Hostplus League

TopSport SANFL Top 50 – 31-50

Find out where Eagles premiership midfielder Kobe Mutch lands in the TopSport SANFL Top 50

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Round 1 of the Hostplus SANFL League season is fast approaching, so there’s no better time to unveil the preseason TopSport SANFL Top 50.

After selecting his Top 50 players at the end of last season, SANFL Media Producer Zac Milbank has chosen his Top 50, inclusive of the bevy of star recruits set to take part in the 2022 Hostplus 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 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 set to excite the fans in 2022, starting with those selected 31 to 50.

Stay tuned as the remainder roll out across the SANFL website and social media channels in the coming days.

50 - Jake Patmore (North Adelaide)

Jake Patmore looms as a genuine wildcard for North Adelaide such is his versatility.

The 23-year-old, can play at either end of the field, with his latest club – WAFL team Claremont – using him primarily as a dashing defender in 2021.

The former Port Adelaide senior list member, who measures in at 184cm and 82kg, was trialled as a high half-forward due to his elite running patterns.

Either the West Australian is very much a welcome addition at Prospect.

”We were looking for a running half-back after Mitch Clisby decided to pull the pin,” North coach Jacob Surjan explained.

”Jakey wanted to get back to his roots and play across the half-back line so he’s been amazing for us so far with his ability to use the ball and composure.

”He’s crafty with ball in hand so we are very excited to have him.”

49 - Aiden Grace (Central District)

Such is the esteem Grace is held in, Aiden Grace has now been elevated into the Bulldogs’ Leadership Group for season 2022.

Recruited from Tasmania, he impressed in his first season with the Bulldogs to finish fifth in the race for the Ken Farmer Medal.

Building a cult following at Elizabeth with his ”mullet” haircut, the key forward is rated highly internally as evidenced by a third placing in Central’s best-and-fairest last year.

Central’s Aiden Grace.

48 - Luke Reynolds (Glenelg)

Glenelg’s classy left-footer isn’t being relied upon as heavily since the return of Lachie Hosie from North Melbourne.

Still finished third in the Ken Farmer Medal last year with a haul of 34 for the minor round while also finishing inside the competition’s top 10 for contested marks. Importantly, Reynolds also has the ability to push higher up the field, even as a loose man in defence, should his team need it.

Kicked a game-high four goals for the West End State team in the Croweaters’ win against the WAFL at Adelaide Oval.

47 - Sam Durdin (Glenelg)

Durdin has been quick to make an impression at Brighton Road, thrust into the Tigers’ 2022 Leadership Group as a Deputy Vice Captain.

Returning to South Australia after spending the past six years with North Melbourne, Durdin was a rock solid member of Glenelg’s back six in 2021. Finishing seventh in the Bays’ best-and-fairest, the 198cm backman also won the club’s Trademark Award.

46 - Harry Lemmey (West Adelaide)

Dubbed ”Riley Thilthorpe 2.0” by Bloods captain Tom Keough, Lemmey is surrounded by excitement heading into the 2022 Hostplus SANFL League season.

Likening himself to Richmond premiership forward Tom Lynch and the King twins, Max and Ben, Lemmey knows his aerobic capacity needs to be at a high level to lead up the ground like those he’s trying to emulate.

The 199cm teenager is also aiming to improve his contested marking this season as he pushes his case to be one of the first South Australians selected in this year’s AFL Draft.

”What a quality young man he is,” West coach Brad Gotch said of Lemmey.

”He leaves no stone unturned in wanting to be the best version of himself. He plays real team footy and is adding different traits to his game as well.

”He’s building on his contested marking and his tackle-pressure so he’s trying to play the modern game.”

45 - Ben Jarvis (Norwood)

Norwood was determined to welcome back Ben Jarvis to The Parade after his desliting from Geelong yielded one AFL game in the past three seasons.

Frustrated by a lack of opportunity with the Cats, the 21-year-old is set to show off his versatility, standing at a deceptive 190cm.

Jarvis can play at either end of the field but appears likely to begin the 2022 campaign in attack.

44 - Logan Hill (West Adelaide)

It would be easy for Logan Hill to hang up the boots but if you ask the determined defender, he still has plenty to play for in 2022.

Hill’s love for his Bloods comes out in the way he plays, displaying plenty of desperation en route to being joint winner of the 2021 Neil Kerley Medal as West’s best-and-fairest.

A member of the club’s 2015 premiership, the 33-year-old is eyeing off his 200-game milestone in 2022 given he currently sits on 186 League matches.

43 - Cam Taheny (Norwood)

Joining Jacob Kennerley and Ben Jarvis in returning to The Parade after an AFL stint with Geelong, Taheny will be looking to pick up where he left off with the Redlegs in 2019.

In his debut season with the Legs. the medium-sized forward booted 15 goals in seven matches to attract the attention of the Cats with his explosive power on the lead and in the air.

Also possessing a laser-like set shot on his left foot, the 20-year-old looms as a focal point for Norwood in 2022.

Cam Taheny returns to The Parade. Picture – Cory Sutton

42 - Ryan Garthwaite (South Adelaide)

Pigeon-holed as a defender in his five seasons at Richmond, Ryan Garthwaite is ready to let loose as a key forward with South Adelaide.

Managing 14 AFL games during the Tigers’ successful reign, the valuable swingman has already looked dangerous playing inside the attacking 50m arc for the Panthers.

South coach Jarrad Wright has already noted the 23-year-old’s presence will help fill the vacancies left by Sam Skinner and Daniel Nobes, while easing the workload on Sam Overall.

South recruit Ryan Garthwaite. Picture – Cory Sutton

41 - Troy Menzel (Eagles)

If Troy Menzel can remain injury free in 2022, there’s no reason why he can’t rocket up the Top Sport SANFL Top 50 rankings by season’s end.

Another key Eagle to be hampered by ailments at different stages last year, the lethal left-footer still booted 24 goals in 14 games to sneak into the top 10 of the Eagles’ best-and-fairest.

Capped his first season off at Oval Avenue with three goals on the biggest stage of all – the 2021 SANFL Grand Final.

40 - Kobe Mutch (Eagles)

Like Troy Menzel, Kobe Mutch was also restricted by injury in 2021 where he missed five of the first six games of the season due to a shoulder injury on debut.

But the Essendon recruit finished strongly to be one of the Eagles’ best on Grand Final day with 26 disposals and two goals.

He has since played a valuable role in landing the signature of former Bombers’ teammate Dylan Clarke late in the off-season.

Averaged 21 disposals for the season to ensure the absence of 2020 Jack Oatey Medallist Jordan Foote wasn’t as stark in 2021.

39 - Declan Hamilton (Norwood)

Season 2022 looms as another significant building block in Declan Hamilton’s career.

A member of Norwood’s leadership group, the 26-year-old is now very much seen as a senior player given the youthful profile of the list at The Parade.

The unheralded, yet ultra consistent, Hamilton posted his best season in 2021 after finishing third in the Michael Taylor Medal as best-and-fairest. Averaged 19 disposals for the Legs while also claiming the treasured Woods Medal as most dedicated club man.

38 - Aaron Young (North Adelaide)

The former Power and Suns-listed utility could expect to see more time in the midfield this year after a host of 2018 premiership players departed Prospect in the off-season.

Earning the Roosters’ most consistent trophy upon his return to Prospect last season, Young was equally effective for the Roosters in both the midfield and attack.

This was evidenced by his impressive numbers which yielded 22 disposals and a goal a game throughout 2021.

37 - Matthew Nunn (Norwood)

Set to saddle up for a second season as captain of the Norwood Football Club, the only thing holding Matthew Nunn back from entering the TopSport SANFL Top 10 is his hamstring.

Despite only playing 10 games last year, Nunn still managed to earn selection in the West End State game before injury struck while also placing equal fourth in the Magarey Medal after leading the count mid-season.

The best is certainly set to come for Norwood’s No.14 in 2022.

Norwood captain Matthew Nunn (left) with coach Jade Rawlings. Picture – David Mariuz

36 - Max Proud (Glenelg)

Sharing the captaincy with Chris Curran last year, Max Proud now assumes the mantle as sole Bays skipper in 2022.

Set to sport the cherished No.5 guernsey in honour of Peter Carey, the dour defender is determined to lead his team into its third grand final in four seasons.

A key pillar in the Tigers’ minor round success in 2021, Proud earned a fifth-placing in the club’s best-and-fairest.

35 - Luke Thompson (Eagles)

Extending his reign as longest-serving Woodville-West Torrens captain in 2022, the dual premiership skipper will be eager to lead his side to an historic three-peat this year.

Now a member of SANFL’s 200 Club,  Thompson displayed tremendous leadership while playing a vital role in defence to lift his side to consecutive Grand Final triumphs.

Finishing ninth in the Eagles’ best-and-fairest, Thompson also donned the cherished West End State guernsey in 2021.

Dual Eagles premiership captain Luke Thompson. Picture – David Mariuz

34 - Hayden Sampson (South Adelaide)

Speedy Sampson will be looking to build on his breakout 2021 campaign which resulted in him placing third in the Knuckey Cup as the club’s best-and-fairest.

With the loss of several mid-tier, experienced players at Noarlunga in the off-season, the 22-year-old will now shoulder more responsibility through the midfield in 2022.

The West End State team debutant averaged 22 possessions at an impressive disposal efficiency rate of 86 per cent in 2021, culminating in his 27-disposal display in the preliminary final.

33 - Jay Rantall (Norwood)

Delisted after playing just five games with AFL giant Collingwood, Jay Rantall has a point to prove with Norwood in 2022.

The 186cm midfielder is an exciting prospect, who can play through the centre square of the wing, giving the Redlegs’ midfield rotation a boost for this season.

Originally from Warnambool, the 20-year-old said he felt The Parade was the place to take his game to the next level.

”It was a pretty easy decision in the end for me, to play at Norwood,” Rantall said.

“Their game style suits me and the leadership and mentoring from Jade and others is really going to help me a lot to develop my game.”

Jay Rantall at training. Picture – Cory Sutton

32 - Tom Keough (West Adelaide)

Continuing on as West Adelaide captain in 2022, Tom Keough looms as a consistent threat inside 50m.

Tipped by Glenelg captain Max Proud to be among the contenders for the Ken Farmer Medal, the former Gold Coast Sun can also play in defence or as a big-bodied midfielder such is his versatility.

In 2021, he kicked 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 2021 Neil Kerley Medal as the club’s best-and-fairest.

31 - Nik Rokahr (Norwood)

With a heavy loss of experience at Norwood in the off-season, Nik Rokahr now becomes one of the club’s most relied-upon performers approaching 2022.

Not surprisingly he is now a member of the club’s leadership group after reinforcing his status as a genuine midfielder in 2021, having initially started with Norwood as a small defender.

The Geelong VFL recruit racked up the eighth-most disposals in the competition in 2021 en route to winning his first Michael Taylor Medal as the Legs’ best-and-fairest.

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