The 2023 season was a great year for goalkicking. For the first time since 2016, a player booted over 80 goals in a season (including finals). Charlie Curnow stormed home to take the Coleman Medal, averaging 3.1 goals per game.

The big forwards were well and truly back in fashion; Nick Larkey, Taylor Walker, Oscar Allen, Joe Daniher, Tom Hawkins and Jeremy Cameron were all firing along with Curnow. Although small forwards did plenty of damage in 2023, we haven't picked any to take home the Coleman this coming season given the history of the award's winners.

Of course, small forwards can wreak havoc on an opponent's backline but the pure goalkicking talents of a big key forward seem more likely to take out the prized award.

With the 2024 season kicking off next month, we've picked out five of the leading candidates for the Coleman Medal.

Note: The players listed are in no particular order, simply the five potential winners we've selected. 


1. Charlie Curnow

The best key forward in the competition throughout 2023 could easily carry that form over into 2024. Charlie Curnow's campaign in 2023 was seemingly the best from a big key forward in years.

The first man in seven years to kick over 80 goals in a year, Curnow's dominance speaks for itself.

As for his club, the Blues revitalised themselves and secured a finals placing for the first time since 2013. Although the whole club performed extremely well towards the pointy end of the season, it was led by the dominant force in the forward 50 that is Curnow.

There's no doubt that Curnow is the best pure full forward in the competition. He plays with a very classic forward mindset - see the ball, get the ball, kick the goal. After finally having found consistency with his fitness and overcoming any injuries, Curnow could very easily defend his Coleman Medal in 2024.

If Curnow can win the Coleman once again in 2024, he will be the first player to win three straight since Gary Ablett Sr. achieved that feat between 1993 and 1995.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 22: Charlie Curnow of the Blues kicks for goal during the round 19 AFL match between Carlton Blues and West Coast Eagles at Marvel Stadium, on July 22, 2023, in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)