YOU KNOW the story by now.
This time last year, Tyson Stengle had just been overlooked in the mid-season rookie draft despite making an eye-catching start to life at Woodville-West Torrens.
Months after being shown the door by Adelaide, Stengle had 15 goals on the board and was giving recruiters plenty to think about heading into the second half of the season.
Stengle would fly home to finish with 44 goals from 19 games to help lead the Eagles to back-to-back SANFL premierships, prompting AFL clubs to dangle a lifeline in front of him.
Now the 23-year-old has put himself in the Therabody AFL All-Australian conversation after 14 rounds following a brilliant start to life in the famous Geelong hoops.
Stengle played only 14 games and kicked 15 goals at Punt Road and West Lakes, but the livewire has 26 goals from his first 13 appearances at Kardinia Park in a season of redemption.
MID-SEASON ALL-AUS TEAM Who made the cut?
Only two small forwards in the AFL have kicked more goals than Stengle – Brisbane pair Charlie Cameron (31.13) and Zac Bailey (27.11) – with most mid-year All-Australian sides including Cameron and Richmond star Shai Bolton, who has 23 goals and 101 score involvements next to his name.
Stengle kicked four goals in his first outing for Geelong in round one and has since kicked five sets of three, including most recently against West Coast at Optus Stadium on Saturday.
The South Australian is rated elite for score involvements with 86 on the board – No.14 in the AFL – averaging 14.1 disposals and 3.5 inside 50s per game, but is below Bolton, Bailey, Cameron and Hawthorn’s Dylan Moore when it comes to Champion Data’s AFL Player Ratings.
|Goals||AFL Player Ratings||Score Involvements||Shot at goal Accuracy||F50 Marks||FH Pressure Points||Tackles|
Stengle doesn’t need an All-Australian blazer to recognise his remarkable resurgence. But if he continues along this trajectory, he will give the selectors something to seriously consider when they meet for the final time at the end of the season.
And while you’re contemplating forwards in the team of the year, write off Greater Western Sydney co-captain Toby Greene at your own peril.
Champion Data classifies forwards in two brackets: key or general. Greene is the quintessential hybrid and difficult to quantify.
Despite missing the first five rounds due to suspension, the dual All-Australian has kicked 24.12 from eight games and is averaging 3.0 per game to be behind only Charlie Curnow (3.1) and Tom Lynch (3.1) after 14 rounds, putting him on track for 51 goals if he maintains this pace.
Greene booted a career-high seven goals against the Western Bulldogs and has two other four-goal efforts – Adelaide in round seven and Brisbane in round 11 – on the board so far this year to keep him in All-Australian discussion.
UNDERSTANDING TOBY There's more than meets the eye
Don’t forget Steve Johnson missed the first five rounds of 2007 due to a club-imposed suspension before earning All-Australian selection for the first time after kicking 41 goals in the next 17 rounds, ahead of a stunning finals series that led to a premiership and Norm Smith medal.
Greene is up and humming and will prove a handful to stop across the last nine rounds of the home and away season, starting this Sunday when he faces Collingwood – and potentially old foe Brayden Maynard – at the MCG.