5. Todd Goldstein
The veteran ruckman’s 2019 was one that reminded us all just how dominant and damaging the big man can be. His return to form saw him finish the year ranked 4th in total hit-outs.
His most prolific game came against Pt. Power/Power Port/THE power in round 22 as well – racking up some ridiculous numbers for a big man: 34 disposals, 28 hit-outs and a goal earning him two Brownlow votes.
4. Trent Dumont
“The Frenchman” had another good year, building as he has each year to newer and loftier heights – he is another at the Roos that flies under the radar, but his class is really starting to shine through, his game against Carlton in round seven was impressive – recording 38 disposals at 80% and earning two Brownlow votes in the process.
3. Ben Brown
The absolute weapon that is Ben Brown was a force to be reckoned with in 2019, finishing runner-up to Jeremy Cameron in the Coleman, and having some huge days out throughout the season. His biggest day saw him kick 10 against Port/Power/ P.Power/TEh PoWER and along with hauls of 6, 5 (twice) and 4 (thrice).
2. Shaun Higgins
Having made the move from the Bulldogs in 2015, Higgins has quietly become one of the league’s most consistent mids. At the same time he has built an impressive resume – an All-Australian team berth, and two (back to back) best and fairests at the club.
2019 saw Higgins play 17 games, missing five weeks with an A/C joint issue. When he was on the track he was busy indeed – in 10 games he recorded 30 or more disposals, ranking in the top 10 for effective disposals in the league.
His best game came against North’s 82-point drubbing of Port, err, the PORT – whatever, in round 22, recording 38 disposals, a goal and 520m gained.
1. Ben Cunnington
Ben Cunnington has a last name that lends itself to a swear word. (tenuously, sure) That word, when talking of Ben, would normally be prefixed by the word “hard”. Ben Cunnington is an extremely hard erm.. footballer. Other things he is called are: Beast, bull, battering ram and for alliteration’s sake, Ben.
Ranked third in total centre clerances, fifth in total contested possies and third in total clearances – his stats underpin his deserved status as a hard..footballer, and a true representative of that shinboner spirit.
Brutal Ben was at his belligerently brave best as mentioned above against Collingwood, but he showed it again in North’s win over Port Adelaide at Marvel in round 22, amassing 37 touches and nine clearances, this despite only 70% game time.