Nick Dal Santo has identified who he believes are the top wingmen in the AFL right now.
Dal Santo has made clear that the below list is based on those who operate as genuine wingers and aren't just rotating through that position.
The former St Kilda and North Melbourne midfielder explained his criteria on SEN Summer Breakfast.
“There’s not many guys that play the wing role like we once knew that it was,” he said
“When I go through my list from five to one you’ll be able to recognise the only position they play is wing.
“They’re brilliant at it, this is their spot. Like taggers they are few and far between.”
Dal Santo's Top 5 wingmen
5. Isaac Smith (Hawthorn)
“This was his position and his title for the last decade or so. I felt bad moving him down the rung a little bit.
“He’s not what he was but he’s still really good. They way you picture Isaac Smith is everything you want in a wingman.
“Relentless run, running up and down the lanes, gets back to support the defence, linking up and going through midfield, great run and carry.”
4. Tom Phillips (Collingwood)
“He’s had a couple of really good years. He’s exceeded expectations.
“He plays the genuine wing role beautifully.”
3. Lachie Hunter (Western Bulldogs)
“Very underrated and as smart as they come. Sees the play unfolding before it has unfolded.
“Gets to the right positions and is nice and neat with his disposal. Gets the job done and gets a lot of the football.”
2. Andrew Gaff (West Coast)
“A lot of people knock Andrew Gaff with the way that he plays. I will defend him until the cows come home.
“He’s a winger. He’s not an inside midfielder, he doesn’t play the same way as Luke Shuey or Elliot Yeo, because the Eagles have already got those players. He plays his role to perfection.
“He’s death by a thousand cuts with his ball use. I find him damaging when you look back as a collective over the entirety of a game.”
1. Brad Hill (St Kilda)
“I am mesmerised with what he can physically do with his running capacity, it is a delight to watch.
“He puts the ball underneath his arm and says, ‘Come and catch me’.
“He runs just as hard defensively as he does when he thinks he is going to get the footy and that’s what I love about him.”
Dal Santo insisted that Geelong’s Mitch Duncan only narrowly missed out at number six while the likes of GWS star Lachie Whitfield and brilliant Collingwood midfielder Steele Sidebottom did not make the cut as they are deployed in various positions rather than solely as wingmen.