COMING up with the right structure is one of the most important boxes to tick leading into round one and so much of it will be dictated to us by what rookies are selected.

Below is my list of 'best bets' to not only be selected, but hopefully keep the score ticking over and cash generating.

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Use this as a guide to help create a balanced team before the official selection news starts rolling out on Wednesday night.


Jacob Koschitzke (DEF, $170,000)
Club: Hawthorn
AAMI: 95
Verdict: Although it's tempting to put him on your ground in defence following a six-goal haul and 95 points in the AAMI, that’s not going to happen every week. It does however give confidence in his selection chances which makes him a prime bench candidate.

Lachie Jones (DEF, $240,000)
Club: Port Adelaide
AAMI: 43
Verdict: Came on for just 42 per cent game time and not only showed he is capable at the level, but also impressed with his ability to score. He had six touches, took three marks and laid four tackles which is impressive given how long he was out there, albeit against the Crows.

Tom Highmore (DEF, $182,000)
Club: St Kilda
AAMI: 37
Verdict: Got his chance given the injury issues at the Saints and made the most of his 57 per cent game time with nine possessions and three marks while looking comfortable at the level. His disposal efficiency would have pleased the coaching staff while going at 88 per cent.

Connor Idun (DEF, $221,000)
Club: GWS
AAMI: 60
Verdict: Has to be well and truly in the mix for a game and although he won’t have a huge ceiling, he looks capable of making consistent contributions in this vicinity. He had 15 disposals and six marks while going at 86 per cent disposal efficiency.

Kieren Briggs (DEF/FWD, $170,000)
Club: GWS
AAMI: 51
Verdict: Stepped up in the vacant ruck department to register 22 hitouts and a goal. Handy flexibility with DPP and access to points if he gets a chop out. Keep an eye on teams.


Tom Powell (MID, $246,000)
Club: North Melbourne
AAMI: 64
Verdict: Lock and load. Looked great with 16 touches, three tackles and three marks in just 67 per cent game time. Must have cash cow.

Errol Gulden (MID, $208,000)
Club: Sydney
AAMI: 72
Verdict: Should be a walk-up start starter for the Swans after consolidating on an impressive pre-season with a well-rounded AAMI performance consisting of 14 possessions, five marks, four tackles and a goal. Capable of holding down a position on your ground.

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Connor Downie (MID, $202,000)
Club: Hawthorn
AAMI: 63
Verdict: Backed up his head turning pre-season with a solid effort against the Roos with 17 possessions and six marks. Looks one of the picks of the cash cows providing he gets named. Tom Mitchell’s return makes it a little harder for the young Hawk as someone in the midfield rotations needs to get bumped down the line.

Riley Collier-Dawkins (MID, $170,000)
Club: Richmond
AAMI: 20
Verdict: Always touted as being close to a game although I can’t see it happening with Dion Prestia returning. Having said that, at least we will know and he is a lock if named for Thursday night.

James Jordon (MID, $170,000)
Club: Melbourne
AAMI: 49
Verdict: Although it doesn’t sound great, 49 was actually the 11th-highest scorer for the Dees. He is up against it with some big name midfielders returning but given his basement price, he is an attractive option if named. Most likely he will give us a prime downgrade target through the year.


Paul Hunter (FWD, $170,000)
Club: St Kilda
AAMI: 60
Verdict: From not on any list to the No.1 ruck for a premiership contender, albeit on borrowed time. With Paddy Ryder out for an unknown period and Rowan Marshall no danger of rushing back given the nature of injury, Hunter is every chance to get a four week run at it. Pretty cool story for him, and us. Moo.

Matt Flynn (RUC, $170,000)
Club: GWS
Verdict: A minor ankle sprain kept him out of the AAMI series game but has already been confirmed to make his debut in place of the injured Braydon Preuss following a long apprenticeship at the club.

Lloyd Meek (RUC, $170,000)
Club: Fremantle
AAMI: 70
Verdict: Held his own against Nic Naitanui which gives him every chance to be named, even is Sean Darcy returns from injury. Managed 18 hi outs and 12 possessions. A great cash cow option if they look like playing two rucks.

Josh Treacy (FWD/RUC, $170,000)
Club: Fremantle
AAMI: 24
Verdict: Word on the street is he is in the mix for a game following Rory Lobb’s injury. Hard to say no at that price if he is named.


Braeden Campbell (FWD/MID, $262,000)
Club: Sydney
AAMI: 57
Verdict: Another Swan youngster coming off a great pre-season who looks right in the mix from the get go. He managed 12 kicks among 18 possessions in the AAMI while going at a respectable 72 per cent efficiency.

Miles Bergman (FWD, $170,000)
Club: Port Adelaide
AAMI: 86
Verdict: It was worth the wait to see the Power youngster hit the park with a nice introduction at the top level against the Crows. He was happy to get amongst the Globetrotter fun with eight marks to go with his 17 possessions. In the mix for a debut.

James Rowe (FWD, $196,000)
Club: Adelaide
AAMI: 58
Verdict: Despite not being touted as a scorer, he was the Crows' 10th-best performer, and it could have been better after registering no goals and three behinds. He was certainly impressive, getting up the ground for 15 possessions and five marks.

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Tyler Brockman (FWD/MID, $180,000)
Club: Hawthorn
AAMI: 69
Verdict: Was locked into many teams by quarter-time against the Roos when he had three goals to his name. Has been in the mix for a game all pre-season and he did his chances no harm. A nice bit of X-factor enhances his chances.

Chad Warner (FWD, $196,000)
Club: Sydney
AAMI: 70
Verdict: Looking to add to his taste of AFL last season, Warner should be better for the run. He was very solid in the AAMI with 19 possessions and a goal to be the Swans sixth-highest scorer. His hat is certainly in the ring for selection and although job security may not be great, he looks a capable scorer.

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