The All Australian squad of 40 was recently announced and, like every year, there are some hard luck stories of some stars that have missed out on selection, some more surprising than others. Here is a list of just some of the players who were unlucky not make the cut:
It was always going to be difficult for Duncan to stand out in a midfield that consists of Paddy Dangerfield and Joel Selwood, but even still Duncan has enjoyed his finest season down at Kardinia Park, tallying 608 disposals (averaging career high 29) and kicking 12 goals from the midfield as well, he would not have looked out of place in the squad of 40. Honorable mention to teammate Zach Tuohy.
Brian Taylor’s favourite player had a fantastic season for the Bombers, and has always been a dangerous option in the attacking end. The 21 year old kicked 38 goals (including a bag of 5 twice) from 19 games and was the perfect small forward compliment for Joe Daniher. Untimely, a hamstring injury late in the season against Carlton has been a huge blow for him and Essendon.
One of the most surprising omissions, the Brownlow medalist capped off a terrific season by leading the Tigers to a top 4 spot. Of course he was overshadowed by Dustin Martin on and off the field, but still managed to average 23 disposals, 5 tackles, kick 16 goals and find himself in the top 20 for contested possessions and inside 50s. Could very well be a premiership captain in a month’s time.
DANE RAMPE AND HEATH GRUNDY
Two important defenders for Sydney and many eyebrows were raised after the best defense in the competition didn’t have any representation in the All Australian squad. Rampe missed seven games early in the season due to a broken arm but was still a vital part of Sydney’s 2017 resurrection. He Averaged 17 disposals and 5 marks and again proved he was one of the best rebound defenders in the competition, averaging 4 a game. The 31-year-old Grundy again enjoyed a great season which included a top 20 ranking in rebound 50s as well as a top 10 ranking in total intercepts.
The second year gem was outstanding for the Dees and is considered a Brownlow fancy at just 20 years of age. He gathered more than enough of the football this year, notching 659 disposals (5th in the league) at an average of 30 a game, ranked 4th in the league for tackles (152) and 5th in the league for clearances at an average of 6.6 a game. And yet, Oliver’s best footy is ahead of him.