Corey Gault Named Ruckman In Wafl.com.au Team Of The Year

Friday, September 15, 2017 - 11:20 AM

THE impressive first season back at Swan Districts from Collingwood for big man Corey Gault has been recognised with selection in the wafl.com.au Team of the Year.

Gault had a tremendous season for Swan Districts leading the way in the ruck and he ended up winning selection as the starting ruckman in the wafl.com.au Team of the Year after having nine nominations in the Team of the Round throughout the 2017 McDonald's WAFL Premiership Season.

That saw Gault claim the starting ruck spot ahead of Claremont's Mitch Andrews and South Fremantle's Brock Higgins.

Swan Districts' defender Tony Notte was named as an emergency while Ricky Cary, David Ellard and Matt Riggio were among the Swans players to narrowly miss selection.

Each round during the season, a Team of the Round was named on wafl.com.au, with 192 different players named at least once across the 23 weeks, making them eligible for selection in the overall Team of the Year.

The Team of the Year has been selected based not only on the number of times each player was selected in the Team of the Round, but also on their playing positions and strengths to achieve the best overall team of 2017 WAFL players. 

Subiaco had the most appearances in the Team of the Round throughout the season, with 25 different Lions players named at least once as they claimed the minor premiership with 19 consecutive victories.

Those 25 players from Subiaco totalled 88 appearances in the Team of the Round. Five Subiaco players have been selected in the Team of the Year.

South Fremantle finished second on the WAFL ladder with a 16-4 record and 24 Bulldogs players featured in the Team of the Round at least once, for 79 appearances. Five South Fremantle players made the final 22 in the Team of the Year, plus one emergency.

Claremont missed out narrowly on playing finals but had some standout individual performers throughout the season. The Tigers had 18 players named at least once for a total of 58 appearances. Three Claremont players made the Team of the Year.

Swan Districts ended the season in fourth position and 19 of the black-and-white’s players featured in the Team of the Round on a total of 56 occasions. One Swans player features in the Team of the Year and one as an emergency.

West Perth finished in fifth position on the ladder and 17 of their players were named in the Team of the Round at least once for a total of 54 nominations. Four West Perth players ended up named in the Team of the Year.

East Perth just missed out on the top five and the Royals had 26 players named throughout the season at least once for a total of 52 times. One East Perth player made the Team of the Year as an emergency.

Peel Thunder qualified for a third straight finals appearance and the reigning premiers had 24 players make the Team of the Round for a total of 47 times. Two Peel Thunder players have been selected in the side.

Perth finished with the wooden spoon but had 20 players named at least once in the Team of the Round on 36 occasions, while East Fremantle had 19 players make it, also for 36 overall appearances. The Demons and Sharks had one player each in the final 22.

Subiaco excitement machine Liam Ryan and South Fremantle star on-baller Tim Kelly were both named 10 times throughout the season while West Perth's Shane Nelson, Subiaco's Leigh Kitchin, South Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe and Swan Districts ruckman Corey Gault made nine appearances.

Subiaco captain Kyal Horsley and Claremont's Jye Bolton were named on eight occasions with Claremont ruckman Mitch Andrews, Perth skipper Clint Jones, East Fremantle attacking defender Jayden Schofield, Subiaco big man Lachlan Delahunty and Claremont defender Haydn Busher named seven times.

wafl.com.au TEAM OF THE YEAR 
BACK: Steven Edwards (SF), Haydn Busher (C), Jordan Lockyer (S)
HALF-BACK: Jayden Schofield (EF), Sam Collins (PT), Kody Manning (WP)
CENTRE: Aaron Black (WP), Leigh Kitchin (S), Kyal Horsley (S)
HALF-FORWARD: Haiden Schloithe (SF), Lachlan Delahunty (S), Cory Dell'Olio (SF)
FORWARD: Liam Ryan (S), Tyler Keitel (WP), Blaine Johnson (SF) 
RUCK: Corey Gault (SD), Tim Kelly (SF), Shane Nelson (WP)
INTERCHANGE: Rory O'Brien (PT), Jye Bolton (C), Clint Jones (P), Mitch Andrews (C)
EMERGENCIES: Patrick McGinnity (EP), Tony Notte (SD), Brock Higgins (SF)

RUCK – COREY GAULT (Swan Districts)
9 x Team of the Round
This is likely the most hotly contested position in the Team of the Year but the Swan Districts young big man gets the nod having earned the most Team of the Week nominations against two other deserving candidates, Mitch Andrews and Brock Higgins. In his first season back from Collingwood, settled into life as the No. 1 ruckman after time early in the year up forward and delivered some tremendous performances virtually as another midfielder. Averaged 18.6 possessions and 25 hit outs a game.

EMERGENCY – TONY NOTTE (Swan Districts)
4 x Team of the Round
He brought up his 200th appearance for the black-and-whites in the elimination final victory against West Perth and the form of the 27-year-old was as good as it's ever been throughout 2017. While he can go forward at times and even do well in the ruck when asked to, it's at centre half-back where he is outstanding. He reads the play and takes overhead intercept marks better than anyone in the competition, and that was never more the case than this year. Ended up averaging 15.2 disposals and 5.9 marks a game.

PLAYERS OF THE ROUND
Round 1 – Xavier Ellis (Swan Districts)
Round 2 – Kyal Horsley (Subiaco)
Round 3 – Alex Manuel (Claremont)
Round 4 – Clint Jones (Perth)
Round 5 – Scott Simpson (West Perth)
Round 6 – Haiden Schloithe (South Fremantle)
Round 7 – Rudy Riddoch (West Perth)
Round 8 – Leigh Kitchin (Subiaco)
Round 9 – Devin McFarlane (Perth)
Round 10 – Andrew Strijk (West Perth)
Round 11 – Tim Kelly (South Fremantle)
Round 12 – Andrew Stephen (East Fremantle)
Round 13 – Dylan Main (South Fremantle)
Round 14 – Jamie Bennell (Swan Districts)
Round 15 – Ryan Nyhuis (Peel Thunder)
Round 16 – Adam Cockie (Subiaco)
Round 17 – Matt Taberner (Peel Thunder)
Round 18 – Shane Nelson (West Perth)
Round 19 – Matt Riggio (Swan Districts)
Round 20 – Brock Higgins (South Fremantle)
Round 21 – Stan Wright (East Perth)
Round 22 – Cody Ninyette (Perth)
Round 23 – Liam Ryan (Subiaco)

UNLUCKY BUNCH
The only player who was named six times to the Team of the Round but couldn’t quite squeeze into the Team of the Year was Swan Districts' full-forward Ricky Cary. In the end it was a choice between him and West Perth's Tyler Keitel and it was a tight call.

David Ellard was also named five times but couldn't quite sneak into the final time and neither could Matt Riggio who was named to the Team of the Round on four occasions.

Meanwhile, Swan Districts' Alex Howard, Jesse Turner, Warrick Wilson, Taryce Stewart and Adam Faulkner were named three times in the Team of the Round.

Retired Swans legend Tallan Ames, Kirk Ugle, Matthew Rogers and Jamie Bennell also found themselves named twice throughout 2017 and Xavier Ellis, Jarrad Blight, Ryan Crowley, Todd Banfield and Sam Taylor once each.

By Chris Pike.