Suns youngster and first overall selection Matt Rowell has ignited discussion around the league as having the potential to be one of the best first-year players we’ve had across the last decade.
A number of players – young and old – have given football fans sheer unmatched delight in their debut seasons. And while John Coleman’s stunning 100-goal debut season will forever go unparalleled, we’ve decided to rank the top 10 from the last decade alone.
There’s no age bias with this list – our criteria included players of any age who were playing in their debut season.
Here are the 10 best AFL rookie seasons of the last decade:
9. Jaidyn Stephenson (2018)
Like Heppell, Stephenson was crowned the Rising Star winner after shooting onto the scene in his debut season for the Pies. The athletic forward notched up 26 games and played a vital role in Collingwood’s push for a flag, booting two goals in their grand final loss to the Eagles.
Stephenson slotted 38 goals in his first year and averaged close to three tackles and 2.5 inside 50’s per match, igniting a career that is sure to add plenty of September experience.