Player Watch #15: Paul Ahern -

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kelman

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Brad will be covered either way. Paul underperforms and it's a "see told ya" and if he turns it on it's a "see told ya".
As opposed to Bigfooty, Paul underperforms and it’s “Brad has ruined him” and if he turns it on it’s a “see told ya”.
 
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As opposed to Bigfooty, Paul underperforms and it’s “Brad has ruined him” and if he turns it on it’s a “see told ya”.
22 possessions and 3 goals in the lead-up game to the season wasn't underperforming imo.
 
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Ahern seeking balance in his game



By Daniel Cherny

April 14, 2019 — 4.39pm


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It was a question that had many North Melbourne fans stumped: Why couldn’t the struggling Kangaroos find a spot for Paul Ahern?
Having at last been recalled, the emerging midfielder explained the reasons behind his absence in the first three rounds of the season.

Paul Ahern was back in the North side on Saturday night.CREDIT:AAP
“I had a bit of defence stuff that I [had] to work on,” Ahern, 22, told The Age.
“Those quick reactions, a bit of transition stuff. I’m good ball in hand. The defence stuff doesn’t come as naturally as ball in hand so I’m just trying to balance up my game.”

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After overcoming two knee reconstructions, Ahern - taken by Greater Western Sydney at pick No.7 in the 2014 draft - broke through for a senior debut in round 11 last year, finishing the season with 11 senior games for the Kangaroos.
But he found himself on the outer as North lost their first three games.
Ahern said he had tried to remain upbeat.
“Obviously it was a bit disappointing. But I just needed to go back to the VFL with the right attitude. If I went back with a poor attitude and just went through the motions I wouldn’t have got a call-up. So that was my focus, go back, work on what the coaches wanted, ride it out and try to get my spot back.”
Coach Brad Scott provided plenty of support.
“Every week that I didn’t get selected he would make the effort to catch up with me and tell what I still need to work on and what I’m doing well. He was really good with that,” Ahern said.
He said he was trying to learn from fellow midfielder Trent Dumont, who Ahern noted was very good at helping his side defensively.
Ahern didn’t set the world on fire at Marvel Stadium on Saturday night, but was reasonably content having finished with 15 disposals as North ended their drought with a 12-point win over Adelaide.
“I thought I played my role,” Ahern said.
“It was good to get back out there and to top it off with a win was unbelievable. That was all my focus was, play my role.”
Bit concerning when players are rating getting a win as “unbelievable.”
 

Tas

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He needs to do better with his kicking, but he wasn't alone on that front but it must be difficult to sit out the first three weeks, be playing emergency so you don't get to play and then after the warmup and the game starts you spend the first 10 minutes or so of each quarter getting frostbite on the bench and then you get the call up and are expected to have immediate results.

We have done some convoluted list management to prevent Goldy from spending too much time on the pine otherwise his performance tanks completely, it likely impacts other players as well who spend too long on the pine. He should get more of a go.
 

Kimbo

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“Those quick reactions, a bit of transition stuff. I’m good ball in hand. The defence stuff doesn’t come as naturally as ball in hand so I’m just trying to balance up my game.”

Ahern said he had tried to remain upbeat. “Obviously it was a bit disappointing. But I just needed to go back to the VFL with the right attitude. If I went back with a poor attitude and just went through the motions I wouldn’t have got a call-up. So that was my focus, go back, work on what the coaches wanted, ride it out and try to get my spot back.”

Coach Brad Scott provided plenty of support. “Every week that I didn’t get selected he would make the effort to catch up with me and tell what I still need to work on and what I’m doing well. He was really good with that,” Ahern said.

He said he was trying to learn from fellow midfielder Trent Dumont, who Ahern noted was very good at helping his side defensively.
Bolded clearly a misquote. Actually said:

Coach Brad Scott provided little support. "Every week that I didn't get selected he barely spoke to me, except for a random corridor conversation where he just said 'I don't care what BF say, you're playing like shit.' So, I called my manager and threatened to walk unless selected."
 
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Performed as expected.

Laid 3 tackles and looked like a bloke devoid of confidence.

The handling of him has been atrocious.
Perhaps with the renewed focus on defense, it might take him some time to get the balance right.

I’d rather he have a balanced game where he contributes a bit and the team plays well as a whole and wins, rather than him getting 30+ and the opposition running amok and us loosing.
 

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Grogg

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Perhaps with the renewed focus on defense, it might take him some time to get the balance right.

I’d rather he have a balanced game where he contributes a bit and the team plays well as a whole and wins, rather than him getting 30+ and the opposition running amok and us loosing.
Perhaps with an encouragement to play his natural game, it might see his performance go to another level.

I'd rather have a player who is full of confidence, maximising his flair where the team plays well as a whole wins, rather than getting 15 possessions & 4 tackles with the opposition benefitting from a diminished influence and us losing.
 

Devington

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Perhaps with an encouragement to play his natural game, it might see his performance go to another level.

I'd rather have a player who is full of confidence, maximising his flair where the team plays well as a whole wins, rather than getting 15 possessions & 4 tackles with the opposition benefitting from a diminished influence and us losing.
Scott seems to preference individual players playing to roles in an overall gameplan over making a gameplan that exploits individual player's strengths. More square slots in the gameplan > than mutilating square pegs into round ones.

Obviously Ahern has things he can do better, but he also has things he does REALLY ******* well.
 

Grogg

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Scott seems to preference individual players playing to roles in an overall gameplan over making a gameplan that exploits individual player's strengths. More square slots in the gameplan > than mutilating square pegs into round ones.

Obviously Ahern has things he can do better, but he also has things he does REALLY ******* well.
Modus operandi.

It's almost like waiting for the perfect storm.
 

ferball

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Perhaps with an encouragement to play his natural game, it might see his performance go to another level.

I'd rather have a player who is full of confidence, maximising his flair where the team plays well as a whole wins, rather than getting 15 possessions & 4 tackles with the opposition benefitting from a diminished influence and us losing.
That's not what happened tho is it. We won and he had our second highest number of inside 50s for the match.

He had games like that last year, where he had similar stats. He had a 10 possession game near the end of the year. But last year he only had one game with more i50s and 2 with more clearances and on Saturday he was competing for them against Jed in his first game back. I think he did well in that midfield where only Polec and Higgo got over 25 possessions for the game.
 

Tas

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That's not what happened tho is it. We won and he had our second highest number of inside 50s for the match.

He had games like that last year, where he had similar stats. He had a 10 possession game near the end of the year. But last year he only had one game with more i50s and 2 with more clearances and on Saturday he was competing for them against Jed in his first game back. I think he did well in that midfield where only Polec and Higgo got over 25 possessions for the game.
The main difference between Paul and a lot of other players we have is that when he gets the ball, he launches into attack, his first instinct isn't to crab or go backwards or not go with the first option and do U-turns, he goes. He is one of our more aggressive mids and because of his burst of speed and his general good evasiveness he puts himself in a good position to go by foot.

I think his natural game was subdued on the weekend because I think he has been focused on the defensive side of his game which he has been told by the club is the reason he has been held back, it is indicative based on his equal second in pressure acts for the game at 18 despite only playing 63% Time on Ground.

Luke McDonald had 4 pressure acts in 80% ToG, (4.4 weighted for 87% ToG)
Simpkin 10 in 66% (13.2)
LDU 8 in 76% (9.2)
Hall 14 in 72% (16.9)
Thomas 14 in 73% (16.7)
Polec 8 in 87%
Anderson 18 in 70% (22.4)
Cunnington 16 in 80% (17.4)
Higgins 24 in 83% (25.2)
Dumont 9 in 87%
Atley 5 in 86% (5.1)
Turner 16 in 83% (16.8)
Ahern 18 in 63% (24.9)

I think if everyone in the midfield group and the forwards do their part in terms of applying pressure, Ahern should have more scope to play more of his natural game. When you have Higgins, Polec and Ahern you just can't shut down all of the attacking options. Ahern there is going to help Higgins and Polec because you can't sag off him and go to Higgins because if you allow Ahern to get the ball in space he is going to make you look stupid.

We just looked a whole lot better with Anderson and Ahern in the side. Add Jacobs back and we go a long way towards playing some of the best footy we are capable of.
 

ferball

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So basically its a measure of how you compete for the ball when you don't have it. When we go backwards and lose it with the shitful handballs its a result of "pressure acts". I thought there was more to it than that.

That's basic footy I reckon. You never let your opponent or any opposition player get an easy ball, if you can help it. Its hard work keeping that pressure up tho. That explains why Kanye is so valuable to the side despite the lack of possession and why TT will be as well. They were the only two forwards/non-mids with over 10 pressure acts. THo TT seemed to spend some time in the middle.
 

ferball

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When you have Higgins, Polec and Ahern you just can't shut down all of the attacking options. Ahern there is going to help Higgins and Polec because you can't sag off him and go to Higgins because if you allow Ahern to get the ball in space he is going to make you look stupid.
He had 6 inside 50s. Only Mason Wood at CHF had more. Attacking footy that is working well imo.

Also for those who think Paulie didn't have much of the ball. 15 possessions in less than 2/3 of the game. That's about the possession rate Cunners had, its higher than LDU so he'd have had more of the ball if he'd spent as much time as LDU on the ball.
 

Tas

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So basically its a measure of how you compete for the ball when you don't have it. When we go backwards and lose it with the shitful handballs its a result of "pressure acts". I thought there was more to it than that.

That's basic footy I reckon. You never let your opponent or any opposition player get an easy ball, if you can help it. Its hard work keeping that pressure up tho. That explains why Kanye is so valuable to the side despite the lack of possession and why TT will be as well. They were the only two forwards/non-mids with over 10 pressure acts. THo TT seemed to spend some time in the middle.
"A pressure act is when a player has applied either closing, corralling, chasing or physical pressure."

Your example isn't exactly correct, it makes it easier for the opposition to pressure us if we hesitate or go backwards with a shitful handball but it doesn't necessarily result in a pressure act that forced us to do that, in the first 2 rounds in particular we shot ourselves in the foot without anyone pressuring us. We were eventually put under pressure though.

Yeah, it is basic footy, but not everyone pressures well, it is why we were so shit in the first few games, most of our players meandered in space and put little pressure on the opposition.

Control Data uses pressure points (not like Judd), it weighs the different acts differently, ie physical pressure = 3.75 points, closing pressure 2.25 points, chasing pressure 1.5 points and corralling pressure worth 1.2 points. We typically do a lot more corralling than we do physical pressure, Anderson and Jacobs do a lot more physical pressure which is why their pressure is generally more valuable. It isn't a surprise that those who put on a lot more physical pressure also apply a lot more effective tackles.

Any type of pressure though is better than no pressure.
 

ferball

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Thanks for that Tas. That's a better explanation of how they are rated, cheers. Corralling is useful in that it stops an opposition fast break and gives you time to set up defensively but actual physical proximity is heaps better value and more likely to generate turnovers.

In that Freo game I thought we fell apart because of opposition pressure not allowing us the time to find targets in an advantageous position. I don't think it would have been as effective if we'd been more successful at building scoreboard pressure in the first quarter. Inferred pressure is a good thing to generate and imo that really messed with us in R1.

Judd's PP. I've got a good mate who was a state rep jr League player and played at Manly juniors. Their coach taught them "Pressure Points" in u14s or 15s. (Dunno if he did any of the fatal ones tho.) It was pretty standard for League I think, but in fairness to league players - they are usually very tough people so that sort of thing is less likely to be effective.
 

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So, do we think that Brad has got it right on Ahern? The increase in his pressure appears to indicate it might indeed be the case. Time will tell. Imagine him getting the ball 25+ and maintaining his pressure? We’d all be happy with that.


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