With the new season just around the corner, fans are starting to get excited about what their side can produce in 2017.
Here at Zero Hanger we thought we’d jump on board with the fans, so here’s our list of one player from every club that will excite us in 2017 and elevate their game to a new level.
Adelaide – Curtly Hampton
Despite not playing a game for the Crows in 2016 due to injury, Curtly Hampton should slot back into the senior side without a hiccup and make himself an integral player in the Adelaide line-up.
Brisbane – Sam Mayes
The 23-year-old has the ability to assert himself in the Brisbane midfield this season, so expect Sam Mayes to be one of their major ball-winners each week.
Carlton – Billie Smedts
A change of scenery could work wonders for the unlucky former Cat, as an injury-free season should see him elevate his game in 2017.
Collingwood – Darcy Moore
Darcy Moore has made an impressive start to his 26-game career so far, but this year could be his best yet, as Moore looks set to become the focal point of Collingwood’s forward line.
Essendon – Aaron Francis
There was a lot of hype around Aaron Francis in 2016, and during his three matches last season, the 20-year-old showed glimpses of what he could produce, and more game time in 2017 should allow Francis to stake him claim for a regular spot in the side.
Fremantle – Cam McCarthy
With Matthew Pavlich retiring at the end of last season, the Dockers are crying out for a key forward, and former Giant Cam McCarthy certainly has the potential to be that man and have a break out year in 2017.
Geelong – Nakia Cockatoo
The young Cat impressed last season during his 10 matches at AFL level, but with another pre-season under his belt, Nakia Cockatoo has all the makings of a player who could find themselves in Geelong’s best 22 each and every week.
Gold Coast – Jack Martin
After a strong year in 2016 following an inconsistent start to his career, Jack Martin is ready to make another leap again this season as the Suns finally look to play finals football.
GWS – Jon Patton
After being overshadowed in the Giants’ forward line by Jeremy Cameron for most of his career, Jonathan Patton had a strong season in 2016, and looks set to continue his form into the upcoming season, one that could see him become one of the competition’s most damaging key forwards.
Hawthorn – James Sicily
With Jarryd Roughead back in the Hawks’ line-up for 2017, look for James Sicily to make a huge impact this season as the third tall alongside Roughead and Jack Gunston.
Melbourne – Angus Brayshaw
The Melbourne midfield is already shaping up as one to watch for the future, and Angus Brayshaw has the potential to be the best of the lot. The 21-year-old missed patches of 2016 through injury, but a full 2017 campaign could see Brayshaw step his game up to another level.
North Melbourne – Mason Wood
Despite playing just 16 games in his career, Mason Wood has shown enough quality in his short career to be able to make the leap in 2017. Without Drew Petrie in the forward line, look for Wood to have a coming of age this season.
Port Adelaide – Ollie Wines
He’s already a strong component of the Port Adelaide midfield, but there’s so much room for improvement with Ollie Wines. He’s a strong, tough midfielder who continues to find the ball each week, and Wines could possibly be one of the Power’s best by season’s end.
Richmond – Reece Conca
If Reece Conca can stay fit for the majority of 2017, he’s got more than enough ability and class to cement his spot in the Richmond side and repay the club for the continued faith they’ve shown with him.
St Kilda – Nathan Freeman
There’s only one thing that Nathan Freeman needs in order to have a stellar 2017; his health. Freeman has all the ability in the world, and if he manages to get on the park this season, he’ll be sure to show everyone what he can do.
Sydney – Kurt Tippett
He hasn’t yet lived up to the expectations of Swans fans, but 2017 could be the year Kurt Tippett takes centre stage. He impressed towards the end of last season, and more time in the forward line this season could be a major factor in Tippett being the player Sydney hoped he could be.
West Coast – Jack Darling
He played every game in 2016 and booted 44 goals, and Jack Darling is ready to continue on that upward trend this year. The forward works hard and has all the tools of a quality player, so don’t be surprised if the Josh Kennedy-Darling tandem becomes the most lethal in the game after the current season.
It’s amazing to think that one of the top 10 players in the game can make this list, but that’s just how good we believe Marcus Bontempelli can become. The 21-year-old has everything, and we believe he could be the number one player in the game at season’s end.