Midfielders are historically the most celebrated players in the AFL.
They are often the barometer for how a team performs given that they are handed the responsibility of getting first hands (or feet) on the ball in the centre of the ground.
Quite often we laud the impact of midfielders through their disposal tally and work rate, which are two key elements Port Adelaide premiership player Kane Cornes possessed during his career.
Here he takes a look at the Top 5 midfielders for season 2017.
Cornes’ Top 5 midfielders of 2017
5. Zach Merrett (Essendon) – Has taken another step forward after an impressive 2016. Top 10 in disposals and his kicking efficiency is at an elite level. Only 21 so scope for improvement is huge.
4. Tom Mitchell (Hawthorn) – Brilliant debut season with the Hawks. Much-maligned for apparently not hurting the opposition but when you get the ball 35 times a game, you are doing plenty of things right. Most possessions in the league. Underrated.
3. Josh Kelly (GWS Giants) – An absolute star in the making. Sublimely skilled, hard at the ball, and added goals to his game in the second half of the season. A coach’s dream.
2. Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong) – Outstanding footballer. 30+ disposals and almost 2 goals a game is remarkable. Contested footy and clearance beast (most in comp for both) and an inside 50 entries weapon. Hard to beat deep in the forward line, making him extra dangerous ahead of finals.
1. Dustin Martin (Richmond) – What a season he has had. Devastating when on song, which has been in almost every game in 2017. Most inside 50s in the league and top for centre clearances. Should win Brownlow and his form key if Tigers make any inroads in September.