The class of emerging future stars was evident in 2021, with a host of young names breaking onto the AFL stage and showing plenty of promise for the roads ahead.

Looking at players to have made their debut this season, we list the 10 players to have had the strongest campaigns after finally breaking through to the top flight.


1. James Jordon (Melbourne)

Debut: Round 1 vs Fremantle

Finally got his chance after two years at Melbourne without an appearance at AFL level.

A premiership winner, albeit as a medical sub, Jordon's debut campaign was one of the best in his class, playing 18 games for the Demons as a prominent feature in their midfield.

Played* in every game for Melbourne in their drought-breaking premiership season and had 11 games where he recorded 20 or more disposals.

Gained his Rising Star nomination in Round 8 after amassing eight tackles, 113 contested possessions and three inside 50s to go with his 23 touches.

Also recorded a season-high 13 tackles against Carlton the following week, proving to be as lethal on the backfoot as he is with his disposal.

*was an unused sub on three occasions