The 2020 All-Australian team has been unveiled, featuring 12 new faces with Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield named captain.
Dangerfield received his eighth jumper on Thursday night to join football royalty, drawing level with Gary Ablett junior, Gary Ablett senior, Lance Franklin, Robert Harvey and Mark Ricciuto for the most in the modern All-Australian era.
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Geelong, Port Adelaide, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs all had the most representatives with three, while Richmond had just one (Dustin Martin).
West Coast’s Brad Sheppard and Liam Ryan, Fremantle’s Luke Ryan, Giant Nick Haynes, Collingwood’s Darcy Moore and Taylor Adams, Port Adelaide’s Darcy Byrne-Jones and Charlie Dixon, Bulldog Caleb Daniel, Geelong’s Cam Guthrie, Demon Christian Petracca, Saint Jack Steele were all named for their first blazer.
Eagle Nic Naitanui got the nod in the ruck, with selector Glen Jakovich praising the star ruckman’s resilience.
“You’ve done two ACLs, people are saying that your career is done and to come back and have the year that he has had, I think it’s a real testament to Nic,” he told SEN’s Time On.
“Max Gawn and Brodie Grundy have been the two best ruckmen of the last few years and they surpassed him, but (Naitanui) has caught back up. He can say, ‘I’ve pegged you boys back a little bit’ which is good for him.”
The squad of selectors included Gillon McLachlan (chairman), Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Steve Hocking, Glen Jakovich, Chris Johnson, Cameron Ling, Matthew Richardson, Warren Tredrea and Kevin Sheehan.
Other award winners saw Caleb Serong win the Rising Star, while Lachie Neale claimed both the AFLPA MVP and coaches’ player of the year.
2020 ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM
FB: Brad Sheppard, Harris Andrews, Luke Ryan
HB: Nick Haynes, Darcy Moore, Darcy Byrne-Jones
C: Jack Macrae, Travis Boak (vc), Cam Guthrie
HF: Patrick Dangerfield (c), Charlie Dixon, Marcus Bontempelli
FF: Liam Ryan, Tom Hawkins, Dustin Martin
FOLL: Nic Naitanui, Christian Petracca, Lachie Neale
I/C: Jack Steele, Taylor Adams, Caleb Daniel, Max Gawn