Youngsters set to light up the AFL in 2017


WAYNE MILERA – ADELAIDE: Touted as a long-term replacement for veteran Scott Thompson after eight games in his debut season last year.

ERIC HIPWOOD – BRISBANE: The rangy tall forward needs a big pre-season in the gym but showed glimpses of quality with strong overhead marking while kicking 11 goals.

SAM PETREVSKI-SETON – CARLTON: The highly skilled draftee is set for a prominent role in a Blues midfield short of speed.

COLLINGWOOD – DARCY MOORE: One of the highest-ated big men of the competition, the 200cm forward finished fifth in Rising Star voting in 2016 with 24 goals from 17 matches.

ANDREW McGRATH – ESSENDON: The explosive No.1 draft pick looks a ready-made player for a key role in the Bombers’ midfield.

CONNOR BLAKELY – FREMANTLE: The midfielder earned a Rising Star nomination thanks to a 25-disposal game against Essendon. Averaged 20 touches from 5 games last year.

NAKIA COCKATOO – GEELONG: An obvious talent, the 20-year-old has 21 games of experience over his injury-interrupted two years.

BRAYDEN FIORINI – GOLD COAST: Won a Brownlow Medal vote in his second AFL game for 32 disposals, 12 tackles and two goals in the Suns’ final regular season game last year.

JACOB HOPPER – GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY: Won the club’s rookie of the year award after earning 10 games, averaging a respectable 17 possessions.

JAMES SICILY – HAWTHORN: The 186cm half-forward kicked 30 goals from 22 games in a breakout season in 2016.

CLAYTON OLIVER – MELBOURE: The 2015 No.4 draft pick played 13 games in his debut year, earning a Rising Star nomination for an eye-catching debut in round one.

RYAN CLARKE – NORTH MELBOURNE: Set to add to his six games after the Kangaroos cleaned out a ton of experience.

TODD MARSHALL – PORT ADELAIDE: The Power are touting the No.16 pick as the best tall forward in the 2016 draft.

DANIEL RIOLI – RICHMOND: Gained plenty of experience in his debut year, playing 18 games.

JADE GRESHAM – ST KILDA: An X-factor in an emerging Saints’ midfield, Gresham showcased his skill with an incredible sideline snap goal under pressure in an upset win over Geelong last year.

CALLUM MILLS – SYDNEY: Last year’s Rising Star winner was quiet in the Swans’ grand final loss but could emerge a more prominent ball-winner if he moves from the backline to the midfield.

TOM BARRASS – WEST COAST: The defender has attracted praise for strong intercept marking over his first 10 games.

CALEB DANIEL – WESTERN BULLDOGS: The premiership star played 24 of 26 games last season and was prominent in the Bulldogs’ midfield, averaging more than 21 possessions a match.

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