STRENGTHS: Leadership, competitiveness, clearances, decision making, contested work, tackling, footy smarts
IMPROVEMENTS: Marking, outside game, endurance
SUMMARY: The Stingrays’ co-captain was one of the most talked about players leading up to the TAC Cup Grand Final, with 17 of his teammates receiving State Combine invitations, but the consistent warhorse missed out. The knocks might have been on his outside game, marking numbers – he averaged just over two per game – and his endurance. But the strengths he brings to a club should far outweigh any of those improvements. He is a leader on and off the field, his clearance work and decision making is very good, and his contested work matches up with the best. He has the football smarts to slot into any side and make the team better, and his sheer competitiveness and willingness to improve shines through every game he plays. He is the type of player who bleeds for the club he represents and if you want midfielders with grunt . and tenacity, Hustwaite seems a great value option. He might not be flashy like some others, but his contested work and leadership is something clubs should take into account when considering players who could improve the culture of a club.