With the start of the AFL Season just over 5 weeks away we have decided to rank each Club’s best forward 1-18 for the 2017 AFL Season.
5 Jack Gunston (Hawthorn), centre-half forward
He seems to fly under the radar due to his unobtrusiveness, but rarely has a bad game. Carried the Hawks attack this year with no Roughead, kicking 51 goals with his usual exceptional accuracy, despite frequently leading up the ground. He even helped out in defence in patches, underlying his importance to the Hawks structure.
4 Tom Lynch (Gold Coast), centre-half forward
Declared the best player in the AFL by Jonathon Brown, Lynch is a scary proposition for defenders in the coming years. He carried the Gold Coast attack, clunking pack marks and consistently kicking important goals, other than when he got the goal kicking yips in the last few rounds. Lynch was also a creative link-up forward, often setting up his teammates for goals, especially Peter Wright.
3 Nick Riewoldt (St Kilda), centre-half forward/wing
What a legend. Just when it seemed he was losing his superstar status, a new role brought about his best season for some time. Leading up to the wing, Roo took a ridiculous number of marks due to his exceptional fitness and safe hands. Most significantly, he led a young side with passion, hard work and nous. A stunning season topped off with a stunning nine-goal haul in round 23.
2 Josh Kennedy (West Coast), full-forward
The Coleman medallist once again, due to his brilliant leading and set-shot accuracy. There’s no denying he’s a home ground bully, but he somewhat proved his critics wrong in the last few rounds with strong performances against top eight sides. Doesn’t contribute much beyond kicking goals, but after all, that’s what we’re here for.
1 Lance Franklin (Sydney), full-forward
Buddy was back in 2016, and added a new element of brilliance to his game. Always a wonderful goal-kicker, Buddy’s field kicking was exceptional this year, and was the key component in their early lead over Geelong (preliminary final). He was consistent, and beat the best, smashing star defenders Talia and Rance. His tackling and physical presence is underrated too. Would’ve been a worthy number one if not for a freakish year from Dangerfield.