Sydney Swans youngster Tom McCartin has been voted in the AFL Players’ Association 22Under22 side announced today (Thursday, August 26).

McCartin is the sole Sydney player voted in the squad that boasts plenty of talent from some of the competition’s brightest young stars.

Now in its eighth year, 22under22 is a fan-voted concept that recognises the best 22 players aged 22 and under for the entirety of the season, including the finals series.

McCartin, who enters his fourth year in the AFL, is having his best year yet with a career high 13.8 disposals, 5 marks, 6.1 spoils, 6.7 intercept possessions and 5.2 contested possessions on average across his 21 matches this season.

His selection in the 22under22 side is the first time he as been selected in his career, and is one of twelve first timers in the side in 2021.

22Under22 – Class of 2021
B: Brandon Starcevich, Sam Taylor, Wil Powell
HB: Changkuoth Jiath, Jordan Ridley, Isaac Quaynor
C: Bailey Smith, Sam Walsh (c), Jack Lukosius
HF: Shai Bolton, Aaron Naughton, Zac Bailey
FF: Kysaiah Pickett, Ben King, Max King
Foll: Luke Jackson, Andrew Brayshaw (vc), Adam Cerra
I/C: Jaidyn Stephenson, Oscar Allen, Tom McCartin, Trent Rivers

To be eligible for selection, players had to be aged 22 or younger for the entire AFL season, including finals, and played a minimum of 12 games throughout the 2021 season.

22Under22 – By the numbers:

Top 10 Most Popular:
Bailey Smith – 97 per cent of teams
Aaron Naughton – 91 per cent
Andrew Brayshaw – 90 per cent
Sam Walsh – 89 per cent
Shai Bolton – 89 per cent 
Brandon Starcevich – 85 per cent 
Jordan Ridley – 85 per cent 
Luke Jackson – 85 per cent 
Changkuoth Jiath – 84 per cent
Jack Lukosius – 81 per cent 

Most representatives:
Gold Coast Suns – Ben King, Jack Lukosius and Wil Powell
Melbourne – Luke Jackson, Kysaiah Pickett and Trent Rivers

First-timers:
Demonstrating a changing of the guard, 12 first timers graced the 22Under22 team in 2021 (Brandon Starcevich, Sam Taylor, Wil Powell, Changkuoth Jiath, Isaac Quaynor, Shai Bolton, Zac Bailey, Kysaiah Pickett, Luke Jackson, Oscar Allen, Tom McCartin and Trent Rivers). 

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