Each week, AFLPlayers.com.au looks at the players who flew under the radar in their team’s victory. Whether it was a moment of impact or a four-quarter performance, these are the Round 13 Unsung Heroes.
Adelaide: Cameron Ellis-Yolmen
While the Crouch brothers, co-captains Rory Sloane and Taylor Walker and improved ruckman Reilly O’Brien received all the plaudits for their impressive performances, Adelaide midfielder Cameron Ellis-Yolmen was quietly going about his business. Amassing 26 disposals, including 12 contested possessions, six clearances and laying four tackles, Ellis-Yolmen’s work in and around the contest proved too much for a depleted Richmond side.
Essendon: Michael Hurley
Despite having a moment he’d like to forget when he failed to touch the ball on the line and it sailed through for a goal, Essendon’s Michael Hurley was a pillar in the Bombers’ defence on Friday night. Against the Hawks, Hurley took an equal game-high 12 marks, to go with his 26 disposals and nine rebound 50s, proving far too strong for Hawthorn’s forward line.
St Kilda: Josh Battle
After being well beaten in the first half, St Kilda began to claw their way in the third quarter to record their sixth win for the season. Their comeback was in part led by defender Josh Battle whose most crucial moment came late in the third quarter. Battle outran first-year player Ben King to kick his first goal of the game and bring the Saints within a goal on the eve of three-quarter time. Battle was a consistent performer throughout the day, finishing with 12 disposals, six marks and three rebound 50s.
Fremantle: Jesse Hogan
Putting together his best performance in purple, former Demon Jesse Hogan proved too dominant for Port Adelaide’s defence. Hogan took a game-high 11 marks, to go with his 17 disposals, seven score involvements and three goals. To underline his work rate, the spearhead also covered a match-high 15.3km. It was the performance Fremantle fans were waiting for and their highly-touted recruit delivered.
Western Bulldogs: Tim English
Against experienced ruckman Matthew Kreuzer, young Bulldog Tim English held his own. Despite being beaten in the hitouts, English’s work around the ground was prolific. The 21-year-old finished with 15 disposals, seven score involvements and six clearances to go with his two goals.
GWS Giants: Jacob Hopper
Josh Kelly, Stephen Coniglio and Toby Greene will get the major plaudits for their influence in the Giants’ 23-point victory, but another young midfielder also deserves plenty of credit. Jacob Hopper was crucial in the engine room, racking up 29 disposals (17 contested) and collecting a game-high eight clearances.