THIS year’s Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division Team of the Year includes an even mix of familiar faces and first-time entrants.
Two of the league’s most decorated players, Keilor forward Dean Galea (full forward) and Strathmore midfielder Adam Iacobucci (centre), have made the cut for the sixth time in their EDFL careers, while Aberfeldie’s Josh Toy (back pocket) and Keilor’s Kane Barbuto (ruck rover) have both made the team for a fifth consecutive year.
Half of this year’s 22 have retained their spots from last year’s side, while Maribyrnong Park midfielder John McKenzie has returned to the team after last making the cut in 2017.
The half back line of Luke Jarrad, Luke Foster and Sam Zumbo remains identical from last year.
Other players to retain their field position from last year include Matthew Watson (centre half forward), Jayden Foster (forward pocket), Galea (full forward), Fabian Deluca (ruck) and Barbuto (ruck rover).
All five of Toy’s Team of the Year selections have been in the back pocket but for the first time since 2015, the Aberfeldie star finds himself on the left side of goal square occupied by first-time entrant, Scott Clarke.
Clarke’s Maribyrnong Park teammate, James Breust, is in the team for the second year in a row but unlike last year, the Lions forward is in the starting 18 on the half forward flank.
Of the newcomers, three of them hail from the undefeated Keilor, with Billy Iles, Todd Stevenson and Matthew Clark all getting in for the first time.
Sam Cattapan (rover) is the only Aberfeldie midfielder in the team, while Damandeep Aujla earned the coaches’ tick of approval in the forward pocket after booting 35 goals in a difficult year for Airport West that resulted in relegation.
The interchange bench is made up of newcomers as well, with Strathmore pair, forward Kyle Weightman and ruckman Andrew Vavra, both making the final 22.
Greenvale midfielder Nick Maric is finally in the team after making his senior debut for the Jets back in 2012, while defender Charles Lill is the only Essendon Doutta Stars player in this year’s team.
In total, eight of the division’s 10 clubs are represented, with Keilor earning the most nods with five.
Strathmore was next best with four, while Aberfeldie, Greenvale and Maribyrnong Park all got three of their players into the team.
Avondale Heights and Glenroy were the two clubs to miss out on a selection.
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.
2019 STRATHMORE COMMUNITY BANK PREMIER DIVISION TEAM OF THE YEAR
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SELECTION PROCESS & CRITERIA
All EDFL Teams of the Year are compiled based solely on the input of each club’s senior coach.
At the end of the home-and-away season, each senior coach is asked to submit their own Team of the Year.
Once all teams are submitted, the EDFL then compiles the final Team of the Year based on the data submitted by the coaches.
The Strathmore Community Bank Premier Division Team of the Year was to recognise the best players of the 2019 home-and-away season.
Other factors such as reputation or form in previous seasons were not to be taken into account.
There were no restrictions on how many players coaches wished to select from their own team, but they were encouraged to consider players from all participating teams.
Once teams were chosen, coaches were then asked to also appoint a captain for their selected team.
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 Team of the Year.