The AFL has had a lot of good news in recent weeks with the likes of Michael Hurley, Jordan Roughead, Mitch McGovern, Michael Hibberd and Josh Jenkins all signing new contracts.
But what if you’re looking for a different type of player?
Which clubs are most likely to have the right players in their academy?
Well, that’s what the Club Insider wants to find out with its latest list of the AFL’s best young prospects.
Here’s how they ranked:The bottom five clubs are the Brisbane Lions, Collingwood, Carlton, Essendon and St Kilda.
You’ll notice the Tigers have dropped a few places, with the AFL not releasing a new list until the end of this month, but it’s still a big drop from last year’s top five.
Essendon are also in a similar position to the Lions, with two players leaving, while Port Adelaide and Hawthorn also lost a few key players.
The best young players are a long way from the elite, but they have some solid options to help them get to the top.
The list also has some surprises in the top 20, with some big names moving up the ladder.
Here are the 20 players that made the top 50 on the Club Insiders list:James Kelly, North MelbourneBrisbane LionsKaiden Burrage, Port AdelaideThe likes of Josh Jenkins, Luke Hodge, Jordan Rossiter, Michael Hurleys, Josh Kelly, Luke Shuey and Jordan Rougo were all signed long term contracts last year.
The Lions have had their fair share of young talent over the last few years and it’s good to see the club continue to build their academy, despite the loss of some key players like Patrick Dangerfield.
The Crows have also been able to get some big-name recruits, including Joel Selwood, Sam Mitchell and Dylan Shiel.
The Hawks have also signed a few big names, including Connor Blackwood, Tom Scully and Josh Kennedy.
The Cats’ best young player is Jacob Hopper, who was picked up by the Hawks last year, but the club has also signed some of the best young talent in the game.
The Bombers have a strong mix of youngsters, with Josh Gibson, Tom Campbell and Liam Duggan all signed up for the next two years.
The Dogs have two key players at the moment in Callum Mills and Rory Sloane, who have both signed long-term deals.
In the top ten, you’ll see the likes for West Coast, Collier and Gold Coast also moving up, while the Eagles and Dogs are also looking at some key youngsters, including Dylan Grimes, Michael Johnson, Daniel Talia and Liam Picken.
The Eagles are still struggling to find the right balance, with a number of players missing from their top half, but a few more names are moving up.
The Tigers are also a strong contender for the best youngster, with Nathan Hrovat, Ben Brown and Trent Cotchin all moving up their draft boards.
The Swans are one of the biggest names in the competition, and have been a consistent powerhouse in the middle of the ground since their inaugural season.
The Bulldogs are looking to get even better in the future, as Nathan Jones has moved on and Josh Schache has also left the club.
The Saints are a big name in the NAB Challenge, but have had some big losses this year with the departure of Daniel Rioli, Ryan Crowley and Sam Lloyd, but some young talent is moving up through the ranks.
The Western Bulldogs have signed the best of the rest, with Sam Docherty, Luke Lewis, Jack Watts and Jack Riewoldt all moving on.
The Gabba is also the place where a lot will be decided, with many clubs looking to add talent to their ranks, but only the Swans have a solid mix of young players.
The Dockers are also among the big names in WA’s NAB, but their big loss is Josh Kennedy, who has moved away from the club and joined the Melbourne Storm.
The Gold Coast have signed a number in recent years, including Jake Melksham, Jack Ziebell, Ben Stratton, Sam Skinner and Sam Butler, and will look to continue building on their success.AAP