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 we have passed the half way mark, with the players ranked 30-21.
To view 50-41, click HERE
To view 40-31, click HERE
#30 Cassidy Haberfield (Surfers Paradise)
Might cause a stir not being higher than 30 but consistency is his strong point which isn’t a factor in the Top 50. He is a unit, built like a man and plays with no fear. We wouldn’t be surprised if he made the Top 10 next year with his continual increase in performance, although Southport may attain his services. Cass won the Rising Star this year, after being nominated for the third year in a row, and was a big reason for Surfers’ rise up the ladder.
#29 Luke Scott (Western Magpies)
The best swingman in the game. The definition of football versatility is having an impact wherever you play. Play him up forward, he kicks goals, down back he shuts down opponents and on the wing, he takes marks and pumps the ball deep in the forward line. If there is an area the Magpies need to win, guaranteed that’s where Scott starts.
#28 Troy Moncur (Mt Gravatt)
No one transforms how a forward line looks better than this guy. He is a man mountain, and demands the ball leading out of the goal square. Not only did he bag 37 goals from eight matches this year, including two bags of eight, he also frees up Crawley and Estall, making the Vultures forward line much more potent. If you’re looking for how much of an influence he can be, and how easily he can change a game, go back through the tapes and have a look at his final quarter against Morningside in round 16…on one leg might we add.
#27 Aden Rutledge (Sandgate)
Rutledge had a bit more support around him this year which meant he didn’t have to be three places at once, and he could really focus on playing one position for the majority of the game. When you speak about someone who can single-handedly change the tempo, Rutledge is up there with the best. He has a real unique ability to play as a contested midfielder, or go forward and turn into a leading, marking target. Not many could stop him in full flight.
#26 Ryley Buntain (Morningside)
One of the strongest defenders in the competition. There is a reason most teams look to drag Buntain away from the footy, and that’s because he has an innate ability to read the ball in the air, and use that huge leap of his to clunk it in the dukes. He was thrown forward at times this year where he was effective, but down back is his spot. The Panthers love when he has the ball coming out of the back 50 as well, because he uses it beautifully. Goal saver.
#25 Fletcher McIvor (Wilston Grange)
You don’t win the Zane Taylor Medal as best on ground in the Queensland state game by accident. Fletch was huge that night, but it should come as no surprise. Despite being Aspley listed, he played over half his games with Grange this year. His run, link up work, and attack on the footy made them look like a different team. Changes the pace of the game, and gives great length to the Gorillas’ attacks when on song.
#24 Nathan Kinch (Morningside)
What can we say about Kinchy that hasn’t been said already 1000 times. He is a jet, and he just keeps on keeping on. His left boot is one of the most trusted in the comp, and rightfully so. A few have tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to curb his influence on games, but whether it is off the half back flank or in the middle, Kinch is a match winner. He carves opposition teams up week in week out.
#23 Fraser Pope (Surfers Paradise)
The 2012 Grogan Medalist returned to the QAFL with a bang this year. He (along with Cass Haberfield) was the engine room of the Demons’ midfield. When someone needed to roll up the sleeves and burry themselves at the bottom of a pack, Pope was the man. Slowed down a little bit towards the end of the year due to a couple of injuries, but Surfers’ finals qualifications can be heavily attributed to the work he did. No surprise he pulled on the Queensland jumper for the state game.
#22 Peter Mollison (Morningside)
When it comes to pure tap ruck work, there isn’t any better. Mollison is definitely not the biggest ruckman going around, but gee he gets his hands on the footy a lot. He gives that Morningside midfield first use more often than not, which is a godsend to them. When he gets on his bike, he is also a genuine target in transition.
#21 Stephen Thynne (Palm Beach Currumbin)
Steve Thynne was a star for the Lions this year. He is strong through the hips, provides fantastic run from congestion and is skilled both sides of his body. Just how important Thynne was to Palm Beach this year was proven in the final home and away game and the first final. When he was missing, the Lions midfield lacked a bit of spark. A few might consider him stiff not to be a little higher.
By Andrew Wiles and Matt Trewhella