As Round 2 kicks off on, commencing with Geelong and Carlton at the MCG, we take a look at the five players who are the most intriguing heading into the second weekend of the season.
Jack Bowes (Geelong)
Bowes has been named for his Geelong debut against Carlton in tonight's game after missing last week due to a calf injury.
Bowes was in high demand over the trade period, with Essendon, Hawthorn and Geelong all chasing him, after Gold Coast decided to part with Bowes in order to get rid of the salary cap pressure from his heavily back-ended contract, and will be looking for a strong start tonight to back the hype.
Bowes was used across the backline and the midfield at the Suns, proving to be a versatile player, which will be highly valuable to the Cats after the departure of Joel Selwood and injuries to Tom Stewart and Jack Henry.
Bobby Hill (Collingwood)
Last Friday's game was a massive one for Bobby Hill, playing in the black and white for the first time as well as making his return to footy from testicular cancer.
Hill kicked three goals last week, with his speed providing some much-needed explosiveness in the forward 50, something which the Pies have desperately missed these past few years.
Hill also had four score involvements, five inside 50s and 10 disposals, and will be looking to back that effort up against Port this week.
Jack Ginnivan will be available for selection against Richmond in Round 3 after his illicit substance ban expires, so Hill will be hoping for a strong effort to cement his spot in the team.
Running out of things to say about Bobby.
THE MAN BELONGS ON THE BIG STAGE! pic.twitter.com/GXqep504AX
— Collingwood FC (@CollingwoodFC) March 17, 2023
Hugh Greenwood (North Melbourne)
With much praise for Harry Sheezel last week in North's win against West Coast, Hugh Greenwood flew under the radar for his efforts.
After Tristan Xerri was subbed off with an ankle injury in the first quarter, Greenwood and Charlie Comben combined as a ruck duo for the rest of the game.
Greenwood finished with 15 disposals, 11 hit-outs and five tackles. Whilst Alastair Clarkson will lean on Todd Goldstein to replace Xerri this week, he will be pleased to know his makeshift duo can help lead North to victory.
Esava Ratugolea (Geelong_
Played down back last week in a position change and looked right at home against Dan McStay. However, Ratugolea faces a much bigger challenge this week in Coleman medallists Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay.
Ratugolea managed to pick up six coaches votes after his efforts last week, and will need to stand up in defence with Tom Stewart, Jake Kolodjashnij and Jack Henry out.
He's been in and out of the team the past few years, playing as a ruck and up forward, but it seems that the move to defence has been a beneficial decision for both Geelong and Ratugolea.
Archie Perkins (Essendon)
After last week's three-goal haul against Hawthorn, it looks like this could be Perkins' breakout year.
Perkins was named in Essendon's best, finishing with three goals, 20 disposals and another 10 score involvements, playing a critical role in leading the Bombers to victory.
A hip issue last year saw Perkins miss a few games and return through the VFL, with the No.9 pick in the 2020 AFL Draft looking to reach new heights this year and be a pivotal cog in Essendon's 2023 campaign.
Someone get an extinguisher, Perko is on FIRE 🔥
— Essendon FC (@essendonfc) March 19, 2023