It’s that time of year again!
After selecting his Top 50 players at the start of the season, SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank has chosen his Top 50 now that the dust has settled on an exciting 2021 SANFL League campaign.
Form across the 2021 season was used as the chief factor in the ranking process, with selection in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year and West End State team weighing heavily together with finals performances and placings in the Magarey Medal, Shearman Medal and Club best-and-fairest awards.
High rankings in statistics such as total disposals, marks, contested marks, goals, clearances and tackles were also taken into account, along with Champion Data ranking points.
So here they are, the Top 50 from 2021. After starting with those selected 31 to 50, here are the players selected from 11 to 30.
Stay tuned for the highly-anticipated top 10 to roll out across the SANFL website and social media channels in the coming days.
West Adelaide captain Tom Keough made the most of his opportunities inside 50m for the Bloods, this year kicking an accurate 30.9 as his side finished with the wooden spoon. This placed him seventh in the Ken Farmer Medal race while also being named joint winner of the Neil Kerley Medal as the club’s best-and-fairest.
Rokahr continues to blossom at The Parade, this season reinforcing his status as a genuine midfielder after initially starting with Norwood as a small defender. The Geelong VFL recruit racked up the eighth most disposals in the competition en route to winning his first Michael Taylor Medal as the Legs’ best-and-fairest.
The latest member of SANFL’s treasured 200 club again posted an ultra-consistent season, ranking fifth in the competition for clearances as he continued his prowess at the stoppages. This resulted in the Bulldogs veteran winning the 2021 Norm Russell Medal as club best-and-fairest.
Port Adelaide’s developing ruckman is pushing hard for his AFL debut after leading the SANFL for most hit outs in 2021. The lanky bigman fittingly claimed the A. R McLean Medal as the Magpies’ best-and-fairest after giving his midfielders first look at the footy throughout the season.
Dual Eagles premiership ruckman Jarrad Redden has played a major role in his team’s success across the past two seasons, culminating in his influential display in the 2021 SANFL Grand Final. A master at palming the ball at the stoppages, Redden finished fifth in his club’s best-and-fairest count while also ranking fourth in the competition for total hit outs.
After a slow start to the season, Davis’ strong form mirrored that of his team as the Double Blues narrowly missed a berth in the major round. It resulted in the former Panther placing eighth in the Shearman Medal as voted by SANFL coaches and fourth in the Magarey Medal.
He may not have the profile of many of his premiership teammates but Sam Rowland deserves just as much credit for the Eagles success, given the no-nonsense role he plays in defence. A member of the West End State team, Rowland finished sixth in the Eagles’ best-and-fairest while also winning the Bob Quinn Medal as best afield on Anzac Day.
Much like Rowland, Sinor is arguably the player who flies under the radar in the Eagles’ premiership-winning midfield. He is rated extremely highly by those internally at Oval Avenue, placing him third in the club’s best-and-fairest while significantly being named as Woodville-West Torrens’ best finals player in a premiership season.
Emerged to be the competition’s best genuine wingman after being selected in that position in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. The damaging left-footer averaged 21 disposals, six marks, three tackles and a goal to be placed ninth in the Bays’ best-and-fairest award.
Sturt’s strong-built left-footer showed promise last season but took it to another level in 2021 with selection in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. Winning the 2021 Powerade Breakthrough Player award, Lewis led the competition in tackles while also securing a top-10 placing in the Magarey Medal.
Like Lewis, Bulldog Presbury enjoyed a breakthrough season on an individual level, averaging 25 disposals at an exceptionally high efficiency rate of 89 per cent. Earning a debut in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, Presbury also finished runner-up Central best-and-fairest while placing seventh in the Shearman Medal.
Recruited from West Adelaide, Turner rewarded his new team with an exceptional campaign as a big-bodied midfielder. Runner-up in Glenelg’s best-and-fairest, Turner also earned a spot in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year while ranking first in the competition for inside 50s, fourth for clearances, seventh in disposals and third in tackles.
Managed just one game for Central in his return to SANFL in 2020 but certainly repaid the faith shown in him by the Eagles after being named forward pocket in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. Finished equal runner-up in the Ken Farmer Medal with 44 goals for the season, including four in his team’s Grand Final victory.
The Sturt skipper keeps on keeping on, finishing third in his team’s best-and-fairest after being named in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. Earning a top 10 placing in the Shearman Medal, Battersby finished sixth in the competition for most disposals at an average of 27 disposals.
South Adelaide veteran Broadbent shone on the national State League stage with a stunning performance for the West End State team, earning him the Fos Williams Medal as best afield. Extremely consistent for the Panthers in being named at half-back of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year, the 31-year-old was named in his team’s best players on 10 occasions from 17 matches.
Voss received high praise at season’s end from his coach Martin Mattner, who declared: ”“He is one of the smartest players I have ever seen play the game of footy. That is AFL, SANFL, everything.” In an exceptional campaign, the son of Carlton coach Michael Voss won the P. T Morton Medal as best-and-fairest while also being named at half-back of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year.
Establishing himself as the most influential ruckman in the competition this year, Strachan averaged a significant 117 Champion Data ranking points – more than any other bigman in the competition. Winning Adelaide’s SANFL best-and-fairest award, Strachan was not surprisingly selected as ruck in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year.
Norwood’s star veteran is certainly retiring at the peak of his powers after another impressive season in the red and blue, which culminated in being selected in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. Runner-up best-and-fairest with the Redlegs, Douglas also finished in the top 10 of both the Magarey and Shearman Medals.
North Adelaide’s captain stepped his game up a notch in 2021, reading the play impressively in defence to earn vice-captaincy of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. Runner-up in the Barrie Robran Medal as North’s best-and-fairest, Spina was also a vital cog in the back seven for the West End State team.
By his own admission, Curran is retiring with plenty left in the tank to take up his first official posting as a doctor in 2022. The Tigers’ co-captain finishes on a personal high as skipper of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year while also playing for the West End State team, ranking third in the competition for marks and logging a top-10 placing in the Bays’ best-and-fairest.
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