NEW FACES dominate this year's All Australian team, after 13 players were selected for the first time in the prestigious group.
While Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett created history by becoming the first player in the game's history to be selected as an All Australian in eight consecutive seasons, it was the new blood that stole the show as the team was announced on Tuesday night.
The Virgin Australia All Australian side of 2014 contained the third-most debutants in a single year since annual teams were named separate to carnivals.
It sits behind 2012 (15 new members) and 1982 (14) as the most prolific for new players in a single year.
All six players picked in the backline – Cale Hooker (Essendon), Daniel Talia (Adelaide), Nick Smith (Sydney Swans), Nick Malceski (Sydney Swans), Alex Rance (Richmond) and Brodie Smith (Adelaide) – were first-time All Australians.
Midfielders Nat Fyfe (Fremantle) and Dyson Heppell (Essendon), forwards Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), Luke Breust (Hawthorn) and Hayden Ballantyne (Fremantle), and interchange options Jordan Lewis (Hawthorn) and Tom Rockliff (Brisbane Lions) were the other players to feature for the first time.
Only five players retained their positions from the 2013 side, including Ablett and Geelong's Joel Selwood, who was named captain for the second consecutive season.
Collingwood's Scott Pendlebury
(for the fifth straight season), Port Adelaide skipper Travis Boak
and Hawthorn spearhead Jarryd Roughead
were the others to return from last year.The 2014 All Australian team takes its place on the stage on Tuesday night. Picture: AFL Media
Fremantle ruckman Aaron Sandilands grabbed the No.1 ruck spot, selected in the side for the fourth time.
St Kilda champion Nick Riewoldt
won his first All Australian guernsey since 2009, being named at centre-half forward and as vice-captain.
The Swans were the best represented in the All Australian side, with four members in the team. 12 clubs had players selected, with preliminary finalist North Melbourne among the handful not to have any player feature.
Geelong's Tom Hawkins, who kicked 62 goals in the home and away season, and Swans midfielder Luke Parker are among the most unlucky players to miss out on selection in the team.
The All Australian selection panel is Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Mark Evans, Danny Frawley, Glen Jakovich, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson and Warren Tredrea.