Below are my picks for the AFL All-Australian team for 2013. There’s no use pretending these selections are based on an assessment from my watching all of the season’s games, or even a significant proportion of them (I don’t). My main inputs for these selections are reading who everyone else would select, seeing the SuperCoach scores, and my attempts to guess the psychology of the All-Australian selectors. On that score, I think the selectors will tend to favour players who have performed at a high level for the past two or three seasons – essentially if you’ve been in the frame before you’re a good chance to get selected this time – with Chad Wingard and arguably Will Minson and Lindsay Thomas the only picks I have made that have come out of relatively nowhere this season.
B: Nick Malceski (Syd), Scott Thompson (NM), Michael Johnson (Fre)HB: Jarrad McVeigh (Syd), Harry Taylor (Geel), Sam Mitchell (Haw)
C: Ryan Griffen (WB), Scott Pendlebury (Coll), Daniel Hannebery (Syd)
HF: Patrick Dangerfield (Adel), Travis Cloke (Coll), Steve Johnson (Geel)
F: Lindsay Thomas (NM), Jarryd Roughead (Haw), Chad Wingard (PA)
R: Will Minson (WB), Kieren Jack (Syd), Gary Ablett (GC)
I: Jobe Watson (Ess), Joel Selwood (Geel), Dane Swan (Coll), Nat Fyfe (Fre)
Also this year, I have put together the 2013 AFL ‘Freakin’ Awesome!’ team. The idea is that this is what the All-Australian team might look like if it was selected by a bunch of 12 year olds, with the only criterion for selection being that the player be ‘freakin’ awesome!’ (Would 12 year olds use the phrase ‘freakin’ awesome’? Probably not … I shouldn’t overestimate my insight into the psychology of today’s kids here.) Basically, unlike the actual All-Australian team, and with a few exceptions, your chances of being selected for this team once you pass the age of 24 become somewhat slimmer.
B: Pearce Hanley, Charlie Dixon, Nick Malceski
HB: Zach Tuohy, Harry Taylor, Luke Hodge
C: Ryan Griffen, Scott Pendlebury, Steele Sidebottom
HF: Dustin Martin, Jeremy Cameron, Steve Johnson
F: Cyril Rioli, Lance Franklin, Majak Daw
R: Nic Naitanui, Patrick Dangerfield, Gary Ablett
I: Nat Fyfe, Jeremy Howe, Ivan Maric, Jaegar O’Meara