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Top 15 Australian Football League Players

Ranking the best players of a particular sport is a gruelling task and one that’s bound to cause plenty of debate. It’s a topic fans love to discuss and, more often than not, disagree on. How do you compare defenders and forwards in any sport, let alone one that accommodates an array of athletes as diverse as AFL?

Statistics provide useful insight into telling areas of the game such as who racks up the most disposals in a season or who averages the most handballs per game, but in isolation they can’t shed any definitive light on identifying the brightest stars in the competition. Some players do their job in such a way that numbers and figures don’t justify their worth to a team, for others, end-of-season data is everything.

AFL is a game in which some positional stereotypes are less applicable compared to other sports like soccer, basketball, or rugby. Of course, any ruckman worth his salt must stand taller than most players on the field, but a top-quality midfielder doesn’t need the strength of an ox to boss the middle of the park. Pure speed is also an invaluable asset to any side, but what’s the point of a player sprinting inside the forward 50 if he lacks the finesse to slot the goal or chip the ball to a teammate?

Versatile and well-rounded players are unquestionably among the most valuable in the competition, but those who are unrivaled in one or two facets of the game are also potential game changers. It’s this kind of variety and incalculable influence that makes selecting a definitive list of the best in the business such an arduous mission. Having limited spots to play with inevitably means plenty of outstanding players will miss out, but here are the 15 best players in the AFL.

* All stats taken from AFL.com

15 15. Harry Taylor

via afl.com.au

14 14. Josh Gibson

via aflplayers.com.au

13 13. Luke Hodge

via heraldsun.com.au

12 12. Ryan Crowley

via heraldsun.com.au

11 11. Aaron Sandilands

via scpaige.com.au

10 10. Jordan Lewis

via foxsports.com.au

9 9. Scott Pendlebury

via twitter.com

8 8. Josh Kennedy

via news.com.au

7 7. Jobe Watson

via foxsports.com.au

6 6. Jarryd Roughead

via elitesports.com.au

5 5. Patrick Dangerfield

via foxsports.com.au

4 4. Lance Franklin

via abc.net.au

3 3. Nathan Fyfe

via afldreamers.com

2 2. Joel Selwood

via scpaige.com.au

1 1. Gary Ablett

via foxsports.com.au

Gary Ablett is in a class of his own, simple as that. The man widely regarded as the finest in the competition is just about unplayable at his best – and he rarely has an off day. The Gold Coast Suns midfielder is exceptionally quick off the mark, almost impossible to tackle and boasts peerless vision and finesse. Last season, a gruesome shoulder injury derailed his bid to become just the fifth three-time Brownlow Medalist, but it didn’t keep from earning his eighth consecutive inclusion in the All-Australian side. However these accolades hardly justify his quality, you need only watch him play to understand his legendary status in the game.

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Top 15 Australian Football League Players