SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 04: Jake Lever of the Demons marks during the round 12 AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the Brisbane Lions at GIANTS Stadium on June 04, 2021 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/AFL Photos/via Getty Images)

The 2021 season has finally been and gone, with the Dees getting up in the big dance against the Dogs to break a 57-year drought and cap off an action-packed year.

With this, Zero Hanger has collated a list of the top-50 players in the competition now the year is over, with part one containing spots 30 through 21.

30. Callum Mills

The defensive-minded midfielder had his best season in red and white since his debut way back in 2016, with his average numbers across the board beating out previous campaigns comprehensively.

Mills averaged 20.7 effective disposals per game across his 18 appearances for John Longmire's side this season, showing that everything passed through him when the Swans were on song.

At just 24 years of age, Mills has a fantastic career ahead of him and, with Sydney's youth looking like the real deal, might not have to wait long for his maiden flag victory.

29. Darcy Moore

The Pies star defender has been one of the best that the competition has to offer for several years now, but the 25-year-old had a rough 2021 by his lofty standards.

Moore only appeared on 13 occasions this year, but a knee injury in Collingwood's final match under Nathan Buckley meant he failed to feature for the rest of the year.

Despite only playing just over half the amount of games, Moore was consistently good for all of them, being ranked third in the league for marks per game and 11th for intercepts per game.

With the Pies starting a new era under coach Craig McRae, Darcy Moore will be the one that 'Fly' looks to as the leader of the back-six as Collingwood look to build a new-look club in 2022.

28. Lance Franklin

'Buddy' came back onto the scene after a year out of the game with a series of soft tissue injuries, putting in a decent shift for John Longmire's Swans.

Franklin booted 51 goals across his 18 games this season, averaging 2.8 goals per game and proving that he is by no means done with footy yet.

Furthermore, the 34-year-old is just five more goals off of the elusive 1000 goal mark, with season 2022 set to be the year when he makes history.

With youngsters coming into the side around him, the lessons that Franklin will teach to them will be of incredible value for a team that is on the up. If Buddy puts in an all-time classic season next year, then expect him to be further up the list come next October.

27. Joshua Kelly

The GWS onballer's future was up in the air for large portions of the year, but Josh Kelly decided to stay a Giant for life, and what a player the club has on its hands.

Kelly was a ball magnet in 2021, and had the stats to back it up. Averaging 26.1 disposals, 5.6 tackles (the 14th highest in the league) and 457.3 metres gained per game, the 26-year-old was the maestro in the middle for GWS.

The Giants went on a stunning run to the semi-finals and Kelly was very much at the heart of it. With Stephen Coniglio's captaining future up in the air, this year's Kevin Sheedy medallist might be the change GWS need.

26. Jeremy Cameron

From a current Giant to a departed one, Jeremy Cameron had a successful first year at the Cattery despite missing out on ten rounds of footy.

The forward booted 39 goals in his 15 appearances, ranking him fourth in the league for goals per game.

Injuries did mar his maiden year as a Geelong player but if he can manage to stay fit for Chris Scott's side in 2022, he may just go far in the Coleman Medal race.

The Cats aren't heading into next year with many of their stars getting on in age, however Cameron is a face that will be at Kardinia Park for a little while longer yet.

25. Tom Stewart

Tom Stewart had one of his best years yet at Geelong even though he missed out on finals through injury.

His incredible ability to read the game and snuff out attacks when they stray into his midst is one of the reasons why he is regarded as one of the best defenders the game has to offer.

The 28-year-old was ranked first in the league for marks per game, with his vice-like grip on the footy making him a forward's nightmare.

Stewart is also excellent at kicking off attacks and finished fourth across the entire competition for kicks per game (18.9) meaning he is extremely proactive with his play.

As mentioned with Cameron, the future of Geelong is an uncertain one considering their squad, but having Tom Stewart down back will do anything but hinder the Cats.

24. Nic Naitanui

The superstar ruck had a solid season despite his West Coast side having one of their worst in recent memory.

With many hypothesising that 2021 was the end for this generation of Eagles, 'Nic Nat' still pulled out some impressive numbers all things considered.

Earning a place on the All-Australian interchange, Naitanui was ranked third in the league for hit-outs per game, first in stoppage clearances per game and fifth for clearances per game - a huge feat considering he is a two-metre tall ruckman.

At 31 years of age Naitanui still has a few years left in him, however it remains to be seen whether the quality of the team around him will reflect his incredible abilities.

23. Jake Lever

The former Crow was able to finally right the wrongs of his 2017 grand final loss by winning the big dance as a Dees player.

Jake Lever had a stellar year for Melbourne as his defensive unit were by far and away the most watertight rearguard across the entire year.

After being plagued by injury in his early days in Melbourne, Lever played every single one of the Demon's 25 matches and put up some unbelievable numbers week-in week-out.

The 25-year-old averaged the most intercepts per game out of anyone in the AFL with 10.3 and was also ranked eighth for total contested marks  - a remarkable effort in a year where he claimed his first All-Australian blazer.

With the Dees not looking like they'll be falling off anytime soon, Lever will be at the very core of their successes should they come hard and fast.

22. Steven May

Lever's partner in defence, Steven May is coming off his best year of AFL football as well, breaking the club's premiership drought and establishing the Dees as a force to be reckoned with over the coming years.

May's role down back allowed for Lever to thrive as an intercept defender, however it didn't hinder his effectiveness at all with the defender earning an All-Australian blazer.

The former Sun was ranked eighth in the league for total rebound 50s and averaged elite figures of 12.4 effective kicks and 392.3 metres gained per game, highlighting his ability to spread the play once he had his hands on the footy.

At 29 years old he may not have as long left in his career as Lever, but there is still a good half a decade in there for him to create a truly great legacy.

21. Luke Parker

The Swans mid was Sydney's best player this year and was recognised as such with his third Bob Skilton Medal in his 235 games at AFL level.

Parker's ability to win the ball in the contest has made him one of the best inside midfielders in the competition, with his 2021 stats reinforcing this.

The 28-year-old's preferred method of delivery is by hand, with the Victorian ranked ninth in the league for handbells per game, while his number of contested possessions per game comes in at 13.4 - an elite figure for midfielders.

Despite Sydney's next generation of talent rising through the ranks at an astonishing rate, Parker's spot in the side should not be questioned by any means and the Langwarrin-native will be a staple of John Longmire's setup for years to come.