PREMIER Aberfeldie has again dominated Team of the Year selections for Season 2018.
The reigning back-to-back champs have six of their stars in this year’s team, as they did in 2017.
In what is an all-Aberfeldie full back line, Josh Toy, Ryan Allan and Luke Davis have all retained their spots from the 2017 side, while star midfielder Luke Blackwell (centre) made the cut for a fourth consecutive year.
Forward pockets Jayden Foster and Josh Pound, who combined for 80 goals (40 each) in the home-and-away season, are in the team for the first time.
In total, the division’s 10 senior coaches could only find room for eight players that featured in the 2017 team, while Luke Foster (centre-half back), Fort Caruso (half forward flank) and Adam Iacobucci (interchange) are back after last making the cut in 2016.
Iacobucci is in the team for the fifth time since 2012.
Full forward Dean Galea now holds the longest current streak of Team of the Year nods, forcing his way into the side for a fifth consecutive time off the back of kicking 78 home-and-away goals for the year.
He is also the only forward to have maintained his spot in the side from last year.
For Kane Barbuto (ruck rover), Toy, Allan and Blackwell, this is their fourth consecutive nod.
Surprisingly, despite his reputation as arguably the premier key defender of the EDFL, this is Allan’s first selection at full back, having previously made the side twice at centre-half back (2014 and 2017) and once in a back pocket (2016).
Many still consider his omission from the 2015 side as a major snub.
Among this year’s snubs are both of last year’s top two from the Reynolds Medal count, with Zac Keogh (Maribyrnong Park) and Jaryd Cachia (Strathmore) failing to draw the votes required from the coaches to get into the team.
Of the newcomers, Greenvale defender Sam Zumbo has finally made the team after eight seasons at Section Road, while Strathmore youngster Tom Condon has slotted in on a half forward flank after kicking 34 goals in his first full year of senior footy.
Fabian Deluca was the most popular choice for starting ruck for the first time in his Greenvale stint, while returning Pascoe Vale junior Matthew Watson was an easy choice for centre-half forward after slotting 73 goals for the year.
Eight of the division’s 10 clubs are represented, with Glenroy and West Coburg missing out on selections.
The coaches did however find room for representatives from Avondale Heights (Ciaran Sheehan) and Essendon Doutta Stars (Jordan Schroder), despite those two clubs only combining for seven total wins this season.
This year’s captain and coach of the Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division Team of the Year will be revealed at Thursday’s EDFL Awards.
2018 STRATHMORE COMMUNITY BANK PREMIER DIVISION TEAM OF THE YEAR
The Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division Team of the Year was to recognise the best players of the 2018 home-and-away season.
Other factors such as reputation or form in previous seasons were not to be taken into account.
In the period between the end of Round 18 and the start of the Finals Series, coaches were asked to provide who they believed were the best players (in position) of the 2018 Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division home-and-away season.
There were no restrictions on how many players they wished to select from their own team, but they were encouraged to consider players from all 10 teams.
Once teams were chosen, coaches were then asked to also appoint a captain for their selected team of 22.
Finally, they were then asked to select one of their fellow senior coaches as their Coach of the Year.
They were not permitted to select themselves.
The coach with the most total votes was appointed the coach of the 2018 Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division Team of the Year.