Swans Pre Season
Swans Pre Season

Every AFL club’s breakout player in 2020

THE AFL season is fast approaching and each club is expected to unearth some exciting, fresh talent.

Take a look a your club's player set for a breakout in 2020.

ADELAIDE

Billy Frampton

Starved of opportunities at Port Adelaide, where he played mainly as a key forward, the athletic ruckman secured a trade move across town to the Crows. He will be expected to challenge Reilly O'Brien for the No. 1 ruck role following Sam Jacobs' departure to GWS.

BRISBANE

Brandon Starcevich

A serious hamstring injury put Starcevich behind the eight-ball early last year but a strong preparation over summer should have the tough midfielder primed to have a big impact in 2020. He will be a valuable addition to the Lions on-ball division.

Brisbane’s Brandon Starcevich
Brisbane’s Brandon Starcevich

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CARLTON

Jack Martin

Arrived at Carlton later than expected via the pre-season draft following a failed trade bid but the change of scenery could be the platform the former Gold Coast livewire needs to fulfil his potential. Shapes as a genuine A-grader if everything clicks.

COLLINGWOOD

Rupert Wills

The inside midfielder grabbed his chance in the senior team late last season and saved his career in the process. He enjoyed his longest stint in AFL ranks, playing six consecutive matches, including both finals, to earn a new one-year contract.

ESSENDON

Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

The promising young defender signed a two-year contract extension in March and made his AFL debut in round 22 last year after strong form at VFL level. He will add height and athleticism to the Bombers' back six.

Essendon's Brandon Zerk-Thatcher
Essendon's Brandon Zerk-Thatcher

FREMANTLE

Hayden Young

The No. 7 draft pick's strong running and elite left-foot kick should ensure he gets plenty of chances at the top level in a regenerating Fremantle side this season. Expected to settle well after moving to WA with good mate and fellow Vic Country product Caleb Serong.

GEELONG

Nathan Kreuger

Key position player didn't get a look-in at senior level last year but impressed in VFL ranks and looks ready to step up when required. Athletic and can play at either end of the ground, but looks most at home in attack, where he could be a foil for Tom Hawkins and Esava Ratugolea.

GOLD COAST

Matt Rowell

Last year it was Sam Walsh, this year it's Matt Rowell. The No. 1 draft pick is considered a ready-made player and is expected to slot straight into the Suns midfield alongside close friend and junior teammate Noah Anderson.

GREATER WESTERN SYDNEY

Bobby Hill

Excitement machine played eight games in the back half of 2019 but was left out of the grand final team when Lachie Whitfield and Toby Greene returned. Ready to step up and weave his magic as a small forward after signing a contract extension.

Greater Western Sydney’s Bobby Hill
Greater Western Sydney’s Bobby Hill

HAWTHORN

Changkuoth Jiath

Tipped as one to watch at the Hawks after joining a growing band of players with a South Sudanese background to break through for an AFL debut last season. Has impressed with his hard running and tackling, primarily in the back half of the ground.

MELBOURNE

Luke Jackson

There are already huge expectations for the athletic No. 3 draft pick, who has been likened to a next generation Nic Naitanui. Could help the Demons sort out their key forward issues as he develops his ruck craft underneath premier big man Max Gawn.

NORTH MELBOURNE

Aiden Bonar

Managed just six games in two seasons at GWS but boasts a powerfully built frame and is quick off the mark. Best known for his contested work and tackling, and could be a very handy addition to the Kangaroos forward line or midfield.

PORT ADELAIDE

Todd Marshall

The 21-year-old key forward was the Power's top draft pick in 2016 but is yet to play more than 10 games in a season. He should see more chances at the top level after Paddy Ryder's departure from a team that is crying out for reliable talls in attack.

Port Adelaide’s Todd Marshall
Port Adelaide’s Todd Marshall

RICHMOND

Marlion Pickett

The mature-age recruit produced an unforgettable debut on grand final day, when he almost claimed the Norm Smith Medal. Clearly belongs at the top level and will get plenty more opportunities to shine on the big stage.

ST KILDA

Max King

Highly rated key forward had a late start in 2019 because of a knee reconstruction and played just five VFL games last year before suffering an ankle syndesmosis injury. Expect him to debut early in 2020 as he develops his game under new Saints off-field acquisition Jarryd Roughead.

SYDNEY

Dylan Stephens

Already likened to Josh Kelly and Andrew Gaff, the highly regarded running machine was the Swans top pick (No. 5 overall) at the draft. He should get plenty of chances to showcase his talent in a regenerating Sydney team.

WEST COAST

Francis Watson

Originally a Next Generation Academy rookie selection, the skilful backman has now been elevated to the senior list after two games in three seasons. Impressed in the WAFL with his speed and precise ball-use off halfback.

West Coast’s Francis Watson
West Coast’s Francis Watson

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Alex Keath

Made big strides with Adelaide in the first half of 2019 and was targeted at the trade table by the Bulldogs as a player who could fill a gaping hole in defence. The Dogs showed their faith in the soon-to-be 28-year-old by handing him a bumper three-year deal, with an option for a fourth season.

News Corp Australia


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