Darren Herft talks about player performance in the first round of the AFL

The Australian Football League 2021 has been nothing short of electrifying so far.

Fans have been on the edge with the unexpected victories, interesting rule changes and the thrill and excitement of footy.

As for individual players, there have been quite a number of standout performances.

“I am very impressed by the results of many young players, Carlton’s Harry McKay in particular,” says AFL aficionado and entrepreneur Darren Herft, who runs Darren Herft Sports Central.

McKay record kicked seven goals on the weekend and put on a great show in his first two games, including round one against the reigning premiers Richmond.

Things also look positive for Carlton with the young, tall forward Harry McKay kicking off the year well.

“A range of their other players, like Patrick Cripps has been a little bit quiet but was very strong over the weekend,” says Herft.

The Western Bulldogs have kick started their campaign well with a three-zero score this year. Josh Bruce delivered a fabulous performance over the weekend, scoring ten goals!

According to Darren Herft, “they’re really driven, with players such as Bailey Smith, Marcus Bontempelli, Josh Dunkley, their new recruit Adam Treloar, as well as Jackson Macrae being some of the best midfielders with the Bulldogs.”

As for Melbourne, fans have been dazzled by seeing Clayton Oliver in supreme form in the midfield. While not with quite as many possessions as the other teams, Melbourne still seems to be in a strong position according to Herft.

Tom Mitchell began the year very well for Hawthorn as did Jaeger O’Meara.

“It is good to see Tom Mitchell coming back from serious injury from a broken leg two years ago,” he adds.

Mitchell played the 2020 season but had to ease into the game after his major leg injury in 2019. The ex-Brownlow medalist has been playing brilliant footy this season.

At the Collingwood Football Club, Darcy Moore is one of the players to keep an eye out for going forward. Probably the standout defender in the competition, Moore seems poised to have a fabulous year in 2021.

Other emerging sides such as Port Adelaide have begun the year relatively well, even though they lost over the weekend to the West Coast Eagles.

“Zak Butters looks like a great football player – quiet over the weekend but played very well against Port Adelaide for the Eagles,” says Darren Herft.

The weekend saw Andrew Gaff back to his best alongside Luke Shuey, the captain. Liam Ryan is another exciting new addition to the team.

He adds, “Shuey’s injury in the last 10 minutes of the game against Adelaide will surely cost the Eagles and he might be missed on the field for a while.”

Another emerging new player is Kysaiah Pickett from the Melbourne Football Club.

“Kysaiah is a young small forward with electrifying skills and talent. And when the ball hits the ground, you want to be very careful if you’re the opposition defender because Pickett is ready to pounce with just sublime talent and ability when he gets anywhere near the football.”

With all that fervour, AFL 2021 is sure to keep fans entertained and on their feet.

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