ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 25: Karl Amon of the Power kicks the ball during the round six AFL match between the Port Adelaide Power and the St Kilda Saints at Adelaide Oval on April 25, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

When it comes to All-Australian selection, those that man the wings week-in, week-out are often forgotten as their position is handed to an inside midfielder or high centre bounce attendee.

You can understand the conundrum the All-Australian panelists face each season when roughly 10 of the best players in the competition are fighting for three starting roles in the followers slots.

Past seasons have seen those that have demanded a spot at fourth or fifth-string fall to the wings, and those further back in the pecking order even earning places in the forward line.

While excuses can perhaps be made for part-time forwards such as Dustin Martin and Patrick Dangerfield, there is usually little evidence to place other contested ball winners out wide and on the wings.

Across the past five seasons, 10 different players have claimed the 10 available All-Australian jackets for the wingman position, some of whom are renowned for their presence at the centre bounce.

Looking back last season for example, Bulldogs star Jack Macrae paired with Cats best and fairest Cameron Guthrie out wide.

Macrae, a ball-magnet at Whitten Oval, was present at 75% of centre bounces for the season, the most for a midfielder at the club behind partner-in-crime Marcus Bontempelli.


While Guthrie's number weren't as astounding, the scruffy Cat still managed to attend a majority of centre bounces - recording a rate of 57%.

Similar patterns can be shown for the likes of 2019's inductees Bontempelli and Tim Kelly, who ranked among the league's highest accumulator's for centre bounce clearances.

With natural wingmen evidently starved of their deserved jackets, we take a look at five names the All-Australian panelists should consider if they are opting to fill positions with fitting suitors.

Hugh McCluggage 

The unlucky name to miss last season's side, McCluggage has emerged as the league's best winger over the past two seasons.

The Lions gun is a formidable option out wide, with his elite running capacity and impact on the game becoming the envy of most opponent coaches.

A member of the 2019 and 2020 All-Australian squads, McCluggage's explosive start to this season looked to be fuelled off the back of another missed jacket in a career-best season.

Adding another strong campaign to his career in 2021, McCluggage firms as a leading chance to earn his maiden All-Australian honours, should natural wingmen be given the nod.

Karl Amon

A breakout season in 2021 has the electrifying Port gun well in the race for All-Australian honours.

Amon has been a vocal presence at both ends of the ground this year, showing off a stunning two-way running game and aiding the Power's push for a premiership.

Boasting elite numbers for rebound 50s, metres gained and uncontested possession, as well as above average stats for disposals, inside 50s and bounces, Amon lines up as one of the league's best to cover the turf.


Should his hot run of form continue, the 25-year-old might just be the best chance among this list to pull on an All-Australian jacket.

Paul Seedsman

Moving across the town of Adelaide we land at West Lakes and gaze upon one of the Crows' standout performers this season.

The Crows have opened up to a fresher look in their engine room under Matt Nicks in 2021, with Rory Laird thriving in the centre and Ben Keays transforming into a contested bull.

Added to these new roles is Seedsman's emergence as a damaging force for the Crows in both defence and attack.

The former Magpie is at the heart of each Adelaide transition, becoming a key link in the club's impressive campaign.

Averaging over 600 metres gained and 5.7 score involvements per game, Seedsman firms as an outside chance among the league's best wings.

Ed Langdon

Another who has taken his game to new levels in 2021, Langdon is thriving in a well-run Demons outfit.

Melbourne's attempt to end their premiership drought this year has been conjured thanks to a number of key role players, one of which being their trusted wingman.

Langdon has been a strong defensive asset for Simon Goodwin this season, while also being able to impact the scoreboard - booting 11 goals.

The Demons have been crying out for present outside runner, with Langdon fitting the mould in his second season at the club.

Lachie Hunter

The ever-reliable Bulldogs ball-magnet has been stellar for his side's success, still managing to be among the leading disposal winners albeit in a busy engine room.

Despite the continued rise of Josh Dunkley and Bailey Smith, the recruitment of Adam Treloar and the consistency of household names in Bontempelli and Macrae, there has been little to deter Hunter's game.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 28: Lachie Hunter of the Bulldogs celebrates a goal during the round 19 AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Fremantle Dockers at Marvel Stadium on July 28, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

While an All-Australian nod is unlikely to fall Hunter's way, there is no argument the father-son selection is among the AFL's best wingmen.

His part-time partner in Treloar has also flourished on the wing, but has faced challenges due to injury in his first season at the kennel.