Only injuries held young Bomber Mason Redman back from a breakthrough season last year, but a clean bill of health in 2019 saw him take the chance to raise his game to new heights.
Having played just five games in his first three seasons at The Hangar, Redman had shown glimpses of his talent entering the season but needed to string some performances together and he did just that.
The versatile defender racked up 20 games, impressing with his toughness and composure across half-back. A brave and smart user of the football, Redman proved important for the Bombers this year, helping sling the ball back into attack, while also shutting down his opponent well.
The courageous Bomber is a competitive beast and he was strong both in the air and on the ground throughout the season, never giving in when the going got tough and showing he will be a crucial part of the side going forward.
Average disposals: 17
Average intercept possessions: 5.1
Average tackles: 3.1
Average rebound 50s: 2.6
Redman flies for an intercept mark against the Roos in round 17. (Image: AFL Photos)
With plenty of confidence under his belt after an impressive showing throughout the year, Redman was at his best against the Dockers with the season on the line in round 22.
He was a key part of the important 32-point victory, moving the ball well with 18 disposals at 83.3 per cent efficiency, 407 metres gained and three score involvements.
His defensive efforts were just as strong, amassing seven tackles, five one percenters and three rebound 50s.
One of the best plays of Redman’s year was on the biggest stage of the home and away season in front of 92,241 fans on Anzac Day.
I talk of his bone-crunching tackle on Magpie Will Hoskin-Elliot in the early stages of the final term in the tight contest.
The dangerous forward backed himself to take on Redman and break through, but the tough Bomber had other ideas, quickly wrapping him up and legally driving him into the hallowed turf.
It’s safe to say many people were, perhaps rightly, perplexed that the tackle was not rewarded by the umpires, but alas it was ticked off by the umpiring department. That shouldn’t take away from the clutch tackle on the big stage, a sign of what was and still is to come from the exciting young Don.
Redman can only be expected to grow next year after such a brilliant breakthrough season. Now locked in at the club until at least the end of 2021, he is sure to play an important part in the future of the exciting squad.
He has now solidified a spot as a defender in the senior line-up, but his classy ball use on the outside and aggression in the contest could also see him utilised further up the ground in the future.