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IT’S NO great surprise to that Collingwood boasts the best midfield in the League.

With Brody Grundy’s handy work, tapping it down the throats of Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Adam Treloar and in 2019, Dayne Beams, the Magpies’ engine room is going to be fueled up and ready to go.

Premiers West Coast made the top five, while the Hawks – with Brownlow medalist Tom Mitchell – have been ranked in the middle of the pack.

As most would probably expect, Gold Coast languishes at the bottom of the rankings, although with Lachie Weller, Touk Miller and David Swallow, they have the nucleus of a good midfield they can continue to build around.

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1. COLLINGWOOD

Collingwood already boasted the best midfield in the competition, and then they went and brought 2010 premiership star Dayne Beams back from Brisbane. He is yet another A-grader alongside Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury and Adam Treloar, while Taylor Adams had an unbelievable Grand Final and isn’t far off that bracket and Brayden Sier is developing rapidly. Brodie Grundy had long threatened to take the competition by storm and he now sits comfortably alongside Max Gawn as the AFL’s premier ruckman. Collingwood ranked No.1 for disposals and clearances, second for contested possessions and fourth for inside 50s last season, and a stacked engine room should only get better. Imagine if Daniel Wells can stay fit.

B: Brayden Maynard, Lynden Dunn, Tom Langdon
HB: Jeremy Howe, Darcy Moore, Jack Crisp
C: Steele Sidebottom, Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams
HF: Will Hoskin-Elliott, Brody Mihocek, Jaidyn Stephenson
F: Jordan De Goey, Mason Cox, Jamie Elliott
Foll: Brodie Grundy, Dayne Beams, Adam Treloar
I/C: Travis Varcoe, Daniel Wells, Brayden Sier, Josh Thomas

Defender depth: Tyson Goldsack, Ben Reid, Matt Scharenberg, Flynn Appleby, Nathan Murphy, Jack Madgen, Isaac Quaynor, Will Kelly, Mark Keane, Sam Murray

Forward depth: Ben Crocker, Tim Broomhead, Anton Tohill, Atu Bosenavulagi

Midfield depth: Tom Phillips, Chris Mayne, Levi Greenwood, James Aish, Callum Brown, Tyler Brown, Josh Daicos, Rupert Wills

Ruck depth: Jordan Roughead, Max Lynch

2. RICHMOND

Narrowly pipped as the AFL’s best midfield, Richmond still boasts one of the most talented on-ball groups in the land. Dustin Martin remains one of the competition’s most influential players, with his ability to also go forward just as crucial as his work out of the centre. Shane Edwards made the All Australian team last year, while Trent Cotchin, Kane Lambert and Dion Prestia are proven ball winners out of the middle. But why aren’t they number one? Perhaps it’s down to the loss of key depth players during the most recent NAB AFL Trade Period. A lot could rely on youngsters like Jack Graham, Connor Menadue and perhaps even Riley Collier-Dawkins should injury strike in 2019.

B: Dylan Grimes, David Astbury, Alex Rance
HB: Bachar Houli, Nick Vlastuin, Jayden Short
C: Shaun Grigg, Dustin Martin, Shane Edwards
HF: Dan Butler, Jack Riewoldt, Daniel Rioli
F: Josh Caddy, Tom Lynch, Jack Higgins
Foll: Toby Nankervis, Dion Prestia, Trent Cotchin
I/C: Brandon Ellis, Jason Castagna, Kane Lambert, Jack Graham

Defender depth: Nathan Broad, Oleg Markov, Ryan Garthwaite, Patrick Naish, Ben Miller, Derek Eggmolesse-Smith

Forward depth: Shai Bolton, Callum Moore, Jacob Townsend, Noah Balta, Mav Weller, Liam Baker, Mabior Chol, Jake Aarts

Midfield depth: Kamdyn McIntosh, Connor Menadue, Riley Collier-Dawkins, Luke English, Jack Ross, Fraser Turner

Ruck depth: Ivan Soldo, Callum Coleman-Jones

Dustin Maritn will be hoping to recapture his scintillating form from 2017. Picture: AFL Photos

3. GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

Despite losing Dylan Shiel (Essendon) and Tom Scully (Hawthorn) in the off-season, the Giants are still loaded with talent. The centerline of Josh Kelly, Callan Ward and Lachie Whitfield – who will likely move further afield after playing half-back in 2018 – is as good as any in the competition. In Ward they have one of the toughest players going around and in Whitfield and Kelly two of the best runners and ball-users. Tim Taranto and Jacob Hopper have served a great apprenticeship, improving year on year, and will play even more prominent roles in 2019.

B: Heath Shaw, Aidan Corr, Adam Kennedy
HB: Nick Haynes, Phil Davis, Zac Williams
C: Josh Kelly, Callan Ward, Lachie Whitfield
HF:
Toby Greene, Jeremy Cameron, Brett Deledio
F: Stephen Coniglio, Harry Himmelberg, Zac Langdon
Foll: Dawson Simpson, Tim Taranto, Jacob Hopper
I/C:
Adam Tomlinson, Sam Taylor, Sam Reid, Matt de Boer

Defender depth: Matt Buntine, Isaac Cumming, Jeremy Finlayson, Connor Idun, Lachie Keeffe, Harry Perryman, Jake Stein

Forward depth: Aiden Bonar, Callum Brown, Dylan Buckley, Jack Buckley, Brent Daniels, Ian Hill, Daniel Lloyd, Jon Patton*, Zach Sproule

Midfield depth: Jye Caldwell, Jackson Hately, Xavier O’Halloran, Tommy Sheridan, Nic Shipley

Ruck depth: Kieren Briggs, Matt Flynn, Shane Mumford*

4. MELBOURNE

With arguably the best ruckman going around, it’s no surprise that the Demons’ midfield is ranked in the top five. Max Gawn’s handy work at the stoppages, combined with a midfield boasting Jack Viney and Clayton Oliver saw the Dees rank No.3 in the competition for clearances in 2018. Angus Brayshaw had a terrific season, finishing a shock third in the Brownlow, and will be integral again to Melbourne’s 2019 campaign. The addition of Braydon Preuss adds some much needed depth to their ruck stocks, while a fresh start for Kade Kolodjashnij could provide another spark to the Dees’ engine room.

B: Neville Jetta, Steven May, Michael Hibberd
HB: Christian Salem, Oscar McDonald, Jayden Hunt
C: James Harmes, Jack Viney, Kade Kolodjashnij
HF:
Alex Neal-Bullen, Tom McDonald, Jake Melksham
F: Charlie Spargo, Sam Weideman, Christian Petracca
Foll: Max Gawn, Clayton Oliver, Angus Brayshaw
I/C:
Bayley Fritsch, Joel Smith, Braydon Preuss, Nathan Jones

Defender depth: Sam Frost, Marty Hore, Jake Lever*, Jordan Lewis, Harrison Petty, Josh Wagner, Guy Walker

Forward depth: Toby Bedford, Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Aaron vandenBerg, Kade Chandler, Tim Smith, Declan Keilty

Midfield depth: Oskar Baker, James Jordon, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Corey Maynard, Aaron Nietschke, Tom Sparrow, Billy Stretch, Corey Wagner

Ruck depth: Austin Bradtke

5. WEST COAST

This ranking will probably irk some at the Eagles, especially after they utterly dismantled Melbourne’s engine room in last year’s preliminary final and matched Collingwood’s vaunted unit across their three meetings. In 2018 the development of Elliot Yeo into an A-grade midfielder, Jack Redden’s excellent form, Mark Hutchings’ career-best season and Chris Masten’s rebirth took pressure off Luke Shuey, who reminded everyone of his class with an all-time Grand Final. Throw Andrew Gaff, a Brownlow contender until his suspension, and Nic Naitanui into the mix and it is a classy unit. There is a question how deep the midfield bats but at full-strength West Coast will back themselves against anyone.

B: Brad Sheppard, Tom Barrass, Shannon Hurn
HB: Tom Cole, Jeremy McGovern, Lewis Jetta
C: Chris Masten, Elliot Yeo, Dom Sheed
HF: Jamie Cripps, Jack Darling, Jake Waterman
F: Willie Rioli, Josh Kennedy, Liam Ryan
Foll: Nathan Vardy, Jack Redden, Luke Shuey
I/C: Liam Duggan, Mark Hutchings, Tom Hickey, Daniel Venables

Defender depth: Jackson Nelson, Josh Rotham, Will Schofield, Francis Watson

Forward depth: Matthew Allen, Oscar Allen, Jarrod Brander, Jarrod Cameron, Harry Edwards, Jack Petruccelle

Midfield depth: Brendon Ah Chee, Brayden Ainsworth, Hamish Brayshaw, Luke Foley, Andrew Gaff*, Kurt Mutimer, Xavier O’Neill, Josh Smith

Ruck depth: Keegan Brooksby, Fraser McInnes, Nic Naitanui*, Bailey Williams

Luke Shuey celebrates his Norm Smith Medal. Picture: AFL Photos

6. GEELONG

Despite three of the best onballers in the competition at their disposal in 2018, the Cats admitted they were left behind the leading midfield units last year. By season’s end they were ranked 17th in the competition for centre clearances per game and embarrassed 13-4 in the elimination final loss to Melbourne. While a leaner Patrick Dangerfield and skipper Joel Selwood will lead the midfield again, Gary Ablett is expected to spend more time in attack this year. The Cats have publicly called on Charlie Constable, Brandan Parfitt and Quinton Narkle to drive the midfield improvement in 2019. Retaining first-year revelation Tim Kelly goes a long way to turning the tables.

B: Jed Bews, Mark Blicavs, Jack Henry
HB: Zach Tuohy, Lachie Henderson, Tom Stewart
C: Brandan Parfitt, Joel Selwood, Mitch Duncan
HF: Sam Menegola, Esava Ratugolea, Luke Dahlhaus
F: Gary Rohan, Tom Hawkins, Gary Ablett
Foll: Rhys Stanley, Patrick Dangerfield, Tim Kelly
I/C: Jake Kolodjashnij, Scott Selwood, Quinton Narkle, Cameron Guthrie

Defender depth: Harry Taylor, Zach Guthrie, Mark O’Connor, Jordan Clark, Stefan Okunbor

Forward depth: Nakia Cockatoo, Wylie Buzza, Lachie Fogarty, Nathan Kreuger, Gryan Miers, James Parsons, Jamaine Jones, Ben Jarvis, Jake Tarca, Blake Schlensog

Midfield depth: Charlie Constable, Jordan Cunico, Tom Atkins, Oscar Brownless, Jacob Kennerley, Sam Simpson

Ruck depth: Zac Smith, Ryan Abbott, Darcy Fort

7. ESSENDON

Dylan Shiel alongside Dyson Heppell and Zach Merrett at the first bounce of 2019 will be a sight to behold for Bombers fans. Last year the Bombers were the highest ranked non-finalist with points from clearance differential (4.7 per game) to sit seventh overall in the competition. No.1 ruckman Tom Bellchambers faces a big season to keep in touch with the leading big men in the competition after a career-best 2018. It also looms as a big year for first-round draft picks Darcy Parish and Andrew McGrath, in their fourth and third seasons respectively, to make their mark on permanent midfield roles. While David Myers was named the Bombers’ most improved last year, they’ll be hoping for Dylan Clarke and Kobe Mutch to apply pressure for spots.

B: Conor McKenna, Michael Hurley, Martin Gleeson
HB: Aaron Francis, Cale Hooker, Adam Saad
C: David Zaharakis, Dyson Heppell, Andrew McGrath
HF: Orazio Fantasia, Shaun McKernan, Devon Smith
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Joe Daniher, Jake Stringer
Foll: Tom Bellchambers, Zach Merrett, Dylan Shiel
I/C: Darcy Parish, Kyle Langford, David Myers, Patrick Ambrose

Defender depth: Matt Dea, Michael Hartley, Luke Lavender, Ben McNiece, Jordan Ridley, Mason Redman*, Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

Forward depth: Mark Baguley, Josh Begley*, Mitch Brown, Noah Gown, Brayden Ham, Jordan Houlahan, Jayden Laverde, Jake Long, Irving Mosquito, James Stewart

Midfield depth: Dylan Clarke, Matt Guelfi, Tom Jok, Kobe Mutch, Trent Mynott

Ruck depth: Zac Clarke, Sam Draper

8. WESTERN BULLDOGS

The Bulldogs midfield boasts some A-grade starts with Marcus Bontempelli and Jackson Macrae leading the charge. In 2018, Macrae averaged the second most disposals of any player per game, behind Brownlow medalist Tom Mitchell. The 24-year-old had an elite season, and will need a repeat in 2019 if the Dogs are to set themselves for September. Tom Liberatore will be like a new recruit after missing last season with an ACL, and if he can re-discover his best, then the Bulldogs’ midfield will be no pushovers. The emergence of Josh Dunkley as a onballer in the second half of 2018, gives the Dogs a little more depth in this area of the ground. They’ve still got some youngsters coming through the ranks who will get better with experience. One pup who is bound to get a crack at senior footy this season is father-son draftee Rhylee West. The powerful midfielder is a competitive beast and his physicality around the contest will certainly add another layer to the Dogs’ core group in the centre.

B: Easton Wood, Dale Morris, Zaine Cordy
HB: Bailey Williams, Aaron Naughton, Jason Johannisen
C: Lachie Hunter, Marcus Bontempelli, Jackson Macrae
HF:
Toby McLean, Josh Schache, Sam Lloyd
F: Billy Gowers, Tom Boyd, Tory Dickson
Foll: Jackson Trengove, Tom Liberatore, Mitch Wallis
I/C:
Ed Richards, Caleb Daniel, Josh Dunkley, Hayden Crozier

Defender depth: Matthew Suckling, Taylor Duryea, Brad Lynch, Roarke Smith, Lewis Young, Fletcher Roberts, Laitham Vandermeer, Lachie Young, Buku Khamis

Forward depth: Liam Picken, Patrick Lipinski, Lukas Webb, Fergus Greene, Ben Cavarra

Midfield depth: Lin Jong, Bailey Dale, Bailey Smith, Rhylee West, Will Hayes, Callum Porter

Ruck depth: Tim English, Jordan Sweet

The Dogs boast some A-grade talent in their midfield. Picture: AFL Photos

9. ADELAIDE

The Crows identified they needed more midfield class when they coughed up two first-round draft picks for Bryce Gibbs at the end of 2017, but the engine room remains their Achilles heel. Losing free agent Rory Sloane would have been a doomsday scenario last season but, thankfully for fans, he recommitted for five years. Still, Adelaide looks one-paced, lacks depth and there is a sameness about the ball-winners. With ruckman Sam Jacobs the wrong side of 30 and Brad Crouch injured all season, the Crows were the third-worst clearance team last season (-2.4 per game) and middle of the road for contested possessions.

B: Rory Laird, Daniel Talia, Jake Kelly
HB: Wayne Milera, Tom Doedee, Brodie Smith
C: Paul Seedsman, Rory Sloane, Bryce Gibbs
HF: Tom Lynch, Taylor Walker, Richard Douglas
F: Eddie Betts, Josh Jenkins, Jordan Gallucci
FOLL: Sam Jacobs, Matt Crouch, Brad Crouch
I/C: Luke Brown, Hugh Greenwood, Rory Atkins, Shane McAdam

Defender depth: Kyle Hartigan, Alex Keath, Andy Otten, Andrew McPherson, Will Hamill, Jordon Butts

Forward depth: Darcy Fogarty, Elliott Himmelberg, Riley Knight, Lachlan Murphy, Ben Davis, Ned McHenry, Tyson Stengle

Midfield depth: David Mackay, Cam Ellis-Yolmen, Myles Poholke, Patrick Wilson, Chayce Jones, Lachlan Sholl

Ruck depth: Reilly O’Brien, Paul Hunter, Kieran Strachan

10. SYDNEY

Having lost Dan Hannebery to St Kilda, a lot of responsibility rests on the shoulders of joint-captains Kennedy and Parker. They will lead a rather inexperienced onball brigade, which won’t have much mature depth in 2019. Florent and Heeney could be expected to become full-time midfielders next year, with Clarke brought in to lend them a helping hand. The Swans just about broke even for clearances and contested ball last season, but could find the task of winning the ball out of the centre a tad more difficult next year. It’s why they slip out of the top half of the midfield rankings.

B: Nick Smith, Heath Grundy, Dane Rampe
HB: Jake Lloyd, Aliir Aliir, Jarrad McVeigh
C: Zak Jones, Josh Kennedy, Oliver Florent
HF: Will Hayward, Sam Reid, George Hewett
F: Ben Ronke, Lance Franklin, Tom Papley
Foll: Callum Sinclair, Luke Parker, Isaac Heeney
I/C: Callum Mills, Harry Cunningham, Nick Blakey, Ryan Clarke

Defender depth: Matthew Ling, Jack Maibaum, Lewis Melican, Colin O’Riordan, Harry Reynolds, Jackson Thurlow, Durak Tucker

Forward depth: Jordan Dawson, Kieren Jack, Tom McCartin, Daniel Menzel*, Toby Pink, James Rose, Sam Wicks

Midfield depth: James Bell, Zac Foot, Robbie Fox, Justin McInerney, James Rowbottom, Ryley Stoddart

Ruck depth: Joel Amartey, Darcy Cameron, Sam Naismith

11. BRISBANE

This is a midfield on the rise and could arguably be a few spots higher. Despite losing Dayne Beams to Collingwood the Lions have a great mix of inside and outside players. Lachie Neale is a fantastic addition and coupled with four-time best and fairest winner Dayne Zorko provides as good a one-two onball punch as there is. Stefan Martin is 32 but showing no signs of slowing down in the ruck, while Hugh McCluggage and Jarrod Berry will be expected to build on promising second seasons. Brisbane has now developed good depth in this department and should be the driving force for an improved season.

B: Darcy Gardiner, Harris Andrews, Nick Robertson
HB: Luke Hodge, Josh Walker, Alex Witherden
C: Hugh McCluggage, Jarrod Berry, Tom Cutler
HF:
Lewy Taylor, Dan McStay, Lincoln McCarthy
F: Charlie Cameron, Eric Hipwood, Cam Rayner
Foll: Stefan Martin, Lachie Neale, Dayne Zorko
I/C: Jarryd Lyons, Daniel Rich, Mitch Robinson, Zac Bailey

Defender depth: Marcus Adams, Noah Answerth, Allen Christensen, Cedric Cox, Matt Eagles, Mitch Hinge, James Madden, Jack Payne, Sam Skinner

Forward depth: Connor Ballenden, Tom Berry, Tom Fullarton, Connor McFadyen, Toby Wooller

Midfield depth: Jacob Allison, Ryan Bastinac, Tom Joyce, Ben Keays, Ryan Lester, Corey Lyons, Rhys Mathieson, Ely Smith, Brandon Starcevich

Ruck depth: Oscar McInerney, Archie Smith

Lachie Neale is a welcome addition to the Lions midfield. Picture: AFL Photos

12. PORT ADELAIDE

Criticised for a lack of pace at times during 2018, the Power targeted speed at the draft with the acquisitions of Zak Butters, Xavier Duursma and Connor Rozee. They’re expected to put pressure on senior midfielders who performed well below their best in the final month of last year as the Power fell out of the finals race. Ranked No.2 in the competition for total clearances after the home and away season, it was the spread from contests that let them down most. New midfield coach Jarrad Schofield has provided a fresh voice and wiped the slate clean for competition for spots. Forward Sam Gray will be hoping for more midfield time, while Justin Westhoff will also spend time on the wing.

B: Dougal Howard, Tom Clurey, Dan Houston
HB: Darcy Byrne-Jones, Tom Jonas, Ryan Burton
C: Sam Gray, Ollie Wines, Steven Motlop
HF: Travis Boak, Justin Westhoff, Robbie Gray
F: Scott Lycett, Charlie Dixon, Connor Rozee
Foll: Paddy Ryder, Sam Powell-Pepper, Brad Ebert
I/C: Tom Rockliff, Todd Marshall, Riley Bonner, Hamish Hartlett

Defender depth: Matthew Broadbent, Xavier Duursma, Riley Grundy, Jarrod Lienert, Sam Mayes, Trent McKenzie

Forward depth: Tobin Cox, Kane Farrell, Aidyn Johnson, Jack Watts, Boyd Woodcock

Midfield depth: Karl Amon, Joe Atley, Zak Butters, Willem Drew, Joel Garner, Cameron Hewett, Jake Patmore, Jack Trengove

Ruck depth: Billy Frampton, Sam Hayes, Peter Ladhams

13. NORTH MELBOURNE

The Roos’ midfield had a very different look in 2018. Jed Anderson had a breakout season, while the emergence of Paul Ahern allowed North Melbourne to spread the load more evenly. This allowed skipper Jack Ziebell to spend more time up forward, which he did with great success. Shaun Higgins and Ben Cunnington continue to pave the way in the middle, but the addition of Jared Polec should add some more support and add another dynamic to the group. In terms of depth, North Melbourne does have options. After a disappointing 2018, Luke McDonald will be looking to rediscover his best form, and has previously been earmarked for a midfield position, while youngsters Luke Davies-Uniacke and Bailey Scott are waiting in the wings for an opportunity.

B: Marley Williams, Robbie Tarrant, Ed Vickers-Willis
HB: Jamie Macmillan, Majak Daw, Jasper Pittard
C: Jared Polec, Ben Jacobs, Trent Dumont
HF: Mason Wood, Jack Ziebell, Jy Simpkin
F: Shaun Atley, Ben Brown, Kayne Turner
Foll: Todd Goldstein, Ben Cunnington, Shaun Higgins
I/C: Jed Anderson, Paul Ahern, Dom Tyson, Aaron Hall

Defender depth: Sam Durdin, Ben McKay, Luke McDonald, Tom Murphy, Scott Thompson*, Declan Watson, Sam Wright

Forward depth: Joel Crocker, Taylor Garner, Nathan Hrovat, Nick Larkey, Red Og Murphy, Curtis Taylor, Tarryn Thomas, Tom Wilkinson, Cameron Zurhaar

Midfield depth: Luke Davies-Uniacke, Kyron Hayden, Tom McKenzie, Bailey Scott, Will Walker

Ruck depth: Tom Campbell, Tristan Xerri

14. FREMANTLE

A midfield that has ranked among the competition’s best in years gone by has diminished and is being remodelled, so losing dual Doig medallist Lachie Neale is a huge blow that will take some work to overcome. Connor Blakely seems the man to step up to support superstar Nat Fyfe, and the Dockers will need more from Bradley and Stephen Hill while Adam Cerra and Andy Brayshaw continue to develop. Aaron Sandilands will soon hand over to protégé Sean Darcy, and Freo’s ruck future is in safe hands. But take Fyfe out and the engine rooms starts looking thin.

B: Luke Ryan, Joel Hamling, Griffin Logue
HB: Nathan Wilson, Alex Pearce, Reece Conca
C:
Bradley Hill, David Mundy, Ed Langdon
HF: Michael Walters, Brennan Cox, Adam Cerra
F: Rory Lobb, Jesse Hogan, Hayden Ballantyne
Foll: Aaron Sandilands, Nat Fyfe, Connor Blakely
I/C: Andrew Brayshaw, Bailey Banfield, Travis Colyer, Brett Bewley

Defender depth: Taylin Duman, Ethan Hughes, Shane Kersten, Ryan Nyhuis, Tobe Watson

Forward depth: Hugh Dixon, Brandon Matera, Cam McCarthy, Lachlan Schultz, Sam Sturt, Sam Switkowski, Matt Taberner

Midfield depth: Jason Carter, Mitch Crowden, Harley Bennell, Stefan Giro, Stephen Hill, Tom North, Darcy Tucker, Luke Valente

Ruck depth: Sean Darcy, Scott Jones, Lloyd Meek

15. HAWTHORN

The Hawks midfield is in serious trouble. AFL.com.au had previously ranked them at No.8. But as the news emerged of Brownlow medallist Tom Mitchell’s broken leg, the Hawks began to slide further, and further down the order. While the 2018 season saw several young Hawks step up in the middle, far too often Mitchell was left to carry the burden. And let’s face it, the best player in the competition, according to the umpires, is irreplaceable. He averaged 35 disposals per game, and it is unrealistic to think someone like James Worpel, in just his second season, will be able to fill Mitchell’s shoes. There are certainly still some good players in this starting midfield. Liam Shiels is the quiet achiever while Jaeger O’Meara made great progress last year. Veteran Shaun Burgoyne and boom recruit Chad Wingard will certainly spend game time in the middle as well which will help. But the loss of Mitchell will have a huge impact on the Hawks’ ball winning ability, and will seriously hurt their finals prospects in 2019.

B: Blake Hardwick, James Frawley, James Sicily
HB: Grant Birchall, Ben Stratton, Harry Morrison
C: Isaac Smith, Liam Shiels, Ricky Henderson
HF:
Chad Wingard, Jack Gunston, Shaun Burgoyne
F: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Luke Breust
Foll: Ben McEvoy, Jaeger O’Meara, Dan Howe
I/C:
James Worpel, Connor Nash, Jarman Impey, Jon Ceglar

Defender depth: Kaiden Brand, Conor Glass, Damon Greaves, Changkuoth Jiath, Jacob Koschitzke, Teia Miles, David Mirra, Tim Mohr, Tim O’Brien, Jack Scrimshaw

Forward depth: Oliver Hanrahan, Will Langford^, Mitch Lewis, Darren Minchington, Conor Nash, Jackson Ross, Ryan Schoenmakers, Mathew Walker

Midfield depth: James Cousins, Will Golds, Harrison Jones, Tom Mitchell*, Dylan Moore, Tom Scully*

Ruck depth: Marc Pittonet

^ Will Langford has retired, but remains on the list for salary cap purposes

James Worpel is expected to shoulder more responsibility in the absence of Tom Mitchell. Picture: AFL Photos

16. ST KILDA

The acquisition of Dan Hannebery from Sydney was one of the AFL’s biggest off-season moves and Saints fans will be hoping the premiership star can recapture his best form. With a strong nucleus that includes Jack Steven, ever-improving Seb Ross and Jack Steele, a firing Hannebery would go a long way to seeing the Saints rise. With a plethora of inside ball winners, the major question mark hanging over this midfield is pace, meaning another strong season from Jack Sinclair is crucial. Watch for Hunter Clark to continue improving in his second season.

B: Jarryn Geary, Logan Austin, Dylan Roberton
HB: Jimmy Webster, Jake Carlisle, Daniel McKenzie
C: Dan Hannebery, Jack Steven, Hunter Clark
HF: Jade Gresham, Tim Membrey, Jack Billings
F: Ben Long, Rowan Marshall, Paddy McCartin
FOLL: Billy Longer, Seb Ross, Jack Steele
I/C: Blake Acres, Jack Newnes, Dean Kent, Jack Sinclair

Defender depth: Nathan Brown*, Bailey Rice, Oscar Clavarino, Darragh Joyce, Callum Wilkie, Shane Savage, Nick Coffield, Brandon White

Forward depth: Jack Lonie, Josh Battle, Max King*, Robert Young, Matthew Parker, Josh Bruce, Ben Paton

Midfield depth: Ed Phillips, Doulton Langlands, Jack Bytel*, Luke Dunstan, David Armitage, Nick Hind

Ruck depth: Lewis Pierce, Sam Alabakis

17. CARLTON

Carlton knew it had to improve its midfield depth and did so in the off-season by recruiting Will Setterfield, Sam Walsh and Liam Stocker. But the onball group remains light on A-Grade quality, mature talent and depth. Patrick Cripps is obviously a jet, while Marc Murphy and Ed Curnow are proven campaigners, but a lot of the heavy lifting still falls on some pretty young shoulders. Zac Fisher, Matthew Kennedy and Paddy Dow have shown plenty, but still need time to develop. It looks like a strong midfield in the making, with the right building blocks in place, but for now it remains one with plenty of potential and that’s it.

B: Nic Newman, Jacob Weitering, Lachie Plowman
HB: Lochie O’Brien, Caleb Marchbank, Kade Simpson
C: Ed Curnow, Will Setterfield, Marc Murphy
HF: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Charlie Curnow, Paddy Dow
F: Mitch McGovern, Harry McKay, Alex Fasolo
FOLL: Matthew Kreuzer, Patrick Cripps, Zac Fisher
I/C: Matthew Kennedy, Tom Williamson, Dale Thomas, Sam Walsh

Defender depth: Sam Docherty*, Angus Schumacher, Harrison Macreadie, Hugh Goddard, Ben Silvagni, Liam Jones

Forward depth: Jack Silvagni, Tom De Koning, Jarrod Garlett, Cam Polson, Patrick Kerr, Levi Casboult, Kym LeBois, Matt Owies, Finbar O’Dwyer, Tom Bugg, Jarrod Pickett*

Midfield depth: Darcy Lang, David Cuningham, Liam Stocker

Ruck depth: Matthew Lobbe, Andrew Phillips

18. GOLD COAST

Although ranked last, the Suns have done a lot to address arguably the weakest part of their list. While a total rebuild will likely take a few more off-seasons, in Jarrod Witts, Touk Miller, David Swallow and Lachie Weller, a decent nucleus is there. Acquiring model citizens Anthony Miles and George Horlin-Smith should help protect younger bodies like Brayden Fiorini, Jack Bowes and Will Brodie from having to do so much grunt work. They lack speed and to a certain extent class, but the Suns should have enough bodies to rotate through the midfield to be competitive every week.

B: Jesse Joyce, Rory Thompson, Jarrod Harbrow
HB: Callum Ah Chee, Jack Hombsch, Pearce Hanley
C: Lachie Weller, David Swallow, Alex Sexton
HF: Jack Martin, Josh Corbett, Ben Ainsworth
F: Darcy MacPherson, Peter Wright, Izak Rankine
Foll: Jarrod Witts, Anthony Miles, Touk Miller
I/C: Brayden Fiorini, George Horlin-Smith, Jack Bowes, Aaron Young

Defender depth: Charlie Ballard, Sam Collins, Caleb Graham, Connor Nutting, Ben King, Jack Leslie, Jez McLennan, Michael Rischitelli, Josh Schoenfeld, Harrison Wigg,

Forward depth: Chris Burgess, Sam Day, Jacob Heron, Sean Lemmens, Jack Lukosius, Wil Powell, Brad Scheer

Midfield depth: Will Brodie, Jacob Dawson, Corey Ellis, Nick Holman, Jordan Murdoch

Ruck depth: Brayden Crossley, Tom Nicholls

Source: AFL FOOTBALL NEWS