Player Watch #15: Jayden Laverde - 50 AFL Games!

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Bunk Moreland

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Battled well against the odds. Good on him for making a go of what was almost certainly his last chance.

If it was needed, he is the most compelling proof yet that playing in defence is simply easier than playing forward.
Its been a positive move position-wise but it’s more just fitness I think. He’s actually had a run at it this year (preseason wise).
 

Vander18

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Its been a positive move position-wise but it’s more just fitness I think. He’s actually had a run at it this year (preseason wise).
I wouldn’t assume that the move to defence and finally getting some continuity aren’t connected.

I don’t have any proof but I have always had the suspicion that playing in defence is also easier on the body. It’s the difference between jumping into people and having them jump into you.

Anyway - he’s giving it a real crack so good on him.
 

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Didn't get to see a lot of the game so these posts are really encouraging. I have questions;
Was he taking intercept marks or spoiling more?
Did he provide much rebound?
I wished that he'd watched a bit of Darcy Moore. It'd be great if he turned out as that type.
It’s not going to be an exciting comparison but I reckon he’s turned into Tom Jonas. Tough as old boots, would stand under a plane if you asked him to and really safe and conservative with ball in hand, will either go long or give to someone in a better position.

Jayden Laverde: one percenter machine is not something I thought I’d ever be saying
 

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ghostdog

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It’s not going to be an exciting comparison but I reckon he’s turned into Tom Jonas. Tough as old boots, would stand under a plane if you asked him to and really safe and conservative with ball in hand, will either go long or give to someone in a better position.

Jayden Laverde: one percenter machine is not something I thought I’d ever be saying
..and was he able to keep tabs on his man? Were Port getting free players out the back?
 

citizen-erased

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..and was he able to keep tabs on his man? Were Port getting free players out the back?
Dixon and georgiades took us to the cleaners last night. For once it didnt feel like it was the smalls when the ball hit the deck.
We sorely miss a decent FB. But I don't mind this mix of lav, ridley, redman, francis and hind down back
 

EnolaGay

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Didn't get to see a lot of the game so these posts are really encouraging. I have questions;
Was he taking intercept marks or spoiling more?
Did he provide much rebound?
I wished that he'd watched a bit of Darcy Moore. It'd be great if he turned out as that type.
A bit of both. Be interesting to see what he looks like by season's end.
 

BrunoV

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I've always assumed that playing defence would be a stepping stone, not really that there was a long term intention to play him in defence. Bring him to ball, take the heat off him physically (so bigger guys aren't jumping into him) and see what happens if we can get Laverde feeling confident. Even from this little snippet there are things that look really good, his pace on the lead is top level (which is a bit of a surprise) and his body work very strong (Lycett and Dixon would have about 15kgs on Laverde).

While he looks sustainable as a player in defence, looking at our midgets getting the piss belted out of them in the middle (with there being no apparent respite in sight) is there a point at which the current focus on defence and some continuity bring him into the middle of the ground?

Not because I think he's going to turn into the player I thought he'd become in 2015/2016, but purely out of necessity. There is 0 grunt in the middle of the ground and there isn't really an option on the list to provide more than Stringer's 3 minute cameo a game. Being a battering ram has not served Laverde particularly well to date but confidence brings timing and with that timing players became much better at using their physical gifts and usually get "luckier" when it comes to avoiding injury.

It's too early now because he's still a bit reactive when the ball hits the decks, and I reckon that translates to getting very lost in the middle, but maybe after the mid-season break he's a guy we set to running around with the likes of Fyfe, Oliver/Pettraca, Martin, Cripps, Bont, etc to add some muscle to the middle of the ground.
 

BrunoV

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Good luck with that, they've basically wasted years not attempting to make him into a mid when he has so many obvious attributes to be that big inside guy that they could have developed. I doubt at this point it's something that'll be looked at.

I suspect you're right. The only reason I raise it is because he's now in defence and a lot of that translates into a role that could be useful and will become the norm if the coaches pull their heads out of their arses.
 

Red Black and Blue

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Dixon and georgiades took us to the cleaners last night. For once it didnt feel like it was the smalls when the ball hit the deck.
We sorely miss a decent FB. But I don't mind this mix of lav, ridley, redman, francis and hind down back
The positive for mine is looking at the mix is it's probably only a mature Reid away from a really good back 6.
 

Towno78

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Good luck with that, they've basically wasted years not attempting to make him into a mid when he has so many obvious attributes to be that big inside guy that they could have developed. I doubt at this point it's something that'll be looked at.
FFS really!?

I know people just love to point out how inept our coaches have been, but he's been injured multiple times every year for seven years. You cannot hang that on our coaches.

He has not been developed as a midfielder, because he has not been able to get on the park in any capacity.

I was riding the Lav to the midfield train for some time, but that ship sailed long ago and there is zero chance he will ever develop a body capable of playing midfield from here, even if he could develop the ability to (unlikely).

Fingers crossed his body holds out until we get some key defenders back and he's able to hold down a 3rd tall defender spot. He could be great in that role.
 
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owen87

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Really impressive down back this week I thought, a bit of pressure coming from the midfield makes all the difference. His strength over the ball at ground level makes a huge difference for our ability to defend and withstand pressure once the ball hits the deck.
 

ant555

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Good luck with that, they've basically wasted years not attempting to make him into a mid when he has so many obvious attributes to be that big inside guy that they could have developed. I doubt at this point it's something that'll be looked at.
He got injured too many times for them to use him in the midfield. If he did not get injured 3 times a year and every pre season then maybe he could have made it there.
 

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Bunk Moreland

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Really impressive down back this week I thought, a bit of pressure coming from the midfield makes all the difference. His strength over the ball at ground level makes a huge difference for our ability to defend and withstand pressure once the ball hits the deck.
Yep. Defenders can do their best one-on-one but it’s useless without midfield pressure. You could have the best defence in footy and if it’s pouring in from up the ground they’ll be helpless.

Laverde looks fit and settled in defence, which is more than we’ve been able to say for basically his whole career.
 

Bipolarbear

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Once the ball hits the ground I have a lot of confidence in him 1 on 1.
He either wins it, or gets the tackle on his opponent.
If it was zone I would be worried for him.
 

The Donners

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Fingers crossed his body holds out until we get some key defenders back and he's able to hold down a 3rd tall defender spot. He could be great in that role.
As soon as we have 2 KPD’s available/develop (Hurley, Ambrose, Stewart, Brand, Reid), Franga will be third tall and Laverde will be left out of our back 6. He won’t break into our front 6 with Wright/Hooker, Jones, Stringer so where will he play?

I wouldn’t mind going for broke and playing him in the middle. If he can’t make it in the middle then he can be either handy depth in the VFL or he can look for opportunities at other clubs.
 

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