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Shaw hungry to earn a spot

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The King settles in

10:33am  Dec 6, 2017

Blues one of AFL's greenest

Carlton Media  December 1, 2017 10:32 AM

Dow & O'Brien on first week Paddy Dow and Lochie O'Brien fronted the media at Ikon Park following their first few days at the Club.

AFTER drafting and recruiting a host of young players over the past few years, Carlton will enter the 2018 season with the fifth youngest list in the competition, with an average age of 23 years and 244 days.

The Blues are one of only five clubs that have a younger squad than reigning premier Richmond, with Brisbane, Gold Coast, North Melbourne and St Kilda also ranked below the Tigers. 

When it comes to finals experience, Gold Coast is the least experienced, with captain Gary Ablett taking his 17 games of September experience with him to Geelong and dropping the Suns' total to 31.

St Kilda (32) and Melbourne (44) are also very green when it comes to playing finals and both will be expecting to add experience in 2018.

Only six clubs have fewer than 100 games finals experience, with Carlton (56), Essendon (63) and the Brisbane Lions (65) the others.

Clubs ranked from oldest average age to youngest*

Figures based on entire club's list, including category B rookies

 RANKING  CLUB AVERAGE AGE (YEARS, DAYS)
1. ADEL Adelaide 24 192
2. HAW Hawthorn  24  179 
3. COLL Collingwood 24 98
4. GEEL Geelong 24  95 
5. PORT Port Adelaide  24  50 
6. GWS Greater Western Sydney 24 16
7. ESS Essendon 23 355
8. SYD Sydney 23  343 
9. MELB Melbourne  23 335 
10. FRE Fremantle  23  292 
11. WCE West Coast 23  282 
12. WB Western Bulldogs  23  259 
13. RICH Richmond 23 255
14. CARL Carlton 23 244
15. STK St Kilda  23  201 
16. BL Brisbane Lions  23 128 
17. NMFC North Melbourne  23  117 
18. GCFC Gold Coast 23  22 

*Stats supplied by AFL statistician Cameron Sinclair

Three clubs will go into next season with five 200-game players – Geelong, Port Adelaide and Sydney – while St Kilda will have none after the retirements of Nick Riewoldt, Leigh Montagna and Sean Dempster.

West Coast has the most players on its list yet to debut with 16 after adding six players through the national draft and three new rookies.  

First-year players Daniel Venables, Josh Rotham, Willie Rioli and Jake Waterman, second-year tall forward Matthew Allen, and category-B rookies Tarir Bayok and Francis Watson didn't play in 2017. 

Meanwhile, Adelaide has backed experience in its quest to atone for this year's Grand Final defeat, assembling what will be the oldest list in the competition in 2018.

The Crows had the seventh oldest group in 2017 but have rocketed to the top through the recruitment of midfielders Sam Gibson, 31, and Bryce Gibbs, 28, and two mature-age rookies. 

It has lifted their average age as of round one next season to 24 years and 192 days, ahead of Hawthorn (24 and 179), Collingwood (24 and 98), Geelong (24 and 95) and Greater Western Sydney (24 and 16).

The Crows have a League average of three players over 30, but they lead the competition for players aged 25-29, with 19 (equal with Geelong). 

Hawthorn has the Crows covered for average games experience, with 74, also leading the competition for average goals (59) and players with 100-199 games played (14).

Summary of 2018 AFL club lists

 CLUB AVERAGE AGE (YEARS, DAYS) AVERAGE GAMES FINALS 100+ GAMES YET TO DEBUT FROM OTHER AFL CLUBS
ADEL Adelaide 24 192 68 165 14 13  10
BL Brisbane Lions 23 128 54 65  11 12
CARL Carlton 23 244 56 56 7 8 19
COLL Collingwood 24 98 68 116 13 10 12
ESS Essendon 23 355 58 63 9 9 11
FRE Fremantle 23 292 63 144 13 12 8
GEEL Geelong 24 95 65 209 13  12 10
GCFC Gold Coast  23 22 60 31 7 9 10
GWS Greater Western Sydney 24 16 64 143 10 11 11
HAW Hawthorn 24 179 74 265 17 9 11
MELB Melbourne 23 335 57 44 8 9 12
NMFC North Melbourne 23 117  52 107 10 11 9
PORT Port Adelaide 24 50 73 109 17 10 13
RICH Richmond 23 255 62 114 11  8 8
STK St Kilda 23 201 53 32 10 10  13
SYD Sydney  23 343  66 303 11 12 4
WCE West Coast 23 282 64 169 15 16 8
WB Western Bulldogs 23 259 56 129 9 7 6
AVERAGE 23 338 62 126 11 10 10

- with Nathan Schmook, AFL Media

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