Who is a lock to play in Round 16?

The Undroppables. A category of footballer that we have created.

The Definition: A marginal or developing AFL player who has performed well enough to retain his place in the squad the following week.

Throughout the season, we’ll be keeping an eye out for players who got their chance on a team and did enough to lock themselves in for the next round.

Note: We set aside this concept during Bye Rounds due to a general lack of weekly nominations.

See our Round 15 nominations below:

Massimo D’Ambrosio (Essendon)

Essendon’s mid-season signing Massimo D’Ambrosio wasted no time breaking into the senior squad after being picked with the third-choice just a few weeks ago.

The Western Jets defender, who recently played for VFL team Richmond, needed just one appearance for VFL team Essendon before being rushed into the senior squad.

D’Ambrosio made an impressive debut in the round 14 win over St Kilda, not looking an inch out of place.

He retained his place in the squad for last weekend’s trip to Perth against the West Coast.

With an average of 14 strikeouts and three marks, the teenager is all but guaranteed to play much of the rest of the season given the club’s current fortunes.

Laurence Rosen

Rhylee West (Western Bulldogs)

Rhylee West has been robbed of senior opportunities, playing just 18 games in three and a half seasons.

The Bulldogs father-son is starting to find his feet at the AFL level.

West was one of the best players on the court in the Dogs’ win over Hawthorn on Friday night.

The 21-year-old had a career-best performance finishing with 19 takedowns, five tackles, three goals (three behinds) and three assists.

With his contract due to expire at the end of the season, West will be looking to continue his good form in the hope of earning a new contract.

Alex Zaia

Jack RossRichmond

The 21-year-old appears to be widely used as a replacement for injured midfielders at Richmond.

He’s been in and out of the squad in 2022 but tried his luck in Saturday’s tight loss to Geelong.

He played the first three games of the season, was an unused med-sub in Round 4, and added three more games before being dropped before Round 8.

Ross was given a reprieve in Round 10 before returning to the spot ahead of Round 12, but was called up for the Cats clash after sparkling VFL form and to replace injured Trent Cotchin.

The former second-round pick is having arguably his most accomplished game as a senior Tiger, collecting a season-high 25 eliminations, an equal career-high six clearances (two off center) and made good choice of both hand and foot. by its removal efficiency of 84%.

He, however, failed to land a tackle that will no doubt be center stage this week.

With Cotchin still sidelined with a cracked collarbone, Ross is certain to keep his place in Damien Hardwick’s 22 for this weekend’s West Coast encounter.

Andrew Slevison

Dylan Stephens (Sydney)

Dylan Stephens played the best game of his career for the Sydney Swans on Saturday night.

Just his fourth senior game of the year, Stephens was dynamic.

The 21-year-old has amassed a career-best 23 eliminations, sixteen of them being kicks, five scoring appearances and 474 yards gained – impressive numbers that have seen him feature in coaching votes.

After plying his trade on the reserves last week, Stephens was called up to the senior team in their dominating Round 15 win over the Saints – dropping him now would be a very tough call from coach John Longmire.

If the Swans can get more performances from Stephens like they did on Saturday night, they will be a much more dynamic team as they look to cement their place in the top eight.

Hugh Fitzpatrick

Darcy Fogarty (Adelaide)

Darcy Fogarty has had the best month of football in his young career in his last four games.

The 22-year-old had never locked down his place in Adelaide’s front line but is now all but certain to play the rest of the season at the senior level, overtaking Riley Thilthorpe in the pecking order.

Fogarty scored 12 goals over the four weeks and it is his ability to contribute to teammates’ scoring and his penetrating kick that now makes him a dangerous proposition for opposing teams.

He combined with Taylor Walker at the weekend to score 10 of the Crows’ 17 goals in last week’s win over North Melbourne.

If the duo can continue to perform at this level, they will be a dangerous combination in the final two months of the season.

Seb Mottram





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