Hot starters: Who has been your PFNL club's best player through five rounds?

We're entering that stretch of the Peel Football and Netball League season where everything's getting a little bit clearer.

Five games down and we've already learned that Pinjarra are still the team to beat, South Mandurah are battling and the Mustangs are this year's risers.

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But which players are shining individually?

Last year's Ross Elliott Medal was decided in the first half of the season when Ram Mitchel Curnow shot out of the blocks. Will it be the same this year?

Below we take a look at each club's shining lights.

Baldivis

Josh Branchi

  • Games: 5
  • Best points: 16

The former South Fremantle ruckman has been dominant in his first five games with the Brumbies, providing a huge boost to an already potent midfield. He's been among their best players in all five of their games, and was particularly outstanding against Halls Head on Anzac Day, where he took out best-on-ground honours. Branchi seems to have become an important part of this side very quickly.

Honourable mentions: James Russell, Hayden Lynn, Blaine Johnson, Aden Field.

Centrals

Brett Hill

  • Games: 5
  • Best points: 28

Has to be the early favourite for the Ross Elliott Medal, surely? Hill has been a dominant force for the Blues through the opening rounds, earning their best-on-ground votes in four of those clashes (he was third in round three). He's nailed 12 goals through five games (seven coming against Mandurah on the weekend) and has been huge in spurring his Centrals to a 3-2 record.

Honourable mentions: Toby Gianatti, Bruno Faulkner.

Brett Hill. Photo: Justin Rake.

Brett Hill. Photo: Justin Rake.

Halls Head

Cameron Gavin

  • Games: 4
  • Best points: 16

Gavin's midfield presence and run has been exceptional for the Lightning, giving the likes of Robert Falkstrom a big helping hand. He's been among Halls Head's best in three of his four games (including top honours against Rockingham over the weekend), with his only miss coming against Pinjarra in round one where he was probably stiff to miss out.

Honourable mentions: Cory Fish, Robert Falkstrom.

Cameron Gavin. Photo: Justin Rake.

Cameron Gavin. Photo: Justin Rake.

Mandurah

Hamish Free

  • Games: 5
  • Best points: 17

It was a little difficult to pick a clear-cut best player at the Mustangs, but Free gets the nod here. Another dominant ruckman, Free has been a huge part in elevating Mandurah from easy-beats to likely finals contenders with his improved play giving his side a massive target around the ground. Takes a solid contested mark, hits packs at full force and also has a handy six goals next to his name.

Honourable mentions: Alex Cohen, Brandon Penny.

Hamish Free. Photo: Justin Rake.

Hamish Free. Photo: Justin Rake.

Pinjarra

Brett Milward

  • Games: 5
  • Best points: 11

The Tigers' success has to be attributed to more of a team effort than any individual, which makes it extremely hard to find their best player, but Milward has to be up there in the best and fairest count so far. He leads their goal kicking with 16 through five rounds, and he's shown up in their close encounters with Rockingham and South Mandurah earning a spot among their best.

Honourable mentions: Brock O'Brien, Mackenzie O'Brien, Dean Miller, Nick Merritt, Lloyd Beever.

Rockingham

Fraser Millar

  • Games: 5
  • Best points: 15

Millar has thrived moving into more of a midfield role this season, helping drive Rockingham's success from the engine room. His ball use is one of the better sides of his game, and he's still been able to average a goal per game trough five rounds so hitting the scoreboard still isn't a problem. His performance in their only loss to Pinjarra was exceptional, and he's only missed being among the best players once.

Honourable mentions: Steve Kenny, Luke Dowling, Chris Oliver.

Fraser Millar. Photo: Justin Rake.

Fraser Millar. Photo: Justin Rake.

South Mandurah

Jack Shanahan

  • Games: 4
  • Best points: 23

A shining light in an otherwise gloomy start for the Falcons, Shanahan hasn't missed a beat as the club's best midfielder. Finds the footy with ease, uses it with poise and runs all day, making life easier for some of the other young midfielders coming through the ranks at South Mandurah. He was particularly impressive in a mammoth performance against Pinjarra on the weekend, in which he almost led his side to the upset of the season.

Honourable mentions: Kade Armstrong, Brad Starr.

Waroona

Bailey Taylor

  • Games: 5
  • Best points: 16

The 19-year-old has impressed mightily across his first handful of games with the Demons, standing up in a struggling side. Joining the club after 13 games with Peel Thunder's colts last season, the Harvey-Brunswick-Leschenault product always seems to find the footy at the right time and gives Waroona a fair bit of spark.

Honourable mentions: Jeremy Caratti, Mat Thomas, Zac Moody.

Bailey Taylor. Photo: Justin Rake.

Bailey Taylor. Photo: Justin Rake.