AFL Sydney Top 20 Players - Number 8
8- James Brain
Previous: St Ives Junior, North Shore (2008-10), Sydney University (2011), Port Adelaide SANFL (2012-13)
If you thought the Manly-Warringah midfield couldn’t get any better after their halcyon run in their debut year in Premier Division in 2013, throw in James Brain. One of the most debated members of the top 20, it was a matter of where, not if Brain would be in the countdown.
Brain was a highly decorated junior having experience with the NSW/ACT Rams, and also GWS and the Swans in the respective Reserve Grade competitions. He also played 2 games for Brisbane Lions Reserves (scholarship player in 2007 alongside fellow Sydney-sider Steve O’Connor) and most recently 14 games across two years in the Port Adelaide senior SANFL side. Impressive reading in any case.
A tough inside midfielder, Brain complements the GIANTS brand of contested football to a tee.
Not the tallest player, Brain makes up for it with his tenacity and ability to find his own ball. He has been a constant member in the best player for Manly-Warringah and averages just over half-a-goal a game this year and across his career.
His attributes among many include great vision and foot skills, strong defensive pressure and work ethic better than almost any player in the competition.
Top 20 so far:
20 - Brenton Mumme (Western Suburbs)
19 - Sam Carruthers (North Shore)
18 - Lachlan Kilpatrick (Manly-Warringah)
17 - Matt Carey (Pennant Hills)
16 - Tom Sundberg (UTS)
15 – Matt Edwins (Campbelltown)
14 – Ryan Plant (UNSW/ES)
13 – Karl Merson (St George)
12 – Stephen Wray (Pennant Hills)
11 – Anthony Robertson (Manly Warringah)
10 – Taylor Williamson (Western Suburbs)
9 – Leigh Conway (Western Suburbs)