For a long time it was Mike Sheahan’s top 50, now it is Mark Robinson’s list of the game’s elite.
The Herald Sun’s chief football writer has revealed the bi-annual top 50 on the eve of the 2017 season, with the criteria being simple: put every AFL player up against the wall and pick them one by one.
On this list of the best of the current best sits two St Kilda superstars: six-time best and fairest winner Nick Riewoldt and reigning Trevor Barker Award winner Jack Steven.
After being named at No. 25 in the AFL Players’ Top 50, Riewoldt comes in two places higher on Robinson’s list at No. 23.
The 34-year-old produced a stunning season last year, splitting his time between the wing and inside 50 where he booted 41 goals (second most at St Kilda), hauled in 10.6 marks per game (most in the AFL) and averaged a career-high 20.8 possessions (2.2 more than any other year).
If you rummage a little further down the list, past Greater Western Sydney midfielders Josh Kelly (No. 24) and Dylan Shiel (No. 25) and Essendon’s Zach Merrett (No. 30), you’ll discover triple best and fairest winner Steven at No. 35.
Steven, 26, continued to establish himself as one of the best game breaking midfielders in the AFL last season, averaging 28.0 (11.3 contested), 5.6 tackles, 5.5 clearances, 5.3 inside 50s (No. 3 in the AFL) and 401.5 metres gained.
Meanwhile, Sheahan’s return from retirement has seen the return of his famous top 50 on Melbourne radio station SEN. The former Herald Sun chief football writer has included both Riewoldt and Steven inside his first 30 names, at No. 24 and No. 28 respectively.
Mark Robinson’s Top 10 in 2017
1. Nathan Fyfe (Fremantle)
2. Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)
3. Lance Franklin (Sydney)
4. Tom Lynch (Gold Coast)
5. Alex Rance (Richmond)
6. Gary Ablett (Gold Coast)
7. Josh Kennedy (Sydney)
8. Marcus Bontempelli (Western Bulldogs)
9. Josh Kennedy (West Coast)
10. Max Gawn (Melbourne)