Though Melbourne is sitting 14th on the ladder with six wins for the season, forward Chris Dawes is buoyed by the promise of the Demons’ young stars.
Jesse Hogan, Jack Viney and Angus Brayshaw have all been selected in the AFL Players’ 22Under22 squad, and Dawes is hopeful that at least one of the trio will be selected in the final 22 – a feat no young Demon has yet achieved since the award’s inception in 2013.
— Chris Dawes (@cjdawes6) September 2, 2015
Viney, now in his third year at AFL level, had an injury riddled first half of 2015 but has returned to play a big role in the Melbourne engine room, averaging 21 disposals, six tackles and six clearances per game.
Brayshaw, on the other hand, had been working tirelessly in the middle all year, missing his first match for the season last week after being rested – a remarkable effort for a first year player.
Similarly, Hogan burst onto the scene to become the club’s go-to man up forward. Playing all but two games in his first full season, the 20-year-old has kicked more than 40 goals and monstered experienced keydefenders.
Speaking exclusively to aflplayers.com.au Melbourne forward and AFLPA board member Chris Dawes gave his thoughts on his emerging teammates ahead of the trio’s selection in the 22Under22 squad.
Chris Dawes on…
“Jesse is really interesting. He’s quite shy and reserved in his nature, yet he has a real confidence in his own ability – and rightly so.
“I reckon that’s what shines out on the footy field – you can see when he takes some of those contested grabs and kicks a few goals, he starts to get a swagger going.”
“Jack is a really driven, competitive and motivated guy. What you see on the footy field is exactly how he is off it.
“If you suggest he might not be able to do something, he’ll probably try and fight you. He’s that sort of bloke and the sort of guy you love having in your team.”
“Angus is a really good young lad and I get on really well with Gus. The thing that’s really stood out for me is how well he’s played for such a young guy.
“You can tell he’s going to fill out and going to become a really big bodied midfielder, but the way he’s able to throw his body around and put on some of the tackle pressure while still building an AFL body is really impressive.”
The fan-voted #22Under22 concept was launched in 2013 to honour the young stars of the game. The team recognises the AFL’s best players aged 22 and under for the 2015 AFL season.
Voting closes on Wednesday 9th September with the #22Under22 team to be announced at the 2015 AFL Players’ MVP Awards on Tuesday 15th September.