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The age old question

Katrina Gill  January 27, 2016 11:24 AM

AFL 2015 Rd 16 - Port Adelaide v Adelaide

Scott Thompson is Adelaide's most experienced player

Does age matter? The Western Bulldogs and West Coast, who ranked 10th and 11th respectively for average age last season, proved that age is no barrier on their way to top-eight finishes.

Following a number of list changes, namely the retirement of veterans Brent Reilly and James Podsiadly, the Crows have dropped from the eighth oldest senior squad in 2015 to the 11th this season.

Adelaide’s primary squad now has an average age of 24 years and 29 days. The Club will start the season with only one player, durable midfielder Scott Thompson (32), over the age of 30.

So, the Crows' list might be young but it is quality according to the 2016 Champion Data AFL Prospectus, which is available now.

Adelaide has three players ranked ‘elite’ in the competition: Rory Sloane, Eddie Betts and Brodie Smith, as well as eight in the ‘above average’ category based on Champion Data rankins. These include All Australian defender Daniel Talia, All Australian nominees Taylor Walker, Sam Jacobs and Rory Laird and influential pair Tom Lynch and Richard Douglas.

In positive signs for the Club, four (Talia, Laird, Smith and Brad Crouch) of these 11 players are aged 21 – 24 years, while the other seven are in the 'ideal' age bracket of 25 – 29 years. Only Grand Finalists West Coast have more elite or above average players rated in these age groups. 

Adelaide also ranks 11th for experience this season, with an average of 62.5 games played.

Triple premiership winners, Hawthorn, have an average of 86.6 games played behind only North Melbourne (93.9). Interestingly, the top-four teams for average games played this season occupied the top-four spots on the AFL ladder after the finals series last year.

Average Age
1. Fremantle – 25 years and 157 days
2. North Melbourne – 25 years and 55 days
3. Hawthorn – 24 years and 307 days
4. Essendon – 24 years and 259 days*
5. Geelong – 24 years and 201 days
6. West Coast – 24 years and 175 days
7. Sydney Swans – 24 years and 124 days
8. Richmond – 24 years and 95 days
9. Port Adelaide – 24 years and 40 days
10. Carlton – 24 years and 40 days
11. Adelaide – 24 years and 29 days
12. Collingwood – 23 years and 310 days
13. St Kilda – 23 years and 303 days
14. Western Bulldogs – 23 years and 270 days
15. Melbourne – 23 years and 241 days
16. Gold Coast – 23 years and 197 days
17. Greater Western Sydney – 23 years and 99 days
18. Brisbane Lions – 22 years and 343 days

Average Games Played
1. North Melbourne – 93.9
2. Hawthorn – 86.6
3. Fremantle – 86.3
4. West Coast – 77.9
5. Geelong – 77.3
6. Essendon – 75.5*
7. Port Adelaide – 72.9
8. Richmond – 71
9. Collingwood – 69.5
10. Sydney Swans – 68.4
11. Adelaide – 62.5
12. Carlton – 60.4
13. St Kilda – 60.2
14. Gold Coast – 59.1
15. Western Bulldogs – 57.7
16. Melbourne – 57.5
17. Greater Western Sydney – 56.9
18. Brisbane Lions – 49

*Essendon figures calculated on 2016 playing list prior to suspensions/inclusion of top-up players

Please note these figures do not include rookie-listed players