01.09.2008 – Rohan Williams

Sydney University AFL players Alex Lee and Mark Egan have been named in the 2008 AFL Sydney Team of the Year.

Inclusion in the team, which was announced at Club Swans on Wednesday night, is a welcome reward for the two players in recognition of their consistently strong performances throughout the year.

Sydney University Sport Scholarship holder Egan, also one of the favourites for this year’s Phelan Medal for the best and fairest in the AFL Sydney competition, was named in the forward pocket as the resting midfielder/forward.

Playing in his first season for the blue and gold, Egan kicked 47 goals in 18 matches, including a remarkable 10-goal haul in Round 16 against Campbelltown. Playing in every match for the club this year, he has grown into an inspirational on-field leader and was a significant factor in the Students’ rise up the ladder in just their second year back in the top flight competition.

Lee was named on the half-forward flank after playing in a predominantly forward role with midfield bursts through the year. He finished fourth overall on the competition’s goal-kicking table with 59 goals from 17 games, including several match-turning four and five goal hauls.

Even more impressive were Lee’s continued efforts to play through most of the second half of the season while carrying a lingering hand-injury.

Despite these imposing statistics, Lee will probably be best remembered this season for one moment, captured on film, which won a competition on Channel 9’s The Footy Show and is a contender for best mark of the season. Lee soared completely over ex-Sydney Swan Troy Luff, reaching backwards to take a spectacular mark at full stretch.

Click to view the video of Lee's mark on Channel 9

Emerging Sydney University ruckman Josh Leary was unlucky to be omitted from the Team of the Year after a stellar second half of the year in which he was rarely beaten. Leary was named in the best players group seven times in the season.

Only 18 players were selected for the side, recognising two ruckmen, four defenders, four forwards and eight midfielders, with no reserves named.

Lee and Egan were also recognised at the function for representing the Sydney AFL against the Victorian Amateur Football Association representative side in June. Lee was named in the best players group on the day and was in the mix for the Howarth Medal for Representative Player of the Year.

Other Sydney University Sport Scholarship holders Brydon Coles and Ben Mankarious were also recognised for representing the Sydney AFL in a Rising Stars under-23 team against the Central Coast’s Black Diamond League.