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Lions third youngest

Sam Lord  February 19, 2013 10:15 AM

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The Brisbane Lions head into the 2013 season with the equal third youngest list in the AFL competition – with an average age of just 23 years and 77 days per player.

Only the AFL’s latest franchises, Gold Coast and Greater Western Sydney, have younger lists than the Lions.

The latest figures, as published in the 2013 AFL Record Season Guide, indicate a significant shift at the Club since the beginning of 2011 when the Lions boasted the sixth oldest list.

The West Coast Eagles will have the honour of being the AFL’s ‘oldest’ team in 2013 with an average of 24 years and 83 days per player – more than one full year older than the Lions.

In fact, five of the six oldest clubs on average – West Coast, Sydney, Geelong, Hawthorn and Collingwood – all played Finals last season, with the Swans and Hawks reaching the last day in September.

But despite being relatively ‘green’ in terms of age, the Lions have managed to get valuable senior match experience into their young athletes.

So much so, that despite ranking equal 16th (with Port Adelaide) in average age, the Lions rank considerably higher (11th) in average games per player.

This stat is certainly helped by the likes of Daniel Rich and Jack Redden, who are currently on target to reach 100 games not long after turning 23.

Even though many conclusions have been drawn between a club’s average age/games and their likelihood of winning a Premiership, there are also instances that disprove such theories.

Take Adelaide, for example. The Crows came within one straight kick of reaching last year’s Grand Final, yet rank 11th in average age and 15th in average game experience.

St Kilda, meanwhile, possesses one of the oldest and most experienced lists in the competition, but missed out on playing Finals in 2012.

Whichever way you decide to look at it, the Lions’ current list management strategy – and commitment to youth – is quite evident.

Please find below a complete list of average ages and games’ experience across the AFL competition.

AVERAGE AGE PER PLAYER*

West Coast – 24 years, 83 days
Sydney – 24 years, 57 days
Geelong – 24 years, 42 days
Hawthorn – 24 years, 39 days
St Kilda – 24 years, 34 days
Collingwood – 24 years, 36 days
Carlton – 23 years, 358 days
Richmond – 23 years, 238 days
Essendon – 23 years, 214 days
Fremantle – 23 years, 186 days
Adelaide – 23 years 182 days
Melbourne – 23 years, 166 days
Western Bulldogs – 23 years, 165 days
North Melbourne – 23 years, 138 days
Port Adelaide – 23 years, 77 days
Brisbane Lions – 23 years, 77 days
Gold Coast – 22 years, 219 days
Greater Western Sydney – 21 years, 135 days

AVERAGE GAMES PER PLAYER*

Collingwood – 75 games
Sydney – 72 games
West Coast – 72 games
St Kilda – 69 games
Hawthorn – 68 games
Geelong – 67 games
Carlton – 61 games
Richmond – 58 games
Essendon – 57 games
Fremantle – 55 games
Brisbane Lions – 54 games
Western Bulldogs – 53 games
North Melbourne – 50 games
Port Adelaide – 49 games
Adelaide – 48 games
Melbourne – 45 games
Gold Coast – 40 games
Greater Western Sydney – 26 games

*Figures courtesy of the 2013 AFL Record Season Guide (as at 22 March 2013).