Football commentator Andy Maher has hit out at Nic Naitanui’s selection in the All Australian squad today, arguing North’s Todd Goldstein deserved his place instead.
Naitanui was one of four Eagles today named in the 40-man squad, alongside Liam Ryan, Andrew Gaff and Brad Sheppard.
He’ll vie for the 2020 All Australian ruck position with Melbourne’s Max Gawn after both made the 40-man squad.
But on his SEN show today, Maher argued Naitanui’s place in the squad should have gone to North Melbourne’s marquee big man Goldstein.
“Todd Goldstein’s had a better year than Nic Naitanui,” he argued.
“Nic Naitanui’s had unbelievable moments, incredible high highs… (but) Goldstein has been incredible this year, absolutely heroic.
“I’ve almost got Goldstein ahead of Gawn.
“I think Nic Nat’s highlights have been the highest of the three. Like if you put together a two-minute highlights package of the year, Nic Naitanui wins. But quarter-in quarter out, week in week out, up against the odds, with less at his feet, all the rest… I reckon Goldstein is really stiff.”
Retired Kangaroos legend Corey McKernan went as far as describing Goldstein’s AA omission as a “plain and simple disgrace”.
Maher’s co-host Bob Murphy agreed Goldstein should have made the squad, but not at Naitanui’s expense.
“I would have had Max (Gawn) third. Nic Nat one, Goldstein two,” he said.
It’s the third time the West Coast big man has made the All Australian squad, with Naitanui earning his place in the final team in 2012.
Gawn meantime is one of 10 players to earn selection in the 2020 squad after making the final All Australian team in 2019.
Today’s squad will be trimmed down to a final 22-man team announced at the AFL Awards night on Thursday.
The night will also reveal the hotly contested 2020 Rising Star winner.