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.
Today is the bunch ranked 40-31, click HERE
#40 Lachie Russ (Morningside)
One of the higher ranked players last year, Russ missed seven games in 2016 due to injury and travel. A lingering knee injury early in the year meant his impact was down on what we have come to expect, but still showed patches all year where he strapped the Panthers to his back and went to work. Normally wears a heavy tag and is the focus with most opposition teams.
#39 Val Pope (Western Magpies)
There were two distinct factors to the resurgence of the Magpies, one was Nathan Clarke taking over as coach and the other was the influence Clarke had on Pope. His form mid year was up there with the best in the comp, especially his goal kicking ability. Didn’t have the finals series he would have liked but he was one of the main reasons for the Magpies finishing where they did.
#38 Connor Stackelberg (Sandgate)
Regardless of opposition, a bag of 11 goals is a huge effort in such an even comp like the QAFL. He also kicked a bag of 7 earlier in the year to earn a rising star nod. When Sandgate won games, Stacky was a key factor. He missed State selection due to NEAFL duties with Aspley, highlighting his impact this year.
#37 Bradie Foster (Wilston Grange)
Runner up in FOX8’s The Recruit in 2015, Foster had his most consistent season yet, doing it as the lone ruckman for the Gorillas. Although on a NEAFL list, Foster played the majority of the year in the QAFL earning selection in the state team. His biggest game came in round 1 when he dominated against the eventual premiers with 3 goals and a bucket load of hit outs.
#36 Ryan Dienjes (Broadbeach)
Big game player who loves playing top sides. Handy on baller with strong evasive skills, can be just as damaging at half forward as he is steady down back. Although he started the year off with some strong performances against quality opposition, Dienjes didn’t have the most consistent year but his best is right up there. Got a damaging right boot that opens up games as well.
#35 James Ferron (UQ)
His position in the Top 50 might be a surprise to some playing only three games, but his influence in those games was huge. His rise to a handy NEAFL player has also been huge having played for Aspley’s division 2 team last year. Ferron almost dragged UQ to the biggest upset in QAFL history against Morningside but went one better when he single handedly defeated the Gorillas in Round 13.
#34 Connor Ballenden (UQ)
Playing in one of the hardest positions on the ground in a team that only won three games, add to that he is only 17-years-old, while juggling Queensland Under 18 NEAFL duties, it’s fair to say we rate this guy highly. He played like a veteran in the seven QAFL games he played and we witnessed his vice like grip and great contested mark. He changed the way UQ went forward when he played. Ballenden is a future AFL player and should feature in the draft next year.
#33 Joe Murphy (Mt Gravatt)
All eyes were on Murphy early in the year to see how he would bounce back from the ACL injury that ruined his 2015 campaign, and he didn’t skip a beat. Yes, fitness and touch was slightly off in the pre-season, but his round 3 Syd Guildford nomination showed how well he came back. The Vultures co-captain was instrumental in the middle, proving the perfect one-two punch with Mick Hamill. If it wasn’t for his pure ball winning ability, the Vultures would have dropped a couple more games along the way this year.
#32 Noa Corbett (Surfers Paradise)
It’s be a quick rise to fame for Corbett, who stole the show in round 5, kicking seven goals in the first half, before finishing with eight. He went on to finish with 43 goals for the year, becoming the most dynamic small forward in the league. He was deservingly named as the forward pocket in the Team of the Year, lining up next to his partner in crime, Dan Green. His pace and agility mean he is always involved.
#31 Tom Overington (Sandgate)
Strange year for Tommy O. A quad injury kept him out for a period of time but was still influential for his team. Made Team of the Year and was in the best a staggering 12 times from 15 games. His big time moment came in the last game of the year and arguably the biggest for the Hawks when they not only defeated Morningside for the first time in 3 decades, but also put them out of finals in stunning fashion. Deserving winner of the club’s Best and Fairest
By Andrew Wiles and Matt Trewhella