MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - OCTOBER 06: Andrew McGrath poses for a portrait during the 2016 AFL Draft Combine on October 6, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
The next instalment of this series, where we look back at Under-18 All-Australian sides and see what has developed from them.
2016, six years ago, that is also the number of years an average
AFL career lasts, so they say. So it's fitting that only about half of the 2016 Under-18 All-Australian are still playing at AFL level.
The players in this team, five of them, have achieved a Rising Star Award, three premierships, a best and fairest and seven 22under22 selections.
While not as star-studded as the previous years in retrospect, some of this group have the potential to grow, with many still yet to reach their prime.
MORE BLASTS FROM THE PAST
2010 Under-18 All-Australian team
2011 Under-18 All-Australian team
2013 Under-18 All-Australian team
2014 Under-18 All-Australian team
2015 Under-18 All-Australian team
Half of the backline are not AFL listed, two of which didn't get drafted at all.
Alex Villis and Sam Walker both failed to get drafted, with the former getting diagnosed with a heart condition.
Jack Maibaum, was drafted by Sydney but failed to play a game and was delisted in 2020. He has since made the VFL Team of the Year twice running.
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Off the half-back line are
Andrew McGrath, Brennan Cox and Harry Perryman.
McGrath was picked with No.1 in 2016 by
Essendon and has repaid that faith, winning the Rising Star and AFLPA best first-year player awards in his first season and four 22under22 selections in the years to follow.
Fremantle Docker Cox enjoyed a career-best season in 2022, averaging 16.2 disposals (as a key defender), six spoils and 2.3 intercept marks.
Perryman was a first-round draft pick in 2016 and will be welcomed in his return from injury in season 2023.
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - JULY 31: Andrew McGrath of the Bombers handballs during the round nine AFL match between the Essendon Bombers and the Brisbane Lions at Metricon Stadium on July 31, 2020 in Gold Coast, Australia. (Photo by Chris Hyde/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)
The entire midfield all find themselves in the AFL, all but two were picked in the top 20 of their draft year, with half of them in the top 10.
Pick No.9 in the 2016 Draft,
Will Brodie managed just 25 games in five seasons at Gold Coast, but since joining Fremantle has almost equalled that number with 22 games in his first season.
Pick No.3 in that year's draft was
Hugh McCluggage. The Brisbane midfielder has played 130 games out of a possible 136 since he was picked up, and has made the 22under22 side twice.
Now for Pick No.10 in 2016,
Jack Bowes played 83 games for the Suns and was most recently traded to Geelong in an infamous trade that saw Pick No.7, alongside the player, go to the premier.
The followers of this team include Bulldogs ruckman
Tim English, two-time premiership Tiger Jack Graham and versatile Blue Zac Fisher.
Will Brodie celebrates during the 2022 AFL Round 19 match between Richmond and Fremantle (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)
Only two players in this forward line currently see themselves at an AFL club,
St Kilda's Josh Battle and former Giant now Tiger Tim Taranto.
Joining Battle at half-forward is
West Coast premiership player Daniel Venables, who retired after 21 games due to concussion symptoms, and 24-game Bomber Dylan Clarke.
Callum Brown fell out of favour under new coach Craig McRae and has been delisted after 70 games in black and white.
Blue Patrick Kerr fell 145 games short of matching his
Carlton Hall of Fame grandfather Laurie Kerr, only playing four games before he was delisted.
Josh Battle during the 2022 AFL Round 1 match between St Kilda and Collingwood (Photo by Cameron Grimes / Zero Digital Media)
Previous years saw players named on the Under-18 AA bench who would go on to star, 2016 is not one of those years.
Jonty Scharenberg, brother of former Magpie Matthew, failed to get drafted by anyone.
Also being snubbed in 2016 was
Sam Hayes. However, Port Adelaide would draft him in 2017, and he finally debuted this year following an injury to first-choice ruckman Scott Lycett.
Kobe Mutch and Jordan Gallucci combined for a total of 31 games at Essendon and Adelaide respectively, with the former contributing four of those games.
CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Tom Campbell of the Saints contests the ball with Sam Hayes of the Power during the round seven AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Port Adelaide Power at Cazalys Stadium on April 30, 2022 in Cairns, Australia. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)
2016 Under-18 All-Australian team
B: Andrew Villis, Jack Mailbaum, Sam Walker
HB: Andrew McGrath, Brennan Cox, Harry Perryman
C: Will Brodie, Hugh McCluggage, Jack Bowes
HF: Daniel Venables, Josh Battle, Dylan Clarke
F: Callum Brown, Patrick Kerr, Tim Taranto
FOLL: Tim English, Jack Graham, Zac Fisher
INT: Jonty Scharenberg, Kobe Mutch, Sam Hayes, Jordan Gallucci