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SMJFL stars sweep 22under22 squad

Six former-SMJFL players have made the AFL Players’ Association’s (AFLPA) 2020 22under22 squad.

The fan-voted squad honours the most gifted young players in the competition, and its clear the SMJFL’s #StarsOfTomorrow have made their marks early in their careers.

All six former-SMJFL players shortlisted to the AFLPA’s 40-man squad made the final list, with Essendon midfielder Andrew McGrath (22, East Brighton Vampires) honoured as captain in his final year of eligibility.

McGrath, along with Bailey Smith, Andrew Brayshaw, Tim Taranto, Max and Ben King, were all selected by over 17,000 team entries from across the country.

McGrath sits on the list for a fourth consecutive year, this year being honoured as Captain of the squad in his final year of eligibility.

McGrath spoke to AFLPA about the announcement. “To see the impact these players have on games throughout the season is inspiring for all and a real look into the future of our game,” he said.

“To be recognised as captain is also a proud moment as there are so many outstanding young leaders among this group.

“I can’t wait to see how they all develop both as people and players in the coming years.”

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Dominating GWS Giants midfielder Taranto (22, Mordialloc Braeside JFC) sits on the list for a second year.

Smith (19, East Malvern JFC), Brayshaw (20, Hampton Rovers JFC) and the two King brothers (20, East Sandringham JFC) have all made their first entries on the list.

Smith has become a fan favourite in 2020, finding home with the Western Bulldogs after being selected at No.7 in the national draft in 2018.

Brayshaw made his debut for Fremantle in 2018 after being picked at No.2 in the 2017 national draft, and has since played 41 games in the purple and white.

Ben King has enjoyed life up North with the Gold Coast Suns after being drafted at No.6 in 2018.

Twin brother Max was drafted to St Kilda at No.4 that same year. However, a knee injury delayed his debut until Round 1 of 2020, where he has since played a key role in the Saints’ forward line.

Congratulations to all former-SMJFL players on this incredible honour.

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A post shared by AFL Players (@aflplayers) on Sep 21, 2020 at 7:00pm PDT


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