Adelaide Crows

Ben Crocker

The ex-Collingwood forward might not have had a standout game on the stats sheet, but he made the most of his opportunities against Melbourne. In one passage of play, Crocker beat Neville Jetta for pace and took a great mark on the lead, before quickly turning around and delivering the ball to Tom Lynch for a shot. Crocker then doubled back to full-forward and led up, as Lynch hit him up for another strong mark on the lead. Finishing with two goals was the cherry on top for the 23-year-old. - Jourdan Canil

PRE-SEASON FIXTURE Check out your team's Marsh Community Series games

Brisbane Lions

Zac Bailey

He flirts with the fringes of the Lions' best team, but Zac Bailey had some nice moments against Port Adelaide and should continue a string of 11 straight senior games by inking his name in round one. Bailey is able to switch between the midfield and wing, and although his 15 disposals could have done with some polish, it's his speed through the contest and ability to harass the opposition (he had the second-highest number of pressure acts in the game with 27) that caught the eye. – Michael Whiting

Geelong Cats

Tom Atkins

After finding a home in the Cats' best team last season, Tom Atkins looked even better with more opportunity on Saturday night. Spending much of his time forward in 2019, the 24-year-old was released into his favoured midfield role against Gold Coast with encouraging results. With captain Joel Selwood missing and Patrick Dangerfield playing forward, Atkins fought a largely lone hand (with Quinton Narkle) in the middle of the ground, tallying 22 disposals, six tackles and kicking a goal. Atkins looks up to playing more minutes onball in 2020. - Michael Whiting

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Tom Atkins gets a kick away despite Hugh Greenwood's attempted smother. Picture: AFL Photos

Gold Coast Suns

Ben Ainsworth

This could be the year for Ben Ainsworth. The No.4 pick from the 2016 NAB AFL Draft, Ainsworth has an abundance of talent but has been dogged by injury in his first three years, playing just 41 of a possible 66 games. The value of a full pre-season was on display against the Cats, as the dynamic small forward, who also spent time onball, shone with his ferocious attack on the ball and intent to pressure hesitant Geelong defenders. Twenty disposals, one goal and nine tackles was a great way to kick off his season. - Michael Whiting

Ben Ainsworth in action during Gold Coast's big win over Geelong. Picture: AFL Photos


Jonathon Patton

He's been out for a long time and understandably looked rusty at times, but the former Giant and No.1 draft pick looks to be a great get in the Hawks' post-Jarryd Roughead era. Moved well and took six marks for 3.2, and while he didn't totally dominate against a backline that was still getting organised and missing a standout leader, it showed how far he's come in the mental comeback associated with a trio of knee reconstructions. He's taken the long and patient road with the latest injury, and with a change of luck, will be an important addition to the Hawks' forward half. - Jennifer Phelan

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Marsh: New Hawk kicks his second

Jonathon Patton kicks his second goal for his new team

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02:43 Mins
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The Traders' biggest Fantasy Classic bargains

Calvin counts down his top five value picks to build your team around

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Tom Sparrow

While all the expectations were on 2019 first-round picks Luke Jackson and Kysaiah Pickett, it was Tom Sparrow who grabbed his opportunity with both hands. Sparrow was a workhorse in his limited time as an inside midfielder, finishing with 17 disposals and seven tackles. The 19-year-old also kicked a goal and added six clearances despite playing just 60 per cent of the match. It's going to be very tough for the youngster to get a game while Jack Viney, Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca man the middle, but he could well make an impact if he gets called upon later in the season. - Jourdan Canil

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North Melbourne

Josh Walker

The more obvious option here is ex-Giant Aiden Bonar, who was solid in the midfield, but it was an older newcomer in Josh Walker who walked away with his round one hopes enhanced. The former Lion and Cat chose the Roos over other suitors because he thought he was a good fit at Arden St. Scott Thompson's retirement means there's a fight on for spots down back, and Walker snared 10 marks and defended stoutly to ensure he is a leading contender. - Marc McGowan

Josh Walker impressed in his first outing in Kangaroos colours. Picture: AFL Photos

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Port Adelaide

Xavier Duursma

After a super first year in the AFL, Xavier Duursma has taken off right where he left from. The 19-year-old that played 20 games in 2019 was one of a host of Port half-forwards and midfielders that tormented the Lions with their hard two-way running and clinical finishing. Duursma tallied 21 disposals and added a goal in both the first and fourth quarters in a well-rounded performance. There's certainly no sign of a hangover from this teenager's exceptional first season. – Michael Whiting

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Young Port star celebrates goal in style

Xavier Duursma comes from nowhere to mark and then converts truly with the long-range set shot

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St Kilda

Bradley Hill

He cost them plenty but he's already proving to be a more than worthwhile acquisition. The three-time premiership Hawk and former Docker slotted in seamlessly in his first game as a Saint, moving the ball 18 times and blitzing through the midfield with his trademark speed. He gave them a look inside 50 six times, headed only by Dan Butler, and with the team clearing 100 points for just the third time in the past year, showed just how valuable his outside speed and skill will be, especially when Zak Jones and Dan Hannebery are there to help dig the ball out. - Jennifer Phelan

New Saint Bradley Hill breaks away from Hawk James Worpel. Picture: AFL Photos

Western Bulldogs

Lewis Young

Opportunities were somewhat surprisingly hard to come by for defender Lewis Young in the last two seasons, after a promising debut campaign. Still only 21, his chance on Friday night came only when Aaron Naughton (knee) was a late scratch. Young was sent forward to fill Naughton's sizeable boots and lapped it up – kicking all three of his goals in the first half to put the Dogs on the path to victory. He will have to keep playing well to force his way in permanently but it was a great start to his season. - Marc McGowan

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Marsh: Young gun makes a fast start

Lewis Young dominates early with two quick goals for the Bulldogs

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