There will only be 14 teams featuring in Round 12, as Brisbane, GWS, North Melbourne and Sydney all have a bye.

All seven games are intriguing in their own way, especially given Richmond only lost to Essendon by two goals in Round 11.

We’re taking a look at one player from each 14 teams who will be playing that needs to make a difference.

Port Adelaide v Carlton

Port Adelaide

Todd Marshall should take plenty of confidence from kicking a bag of five, albeit against bottom-of-the-ladder North Melbourne in Round 11.

Marshall will face a tough test up against Jacob Weitering and Mitch McGovern at times against Carlton; the Port Adelaide key forward at the very least, needs to bring the ball to ground.


Blake Acres is a key component of the Carlton team: he patrols the wing with no fuss. The former Fremantle player had seven score involvements and four intercept possessions against Gold Coast in Round 11.

Despite that, he will face a stern test against up-and-coming Jase Burgoyne who has been a revelation for Port Adelaide and perhaps against Travis Boak at times.

Collingwood v Western Bulldogs


Darcy Cameron is the only Collingwood ruckman without an injury, so the former Sydney player will face a stern test up against the 2023 AFL All-Australian ruckman, Tim English from the Western Bulldogs.

It will be a tough task, which Cameron should relish because he should bring plenty of confidence into the game after polling three Coaches’ votes against Fremantle.

Western Bulldogs

Rhylee West showed what he’s capable of in the Western Bulldogs’ narrow loss to Sydney in Round 11.

The 23-year-old finished with eight score involvements and even spent time in the midfield in the fourth quarter that came about due to Ed Richards suffering concussion and Marcus Bontempelli being shifted forward.

The one thing that West must do against Collingwood, is tidy up his ball use.

Hawthorn v Adelaide


Will Day is Mr Fix It for Sam Mitchell: Day can be moved around to pretty much any position besides the ruck, which allows Sam Mitchell the flexibility to move the 22-year-old’s magnet around.

Hawthorn will need Day to play at his optimum level in a tough test against Adelaide, therefore expect the 22-year-old to be up for the challenge.


Mitchell Hinge was added to the leadership at the start of the season and in Round 11 against West Coast, it was clear to see why, as Hinge finished the game with six score involvements and six intercept possessions.

The 25-year-old is a handy player who plays on the wing for Adelaide.

West Coast v St Kilda

West Coast

Jeremy McGovern had little impact on the game against Adelaide in Round 11, which the 32-year-old will want to rectify, given he finished the game with just four intercept possessions.

Generally, the key defender makes those around him walk taller.

St Kilda

Mason Wood showed that he has a great work ethic, given the winger finished the game against Melbourne with five score involvements and eight intercept possessions in St Kildas’ embarrassing loss to Melbourne in Round 11.

The 30-year-old must play to his optimum level against West Coast, as St Kilda must bounce back from a disappointing display last weekend.

Geelong v Richmond


Max Holmes was at his best against GWS in Round 11, given the utility polled five Coaches’ votes in a losing team; he finished the game with 32 disposals, three score involvements and nine intercept possessions.

It will be interesting what role the 21-year-old plays against Richmond in a game Geelong desperately need to win.


Noah Balta is a player who’s capable of playing up forward or as a key defender.

Given Richmond have plenty of injuries, it’s great for Adam Yze to have the option of throwing his magnet around, as the utility can even play as a second ruck.

Melbourne v Fremantle


Ed Langdon was sorely missed in Round 10 when Melbourne lost to West Coast. The former Fremantle player was a welcome addition to the Melbourne team in Round 11 against St Kilda.

The 28-year-old finished the game with nine score involvements. The former Fremantle player should relish the opportunity of playing against his previous team; he may be matched up on in form Jeremy Sharp or perhaps Jordan Clark.

Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw of the Dockers celebrate.

Caleb Serong and Andrew Brayshaw of the Dockers. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)


Andrew Brayshaw has averaged the most score involvements of any Fremantle player per game with seven.

The 24-year-old hasn’t reached the heights that he did when selected for the AFL All-Australian team in 2022 but has still been a solid contributor.

Brayshaw is an important player in the Fremantle midfield and will need to be at his best against Melbourne, up against Clayton Oliver, Christian Petracca and Jack Viney.

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Gold Coast v Essendon

Gold Coast

Ben Long looked the most likely in the Gold Coast loss against Carlton in Round 11 with eight score involvements from his nine disposals.

The former St Kilda player seemed to look at home in his role in the forward line against Carlton. When Gold Coast takes on Essendon Long will need to continue the same trajectory.


Jordan Ridley proved what a key part of the Essendon team he is when they narrowly beat an injury-ravaged Richmond team in the Dreamtime at the ‘G game; if Ridley wasn’t playing then Essendon may have lost the game.

The defender finished the game with 31 disposals and even kicked a goal and finished with 14 intercept possessions.

Essendon needs Ridley to play to his optimum level against Gold Coast, as he is a pivotal part of his team’s backline and system.

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