A barometer has many faces in team sports but all ultimately have the same impact: rising to the occasion and lifting their teammates to exceed performance expectations.
While we acknowledge some of the best individual performances in recent weeks from Jack Steele, Touk Miller and Jack Viney, we thought it would be appropriate to identify each club’s barometer.
The barometer player usually refers to the essence of a team, being able to inspire teammates by words or action and ultimately assist in the pursuit of glory.
Here they are:
Rory Laird/Ben Keays
Rory Laird has been in stellar form in 2022 and could be a smokey for the Brownlow, averaging 34 touches and eight tackles a game.
Laird has performed on a consistent level and is likely to win his third Malcolm Blight Medal.
The 28-year-old continues to put his body on the line for the Crows and could become a captain in the coming years.
Keays is also one who give his all week in, week out.
It’s safe to say that Cameron is arguably one of the more exciting forwards in the competition, leading all smalls with 44 goals and has only been goalless once in 2022.
The former Crow is a barometer for the Lions and it’s hard to stop Chris Fagan’s men when he’s up and about.
When Brisbane lose, Cameron averages 1.9 goals a game, opposed to when they win, where he averages 2.5 majors.
The son-of-a-gun has been a part of Carlton history well before he was born and has been a strong contributor to the side since 2017, especially this year.
Although was dropped but kept as a medical sub for the loss against Adelaide, Silvagni has been a key part of what the Blues have been able to do in 2022, offering ruck support for Marc Pittonet and Tom De Koning and a key forward role alongside Charlie Curnow and Harry McKay.
The 24-year-old is first to put his body on the line for the club and will always put others before himself, alluding to the team-first attitude, which is reflected in the way that he plays.
Usually a single act of courage or bravery helps inspire his teammates, Silvagni will never shirk a contest and is an integral cog in the Carlton machine.
The heart-and-soul of Collingwood, vice-captain and future leader Taylor Adams is usually the catalyst for the Pies, especially in Craig McRae’s first year as coach.
Adams constantly finds himself on the bottom of the packs and leads by example, inspiring others to come along with him.
Although not the best ball user, the former Giant has other assets to the black and white including his leadership.
Brayden Maynard is another character that at Collingwood that you’d go to war with.
The emergence of the dashing half back Mason Redman has given Essendon fans hope for 2023, as the 24-year-old has offered a new look to the black and red.
Redman has shown glimpses in seasons gone by but has taken the footy world by storm, playing some impressive football and is a key reason why the Bombers have won four of their past six.
Ironically, when he was injured against Collingwood, Essendon lost by four points and also couldn’t get off the chain in the defeat against West Coast in round 15.
The 2022 Brownlow Medal favourite, it seems that Andrew Brayshaw is quickly turning into the perfect football, with a balance of defensive and attacking work rate that consistently lifts his teammates.
In a great performance against the reigning premiers, Brayshaw can be seen running down two Melbourne players, including Luke Jackson, in a desperate attempt to swing momentum in favour of the Dockers.
Although he does all the flashy stuff, the 22-year-old isn’t opposed to getting his hands dirty and will put his body on the line for his teammates.
Notching up his 350th AFL game, Joel Selwood has become synonymous with leading Geelong into battle and has captained more games than anyone in V/AFL history.
Selwood’s fearless nature and ability to stand up when the moment arises has him as one of the best barometers there is, despite his requirement to do so tapering off in recent seasons.
However, it seems that the three-time premiership player is changing the guard and handing it over to Tom Atkins, who generally seizes the moment and makes big plays.
This was seen in the 12-point win against Port Adelaide.
The Suns co-captain embodies the Gold Coast side, more often than not putting the team on his shoulders and leading them to a victory or close.
A 2021 All-Australian, Miller continues to raise to new heights while also bringing those around him along, with Jarrod Witts and Noah Anderson having career best years.
It’s safe to say that the Suns walk taller with the 26-year-old in the sun and is no doubt a main factor to their improvement in 2022.
Izak Rankine also possesses qualities that lift his team, usually popping up for goals when Gold Coast need one.
An outright star of the game, Giants skipper Toby Greene has taken many games by the scruff of the neck and is arguably GWS’ most important player.
Having previously won matches off his own boot, the Giants were unable to go deep into the 2021 finals series due to the suspension of Greene and won only once during his time off the field.
When the 28-year-old is up-and-about he is hard to stop, which means GWS are too.