The underrated Sheppard took his game to a new level in 2019. Already considered one of the most dependable defenders in the league, he became more attacking than ever while still remaining one of the game’s most versatile lockdown backmen. With the ability to play on small and taller opponents, Sheppard was desperately unlucky not to be rewarded with All Australian honours for his efforts in 2019. He reached new career-highs for disposals, marks, rebound 50s and uncontested possessions and will no doubt feature prominently in John Worsfold Medal voting.

Standout performance: A Derby Masterclass

Sheppard continued his terrific season and earned himself his first Glendinning-Allen medal for his match-winning performance against the Dockers in round 16. Sheppard controlled the Eagles’ defence throughout the night, stopping his opponent as well as cutting off the Dockers’ attacks on goal. He had 25 disposals, took seven marks, rebounded out of the defensive 50 11 times and had eight one percenters in a best-afield performance.

2019 Season averages:

Disposals: 19.2
Contested possessions: 3.7
Rebound 50s: 4.4
One percenters: 4.0
Marks: 7.8

2019 AFL statistical rankings:

1st: Total marks
4th: Marks per game