PERTH, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 26: Nick Dal Santo of the Kanagroos looks on during the AFL Second Preliminary Final match between the West Coast Eagles and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Domain Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

Nick Dal Santo has raised the names of five players who he believes will take another step up in 2020.

“This is not for Nat Fyfe, Dustin Martin and all the other superstars in the competition, this is the next run below,” Dal Santo said on SEN Afternoons.

“Who’s had a solid start to their career, but who’s going to take the next jump? So we sit here in 12 months time and say: ‘Wow, they had a burst out year, didn’t they?”

Apart from these five players, Dal Santo also gave honourable mentions to Aaron Naughton, Charlie Curnow and Izak Rankine.

In no particular order, Dal Santo said he believes these five will breakout into the upper echelons of the competition next season:


1. Eric Hipwood (Brisbane Lions)

The 22-year-old Brisbane forward has shown considerable talent from the early stages of his career.

This season, Hipwood was a solid contributor to a Lions side which enjoyed an extremely successful campaign.

After only missing on game for the season, Hipwood finished the year with a respectable total of 35 goals.

While it’s a decent tally in the modern game, for the Lions to take the next step in 2020, the 203 centimetre forward will need to take another leap as the focal point of the Brisbane attack.

After 75 games in the AFL and with another preseason under his belt to add to his relatively light build, Hipwood looks primed to produce in 2020.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 25: Eric Hipwood of the Lions celebrates during the 2019 AFL round 23 match between the Richmond Tigers and the Brisbane Lions at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on August 25, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)