The 2014 AFL season has seen a new generation of superstars make their mark on the competition – to celebrate, the AFL Players’ Association is calling on all footy fans to help pick this year’s 22Under22 team. Click here to create yours.
Brisbane has blooded an abundance of youth throughout the 2014 season, and will unveil their 10th debutant for the year on Saturday night against Geelong.
aflplayers.com.au recently caught up with Brisbane legend Jonathan Brown to give us his thoughts on some of the Lions’ finest young talent.
Coming from South Australian football royalty, Aish has exceeded all expectations in his debut season. The ball magnet is averaging close to 18 disposals a game and has established himself in the Lions’ midfield.
Brown said: “James is very intense and very professional. He’s a great kid. He loves his footy and he’s a star of the future.”
The versatile utility has played his best season yet for the Lions and has made a significant impact in Brisbane’s defence, averaging more than four tackles per game.
Brown said: “Ryan is a hard worker. He’s a bit of a nerd, but he’s a beauty.”
The pocket-rocket has had a stellar debut season. With an average of more than 16 disposals per match, he has become a key player in the Lions’ midfield.
Brown said: “He’s as tough as they come and a good country boy. He’s a fantastic young player and will be another star of the future.”
The 20-year-old maintained his brilliant form from last season and was unlucky to miss out on a nomination this year. His versatility has seen him become a vital contributor down back as well as kicking some goals up forward.
Brown said: “Sam burst on the scene in a big first 18 months. He’s played with a lot more experience than his age suggests.”
While Green may fly under the radar at other clubs, it’s clear the zippy forward is rated incredibly highly inside the four walls at Brisbane.
In the lead-up to the season, Brown said: “I think Josh Green is going to go to the next level. With Dayne Zorko and Josh Green, we’ve got a pretty good one-two punch in the forward line, and he’ll start to push more into the midfield.”
Green has shown he’s incredibly dangerous with the ball in hand, having now kicked 30 goals for the season despite averaging just 12 disposals per match. One of the unluckiest to miss selection in the 22Under22 squad.
The 20-year-old has learned plenty while playing on some of the best forwards in the competition this season. With more experience under his belt he’ll be one to look out for in 2015.
Brown said: “Justin is very intelligent. He got a perfect score in year 12. He’s studying to become an aeronautical engineer. He’s the book-smart one.”
“He’ll be around for a decade-plus.”
The final 22Under22 team will be announced at the AFL Players’ MVP Awards on Tuesday, September 9. You can vote for Aish, Lester and Taylor by selecting your 22Under22 team here.