With the AFL season done and dusted, attention turns mostly now to the squads and playing lists for 2013, through the free agency and trade period.
The relative strengths of the current team lists will be reflected in the 2012 Best and Fairest voting, which is also a great indication as to what qualities and traits are valued at a particular club.
Whilst many of those to salute in their club’s voting weren’t a great surprise, there were in my mind a few bolters. In addition, a glance at the Top 10 from each club shows some interesting inclusions and omissions in my view, and some interesting signs as to what gets noticed by the coaches as opposed to the media and umpires (and All Australian panel).
I don’t have detailed information on games missed by injury and so can’t tell what the ratio of votes to games played was at some clubs who suffered in the medical room, like the Blues and Dons, but thought there were some results that warranted highlighting.
Comments from Almanackers who watch their teams closely are welcomed. Please note North’s count has yet to take place.
- The top three of Thompson, Dangerfield and Sloane were to be expected, with Thompson in my view a worthy winner and Sloane an up and comer who, Cooper Cronk like, could be under-estimated or over-looked against his two starring team mates.
- Sam Jacobs justly rewarded for a breakout season at 4.
- Daniel Talia at 10 was a surprise, with lesser noted players this side of the border like Doughty and Wright above him.
- Taylor Walker at 5, but Tippett outside the top 10? Conspiracy theory anyone?
- How good is Simon Black, with yet another Top 10 finish?
- The Lions have a lot of upside with young players coming through.
- Great first year for Dwayne Zorko coming in equal 7th.
- Daniel Rich is well over his ‘second year blues’ with a runner up finish to Joel Patfull.
- Fantastic achievement for Heath Scotland to take out the Blues award.
- Brock MacLean’s 4th finish shows what putting your head down and backing yourself can do.
- Judd’s chicken wing brain fade definitely cost him another B&F.
- The Blues seem to be reliant on too many older experienced players with the youngsters not featuring in the Top 10.
- Impressive to see Jarryd Blair finish in 7th, ahead of Ben Reid and Dale Thomas who tied for 10th.
- A great bounce back from Dayne Beams after the disappointment of the recent years, has now capitalised on his potential.
- No surprise to see Jobe win easily, but 200 votes ahead of 2nd placed Heppell?
- How good is Dustin Fletcher to finish 3rd?
- Ross Lyon’s game plan is reflected in the votes of the coaches, Crowley pipping Mayne to win the medal.
- Pavlich equal 3rd (although officially listed at 4th) is again a great reflection on the talents of this player which would be far greater recognised if he played in Melbourne.
- Would have thought Ballantyne would have cracked the top 10.
- No Chappy or Scarlett in the Top 10, is that a first for a while?
- Mitch Duncan in 9th is a great sign for the future and Tom Lonergan’s Top 10 finish continues this incredible fairy tale for this player.
- Not sure where Tom Hawkins finished in the Cats count last year, but to beat Selwood, Bartel, Kelly and Enright is again an indication of what his performance in the 2011 GF did for his confidence.
- Ablett again, as expected, but how good is Harley Bennell now and going to be in coming years?
- Campbell Brown at 5 was a surprise and I thought Hunt may have snuck into the Top 10 considering his development this year.
- Toby Greene is going to be a star.
- Callan Ward was clever recruiting.
- Chad Cornes and Luke Power in the top 10 could be seen as a bad result with too much being asked of them this year, but in my mind vindicates their GSW recruiting and reflect very highly on the commitment of both these fine players.
- They are kidding themselves if they see Tom Scully as their 4th best player.
- Luke Bruest at 4 is a big surprise, but great reward for the goal kicking breakout season he had.
- David Hale’s top 10 finish again sees him as a wise recruiting move for the Hawks.
- Josh Gibson outside the top 10 in favour of Ben Stratton is a turn-up.
- Mitchell from Sewell and Birchall is a good top 3.
- I’d love to know how Mitch Clarke was doing in the votes when he got injured.
- Nathan Jones is a fine and clearly deserving winner.
- The highlight reel that is Jeremy Howe salutes at 7, Tom McDonald at 3 raises eyebrows, and the Rivers result at 5 is interesting seeing he’ll be leaving.
- No Watts in the Top 10, places even more pressure on the kid.
- I wonder if Travis Boak’s ‘will he won’t he’ reflected in the coaches voting to see him finish only 8th.
- Another pretty impressive effort from Kane Cornes.
- What has happened to Jay Schultz after he left Richmond, with an impressive equal 4th finish.
- Port happy to let Pearce and Chaplin go, despite both top 10 finishers, and how bad are they when Justin Westhoff finishes equal 4th.
- Cotchin and Deledio at 1 and 2 no surprise, but the Mullet at 3 is a fantastic effort.
- Houli and Grigg’s recruitment a few years back continue to pay dividend with top 10 finishes again.
- Morris and Rance are great stories to finish at 6 and 7.
- Dustin Martin just scrapes into the Top 10 to get another loud and clear message from the club on their expectations.
- Running out of superlatives for Lenny Hayes
- Dempster’s All Australian season rewarded by a 3rd place finish.
- Steven and Geary in the Top 10 shows there’s upside with the youngsters.
- No Kosi.
- A B&F to Josh Kennedy in a premiership year further highlights his dramatic rise to elite level.
- Craig Bird at 9th is a great effort.
- No Goodes, Shaw or Reid in the Top 10 shows what depth they have up there.
- Jack, Grundy, Bird and Smith in the top 10 show what the Swans coaches notice and value in their players.
- Explain to me how the All Australian ruckman, with all the Healy etc stuff about % of hit outs to advantage, can’t make the Top 10 at his own club.
- Sellwood over Cox is a big effort and I’d say a surprise this side of the country.
- Daniel Kerr top 10 again deserves recognition.
- Hurn at 3 surprises as high as much as Priddis at 8 is low.
- Matthew Boyd is a fine captain and richly deserving winner
- Tory Dickson is a great story and there’s upside with the kids in Wallis, Picken and especially Dahlhaus.
- Libba came 7th, what he could have done without the suspension.