We take a look at Subiaco players from numbers 23-14 from the 2016 season.
There were a couple of eye-catching performances from players 23-14. Declan Jackson's transformation into the Lions #1 full-back was a pleasure to watch, Chris Phelan won back to back Outridge Medals and Brad Stevenson made a gutsy comeback from his second ACL injury.
Seven players from this group also played in WAFL Grand Final 132. (Declan Jackson, Jordan Lockyer, Clancy Wheeler, Brad Stevenson, Lachlan Delahunty, Chris Phelan and Brett Mahoney)
23. DECLAN JACKSON
Declan Jackson had massive shoes to fill following the retirement of long-time fullback Darren Rumble in 2015 and the Collie youngster did everything required of him. Jackson played every game and was given the biggest forward from the opposition every week. The 23-year-olds’ temperament over 2016 was impressive and that led to a WA State squad nomination.
22. JAMES GARCIA
Garcia only managed three league games in 2016 but continues to develop his game. The young forward was elevated into the league team in Round Four but an injury received in that game kept him out till Round 10. The Sorrento-Duncraig product finished strongly for the reserves kicking eight goals from 12 games.
21. JORDAN LOCKYER
Aerial expert Jordan Lockyer was integral for the Lions again in 2016. Lockyer played 16 games and found a great balance with his young Lions back-line. The ex-Sydney Swan has two of the trustiest hands on Subiaco’s list.
20. CLANCY WHEELER
Another strong year from Esperance product Clancy Wheeler who played 21 league games and hit the 100 mark. Wheeler was the ace-of-spades for the Lions operating as a ruck, forward and defender along the way. Clancy gathered 344 disposals, 184 hit-outs and kicked 22 goals in a big personal season.
19. BRAD STEVENSON
Bradley Stevenson was one of the best feel-good stories over 2016 after successfully returning from his second ACL surgery. Stevenson hurt his left knee in the early rounds of 2015 and made his comeback for the Lions in Round 7, 2016 for the reserves. Stevo worked his way into form and became a regular contributor at league level from Round 11 to kick six goals from eight games, including the first goal of WAFL GF 132.
18. BILL FETHERSTONHAUGH
Bill Fetherstonhaugh had his biggest year at Subiaco to date. The long-kicking winger played in 17 games and was unlucky to miss out for the semi and grand final. Fethers broke career bests in games played and disposals and will be looking to improve again in 2017.
17. LACHLAN DELAHUNTY
Delahunty started the season in red-hot form before suffering a long-term injury in the mid-season. The ex-Victorian was proving a game-changer for the Lions with his ability in the ruck and subsequent mobility; but unfortunately an abdomen tear kept him on the sideline from Round 13 until the finals. Delahunty’s late return was admirable and the Lions will be looking forward to a fit and firing Dela next year.
16. SCOTT HANCOCK
It was a super unlucky year for 2015 premiership winger Scott Hancock who found himself sidelined after a serious injury in Round One. Hancock was looking his speedy best against the Thunder in the first half until an awkward stop on the boundary line tore his anterior cruciate ligament. Hancock is around seven months into his rehabilitation and is expected to play early 2017.
15. CHRIS PHELAN
Chris Phelan stamped his reputation as one of the most influential players in the last decade with another dazzling season. Phelan played 21 games to lead the team in disposals with 514. He also became the first player to win back-to-back Outridge Medals since Dwayne Lamb 1984-5.
14. BRETT MAHONEY
Another super year from the 2013 Outridge Medallist Brett Mahoney who played every game in 2016 including the semi final and grand final. Mahoney gathered 306 disposals from his 22 games and continues to provide speed on the outside for the Lions.