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Player Review: Hugh McCluggage

Player Review: Hugh McCluggage Watch highlights from Hugh McCluggage's season.

#6 - Hugh McCluggage

There was no case of second-year blues for Hugh McCluggage in 2018, with the emerging midfielder showing plenty of signs of a bright future.

McCluggage played in every game in 2018 and averaged 19 disposals, four marks and three tackles a match, while kicking 10 goals for the season.

This was a big jump on his 2017 season when he averaged 15 disposals and two tackles a game. 

With a much bigger frame compared to his rookie year, McCluggage was able to take the game on more and break tackles. He was noticeably more composed in traffic and was efficient by foot and hand. 

Against Hawthorn in Round 17 he collected a career-high 29 disposals and was awarded an equal game-high seven Coaches Votes.


The Ballarat Rebels junior was named the AFLCA’s third-best young player at the end of 2018. 

He also finished in seventh place on the Lions’ Merrett-Murray leaderboard, five votes behind his best mate Jarrod Berry.

The duo of McCluggage and Berry look set to form an exciting long-term midfield nucleus for the Lions. 

McCluggage delighted Lions fans in late 2017 by extending his contract for three more years, until the end of 2021.

If he can continue his development again in 2019, he’s going to cause opposition sides a lot of headaches

Coaches Comment – Dale Tapping, Midfield Coach

“Hugh took his game to another level this year – a really strong inside and outside game. He really improved the contested aspect of his footy and had a terrific season.” 

Senior matches: 22

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