Shock as All-Australian squad named
HAWTHORN defender Josh Gibson and Western Bulldogs skipper Matthew Boyd are among the unlucky players who missed out on All-Australian squad selection yesterday.
The 40-man squad, to be trimmed to 22 by the selectors, also did not include Chris Judd, who has been in the team for the past four years. Judd's four-match suspension in the second half of the season plainly cost him, and there is a slight changing of the guard in the midfield spots.
Gibson has had a fine year across half-back for the Hawks, but was overlooked for the likes of Geelong's Tom Lonergan and Harry Taylor, Sydney's Ted Richards, West Coast's Darren Glass and Fremantle's Luke McPharlin for a key defensive spot.
Among the first-time nominations are West Coast's Nic Naitanui, Adelaide's Patrick Dangerfield, Sam Jacobs, Brent Reilly and Taylor Walker, Collingwood's Dayne Beams, Geelong's Tom Hawkins and Lonergan, Richmond's Ivan Maric, St Kilda's Shaun Dempster and Sydney's Lewis Jetta.
For Maric, it is the climax of a wonderful resurgence as an AFL player, having crossed from Adelaide to Richmond in a trade at the end of last season.
Geelong and Adelaide have the bulk of the squad with five players each.
The Bulldogs, Melbourne, Greater Western Sydney and the Brisbane Lions did not get a single player in the squad of 40.
Boyd, a two-time all-Australian and twice Bulldogs' best and fairest, has been his steady and reliable self for the Bulldogs this year.
But his team's malaise appears to have dragged him down in the selectors' eyes.
Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich is nominated after a fine season up forward for the Dockers, and he will become the most decorated of current players if he is named in the team, as most observers expect.
Pavlich would be receiving his seventh All-Australian guernsey, overtaking Judd and Matthew Scarlett. He has not been in the team since 2008.
The All-Australian selection panel is Andrew Demetriou (chairman), Adrian Anderson, Kevin Bartlett, Luke Darcy, Danny Frawley, Gerard Healy, Glen Jakovich and Mark Ricciuto.
They will announce a final team on 17 September.