In 2023, William Buck Premier Men’s saw the highest number of players come through the competition in over a decade.
For the first time in the VAFA’s 130-year plus history, a 50-man squad has been selected in conjunction with the William Buck Premier coaches, Presidents and staff.
VAFA Media’s Joe Pignataro (Chairman of Selectors) and Josh Heriot have also been part of the selection process in deciding which players have had outstanding seasons worthy of recognition.
Thirteen players from the 2022 final team of the year are part of the squad that’s been selected,
Minor premiers Collegians boast the most representatives of the squad with nine. No team has kicked more goals than the Lions with focal points Dave Mirra and Will Pocknee giving opposition defenders nightmares in the weeks leading up to playing against them. Being delivered the ball on a platter by the King, Kenny Ong. And, Gentleman Jim Bazzani.
Reigning premiers St Kevin’s continuing on a high-level of excellence with eight. Brothers Mitch and Josh Wallis could follow in the footsteps of the Daicos boys who earned All-Australian selection in 2023. The latter being part of the 2021 Team of the Year.
Old Scotch are in the window, and the six players selected will all be pivotal in having their say on the fortunes of the Cardinals during September. While fellow finalist University Blues have had five players part of the final 50.
Leadership is a key-pillar to any football team, six club captains have been recognised for outstanding on-field performances and guiding their team throughout the 2023 season.
This year saw the return of the Big V, with 16 of the 22 continuing on their stellar seasons by earning selection as part of the squad.
|Oscar Roberts||Caulfield||Aiden Franetic||Old Scotch|
|Julian Dobosz||Caulfield||Ben Hays||Old Scotch|
|Sam Sofronidis||Collegians||James Tarrant||Old Scotch|
|Luke McCleary||Collegians||Henry Brown||Old Scotch|
|Matt Warren||Collegians||Dan Robinson||Old Xaverians|
|Kenny Ong||Collegians||Marcus Stavrou||Old Xaverians|
|Jim Bazzani||Collegians||Charlie MacIsaac||Old Xaverians|
|Dylan Thomas||Collegians||Sam Cameron||St Kevin’s|
|Dave Mirra||Collegians||Josh Tynan||St Kevin’s|
|Will Pocknee||Collegians||Luke Winter||St Kevin’s|
|Will Mayhood||Collegians||Cam Hodges||St Kevin’s|
|Tom Yorgey||Old Brighton||Cal Matheson||St Kevin’s|
|Kai Dimattina||Old Brighton||Mitch Wallis||St Kevin’s|
|Harry Hill||Old Brighton||Josh Wallis||St Kevin’s|
|Tom Fisher||Old Brighton||Shaun Kennedy||St Kevin’s|
|Ben Pryor||Old Brighton||Will Coates||St Kevin’s|
|Durras Seccull||Old Haileybury||Campbell Moorfield||University Blacks|
|Brodie Steele||Old Haileybury||Lachie Knight||University Blacks|
|Josh Gasparini||Old Haileybury||Louis Vescio||University Blacks|
|Sam Loewe||Old Haileybury||Josh Steadman||University Blacks|
|Josh Freezer||Old Melburnians||Marty Gleeson||University Blues|
|Ben Harding||Old Melburnians||Tom Cutler||University Blues|
|Jackson Paine||Old Melburnians||Ed Ziebath||University Blues|
|Brodie Easton||Old Scotch||Sam Grimley||University Blues|
|Doug Lawrence||Old Scotch||Ayce Cordy||University Blues|
Will Pocknee; Collegians: Between 2014-2022 he had played 34 senior games and kicked 11 goals in total. Jared Rivers and the purple army decided over the off-season to unlock this caged Lion in 2023, and he has paid them back in droves. 39 goals from 15 games this year for ‘Pockers’ and with a finals campaign looming, he could be anything this September.
Josh Steadman; University Blacks: Announced his retirement in the final home and away game of the season, Steadman was selected as the Big V ruckman and has been a dominant force in the ruck right throughout 2023. He finished with 133 senior games next to his, a 2x Big V representative and the co-captain of the Uni Blacks for the fifth consecutive season.
Kai Dimattina; Old Brighton: The son of a gun made his senior debut with the Tonners in Round 5, and remained part of the side for every game thereafter. Part of the best players eight times, he earned an Anytime Fitness Rising Star nomination in Round 11 and has made every post a winner in 2023.
Ben Harding; Old Melburnians: A brilliant debut season in the VAFA, running the midfield of the Old Melburnians. Harding had the most disposals of any player in William Buck Premier (541) at an average of 31 per game. Was also ranked #1 for contested possessions, handballs, clearances and centre clearances. Let’s not forget he also put a knife through the heart of the Perth Football League with a goal late in the game on July 15.
The final squad will be released in the coming weeks.