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Aussie Rules: Five stars of the AFL season so far

Melbourne, Brisbane, Geelong and Fremantle have been the stand-out teams in the AFL so far in the 2022 AFL campaign but who are the top players that are catching the eye.

The Demons are leading the way as they sit at the top of the AFL ladder and after winning the premiership in 2021 it is no surprise they have a star-studded list to pick from.

The same can be said of the other teams in the top four with the Lions, Cats and Dockers also having a plethora of talent.

Carlton are also going well as they sit sixth on the ladder with a resurgent Collingwood level on points with them.

They all make up the top six, but let’s take a look at the top five players. There are plenty to pick from but these five are really catching the eye.

Clayton Oliver (Melbourne Demons)

The 24-year-old helped the Demons win the premiership in the 2021 AFL campaign and is having another barnstormer in 2022.

So much so he has just been rewarded with a bumper contract extension that will run until 2030 and should make him a Demon for life. The deal is said to be worth $7million and Melbourne will be delighted to have his future secured.

Oliver is without doubt an elite midfielder and is one of the hot fancies to scoop the Brownlow Medal this year. His figures say it all and he is key to Melbourne going back-to-back with another grand final win.

He is averaging 34.5 disposals and 8.4 clearances a game and is also on course for his third All-Australian blazer.

Christian Petracca (Melbourne Demons)

Another gun midfielder who played a crucial role for the Demons in their 2021 premiership success.

He won the Norm Smith medal for best on ground as Melbourne ended their 57-year premiership drought with the grand final win over the Western Bulldogs.

The 26-year-old is a huge attacking threat and is having another big season for the ladder-leaders.

He is averaging 28.9 clearances a game, along with with 15.7 kicks to make him one of the top midfielders in the competition.

Lachie Neale (Brisbane Lions)

The Lions midfielder recently declared that he is in career-best form and the club have moved quickly to secure him to a new long-term contract.

Neale has put an unsettled off-season that saw him linked with a return to Fremantle, behind him, and he is doing all his talking on the pitch.

The 29-year-old won the Brownlow Medal in 2020 and is currently placed second in the AFL Coaches Association Champion Player of the Year Award. Only Clayton Oliver is above him.

Neale is averaging 31 disposals a game and ranks first in the competition when it comes to contested possessions. His impact forward of centre has also moved to another level.

Neale puts his stellar season so far down to the fact he leaned up in the off-season. Whatever the reason he is having a great season and Brisbane are benefiting.

Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)

The Dockers are flying high this season and are in contention for the flag. That is partly down to the performances of gun midfielder Brayshaw.

The 20-year-old is fast on his way to becoming one of the best midfielders in the AFL. He is averaging 30.5 disposals a game this season and 16.2 kicks.

Not only that he is averaging 6.2 tackles per game and is playing some of the best football of his fledgling career.

Master coach Alastair Clarkson described him as the best player in the AFL at one point last season and he is living up to it again in 2022. He returned bigger and stronger and the Dockers are reaping the rewards.

Jeremy Cameron (Geelong)

Cameron continues to be a revelation for the Cats since making the switch from Greater Western Sydney in 2020.

The star forward booted 39 goals in 2021 and has already topped that this year as his leads the way in the Coleman Medal with 46 goals so far.

Geelong had to pay big to get him but it is looking like a great deal. Cameron continues to be a game-changer for the Cats and along with Tom Hawkins is part of a fearsome forward line.

Hawkins also has 42 goals this season so it is no surprise Geelong are second on the ladder and are looking for their second premiership under coach Chris Scott.

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