AFL fans and players alike have erupted over a number of noticeable omissions from the 2020 All-Australian squad of 40 which was released on Tuesday evening.
The final 22-man team will be announced on Thursday night during the AFL Awards night, but two big names in particular have stood out among footy die-hards as being particularly hard done by not to even be considered for the final list.
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Melbourne and North Melbourne fans respectively were seething over the exclusions of Demons defender Steven May and Kangaroos ruckman Todd Goldstein respectively.
Both players boasted impressive individual seasons, but their teams failed to make the top eight.
Demons players went in to bat for May on social media on Tuesday, with defender Michael Hibberd leading the charge and several media members also bemused by his All-Australian snub.
May played every game in 2020 and was the fifth-ranked key defender according to the AFL Player Ratings.
Former Collingwood and Gold Coast Suns ruckman Josh Fraser also weighed in on May’s surprise exclusion.
“Seen some All Australian teams floating around without Steven May in them, I find that hard to imagine,” Fraser wrote.
“He has clearly been one of the best defenders this year and should be All Australian.”
STEVEN MAY, DAY LIGHT ROBBERY 🤮— Dylan Orval (@dylorval) September 22, 2020
Seriously, Steven May MIA from AA squad?— Clint Stanaway (@cstanaway) September 22, 2020
Just staggered May is not in the best 40. I'd have him in the team not the 40. Goldstein also very surprising omission. https://t.co/RefD6mSD0O— Michael Gleeson (@mickgleeson) September 22, 2020
Steven May is a bit stiff— Daniel Cherny 📰 (@DanielCherny) September 22, 2020
North Melbourne fans filthy over Todd Goldstein snub
North Melbourne fans were as outraged as the Demons counterparts over the omission of ruckman Todd Goldstein, who was beaten out by Melbourne’s Max Gawn and West Coast’s Nic Naitanui.
Goldstein had the second most hitouts for the season and, impressively, ranked 11th in the league for clearances - a personal high mark and significantly, better than many of the league’s top tier midfielders.
Former Kangaroos great Corey McKernan was a fierce critic of Goldstein’s omission on Twitter.
“Plain and simple disgrace Todd Goldstein isn’t in there,” McKernan posted.
“Nic Naitanui’s influence on games undisputed but for sheer consistency and performance across the year he is in the mix for the final team.
“Goldy not only should be in but debate if it’s him or Nic Nat for the number 1 spot.”
This is either:— Ricky Mangidis (@rickm18) September 22, 2020
a) Pretty embarrassing to release an incomplete squad list without Todd Goldstein.
b) Even more embarrassing for the selectors to watch a whole season and think Goldstein didn't deserve a place in the 40 at the very, very least. https://t.co/GvvzDsLKpU
They forgot to include Todd Goldstein in the media release. Oops. https://t.co/Npmeg3fBks— Richard Hinds (@rdhinds) September 22, 2020
Other players considered to be stiff not to be included in the squad of 40 included GWS Giants midfielder Lachie Whitfield and Western Bulldogs rival Mitch Wallis, as well as Fremantle’s Michael Walters and Brisbane defender Jarrad Lyons.
AFL pacesetters Port Adelaide and Geelong each had five nominations in the 40-man squad released on Tuesday.
Table-toppers Port have ex-captain Travis Boak, Zak Butters, Darcy Byrne-Jones, Charlie Dixon and Tom Jonas in the squad.
Second-year utility Butters is among 24 players in contention for their first All Australian selection.
Geelong's nominees are Patrick Dangerfield, who is in line for an eighth All Australian jumper, Mark Blicavs, Cam Guthrie, Tom Hawkins and Sam Menegola.
A batch of 10 players - Harris Andrews, Marcus Bontempelli, Dangerfield, Nat Fyfe, Max Gawn, Dylan Grimes, Hawkins, Jack Macrae, Lachie Neale and Scott Pendlebury - could earn selection in consecutive years.
Gold Coast, North Melbourne and wooden-spooners Adelaide were the only clubs without a nomination.
With Australian Associated Press/Steve Larkin