It’s back! Andrew Wiles and Matt Trewhella have come together to collaborate on the top 50 players from the QAFL in 2016.
This year, each player wasn’t ranked by their kicks marks and handballs each game, but rather their overall influence, their ability to change a game, and whether or not they were a match winner.
To qualify, they had to have played three QAFL games this year, the same qualification system used for the finals.
Each day this week we will be releasing another ten players, before we get to the top 10 on Friday.
Kicking it off is the 50-41 crop.
#50 Gareth Crawford (Western Magpies)
Crawford was a revelation for the Magpies at the start of the year. He landed in Queensland with big raps on him, and certainly delivered. He played his best footy in the first half of the year, where he was a contested ball bull in the black and white. He had a massive say in the Magpies getting their season back on track after a slow start to their year.
#49 Todd Featherstone (Labrador)
It didn’t take the little master long to get itchy feet, and pull the boots on again. He returned to the senior line up in round 10, and Labrador didn’t lose a game for the rest of the year… coincidence? It took him a few rounds to get the fitness and touch back, but towards the end of the season he was kicking important goals, putting pressure on in the forward half, and changing the tempo of games.
#48 Harry Milford (UQ)
Transformed his game from a dangerous small forward to someone who can win his own ball, and drive it forward from the middle. When Milford is up and about, good luck stopping him. He broke lines, kicked goals and brought others into the game. Game changer.
#47 Rhys Estall (Mt Gravatt)
Tall, small, one out, at someone’s feet, Estall ability to influence the game in the forward line from a variety of positions is outstanding. Seven goals in round 6, and three bags of five for the year show he can single handedly get the scoreboard ticking over.
#46 Josh Searl (Broadbeach)
The Broadbeach Best and Fairest winner was the go to in the middle this year. When he played well, the Cats played well. He set the tone in the guts, was the mature head around stoppages, and made sure it started with him.
#45 Harrison Fraser (Surfers Paradise)
The Surfers Paradise young gun became one of the competitions best this year, as proven by his selection in the State team. When he gets the ball in his hands, he is worth 60 meters. Not only does he find targets by foot, but can take the game on and open it up. Important piece of the Demons’ puzzle.
#44 Lachie Nixon-Smith (Wilston Grange)
The run and carry Nixon-Smith provided to the Gorillas was essential to the way they played. When the Gorillas were at their best, they were playing quick, high intensity footy, and he was a massive reason that was able to happen. If he gets the ball 15 times a game, it’s worth most people having 30 touches.
#43 Matt Green (Surfers Paradise)
Probably went a little bit under the radar this year, but did an outstanding job on the opposition key forwards. He was most influential was when he was not only shutting down his opponent, but also using his strength in the air to out mark them, and feed the runners through the middle.
#42 Matt Sondergeld (Western Magpies)
Another underrated player in the competition. When Sondergeld gets going, he can do it all. He wins the footy in the middle, but can also impact the scoreboard, creating opportunities out of nothing. When he gets busy, the Magpies’ ball movement looks quicker, more dynamic, and more dangerous.
#41 Adam Mueller (Morningside)
Adam Mueller should never play in the forward line again. There I said it, and I feel better, because once he switched back to the half-back line, he became one of the most influential players at Jack Esplen Oval. He took intercept marks, he rebounded, and he hit targets by foot. Not only was he saving goals, but creating them as well.
By Andrew Wiles and Matt Trewhella