Main content

Your club's best 22 for round one, 2015

New Brisbane Lions recruit Allen Christensen poses for a photograph during the Brisbane Lions media conference at Etihad Stadium, Melbourne on October 14, 2014. (Photo: Darrian Traynor/AFL Media)
Ex-Cat Allen Christensen will bolster the Lions' line-up once he's back to full fitness
AFTER all the de-listings, trades and drafting, how is your club looking for round one next year? Our reporters name the ultimate line-up you can expect for each team when the opening skirmishes begin next April.

B: Luke Brown, Kyle Hartigan, Kyle Cheney
HB: Brodie Smith, Daniel Talia, Matthew Jaensch
C: David Mackay, Scott Thompson, Rory Sloane
HF: Tom Lynch, Josh Jenkins, Richard Douglas
F: Eddie Betts, Taylor Walker, James Podsiadly
R: Sam Jacobs, Nathan van Berlo, Patrick Dangerfield
I/C: Charlie Cameron, Brad Crouch, Matthew Wright
Sub: Jarryd Lyons

New players: Kyle Cheney (Hawthorn)
Unavailable: Andy Otten (knee), Sam Shaw (hamstring)

Comment: Rory Laird could easily slot deep into Adelaide's defence as a small, but Cheney could offer more versatility with his extra height. After missing the entire 2014 season with a ruptured Achilles, Nathan van Berlo would return to the midfield and bring with him important on-field leadership as well as his incredible aerobic capacity. Both Jarryd Lyons and Matthew Wright are quality players who would offer plenty in the starting 21, but both can also satisfy the side's needs as the substitute. Andy Otten would be a welcome inclusion but will miss the bulk of 2015 as he recovers from a knee reconstruction. Sam Shaw is unlikely to be fit in time for round one with hamstring issues. - Harry Thring

Brisbane Lions
B: Darcy Gardiner, Daniel Merrett, Ryan Harwood
HB: Jed Adcock, Justin Clarke, Daniel Rich
C: James Aish, Dayne Beams, Pearce Hanley
HF: Lewy Taylor, Brent Staker, Dayne Zorko
F: Josh Green, Michael Close, Stefan Martin
R: Matthew Leuenberger, Tom Rockliff, Jack Redden
I/C: Mitch Robinson, Claye Beams, Sam Mayes
Sub: Allen Christensen

New: Dayne Beams (Collingwood), Allen Christensen (Geelong), Mitch Robinson (Carlton).
Unavailable: Trent West (knee)

Comment: The competition for spots should be fierce, with pre-season sure to determine a few. The addition of Dayne Beams, Allen Christensen (returning from back surgery) and Mitch Robinson has put the squeeze on through the midfield and half-forward, and don't be surprised to see Daniel Rich return from his ACL injury at half-back where he can use his lethal left-foot to launch counter-attacks. Daniel Merrett should return to his preferred backline position, but it's the forward line where most of the headaches are. Coach Justin Leppitsch has shown his preference for playing two ruckmen, so rejuvenated Stefan Martin will get a start forward and alternate with Matthew Leuenberger, while Brent Staker would take a quality defender to ease the load on youngster Michael Close. Daniel McStay, Marco Paparone and Rohan Bewick are all right in the frame if they have good pre-seasons. - Michael Whiting

B: Zach Tuohy, Michael Jamison, Dylan Buckley
HB: Chris Yarran, Sam Rowe, Kade Simpson
C: Dale Thomas, Bryce Gibbs, Ed Curnow
HF: Andrew Carrazzo, Lachie Henderson, Troy Menzel
F: Andrew Walker, Levi Casboult, Liam Jones
Foll: Matthew Kreuzer, Chris Judd, Marc Murphy
Int: Tom Bell, Andrejs Everitt, Sam Docherty
Sub: Patrick Cripps

New: Liam Jones (Western Bulldogs)
Unavailable: Kristian Jaksch (foot)

Comment: Under the guidance of coach Mick Malthouse, Carlton's list overhaul is starting to take shape. Jarrad Waite, Jeff Garlett, Mitch Robinson, Brock McLean and Kane Lucas are gone, leaving the Blues the opportunity to address the depth in their squad. Carlton lost some close games last year and often it was a lack of class across the board that let it down. The class at the top is very good, but it starts to drop away once you get deeper into the squad. Dale Thomas should be far more conditioned this season and he has been a standout on the track early this pre-season, while Troy Menzel and Dylan Buckley will continue to go from strength to strength. The inclusion of Matthew Kreuzer is also a big boost and coming up against Richmond in round one, he will likely have to go toe-to-toe with big Ivan Maric for the majority of the match. - Ben Guthrie

B: Nathan Brown, Jack Frost, Alan Toovey
HB: Tom Langdon, Lachie Keeffe, Marley Williams
C: Travis Varcoe, Dane Swan, Clinton Young
HF: Jamie Elliott, Ben Reid, Steele Sidebottom
F: Tyson Goldsack, Travis Cloke, Jarryd Blair
R: Jarrod Witts, Scott Pendlebury, Levi Greenwood
I/C: Brodie Grundy, Taylor Adams, Alex Fasolo
Sub: Paul Seedsman

New players: Levi Greenwood (North Melbourne), Travis Varcoe (Geelong).
Unavailable: Brent Macaffer (knee)

Comment: Compared to previous years, the Pies boast fewer big names but their talent is spread more evenly, with a large group of promising young players being challenged to stake their claims. Speedy ex-Cat Varcoe adds some valuable experience and flexibility with his ability to play in attack, defence and on a wing, while former Kangaroo Levi Greenwood will shoulder some of the grunt work following the departure of Dayne Beams. A major structural issue for the Pies is whether they deploy swingman Reid forward or back – if he goes back, White or ruckmen Witts or Grundy would be the candidates as second tall option in attack. At this stage tagger Macaffer is the only frontliner unavailable early in the season. Youngsters who could surprise include Ben Kennedy, Tim Broomhead, ex-Lion Jack Crisp, Nathan Freeman and new draftees Darcy Moore, Jordan De Goey. - Ben Collins

Pie recruits Travis Varcoe, Jack Crisp and Levi Greenwood should make an impact. Picture: Getty Images

B: Mark Baguley,  Cale Hooker , Dustin Fletcher
HB: Courtenay Dempsey, Michael Hurley,  Michael Hibberd
C:  Brent Stanton, Jobe Watson, David Zaharakis          
HF: Patrick Ambrose, Jake Carlisle, Adam Cooney
F: Paul Chapman, Joe Daniher, Jason Winderlich
R: Tom Bellchambers, Dyson Heppell, Brendon Goddard
I/C: Jonathan Giles, Travis Colyer, David Myers
Sub:  Zach Merrett

New: Adam Cooney (Western Bulldogs), Jonathan Giles (GWS)
Unavailable: Nick Kommer's ongoing knee tendinitis issues have set back his pre-season, which could mean a later start to 2015.  

Comment: The Bombers meet the Sydney Swans at ANZ Stadium in round one, and could take a very experienced side up for the clash. The addition of Adam Cooney and Jonathan Giles gives the Bombers some more mature bodies, while the core of Essendon's squad has now been in the system for five-to-seven seasons. Ben Howlett and Heath Hocking were unlucky to miss out in this team and would be strongly considered, the same for Jake Melksham. Youngster Martin Gleeson has also shown he can be a part of the club's first-choice team with his dash from half-back. - Callum Twomey

B: Lee Spurr, Zac Dawson, Paul Duffield
HB: Michael Johnson, Luke McPharlin, Cameron Sutcliffe
C: Danyle Pearce, Ryan Crowley, Stephen Hill
HF: Chris Mayne, Matt Taberner, Hayden Ballantyne
F: Michael Walters, Matthew Pavlich, Zac Clarke
R: Aaron Sandilands, David Mundy, Nat Fyfe
I/C: Tendai Mzungu, Lachie Neale, Michael Barlow
Sub: Hayden Crozier

New players: Nil
Unavailable: Nil

Comment: This is very similar to the side that Fremantle named for the preliminary final against the Sydney Swans in September. Michael Johnson and Luke McPharlin were unavailable that day due to injury but both would slot back in if fit. Garrick Ibbotson and Alex Silvagni are unlucky to miss out, but both would go close for round one next season, depending on fitness and structures needed for the opening semi-final rematch with Port Adelaide. Anthony Morabito, Colin Sylvia, Max Duffy, Tom Sheridan and Clancee Pearce will all push their case over the summer but it is doubtful any of them would start in the best 22. - Alex Malcolm

B: Jared Rivers, Tom Lonergan, Jed Bews
HB: Andrew Mackie, Harry Taylor, Corey Enright
C: Steven Motlop, Joel Selwood (C), Mitch Duncan
HF: Jimmy Bartel, Tom Hawkins, Steve Johnson
F: Jordan Murdoch, Mitch Clark, Mathew Stokes
Foll: Rhys Stanley, Cameron Guthrie, Josh Caddy
Int: George Horlin-Smith, James Kelly, Mark Blicavs
Sub: Jackson Thurlow

New: Mitch Clark (Melbourne), Rhys Stanley (St Kilda)
Unavailable: Nathan Vardy (knee), Daniel Menzel (knee)

Comment: Geelong approaches season 2015 in familiar territory. Despite having not missed the finals since 2007, questions have already been raised about whether the Cats will fall off their perch. The off-season losses of Allen Christensen and Travis Varcoe impact the Cats' outside speed, although the savvy recruiting of Sam Blease and first-round pick Nakia Cockatoo should help to offset those losses in some part. Mitch Clark and Rhys Stanley could prove to be inspired picks, although their value remains speculative at this stage. Jed Bews is perhaps the most interesting selection, with the lack of a lock-down small defender in last year's finals series a factor in why the Cats did not progress to the preliminary final. Blease may well find his way into the side, while Shane Kersten will be pushing for selection if fit. - Ben Guthrie

Mitch Clark will be a huge boost for Geelong if he regains fitness. Picture: AFL Media

Gold Coast
B: Danny Stanley, Steven May, Trent McKenzie
HB: Greg Broughton, Rory Thompson, Nick Malceski
C: Jarrod Harbrow, Dion Prestia, Kade Kolodjashnij
HF: Jack Martin, Tom Lynch, Harley Bennell
F: Brandon Matera, Charlie Dixon, Sam Day
R: Tom Nicholls, Gary Ablett, David Swallow
I/C: Jaeger O'Meara, Mitch Hallahan, Michael Rischitelli
Sub: Jarrod Garlett

New players: Nick Malceski (Sydney Swans), Mitch Hallahan (Hawthorn)
Unavailable: Nil

Comment: With Rodney Eade in the coach's seat for barely a month, it's hard to know which way he'll lean, but the midfield and forward line speak for themselves. Mitch Hallahan has been recruited to provide more midfield grunt, while Jaeger O'Meara is expected to beat the clock and be fit for round one after post-season surgery on both knees. The backline might be a bit more of an off-season puzzle with the addition of Swans premiership player Nick Malceski a clear boost. Gold Coast has upgraded Greg Broughton as its nominated rookie, but finding a third tall behind Steven May and Rory Thompson is the battle. Danny Stanley has done the job in the past but could be pushed for a spot by youngster Clay Cameron. Draftee Jarrod Garlett looks perfect for the sub's role, but could push for a starting spot, while Alex Sexton, Luke Russell and Matt Shaw should also be in the mix. - Michael Whiting

Greater Western Sydney
B: Heath Shaw, Joel Patfull, Nick Haynes
HB: Lachie Plowman, Phil Davis, Curtly Hampton
C: Adam Treloar, Ryan Griffen, Tom Scully
HF: Jarrod Pickett, Jeremy Cameron, Lachie Whitfield
F: Devon Smith, Adam Tomlinson, Dylan Shiel
R: Shane Mumford, Toby Greene, Callan Ward
I/C: Stephen Coniglio, Rhys Palmer, Josh Kelly
Sub: Will Hoskin-Elliott

New players: Ryan Griffen (Western Bulldogs), Joel Patfull (Brisbane Lions)
Unavailable: Jonathon Patton (knee), Tim Mohr (knee)

Comment: Knee reconstructions for bookends Jonathon Patton and Tim Mohr will rob the Giants of height early next season and it is unclear when the duo will be back in action. However, Joel Patfull's experience down back will help offset Mohr's absence and Adam Tomlinson should relish the opportunity in attack. Without doubt, the Giants' strength is their midfield and a centreline of Adam Treloar, Ryan Griffen and Tom Scully looks a potent combination. Throw Rhys Palmer, Callan Ward, Stephen Coniglio, Josh Kelly, Toby Greene and Lachie Whitfield into the mix and it's plain to see why rivals fear what GWS' on-ball brigade might become. Silky draftee Jarrod Pickett could slot in up forward. Fellow draftee Caleb Marchbank might need time to develop, but the key defender will soon force his way into the best 22. - Travis King

B: Shaun Burgoyne, Brian Lake, Josh Gibson
HB: Grant Birchall, James Frawley, Ben Stratton
C: Isaac Smith, Sam Mitchell, Bradley Hill
HF: Luke Hodge, Jonathon Ceglar, Cyril Rioli
F: Jack Gunston, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust
R: Ben McEvoy, Jordan Lewis, Will Langford
I/C: Matt Suckling, Liam Shiels, Paul Puopolo
Sub: Jed Anderson

New players: James Frawley (Melbourne)
Unavailable: None

Comment: Premiership teams need to evolve, so there are three changes to the victorious Hawks line-up from last September. Matt Spangher is a cult hero, but James Frawley is an obvious key defensive upgrade. Another pre-season and the awfully unlucky Jon Ceglar might go past David Hale as the second ruck/marking key forward, while most Hawthorn supporters believe Jed Anderson is too good to leave out when fully fit. The Hawks now bat so deep that premiership trio Hale, Jon Simpkin and Taylor Duryea do not feature in this best 22. GWS recruit Jonathan O'Rourke will need to impress at Box Hill, while Alex Woodward, Billy Hartung, Angus Litherland and Ryan Schoenmakers should see plenty of senior action as well. Add Brendan Whitecross to the mix coming back from a pair of knee reconstructions and the Hawks have plenty of selection options in 2015. The rider for all this is that the Hawks don't believe in the concept of a 'best 22'. Alastair Clarkson picks teams to match-up best on the opposition, hence the selection of McEvoy over Ceglar for the Grand Final last year. - Ashley Browne

Defender James Frawley is a fairly handy addition to reigning premiers Hawthorn. Picture: Getty Images

B: Neville Jetta, Lynden Dunn, Colin Garland
HB: Heritier Lumumba, Tom McDonald, Jack Watts
C: Jack Viney, Bernie Vince, Daniel Cross
HF: Jeremy Howe, Cameron Pedersen, Dean Kent
F: Christian Salem, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett
R: Mark Jamar, Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson   
I/C: Jack Grimes, Viv Michie, Sam Frost
Sub: Angus Brayshaw

New: Heritier Lumumba (Collingwood), Jeff Garlett (Carlton), Sam Frost (Greater Western Sydney)
Unavailable: Chris Dawes (suspended), Jack Trengove (navicular injury)

Comment: Max Gawn is most unlucky to miss the best 22, but he will be ready to pounce if Mark Jamar's form drops. We've preferred Angus Brayshaw to Christian Petracca on nothing more than the fact he looks slightly more prepared to play at this stage. That could change by round one. Viv Michie gets a spot based on excellent form in the last month of the season but there is little doubt you could toss a coin and replace him with Rohan Bail, Aidan Riley, Ben Newton, Jordie McKenzie or Jay Kennedy-Harris. Melbourne's midfield depth has increased although its win tally remained small last year, and the club appears over-reliant on a 19-year-old key forward by the name of Jesse Hogan, who is yet to play a game. - Peter Ryan

Heretier Lumumba will add experience and drive from half-back at his new home. Picture: AFL Media

North Melbourne
B:  Sam Wright,  Scott Thompson, Lachlan Hansen
HB: Shaun Atley, Nathan Grima, Luke McDonald
C: Nick Dal Santo, Jack Ziebell, Daniel Wells
HF: Aaron Black, Jarrad Waite, Brent Harvey
F:  Lindsay Thomas, Drew Petrie,  Ben Brown
R: Todd Goldstein, Ben Cunnington, Andrew Swallow
I/C: Sam Gibson, Shaun Higgins, Jamie Macmillan
Sub: Kayne Turner
New: Shaun Higgins (Western Bulldogs), Jarrad Waite (Carlton)
Unavailable: Nil

Comment: With North boasting a largely injury-free list entering the pre-season, competition should be stiff for a place in the round one team that will take on Adelaide. Free agency acquisitions Jarrad Waite and Shaun Higgins should come straight in for their club debuts. The Roos' growing depth means we have left out regular senior players Michael Firrito, Leigh Adams and Ryan Bastinac, although it would be no surprise if any, or all, of them line up against the Crows. Youngsters such as Taylor Garner, Trent Dumont and Mason Wood are also likely to push hard for selection, along with promising key defender Joel Tippett. Our selected forward line might appear top heavy, but the Roos are confident Drew Petrie, Waite, Ben Brown and Aaron Black can all play in the same team. Playing all four talls together could also expose an Adelaide backline that looks undermanned with the retirement of Ben Rutten. - Nick Bowen

Port Adelaide
B: Jarman Impey, Alipate Carlile, Jack Hombsch
HB: Matthew Broadbent, Jackson Trengove, Tom Jonas
C: Jared Polec, Travis Boak, Hamish Hartlett
HF: Angus Monfries, Justin Westhoff, Robbie Gray
F: Chad Wingard, Jay Schulz, Patrick Ryder
R: Matthew Lobbe, Ollie Wines, Brad Ebert 
I/C: Jasper Pittard, Matthew White, Kane Cornes
Sub: Andrew Moore

New players: Patrick Ryder (Essendon)
Unavailable: Jarrad Redden (knee)

Comment: The Power's star recruit in Patrick Ryder is obviously a lock in the starting 22, but it's difficult to see him beginning in front of Matthew Lobbe in the ruck. Given the strength of the rest of the side, Port's draftees wouldn't be expected to push for a round-one debut. Andrew Moore is fighting fit and ran a personal best 3km time trial last Monday. He can push forward but his strength is as an inside midfielder. He doesn't have the speed of a Matthew White or Kane Mitchell, though, so who starts as sub in round one will be interesting to see – Aaron Young can't be forgotten either. Ruckman Jarrad Redden is progressing well after knee surgery, but it will be touch and go whether he's fit for the start of the season. - Harry Thring 

Could Paddy Ryder be the recruit who propels Port to a premiership tilt? Picture: Getty Images
B: Dylan Grimes, Alex Rance, David Astbury
HB: Bachar Houli, Troy Chaplin, Steven Morris
C: Nick Vlastuin, Reece Conca, Brandon Ellis
HF: Dustin Martin, Ben Griffiths, Brett Deledio
F: Shane Edwards, Jack Riewoldt, Nathan Gordon
R: Ivan Maric, Trent Cotchin, Anthony Miles
I/C: Chris Newman, Taylor Hunt, Ricky Petterd
Sub: Nathan Foley
New: Taylor Hunt (Geelong)
Unavailable: Nil

Comment: The Tigers are playing Carlton in round one and the Blues have some tall options in their forward line, which could see the yellow and black go in with a bigger backline. Later on, a need for more run could see a reshuffle with Grimes a casualty in favour of Morris moving to a back pocket, Vlastuin to a back flank and Shaun Grigg onto a wing. Astbury's early season form before his knee injury this year sees him get the nod over Jake Batchelor. There's also scope to move the forward line around and bring in another tall, with Ty Vickery missing out based on the Tigers' preferred set-up late in the season that used Griffiths instead. Liam McBean could push for a senior debut at some stage after finishing fourth in the VFL's goalkicking. The likes of Sam Lloyd, Chris Knights and Matt McDonough will compete with Gordon for a spot in the forward line. The Tigers spent much of last season trying to discover Ben Lennon's best position and he'll be looking to break into the team early after off-season hip surgery. - Jennifer Phelan

St Kilda
B: Sean Dempster, Luke Delaney, Sam Gilbert
HB: Jarryn Geary, Sam Fisher, Jimmy Webster
C: Farren Ray, Jack Steven, Luke Dunstan
HF: Eli Templeton, Nick Riewoldt, Leigh Montagna
F: Jack Billings, Paddy McCartin, Tim Membrey
R: Tom Hickey, David Armitage, Maverick Weller
I/C: Billy Longer, Seb Ross, Jack Newnes
Sub: Shane Savage

New: Tim Membrey (Sydney Swans)
Unavailable: Nil

Comment: The Saints are playing Greater Western Sydney in round one and they'll be keen to test their new players immediately and give supporters hope after a disappointing 2014. Tim Membrey was recruited as ready-made support for Nick Riewoldt, while there is no reason Paddy McCartin can't be thrown into the cauldron in round one. He would push out Josh Bruce, who moved forward in 2014. After the departure of Rhys Stanley to Geelong, two genuine ruckmen will be required, with Tom Hickey and Billy Longer both working to build their tools in attack. The Saints would be keen to see promising youngster Blake Acres push into the 22 quickly as well as Nathan Wright. Hugh Goddard could find himself making a dream round one start if Sam Gilbert isn't fully fit. - Nathan Schmook

Sydney Swans
B: Nick Smith, Ted Richards, Sam Reid
HB: Gary Rohan, Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe
C: Kieren Jack, Josh Kennedy, Harry Cunningham
HF: Tom Mitchell, Lance Franklin, Dan Hannebery
F: Adam Goodes, Kurt Tippett, Ben McGlynn
R: Mike Pyke, Luke Parker, Jarrad McVeigh
I/C: Rhyce Shaw, Lewis Jetta, Craig Bird
Sub: Jake Lloyd

New players: None
Unavailable: Alex Johnson (knee)

Comment: Expect minor tweaks to the Swans' best line-up after their crushing Grand Final defeat. Sam Reid could vacate a crowded forward line and look to add to size in defence, while Gary Rohan shapes as a full-time replacement off half-back for departed All Australian Nick Malceski. Tom Mitchell has made an eye-catching start to pre-season and the time may be right to thrust the clearance specialist into senior football consistently, easing in off half-forward. Disappointing Grand Final performances shouldn't force Lewis Jetta and Jake Lloyd out of the team, but there will be pressure ahead of round one from prized draftee Isaac Heeney and Brandon Jack, who is yet to carve out his role at the Swans. Zak Jones has enjoyed a strong start to pre-season and is eyeing a role in the backline. - Nathan Schmook

West Coast
B: Will Schofield, Eric Mackenzie, Sam Butler
HB: Shannon Hurn, Mitch Brown, Xavier Ellis
C: Matt Rosa, Matt Priddis, Andrew Gaff
HF: Mark LeCras, Josh Kennedy, Sharrod Wellingham
F: Jack Darling, Jeremy McGovern, Jamie Cripps
R: Nic Naitanui, Scott Selwood, Luke Shuey
I/C: Scott Lycett, Elliot Yeo, Chris Masten
Sub: Patrick McGinnity

New: Nil
Unavailable: Nil

Comment: The Eagles never had a fully fit squad to choose from last season so Adam Simpson never got the chance to reveal his first-choice 22. The queries with this line-up surround Beau Waters' fitness and structural match-ups for their starting opponents, the Western Bulldogs. Waters will likely be declared fit but he has not played for 18 months and he is still yet to do full contact training - he could potentially slot into defence should he string some games together in the pre-season. Jamie Bennell and Brad Sheppard are also fighting for roles as small defenders but Sam Butler's finish to last season probably has him in the team. Mark Hutchings could mount a strong case for a role in the midfield rotation or as the sub. It would take an extraordinary performance in the pre-season for any of the first or second-year players to break into the Eagles' line-up. - Alex Malcolm

Western Bulldogs
B: Liam Picken, Dale Morris, Easton Wood
HB: Bob Murphy, Jordan Roughead, Shane Biggs
C: Jack Macrae, Mitch Wallis, Marcus Bontempelli
HF: Jake Stringer, Stewart Crameri, Luke Dahlhaus
F: Tom Campbell, Tom Boyd, Nathan Hrovat    
R : Will Minson, Tom Liberatore, Matthew Boyd
I/C: Lachlan Hunter, Michael Talia, Koby Stevens
Sub: Jason Johannisen

New players: Tom Boyd (GWS), Shane Biggs (Sydney Swans)
Unavailable: Clay Smith (knee)

Comment: The biggest inclusion into the Bulldogs' starting line-up in 2015 will be Tom Boyd. The Bulldogs have been crying out for a key forward for the last few seasons and while he may only have played nine games in his first season at the Giants, 2013's No.1 draft pick will be a lock for round one. Defender Shane Biggs should slot in nicely at half-back, replacing Shaun Higgins who moved as a free agent to North Melbourne in the off-season. Midfielder Mitch Wallis needs a big year. He managed just 13 games in 2014 with a form slump seeing him relegated to the VFL. A foot injury ended his season prematurely and he'll be looking to make amends in 2015. Defender Michael Talia showed plenty of promise in 2013, but spent most of his second year in the VFL developing his craft. Talia, Fletcher Roberts and former Cat Joel Hamling will all be fighting for a position in this side and it should create some healthy competition. - Nat Edwards

Tom Boyd will be keen to repay the Bulldogs' faith after crossing from GWS. Picture: AFL Media 

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