With the new year upon us and all 18 clubs getting stuck into the thick of pre-season, it's time to remind ourselves who are the front-runners in each position across the league.

Here is our list of the top 10 defenders in the league heading the 2021 season.

See also:

The TEN best midfielders heading into 2021

The TEN best ruckmen heading into 2021

The TEN best forwards heading into 2021


10. Sam Collins 

The 26-year-old had a stellar year for Gold Coast, taking out their best-and-fairest and becoming one of the best key defenders in the competition, with the second-most intercept possessions in the competition. He has become the main man in defence for the Suns, seldom loses one-on-one contests, and at 26 years old will be in the spine of Gold Coast's team for years to come.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - MAY 04: Sam Collins of the Suns evades a tackle by Jack Darling of the Eagles during the round seven AFL match between the West Coast Eagles and the Gold Coast Suns at Optus Stadium on May 04, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)