Friday, September 15, 2017 - 2:07 AM by Chris Pike

WEST Perth again made finals in 2017 and the season of the Falcons has been recognised with four players named in the wafl.com.au Team of the Year as a result.

All four of the West Perth players were selected as part of the starting 18 in the wafl.com.au Team of the Year as well.

Kody Manning was named on a half-back flank, Aaron Black on a wing, Tyler Keitel at full-forward and then the league's leading ball winner Shane Nelson on the ball. 

Each round during the season, a Team of the Round was named on wafl.com.au, with 192 different players named at least once across the 23 weeks, making them eligible for selection in the overall Team of the Year.

The Team of the Year has been selected based not only on the number of times each player was selected in the Team of the Round, but also on their playing positions and strengths to achieve the best overall team of 2017 WAFL players. 

Subiaco had the most appearances in the Team of the Round throughout the season, with 25 different Lions players named at least once as they claimed the minor premiership with 19 consecutive victories.

Those 25 players from Subiaco totalled 88 appearances in the Team of the Round. Five Subiaco players have been selected in the Team of the Year.

South Fremantle finished second on the WAFL ladder with a 16-4 record and 24 Bulldogs players featured in the Team of the Round at least once, for 79 appearances. Five South Fremantle players made the final 22 in the Team of the Year, plus one emergency.

Claremont missed out narrowly on playing finals but had some standout individual performers throughout the season. The Tigers had 18 players named at least once for a total of 58 appearances. Three Claremont players made the Team of the Year.

Swan Districts ended the season in fourth position and 19 of the black-and-white’s players featured in the Team of the Round on a total of 56 occasions. One Swans player features in the Team of the Year and one as an emergency.

West Perth finished in fifth position on the ladder and 17 of their players were named in the Team of the Round at least once for a total of 54 nominations. Four West Perth players ended up named in the Team of the Year.

East Perth just missed out on the top five and the Royals had 26 players named throughout the season at least once for a total of 52 times. One East Perth player made the Team of the Year as an emergency.

Peel Thunder qualified for a third straight finals appearance and the reigning premiers had 24 players make the Team of the Round for a total of 47 times. Two Peel Thunder players have been selected in the side.

Perth finished with the wooden spoon but had 20 players named at least once in the Team of the Round on 36 occasions, while East Fremantle had 19 players make it, also for 36 overall appearances. The Demons and Sharks had one player each in the final 22.

Subiaco excitement machine Liam Ryan and South Fremantle star on-baller Tim Kelly were both named 10 times throughout the season while West Perth's Shane Nelson, Subiaco's Leigh Kitchin, South Fremantle's Haiden Schloithe and Swan Districts ruckman Corey Gault made nine appearances.

Subiaco captain Kyal Horsley and Claremont's Jye Bolton were named on eight occasions with Claremont ruckman Mitch Andrews, Perth skipper Clint Jones, East Fremantle attacking defender Jayden Schofield, Subiaco big man Lachlan Delahunty and Claremont defender Haydn Busher named seven times.

wafl.com.au TEAM OF THE YEAR 
BACK: Steven Edwards (SF), Haydn Busher (C), Jordan Lockyer (S)
HALF-BACK: Jayden Schofield (EF), Sam Collins (PT), Kody Manning (WP)
CENTRE: Aaron Black (WP), Leigh Kitchin (S), Kyal Horsley (S)
HALF-FORWARD: Haiden Schloithe (SF), Lachlan Delahunty (S), Cory Dell'Olio (SF)
FORWARD: Liam Ryan (S), Tyler Keitel (WP), Blaine Johnson (SF) 
RUCK: Corey Gault (SD), Tim Kelly (SF), Shane Nelson (WP)
INTERCHANGE: Rory O'Brien (PT), Jye Bolton (C), Clint Jones (P), Mitch Andrews (C)
EMERGENCIES: Patrick McGinnity (EP), Tony Notte (SD), Brock Higgins (SF)

5 x Team of the Round
He is the most physically intimidating player in the WAFL and the way he attacks the contest, the football and the opposition must be admired. It also leads to him being banged up more than most. But there's also much more to his game than that and he has proven he can do some strong lockdown defensive jobs on the likes of Liam Ryan. But he is also terrific with the ball in hand as a good, long kick who loves setting up play out of defence but also driving it inside-50 and kicking a long goal. Is versatile but off half-back is where he is best suited and had the best season of his 102-game career in 2017.

6 x Team of the Round

Despite being yet to turn 25, has now played over 150 games and continued to have a tremendous impact for the Falcons whether on the wing or playing as an inside midfielder. Already a premiership player, Sandover Medallist and fairest and best winner, averaged 28.7 possessions a game to be third in the WAFL including a high of 47 and having it 30 or more times on another seven occasions.

6 x Team of the Round
After being named in the 2016 Team of the Year at full-back after his tremendous season as an attacking key defender, he shifted forward in 2017 for the Falcons and showed he is just as capable of being a match-winner in attack. He took 109 marks for the season to be second among key forwards while having more shots than everyone aside from Liam Ryan. Ended up kicking 46.43 for the season, the most of all key forward targets, including a career-best seven in Round 18 against Perth.

9 x Team of the Round

As a remarkably consistent performer over a 116-game career that has already included a premiership and two fairest and best awards, it's hard to say that 2017 was his best season but it likely was. Had a remarkably consistent season in a rollercoaster ride for his team as the league's leading ball winner with 664 disposals at an average of 33.2 a game. High of 51 against Perth in Round 18, had 40 or more on another four occasions and then 30 or more another nine times.

Round 1 – Xavier Ellis (Swan Districts)
Round 2 – Kyal Horsley (Subiaco)
Round 3 – Alex Manuel (Claremont)
Round 4 – Clint Jones (Perth)
Round 5 – Scott Simpson (West Perth)
Round 6 – Haiden Schloithe (South Fremantle)
Round 7 – Rudy Riddoch (West Perth)
Round 8 – Leigh Kitchin (Subiaco)
Round 9 – Devin McFarlane (Perth)
Round 10 – Andrew Strijk (West Perth)
Round 11 – Tim Kelly (South Fremantle)
Round 12 – Andrew Stephen (East Fremantle)
Round 13 – Dylan Main (South Fremantle)
Round 14 – Jamie Bennell (Swan Districts)
Round 15 – Ryan Nyhuis (Peel Thunder)
Round 16 – Adam Cockie (Subiaco)
Round 17 – Matt Taberner (Peel Thunder)
Round 18 – Shane Nelson (West Perth)
Round 19 – Matt Riggio (Swan Districts)
Round 20 – Brock Higgins (South Fremantle)
Round 21 – Stan Wright (East Perth)
Round 22 – Cody Ninyette (Perth)
Round 23 – Liam Ryan (Subiaco)

Those named four times who just missed out on the final 25 were Luke Meadows, Andrew Strijk and Nick Rodda. Meanwhile, West Perth's Trent Manzone and Ben King were named three times in the Team of the Round. 

Scott Nelson, Corey Chalmers and Michael Lourey were all named on two different occasions and Scott Simpson, Rudy Riddoch, Dean Munns, Mark Hamilton and Blake Wilhelm once apiece.