AFL Team of the Decade 2019
2020-01-11 11:05:43 GMT
AFL Team of the Decade 2019
As another decade draws to a close, we look back at the players that have made the biggest impact on the AFL.
There were seven different champions across the last 10 years beginning with Collingwood in 2010 and ending with Richmond who claimed their second premiership in two years, and their 12th overall, when they beat Greater Western Sydney back in September.
Richmond were one of only two teams to win more than one title during the decade, the other being Hawthorn who claimed three consecutive wins from 2013-15. Meanwhile, the Western Bulldogs finally ended their 62-year wait for a second title in 2016.
It was a low-scoring decade overall, highlighting the tactical influence of the coaches across the period. On that note, we will begin our team of the decade with the No. 1 coach.
Hawthorn coach Alastair Clarkson masterminded four Grand Final appearances and three-straight titles and is our coach of the decade.
Shannon Hurn captained West Coast to the 2018 premiership and was named in the All Australian team twice. He is joined at the back by five-time All Australian, and the standout full back of the decade, Alex Rance of Richmond, and Geelong's Corey Enright who took home four All Australian jackets before retiring in 2016.
Hawthorn's Shaun Burgoyne claimed three well-deserved premierships from the flank, while teammate Luke Hodge was also a major influence before he made the switch to Brisbane and led them back to the finals. They are joined by Jeremy McGovern who only debuted for the West Coast Eagles in 2014, but already has four All Australian selections to his name.
Dane Swan's Collingwood career was cut short by injury in 2016, but he had already earned a Brownlow Medal, an MVP, four All Australians, a flag, and two Anzac Day Medals by that point. He is joined in the midfield by Fremantle centre Nat Fyfe who had a medal-laden decade and helped guide his team to their one and only Grand Final, and is also currently the early favourite for the 2020 Brownlow medal in the latest Aussie Rules betting
. On the other wing is Swan's teammate Scott Pendlebury, one of the most respected players of the decade who featured in six All Australian teams.
Richmond flank Dustin Martin is a frontrunner for the player of the decade and can count two Norm Smith Medals and two premierships amongst his many awards. In the centre, Lance Franklin takes his place thanks to a haul of 639 goals over 10 seasons for Hawthorns and Sydney. Four-time All Australian Robbie Gray of Port Adelaide was another easy pick on the other flank.
Hawthorn's forward pocket Cyril Rioli was one of the most productive players of the decade and always made the game look easy. In the full-forward position, West Coast man Josh Kennedy gets the nod thanks to the accuracy and consistency that produced a 562-goal haul. They are joined by Eddie Betts, one of the game's most popular figures and arguably the forward of the decade with 477 goals, four All Australians and three Goal of the Year awards. Betts recently completed his fairy-tale return to Carlton
after six years in Adelaide.
Aaron Sandilands of Fremantle fought off stiff competition from Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn for the ruck position due to his consistency and influence over the decade. He lines up alongside seven-time All Australian Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide, Geelong), who has been dominant in his position since 2012 and was an easy pick. Gary Ablett Jr was another no-brainer thanks to two decades of dominance at Geelong and Gold Coast.
Finally, Jack Riewoldt (Richmond), Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn, West Coast), Joel Selwood (Geelong) and Josh Kennedy (Sydney) take up the interchange positions.