A BREAKOUT season from Carlton star Sam Walsh has been recognised with the captaincy of the AFL Players' Association's 22under22 team.
Fremantle's Andrew Brayshaw, who produced a similarly impressive year at the Dockers, is vice-captain of the team which was voted on by footy fans from an initial squad of 40 selected by the AFLPA and Champion Data.
Walsh and high-flying Bulldogs forward Aaron Naughton were both named in the team for the third time, and there were eight two-time members: Jordan Ridley (Essendon), Brayshaw and Adam Cerra (Fremantle), Jack Lukosius and Ben King (Gold Coast), Bailey Smith (Western Bulldogs), Max King (St Kilda) and Jaidyn Stephenson (North Melbourne)
>> CHECK OUT THE SQUAD OF 40 HERE
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Luke Jackson, Kysaiah Pickett and Trent Rivers' selection in the team made Melbourne the best-represented club, along with Gold Coast (Ben King, Lukosius and Wil Powell).
Walsh said he was thrilled to be named skipper.
"It’s an honour to be selected alongside so many great young players in the 22Under22 team – they’ve all had such a significant impact on the competition so early in their careers," he said.
"Thank you to the fans who voted and I’m proud to be selected as the team’s captain among so many other worthy leaders."
To be eligible for selection, players had to be aged 22 or younger for the entire AFL season, including finals, and played a minimum of 12 games throughout the 2021 season.