Nick Stanley.
Nick Stanley.

Crabs and Saints shine

GLADSTONE-based AFL players have featured prominently in a new AFL initiative.

Yaralla Mudcrabs and BITS Saints had three representatives apiece chosen in the inaugural AFL Capricornia 2010 Team of the Year.

Paul Caveny, Lucas Hall and Dan Hunt had great years for BITS, while Nick Stanley, Rusty Parnaby and Stuart Seager also stood out across the season for their consistency.

All six are predominantly midfielders, with the exception of Parnaby, who played in the back pocket.

Of the inclusions in the team, Parnaby's would come as the biggest surprise due to his age.

Mudcrabs coach Aaron Barrett was “over the moon” with the young bloke's selection, as this was his first year of senior football, rising from the under-17s earlier this year.

“I'm not surprised he's in the team, but for him to be picked as an under-17 is phenomenal,” Barrett said.

“He goes hard at it and when he gets it he just runs, and it was a case of good luck tackling him.

“Rusty took some of the best forwards in the league and did the job on them.”

Stanley, named as a rover, has been very consistent over the past three years with the club, and was made vice captain this year.

“He's been a real leader, and from time to time he's done tagging jobs for us and completely shut his opponent down.”

Slotting into the team from the first game, Stuart Seager's silky skills and poise were on display immediately and soon showed he was a goal-kicking midfielder.

“He was best on ground and has been a shining light for us,” Barrett said.

“He brought a lot of experience and has been fantastic with the young kids coming through.”

BITS coach Adam Dickenson said the achievement of the players was acknowledgment for their seasons, although the team had had an up-and-down home-and-away season.

Caveny captained BITS this year and grew into the role as the year progressed.

“He's a ball magnet, he uses his body well, when the ball's there to be won, he'll win it,” Dickenson said.

As for Hunt, in his second year of A Grade at BITS, the coach has big wraps on his footballing ability. “I think he's got the best skills in the league, and is a very elusive player,” Dickenson said.

“Dan seems to be able to get in and get the ball and get it out with ease.”

Hall's move into the midfield this year has been a boon for BITS, and selectors saw fit to name him on the interchange bench of the Team of the Year.

“He's definitely had his best year at the club,” Dickenson said.

“He's got very silky skills and has been a real linkman for us through the centre of the ground.”

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