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Kane Cornes' 18 breakout players for 2020


Kane Cornes has named 18 players who he expects to have a breakout 2020 season.

The Port Adelaide games record holder has listed a player from each of the 18 AFL clubs who can step up this year.

Cornes’ criteria is someone under the age of 23 who hasn’t played a lot of footy and who has not yet arrived.

Adelaide club banner

Myles Poholke
Age: 21
Games: 11

“Has a sound attack on the ball and tackles well and I like the way he moves. Possesses good agility. Can play inside mid but also get the ball on the outside.

“Needs to up his disposal count to 18-20 and aim for goal per game. At the moment he only averages 10 possessions.

“With the mass exodus of players out the door at Adelaide he will receive his fair share of midfield minutes and by the end of this season he will become a part of the best 22.”

Myles Poholke Adelaide

Brisbane club banner

Callum Ah Chee
Age: 22
Games: 45

“He’s been traded from the Gold Coast to Brisbane. He’s a former number eight draft pick. The Lions were desperate to get him in the trade period. They are going to play him across half-back.

“He’s been playing in a footballer’s graveyard which is as a small forward in a poor team, where it’s impossible to make your mark.

“He will thrive under Chris Fagan’s system and he’s going to come back and haunt the Suns.”

Carlton club banner

Jack Silvagni
Age: 22
Games: 60

“You might say he’s already broken out but I don’t think he has.

“He’s been stuck in that graveyard for far too long, trying to play as a medium-small forward in a poor side is tough.

“But I reckon the Blues can get the best out of him. They shifted him into the midfield at times last year and he was exceptional as an accountable midfielder.

“He’s 194cm, he’s the modern midfielder and he’s going to have a very good year playing a similar role to Matt de Boer from the Giants.

“He is going to be an accountable midfielder who can win his own ball but also because he’s got the forward craft, push forward and hurt his opposition on the scoreboard.”


Collingwood club banners

Isaac Quaynor
Age: 19
Games: 4

“He’s almost 20 years of age, he’s only played four games but gee, I like this kid.

“He’s got speed, he’s got aggression which stood out to me. He needs to improve his use by foot off half-back but has all the weapons to make a massive impact in his second season this year.”

Isaac Quaynor Collingwood

Essendon club banner

Dylan Clarke
Age: 21
Games: 12

“Clarke somewhat broke through as a run-with player in the back half of this season but the thing I like about him is he’s capable of winning his fair share of ball himself.

“I loved the game when he kept Carlton superstar Patrick Cripps to his lowest disposal tally of the year.

“Once he does understand the balance of when to play accountable and when to get your footy, which is tough as a young player, he will become an important cog in the Bombers' engine room.”

Dylan Clarke Essendon

Fremantle club banner

Griffin Logue
Age: 21
Games: 23

“Another top-10 draft pick that due to injury has taken a little bit longer to arrive than Freo may have expected.

“Has struggled to get the best out of himself due to those injuries but this guy is going to be a genuine star, you watch.

“I love his size and his mobility. He’s versatile, he can play as a key defender or as an interceptor across half-back, he uses the ball well.

“If he stays fit he is going to be a major weapon for the Dockers and new coach Justin Longmuir.”

Griffin Logue Fremantle

Geelong club banner

Nakia Cockatoo
Age: 23
Games: 34

“Has not played since Round 3, 2018.

“He’ll be the comeback story of the year in the AFL because he’s a genuine star with tricks and I hope we get to see the best of him this year.

“The Cats have everything crossed that they can get him right.”


Gold Coast club banner

Ben Ainsworth
Age: 21
Games: 41

“He showed a toughness that cannot be said for some of his teammates in 2019. He played hurt, he played through adversity, he showed strong leadership qualities.

“He’s got elite speed, he’s a top-10 draft pick, he’s got good goal sense, he’s solid in the air for his size. He’s capable of kicking 30-plus goals this year as a small forward.”

Ben Ainsworth

GWS Giants club banner

Sam Taylor
Age: 20
Games: 30

“He’s just rock solid. He played 22 of a possible 26 in 2019. He picks himself, will pick himself for the Giants for the next 10 years.

“Doesn’t have the X-factor or the sexiness of some of the players I’ve mentioned but who doesn’t love a good, dour defender.”

Sam Taylor GWS Giants

Hawthorn club banner

Oliver Hanrahan
Age: 21
Games: 9

“He played a few games last season but he’s been made to earn it at Hawthorn by Alastair Clarkson.

“Put in a couple of solid performances, averaged 13 disposals and kicked seven goals in nine games.

“He also finished with 19 goals at VFL level last season. Look for him to make his mark in 2020.”

Oliver Hanrahan Alastair Clarkson Hawthorn

Melbourne club banner

Kyle Dunkley
Age: 19
Games: 5

“Dunkley was one positive of a very bleak 2019 for Melbourne playing five games after being selected in the mid-season draft.

“Plays as an inside mid but has shown in his brief AFL career that he can go forward and hit the scoreboard. His brother Josh has become one of the game's best midfielders and the younger Dunkley spent the off-season honing his craft training alongside him.

“Expect him to become a regular playing in the star-studded Melbourne midfield this year.”

Kyle Dunkley Melbourne

North Melbourne club banner

Nick Larkey
Age: 21
Games: 19

“Larkey has the potential to be one of the game's best key forwards.

“His statistics from his 17 games in 2019 were highly impressive as he averaged nearly 1.5 goals per game and pulled in 26 contested marks.

“Is also more than capable as a back-up ruckman which adds versatility to his game. A super impressive youngster that will reach new heights in 2020.

“Partnering up with Ben Brown could be frightening.”

Nick Larkey

Port Adelaide club banner

Todd Marshall
Age: 21
Games: 20

“Port Adelaide has been patient with Marshall but rate him as highly as any of the other young players on its list.

“He is the perfect partner for Charlie Dixon as key targets inside 50 for the Power.

“Is super clean below his knees and has tricks at ground level not associated with players of his height. There’s a positon there ready for him to take.”

Port Adelaide Marshall Rozee Duursma

Richmond club banner

Shai Bolton
Age: 21
Games: 28

“Bolton is already a premiership player so you could argue that he has broken out somewhat but will take his game to new levels in 2020 which is frightening for Richmond’s rivals.

“Went at just under a goal per game so there is room for improvement on the goal front to head towards the numbers of the likes of Eddie Betts, Stephen Milne and Michael Walters at around two goals a game.

“But his tackling and pressure for a small forward is already elite.”

Shai Bolton Richmond

St Kilda club banner

Dougal Howard
Age: 23
Games: 45

“Dougal Howard will have a breakout year and he will come back to haunt Port Adelaide.

“One of the steals of the trade period when the Saints stole him from the Power.

“Will thrive when played in the correct position across half-back and is already one of the games best spoilers. Has elite speed and marking ability.”

Sydney club banners

Will Hayward
Age: 21
Games: 53

“I’m so impressed with this young South Australian. He is a beautiful finisher who thrives in big moments.

“He's got nerves of steel. Could be anything when he discovers the consistency that can elude young players.

“Expect big things this year.”

Will Hayward Sydney

West Coast club banner

Jake Waterman
Age: 21
Games: 29

“The Eagles are super excited by what the mobile forward will bring in the coming years.

“There’s a lot to like about Waterman’s approach to the game and he will look to cement a spot alongside Jack Darling and Oscar Allen, with Josh Kennedy getting a little bit older, in the exciting young forward line that the Eagles possess.”

Jake Waterman West Coast

Western Bulldogs banner

Patrick Lipinski
Age: 21
Games: 32

“You can take your pick from the most exciting young list in the competition but Lipinski has all the tools to be a future All-Australian midfielder.

“He averaged 22 disposals and nearly a goal per game in his 14 appearances in 2019.

“He's got all the tools to break out in 2020.”

Patrick Lipinski Western Bulldogs

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