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.
Below, we start with players 41-50.
Glenelg’s former skipper selflessly sacrificed the captaincy at the start of the season to allow himself to concentrate on producing his best football at peak fitness. And boy did the Bays veteran deliver. Such a steady influence for the Tigers in a variety of roles, the 27-year-old averaged 21 disposals at 82 per cent efficiency while playing in every game this year.
A key cog in Port Adelaide’s midfield this season, Atley averaged 23.7 disposals, six clearances and nearly five tackles in his 19 matches for 2019. The 21-year-old, who loves to roll up the sleeves to win the ball on the inside, will be looking to take the next step at AFL level in 2020.
Nudges his way into the Top 50 on the back of an outstanding finals campaign for the premiership Tigers. Agnew won the club’s Player Trademark Award for playing his role week-in and week-out while wearing his black and gold heart on his sleeve. Incredibly racked up 34 tackles across Glenelg’s three finals, breaking double figures in each contest while having a physical presence in the centre square.
Schwarz claimed the Roosters’ most consistent player award at season’s end and it’s easy to see why. The highly regarded inside midfielder stood tall for his club amid a difficult season, averaging 24 disposals, four clearances and four inside 50s across his 17 matches. Certainly isn’t the most flashy player but you can rely on the 26-year-old to get the job done.
Pearce (pictured at the top of the page) recently announced his retirement after enjoying a fairytale homecoming season at his original SANFL club for 2019. The former Dockers star had a presence on and off the field for the Double Blues, averaging 21 disposals at an eye-catching 88 per cent efficiency rating. The 33-year-old’s drive off the wing and through the midfield will be difficult to replace in 2020.
Sturt’s dual premiership backman is another Double Blues hero to announce his retirement after another solid campaign in 2019. The Jack Oatey Medallist sadly didn’t get the farewell he was after, with a hamstring injury preventing him from appearing in the Elimination Final loss to Norwood. The 28-year-old averaged 18.6 disposals and a whopping 7.7 rebound 50s to finish his illustrious career on a high.
Finished fourth in Adelaide’s Best and Fairest to illustrate his consistent season in just his first year of SANFL senior football. Composed in the back six, the 19-year-old averaged 16.3 disposals at 88 per cent efficiency while also developing the defensive side to his game. Expect the 198cm Victorian to spend less time in the SANFL next year as the Crows look to promote youth.
Only featured in 13 matches for the Magpies but proved he is still a class above after finishing with a strong finals campaign. The long-kicking backman was arguably Port’s best player throughout September, racking up 18, 25 and 27 disposals in each of the major round contests. Expect the 25-year-old to spend more time with Power in 2020.
The Eyre Peninsula product claimed the 2019 Powerade Breakthrough Player award after taking his game to the next level through the midfield. Invited to the State AFL Combine, Gerloff averaged 19 disposals in his 19 games while also hitting the scoreboard with 21 goals while resting across half-forward. Could the 20-year–old be rewarded with AFL selection?
Earned the Fos Williams Trophy as the Magpies’ most dedicated player in 2019. The former Brisbane Lion was also very consistent upon his return to SA in the SANFL, averaging more than 23 disposals in his 20 games while also laying five tackles per game. The 25-year-old will be striving for 101 AFL games by making his debut for the Power next year.
41) Max Proud (Glenelg)
42) Sam Baulderstone (Norwood)
43) Chris Hall (Eagles)
44) Alex Barns (North Adelaide)
45) Nick Hayes (Eagles)
46) Alex Spina (North Adelaide)
47) Trent Goodrem (Central District)
48) Joseph Sinor (Eagles)
49) Tom Harms (Sturt)
50) Lewis Hender (North Adelaide)
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