CONSISTENCY is a buzzword in footy. It's become a cliche, reeled off without thought.
But if one is to cut through the jargon, it's still the mark of an excellent player. Those who can get up week after week and simply perform regardless of soreness, conditions and opposition are the true champions of the sport.
In the Hampden league's case, it's tough to judge. There are no widely available statistics to use to form opinions. But The Standard has found a way around that.
Using a method based on best players - something coaching staff determine - The Standard has ranked the top 20 players for consistency in the competition based on their 2021 campaigns.
It works like this. The best player on a winning team gets 16 points. Second gets 13.5 points, and so on.
For the losing side, the best player is granted seven points, the second best six while it filters down from there. That's the shorthand method, at least.
Ruckmen dominate the top five in a nod to the quality of big men currently gracing the league. Medal counts have often been dismissed for the fact they favour midfielders.
This list - which considered internal views and value above all else - has given full-backs as much a chance as a star onballer.
HOW IT WORKS:
Winning team - 1st best (16.0 points); 2nd best (13.5); 3rd best (11.0); 4th best (8.5); 5th best (6.0); 6th best (3.5).
Losing team - 1st best (7.0); 2nd best (6.0); 3rd best (5.0); 4th best (4.0); 5th best (3.0); 6th best (2.0).
Drawn game (both teams) - 1st best (10.0); 2nd best (8.5); 3rd best (7.0); 4th best (5.5); 5th best (4.0); 6th best (2.5).
1. BEN MALCOLM (PORTLAND)
Summary: Ultra-consistent ruckman who was undoubtedly one of the league's best in 2021. Featured in Portland's best players nine of out of 12 times and clunked three best-on-ground votes.
2. JETT BERMINGHAM (NORTH WARRNAMBOOL EAGLES)
Summary: Potentially the brightest young talent in the Hampden league. Only featured nine times in 2021 but was included in the top-three players seven times. Genuine Maskell Medal chance.
3. JEREMY HAUSLER (KOROIT)
Summary: Getting among the bests as often as Hausler has in a side as good as Koroit is no mean feat. The big man divided time between ruck and forward in 2021 - booting 15 goals - and dominated. Koroit's most consistent for the home-and-away season.
4. SAM DOBSON (KOROIT)
Summary: Dobson has almost had a perfect season. The tireless key forward has slotted 55 majors and has, at times, pinch hit through the middle of the ground. A key pillar in the Saints' premiership bid.
5. MARK MARRIOTT (COBDEN)
Summary: Another dominant ruckman who was simply electric for the Bombers in his first season at the club. Should be a lock for the club's best-and-fairest. Big presence around the ground.
6. JACKSON BELL (WARRNAMBOOL)
Summary: The smooth-moving midfielder was again a key cog in the Blues' engine room in 2021. Featured eight times in the bests in a tough season for the club. A Maskell smokey.
7. CAM SPENCE (CAMPERDOWN)
Summary: Heart-and-soul player capable of winning his own ball and using it well. Undoubtedly one of the Magpies' unsung heroes en route to a finals appearance.
8. WILL KAIN (TERANG MORTLAKE)
Summary: Breakout season for the Bloods' best sharpshooter who slotted 41 goals in his first full season of senior footy. Star in the making.
9. ADAM WINES (NORTH WARRNAMBOOL EAGLES)
Summary: A target up forward for Adam Dowie's side but his contribution stretched beyond goals. Slotted 28 majors but showed why he has a reputation as one of the hardest workers at the club.
10. JOSH DWYER (PORT FAIRY)
Summary: Pillar of strength in the Seagulls' back half. A player will all the tools to play at a higher level. Featured in Port Fairy's bests eight times across 2021 as the club notched up a wooden spoon.
TIED 11TH: SAM JAMES (NORTH WARRNAMBOOL EAGLES)
Summary: Talented midfielder who strung together a consistent body of form through the middle of the season. Featured in the bests eight times in a high-flying Eagles outfit.
TIED 11TH: SAM GORDON (CAMPERDOWN)
Summary: How do you stop a bloke who marks literally everything that comes his way? You can't. That's been the story with Gordon all season. The big forward has booted 57 goals at an average of 5.18 a game.
TIED 11TH: SAM KELLY (SOUTH WARRNAMBOOL)
Summary: Arguably one of the Roosters' most consistent players. Has played a variety of roles - including ruck and deep forward - and has executed all very well. Aided by one of the competition's best small forward units.
14TH: TOBY JENNINGS (PORTLAND)
Summary: Midfield-type with the ability to go forward and hit the scoreboard. Jennings kicked 20 goals in 2021 to cement himself as one of the Tigers' most dangerous attacking options. An ultra-consistent year from a player still young.
15: AUSTIN STEERE (WARRNAMBOOL)
Summary: A chance for the Blues' best-and-fairest, Steere has pieced together a super-consistent 2021. The dangerous forward-type has booted 17 goals and been a shining light through the club's tough patches on-field.
16: JOE ARUNDELL (TERANG MORTLAKE)
Summary: The Bloods reigning best-and-fairest who was again a strong leader through the midfield in 2021. Best-on-ground four times for Terang Mortlake and plenty of other spots among the top players over the course of the campaign.
17: JOSH SAUNDERS (SOUTH WARRNAMBOOL)
Summary: Ex-St Kilda talent in his second stint at Friendly Societies Park. Has played every game so far and started the season with a bang, featuring in the Roosters' bests for four-consecutive weeks.
TIED 18TH: FRASER LUCAS (CAMPERDOWN)
Summary: Capable goal-sneak who can make opposition pay when the focus is drawn to spearhead Sam Gordon. Solid season with regular goals and spots in the best players.
TIED 18TH: LIAM YOUL (SOUTH WARRNAMBOOL)
Summary: Roosters captain who has been named best-on-ground in three separate matches this season. Vital cog in South's machine and has been a big midfield inclusion.
TIED 18TH: COREY GALLICHAN (SOUTH WARRNAMBOOL)
Summary: The former Warrnambool talent has produced a couple of stellar performances in 2021 and they've not gone unnoticed. He was the Roosters' best against his old club in round one and has kept his spot in the seniors right through. One of his best seasons to date.
19: LUKE WINES (NORTH WARRNAMBOOL EAGLES)
Summary: Mainstay option for North Warrnambool Eagles and just ever-reliable. Has bobbed up importantly in several important games to help his team over the line. Six appearances in the bests.
20: TIM MCINTYRE (KOROIT)
Summary: A star of the competition who has looked ever so dangerous forward of the ball in 2021. Has slotted an average of two goals a game this season and is still capable of running through the midfield. McIntyre has cracked into Koroit's bests five times in a solid showing of consistency.
YOUR CLUB'S TOP FIVE
Cam Spence, 64.5 points
Sam Gordon, 61 points
Fraser Lucas, 49 points
Brendan Richardson, 30 points
Judah Dundon, 36.5 points
Mark Marriott, 69 points
Patty Smith, 40 points
Jesse Williamson, 27.5 points
Noah Mounsey, 25 points
Christian Koroneos, 22 points
Jeremy Hausler, 73.5 points
Sam Dobson, 72 points
Tim McIntyre, 47.5 points
Alex Pulling, 44 points
Todd White, 42 points
North Warrnambool Eagles
Jett Bermingham, 92.5 points
Adam Wines, 62 points
Sam James, 61 points
Luke Wines, 49 points
Matt Wines, 47 points
Josh Dwyer, 62 points
Isaac Martin, 44 points
Shane Savage, 29 points
George Swarbrick, 26.5 points
Andy McMeel, 19 points
Ben Malcolm, 99.5 points
Toby Jennings, 58 points
Daniel Jackson, 35 points
Josh Jenner, 33 points
Jake Edwards, 31 points
Sam Kelly, 61 points
Josh Saunders, 52 points
Liam Youl, 49 points
Corey Gallichan, 49 points
Will Kain, 64 points
Joe Arundell, 54.5 points
Gus Bourke, 38 points
Jarryd Hay, 33.5 points
Darcy Hobbs, 25 points
Jackson Bell, 66 points
Austin Steere, 56.5 points
Mitch Bidmade, 42 points
Jye Turland, 34 points
Sam Cowling, 38.5 points
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