By Sam Watson
ON WEDNESDAY, NewsCorp’s Leader Local Footy released its top 21 Gippsland League players in 2021.
There are many talented players in the Gippsland premier League, with big names featuring in squads all over the region.
Wonthaggi, Moe and Sale had three players named on the list, but surprisingly, the flag favourites Leongatha only had two.
The selection of just two Parrots was even more questionable when five Maffra Eagles were named, despite finishing the Gippsland League in seventh after winning just three games.
And Bairnsdale, who finished in ninth spot after managing just one win for the season, had three players in the top 21.
Drouin only received one selection, as did Traralgon, which was former Parrot and superstar goal kicker Jake Best.
Morwell and Warragul were the only two teams to have no representation on the list.
It’s no surprise both Jarryd and Jack Blair were named for Wonthaggi.
In his first year back at his childhood club after a 157-game career for Collingwood, Jarryd has been travelling along nicely as playing coach, but it’s his younger brother Jack who’s really been dominating the opposition.
Jack has had no troubles assimilating back to Gippsland League football, racking up countless possessions and often finding ways to hit the scoreboard.
And when the league vote count comes around, he may consider himself a big chance to win his second Gippsland League best and fairest.
Also selected for the Power was Aiden Lindsay, who has been one of the most reliable performers for Wonthaggi for many years.
Lindsay’s ability to win a contested ball will be a huge factor if the Power gets the chance to play off in a grand final.
If they do get that chance, they’ll likely be playing Leongatha to determine who lifts the trophy.
Aaron Heppell, who has returned to the Parrots after an 88-game VFL career with Essendon, was one of the two Leongatha stars named.
The younger brother of AFL star Dyson will be hoping he can help the Parrots reclaim glory in 2021 and he can certainly rely on Tom Marriott, the other Parrot selected, to help.
Marriott has been a mainstay for Leongatha in their recent dominance, winning the 2018 league best and fairest.
His strength around the contest is almost unrivalled in the Gippsland League, and he and Heppell will play a pivotal role once again if a grand final can be played.