AFL - Hervey Bay Bombers versus Gympie Cats - Phillip Eisel.
AFL - Hervey Bay Bombers versus Gympie Cats - Phillip Eisel. Valerie Horton

The men AFL Wide Bay's top sides rely on most

AUSSIE RULES: The top two teams in the AFL Wide Bay have relied on a small but talented player pool on their way to the finals.

An analysis of AFL Wide Bay's database has shown the men Bay Power and Hervey Bay Bombers have relied on most as they dominate the 2018 season.

The Bombers have relied on a pool of 40 players in its 13 games to date, while the Power has utilised 42.

Darren Hunter has had arguably the most stable roster in the competition, with four men - Jason McConnell, Lachie Woodhams, Luke Bish and Philip Eisel - listed as playing in the Bombers' 13 games to date.

According to data entered into the AFL Wide Bay website, six Bombers have missed one game while a further four have featured in 10 games or more.

 

Wide Bay AFL - Hervey Bay Bombers v Bulldogs. Luke Bish (Bombers) kicks a goal despite the attention from a Bulldogs player.
Wide Bay AFL - Hervey Bay Bombers v Bulldogs. Luke Bish (Bombers) kicks a goal despite the attention from a Bulldogs player. Alistair Brightman

Only four Bombers have played the one seniors game, and 13 players have featured in fewer than five games.

That consistency has helped the Bombers accumulate a 69.23% winning record, a run which includes victories in each of the side's past five games.

The Bombers have kicked 681 points in the past five weeks (136.2 per game) - the best attacking performances in the league - and are the only team to have kicked more than 100 goals in the same timeframe.

Hervey Bay has the goods in defence as well, boasting the best defensive record in the past five weeks at just 46.8 points per game.

The next best defensive team is the Power, who has conceded an average of 62.4 points per game in the past five weeks.

The Power has won four of its past five games, a 56-point loss to the Bombers the only blemish in that period.

 

Wide Bay AFL - Bay Power v ATW. Bay Power's Kim Sims.
Wide Bay AFL - Bay Power v ATW. Bay Power's Kim Sims. Alistair Brightman

Michael Gay's men have produced one of the club's most successful seasons on record this year, boasting a win percentage of 84.64%, and are on track for the minor premiership with five games left to play.

Five men have played every game of the Power's season to date: Damien McGreevy, Kaleb Psereckis, Kym Sims, Matthew Schlein and Trent Heard - while four more have missed just the one game.

Gay has benefited from a lucky year as far as injuries and availability are concerned: 18 players have featured in 10 or more games, allowing the Power to develop cohesion and consistency over the first two thirds of the season.

The Power has not been without some squad rotation.

Eight men are listed as playing only one game, with 19 having made fewer than five appearances for the Urangan club.

 

Wide Bay AFL - Bay Power v Maryborough Bears. Bear's Jarrod Stoddart looking for a player to kick to.
Wide Bay AFL - Bay Power v Maryborough Bears. Bear's Jarrod Stoddart looking for a player to kick to. Alistair Brightman

Maryborough has struggled for results throughout its return to senior footy, but the Bears have vowed to complete the season for the benefit of the club's juniors and future.

Just 38 men have been called upon to play seniors footy: six of those have played all 12 games (the Bears forfeited one game this season) - Dylan Alexander, Harry Bidois, Jake Armstrong-Green, Jarrod Stothard, Luke Beetham and Matthew Hall - while a total of 12 players have played 10 or more games for the club this year.

Five players have featured just once for the Bears, while 18 have played fewer than five games.

Third-placed Gympie, who joined forces with Pomona to field senior and reserve grade teams this season, has used 47 players, Brothers Bulldogs have utilised 41, while Across The Waves have used 50 players, more than any other club.