Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Questionable All-Australian Selections?

It’s obviously a very exciting time of the year for footy fans. The Brownlow Medal count is just one week away and we’ll know who takes home the Premiership cup just 5 days after that! It’s been another fantastic season of football and this weekend, the semi finals, will be very interesting. We’ll be there to help you out if you want to grab some extra gear to support your team, so if you’re looking for AFL merchandise, we’ve got your back.

The Fremantle Dockers have performed at a high level all season, and you’ve really got to tip your hat to coach Ross Lyon for implementing the defensive game plan that has made them so tough to beat. They are tipped by many to take care of last year’s premiers the Swans for their first ever grand final berth. Meanwhile, the Hawks – who remain the Premiership favourite according to the bookies – will have to defeat the team that has beaten them in the past 12 meetings since Hawthorn got up against Geelong in 2008 grand final. You’d think the Cats would have the mental edge in this matchup, but the Hawks have been brilliant all season and will be very difficult to beat.

The All-Australian team was announced earlier this week, and like most years, there has been some discussion and debate in regards to who was deserving of a place, and who was possibly overlooked. More often than not it’s a given team’s supporters that point out when one of their players has been given the cold shoulder by selectors, though there are some legitimate shock omissions that most in the football world are wondering about. Though it was great to see 12 debutants make the side and Gary Ablett break the record for the number of consecutive selections (7).

Luke Hodge is one whose non-selection is nothing short of baffling. The Hawks star captained the best team of the regular season and had a great year playing off half-back. Fellow Hawk Sam Mitchell – who was moved into a sweeping role this season – got the nod as did Coleman medallist Jarrod Roughhead. Lance Franklin probably played second fiddle to Roughhead most of the year, though they both managed to average the same number of goals (3).

The Tigers, who were knocked out by Carlton in the opening week, expressed confusion that they finished 5th yet didn’t have a single player in the All-Australian squad, let alone the final team. They certainly have a point. Trent Cotchin managed 26 touches per game and had a very consistent season and even Daniel Jackson, who many are tipping will walk away with the club’s best and fairest, had a great end to the year.

Nathan Fyfe of Fremantle is another that possibly deserved the honour – finishing with an average of 25.7 possessions per game and 6th in the contested ball stats. It is however, difficult to see which players you’d bring out of the side. Ultimately, it’s not easy splitting the best players in the competition and there were likely many deserving players than only missed out narrowly.

We’ll be excited to see who will take out the Brownlow, though Ablett remains the strong favourite. And after that it’s on to the biggest day in September!

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