The 22Under22 squad has been announced by the AFL Players' Association for the 2023 season. The 40-man squad has recognised the best young players across the competition and allows fans to select their 22 players through a voting system.

Among the 40 nominated, 10 players were selected in the final 22 in the 2022 side. Across history, a handful of players have been selected in multiple 22Under22 sides, most notably Marcus Bontempelli, who has featured five times - every year he was eligible.

In this year's 40-man squad, Bailey Smith is gunning for his fourth consecutive appearance in the side after earning a selection in every season since 2020. Along with Smith, Kysaiah Pickett, Noah Anderson and Luke Jackson will be searching for their third straight selections.

Our team put together who we think will make the final 22.


Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera

The St Kilda defender has been a standout for his side throughout 2023. In his second year, Wanganeen-Milera regularly showcases his poise and class with the footy. His speed in transition aids Ross Lyon's side whilst his defensive capabilities are also solid. Averaging 23.6 disposals a game, Wanganeen-Milera provides run from the backline whilst key defender Callum Wilkie does the brunt of the one-on-one defending.

Sam De Koning

The younger De Koning brother has backed up his impressive 2022 campaign brilliantly in season 2023. The premiership player has had to stand up for most of the year with injuries wreaking havoc on the Geelong backline. The 22-year-old suffered injuries himself during the year, most notably a fracture in his nose that required him to don his now-infamous mask. Averaging 1.4 intercept marks, the tall defender continues to show his versatility both as an intercepting player and a one-on-one key defender.

Miles Bergman

An integral part of Port Adelaide's success in 2023, defender Miles Bergman has continuously shown his worth. Averaging career highs in every defensive stat other than tackles inside 50, the 21-year-old has become a staple in the Power defence alongside Aliir Aliir and Trent McKenzie. He has additionally added a more aggressive transition game into his skill set, with a career-high average of 315 metres gained in 2023.

Harry Sheezel

As North Melbourne's shining recruit in 2023, Harry Sheezel has been impressive from his debut. The 18-year-old half-back recorded an astounding 34 disposals in his first game and has managed to average just over 26 possessions across 2023. Going at 75% disposal efficiency, his cleanliness off half-back has been solid despite his side's lacklustre campaign. With a possible Rising Star Award not far away for Sheezel, his inclusion was a must.

Nick Murray

Crows defender Nick Murray has put in a solid campaign in 2023 for a finals-contending side. The 22-year-old, alongside teammate Jordon Butts, has taken many of the key forwards this season and quelled their influence. In his third season, he is averaging career highs in disposals, marks and spoils in 2023. As the 40-man side only had two tall key defenders in Murray and De Koning (both included), his selection was always certain, however, that isn't to discredit the young defender, as he has still been solid for the Crows.

Lachie Ash

One of the more underappreciated aspects of the GWS Giants' success in 2023 is half-back Lachie Ash. The 22-year-old averages just over 24 disposals a game along with 426 metres gained. After being utilised around the ground in previous years, under Adam Kingsley he has been able to solidify himself as a half-back. His statistics show how comfortable he is in the role, relishing the ability to play in one position consistently throughout the year.

Hayden Young (INTERCHANGE)

The Fremantle defender is known for his damaging kicks off half-back and how clean he is by foot, going at 75% efficiency. Young has been utilised as a tagger at times throughout the season, however, what's most impressive is his ability to continually win the ball despite playing a shutdown role on his opponent. Averaging just over 22 disposals a game, the 22-year-old will be a regular starter for the Dockers for years to come.


Errol Gulden (Vice-Captain)

Gulden has taken his game to another level in 2023. The 21-year-old winger has just about solidified his place in the All-Australian team and was a no-brainer for the 22Under22. Averaging 26.5 possessions, just shy of a goal a game and career highs in marks, tackles and clearances, the Swans star has been electric. Moving more into a midfield role due to injuries in the side, Gulden shone in the starring role without the likes of Chad Warner around. His clearance game is impressive and his ability to hit the scoreboard when needed has aided the side in more ways than one.

Caleb Serong (Captain)

Fremantle midfielder Caleb Serong has improved on his 2022 campaign in just about every facet of the game. Alongside teammate Andrew Brayshaw, the duo have transformed into one of the most dynamic pairings across the league. Serong's toughness in congestion and his ability to win the ball in situations where most would slip, the 22-year-old is putting together a stellar campaign. Averaging just shy of 31 disposals a game, with a remarkable career-high 38 possessions against the Bulldogs this year, the midfielder is set to dominate the competition for a very long time. His effectiveness and leadership qualities at the Dockers have also earnt him the captaincy role.

Nic Martin

Arguably an All-Australian winger in 2023, Essendon's Nic Martin has been impressive throughout 2023. His kicking efficiency is amongst the highest in his position, going at 65% by foot, with the 22-year-old having been utilised to perfection under new head coach Brad Scott. For his side, he has been a prolific winger throughout 2023 despite his role primarily as a half-forward in 2022. His ability to set up goals is also impressive, not necessarily through direct goal assists, but rather his transition with the ball from half-back, down the line and towards forward 50.

Nick Daicos

The superstar Magpie has backed up his impressive debut season with a remarkable 2023 campaign. Despite being eligible for a defensive position in the side, his best has definitely been from the midfield. The 20-year-old had been the Brownlow Medal favourite up until a Round 21 injury against the Hawks that will see him out until some point in the finals series. Nevertheless, the half-back-turned-inside midfielder has been pure class throughout the year. Once transitioning into the midfield, he showed what made him such a highly regarded draft pick. Averaging just over 31 touches a game and just shy of a goal a game, the Magpies' young gun is set to have an incredible career.

Noah Anderson

The shining light of the Suns, Anderson has been instrumental in the performances of his side, specifically due to the absence of midfielder Touk Miller during a fair portion of the season. His ability on the ball has been showcased all year, averaging a career-high 27 disposals and 6.5 clearances. The 22-year-old is a crucial component of the young Suns' midfield along with teammate Matt Rowell. His ability to score when needed (a memorable after-the-siren goal against the Tigers comes to mind) is also highly remarkable.

Luke Jackson (RUCK)

The standout choice for the ruckman role, ex-Demon Luke Jackson is starting to show his worth. Early on in the season, questions were raised regarding his performances, however, after the bye he has been enormous for the Dockers. With the injury to Sean Darcy, Jackson has relished in his role as a sole ruckman both in the contest and around the ground. His speed and agility for a man of his size is impressive, especially in contrast to the usual ruck in Darcy. Whilst the options were thin for the 22Under22 side, Jackson has definitely earnt his spot in the side.

Jai Newcombe (INTERCHANGE)

Hawthorn's 2021 Mid-Season Draft pick is really finding himself at AFL level. The 22-year-old is such a damaging force throughout the Hawks' midfield and adds some toughness to contrast the class through traffic. His bruising attack on the ball is notable along with his efficiency with the ball. Going at 76% and averaging 24.5 disposals a game, Newcombe is an integral part of the Hawthorn midfield and has been a significant piece of coach Sam Mitchell's plan. If he can add a little more consistency regarding his attacking traits, he'll be an even bigger threat to the rest of the competition.


With names like Stephen Coniglio and Josh Kelly lurking in the Giants midfield, it's 22-year-old Tom Green who's the standout. The midfielder is averaging 31.6 disposals per game along with just under six clearances. Whilst not a goal-scoring midfielder by any means, Green works in tandem in the middle of the ground with his teammates and has established himself as a clearance machine. Working through traffic and still going at just under 70% disposal efficiency, Green was a must for the side. Purely based on his damage through clearance, his inclusion along with Hawk Jai Newcombe adds some serious muscle and toughness to the side.


Crafty midfielder Will Day has been solid under Sam Mitchell. After beginning a decent chunk of the season as a half-back, the 22-year-old has transitioned into a midfield role. With fellow midfielders James Worpel, Jai Newcombe and Conor Nash, Day has solidified himself as a regular in Sam Mitchell's side. Averaging just under 26 possessions a game at an impressive 78%, Day provides cleanliness to contrast the contested ball-winners already present in his side. Having played 18 out of a possible 20 games (missing two due to suspension), his consistency in the side is something to be rewarded.


Josh Rachele

An exciting prospect for Crows fans, forward Josh Rachele has put together a stellar 2023 campaign. The 20-year-old has played predominantly as a forward for his entire career, however with increased minutes through the midfield, his role could be changing. As a forward, his craft and explosiveness around goal is a standout along with the youthful presence he provides in the forward half of the ground. Averaging almost 16 possessions a game and just shy of a goal each week, Rachele is truly a generational talent that is set for a long and hopefully prosperous career in Adelaide.

Jamarra Ugle-Hagan

With the high-flying attributes of Aaron Naughton already present in the team, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan brings a level of intensity and pure forward craft that the Dogs were sorely missing. His goalkicking is remarkable for his age, and already putting together a plethora of memorable goals regarding both skill and the moment. Clearly a 'big time' player, the comparisons to recently retired great Lance Franklin are not in vain. With the highest average goals per game in the entire team, Ugle-Hagan was an absolute certainty.

Mitch Owens

With his first full season coming to a close, the Saints have found a genuine star in Mitch Owens. Playing predominantly as a forward, Owens has taken plenty of high-flying marks along with highlight-worthy goals. Despite his class up forward in the absence of Tim Membrey and Max King at times, his move into the midfield at periods in games is interesting. Standing at 191cm, he's a tall midfielder, however, moves and gathers possessions consistently. With 23 goals so far in the season, Owens clearly isn't slowing down and is looking like a jack of all trades for the Saints.

Kysaiah Pickett

Arguably the best small forward in the entire competition, premiership winner Kysaiah Pickett has added yet another fantastic campaign to his résumé. After being suspended in Round 1 of the 2023 season for three weeks, Pickett exploded back onto the scene kicking multiple goals in 11 out of a possible 18 games played. The 22-year-old is in his fourth year at the Demons and has again been a great goal-scoring threat. With the injury to Bayley Fritsch, goals for the Dees have been mainly coming from the small forwards with 'Kozzie' leading the way.

Jye Amiss

Dockers tall forward Jye Amiss has had a tough second year in the AFL. Fremantle has been one of the more disappointing sides in the competition, however, Amiss has been a shining light regarding individual achievements. Managing 34 goals so far in 2023, Amiss has played a tough role as the key forward for the Dockers but is still contributing well. With a misfiring forward line around him for most of the year and often slow and drawn-out ball movement, Amiss has made the most of what he's been offered and shown his genuine forward craft.

Beau McCreery

Pies small forward Beau McCreery is an integral part of the Pies' success in 2023 under second-year coach Craig McRae. McCreery is consistently applying pressure both in the Magpies' forward line and around the ground. His speed is something to be admired as he regularly wins foot races down the wing to move his side into an attacking position. A rather selfless player but knows how to kick goals when he needs to. His tackling pressure and aggressiveness in the contest rather than his goalkicking earnt him a spot in our team.

The team

FB: Nasiah Wanganeen-Milera, Sam De Koning, Miles Bergman
HB: Harry Sheezel, Nick Murray, Lachie Ash
C: Errol Gulden (vc), Caleb Serong (c), Nic Martin
HF: Josh Rachele, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Mitch Owens
FF: Kysaiah Pickett, Jye Amiss, Beau McCreery
FO: Luke Jackson, Nick Daicos, Noah Anderson
I/C: Jai Newcombe, Tom Green, Will Day, Hayden Young