Player Watch #18: Shaun Atley -

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Moti

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2001
10,111
5,457
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
So I was talking to myself in the shower today and I came up with an odd suggestion. Do you think maybe they might try him in the centre? Not sure if it is crazy but seems like it might be something to try.
 

Pykie

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 17, 2006
15,073
27,696
Lord's
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Leeds United
I think Higgins will still be right up there. Still gets the tag and gets a lot of ball even if disposal isn’t as good this year he is still our best player
God, I hope Higgins isn't in the equation, he's disposal has been shocking this year.

I think Cunnington is probably pretty clearly in front. He's a fair chance to be an AA starting mid this year.

I'd have it at 1. Cunnington, 2. Atley, ...... daylight.

At the moment.
 

shinboner magic

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 17, 2007
10,982
10,162
melb home of the kangas
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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hellas,liverpool,storm,au
God, I hope Higgins isn't in the equation, he's disposal has been shocking this year.

I think Cunnington is probably pretty clearly in front. He's a fair chance to be an AA starting mid this year.

I'd have it at 1. Cunnington, 2. Atley, ...... daylight.

At the moment.
Cunners would be a fair chance for the Brownlow if we’d won more games.

Back to Atley now-has been like a new player down back compared to his former self.
So composed and making great decisions.
 

Thewlis Dish

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 9, 2003
26,251
22,311
Five Star Laundry
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
FGR
So I was talking to myself in the shower today and I came up with an odd suggestion. Do you think maybe they might try him in the centre? Not sure if it is crazy but seems like it might be something to try.
I've never understood why, as soon as we get a player start playing consistent footy, people suggest changing his role.
 

LuvtheKangas

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2006
14,642
28,547
Bottom of the ladder
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I've never understood why, as soon as we get a player start playing consistent footy, people suggest changing his role.
I would generally agree with this, but in Atley's case, he's finally realising the potential we thought we had recruited. So, the view that he could be valuable in the midfield is not without merit.
 

Kanga26

Draftee
Jun 8, 2013
19
12
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Atley has been in great form recently - his run and carry and spotting up leading targets is good. Defence has been great as well. I think when he has trouble its due to his peripheral view and decision making in traffic especially by hand.
 

hellas_johnny

Club Legend
May 26, 2008
1,259
582
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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South Melbourne Hellas
agree with the comment a few lines up. why change his position when he's playing well. Add to that we have an abundance of midfielders. needs to stay back. hes defending well and is clean getting the ball out of the backline. has been brilliant this year
 

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Junk yard

Senior List
Aug 31, 2015
186
339
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Most improved player on the list, super dependable with ball in hand. Would love to see what he could do in the midfield with the new found confidence.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
11,882
21,741
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I would generally agree with this, but in Atley's case, he's finally realising the potential we thought we had recruited. So, the view that he could be valuable in the midfield is not without merit.
His best year was on the forward line last year but I think he's better this year and it suits him down back at the moment. I wasn't the only one who had written him off as the sort of sort of back/wing type player he is currently - but he's bloody good this year. Full credit to him. Maybe he just needed some time up forward to get a bit of confidence in his ability to take the game on? The fact that he went forward and played his best footy last year then went back to the backline (to a role I and a few others thought he was average at best in) and started playing great footy .... it does suggest he might be okay if we gave him another shot in the middle.

He's got the core strength and speed that we can see LDU developing as well. He's probably more of a bull than we give him credit for (and he's a bit softer defensively than offensively imo) these days as well. I remember him tackling Dustin Martin and winning the free 2 years ago when it seemed no one could lay a tackle on Dusty tho so he does have it in him physically to tackle as well as break tackles. Frankly I'd like to see him (and Hall both) running thru the middle a bit more (as well applying more defensive pressure). He can work, bullock and weave thru traffic these days and can run out of tackles as well, then kick fairly long and straight.

That's almost perfect for 666.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
11,882
21,741
AFL Club
North Melbourne
agree with the comment a few lines up. why change his position when he's playing well. Add to that we have an abundance of midfielders. needs to stay back. hes defending well and is clean getting the ball out of the backline. has been brilliant this year
We don't have enough or even any really fast midfielders and I think we need them.
 

mouncey2franklin

Club Legend
Jun 16, 2018
2,085
3,123
AFL Club
North Melbourne
When he got that ball in open space, I said out loud, 'go for a run'. And he did. It was marvelous...

...until he got run down by some guy who I don't even know the name of.

What on earth?
 

remfan101

Club Legend
Oct 23, 2015
1,652
4,627
AFL Club
North Melbourne
When he got that ball in open space, I said out loud, 'go for a run'. And he did. It was marvelous...

...until he got run down by some guy who I don't even know the name of.

What on earth?
Wasn't Shaun's fault, he had to reassess about 3 times on that run due to some appalling leading patterns and a ridiculously crowded forward 50. I'd rather he got run down looking for a decent option that just bomb it to where Ben Brown would be if he wasn't buried under layers of red and white jumpers.
 

roos_fanatic08

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 21, 2008
19,520
27,325
Vic
AFL Club
North Melbourne
He has made huge in roads this year. Looks to have matured as a footballer and you can really see that with his positioning and decision making.

Can’t believe how composed he is with the footy, sitting at 82% DE average for the year.
 

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