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Your club's mid-season All Australians: Who makes the cut?

Who's staking a claim for a 2019 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian team blazer? - 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,Tag-Opinion,All Australian
Who's staking a claim for a 2019 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian team blazer?

HALFWAY through the AFL season, the contenders are truly starting to emerge.

But which players across the competition are beginning to make certain of their spots in the 2019 Virgin Australia AFL All Australian side?

A number of familiar names are once again pressing their rightful claim for a place in the side, while some youngsters are also pushing their case for a maiden appearance.

AFL.com.au looks at your club's recent All Australian history, and analyses which certainties will make the team and which fresh faces could be hoping for their first blazer.

Recent history

The Crows have had at least one representative in the All Australian team for the past seven seasons dating back to 2012. Defender Rory Laird was their sole selection last year after having multiple players in the team for the previous four seasons. Eddie Betts is the most decorated current player on the Crows' list with three All Australian jumpers from 2015-17.

Contenders

Brad Crouch
The midfielder is enjoying an outstanding season after missing all of last year with a groin injury. Fourth in the League for disposals (31.9 per game), 10th in clearances and in the top 20 for contested possessions.

 

Matt Crouch
Overshadowed this year by the return of older brother Brad, but Matt is putting together a fine season in his own right. Missed three games. Averaging 31.9 disposals per game and added an outside element to his game.

Alex Keath
The 27-year-old late bloomer has been a standout in the Crows' backline with his intercept marking. He's ranked second in the League for intercepts and in the top 20 for marks, along with averaging 17.9 disposals per game.

Rory Laird
The busy half-back is on track for his third straight All Australian jumper. Averaging 28.6 disposals and 5.4 marks per game. Laird is ninth in the League for disposals, ninth for intercepts and in the top 20 for rebound 50s.

Tom Lynch
A consistent performer who is yet to break through for an All Australian jumper. Missing three games might cost the link-up half-forward, but he's been great when he's on the field, averaging 21.7 disposals, 7.1 marks and averaging just over a goal per game.

 

Rory Sloane
The Crows co-captain makes the most of every possession he gets. Fifth in the League for tackles, seventh for contested possessions and in the top-20 for inside 50s and clearances. Averaging 25.1 disposals per game. Has one previous All Australian jumper in 2016.

Daniel Talia
The stoic key defender is back to the form that earnt him All Australian honours in 2014 and 2016. He's fourth in the League in one percenters, and rarely gets beaten one-on-one. - Lee Gaskin

Recent history

Not surprisingly it's been slim pickings for the Lions in the past decade. Only Tom Rockliff's jaw-dropping 2014 season (where he averaged 33 disposals and nine tackles a game) and Dayne Zorko in 2017 have been rewarded by making the final 22. As the team improved last year, Dayne Beams and Harris Andrews both made the 40-man squad.

Contenders

Harris Andrews 
Following a terrific 2018, the full-back has again stamped himself as one of the game's premier defenders, able to both shut down his opponent and take intercept marks.

Charlie Cameron 
Among the competition's elite small forwards, Cameron has kicked 26 goals and has been a genuine match-winner on many occasions this season.

 

Lachie Neale 
With his prolific ball-winning both inside the contest and outside, Neale is giving himself every chance to earn a maiden All Australian selection.

Daniel Rich 
In career-best form at half-back, Rich is the engine behind much of the Lions' counter-attack with his prodigious and accurate left boot.

Dayne Zorko 
Possibly flying under the radar, Zorko is the No.1 pressure player in the competition and is combining it with 21 touches a game. – Michael Whiting

Recent history 

It's been a pretty lean decade for Carlton. When defender Sam Docherty was included in the 2017 team, it broke a four-year drought without a single inclusion. Fortunately, fellow co-captain Patrick Cripps made it two appearances in two seasons when he was selected last year. Prior to that, Chris Judd and Marc Murphy were the last Blues to earn All Australian blazers back in 2011. Judd is the only Carlton player with multiple selections this decade, with two appearances. 

Contenders

Patrick Cripps: Barring injury, Cripps is a certainty to be included in this year's All Australian side. Arguably the best player in the competition at the moment, the hardened midfielder is one of the best clearance and contested players in the game, while his influence forward of centre is growing each week. He's mounting a strong case to be the All Australian captain. - Riley Beveridge

 

Recent history

When joint club champions Steele Sidebottom and Brodie Grundy received their first All Australian gongs last year, they broke a four-year AA drought for the Magpies. The club had produced a total of 10 All Australian selections in their dominant 2010-11 period and the stars to be recognised on multiple occasions over the past 10 years have been current skipper Scott Pendlebury (five times), Dane Swan (five), Travis Cloke (two), Alan Didak (two) and Leon Davis (two).

Contenders

Jack Crisp 
The dashing left-footer has continued to lift his game to new levels as a half-back flanker, despite a limited pre-season. An adventurous ball carrier whose left foot can be deadly.

Jordan De Goey 
The Magpie matchwinner again leads the club's goalkicking with 27, including nine multiple-goal efforts in his 11 appearances – all while having bursts in the midfield, and while managing a shin issue.

Brodie Grundy 
Some experts have hailed the powerful South Australian as the best player in the game, given he averages 21 possessions (13 contested), five clearances, four tackles and 42 hitouts. Was beaten by fellow 2018 All Australian, Melbourne's Max Gawn, but entered the duel with a crook neck.

Darcy Moore 
The Magpies' most important inclusion this season after arresting his hamstring issues, the remarkably athletic, ultra-attacking, 203cm key backman has taken to his defensive switch like he was born to it. Quick, a terrific mark and a penetrating kicking.

Scott Pendlebury 
The supremely consistent Collingwood captain is showing little sign of deterioration at 31 and for much of the season has been his team's prime mover in the middle.

 

Adam Treloar
The line-breaking midfielder is the AFL's leading ball-winner, amassing a record number of possessions by a Magpie to this point of a season, averaging 33 a game. - Ben Collins

Recent history

Essendon's lean decade of success comes through in the club's lack of All Australian selections since 2010. In the past nine teams that have been picked, the Bombers have been represented only eight times (with former skipper Jobe Watson and Michael Hurley both winning two call-ups). The most they have had in a single season was in 2017, when Hurley, Joe Daniher and Zach Merrett were all picked in the same team after Essendon made the finals. 

Contenders

Dyson Heppell 
The Essendon skipper has been one of the club's most consistent players this year, averaging 27 disposals in the midfield. He seems unlikely to add to his 2014 All Australian guernsey but has had a strong year.

Michael Hurley 
A key part of Essendon's back half with his marking, rebound and ability to stop opposition stars. Had his colours lowered last week against West Coast by rampaging forward Josh Kennedy, but that's been a rare occurrence this year. 

Adam Saad 
An important player for the Bombers off half-back with his dashing run and exhilarating pace. Saad has enjoyed some standout performances, including against Hawthorn in round 13. 

Dylan Shiel 
Shiel started the season in raging form for the Bombers, and despite getting questioned for his kicking efficiency, he was still having a big impact on games. His performances against Melbourne and Collingwood were particularly good, but his form has dipped a little since then which will hurt his chances. - Callum Twomey

 

Recent history

The Dockers haven't had a rep since Nat Fyfe and David Mundy made the side in 2015. Since then, Freo has plunged into a rebuild, which hasn't helped, and Fyfe has battled a twice-broken leg, the gradual recovery in 2016 and then a nasty hamstring last year. Six Dockers have made the side this decade. Controversially, Michael Johnson was the only Freo player named in 2013 when the club made it to the Grand Final. 

Contenders

Bradley Hill 
He won the Doig Medal in 2017 but the three-time premiership Hawk has gone to another level on a wing (24.8 disposals) and is arguably the Dockers' most important midfielder with his line-breaking ability.

Nat Fyfe 
Ranks No.1 in the competition for contested possessions (17.9) and equal-third in AFL.com.au's Brownlow Medal predictor. A shoe-in provided he stays fit. 

Brandon Matera 
It has been some career turnaround for Matera to even be in consideration. Has booted 24 goals and is three shy of his best-ever season haul. If he goes close to doubling that in the final nine games, Matera would be in the mix.

Luke Ryan 
Growing by the week. Ranked elite for intercept marks and disposal efficiency, and is an excellent one-on-one defender. Only 44 games into his career, he has become integral to the Dockers' backline. 

Michael Walters 
If the team was picked now, Walters would be in for the first time. Leads Freo's goalkicking with 28 majors, despite spending plenty of time running through midfield and averaging career-high 21.2 disposals. A superstar. - Travis King

 

Recent history

Geelong has six All Australians on its list, with four of them in contention for this season. Gary Ablett (eight), Joel Selwood (six) and Patrick Dangerfield (six) are among the most capped All Australians ever. Since 2010, the Cats have also had six All Australians that have since retired – Steve Johnson, Corey Enright, Paul Chapman, James Kelly, Matthew Scarlett and Andrew Mackie.

Contenders

Gary Ablett
At home in his new forward role and is averaging two goals a game for the first time in his career. An eight-time All Australian, knows how to gets noticed.

 

Mark Blicavs
A squad member last year, Blicavs has only improved as one of the competition's best stoppers. After winning Geelong's best and fairest last season, has enjoyed a more consistent season in 2019.

Patrick Dangerfield
Vying for a fourth consecutive All Australian blazer despite going at 27 disposals a game this year, his lowest count since 2015. Has at least four best on ground performances from his 13 matches. 

 

Mitch Duncan
Averaging 26.2 disposals per match this season and has hit the scoreboard more than in recent years. Would be an outside chance to claim a wing spot.

Tom Hawkins
On track for more than 65 goals for the first time in his career and has had a stronger season than his maiden All Australian year of 2012. Third in the competition for score involvements with an average of 7.7 per game.

 

Tim Kelly
Leading the AFL Coaches Association award and has been one of the most dangerous midfielders in the competition this year. Averaging three more disposals per game in his second season.

Tom Stewart
Could argue he's gone up in value this year after his maiden All Australian blazer last year. Has taken his offensive game to new heights, now averaging 24 disposals per match, up from 20 last year.

Recent history

Just two players in the Suns' eight previous years have earned the honour and you don't have to be a genius to figure out who. Inaugural skipper Gary Ablett did it four times – from 2011 to 2014 – and Tom Lynch was the club's first drafted player to get the nod in 2016 when he kicked 66 goals and led the League in contested marking.

Contenders

Jarrod Harbrow 
Fresh off his first best and fairest, the running defender is having another excellent season. Rarely beaten and generates much of the Suns' run from the defensive 50.

Alex Sexton 
Has slowed down a bit in recent weeks, but 24 goals for a small forward from a team that gets precious few inside 50s has to be looked at.

 

Jarrod Witts 
Doesn't generate the midfield numbers of other ruckmen, but Witts' superb work around the stoppages is the major reason Gold Coast has been competitive beyond expectations. - Michael Whiting

Recent history 

It's surprising that the Giants have only had six players named in the AA side, with Jeremy Cameron the first when he kicked 62 goals in 2013. Heath Shaw is the only dual representative after being going back to back in 2015/16, with Toby Greene, Dylan Shiel, Josh Kelly and Lachie Whitfield are the others to receive the honour. Stephen Coniglio (2018) is probably the stiffest Giant to miss out.

Contenders

Jeremy Cameron
The Coleman Medal leader has produced a stunning season so far with 40 goals from 13 games, at an average of 3.1 per match, and he's also found plenty of the footy.

Stephen Coniglio
The star midfielder has been brilliant again this year, averaging over 27 touches and five clearances per game, and also kicking 15 goals.

Matt de Boer
The best shutdown player in the competition but a serious shoulder injury in round 13 ruined his chances. Dustin Martin, Patrick Crips and Tim Kelly are on his list of scalps.

Jacob Hopper
The tough young leader has emerged as a top line onballer after his first injury-free run, averaging 25.6 disposals and 5.8 clearances per game.

Josh Kelly 
Missed the opening two games of the year but hasn't missed a beat since, with the classy midfielder gathering 31 touches per game, and six tackles.

Nick Haynes
Still underrated outside the Giants, Haynes has been exceptional across half-back with his intercept marking and providing rebound from defence.

Tim Taranto
Has relished more midfield time this year and responded with a breakout year. Tough and hard at the footy, Taranto has laid over six tackles per game while gathering 28.6 touches.

Lachie Whitfield
In a new role as a high half-forward, last year's AA defender has been outstanding again, averaging over 28 possessions and using his elite foot skills to provide the Giants with plenty of drive. - Adam Curley

Recent history

At least one Hawk was an All Australian in each of the past nine years, including multiple representatives in seven of them. The most prolific season in that period was in 2014, when Luke Breust, Lance Franklin, Jordan Lewis and Jarryd Roughead were selected. Breust, Tom and Sam Mitchell, Cyril Rioli, Franklin and Roughead made it twice or more in that time, while Luke Hodge's 2010 appearance was his third overall.

Contenders

Ricky Henderson
The wingman went ballistic in the first 14 rounds, shattering his personal bests almost across the board, including averaging 27.4 touches. Henderson is a neat kick and probably leads the Hawks' best and fairest.

 

Jarman Impey
Producing comfortably his best individual season down back, making great strides in particular as an intercept marker (1.7 per game). He's averaging a career-high 16.7 disposals and still sneaking forward enough to kick seven goals overall.

Ben McEvoy
McEvoy isn't among the AFL's elite tap ruckmen, but leads his peers in contested marks, is equal-first for total marks and third for goals. One of the AFL's best set-shot exponents as well.

Jaeger O'Meara
O'Meara has struggled to shake a tag at times, but he's mostly been excellent as the club's No.1 onballer in Tom Mitchell's absence. He's averaging career-highs in disposals (25.9), contested possessions (11.4) and clearances (6.5).

James Sicily
This depends on the Hawks aborting the Sicily-as-a-forward experiment. He ranks equal-first among general defenders for contested marks, second for total marks, third for intercept marks and top 10 for disposals and contested possessions. - Marc McGowan

Recent history

Of the six times Demons were selected in the All Australian team this decade, three of those have been in the ruck. Two went to Max Gawn (2016 and 2018) while Mark Jamar accomplished the feat in 2010, the same year defender James Frawley was named in the team. Last year, Clayton Oliver made the side, while a career-best campaign from Michael Hibberd saw him make it in 2017.

Contenders

Max Gawn 
Two ruckmen were picked in last season's edition, and history will likely repeat itself if Gawn and Collingwood big man Brodie Grundy keep playing like this. The only real question is who takes the starting ruck spot.

Clayton Oliver 
While the young bull hasn't been quite as consistent as he was in 2018, his numbers have ticked up in several categories, including average disposals (30.6), contested possessions (16.4), clearances (6.9) and inside-50s (5.1) - Dinny Navaratnam

 

Recent history

Only four Kangaroos have earned All Australian honours since club legend Brent Harvey was named in the team for the fourth and final time in 2008. Harvey's other selections came in 2000, 2005 and 2007. The more recent quartet were midfielder Shaun Higgins (2018), ruckman Todd Goldstein (2015), defender Scott Thompson (2013) and forward Drew Petrie (2011).

Contenders

Ben Brown
Brown sits third in this year's Coleman Medal race, six goals behind Jeremy Cameron's 40. He was second in the same category last season, and a repeat should see him make the 40-man squad.

Ben Cunnington
The Roos' fend-off king is equal-11th in the AFL for total disposals, first for contested possessions and clearances, and third for centre clearances in what's been a career-best campaign. Cunnington is also equal-fourth in the AFL Coaches' Association votes.

Shaun Higgins
Higgins was averaging almost four more disposals per game (31.2) than his All Australian season last year (27.4) until he hurt his AC joint in the opening minutes of North's round 12 clash with Gold Coast.

Robbie Tarrant
Tarrant's numbers are similar to the previous three seasons, but he's been even better. Among his victims are Tiger Tom Lynch, Jack Gunston, Taylor Walker and Joe Daniher, while he had a career-most 14 intercepts in his last start. - Marc McGowan

Recent history

The Power have only had four different players earn All Australian honours since 2010. Star forward/midfielder Robbie Gray is the most prolific with four selections, ahead of former captain Travis Boak and Chad Wingard, now at Hawthorn, who have made the side twice. Gray was the Power's sole representative last year.

Contenders

Travis Boak
The former skipper is in career-best form after moving back to the midfield. Second in the League for disposals, averaging 32.1 touches per game, fourth for inside 50s and sixth for contested possessions. Almost a certainty to add a third All Australian jumper having gone back-to-back in 2013-14, and will also be in the Brownlow Medal conversation.

 

Tom Clurey
A highly underrated key defender who gets the job on the opposition's best key forward each week. Clurey's performance in locking down Geelong spearhead Tom Hawkins was crucial in the Power's upset win over the Cats.

Dan Houston
Started in brilliant form across half-back before excelling through the midfield in the past two weeks. The 22-year-old is averaging 21.5 disposals and 4.2 marks per game.

Robbie Gray
The four-time All Australian has only kicked 12 goals in 10 games this season, but has only done plenty of damage through the midfield. Averages 23.1 disposals and 4.5 clearances per game. Was picked last year as a forward.

 

Recent history

It was a lean early part of the decade for Richmond's All Australian representatives, with just four blazers handed out from 2010 to 2013. Six Tigers have received honours since 2010: Jack Riewoldt, Trent Cotchin, Brett Deledio, Alex Rance, Dustin Martin and Shane Edwards. Rance will miss out on a sixth consecutive blazer this year after a knee reconstruction, while Martin has been named three years running.

Contenders

Shane Edwards
The creative playmaker has been playing a different role off half-back due to Richmond’s injury woes. Averaging 21 disposals (up from 19) and 4.5 score involvements a match. Unlikely to make the 22, but is in the running for the squad.

Bachar Houli 
Is possibly in career-best form at the age of 31. The half-back flanker is averaging 28.7 disposals and 6.3 marks a game in 2019, up from 21.1 and 4.7 last year. At this stage, could be in the conversation for the final team.

Dustin Martin 
Still one of the top midfielders in the competition, Martin has found himself closer to goal this year. Averaging 25.3 touches, 4.5 clearances and 1.1 goals a game. May struggle to make the 18, but an interchange position beckons.

Tom Lynch 
Probably won't make the final team but is coming fifth in the Coleman Medal despite some lean matches. Is marking well and creating contests for his smaller teammates. - Sarah Black

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Recent history

Six Saints have made the All Australian side this decade. One has managed it twice, a forward who was important in the club's Grand Final era. It's not Nick Riewoldt though. Stephen Milne is the man, having earned selections in 2011-12. Sean Dempster, Nick Dal Santo, Brendon Goddard, Leigh Montagna and Riewoldt all made the 22 in that timeframe, with no St Kilda representatives since the heroic spearhead in 2014.

Contenders

Jack Billings

He would be unlikely to make the squad, but if the selectors want to pick genuine wingmen rather than sticking onballers in those positions, the left-footer could be a contender. He's averaging 26 disposals and in four matches, has accumulated at least 25 disposals and booted two goals. - Dinny Navaratnam

 

Recent history 

Superstar forward Lance Franklin has won three of his eight AA blazers while playing at the Swans and was named captain of last year's side. 2016 was a big year for Sydney with Franklin, Dane Rampe, Josh Kennedy, Luke Parker and Dan Hannebery all named in the year the team made the Grand Final. Kennedy and Hannebery (three each) have been multiple AA's in recent years.

Contenders

George Hewett
The tough midfielder has performed some big tagging roles while also winning plenty of the ball himself, with his contested work his specialty.

Jake Lloyd
Last year's club champion has elevated himself again this season across half-back, with the prolific ball-winner averaging 31.8 possessions and 6.8 rebound 50s per game, both career-highs.

Tom Papley
The speedy small forward has 23 goals for the year to lead the Swans' goalkicking, which includes one haul of five and two of four, and is a constant spark inside 50.

 

Luke Parker 
The co-captain made a solid start to the season but has really stepped up his influence over the past couple of months. Averaging 26.3 disposals, six clearances and 5.3 tackles per game.

Dane Rampe 
Despite some strange brain fades, the key backman is on track for his second AA blazer. Rampe has been a rock for the Swans deep in defence and is ranked sixth in the League for rebound 50s. - Adam Curley

Recent history

The Eagles have been well-represented in recent times, with Jeremy McGovern (three), Josh Kennedy (three) and Andrew Gaff (two) picked on multiple occasions since 2015. Four players – Darren Glass (captain), Dean Cox, Beau Waters and Nic Naitanui  made the 2012 team, which was the equal-most for the club in one season, but none were picked the next two years.

Contenders

Shannon Hurn 
Was controversially overlooked as All Australian captain last year but the premiership skipper should receive the honour in 2019 if he stays on the park. The League's best kick, who is rarely beaten in a contest and is an elite intercept mark.

Jeremy McGovern 
It's tough to judge McGovern this year. On stats and impact alone, he probably hasn't been as brilliant as previous campaigns, but then opposition teams change the way they attack to avoid him, which says plenty. Still ranks elite for contested and intercept marks.

Dom Sheed 
The Grand Final hero is a ball magnet (28.1) and only ranks behind Andrew Gaff (32.2) for disposals, but it is his ability to extract clearances (5.8) and hit the scoreboard (13 goals) that rounds out his game. Leading Eagle in AFL.com.au's Brownlow Predictor with 10 votes.

Brad Sheppard 
Plays on the opposition's most dangerous small forward every week and is almost never beaten. Averaging career-best 19.6 disposals and has become more of an outlet from the backline this year.

Elliot Yeo 
Would be in the mix for a third straight John Worsfold Medal after a brilliant past two months. When the Eagles needed to lift following losses to Port Adelaide and Geelong, it was Yeo who went to another level in midfield with his tackle pressure (7.5 per game). - Travis King

Recent history

Nine Bulldogs have been named All Australian this decade. Ball-magnet Matthew Boyd (2009, 2011, 2016) and revered club great Robert Murphy (2011, 2015) are the only multiple selections. Captain Easton Wood and Jake Stringer joined Murphy in the 2015 All Australian side to make it the Bulldogs' best-represented year. Boyd and superstar Marcus Bontempelli featured in 2016, while midfielder Ryan Griffen (2013), enigmatic ruckman Will Minson (2013) and powerhouse duo Barry Hall (2010) and Brian Lake (2010) also earned places.

Contenders

Marcus Bontempelli

Top 10 in the competition for inside 50s, centre clearances, metres gained and first for score involvements, the Bont is a very real chance of his third best and fairest in four seasons and his second All Australian selection.

 

Caleb Daniel

The 168cm defender has made the back pocket his niche in 2019, setting up the play for the Bulldogs and managing to handle one-one-one contests undersized. Daniel is sixth in the AFL for effective disposals. 

Jack Macrae

Sheer ball-winning ability makes Macrae a huge asset and star midfielder. He is nicely balanced in contested possession and spreading on the outside, and ranks third in the competition for goal assists. - Paul Bastin

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