rory Atkins to work on the outside. David Mackay and Cam Ellis-Yolmen will consider themselves unlucky to miss with the Crows' onball depth strengthened this off-season. A fit Taylor Walker in attack with Josh Jenkins and Tom Lynch will offset the loss of Mitch McGovern with second-year forward Darcy Fogarty close to selection. Kyle Hartigan's delayed pre-season ensures Jake Kelly should have first rights to the last spot in defence with Tom Doedee now a lock. Daniel Talia has undergone knee surgery, and although he'll be in a race against time for round one, is a walk-up start when fit. 

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: It's an embarrassment of riches in the small forward division which will leave a handful of players extremely unlucky. Eddie Betts has a mortgage on his spot, but Shane McAdam, Jordan Gallucci, Lachlan Murphy, Tyson Stengle, Ned McHenry and Chayce Jones will be fighting for two spots. McAdam and Gallucci win out for now. - Mitch Cleary 

B: Rory Laird, Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly 
HB: Wayne Milera, Tom Doedee, Brodie Smith 
C: Paul Seedsman, Rory Sloane, Bryce Gibbs 
HF: Tom Lynch, Taylor Walker, Richard Douglas 
F: Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Jordan Gallucci 
FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch 
I/C: Luke Brown, Hugh Greenwood, Rory Atkins, Shane McAdam

Defender depth: Kyle Hartigan, Alex Keath, Andy Otten, Andrew McPherson, Will Hamill, Jordon Butts

Forward depth: Darcy Fogarty, Elliott Himmelberg, Riley Knight, Lachlan Murphy, Ben Davis, Ned McHenry, Tyson Stengle

Midfield depth: David Mackay, Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Myles Poholke, Patrick Wilson, Chayce Jones, Lachlan Sholl

Ruck depth: Reilly O'Brien, Paul Hunter, Kieran Strachan 

TEAM EXPLAINED: After having a relatively settled outfit in 2018, the addition of some off-season recruits should ensure genuine competition for spots. While Chris Fagan wants more speed in his backline, no-one is jumping out of the pack to provide that just yet, although Zac Bailey's inclusion on the bench is designed to fill that need. Josh Walker finished 2018 strongly and can play as a back-up ruck to Stefan Martin, although Marcus Adams has been lured for a reason and will have designs on that spot. Lachie Neale comes in to replace departed Dayne Beams, while Lincoln McCarthy's inclusion is very much dependent on his fitness. Rhys Mathieson and Allen Christensen are desperately unlucky to miss out and could easily force their way in.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: The contest between Marcus Adams and Josh Walker to fill the second key defender's position alongside Harris Andrews is fascinating. Walker had a terrific finish to last season, but Adams has been brought in on a multi-year deal for a reason – Brisbane rates him. Walker has the advantage of being able to back-up ruck, and Oscar McInerney could also fill that void if Adams is chosen. Walker has been a slow starter in his past couple of seasons and any repeat in 2019 would see his spot go to the former Bulldog. - Michael Whiting

B: Darcy Gardiner, Harris Andrews, Nick Robertson
HB: Luke Hodge, Josh Walker, Alex Witherden
C: Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry, Tom Cutler
HF: Lewy Taylor, Dan McStay, Lincoln McCarthy
F: Charlie Cameron, Eric Hipwood, Cam Rayner
Foll: Stefan Martin, Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko
I/C: Jarryd Lyons, Daniel Rich, Mitch Robinson, Zac Bailey

Defender depth:  Marcus Adams, Noah Answerth, Allen Christensen, Cedric Cox, Matt Eagles, Mitch Hinge, James Madden, Jack Payne, Sam Skinner

Forward depth: Connor Ballenden, Tom Berry, Tom Fullarton, Connor McFadyen, Toby Wooller

Midfield depth: Jacob Allison, Ryan Bastinac, Tom Joyce, Ben Keays, Ryan Lester, Corey Lyons, Rhys Mathieson, Ely Smith, Brandon Starcevich

Ruck depth: Oscar McInerney, Archie Smith 

CLUB LISTS COMPARED Oldest? Youngest? Most experienced?

TEAM EXPLAINED: Nic Newman's arrival will help to offset an ACL injury that is likely to rule out co-captain Sam Docherty for the majority, if not all, of 2019. Lochie O'Brien will likely play off half-back, though the Blues have also trialled Sam Petrevski-Seton in that role. Alex Fasolo and Mitch McGovern find positions up forward, while Will Setterfield adds a bigger body into a light midfield. Sam Walsh narrowly edges out fellow first-round draft pick Liam Stocker for the final place in the team, while Tom Williamson returns and goes ahead of Liam Jones on the bench to add flexibility to the side's backline. Jack Silvagni, Jarrod Pickett, Tom Bugg and David Cuningham will likely be the first in line for a recall from the reserves.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: A four-way battle looms for three key position places down back. Jacob Weitering, Lachie Plowman, Caleb Marchbank and Liam Jones are all flexible intercept players, but may not be able to fit into the same back six. - Riley Beveridge

B: Nic Newman, Jacob Weitering, Lachie Plowman
HB: Lochie O'Brien, Caleb Marchbank, Kade Simpson
C: Ed Curnow, Will Setterfield, Marc Murphy
HF: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Charlie Curnow, Paddy Dow
F: Mitch McGovern, Harry McKay, Alex Fasolo
FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Zac Fisher
I/C: Matthew Kennedy, Tom Williamson, Dale Thomas, Sam Walsh

Defender depth: Sam Docherty*, Angus Schumacher, Harrison Macreadie, Hugh Goddard, Ben Silvagni, Liam Jones

Forward depth: Jack Silvagni, Tom De Koning, Jarrod Garlett, Cam Polson, Patrick Kerr, Levi Casboult, Kym LeBois, Matt Owies, Finbar O'Dwyer, Tom Bugg, Jarrod Pickett

Midfield depth: Darcy Lang, David Cuningham, Liam Stocker

Ruck depth: Matthew Lobbe, Andrew Phillips 

Mitch McGovern will be a welcome addition to the Blues' forward line. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: Selection was a difficult task given the strength of the Pies' list and the fact there is still much to play out in terms of players coming back from injury. The key inclusions are returning star Dayne Beams, hamstrung pair Darcy Moore and Jamie Elliott, both of whom are training strongly after a fact-finding trip to Germany, and veterans Lynden Dunn (knee) and Daniel Wells (foot), who are also on the comeback trail. Dunn is aiming for round one. Among the desperately unlucky omissions are Grand Final players Tom Phillips, Tyson Goldsack, Chris Mayne, Levi Greenwood and James Aish, while flexible ex-Bulldogs big man Jordan Roughead was also close. Given a full list to choose from, the Pies would have a luxury of riches for their season-opener against Geelong.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Injury-prone swingman Ben Reid faces a significant challenge to regain his spot, whether it be in attack where he could vie with mature-aged rookie sensation Brody Mihocek, or in defence where he might need to outshine Dunn and Roughead. - Ben Collins

B: Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Tom Langdon
HB: Jeremy Howe, Darcy Moore, Jack Crisp
C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams
HF: Will Hoskin-Elliott, Brody Mihocek, Jaidyn Stephenson
F: Jordan De Goey, Mason Cox, Jamie Elliott
Foll: Brodie Grundy, Dayne Beams, Adam Treloar
I/C: Travis Varcoe, Daniel Wells, Brayden Sier, Josh Thomas

Defender depth: Tyson Goldsack, Ben Reid, Matt Scharenberg, Flynn Appleby, Nathan Murphy, Jack Madgen, Isaac Quaynor, Will Kelly, Mark Keane, Sam Murray

Forward depth: Ben Crocker, Tim Broomhead, Anton Tohill, Atu Bosenavulagi

Midfield depth: Tom Phillips, Chris Mayne, Levi Greenwood, James Aish, Callum Brown, Tyler Brown, Josh Daicos, Rupert Wills

Ruck depth: Jordan Roughead, Max Lynch 

TEAM EXPLAINED: It is a strong line-up on paper for the Bombers if they can get a full list available for next year. Their forward half is powerful and dangerous, their back line has key pillars and plenty of pace, and their midfield has been bolstered by the arrival of Dylan Shiel. Shiel is the only new face in the best 22 from last year as the Bombers' star recruit, while Jayden Laverde may be considered one of the more unlucky players given his three-goal finish to 2018 and explosiveness when fit.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Jordan Ridley made his senior debut last year and performed well across half-back, but he may be fighting fellow youngster Aaron Francis for a spot in defence. Key forwards James Stewart and Mitch Brown will also be challenging Shaun McKernan to be the foil to Joe Daniher in attack (if Daniher is fit), while a hot contest is likely between Sam Draper and Zac Clarke to be the ruck back-up to Tom Bellchambers should the senior Bomber be unavailable. - Callum Twomey

B: Conor McKenna, Michael Hurley, Martin Gleeson
HB: Aaron Francis, Cale Hooker, Adam Saad
C: David Zaharakis, Dyson Heppell, Andrew McGrath
HF: Orazio Fantasia, Shaun McKernan, Devon Smith
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Joe Daniher, Jake Stringer
Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Zach Merrett, Dylan Shiel
I/C: Darcy Parish, Kyle Langford, David Myers, Patrick Ambrose

Defender depth: Matt Dea, Michael Hartley, Luke Lavender, Ben McNiece, Jordan Ridley, Mason Redman*, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

Forward depth: Mark Baguley, Josh Begley*, Mitch Brown, Noah Gown, Brayden Ham, Jordan Houlahan, Jayden Laverde, Jake Long, Irving Mosquito, James Stewart

Midfield depth: Dylan Clarke, Matt Guelfi, Tom Jok, Kobe Mutch, Trent Mynott

Ruck depth: Zac Clarke, Sam Draper 

Boom recruit Dylan Shiel is the only new face in the Bomber lineup. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: Settling on the best mix of talls is a challenge. In this team, Aaron Sandilands still gets the nod to lead the ruck over Sean Darcy for round one, although that should change at some point in 2019. Griffin Logue is coming back from a year ruined by injury but the former No.8 pick needs to play and slots in as a third tall defender, with Brennan Cox edging out Matt Taberner and Cam McCarthy to support boom goalkicking recruits Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb due to his versatility and upside. Stephen Hill will miss a big chunk of pre-season running after quad surgery, so isn't picked for the season-opener, and mature draftee Brett Bewley is handed a debut after impressing with his running power so far this summer.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: There are two standout battles unfolding, one between Sandilands and understudy Darcy to lead the ruck, and another between Cox, McCarthy and Taberner in attack. If Cox is swung into defence, then he will be competing with Logue. It is the sort of competition Freo has lacked between its talls for some time. - Travis King

B: Luke Ryan, Joel Hamling, Griffin Logue
HB: Nathan Wilson, Alex Pearce, Reece Conca
C: Bradley Hill, David Mundy, Ed Langdon
HF: Michael Walters, Brennan Cox, Adam Cerra
F: Rory Lobb, Jesse Hogan, Hayden Ballantyne
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, Nat Fyfe, Connor Blakely
I/C: Andrew Brayshaw, Bailey Banfield, Travis Colyer, Brett Bewley

Defender depth: Taylin Duman, Ethan Hughes, Shane Kersten, Ryan Nyhuis, Tobe Watson

Forward depth: Hugh Dixon, Brandon Matera, Cam McCarthy, Lachlan Schultz, Sam Sturt, Sam Switkowski, Matt Taberner

Midfield depth: Jason Carter, Mitch Crowden, Harley Bennell, Stefan Giro, Stephen Hill, Tom North, Darcy Tucker, Luke Valente

Ruck depth: Sean Darcy, Scott Jones, Lloyd Meek 

TEAM EXPLAINED: Veteran Harry Taylor was forced to fight for his spot late in 2018 and with the emergence of Jack Henry and Mark Blicavs in defence, the dual All Australian misses out. A larger than expected rehab group featuring Lachie Fogarty, Jordan Cunico and Nakia Cockatoo has them behind the pack for round one action. As a result, Jake Kolodjashnij holds on for now, despite a fight on his hands to maintain his spot with first-round draftee Jordan Clark to be in consideration once he's overcome illness. Gary Rohan and Luke Dahlhaus' early form on the track this pre-season gives them first rights to the small forward roles with Quinton Narkle's growing tank propelling him into the frame.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Untried inside midfielder Charlie Constable will have his eyes on Scott Selwood's role. Close to a senior debut last year, Constable has impressed on the track and with Selwood asked to play forward last in 2018, is no certainty to be in the 22. Selwood has the runs on the board and gets first crack… for now. - Mitch Cleary

B: Jed Bews, Mark Blicavs, Jack Henry
HB: Zach Tuohy, Lachie Henderson, Tom Stewart
C: Brandan Parfitt, Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan
HF: Sam Menegola, Esava Ratugolea, Luke Dahlhaus
F: Gary Rohan, Tom Hawkins, Gary Ablett
Foll: Rhys Stanley, Patrick Dangerfield, Tim Kelly
I/C: Jake Kolodjashnij, Scott Selwood, Quinton Narkle, Cameron Guthrie

Defender depth: Harry Taylor, Zach Guthrie, Mark O'Connor, Jordan Clark, Stefan Okunbor

Forward depth: Nakia Cockatoo, Wylie Buzza, Lachie Fogarty, Nathan Kreuger, Gryan Miers, James Parsons, Jamaine Jones, Ben Jarvis, Jake Tarca, Blake Schlensog 

Midfield depth: Charlie Constable, Jordan Cunico, Tom Atkins, Oscar Brownless, Jacob Kennerley, Sam Simpson

Ruck depth: Zac Smith, Ryan Abbott, Darcy Fort

Luke Dahlhaus slots straight into Geelong's best team. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: Following the departure of Tom Lynch and Steven May and the Suns' list overhaul, there's plenty of question marks over the 2019 team. Off-season recruits Anthony Miles and George Horlin-Smith should win spots to help a young midfield, while Jack Hombsch will face a stiff challenge from Sam Collins to decide who will partner Rory Thompson as the second key defender. The midfield is deep, if a little inexperienced, and Will Brodie is just squeezed out here, but if Stuart Dew wants to keep promoting youth at all costs that could change. The forward line is a tricky balance. We've squeezed in Izak Rankine, which means a shift for Alex Sexton to the wing after a successful 2018 in the forward half. Jordan Murdoch is unlucky to miss out.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: With Lynch gone, finding a partner for Peter Wright is a big talking point. While Jack Lukosius is supremely talented and undoubtedly the club's long-term option, the immediate battle could well be between Sam Day and VFL recruit Josh Corbett while the young South Australian finds his feet. Day has had a slow start to pre-season following shoulder surgery but does have the advantage of being able to support Jarrod Witts in the ruck (so can Wright). Corbett might ultimately be a third tall forward with his strong running ability, but has been super-impressive in his first six weeks. - Michael Whiting

B: Jesse Joyce, Rory Thompson, Jarrod Harbrow
HB: Callum Ah Chee, Jack Hombsch, Pearce Hanley
C: Lachie Weller, David Swallow, Alex Sexton
HF: Jack Martin, Josh Corbett, Ben Ainsworth
F: Darcy MacPherson, Peter Wright, Izak Rankine
Foll: Jarrod Witts, Anthony Miles, Touk Miller
I/C: Brayden Fiorini, George Horlin-Smith, Jack Bowes, Aaron Young

Defender depth: Charlie Ballard, Sam Collins, Caleb Graham, Connor Nutting, Ben King, Jack Leslie, Jez McLennan, Michael Rischitelli, Josh Schoenfeld, Harrison Wigg,

Forward depth: Chris Burgess, Sam Day, Jacob Heron, Sean Lemmens, Jack Lukosius, Wil Powell, Brad Scheer

Midfield depth: Will Brodie, Jacob Dawson, Corey Ellis, Nick Holman, Jordan Murdoch

Ruck depth: Brayden Crossley, Tom Nicholls 

TEAM EXPLAINED:  The backline picked itself with a fit Zac Williams allowing Lachie Whitfield to go back to the wing, where his running power helps offset the loss of Dylan Shiel. Don't be surprised if Williams and Whitfield, along with Adam Kennedy, swap roles at times. Stephen Coniglio resumes his role starting forward, with youngster Tim Taranto good enough to be given a place in the number one midfield, with that pairing also able to switch to suit the team. The bench gives great flexibility, while Jon Patton misses out as he recovers from his ACL surgery. Shane Mumford's two-game suspension means Dawson Simpson starts in the ruck.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Former Fremantle teammates Matt de Boer and Tommy Sheridan could be competing for a bench spot, and it could come down to their form during the JLT Community Series. Sheridan (back/wing) and de Boer (forward/mid) can both fill multiple positions, but de Boer has the edge with his track record in Sydney. - Adam Curley

B: Heath Shaw, Aidan Corr, Adam Kennedy
HB: Nick Haynes, Phil Davis, Zac Williams
C: Josh Kelly, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield
HF: Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Brett Deledio
F: Stephen Coniglio, Harry Himmelberg, Zac Langdon
Foll: Dawson Simpson, Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper
I/C: Adam Tomlinson, Sam Taylor, Sam Reid, Matt de Boer

Defender depth: Matt Buntine, Isaac Cumming, Jeremy Finlayson, Connor Idun, Lachie Keeffe, Harry Perryman, Jake Stein

Forward depth: Aiden Bonar, Callum Brown, Dylan Buckley, Jack Buckley, Brent Daniels, Ian Hill, Daniel Lloyd, Jon Patton*, Zach Sproule

Midfield depth: Jye Caldwell, Jackson Hately, Xavier O'Halloran, Tommy Sheridan, Nic Shipley

Ruck depth: Kieren Briggs, Matt Flynn, Shane Mumford* 

Zac Williams' return might see Lachie Whitfield push up to a wing. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: Star recruits Chad Wingard and Tom Scully fit the Hawks perfectly, with midfield depth to support Tom MitchellJaeger O'MearaIsaac Smith and Liam Shiels the No.1 need. Wingard also adds class up forward. Scully is unlikely to be ready for round one in his recovery from a seriously injured right ankle, so Ricky Henderson probably remains in the team at least until then. James FrawleyBen Stratton and former skipper Jarryd Roughead still have big roles to play in the key posts despite their advanced age. This is quite an old team and big change could be on the horizon, but there is promising youth in the best 22, as well as pushing for places, such as Mitch LewisDylan MooreJames CousinsOliver Hanrahan and ex-Sun Jack Scrimshaw.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: There's a contest to see who will be the next small forward in, but Jon Ceglar and Mitch Lewis are battling it out for the forward-ruck spot alongside Ben McEvoy. Lewis, who kicked 38 goals in the VFL this year, should become a senior staple in 2019, but Ceglar's experience may give him the edge to start with. - Marc McGowan

B: Blake Hardwick, James Frawley, James Sicily
HB: Grant Birchall, Ben Stratton, Harry Morrison
C: Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Ricky Henderson
HF: Chad Wingard, Jack Gunston, Shaun Burgoyne
F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Jaeger O'Meara, Liam Shiels
I/C: James Worpel, Dan Howe, Jarman Impey, Jon Ceglar 

Defender depth: Kaiden Brand, Conor Glass, Damon Greaves, Changkuoth Jiath, Jacob Koschitzke, Teia Miles, David Mirra, Tim Mohr, Tim O'Brien, Jack Scrimshaw

Forward depth: Oliver Hanrahan, Will Langford^, Mitch Lewis, Darren Minchington, Conor Nash, Jackson Ross, Ryan Schoenmakers, Mathew Walker

Midfield depth: James Cousins, Will Golds, Harrison Jones, Dylan Moore, Tom Scully*

Ruck depth: Marc Pittonet

^ Will Langford has retired, but remains on the list for salary cap purposes

Chad Wingard is set to light up the Hawks' forward line. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: The most noteworthy part of this team is the decision to play Braydon Preuss in the same side as All Australian ruckman Max Gawn. Preuss has impressed with his tap work and his ability to challenge Gawn in pre-season training. Given Port Adelaide, the Demons' round one opponent, seems likely to pair Paddy Ryder and Scott Lycett, it will be an option that the Demons seriously consider. Aaron vandenBerg is also extremely unlucky to miss, but shoulder surgery in the off-season has prevented him from reaching top form and kept him in the rehab group prior to Christmas. Given I have picked Joel Smith, who has been training as a forward so far this pre-season but can play in all areas of the ground, the other player that vandenBerg could viably replace might be second-year youngster Charlie Spargo. 

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: The other major talking point is Jayden Hunt's selection at half-back ahead of veteran Jordan Lewis. Lewis' experience has been crucial over the past few seasons, but he is no longer a walk up start in the team and I'm tipping Hunt to bounce back in a big way in 2019 after an injury-interrupted season. - Ben Guthrie 

B: Neville Jetta, Steven May, Michael Hibberd
HB: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Jayden Hunt
C: James Harmes, Jack Viney, Kade Kolodjashnij
HF: Alex Neal-Bullen, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham
F: Charlie Spargo, Sam Weideman, Christian Petracca
Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw
I/C: Bayley Fritsch, Joel Smith, Braydon Preuss, Nathan Jones

Defender depth: Sam Frost, Marty Hore, Jake Lever*, Jordan Lewis, Harrison Petty, Josh Wagner, Guy Walker

Forward depth: Toby Bedford, Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Aaron vandenBerg, Kade Chandler, Tim Smith, Declan Keilty

Midfield depth: Oskar Baker, James Jordon, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Corey Maynard, Aaron Nietschke, Tom Sparrow, Billy Stretch, Corey
Wagner

Ruck depth: Austin Bradtke 

*Lever won't be ready to play in round one as he returns from a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury in his knee.

TEAM EXPLAINED: Barring injury, North's team mostly selects itself. Robbie Tarrant and Majak Daw provide the height and marking in defence, meaning Sam Durdin and Ben McKay will likely have to bide their time in the VFL at the start of the season. Experienced recruits Jared Polec, Jasper Pittard (more on him soon), Aaron Hall and Dom Tyson all come into the 22. We have left out all of North's draftees, although Tarryn Thomas and Tom Wilkinson, in particular, have all summer to push their selection cases. At his best, Taylor Garner is comfortably in the Roos' best team, but the injury-plagued forward is on a modified pre-season program and we're banking on him being eased into the season via the VFL. Kayne Turner gets the second forward pocket spot narrowly over Nathan Hrovat, while emerging midfielder Luke Davies-Uniacke misses out but should play plenty of senior football in 2019. 

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: We have gone with Pittard as the Roos' second half-back flanker, but the former Port speedster faces a battle to lock down that spot for round one. Luke McDonald is determined to atone for a disappointing 2018 season and will be a prime contender for the role, as will veteran Sam Wright and rookie Tom Murphy. Ed Vickers-Willis is another strong candidate although his bid for selection will depend on how quickly his PCL rehabilitation progresses. - Nick Bowen 

B: Marley Williams, Robbie Tarrant, Ed Vickers-Willis
HB: Jamie Macmillan, Majak Daw, Jasper Pittard
C: Jared Polec, Ben Jacobs, Trent Dumont    
HF: Mason Wood, Jack Ziebell, Jy Simpkin
F: Shaun Atley, Ben Brown, Kayne Turner     
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Ben Cunnington, Shaun Higgins
I/C: Jed Anderson, Paul Ahern, Dom Tyson, Aaron Hall

Defender depth: Sam Durdin, Ben McKay, Luke McDonald, Tom Murphy, Scott Thompson*, Declan Watson, Sam Wright

Forward depth: Joel Crocker, Taylor Garner, Nathan Hrovat, Nick Larkey, Red Og Murphy, Curtis Taylor, Tarryn Thomas, Tom Wilkinson, Cameron Zurhaar

Midfield depth: Luke Davies-Uniacke, Kyron Hayden, Tom McKenzie, Bailey Scott, Will Walker

Ruck depth: Tom Campbell, Tristan Xerri

Jared Polec and Jasper Pittard are welcome additions for the Roos. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: It's a new-look Port team after the departures of Chad Wingard, Jared Polec, Jack Hombsch and Jasper Pittard in the NAB AFL Trade Period. Port will be one of the rare teams to field two genuine ruckmen in 2019, with free agency acquisition Scott Lycett and Paddy Ryder both effective targets when resting in attack. Former Hawk Ryan Burton slots straight in on a half-back flank, although the stiff competition for spots in Port's backline means there's no room for ex-Lion Sam Mayes, Jarrod Lienert and Matthew Broadbent, who will likely start 2019 in the SANFL after missing all of last season with an ankle injury. Hamish Hartlett, however, is on track to return from a knee construction, while last year's No.5 draft pick, Connor Rozee, is simply too talented to leave out. After his strong finish to 2018, Kane Farrell is an unlucky omission.  

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Justin Westhoff's ability to push up the ground means Port can afford to field an extra tall forward alongside Charlie Dixon and its resting ruckman, with talented youngster Todd Marshall and former Demon Jack Watts the obvious options. We have opted for Marshall, who is held in high regard at Alberton and has made an impressive start to the pre-season. Watts played 19 games in his first season with the Power this year, but needs to show signs this summer that he's finally ready to deliver on a consistent basis. - Nick Bowen

B: Dougal Howard, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston
HB: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Jonas, Ryan Burton
C: Sam Gray, Ollie Wines, Steven Motlop,
HF: Travis Boak, Justin Westhoff, Robbie Gray
F: Scott Lycett, Charlie Dixon, Connor Rozee
Foll: Paddy Ryder, Sam Powell-Pepper, Brad Ebert
I/C: Tom Rockliff, Todd Marshall, Riley Bonner, Hamish Hartlett 

Defender depth: Matthew Broadbent, Xavier Duursma, Riley Grundy, Jarrod Lienert, Sam Mayes, Trent McKenzie

Forward depth: Tobin Cox, Kane Farrell, Aidyn Johnson, Jack Watts, Boyd Woodcock

Midfield depth: Karl Amon, Joe Atley, Zak Butters, Willem Drew, Joel Garner, Cameron Hewett, Jake Patmore, Jack Trengove

Ruck depth: Billy Frampton, Sam Hayes, Peter Ladhams

TEAM EXPLAINED: It's much of the same for Richmond's round-one team, with only three changes from the side which lost the preliminary final. Reece Conca (Fremantle) is replaced by classy forward Dan Butler, who had an ankle injury late in the season. The big off-season recruit, Tom Lynch, slots straight into full-forward, with a slight rejigging of the side – Shane Edwards moving further up the ground – meaning wingman Kamdyn McIntosh misses out. It's almost a flip of the coin between Brandon Ellis and Nathan Broad, as was the case late in the season. It comes down to opposition match-ups, with Ellis a running defender and Broad a lock-down who allows Alex Rance to roam free. Ellis just makes it on disposal ability. With all of Richmond's draftees being midfielders, none is able to break into the well-established Tiger engine room.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Will Shai Bolton force his way into the top echelon of Richmond's mosquito fleet over summer? The highly talented Bolton is coming into his third year at the club and has been unable to make a spot his own. Housemates Jason Castagna and Butler could be two within reach of Bolton, as Daniel Rioli and Jack Higgins are able to also push up the ground. - Sarah Black

B: Dylan Grimes, David Astbury, Alex Rance
HB: Bachar Houli, Nick Vlastuin, Jayden Short
C: Shaun Grigg, Dustin Martin, Shane Edwards
HF: Dan Butler, Jack Riewoldt, Daniel Rioli
F: Josh Caddy, Tom Lynch, Jack Higgins
Foll: Toby Nankervis, Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin
I/C: Brandon Ellis, Jason Castagna, Kane Lambert, Jack Graham

Defender depth: Nathan Broad, Oleg Markov, Ryan Garthwaite, Patrick Naish, Ben Miller, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith

Forward depth: Shai Bolton, Callum Moore, Jacob Townsend, Noah Balta, Mav Weller, Liam Baker, Mabior Chol, Jake Aarts

Midfield depth: Kamdyn McIntosh, Connor Menadue, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Luke English, Jack Ross, Fraser Turner

Ruck depth: Ivan Soldo, Callum Coleman-Jones 

TEAM EXPLAINED: The Saints can probably afford to play with three key forwards, given they have some strong pressure players in Jade Gresham, Jack Billings, Ben Long and Dean Kent helping out inside 50. Jack Lonie is in reserve, but will be called upon given his impressive end to last year. Young trio Josh Battle, Max King and Josh Bruce narrowly miss out, but will earn their opportunity at some stage in 2019. Logan Austin plays round one in place of the suspended Nathan Brown down back, while Luke Dunstan and David Armitage narrowly miss out due to the raft of inside midfielders already at the club. Don't be surprised to see mature-aged draft picks Matthew Parker and Nick Hind get their chance early in the season.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: As always, there will be a battle for the key forward spots at the Saints. Tim Membrey, Paddy McCartin, Josh Bruce and Rowan Marshall will vie for two or maybe three positions, while King will also join that fight at some stage in 2019. - Riley Beveridge

B: Jarryn Geary, Logan Austin, Dylan Roberton
HB: Jimmy Webster, Jake Carlisle, Daniel McKenzie
C: Dan Hannebery, Jack Steven, Hunter Clark
HF: Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey, Jack Billings
F: Ben Long, Rowan Marshall, Paddy McCartin
FOLL: Billy Longer, Seb Ross, Jack Steele
I/C: Blake Acres, Jack Newnes, Dean Kent, Jack Sinclair

Defender depth: Nathan Brown*, Bailey Rice, Oscar Clavarino, Darragh Joyce, Callum Wilkie, Shane Savage, Nick Coffield, Brandon White

Forward depth: Jack Lonie, Josh Battle, Max King*, Robert Young, Matthew Parker, Josh Bruce, Ben Paton

Midfield depth: Ed Phillips, Doulton Langlands, Jack Bytel*, Luke Dunstan, David Armitage, Nick Hind

Ruck depth: Lewis Pierce, Sam Alabakis 

New Saint Dean Kent (l) runs with Jarryn Geary and Jimmy Webster. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: The back half remains stable as always, and with Callum Mills to split his time between defence and the midfield, he starts on the bench. Lewis Melican will eventually push for a spot but coming off knee surgery and his hamstring issues, he'll have to wait. Veteran Kieren Jack is the unluckiest player here, with Harry Cunningham, draftee Nick Blakey and recruit Ryan Clarke preferred on the bench because of their versatility. Callum Sinclair excelled as the number one ruckman this year so deserves his chance again ahead of Sam Naismith, who is working his way back from his ACL. Recent groin surgery means goalkicker Daniel Menzel is unlikely to be ready for round one.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Key forwards Sam Reid and Tom McCartin will fight to partner Lance Franklin as the second tall inside 50, but Reid's battle with his own body could be the clincher. Both could fit into the same team but we're going with an extra midfielder on the bench, as Blakey can also play tall. - Adam Curley

B: Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe
HB: Jake Lloyd, Aliir Aliir, Jarrad McVeigh
C: Zak Jones, Josh Kennedy, Oliver Florent
HF: Will Hayward, Sam Reid, George Hewett
F: Ben Ronke, Lance Franklin, Tom Papley
Foll: Callum Sinclair, Luke Parker, Isaac Heeney

I/C: Callum Mills, Harry Cunningham, Nick Blakey, Ryan Clarke

Defender depth: Matthew Ling, Jack Maibaum, Lewis Melican, Colin O'Riordan, Harry Reynolds, Jackson Thurlow, Durak Tucker

Forward depth: Jordan Dawson, Kieren Jack, Tom McCartin, Daniel Menzel*, Toby Pink, James Rose, Sam Wicks

Midfield depth: James Bell, Zac Foot, Robbie Fox, Justin McInerney, James Rowbottom, Ryley Stoddart

Ruck depth: Joel Amartey, Darcy Cameron, Sam Naismith, Kurt Tippett^

^Kurt Tippett has retired, but remains on the list for salary cap purposes 

TEAM EXPLAINED: Premiership hero Will Schofield is squeezed out of the round-one side by Brad Sheppard's return, while Jake Waterman should be gunning for retired sharpshooter Mark LeCras' vacant spot in attack given the Eagles like to play six genuine forwards. Ex-Saint Tom Hickey gets the nod to support Nathan Vardy, now the lead ruckman after Scott Lycett's departure and with Nic Naitanui sidelined until mid-season following his second knee reconstruction. Andrew Gaff is suspended until round three.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: Hickey's aerobic ability makes him a handy back-up but Keegan Brooksby was the SANFL's premier ruckman last year, has the versatility to play forward and will push for the support role to Vardy if West Coast persists with a two-ruck policy. - Travis King

B: Brad Sheppard, Tom Barrass, Shannon Hurn
HB: Tom Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta
C: Chris Masten, Elliot Yeo, Dom Sheed
HF: Jamie Cripps, Jack Darling, Jake Waterman
F: Willie Rioli, Josh Kennedy, Liam Ryan
Foll: Nathan Vardy, Jack Redden, Luke Shuey
I/C: Liam Duggan, Mark Hutchings, Tom Hickey, Daniel Venables

Defender depth: Jackson Nelson, Josh Rotham, Will Schofield, Francis Watson

Forward depth: Matthew Allen, Oscar Allen, Jarrod Brander, Jarrod Cameron, Harry Edwards, Jack Petruccelle

Midfield depth: Brendon Ah Chee, Brayden Ainsworth, Hamish Brayshaw, Luke Foley, Andrew Gaff*, Kurt Mutimer, Xavier O'Neill, Josh Smith

Ruck depth: Keegan Brooksby, Fraser McInnes, Nic Naitanui*, Bailey Williams 

Former Saint Tom Hickey gets the nod to support Nathan Vardy. Picture: AFL Photos

TEAM EXPLAINED: An experienced backline largely picks itself. Captain Easton Wood and veteran Dale Morris only played three games together in 2018, which opened the door for Aaron Naughton and Zaine Cordy. The latter has played 37 games in the past two seasons and should feature, leaving ex-Hawks Matthew Suckling and Taylor Duryea potentially on the fringe. The midfield looks gritty and reliable although could lack genuine leg-speed and elite ball-use. A forward line crying out for goalkickers is likely to demand improvement from Tom Boyd and Josh Schache, while the void left by star half-forward Luke Dahlhaus could be filled by former Tiger Sam Lloyd or the return of Liam Picken from concussion symptoms. The No.1 ruck position looks to be up for grabs between the flexibility of Jackson Trengove and the developing Tim English.

PRE-SEASON BATTLE: A dogfight could emerge for Bailey Williams' spot in the back six, as a surplus of defenders push their names. Matthew Suckling played the first 11 games last season before an Achilles injury and is training freely. His penetrating left foot might be a preferred option. - Paul Bastin

B: Easton Wood, Dale Morris, Zaine Cordy
HB: Bailey Williams, Aaron Naughton, Jason Johannisen
C: Lachie Hunter, Marcus Bontempelli, Jackson Macrae
HF: Toby McLean, Josh Schache, Sam Lloyd
F: Billy Gowers, Tom Boyd, Tory Dickson
Foll: Jackson Trengove, Tom Liberatore, Mitch Wallis
I/C: Ed Richards, Caleb Daniel, Josh Dunkley, Hayden Crozier

Defender depth: Matthew Suckling, Taylor Duryea, Brad Lynch, Roarke Smith, Lewis Young, Fletcher Roberts, Laitham Vandermeer, Lachie Young, Buku Khamis

Forward depth: Liam Picken, Patrick Lipinski, Lukas Webb, Fergus Greene, Ben Cavarra

Midfield depth: Lin Jong, Bailey Dale, Bailey Smith, Rhylee West, Will Hayes, Callum Porter

Ruck depth: Tim English, Jordan Sweet 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs