Within the AFL there are some truly amazing players who can do some freakish things with the ball in hand. Names like Gary Ablett, Chris Judd, Patrick Dangerfield, Nic Naitanui and Lance Franklin spring to mind. Yet, there are others who can do incredible things and for whatever reasons do not always receive the accolades they deserve.
1 – Luke Breust
Let’s face it, when your in a forward line that consists of Lance Franklin, Cyril Rioli and Jarryd Roughead, it would be hard for almost any player to get the recognition they are warranted. Breust oozes class, has terrific composure in a tight situation, and is polished around the goal. With a tally of 45 goals last season, and already 26 goals to his name at the halfway mark of this year, Breust remains a vital clog in the Hawthorn forward line. At the young age of 22, Breust signed a new 2-year deal earlier this season; many onlookers anticipate that Luke’s playing time will skyrocket while completing his new contact.
2 – Mike Pyke
Pyke just seems to improve with each game he plays. The former Canadian Union player turned AFL premiership star, has excelled in his new football code. Pyke’s break-out game came in last year’s victorious Grand Final; the greatest of all stages to announce your arrival. Pyke’s impressive start to the 2013 season has done nothing but enhanced his reputation within the AFL community. With Shane Mumford struggling through injury, and Kurt Tippet just returning from his eleven-match suspension, Pyke will play a significant role in Sydney’s pursuit for back-to-back flags.
3 – Mitch Duncan
Recruited by Geelong at number 28 in the 2009 draft, it was always going to be difficult for Duncan to establish himself in a team that many rate as one of the greatest of all time. Yet Duncan is another one of Geelong’s young guns that appears to be a seamless fit for the side; he already looks as if he’s played 150 games. With elite kicking skills, a strong mark, and a notable decision-making ability, Duncan has thrived since breaking into the Geelong outfit. Duncan has continued his development in 2013 and has taken his game to a whole new level. While he doesn’t receive the plaudits of many of his superstar teammates such as Jimmy Bartel, Stevie J, or captain courageous Joel Selwood, at the young age of 22, Mitch Duncan is a name of the future for Geelong.
4 – David Mundy
Like many players in the west, David Mundy does not always receive the recognition that he deserves. The classy Fremantle midfielder, who seems to never break out of first gear, has developed into one of the premier players in the competition. Comparisons are clear between Mundy and Scott Pendlebury. Both have that effortless running style, almost looking like their cruising when chaos is around them, fantastic composure with ball in hand, and impeccable decision-making capabilities. While Mundy may be half a level below that of a Pendlebury, he is a key part of the star-studded Fremantle midfield. With an engine room consisting of Nathan Fyfe, Stephen Hill and Michael Barlow, not to mention the return of Matthew Pavlich and Aaron Sandilands from injury, the Dockers are serious flag contenders in 2013.
5 – Chad Wingard
The footy world should take notice; this kid is a raw talent. Wingard has played just 31 games, but with his undeniable skill-set, unbelievable courage, and vicious attack on the ball, he could be in line for an all-Australian selection. Wingard is one of Port’s many promising youngsters, leading their resurgence back into finals contention in 2013. Much to the pleasure of the Port faithful, Wingard (just 19-years old) has signed through the 2016 season and will be a key part of Port’s success over the next 10 years.