Melbourne would love to be able to go back and have another crack at 2019, but at least these five blokes can hold their heads up, solid contributors who showed a bit throughout the year
5. Christian Petracca
It tells you a bit about the Demons in 2019 when ‘trac’ is top 5. He was ranked 15th in the league for tackles inside 50, which is decent, and averaged a goal per game. He does some magical things, but finds ways to do some mind-bendingly silly things too. If Melksham had played more, he’d be here instead. (serious)
4. Christian Salem
The rebounding defender was solid all year, showing poise and nous across half-back – he averaged 17 kicks per game at 75% efficiency. He did have a few games where his decision making was ordinary at best, but when he was making the right ones the Demons looked a lot better for it.
3. James Harmes
His best season. Was prolific – averaging 24.5 touches, but more importantly for the Demons – he was damaging. He peppered the forward 50 for them (18th in league), and bobbed up for goals. In a year bereft of tackling pressure and general desperation, Harmes was also prepared to get dirty – averaging five tackles and 11 contested possessions.
2. Max Gawn
Not much needs to be said about the bearded colossus, one of the best ruckmen in the league, Gawn’s 2019 was another good one. He finished 3rd in the league for hit-outs, and 9th for contested marks per game. He did struggle in front of the sticks however, finishing the year kicking 7.7
1. Clayton Oliver
Oliver was a solid contributor in 2019, without much help at all. Ranked second in contested possessions and seventh in total tackles. He was a lone wolf in a highly touted Dees midfield brigade, he was at his best in round eight against the hapless Suns, amassing 38 disposals and a whopping 15 tackles as they won ugly by a point.
He did however, rank second for clangers, something he’ll be keen to rectifty in 2020. He’ll also need more support in Brayshaw and Viney. Harmes was suprisingly, his most capable ally in the midfield, avaeraging 24.5 disposals over 22 games.