Coinciding with the release of the squad, 22Under22 voting is now open for 2016, featuring AFL young stars such as Marcus Bontempelli, Isaac Heeney, Jake Lever, Darcy Moore, Kade Kolodjashnij and Tom Sheridan.
The 22Under22 squad is picked by the AFL Players’ Association Board and comprises of 50 of the league’s best players aged 22 and under.
First launched in 2013, 22Under22 is a concept that recognises the next generation of stars and is the league’s only fan-voted award. Once the AFL Players’ Association Board finalises the squad, fans are able to select their own teams which will ultimately decide this season’s final 22.
To be eligible, players must be aged 22 years or under for the entirety of the AFL season, including the finals series.
Following the process of picking the squad, AFL Players’ Association President Matthew Pavlich said the talent coming through the AFL system in promising for the future of the sport.
“It’s really promising to sit back and look at the young players coming through that are already consistently strong performers so early on in their career,” he said.
“Some of these guys in this squad have only been in the AFL system for one or two years and a few of them are already considered their team’s most important player, so it’s a really exciting time for the future of the game – I can’t wait to see who the fans select as their final 22.”
AFL Players’ Association CEO Paul Marsh also said it was important to reward the performances of the league’s younger generation.
“It’s great to provide a platform where the younger players are recognised and footy fans can throw their vote behind the young players they love watching each week,” he said.
Fans will now have until Tuesday 6 September to construct their own team and have a say in the final 22Under22 side. The final team will be revealed at the AFL Players’ Association MVP Awards on 13 September.
Visit 22Under22.com.au to cast your vote. The fan with the team closest resembling the final 22Under22 side will receive the ultimate AFL Players’ prize pack.