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Crows chosen in 22Under22

September 12, 2017 8:06 PM

AFL 2017 Round 15 - Carlton v Adelaide

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 01: Matt Crouch of the Crows is congratulated by his teammates after kicking a goal during the 2017 AFL round 15 match between the Carlton Blues and the Adelaide Crows at Etihad Stadium on July 01, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media)

Crows Matt Crouch and Jake Lever have been named in the AFL Players’ Association 22under22 team.

The side was voted by fans from an initial squad of 40 selected by the AFLPA board.

It’s Crouch’s second award in a fortnight after he was picked in the 2017 All Australian team.

One of the most improved players in the competition, the 22-year-old averaged a career-best 33 disposals, five tackles and six clearances in the home and away season.

He was second for in the League for total disposals (726) behind Hawthorn recruit and fellow All Australian Tom Mitchell (787).

Crouch also finished top 10 in the competition for contested possessions (294), hard-ball gets (130), loose-ball gets (97) and handball receives (350) in the minor round.

The left-footer was included in the best 22under22 squad last year, but was overlooked in the fan vote.

Lever, 21, earned his third straight 22under22 cap.

The competitive backman has played an important role in Adelaide’s defence this season.

Lever ranked third in the AFL for intercept marks (62) and fifth for total intercept possessions (155) in the home and away season despite missing five matches to injury. He was selected in the All Australian squad of 40.

The Crows were one of five teams with two representatives in the 22under22 team.

Elimination Final opponents the Sydney Swans and Essendon led the way with three players selected each.

In all, 13 clubs were represented in the final team, which was unveiled at the AFL Players’ Association MVP Awards in Melbourne on Tuesday night.

Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli received the captaincy, with Bomber Zach Merrett as his vice-captain.

To be eligible for selection, players must be aged 22 years and under for the entirety of the season, including finals.

Now in its fifth year, 22under22 is the AFL’s only recognised fan-voted award which provides the footy public with the power to select the final 22.

2017 22Under22 team
B: Andrew McGrath, Harris Andrews, Callum Mills
HB: Jayden Hunt, Jake Lever, Ryan Burton
C: Josh Kelly, Clayton Oliver, Marcus Bontempelli
HF: Jack Billings, Charlie Curnow, Jack Martin
F: Orazio Fantasia, Eric Hipwood, Tom Papley
FOLL: Peter Wright, Zach Merrett, Matt Crouch
INT: James Sicily (Def), Isaac Heeney (Mid), Ollie Wines (Mid), Daniel Rioli (Fwd)

Captain: Marcus Bontempelli
Vice-captain: Zach Merrett