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Player Reviews: Hanley, Berry and Walker

Player Review: Hanley, Berry & Walker Highlights from Cian Hanley, Jarrod Berry and Josh Walker's seasons.

#11. Cian Hanley

After a couple of years of injury troubles, international rookie Cian Hanley was finally able to take to the field in 2017. 

Hanley was strong across halfback in the NEAFL, playing in 16 matches and averaging 13 disposals per game. 

His run out of defence helped the Lions out on numerous occasions, and his kicking efficiency and decision-making improved as the year went on. 

Hanley kicked his first-ever goal midway through the season, a wonderful hit off his left boot

Hanley finished the year as a premiership player with the Lions NEAFL side, and will benefit greatly from a full pre-season heading into 2018. 

Senior matches: 0, NEAFL matches: 16 

#13. Jarrod Berry

Many considered Jarrod Berry unlucky not to receive a Rising Star nomination in 2017. 

The Lions #17 draft pick adapted quickly to Senior level and turned in consistent performances every week. 

After one match in the NEAFL to start the year, Berry made his Senior debut in Round 3 against the Saints.

Berry’s best performance of the year came in Round 16 when Chris Fagan gave the young midfielder the tough role of tagging Geelong Cats skipper Joel Selwood. Berry kept Selwood to 24 disposals while picking up 18 touches himself, with the experience no doubt helping his football education.

Over 16 Senior matches, Berry averaged 13.7 disposals, four tackles and two inside 50s per game. 

Unfortunately, a minor foot injury brought Berry’s season to an end a few weeks early but he will be right to go for the start of 2018 pre-season.

Senior matches: 16, NEAFL matches: 1

#14. Josh Walker

Josh Walker was one of the Lions’ best players in the final month of the season, leading the way in contested marks and chipping in with goals at crucial points.

It was a slow start to the year for Walker, who played just two Senior matches in the first 13 rounds, but a string of strong NEAFL performances saw him called back up to the Senior side in Round 15 and he wouldn’t be displaced again.

Walker's ability to play forward or back was valuable on numerous occasions, along with his ability to help out in the ruck. 

If he can continue the form he displayed at the back end of 2017, Walker will be a key member of the Lions side in 2018. 

Senior matches: 10, NEAFL matches: 8 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs