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AFLX top 10: Who shone in footy's new format?

Jake Melksham was the star of Melbourne's march to AFLX victory on Friday night  - AFLX,Mark Blicavs,Bradley Hill,Jake Melksham,Shane Savage,Dane Rampe,Mitch Robinson,Jake Kelly,Shaun McKernan,Lachie Whitfield,Daniel Rich
Jake Melksham was the star of Melbourne's march to AFLX victory on Friday night

AFLX has arrived. Our first look at the new format over the weekend provided plenty of highlights and also some areas of the game that need some tinkering. 

Many teams picked young line-ups featuring players who could overlap run and keep possession of the footy. Friday's winner, Melbourne, picked a squad that could produce a style of game that could also be transferred across into a JLT Community Series or premiership season game.

There were a number of standout players across the three legs of the tournament in Adelaide on Thursday night, Melbourne on Friday night and Sydney on Saturday evening. has nominated its top 10 players of the AFLX tournament across all three nights (in alphabetical order), which interestingly contains players of all different shapes and sizes. 

>> Thursday: Crows trump Cats to claim early AFLX glory

>> Dees edge Hawks to win AFLX Melbourne

>> Young Lions down Swans for AFLX silverware

Our AFLX Top 10

Mark Blicavs
Given his versatility and running prowess, Blicavs was considered by many as the prototype AFLX player before the tournament had begun. The athletic big man did not disappoint, becoming the star of the night in Adelaide on Thursday night. His work rate to present to his teammates, expose mismatches and desire to compete boded well for what Geelong hopes will be an improved 2018 campaign. 


Bradley Hill
Played only one game on Thursday night after being rested from game one. However, the hard-running Docker lit it up in the second clash against Port Adelaide and deserves selection in this list. Hill booted three goals against the Power, including an outstanding end-to-end running goal, which saw him win the ball in the defensive zone, combine with Michael Walters in midfield and follow the play all the way into the forward half and stream into an open goal. Hill's goal was the highlight of the night and perhaps the whole weekend. 

Jake Kelly
The Adelaide defender had earned the reputation of being a typically dour backman in his young career, but he appeared to relish the freedom he was afforded on Thursday evening. Kelly finished with a few 'Zooper goals' across the night and competed strongly in the defensive contests he was involved in. Could be an important player for the Crows this season following Jake Lever's departure. 

Shaun McKernan
McKernan was a presence for the Bombers up forward in his two games and was best on ground in Essendon's tight loss to St Kilda in game two. McKernan had 16 disposals and took 10 marks to keep his side in the game against the Saints. His aerial ability and want to compete was a shining light across Essendon's winless night. 

Jake Melksham
Would probably have won the AFLX best and fairest award if one was struck. Melksham's consistency across all three games and his ability to impact the scoreboard made him the standout player across the weekend. The Demons forward kicked six goals in total, including five 'Zooper goals' from outside 40. His ability to win one-on-one contests (when they occurred) against his direct opponent was extremely impressive and a good sign ahead of the season proper. 


Dane Rampe
The All Australian defender started things off with a bang with three successive 'Zooper goals' to begin a demolition of the Western Bulldogs side. Rampe's ability to hit the scoreboard and stifle the opposition's ability to move the ball forward was noticeable before he exited the play after just one game.


Daniel Rich
Well suited to this form of the game, with his laser-like kicking from the back half able to carry almost the whole field. Rich can hit targets that others can't and his ability to distribute by foot was a significant factor in the Lions' triumphant night. The Lions' MVP at Allianz Stadium and quite possibly the MVP of the Sydney leg of the tournament. 

Mitch Robinson
Robinson set the tone for the Lions with his trademark aggression at the contest and stood tall at key moments. His tackle on the Giants' Lachie Whitfield when he grabbed him in a bear hug and drove him into the ground was an example of that. Combined with Rich, Robinson's long kicking also added to the Lions' ability to transition the ball with speed and power.

Shane Savage
The Saints' defender was both aggressive and proactive for the Saints on Friday night. Savage's long-range kicking from near on the 'X' logo in the middle of the ground for two 'Zooper goals' was a highlight for St Kilda. He also laid a devastating tackle on the Bombers' Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti.     


Lachie Whitfield
The standout performer on Saturday evening, racking up game-high disposal counts in the Giants' two losses to Richmond and Brisbane. Finished with 31 disposals, two 'Zooper goals' and three regular goals, displaying his repeat sprint ability and using the footy with class. Good signs for the Giants to have Whitfield up and running in that sort of form at this point of the year.