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Greatest Dream Team of All: Preseason

On the back of the non-success of the ‘Greatest’ series on afl.com.au, I will aim to reinvent and establish a new article: DTTalk’s own ‘Greatest Dream Team of All’. Taking into consideration DT form of players across the competition, a best 22 will be proposed every week; including ins/outs and analysis of incoming players. Whilst the article shares the same name as its predecessor, these articles will focus on players from a DT perspective.

On the back of the non-success of the ‘Greatest’ series on afl.com.au, I will aim to reinvent and establish a new article: DTTalk’s own ‘Greatest Dream Team of All’. Taking into consideration DT form of players across the competition, a best 22 will be proposed every week; including ins/outs and analysis of incoming players. Whilst the article shares the same name as its predecessor, these articles will focus on players from a DT perspective (sorry Nick Maxwell). This is by no means a negative reflection of any omitted players personally, nor their playing style. It is purely an expression of the chosen players’ DT awesomeness.

Aside from giving readers a preview of the new article and gathering feedback; I’ve decided to put together a watchlist of players who are likely to figure in calculations of 2012’s Greatest DT of All to get the ball rolling.

Defenders

Brendan Goddard
[St Kilda – $474,200]

After a forgettable year for the Saints, Goddard will be looking to bounce back to once again become a dominant figure in the AFL and DT alike. Expect him to return to the top of the tree and become a must have defender in 2012.

Brett Deledio
[Richmond – $452,100]

Despite a minor hamstring strain in the preseason, Lids should be right to start the year and continue his DT brilliance. Whilst Richmond face a tough draw to begin with, he will still be one of the best defenders going around.

Grant Birchall
[Hawthorn – $443,500]

Becoming a go-to man in the Hawks backline in 2011, expect Birch to continue his rise to prominence in the new season. I’m anticipating this guy to be a regular fixture in the Greatest Team in 2012.

Corey Enright
[Geelong – $454,600]

One of the most reliable defensive options going around, Enright’s consistency will be his defining attribute yet again in 2012. Equally comfortable pushing up onto a wing as he is running off the half back flank, he should yet again be a top 5 defender this year.

Heath Shaw
[Collingwood – $454,000]

Whilst many will curse at Heater’s selection here, his DT ability cannot be ignored; meaning he remains as one of the highest scoring options in defense. If he can concentrate on his footy and avoid any off-field disturbances; he could spend a lengthy time on field in the Greatest DT.

Midfielders

Matthew Boyd
[Western Bulldogs – $573,800]

After a solid preseason and displaying absolute domination during the opening round-robin in the NAB Cup, Boyd is set for another cracking year. A great choice for any midfield; and a DT specialist, Boyd is a shoe-in for selection in 2012.

Gary Ablett Jnr.
[Gold Coast – $554,700]

After a slow start to 2011 in a very young Gold Coast team, the Little Master showed his class; shrugging off numerous tags and niggling injuries to prove to the competition that he doesn’t need a premiership team surrounding him to be a DT superstar. Expect more of the same in 2012.

Scott Thompson
[Adelaide – $538,500]

With the softest of soft draws in 2012, the world is expecting Thommo to dominate against the poorer teams this year. Should score highly on a regular basis; hence his selection on the ‘Greatest’ watchlist.

Scott Pendlebury
[Collingwood – $576,900]

Pendles has been ripping up the preseason and is fully focused on an ascent to the very top of the DT (& AFL) hierarchy. I’m backing him in his quest to take the mantle from Swan as DT’s best player in 2012. Although expect Swannie to be thereabouts too – he will keep racking them up until the day he retires.

Dale Thomas
[Collingwood – $509,200]

Fast developing into the ultimate wingman (shout out to Hamish & Andy), Daisy is slightly unique due to the vast attention given to his senior counterparts. With a fantastic display in the NAB Cup, Thomas looks set to take his game to another level in 2012.

Joel Selwood
[Geelong – $540,600]

The new captain of the Geelong Football Club appears to be in the middle of a meteoric rise that culminates in a permanent spot in the Greatest Dream Team of All. After showing promising form in his first NAB Cup game, Jelwood is on a mission to dominate in 2012 – will be a must have by years end.

Rucks

Dean Cox
[West Coast – $532,000]

Still the best of the big men in the AFL, Cox showed the world in the NAB Cup that he is not going to slow down anytime soon. He should remain the no. 1 ruckman in DT for 2012 (at the very least).

Ben McEvoy
[St Kilda – $447,500]

Now the undisputed sole ruckman in the Saints best 22, Big Ben should flourish in 2012 given his continued development (which has netted him a spot in St Kilda’s leadership group). He should be a big improver this season assuming he gets plenty of support from his aging midfield buddies.

Forwards

Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin
[Hawthorn – $503,000]

Coming off his best year yet; with sizzling preseason form – watch out for Buddy in 2012. Depending on how the Hawks’ forward line pulls up this season, he may get more of a run through the midfield; where he dominated in R1 of the NAB Cup. Will be a must have forward this season.

Nathan Fyfe
[Fremantle – $486,600]

I’m tipping ‘Avatar’ to have yet another great year in what will only be his 3rd season. Likely to again be Freo’s best DTer; Fyfe will be out to show last year wasn’t a fluke. Now over his shoulder issues that bothered him at times in 2011; look for him to explode this season and become one of AFL’s elite.

Mitch Robinson
[Carlton – $456,200]

Given MID/FWD DPP in 2012, Robbo will look to become a regular fixture in a star-studded Blues midfield this season. Known for his high pressure and attack on the ball, he is likely to be a fixture many teams this year as he looks to breakout into premium status.

Dustin Martin
[Richmond – $442,500]

Mr ‘Don’t Argue’ is set to break out truly in 2012. Equally adept at getting the hard ball as he is kicking a goal, Dusty will be one of those players whose breakout ‘everyone saw coming’ this season. Get on early as he will look to press for selection in the ‘Greatest DT’ all year.

Steve Johnson
[Geelong – $530,000]

Starting as the ‘highest paid’ forward in Dream Team, Stevie J is one of the true star goal kicking forwards worthy of selection in season 2012. Likely to have yet another great year, whereby he is likely to have more responsibility in the Cats’ forward line; Johnson should give his coaches plenty to smile about this year.

Greatest Dream Team of All: Preseason

B: C. Enright, B. Goddard, J. Adcock
HB: H. Shaw, G. Birchall, B. Deledio
C: D. Thomas, M. Boyd, S. Thompson
HF: N. Fyfe, T. Cloke, D. Martin
F: S. Johnson, L. Franklin, M. Robinson
Foll: D. Cox, G. Ablett, S. Pendlebury

Int: B. McEvoy, J. Selwood, D. Swan
Sub: M. Suckling

Notable additional inclusions: J. Adcock, T. Cloke, M. Suckling & D. Swan.
Notable exclusions: H. Scotland, M. Murphy, S. Mitchell, S. Mumford, M. Leuenberger, M. Pavlich & A. Goodes.

Thanks for reading – feedback appreciated. Let me know if you like the new article and feel free to use this as a discussion of sorts for premium selections in 2012.

McRath

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