All-Australian selector Glen Jakovich says it was a tough call leaving Todd Goldstein out of the squad of 40.

Despite returning to his very best form, comparable to that of his previous All-Australian year in 2015, Goldstein was overlooked in favour of Max Gawn and Nic Naitanui.

“I look back and think ‘how did we leave him out?’, but what people probably have to appreciate is we’ve to get to 40 (players) and we usually have about 52,” Jakovich said on SEN.

“We’ve got to trim that to 40 and we’ve got to trim 12 off it and we’re all looking at each other and we look at the duration of the season, we look at the criteria, we look at their form in big games, defining games, changing games and then you’ve got to finalise your 40.

“(Goldstein) has been an outstanding player over a long period of time and was unlucky not to get in the 40 this time around.”

Goldstein averaged 15 disposals, 28 hit-outs and 5 clearances a game, often cast into the role as an extra midfielder with his ability at ground level.

He finished ninth in the league for clearances.

The big man is considered one of the favourites to take out his second Syd Barker Medal.