Player Watch #15: Paul Ahern

GarnerSmash

With new and improved hamstrings!
Jun 2, 2009
26,473
50,849
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I honestly think that Paul has a huge fight on his hands to be an AFL footballer beyond 2020. He simply is nowhere near conditioned enough to be a highly functional player at AFL level. He should spend this shutdown doing absolutely everything he can to become the elite athlete he needs to be to thrive. He has the talent.

Also needs to learn how to ride a tackle in congestion and give out a handball rather than just chucking it on the boot every time.
 

the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
17,849
13,855
AFL Club
North Melbourne
He’s got a lot of time to recover build up the hammy and eventually clock up k’s before a ball is bounced

Reckon we will see him in career best shape upon return

i still think he should be played off hbf as an offensive weapon, make him 7th defender even so he is the loose
 
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Johnny99

All Australian
Sep 15, 2011
717
1,003
In a house.
AFL Club
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I was a big wrap for this guy when he first came in.

But the last few games I have seen of him play, have been worrying.

He is a midfielder that is unwilling to run from contest to contest...

He is also unaccountable and does not man up.

I look at Jy Simpkin as a player who is heading in the right direction, to be a gun midfielder and a leader of the club.....

At the moment, he is nowhere near the standard Jy is setting.

He looks slow, unfit, and wont put his body on the line, and looks out of his depth.

If LDU was fit, there is no way Ahern would be in the side.

Has the talent. Has the smarts.....But like a lot of nmfc players, he doesn't seem to be prepared to do the work...to get to the elite level.
 

king of the road

Premium Gold
Aug 17, 2009
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I was a big wrap for this guy when he first came in.

But the last few games I have seen of him play, have been worrying.

He is a midfielder that is unwilling to run from contest to contest...

He is also unaccountable and does not man up.

I look at Jy Simpkin as a player who is heading in the right direction, to be a gun midfielder and a leader of the club.....

At the moment, he is nowhere near the standard Jy is setting.

He looks slow, unfit, and wont put his body on the line, and looks out of his depth.

If LDU was fit, there is no way Ahern would be in the side.

Has the talent. Has the smarts.....But like a lot of nmfc players, he doesn't seem to be prepared to do the work...to get to the elite level.
If Ahern is our new depth player - we’ve come a long way.
I still think he’ll be better than that though.
First game of the season off the back of a few years of development lost to injury. Still time to mature.
 

LB2Snake

Premium Platinum
Aug 16, 2009
4,505
5,711
South Yarra
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Probably hard in this current climate, but Pauly needs an MMA or Boxing trainer to find that 'inner-cnut' we all have in us.
If he played with half of Jed/Jy/CamZ's intent, lookout.
I've mentioned him in a couple other threads, but I reckon Tom Murphy has found a bit cnut, it can be found.
Pauly and Mase should move in together, build a cage in the backyard and kick the sh!t out of each other for a month or so.
These 2 running round with angry vibes would instantly make us much better.
 

shinboner magic

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 17, 2007
11,645
11,819
melb home of the kangas
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Probably hard in this current climate, but Pauly needs an MMA or Boxing trainer to find that 'inner-cnut' we all have in us.
If he played with half of Jed/Jy/CamZ's intent, lookout.
I've mentioned him in a couple other threads, but I reckon Tom Murphy has found a bit cnut, it can be found.
Pauly and Mase should move in together, build a cage in the backyard and kick the sh!t out of each other for a month or so.
These 2 running round with angry vibes would instantly make us much better.
More like Mase and Pauly will have nap time instead.
 

Billy Not Really

Premiership Player
Apr 7, 2018
3,926
8,881
Licking windows at the back of the bus.
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Where has the Paul Ahern gone who destroyed West Coast in Tassie in 2018?

I want that Ahern on the field.

Not this inferior iteration.
Its really bizarre how the worm has turned on this situation with his performances, and I guess one can chop that down to his position, no longer a mid. Playing halfback, I think he was playing mid in the WC game.

But still, you'd think offensively he'd still be providing something, and yet we haven't got much of it.

What's going on Paulie?
 

tazaa

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 11, 2007
22,119
29,647
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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Jed Anderson did his hammy in round 1 against Adelaide four years ago and was ripped to shreds about his level of preparation.
This is Aherns final year of his contract?
He doesn’t have the luxury of multiple years now and he definitely needs to extract the digit come June.
 

The Anvil

Debutant
Oct 5, 2004
96
165
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Where has the Paul Ahern gone who destroyed West Coast in Tassie in 2018?

I want that Ahern on the field.

Not this inferior iteration.
I suspect there is a lot to confidence in the game, when you're an almost guaranteed best 22 selection you have a lot of confidence.

It's harder to build confidence when you're one average game from a stint in the VFL again.

I'm actually surprised he got selected over Bonar even for this game.
 

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Passmore

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2001
10,578
23,387
The Gasometer Wing
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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Has played less games than LDU. Just thought I’d put that out there.
You're right, but he just doesn't look like it at the moment. He's not moving, constantly kicking off one step. In 2018, you'd watch him at training and he moved like a panther. He just looks constantly flat footed.



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LuvtheKangas

Premium Platinum
Mar 11, 2006
16,103
34,008
Rising up the ladder
AFL Club
North Melbourne
With no specific knowledge to base this assessment on, so just from my observations, I think Ahern is one of those to whom the saying "youth is wasted on the young" currently applies. He strikes me as immature in his thinking, as he just doesn't seem to get what is required at the level, even after being in the system a few years now. He knows he has well above average ability and seems to assume that's what will get him through. Hopefully the reality of what is required will gel for him over the enforced break, otherwise he's on his way to being another wasted talent.
 

roos_tt29

Team Captain
Oct 6, 2015
383
522
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I've very little doubt if Ahern gets some continuity with his football he'll be a very, very good player albeit with some shortcomings he has to be kept on top of.
This will be a good challenge for Shawry - if he can find a way to get the best out of Paul and turn him into something close to what he could be, then he'll be another piece to the puzzle. Keen to see how he goes with Shaw for 12 months - can he figure it out?
 

remfan101

Club Legend
Oct 23, 2015
1,797
5,145
AFL Club
North Melbourne
You're right, but he just doesn't look like it at the moment. He's not moving, constantly kicking off one step. In 2018, you'd watch him at training and he moved like a panther. He just looks constantly flat footed.



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I think its all confidence, at least based on the evidence I've seen. When he came in, we were talking up this super skillful, quick player on our website and everyone at the club seemed really excited about what he could be. When he recovered from his knee, he played like he thought he was that player, and his shortcomings could easily be put down to not having played for 2 years. Most importantly, he looked like was having a great time out on the field, and like he really believed in his natural ability.

Since his first year though he's obviously been told that he needs to improve his defensive application and athleticism and that was reinforced by not picking him last year after he kicked 3 goals in a half in the last praccy game. No no doubt he did have things to work on, but since then he's looked to me like a guy who has lost the instinctive side of his game and is battling to stay focussed and engaged in the game, which is basically the opposite of the guy we saw in his first 10 games.

Not sure how to approach this one given he actually really does need to work on those parts of his game, but I think as soon as he rediscovers that love for the game we'll start to see the Paul who tore up the eventual premiers and had one of the best 8th games of all time.
 

The Anvil

Debutant
Oct 5, 2004
96
165
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Shawry needs to have a chat with him and get him to change his mindset the same way Curtis Taylor did.
I suspect Shaw has a similar conversation with every player, only some of them act on the advice.

Even senior players have gotten the chat as evidenced by JMac’s game saving smoother when usually he is doing his best to implement social distancing before it was a thing.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

Billy Not Really

Premiership Player
Apr 7, 2018
3,926
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Licking windows at the back of the bus.
AFL Club
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I suspect Shaw has a similar conversation with every player, only some of them act on the advice.

Even senior players have gotten the chat as evidenced by JMac’s game saving smoother when usually he is doing his best to implement social distancing before it was a thing.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
Oh for sure, he has to every season as part of the end of year review.

But its very clear that Pauls output is between the ears, his best and current output is night and day, could be fears of re-injury, could be just confidence, could be he has no clue what he's doing.
 

DunderHead

Club Legend
Apr 12, 2007
2,178
1,619
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Oh for sure, he has to every season as part of the end of year review.

But its very clear that Pauls output is between the ears, his best and current output is night and day, could be fears of re-injury, could be just confidence, could be he has no clue what he's doing.
He’s done multiple knees. Maybe he can’t go another gear with his running. He did well in 2018 playing inside and not running.
 

Billy Not Really

Premiership Player
Apr 7, 2018
3,926
8,881
Licking windows at the back of the bus.
AFL Club
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He’s done multiple knees. Maybe he can’t go another gear with his running. He did well in 2018 playing inside and not running.
Nah can't be that entirely. If you go back and watch his defensive outputs as opposed to offensive, he's incredibly lacking in that area and he's had to be more accountable for that as a HB.

He's also still unfit, he lost some weight after his first year with us, but he's not up to the standard of AFL level fitness.
 

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