With half the season now done and dusted, it's time to look at the players who have shaped the year to date.
teams have now played 12 matches and despite Fremantle sitting two
games clear on top of the ladder they could only manage two
representatives in our side, the exact same number that St Kilda have!
It is Sydney that leads the way at the halfway point with four players
in our team, including the captain Jarrad McVeigh. West Coast, who are
currently second on the ladder, are next best with three players in the
As is the case with the AFL's end-of-year selection, we have
a panel process in place, and there were some wildly differing views as
to how the team should be shaped. We only had six consensus players
among the votes. See if you can guess who they were in the comments
SportsFan's mid-season All-Australian team
FB: Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney) (captain), Michael Hurley (Essendon), Jeremy McGovern (West Coast)
HB: Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn), Alex Rance (Richmond), Tom McDonald (Melbourne)
C: Matt Priddis (West Coast), Nat Fyfe (Fremantle), Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide)
HF: Jack Riewoldt (Richmond), Lance Franklin (Sydney), Luke Breust (Hawthorn)
FF: Luke Parker (Sydney), Josh Kennedy (West Coast), Eddie Betts (Adelaide)
Foll: Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne), Dan Hannebery (Sydney), Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) (vice-captain)
I/C: Aaron Sandilands (Fremantle), Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide), David Armitage (St Kilda), Jack Steven (St Kilda)
Jarrad McVeigh (Sydney) (Captain)
veteran Swans captain has played everywhere this season, which has
become the norm in recent years. He is rock solid down back when
required, wins plenty of hard ball when he is thrown in the middle and
is able to set up goals and score himself in crucial situations when he
goes forward. No need to share the captaincy duties in our team either.
Michael Hurley (Essendon)
can criticise James Hird all you want (and we quite often do) but he
has resisted the temptation to play Michael Hurley forward this season
despite his team's dramas scoring goals and you can see why. Hurley has
held up under a barrage of opposition attacks this season and is way too
valuable in the back six to be considered for a swap with Jake
Jeremy McGovern (West Coast)
everyone expected West Coast's defence to fall in a heap when they lost
Eric Mackenzie and Mitch Brown to season-ending knee injuries, but the
fact that it hasn't largely rests with McGovern who has more than
stepped up to the challenge. Whether playing as a loose man or given a
direct opponent, he has been rarely beaten in the air.
Sam Mitchell (Hawthorn)
just a tick under 30 possessions per game, sixth best in the
competition, with the second best disposal efficiency in the top six
possession getters at 73.4 per cent. His poise under pressure has been
an important steadying influence as the Hawks have come under more
pressure than usual this season.
Alex Rance (Richmond)
certainly franked his 2014 All Australian selection by taking his game
to yet another level this year. He has managed to cope on the games best
talls and smalls and was only beaten badly once this season, when
pitted against Josh Kennedy.
Tom McDonald (Melbourne)
signs were always there that McDonald was going to be one of the best
defenders in the game, and he has finally broken through to be
considered among the competition's elite. Had a shocker against Travis
Cloke on the Queen's Birthday, but has rarely been beaten otherwise.
Matt Priddis (West Coast)
are no Johnny-come-latelys to the Matt Priddis bandwagon, as we were
one of the few outlets to have Priddis in our All-Australian team last
year when he won his Brownlow Medal. Now everyone has him as lock as
though his ability to win the hard ball has only happened since he put
Charlie around his neck.
Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
Patrick Dangerfield (Adelaide)
fourth in the competition for contested possessions and has also been
used as an attacking weapon by Phil Walsh, kicking 13 goals this season
when he has been pushed forward. His match against Fyfe was one of the
highlights of the season.
Jack Riewoldt (Richmond)
sits fifth on the goalkicking table despite playing a largely selfless
role for most of the season pulling the best defenders out of Richmond's
attacking 50 and creating space behind him. Has also taken the second
most marks inside attacking 50 so far this season.
Lance Franklin (Sydney)
not be having his best season, but that hasn't kept him out of the side
as he is still able to completely dominate his opponents when he has
to. Currently second in the Coleman Medal race, which is a particularly
good achievement given his willingness to work his way up the ground.
Luke Breust (Hawthorn)
a forward isn't just about kicking goals these days it is also about
the ability to apply forward pressure. While Breust is still in the top
10 goalkickers for the year he is also the leading tackler in that
group, doing plenty to ensure the ball stays inside Hawthorn's forward
50 this year.
Luke Parker (Sydney)
denied a berth in the All-Australian team last year, but has done
plenty to make sure his name is right back up there again this year
after a superb start to the year. Wins plenty of ball through the
midfield but has proven deadly when used as a forward, kicking five
goals in the game against Geelong.
Josh Kennedy (West Coast)
the Coleman Medal race by 10 goals, and looks certain to end the run of
season-leading goalkickers kicking less than 70 goals for the season.
Eddie Betts (Adelaide)
on the goalkicking table, just one goal behind Franklin, Betts has also
shown remarkable accuracy in front of the big sticks with just 11
points to his name, the fewest of any player to have kicked over 30
goals so far this season.
Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne)
almost all of North Melbourne's rucking solo and is undoubtedly the
most important player at the Kangaroos, giving his midfielders a massive
advantage during stoppages. Leads the competition for hit-outs, but
also does plenty of work around the ground as well.
Dan Hannebery (Sydney)
second-highest possession getter behind Fyfe, Hannebery is one of the
best gut-runners in the competition and is also third in the league for
inside 50s so far this season.
Scott Pendlebury (Collingwood) (Vice-captain)
pushed forward more often this season, kicking 10 goals, but still sits
in the top 10 possession getters for the season. Of course it is not
just the ball that he gets, it is what he does with it, being one of the
best users in the competition, with a disposal efficiency of 75.9 per
cent making him comfortably the best user in the top 10 possession
Aaron Sandilands (Fremantle)
Fremantle big man has been almost every bit as dominant as Goldstein so
far this season, with the advantage of having a better midfield working
Robbie Gray (Port Adelaide)
Power are well below their best this season, but you can't slate that
home to All Australian Gray, who is producing career best figures
everywhere. He is currently second for clearances behind Fyfe and has
kicked 12 goals, despite spending more time in the midfield this season.
David Armitage (St Kilda)
equal second-best possession winner alongside Hannebery, Armitage's
disposal efficiency of 74.2 per cent is only bettered by Pendlebury for
players inside the top 10 and is comfortably the best for any player to
have won over 150 contested possessions this season.
Jack Steven (St Kilda)
only is Steven in the top 10 possession getters in the comp, he leads
the competition for inside 50s and is the third best tackler in the