2019 Expectations

Cobbler

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Where are people at?

I don't want to be too optimistic, but with the squad we have, surely finals? Is that too large a step up??

Clearly it will be injury and best 22 dependent. There'll be some guys take a step up, some a step down and others remain level, but I'm seeing and thinking there has to be improvement as a team and relatively large considering who was missing due to injury and also who we have brought in.

Losing Neale hurts and our midifield depth will be tested should injuries occur, but even a 'fair' run with injuries has me thinking 12 wins, which places you there or there abouts.

If we're thinking GF in 3-5 years we need to be hitting finals ASAP.

On paper I don't think there's any excuse.

Opinions?
 

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dockerfemme

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#4
Where are people at?

I don't want to be too optimistic, but with the squad we have, surely finals? Is that too large a step up??

Clearly it will be injury and best 22 dependent. There'll be some guys take a step up, some a step down and others remain level, but I'm seeing and thinking there has to be improvement as a team and relatively large considering who was missing due to injury and also who we have brought in.

Losing Neale hurts and our midifield depth will be tested should injuries occur, but even a 'fair' run with injuries has me thinking 12 wins, which places you there or there abouts.

If we're thinking GF in 3-5 years we need to be hitting finals ASAP.

On paper I don't think there's any excuse.

Opinions?
I don’t feel as optimistic as you, though there are so many unknowns.

I certainly think the list has improved, both with trades, and with Brayshaw, Cerra, Cox, Duman etc being a year older.

We were one of the worst clubs in terms of having a fit and available list in 2016 and 2017. I haven’t seen figures for 2018, and certainly a number of clubs were knocked about with injury, but my feeling is we were still at the worst end of the list. So I don’t expect anything other than more of the same in terms of injury lists.

The other variable is coaching and game plan. With the rule changes, I feel some clubs might jump out of the blocks with some clever tactics, while others languish a bit. By round 6 - 8, these tactical ploys will probably even up. If this happens it could cost teams a couple of wins or losses, and that translates to quite a lot of ladder position. Whether this happens, and whether we gain or lose from it, is anybody’s guess.

Once the rules settle, the question is whether our coaching panel can provide a game plan suited to our playing list and to modern football. Who can say, but I am not overly optimistic on this front.

So on balance, I guess small gains from an improved list, maybe some small gains from a more suitable game plan, but not enough in gains to push us near to finals.
 

One_Wing

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#5
Difficult to say. Need a good run with injuries. Brining in a new strength and conditioning coach so maybe things will be better. Of worse. Who knows.
 
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#6
The competition is so average these days. Just look at the last three premiers. History is already showing the Bulldogs comprised of a bunch of very very average players who all had the footballing-month of their life at the same time, who rode on arrogance and '**** you, we can do this.' Richmond had one one bloke with a great individual season but really, how good was the rest of their side? Riewoldt didn't play his best footy that season.

Then West Coast. Darling decided not to shit himself in one quarter and McGovern, JK are good players but no one else is.

I'm not saying flag. I'm not saying Grand Final. But I am saying finals.

Fyfe – still in the best two or three in the comp. You have Jesse Hogan and Rory Lobb down forward ffs with Sonny, probably in the top couple of small forwards. Brad Hill ain't a bad complementary winger. Alex Pearce doesn't often get shamed as a full back. And Luke Ryan/Nathan Wilson is barely a shameful combo of good kicks, stringent defending.

Seriously our list isn't that bad. You get the spirit right and you win enough games to play finals. These days, anyone can win a flag. FFS Collingwood nearly did!
 

rgauci

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#7
top 2, 2nd ever GF. First ever flag.

Brownlow: Fyfe
Norm Smith: Mundy
Coleman: Lobb
All Australian: Sandilands, Fyfe, Mundy, Ballantyne, A.Pearce, Wilson, Lobb
20-2 season; one of the losses a mass rest of players before finals.

20 games from Bennell, 25 games out of Fyfe.

Lol, who am I kidding Bennell will only play 14 games.
 
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#9
I would expect our best 22 to be knocking on the door to finals. A bit of luck and we can win a final, bad luck should have us in no worse as position than this year.

Fyfe, Mundy, Hills, Walters, Hamling, Pearse, Sandy, Lobb, Hogan, Conca, Colyer, Langdon, Blakely, Wilson, Ryan, Tabs

With Luck (Form/Injury): Bennell, Kersten, McCarthy, Apeness, Logue

Thats enough Hardened AFL players to build around. Just need others to step up and fill roles from the youngens : Chez, AB, North, Dixon, Duman, Tucker, Giro, Banfield, Crowden, Nyhuis, Meek, Cox plus 2018 picks x4
 

Joao

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#10
I expect 8-10 wins.

More if we get a good run with injury. Even more if Bennell gets on the park and plays well. Even more if the talented but flakey brigade (Matera, Cam etc) pull their finger out.

Less if we have a bad injury run to the better players ala 2016.
 

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#12
Agree that anything less then 10 wins should be seen as a failure. I would like so see players playing to their strengths and bringing more intensity and self belief week in week out.
Also if we get belted by over 10 goals more than once, I will lose my ****.
We should have a competitive forward line, strong defence. Midfield might be a little light on depth unless they bring in the likes of Blakely. Hopefully Conca can bring some grunt. Over to you Ross..
 

Bastyy

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#13
I don't have the highest hopes but I think there is a possibility we make finals

Fyfe could have another brownlow year, Hogan will come good, North will play 10-12 games and Tom Medhat will be a surprise but welcome addition to the best 22.

Feel like we'll chase Cogs, Martin and Ah Chee. We'll end up with only one of them as well as Jeremy Sharp.

Long year to play out
 

freo1997

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#14
I see us finishing 9-12 on the ladder. Our goal should be 10 wins at the least.

We should be striving for a big pre season and a fast start to 2019!
 

Unique Name

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#15
11 wins is my expectation.

If we only win 8 games again I reckon Ross will be given the boot. Next year we'll have a more balanced side that will be mid-range for age/experience. We've brought in some experienced players so that we're not likely to be relying on too many 1st year players again.


Quite a few average sides made finals last year, absolutely no reason we can't be in that group of teams fighting for 7th/8th spot.
 
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#16
Without injuries being taken into account I would also agree finals, but with such a young side making predictions is really difficult. Still need to see how well Hogan synergizes with our playing group and adapt to Lyons gameplan.
 
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#17
We've started the last two seasons ok but then hit the wall as a combination of injuries and a younger list took its toll.

The addition of some AFL hardened bodies and forward marking targets should push us up the ladder when combined with natural improvement in the likes of Cerra and Brayshaw.

Finals or on the cusp with a general improvement in week to week performance is my expectation.
 

Rion

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#18
You don't recruit guys like Conca and Colyer aiming to sit in the bottom 6 again. Win 10 games, kick a few more goals and actually turn up away from home (can't cop the 10 goal+ losses).

Agree completely with what others have said. There are a lot of pretty average teams in the 4-12 bracket. If we're miles off that group again next year we've got serious issues.
 

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#19
early wins and fitness will be big for belief and team confidence.

Minimum 10 wins this year (unless we have complete injury mayhem again).

Expect 11-13 wins - we will need to split the derbies and win two away which should be achievable.
 

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#21

theGav56

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#23
I'm looking to start the season optimistic about reaching finals. If we do, then that is a significant step in our rebuild, and has us on track in terms of emerging with some credibility as a contender in 2020.

For a rebuilding club, measuring a season by the gross metric of win/loss is shallow. If the club determines that finals are out of reach it is quite likely to sacrifice wins in favour of player development, and I would hope they would do that. That kind of situation could easily see the retirement of Sandilands, or even Mundy, with the club preferring to max out game time for Darcy and Strnadica, or North and Hughes midfield.

The way I would prefer to see the season measured is within separate zones. Defence, Midfield and Forwards. Of course they are not independent of each other, but they are at different stages of development and with their own challenges.
  • Defence; given that this is the most settled part of our list I would be fairly comfortable with these boys actually having a points against target. But the real area of improvement they should be chasing is transition from defence. We have a pretty decent line up in terms of the rule tweaks, so I want to see that being worked as well.
  • Midfield; I wouldn't let the loss of Neale get too distracting for us. Sure we would be playing Blakely in there, and Conca as well. But the measure I would use to judge the midfield is about the ability of the young brigade to play a meaningful role in this area of the ground. Darcy, Cerr and Banfield need to transition into the midfield for us (I am hopeful Logue gets a run here). We will certainly draft a midfielder and also have Crowden and Giro. All need progression.
  • Forward; I really can't simply put a goals target as a realistic measure for this area of the ground. Hogan's fitness would have too big an impact for starters, and Bennel as well. By the end of the year I want to see a structured forward line that has demonstrated the ability to be dominant. I would like to end season 2019 with the same level of certainty about the ongoing make-up of our forward line.
Game Plan is the unifier, and the coaching staff get measured by this. We have seen some bits and pieces of what the game plan may look like, but it needs to come on strong now, including some adaptations due to the rule changes. If these guys lead us to finals then they will be ahead of the curve. If we are contending for finals I'd be fine with that.

I really don't see us as being a long way off the pace in terms of finals contention. I reckon Geelong will play finals, but I think they look bog ordinary. North? Port? We are in that kind of mix.
 

Admiral Byng

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#24
I don't care about ladder position, what I want is improvement in several areas:

- no more embarrassing thrashings on the road
- some kind of convincing system and structure in the forward line
- a convincing style of slow play
- improvement in kicking skill
- ability to stick tackles

Get these right and ladder position will look after itself.

I still think with our lack of depth and inexperience the guys will start to look a bit cooked towards the end of the season.
 

tants

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#25
I still think with our lack of depth and inexperience the guys will start to look a bit cooked towards the end of the season.
On my best 22 I don't actually see that many 1st-3rd year players. One of Duman/Nyhuis in defence and Cerra, Brayshaw and Banfield on the bench/through the midfield. e should be playing out the season and we need to be competitive in August (and September hopefully).
 
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