The weekend’s celebrations will continue into Monday for Melbourne, with seven Demons players included in a 40-man AFL team of the year squad dominated by the minor premiers.
Captain Max Gawn is gunning for his fifth blazer and leads Melbourne’s inclusions in the group, with midfield duo Clayton Oliver and Christian Petracca also selected.
Important defensive trio Jake Lever, Steven May and Christian Salem have also earned places in the squad, along with forward Bayley Fritsch who is among 21 players aiming for his first-ever inclusion.
Brisbane is behind Melbourne with five players named (Charlie Cameron, Jarryd Lyons, Hugh McCluggage, Daniel Rich and Dayne Zorko), while an improving Sydney side has four players chosen (Lance Franklin, Callum Mills, Tom Papley and Luke Parker).
Franklin is aiming for a record ninth blazer, which could take the champion key forward beyond Gary Ablett jnr, Patrick Dangerfield, Robert Harvey and Mark Ricciuto as the only player to ever achieve the feat.
Only three clubs miss out on any representatives in the squad altogether, including reigning premier Richmond and the bottom-two teams North Melbourne and Collingwood.
It means Tigers forward Jack Riewoldt misses out, despite finishing third in the Coleman Medal, while Power veteran Travis Boak and Cats midfielder Cam Guthrie are also unlucky omissions.
Hawthorn’s prolific ball-winner Tom Mitchell is the only active Brownlow Medal winner included in the squad, with the likes of Lachie Neale, Nat Fyfe, Dustin Martin and Dangerfield making way for the new breed of talent coming through.
In fact, only seven players – Gawn, Marcus Bontempelli, Tom Hawkins, Jack Macrae, Nic Naitanui, Petracca and Jack Steele – are hoping to make successive teams, having also been named in the final 2020 side.
Instead, more than half of the 40-man group is made up of first-time hopefuls. With 21 fresh faces selected, it could see a new record set for the most maiden inclusions in a single side. That occurred in 2012, when there were 15 players receiving their first blazers.
Melbourne: Bayley Fritsch, Max Gawn, Jake Lever, Steven May, Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca, Christian Salem
Brisbane: Charlie Cameron, Jarryd Lyons, Hugh McCluggage, Daniel Rich, Dayne Zorko
Sydney: Lance Franklin, Callum Mills, Tom Papley, Luke Parker
Carlton: Harry McKay, Sam Walsh, Jacob Weitering
Essendon: Zach Merrett, Darcy Parish, Jake Stringer
Port Adelaide: Aliir Aliir, Karl Amon, Ollie Wines
Western Bulldogs: Marcus Bontempelli, Bailey Dale, Jack Macrae
Adelaide: Rory Laird, Paul Seedsman
Fremantle: Sean Darcy, David Mundy
Geelong: Tom Hawkins, Tom Stewart
GWS: Toby Greene, Jacob Hopper
Hawthorn: Tom Mitchell
Gold Coast: Touk Miller
St Kilda: Jack Steele
West Coast: Nic Naitanui
North Melbourne: Nil