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Dons named in All Australian

Joe Daniher and Zach Merrett have been named in the All Australian side for the first time.

Essendon stars Joe Daniher, Michael Hurley and Zach Merrett have been recognised for their performances this season with selection in the 2017 All Australian side.

It marks a maiden call-up for Daniher and Merrett, while Hurley earned his second All Australian honour after also being named in the side in 2015.

Daniher, who was named in the forward pocket, has booted at least one goal in each match this season on his way to a career-best 62 goals.

He’s kicked three goals or more on 14 occasions and is averaging career highs in disposals, marks, handballs and inside 50s.

Merrett was named on the wing and has continued his steady development throughout 2017.

After winning the Crichton Medal in 2016, Merrett lifted his disposals per game to more than 30 to be ranked number four in the competition. He’s also ranked fourth for kicks.

Hurley was selected at centre half back and is ranked first in the competition for rebounds from the defensive 50 and third for intercepts.

He is averaging 25.4 possessions per game (up from 21.3 in his previous All Australian year in 2015), 7.6 marks and 7.1 rebounds.

This is the first time Essendon has had more than two representatives in the All Australian side since 2001.

That year the Club had four players selected (Matthew Lloyd, James Hird, Jason Johnson and Sean Wellman).

Joe Daniher. First time All Australian. 22 games in 2017. 235 kicks, 147 marks (10th in the AFL), 100 handballs averaging 10.7 kicks, 6.7 marks, 4.5 handballs. 62 goals (fourth in the AFL), 37 behinds. 19 clearances, 77 hit-outs averaging 3.5 hit-outs per game, 69 inside 50m, 11 rebound 50m, 30 tackles.

Michael Hurley. Second time All Australian (2015). 20 games in 2017. 339 kicks, 151 marks (equal sixth in the AFL), 168 handballs averaging 16.9 kicks, 7.5 marks, 8.4 handballs. Three goals, one behind. Four clearances, 24 inside 50m, 141 rebound 50m (first in the AFL), 21 tackles.

Zach Merrett. First time All Australian. 21 games in 2017. 370 kicks (sixth in the AFL), 93 marks, 268 handballs averaging 17.6 kicks, 4.4 marks, 12.8 handballs. Nine goals, eight behinds. 91 clearances, 86 inside 50m, 63 rebound 50m, 116 tackles.