If Melbourne fans are excited about what the 2021 campaign holds, they should be equally bullish about the future with five of their youngsters represented in the AFL Players’ Association’s 22Under22 squad, presented by Snaffle.
Luke Jackson, Kysaiah Pickett, Harrison Petty, Trent Rivers and James Jordon have been included in the 40-person squad, as selected by the AFLPA with support from Champion Data, the equal-most of any club – alongside the Gold Coast Suns – in 2021.
Of the 40 players included in the 2021 squad, Jordan Ridley, Josh Daicos, Adam Cerra, Andrew Brayshaw, Jack Lukosius, James Worpel, Bailey Smith, Ben King, Jaidyn Stephenson and Max King have been selected in the final 22Under22 team before, while Aaron Naughton and Sam Walsh will be looking for their third selection.
The AFLPA is also delighted to announce Snaffle, an Aspire42 company, as the major partner of 22Under22 competition, giving fans who submit their vote the opportunity to claim some great prizes.
Snaffle, the online rental retailer, will also sponsor the AFL Players’ Association MVP Awards for three years as part of its commitment to a major partnership with the AFLPA. Snaffle helps make goals come true, by providing consumers with all their favourite brands through affordable rental.
AFLPA President, Patrick Dangerfield welcomed Snaffle as naming rights partner, and said 22Under22 continues to celebrate the best young talent in the competition.
“These guys are the stars of tomorrow. Within this group are future club captains, All-Australians and MVP award winners and it’s great they’re being rewarded for such strong seasons,” he said.
“I’ve come up against a lot of these players already and they’re super impressive on the field. The competition is in very safe hands.”
For a player to be eligible to be selected in the squad they must be aged 22 and under for the entirety of the season (including Grand Final day – September 25), and have played a minimum of 12 games throughout the 2021 season.
As always, fans will decide the final 22Under22 team, with voting now open at 22Under22.com.au for seven days from August 11 to August 18. The fan who selects the team that best matches the final team will win 22Under22 jumper signed by the side’s captain and vice-captain, with every fan who enters also in the running to win one of 22 Snaffle prizes.
In addition to naming rights for the end-of-season awards, including 22Under22, the prestigious Leigh Matthews Trophy for Most Valuable Player, and Best First-Year Player, the partnership will see the fans’ favourite players create unique Snaffle content that will feature across digital and traditional platforms.
Aspire42 Chief Operating Officer, John Stafford, said the company is thrilled to be partnering with the AFLPA to showcase Aspire42 brands to football fans.
“We are excited to align our group with the AFLPA, starting with 22Under22 and the MVP awards that showcase the AFL’s best talent in the same way Snaffle showcases the best brands to our customers, whether they’re after a TV to watch the game on or a mobile phone to follow the game on the move”, Stafford said.
“We have big plans for the next three years and our values align with those of the AFLPA with their commitment to improving the lives of players during and after their careers. As we announce more initiatives we know our partnership will go from strength to strength.”
AFL Players’ Association CEO, Paul Marsh, welcomed Aspire42 as an AFLPA partner.
“Apsire42 have a genuine commitment to creating outcomes that make the lives of their consumers better, and we are proud to launch this partnership which will see some exciting new initiatives for fans, players and the boarder public”, Marsh said.
This year’s 22Under22 final line up, presented by Snaffle, will be announced on August 24 via the AFLPA’s social media channels.