Let's take a look at Joel Smith's 2021...
No.AFL games: 3
No.VFL games: 3
Disposals - 16.3 avg.
Kicks - 10.3 avg.
Marks - 5.5 avg.
Leading up to the 2021 season, Smith managed just 18 games since his debut at the club back in 2017, due to three injury-interrupted seasons.
Despite a strong pre-season, the versatile and athletic defender was once again struck down with a knee injury at the start of the year, seeing him sit on the sidelines for nearly eight weeks. After a return to play and four impressive displays in the VFL, Smith's opportunity in the AFL side came in Melbourne's Round 22 game against Adelaide at the MCG. He remained in the AFL side for until the Demons' Qualifying Final. Unfortunately, in the lead up to the side's Preliminary Final, Smith was once again sidelined due to a minor calf injury and missed his chance to be available for Grand Final selection.
Although, the defender wasn't a member of Melbourne's premiership 22, his glimpses of talent earned him a one-year contract extension.