Some may say it’s lonely at the top, but that is not the case with The Mongrel’s Defensive Player of the Year Award in 2022. Eight rounds into the season and we have had a new leader in each of the last four rounds, as contenders jockey for position.
I’m loving the variation in the defenders featured at the top. Without giving too much away in terms of names, the top five has two pure stoppers, one of the best interceptors in the game, a player I consider to be the complete package, and the AFL’s metres gained king. I like that type of mix.
The Mongrel’s DPOY Award fills yet another gaping hole in the AFL’s means of recognising the contributions of players who are not midfielders or forwards. It is designed to assess defenders across a range of skills, stats, and votes to encompass all aspects of a defence-oriented player.
The number one focus is on the players who spoil – one percenters are the highest scoring category in the formula, and they combine with intercepts, rebound fifty disposals, disposals with an efficiency trigger, metres gained, tackles, and votes award on a weekly basis from the Mongrel writers covering the game.
In addition, t be fair to defensive midfielders, I have developed a mechanism to assess their success when allocated a task to limit the influence of the league’s best players.
So, all in all, we should, in theory, have a nice collection of all types of defenders in the top ten by the end of Round 23. Will it play out that way? Well, we can use history as our guide to a point.
In 2021, Weitering took home the chocolates, but not far behind him were the following players – Daniel Rich, Aaron Hall, Jake Lever, Harris Andrews, Jayden Short, Liam Jones, Sam Taylor, Jordan Ridley, and Bailey Dale.
From where I sit, that comprises four lockdown key position defenders, two designated intercept players, and four rebounding runners. I was pretty content with that mix, as there were no defensive mids playing tagging roles often enough to get near the top ten. Maybe that could change this year, but judging by results to this point, that looks unlikely.
Anyway, enough with the preamble. Let’s get into the Round Eight results for our Inner Circle Members.
Now, I know some of you will ask – I am a member; why can’t I see this? This is for the Inner Circle Member tier – always has been. This is what these people generously pay a bit extra for, so I am more than happy to dive deep for them when it comes to this content. If you’re a Mongrel Member and you’d like to upgrade, so right ahead. If not, that’s cool, as well. But this is not a new thing – has been that way for over two years now. Wanna join them?