If you’ve tried to pick your 22Under22 team and found it nearly impossible, you’re certainly not alone.
Richmond young gun Brandon Ellis – one of 47 players named in this year’s squad selected by the AFL Players’ Board – told SEN 1116’s Morning Glory program on Thursday morning that he’d found culling the squad to a final 22 to be no easy task.
“There are a lot of great players in that 47-man squad,” Ellis said.
“I tried to choose a team last night, just playing around while I was at home, and it was just so hard to choose one. It’s going to be even harder for the fans to choose the best 22 out of the 47 that the [AFL Players’] Board picked.”
— Jake Lever (@Jleverr) August 26, 2015
Should Ellis be selected, it’ll be his third consecutive 22Under22 guernsey – putting him in rare company as one of a select few to be included in every 22Under22 team since the concept’s inception in 2013.
Though Ellis will be too old to qualify for next year’s squad – he turns 23 in August, 2016 – he’ll be keeping an eye on the young talent in the 22Under22 teams in the years ahead.
“It’s a way to recognise the next generation of players coming through. Most players don’t get the chance to make the All-Australian team until their mid-20s – that’s when they start to shine, and I guess it gives the fans a chance to have their say.
“It’s the third year it’s been running for now, and hopefully they keep doing it.
“I think it’s a fantastic initiative by the AFLPA – I think it’s the only award that fans get to vote on. It gets announced in a couple of weeks [at the AFL Players’ MVP Awards], so I think everyone should get on board and get voting.”
The interview can be heard in full below.