It is the debate which rages on the terraces at SANFL venues throughout metropolitan Adelaide.
Who are the best players in the Statewide Super League?
At the start of the season, SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank named his Top 50 players.
Now, he has joined forces with SANFL Budget Editor Peter Cornwall to refine the list to incorporate the string of stunning performances throughout the minor round and on the big stage in September.
Stay tuned to the SANFL website to see each segment of 10 players released, comparing them to those selected prior to Round 1. Each player chosen needed to play at least 10 matches in 2019 to qualify.
After starting with players 41-50, below, we continue with players 31-40.
The much-admired Crows veteran called an end to his career at West Lakes but not before posting an extremely consistent SANFL season. An invaluable leader on and off the field, the 30-year-old averaged more than 19 disposals at 87 per cent disposal efficiency across 17 matches. Will be interesting to see whether Otten lands at another SANFL club in a playing-coaching capacity for 2020.
Yet another SANFL star to call it a day at season’s end, Liddle (pictured at the top of the page) played every game in 2019 to average 22.6 disposals and four clearances in his final season. The 31-year-old finishes as a five-time Knuckey Cup winner with 191 League games to his name. His ultra consistent midfield performances will certainly be missed by the Panthers in 2020.
A fitting winner of the Michael Taylor Medal as Norwood’s Best and Fairest in 2019. The neat-kicking left-footer set up countless scoring opportunities from the back half to be one of the Redlegs’ most damaging performers this season. The 26-year-old earned an incredible 97 per cent disposal efficiency rating after averaging 22.5 possessions this year. Named back pocket in The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year.
Set Adelaide Oval alight in the Elimination Final with a stunning display of run-and-carry football while also booting three goals in the pulsating win against Sturt. In his first year with Norwood, Barry averaged 21 disposals while also making an impact on the scoreboard with 26 goals. The 25-year-old also got the nod for the 2019 Channel 7 Goal of the Year for this remarkable effort below.
Returned to where it all began for 2019 in what was a nice feel-good story for the Bulldogs. Incredibly dangerous inside attacking 50m, Menzel finished with 33 goals for the season en route to being named in the forward pocket of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. The former Crow also finished third in Central’s Best and Fairest count.
The courageous Sturt defender finished his illustrious career with a strong personal performance across 2019, earning a berth in the back pocket of The Advertiser SANFL Team of the Year. Averaged 17 disposals and nearly eight marks per game as he continued to lead from the front as he did in back-to-back premierships of 2016 and 2017. Retires at the top of his game.
Began the season as the top-ranked SANFL player after a stunning 2018 Grand Final performance and second consecutive Magarey Medal win. Didn’t reach those lofty standards in 2019 after spending larger portions of time in attack as the likes of Cole Gerloff and Dylan Stephens emerged in the midfield. Still racked up very respectable averages of 23.5 disposals and five clearances to poll 8th in the Michael Taylor Medal.
Finished fifth in the race for the Ken Farmer Medal, booting a tally of 32 goals from 18 games at the end of the minor round. Sturt’s dangerous opportunist forward again proved a handful for his rivals with his eye-catching evasive skills. The 23-year-old posted a career-high haul of six straight majors against West in Round 14.
Runner-up in Woodville-West Torrens’ Club Champion award, Hayes was a pure workhorse for the Eagles in 2019. Spending the majority of his time as the lone beacon in attack, the versatile 23-year-old filled up his stats averages with 14.7 disposals, 6.5 marks and 4.5 tackles. Booted a total of 25 goals for the season while also earning a berth in the West End State team.
The strong-bodied midfielder threatened to tear the competition apart in some matches this season, evidenced by his performance against South in Round 4 when he booted four goals from 30 disposals, eight marks and five clearances. Ranked fourth in the Crows Best and Fairest, the 21-year-old averaged 21 possessions while also ticking the scoreboard over with 20 majors for the season.
31) Matthew Rose (South Adelaide)
32) Jesse Lonergan (Eagles)
33) Aidan Tropiano (North Adelaide)
34) Jared Petrenko (Eagles)
35) Cameron Shenton (Norwood)
36) Chris Curran (Glenelg)
37) Jonathan Beech (West Adelaide)
38) Sam Colquhoun (Sturt)
39) Chris Schmidt (West Adelaide)
40) Brad McKenzie (Norwood)