Player Watch #10: Ben Cunnington - 2019 Syd Barker Medallist

Groggyk

Premiership Player
Sep 19, 2007
4,945
34
Nimbin
AFL Club
North Melbourne


Height: 186cm
Weight: 84kg
DOB: 30/06/91
Recruited from: Cobden
Bio: Skilful inside midfielder/forward who rarely loses a contest. Ultra clean hands both in the air and on the ground. Strong performer for Vic Country at NAB AFL U18 Championships earning All-Australian honours.
Matt Burgan's draft rating: 3-10

Watch Ben Cunnington in action

What type of player are you?
In and under pack player, tough, competitive, ferocious attack on the ball.

Which AFL player do you feel you resemble, and why?
Luke Hodge - tough, competitive, courageous.

What are your strengths as a footballer?
Competitiveness, agility, awareness, hard at it.

What parts of your game would you like to improve?
My speed and endurance.

Which AFL team do you support and how did you come to barrack for them?
Brisbane Lions - Leigh Matthews' game style. He picks people for selection who are willing to put their head over the football at all times.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far, and why?
Garry Hocking - my coach for two years at Geelong Falcons. Assists me with my game, for example if I am being tagged he will help me out.
 

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DarkPhoenix

Cont-Roo-Versial
May 26, 2009
33,644
38,546
Hobart, Tasmania
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
ManCity, Cardinals, Avalanche
Developed a hotspot which he brought to the attention of the medicos (praised for his maturity) and was confined to a moonboot for a couple of weeks. Confined to stationary drills and weights at training.

Is now up and training at full intensity with the main group.
 

DarkPhoenix

Cont-Roo-Versial
May 26, 2009
33,644
38,546
Hobart, Tasmania
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
ManCity, Cardinals, Avalanche
Any news on how he's going? Would've preferred Freo picked this bloke instead of Mora D:
Played his first game in a North Ballarat vs Werribee hit out last weekend, by all reports he looked the good. Was pulled at the start of one of the 1/4s and was apparently not happy as he wanted to keep going.

Not sure on stats.

P.S. Im glad we didnt get Morrabito haha. Been watching him and something doesnt seem right. Decent footballer yes, star... possibly not
 

Groggyk

Premiership Player
Sep 19, 2007
4,945
34
Nimbin
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Ben Cunnington took another impressive step and again proved he’s not too far off a debut at AFL level after racking up 24 touches and finishing with a goal.

“Ben played as an inside-mid and worked pretty hard. He’s still gaining valuable fitness because he missed so much of the pre-season but he won the ball around the stoppages and brought others into the game,” Lamont added.

“He’s definitely on the right track and also worth mentioning was his tackling. He laid nine impressive tackles and was very hard at it and lived up to his reputation.”

http://www.kangaroos.com.au/news/blogarticle/tabid/9795/newsid/91177/default.aspx

Two weeks tops and he'll be playing one's.
 

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Pykie

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 17, 2006
15,611
29,620
Lord's
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Leeds United
Ben Cunnington took another impressive step and again proved he’s not too far off a debut at AFL level after racking up 24 touches and finishing with a goal.

“Ben played as an inside-mid and worked pretty hard. He’s still gaining valuable fitness because he missed so much of the pre-season but he won the ball around the stoppages and brought others into the game,” Lamont added.

“He’s definitely on the right track and also worth mentioning was his tackling. He laid nine impressive tackles and was very hard at it and lived up to his reputation.”

http://www.kangaroos.com.au/news/blogarticle/tabid/9795/newsid/91177/default.aspx

Two weeks tops and he'll be playing one's.

My impression from the interviews with Scott etc, that he is a lock as soon as he is 100% fit with some match practice.


If its not against the Saints this weekend, then he will definately be unleashed on the young Eagles midfield in round 3.
 

Radical Roo

Club Legend
Sep 8, 2009
2,152
18
Thornbury
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Is there anyone here who is an insider? Can anyone tell me how will his hotspot on his ankle affect his footballing abilities. Would he become another Jesse Smith?
 

breeno

Premiership Player
Sep 13, 2008
3,347
428
borough of greens
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
werribee, north ballarat
Is there anyone here who is an insider? Can anyone tell me how will his hotspot on his ankle affect his footballing abilities. Would he become another Jesse Smith?
I don't think it takes an insider to know that he played a match on the weekend and had 24 disposals with 9 tackles, one hotspot does not mean a Jesse Smith who had chronic ankle issues.

I did read somewhere that Ben pulled up a bit proppy towards the end, any elaboration on this?
 

Crazy Horse

All Australian
Jan 19, 2006
872
190
Springton
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I don't think it takes an insider to know that he played a match on the weekend and had 24 disposals with 9 tackles, one hotspot does not mean a Jesse Smith who had chronic ankle issues.

I did read somewhere that Ben pulled up a bit proppy towards the end, any elaboration on this?
Had some cramp according to the Ballarat Courier

Despite suffering cramp, North Melbourne's top draft selection Ben Cunnington had his best performance since returning from a foot injury.
This was only his second full-scale match practice.


Kangaroos development coach John Lamont told kangaroos.com.au that Cunnington was still gaining fitness and was definitely on the right track
 

Groggyk

Premiership Player
Sep 19, 2007
4,945
34
Nimbin
AFL Club
North Melbourne
It's interesting to see that there is still no mention from the club on an apparent injury to Ben. The latest AFL press release via Steve Lavell (http://www.afl.com.au/tabid/208/default.aspx?newsid=106480&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+com/bGgr+(AFL+Latest+News+and+Broadband)) has no mention of my boy at all.

So, who knows?

For those unaware, it was observed by several Bigfooty posters that he was carrying something here http://www.bigfooty.com/forum/showthread.php?t=784507 and here http://www.bigfooty.com/forum/showthread.php?t=784524. The good news is that it would appear to be very minor.

After an interrupted beginning to his first season with stress fractures to the foot, it will be nice to see how Sly goes with a fullish preseason under his belt.

Interestingly :)rolleyes:) one of the main criticisms the youngster got from some here was his lack of a tank. After missing 5/6 weeks of the preseason, Ben was slow to get motoring and up to speed, but midway through the season his improvement was obvious and by the end of the year I was salavating.

Generally played midfield as expected, but did have a stint in the backline in the R15, 5 goal loss to The Swans. He acquitted himself very well that game I thought, finishing with 18 disposals and 7 marks and looked composed and classy when frankly, most of the side was shit.

Overall stats for the year: 18 games, 249 disposals at an average of 13.83. A pretty fair return after a slow start.

The two most interesting stats for me though were: The tackle count; 77 for the year placing him 3rd on the club list behind Levi The Tank (79) & Spitter (183:eek:) and: Frees For (4) vs Frees Against (22) which I found tells us two things. This boy goes very, very hard and then he goes harder again.

Source:http://stats.rleague.com/afl/stats/players/B/Ben_Cunnington.html

Highlights of the season:

Sublime.;)

[YOUTUBE]oMH1DaZYKlc&feature=related[/YOUTUBE]

Levi got the glory, but make no mistake, Sly made this win possible for us in this telling passage of play:

[YOUTUBE]LEwLq_MJFkY[/YOUTUBE]

And of course:

[YOUTUBE]0E_g4hqHq4E[/YOUTUBE]



 

Groggyk

Premiership Player
Sep 19, 2007
4,945
34
Nimbin
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Peter Mulkearns, the club's sports science and conditioning director, said Cunnington's long-term future was the priority in the cautious recovery.

"We've actually just extended his pre-season a little bit and got extra run in his legs," he said.

"So he goes into the competitive phase a fit boy, not just trying to play catch-up throughout the year."

On Cunnington's prospects for Round 1, Mulkearns said: "With all the players, we gradually build up their minutes. So this week he'll probably play about 60 minutes, then 80 the following week and see from there."


http://www.heraldsun.com.au/sport/afl/ben-cunnington-is-fit-to-be-tried-for-round-1/story-e6frf9jf-1226018642746


And from these words of hope the latest Ben news came from the Reliant Robin himself via the gameday coverage on the 12/03/2011 when asked of Cunnington:

North Ballarat intra-club last night - played 60% and got through unscathed. He's aiming for a round one return.

Good news there, but I'm still light on for details.

Watch this space.
 

Groggyk

Premiership Player
Sep 19, 2007
4,945
34
Nimbin
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Round 1 vs West Coast

After much conjecture over Sly's preseason, he eventually took his place in the season opener.
Started on the bench and was slowly eased into the game, his impact in the first half was understandably minimal with just a few stats to his name.
Was rotated fairly heavily I thought and this was influential on his performance throughout the early period of the contest and his output reflected accordingly. Obviously there was careful management of his time on ground given his interrupted preseason and the weather conditions. Sensible management from the coaching department.

The third quarter saw Ben come into his own, getting involved in the play for longer periods and began to exert some influence on the contest.
Appeared to spend longer times on the ground and in the heat of the play in the centre square. His improved involvement was highlighted when setting up a goal via some very nice work. Getting free of the first gamer in Shuey in the centre of the ground, Ben charged forward to receive a handball from Swallow.
With the handball missing it's target and putting my boy under pressure, Ben showed composure gathering the ball up whilst turning his opponent inside out with a well executed u turn. He then calmly jammed the ball down the throat of the leading Thomas. The resulting goal kick started our comeback from this point on.

[YOUTUBE]pTyFH8DZrDI[/YOUTUBE]


Finishing the term with 8 posessions and added confidence, Ben just needed to keep that intensity up in the last to have had a great return from a derailed preparation.

Unfortunately like many of his team mates, he ran out of gas and his last quarter was a quiet one.

Game stats:

Kicks: 5
Handballs: 7
Marks: 1
Tackles: 3
Goal Asst: 1

Summary:

A reasonable game highlighted by 1 very good quarter where he was instrumental in getting the team back into the game. When he was 'on' he was great, but his lack of preseason and the heat was a telling factor on his output and influence. With continued ground time and an improved fitness base, I think he'll start to shine in another month or so.
 

Dan

So...who's coming to North? lol
Mar 21, 2010
22,358
32,787
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Bali 6's, Dorothy Mantooth
Good write report Groogyk :thumbsu:

He did some good things in yesterdays game as shown in ya video ^^^. Looking forward in watching him in person on Saturday.
 

NiceCunnington

Premiership Player
Nov 8, 2009
3,358
2,077
Altona Video Ezy
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Hamish McIntosh
I was impressed with his disposal and some of his defensive work. He seemed to play quite a bit down back. Got some quality clearances on ball too.

His third quarter was huge and a sign of things to come. It looked like he had a leg injury in the first half but it must have been nothing.

Pleasantly surprised with his round 1. I doubt they were planning on giving him a full game before the late change.
 

Hatchy1992

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 10, 2010
11,097
11,611
Adelaide
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Chelsea FC, Borussia Dortmund
I was really impressed by him yesterday. Love his work! I can see him being a great player for us in the future. His 360 in the clip was fantastic to watch! Honestly, I think he needs to improve his fitness but that will only develop naturally over time. His disposal was top class.
 

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