Plenty of debate surrounds who are the best players in the Statewide Super League.
After selecting his Top 50 players in the preseason, SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank has now chosen his Top 50 at the conclusion of the 2020 premiership campaign.
Form across the 2020 season was used as the chief factor in the ranking process, with selection in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, placings in the Magarey Medal, Shearman Medal and Club best-and-fairest awards weighing heavily.
This is to ensure there is meaningful movement of player rankings between each year’s Top 50 list at the start and end of the season.
Stay tuned as the countdown continues on the SANFL website and social media channels, here are players 11 to 20.
A clear cut selection at full back in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, Craig had an extremely consistent season for the Roosters deep in defence. Loves to back himself in for a contested grab as evidenced in the clip below while also finishing equal fifth in the competition for total marks. Finished 10th in the Barrie Robran Medal but was only five votes behind sixth-placed Will Combe.
Undoubtedly the surprise packet of season 2020, Wundke earned his place at centre half-back in the Team of the Year despite initially looking to play for Glenunga in Division 2 of the Adelaide Footy League. Instead, the reliable defender produced a number of vital stopping jobs on the competition’s best key forwards while leading the League in Rebound 50s. Finished just two votes behind Sturt captain James Battersby to be runner-up in the P.T. Morton Medal as best-and-fairest.
Left it until the last minor round match to draw level with Eagle James Rowe in leading SANFL’s goal kicker list. The dual Ken Farmer Medallist was again a vital cog in helping Glenelg reach the major round, placing fifth in the club’s best-and-fairest award. Selected at full forward in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, McBean ranked equal fourth in the competition for contested marks while tallying a total of 39 goals for the season.
Made a successful return to the Statewide Super League across half-back and the wing for the Roosters after being delisted by the Gold Coast Suns. Named at half-back in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, Wigg led the competition for total kicks while placing fourth in rebound 50s and sixth in total disposals at an average of 24. Placed fourth in the Barrie Robran Medal after regularly setting up the play with his lovely left-foot kick in 2020.
Thoroughly deserved his second selection in succession in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year after rebounding strongly off half-back for the Panthers. Placed third in the competition for rebound 50s and fourth for marks, Haines also secured a top 10 finish in the Shearman Medal, as voted by SANFL’s senior coaches. Finished third in the Knuckey Cup, just seven votes behind best-and-fairest winner Matthew Broadbent.
Claimed the Michael Taylor Medal for the second year in succession, this time sharing it with star Redlegs recruit Richard Douglas. Named in the back pocket of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, McKenzie was ranked second in the competition for total kicks, using his pin-point left foot regularly from the kick-ins. Also ranked third in the Statewide Super League for total marks and second for rebound 50s while constructing numerous forward forays from the back half.
No player in the Statewide Super League touched the ball more than Central’s James Boyd this season. Returning to Elizabeth – where he played in the club’s most recent premiership of 2010 – the former Eagle racked up 430 disposals at an impressive average of just under 31 possessions per match. Winner of the Norm Russell Medal as the Bulldogs’ best-and-fairest, the 31-year-old was also selected in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year.
The most influential bigman in the competition was again Norwood’s heart-and-soul in the centre square this season. Registering the most hit outs in the competition, Baulderstone’s influence was also illustrated by him ranking fourth in the League for clearances and second for average Champion Data ranking points (132). Selected as first ruck in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, the retiring Baulderstone was runner-up in the Michael Taylor Medal for his final season in the Statewide Super League.
It was a joy to watch Rowe go about his business in 2020 as he regularly featured on SANFL’s highlights reels with his eye-catching shots on goal in traffic and from the boundary line. Joint winner of the Ken Farmer Medal as the League’s leading goal kicker at the end of the minor round, Rowe continued his brilliance in the major round, highlighted by a best-afield Preliminary Final display which featured five goals. Selected in the forward pocket of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, he also placed third in the Eagles’ best-and-fairest.
Douglas delivered for the Redlegs with a high-quality campaign resulting in him sharing the Michael Taylor Medal with Brad McKenzie. Finished third in the competition for total disposals, averaging 25.8 at an efficiency rate of 88 per cent while dividing his time between the midfield and attack, where he also booted 13 goals. Named at half-forward of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, the former Crow also claimed honours in SANFL’s Digital Pass Player of the Year award selected by the commentators.