Cat named All-Australian captain

Cat named All-Australian captain

GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfield has made a record-equalling eighth appearance in the All-Australian team and been selected as captain for the first time.

The 30-year-old continued his perfect streak of being named in the AFL’s best 22 every year since his high-profile move to the Cats from Adelaide in 2016.

Dangerfield joins elite company with Robert Harvey (St Kilda), Mark Riccuito (Adelaide), Gary Ablett Snr, Gary Ablett Jnr (Geelong) and Lance Franklin (Sydney) as the only other players to have earned eight All-Australian blazers.

Port Adelaide midfielder Travis Boak was handed the vice-captaincy, with the 32-year-old in the team for a third time – and first since 2014.

The former Power captain is joined in the midfield by the Brisbane Lions’ Brownlow Medal favourite Lachie Neale, Melbourne ace Christian Petracca and West Coast ruckman Nic Naitnaui, whose second All-Australian appearance comes eight years after his first.

Explosive Demon Petracca is one of 12 debutants in the team, with the entire half-back line all first-timers – but Carlton tall Jacob Weitering missed out.

Collingwood’s Darcy Moore has been slotted into centre half-back, while GWS’ Nick Haynes and the Power’s Darcy Byrne-Jones are on either side of the Magpies tall.

Eleven clubs are represented with Geelong, Port, West Coast and the Western Bulldogs leading the selections with three players each.

Despite Richmond having three players included in the 40-man squad on Tuesday, selectors decided to only pick superstar Dustin Martin from the reigning premiers after the dual Norm Smith medallist’s shock omission last year.

If it was not for the 2019 snub, this would have been Martin’s fifth-straight selection after being one of the first players picked from 2016 to 2018.

Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury didn’t add to his six appearances, as Magpies teammate Taylor Adams surprisingly grabbed his first.

Meanwhile, Neale has claimed the Leigh Matthews Trophy as AFL Players’ Association MVP.

The Brownlow Medal favourite led the AFL in disposals with 468 at an average of just under 28 in matches that were shortened by 16 minutes.

Neale also claimed the AFL Coaches’ Association’s Champion Player title.

The Rising Star Award was won by Fremantle’s Caleb Serong, ahead of Gold Coast’s Noah Anderson and St Kilda’s Max King.

(C) AAP 2020