By Matt Burgan 5:57 PM
Tue 01 September, 2009
PREMIERSHIP contenders Geelong, St Kilda and Collingwood form the bulk of this year's 40-man All Australian squad, after the AFL announced the initial list following the selection panel's final meeting on Tuesday.
Eight Cats, seven Saints and six Magpies are in contention, with 22 players in line for their first All Australian honour. The final team will be named on Monday, September 14 in Melbourne.
The 21 players coming from Geelong, St Kilda and Collingwood are: Corey Enright, Matthew Scarlett, Gary Ablett, Jimmy Bartel, Steve Johnson, Andrew Mackie, Joel Selwood and Paul Chapman (Geelong); Nick Dal Santo, Lenny Hayes, Nick Riewoldt, Sam Gilbert, Brendon Goddard, Leigh Montagna and Stephen Milne (St Kilda) and Alan Didak, Nick Maxwell, Simon Prestigiacomo, Scott Pendlebury, Leon Davis and Dane Swan (Collingwood).
Scarlett is in line to become an All Australian for the fifth time, with previous gongs in 2003-04 and 2007-08. Adelaide captain Simon Goodwin is also a possibility of winning his fifth All Australian nod.
Club skippers, Carlton's Chris Judd (2004, 2006 and 2008, as captain) and Riewoldt (2004, 2006 and 2008) are in line for their fourth award.
Melbourne, Port Adelaide and Richmond are the only three clubs not represented.
Essendon defender Dustin Fletcher could become the only player this decade to be selected in 2000 and 2009, as he strives for his third honour.
As has been the case since 2007, the All Australian selectors named 12 defenders, 12 forwards and 16 midfielders/ruckmen. The final side will have six defenders, six forwards and six midfielders/ruckmen, with another four players from the remaining squad chosen on the interchange. They will be selected to best fit team balance.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou says selection in the AFL's team of the year is a significant honour.
"Selection in the Four’N Twenty All Australian team is recognition for a tremendous year of football, as the best player in your position across the entire competition," he said.
"All Australian selection is also a recognition of the quality of those players you have competed against, to win your spot, and the aim of this approach is to highlight the outstanding players who are in contention for selection, and those who eventually win out to claim a position as one of the elite players of the season."
The All Australian selection panel comprises Andrew Demetriou (chairman), Adrian Anderson, Kevin Bartlett, Gerard Healy, James Hird, Glen Jakovich, Mark Ricciuto and Robert Walls.
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