With round 10 upon us, we name our top 10 players of the 2015 season thus far.
1. Nat Fyfe (Fremantle)
Fyfe has hands down been the best player in the competition so far this season. The Brownlow Medal favourite has been in sublime form, blowing opponents away nearly every week. His speed and agility through the midfield, combined with his brilliant overhead marking and goal sense are a marvel to watch. Fyfe has averaged 32 disposals a game, which is six higher than last year, and eight higher than his career average. He has kicked 10 goals in his nine games, including a three goal haul against Geelong in round two, proving he can also hit the scoreboard when needed. Fyfe has also featured in 82 score involvements, averaging 9.1 a game, the second most in the competition. He is also first in contested possessions for the season, averaging a whopping 19 per game, four above the next best player.
2. Josh Kennedy (West Coast)
The West Coast full forward has gone to another level this season, leading the Coleman Medal with 37 goals, averaging 4.1 per game. Despite his bizarre, stuttering approach towards goal, his set shot kicking is generally very accurate. He is averaging 7.3 marks per game and leads the competition in score involvements and marks inside 50. Kennedy is also averaging an impressive 14.6 disposals a game, up three from his career average.
3. Eddie Betts (Adelaide)
The exciting small forward has also taken his game to the next level this season. He enjoyed a brilliant season last year in his first year with the Crows, kicking 51 goals in 22 games. He has already kicked 31 this season and is well on track for his best season yet. He is always lively around goals and as he showed last week against Fremantle, can do just about anything. Nearly all of his numbers are up from last year, with Betts averaging 15 disposals a game, 4.3 marks a game, 3.4 inside 50s and 3.4 goals per game.
4. Matt Priddis (West Coast)
Priddis has continued the form that saw him awarded last season’s Brownlow Medal. He was one of the best again on Sunday against Geelong, racking up 29 disposals. Often maligned for poor disposal efficiency in the past, Priddis is ranked ninth for overall effective disposals per game, with 21. He is not only a prolific ball winner, but is also ranked equal first in the competition for total tackles, with 62.
5. David Armitage (St. Kilda)
The 26-year-old has always been considered a good player, but this season he has really come of age. Ranked first in the competition in disposals with 32.8 per game, a whopping 10 disposals higher than his 2014 average and 14 higher than his career average to date. He has been instrumental to St. Kilda this year with his ferocious attack on the ball the perfect example for the younger brigade of Saints players. Ranked first in the competition in effective disposals per game and sixth in clearances per game, he may well feature prominently on Brownlow night if he keeps up this kind of form.
6. Dylan Shiel (GWS)
Despite being pre-selected as a 17-year-old by the Giants before making his debut in round 1, 2012, Shiel has appeared to fly under the radar at times, with the likes of Cameron, Treloar and Coniglio grabbing the headlines. However, this season the 22-year-old has been superb and has been a huge factor in the Giants’ great start to 2015. He is ranked sixth in total disposals for the season with 259 at an average of 28.8 per game. He also sits third for most score involvement behind only Kennedy and Fyfe. The classy midfielder enjoyed his first full pre-season in 2015, which has him set for his best season of his short career.
7. Dan Hannebery (Sydney)
Hannebery has shown so far this season just how much last year’s Grand Final loss has hurt him, with a blistering start to 2015. He is averaging 30 disposals a game, five higher than his previous two seasons. Ranked fourth for total inside 50s, he is averaging 6.7 score involvement per game. The 2012 premiership player is second behind Nat Fyfe in the AFL Coaches Association player of the year award.
8. Todd Goldstein (North Melbourne)
Goldstein has established himself as one of the premier ruckmen in the competition over the past few years, and his numbers this season continue to impress. Goldstein leads the competition for hit-outs, with 359 at 39.9 per game, including a whopping 51 against Collingwood last weekend. He is also averaging four tackles a game, an impressive statistic for a man of his size, and 3.8 marks.
9. Dane Swan (Collingwood)
Swan is back big time this season, after a disappointing year by his lofty standards last year. He is averaging 29 disposals a game and five inside 50s. He is also averaging five clearances a game and has been huge at crucial times this season, including a 32 possession two goal game against the Roos on Sunday.
10. Jeremy McGovern (West Coast)
The 23-year-old has been in fantastic touch this season. He is taking 7.5 marks a game, including two contested marks per game and averaging three rebound 50s per game. He has more than held his own this season against some of the best forwards in the competition, and definitely deserves a spot in our top 10.