2019 Expectations

theGav56

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4 talls in the forward line..... I'll need convincing. Same with the idea that McCarthy isn't really a tall, but a medium player; that sounds like a justification to me.

I think we need 3 diverse talls which is Hogan, Lobb then one of Taberner/Cox/McCarthy.

3 others, with 1-2 capable of going midfield for stints. They also need to bring speed and defensive pressure; Walters/Bennell/Switkowski/Matera/Schultz/Crowden/Ballantyne (my preferred order). Pretty quickly I want Sturt in that mix, ideally debuting this year.
 

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Freomaniac

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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..
You have seen the stupid stuff People have posted about freo on the main board regarding where freo will finish on the ladder.

I just went in there on a drunken tirade on that thread. Went all Tough man tony abbott on that thread too.

so in each of the last 2 seasons, we got 8 wins, 14 losses and 14th spot. Every person and their dog know that Freo need quality forwards and we got them in Hogan and Lobb.

So we went from having the worst forward line in the AFL, Possibly in the history of the AFL, to a semi decent forward set up.

However, Some neutrals not only predicted us to go backwards, but to finish I the bottom 4. Some of them predicted us to finish in the bottom 2 or with the wooden spoon.

Oh and heres another thing. So many people have moaned about the Home Ground Advantage. Freo have 12 home games in which Freo should win at least 6, More than enough to avoid the spoon if Carlton repeat that 2-20 season effort again.


I called it Bigfooty Bastardization.

I seriously asked this question.... How on earth are Freo tipped or the Wooden spoon by some people?
 
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You have seen the stupid stuff People have posted about freo on the main board regarding where freo will finish on the ladder.

I just went in there on a drunken tirade on that thread. Went all Tough man tony abbott on that thread too.

so in each of the last 2 seasons, we got 8 wins, 14 losses and 14th spot. Every person and their dog know that Freo need quality forwards and we got them in Hogan and Lobb.

So we went from having the worst forward line in the AFL, Possibly in the history of the AFL, to a semi decent forward set up.

However, Some neutrals not only predicted us to go backwards, but to finish I the bottom 4. Some of them predicted us to finish in the bottom 2 or with the wooden spoon.

Oh and heres another thing. So many people have moaned about the Home Ground Advantage. Freo have 12 home games in which Freo should win at least 6, More than enough to avoid the spoon if Carlton repeat that 2-20 season effort again.


I called it Bigfooty Bastardization.

I seriously asked this question.... How on earth are Freo tipped or the Wooden spoon by some people?
BF is frequented by a significant number of ill informed posters who find Freo and its supporters an easy target to troll.

Truth is until we have won a Premiership we will just have to ride it out. I don’t think many in their right minds think we’ll be wooden spooners.

When the wheel turns and we eventually break the drought we’ll have every right to tell those campaigners to GAGF.

And that will be so sweet. And that day is getting closer.
 

Monument Hills

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When Freo was around the top of the ladder for a few years and I was doing those ladder predictions on the MB, I for one pretty much had zero care for teams in the bottom 6 or what order they should be. I just ordered them as easiest or as the previous year and moved on. I imagine there are others doing the same who couldn't give a sh5t if Freo came 12 or 18, and anything above that would be a surprise.

I try not to care what supporters of other teams think.
 
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Scham

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You have seen the stupid stuff People have posted about freo on the main board regarding where freo will finish on the ladder.

I just went in there on a drunken tirade on that thread. Went all Tough man tony abbott on that thread too.

so in each of the last 2 seasons, we got 8 wins, 14 losses and 14th spot. Every person and their dog know that Freo need quality forwards and we got them in Hogan and Lobb.

So we went from having the worst forward line in the AFL, Possibly in the history of the AFL, to a semi decent forward set up.

However, Some neutrals not only predicted us to go backwards, but to finish I the bottom 4. Some of them predicted us to finish in the bottom 2 or with the wooden spoon.

Oh and heres another thing. So many people have moaned about the Home Ground Advantage. Freo have 12 home games in which Freo should win at least 6, More than enough to avoid the spoon if Carlton repeat that 2-20 season effort again.


I called it Bigfooty Bastardization.

I seriously asked this question.... How on earth are Freo tipped or the Wooden spoon by some people?
More out of hope than anything I suspect. It’s certainly not on footy logic.
 
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When I look at compiling my starting list for the first round there seems to be a lot more choices of players competing for positions who have developed, had another pre season and are ready to go plus Hogan-Lobb etc and I can't fit them all in the team
Last season through the build we didnt have that and we played players who hadn't necessarliy earn their place who should have been dropped but didn't have the pressure of others knocking on the door...
This gives me great hope and excitement for snowballing improvement through the season
 

Steinfreo

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You have seen the stupid stuff People have posted about freo on the main board regarding where freo will finish on the ladder.

I just went in there on a drunken tirade on that thread. Went all Tough man tony abbott on that thread too.

so in each of the last 2 seasons, we got 8 wins, 14 losses and 14th spot. Every person and their dog know that Freo need quality forwards and we got them in Hogan and Lobb.

So we went from having the worst forward line in the AFL, Possibly in the history of the AFL, to a semi decent forward set up.

However, Some neutrals not only predicted us to go backwards, but to finish I the bottom 4. Some of them predicted us to finish in the bottom 2 or with the wooden spoon.

Oh and heres another thing. So many people have moaned about the Home Ground Advantage. Freo have 12 home games in which Freo should win at least 6, More than enough to avoid the spoon if Carlton repeat that 2-20 season effort again.


I called it Bigfooty Bastardization.

I seriously asked this question.... How on earth are Freo tipped or the Wooden spoon by some people?
I think people on the mainboard overrate Neale (like many on here did), I can understand non-Freo people thinking we are going to slide. There are still so many unknowns with us but every good team was an unknown at some point, it feels like this year might be the start of something. I thought a similar thing the year we got Hilly and like 6 guys from that draft ended up in the 2013 side.
 

Docker82

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Our midfield isn’t great. No two ways around it.

We could finish anywhere between 7th and 17th depending on how many more injuries we get in the middle. I think our depth is reasonably decent elsewhere tbh.
 

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Docker82

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Because we lost one experienced guy from it last season and added two?
I might be in the minority but I thought our midfield was close to our biggest weakness last year. The entry into the forward line at times was so bad we could’ve had Tony Lockett, Gary Ablett Senior, Buddy Franklin, Eddie Betts, Maurice Rioli in our forward line and we’d still suck.

Quite frankly too Neale’s defensive game is a disgrace for a guy who’s supposed to be a starting AFL mid but his clearance work will be missed. His skill was underrated as well imo.

Fyfe is perhaps our only A Grade mid at the peak of his powers. We should be finishing around 10th but if Fyfe and Mundy (and Blakely) are injured at the same time for any decent period it’ll get ugly quite quickly imo.

The other thing is when we were winning and our midfield was on top last year Taberner, Cox, even Ballantyne and McCarthy actually looked decent forwards. Talent wise Hogan is on a different level to these guys but I’m not sure Lobb is tbh. If our midfield is struggling we’ll struggle like last season. Unfortunately I fear that could be more often but we’ll be in a position to make better use if forward fifty entries so it might balance out.
 

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I might be in the minority but I thought our midfield was close to our biggest weakness last year. The entry into the forward line at times was so bad we could’ve had Tony Lockett, Gary Ablett Senior, Buddy Franklin, Eddie Betts, Maurice Rioli in our forward line and we’d still suck.

Quite frankly too Neale’s defensive game is a disgrace for a guy who’s supposed to be a starting AFL mid but his clearance work will be missed. His skill was underrated as well imo.

Fyfe is perhaps our only A Grade mid at the peak of his powers. We should be finishing around 10th but if Fyfe and Mundy (and Blakely) are injured at the same time for any decent period it’ll get ugly quite quickly imo.

The other thing is when we were winning and our midfield was on top last year Taberner, Cox, even Ballantyne and McCarthy actually looked decent forwards. Talent wise Hogan is on a different level to these guys but I’m not sure Lobb is tbh. If our midfield is struggling we’ll struggle like last season. Unfortunately I fear that could be more often but we’ll be in a position to make better use if forward fifty entries so it might balance out.
Sometimes the unheralded midfielders borderline best 22 guys, the low profile sort, can pad out 1-2 stars and make it work. I’m pretty sure we’ll find a set of solid B graders out of Banfield, Tucker, Conca or Colyer. Would be good to find A graders out of Brayshaw, Cerra, North, Giro, Crowden. I’m sure we’ve found two, but we won’t see that come to fruition for 2-3 years IMO. We’ve got Fyfe, Mundy, E.Langdon, B.Hill. Injury to Blakeley is disappointing, but he’s only 22. He’ll re-establish himself in time. It’s not an ACL or tib/fib. Then we have a few long shots in S.Hill and H.Bennell who could be real surprise packets if they get their bodies right. Both potentially ready early season. As long as Sandilands, Fyfe and Mundy are fit. There is nothing intimidating about the North midfield.
 

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Because we lost one experienced guy from it last season and added two?
Our growth in the middle isnt coming from the experienced guys we got this year, they are foot soldiers. We should be banking on our high draft picks kicking on, thats why Connor going down sucks so much.
 

arsesmart

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The impact a competitive ruck has on the midfield is massive. Peak synchronicity between Sandilands and Fyfe would be enough to win the midfield battle in most games. It just becomes a little fragile when that's all you're relying on.

Last year once Sandilands went down all there was to fill the void was a bunch of newbies at varying degrees of underdoneness. Whatever the state of Sandi's fitness/form, natural progression suggests Freo'll be much better equipped to cope ruckwise across the season.
 
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Maybe misremembering but I feel like the bulldogs lost a lot of experienced midfield talent just before all their started to gel. They did get a new coach but Lyon probably still has a better W/L than Beveridge.

2014/2015 offseason (after a season with 7 wins) they lost Cooney, Griffen and Higgins and Liberatore did his knee before the season, but a number of their 2nd to 5th year players start clicking and several "maligned veterans" stop going through the motions and get back into career best form.
 

wayToGo_

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I might be in the minority but I thought our midfield was close to our biggest weakness last year. The entry into the forward line at times was so bad we could’ve had Tony Lockett, Gary Ablett Senior, Buddy Franklin, Eddie Betts, Maurice Rioli in our forward line and we’d still suck.
Our midfield wasn't anywhere close to as bad as our forward line was last season (and the past 3 seasons - probably longer). I think people forget that when either the defence or forward line isn't doing their job then the midfield have to carry the extra load. We had the worst tackles inside 50 of any team and bottom 4 for marks i50. That puts immense pressure on our mids (and our defenders) to pick up the slack the other way. No wonder their delivery inside 50 was awful at times, they were exhausted (which is backed up by how much our mids ran compared to their opponents). They not only had to help out the defence, they then had to carry the ball the entire way down the field because our half forwards were woeful at providing options forward of centre - intercepts against our half forwards would have been the highest of all clubs.

Some will point to our i50 supply being bottom 4 as well but our mids' i50 numbers were fine when compared to other teams' mids. However our i50s by forwards would be clear 18th based on my rough analysis of the stats. Your forward line has to be responsible for more than just kicking goals at the end of the chain. The good teams all have really good half back lines that rack up massive intercept numbers - the opposite seems to also be true that the worst teams tend to have horrible half forward lines that can't compete against a half decent defence.

I'm not down playing the loss of Neale as significant but for a guy that racked up so many possessions his impact on games was a fair way behind the absolute best mids. Him holding the most broken tackles record is probably also a sign that we aren't losing that much in the other direction either. We still have 3 A grade mids fit and available in Fyfe, Mundy and Walters. All three are far more damaging per disposal than Neale is/was, as too would SHill, Bennell and BHill when fully fit and in form. I think Blakely is going to be a great ball winner for us but like Neale he's unlikely to be as damaging per disposal as these other guys (at least not in the short term). The trick for us is making sure the other mids we bring in, to support Fyfe et al, are highly accountable as sans Neale (and Blakely unavailable) we are probably going to win far less in and under ball. I think Conca, Brayshaw and Banfield are all capable of providing that accountability - all three are willing to put their bodies on the line, are defence first minded and know how to tackle. Cerra could be as damaging but only in spurts, and I'm not judging Colyer until I've seen more but he will at least inject pace and has good rapport with Fyfe. That seems like plenty to work with imo, and hopefully unlike last season when our mids are running down field and look up they'll see more options than a double teamed 19yo Cox, or Walters surrounded by guys 15cm taller than him.

Not expecting miracles straight away but I strongly believe having structure and quality forward of centre will take pressure off our midfielders (and hopefully our defenders as well). I think we started to see what difference a half decent (skilled - eg Ryan and Wilson) defence makes in reducing turnovers in our back half. If we can do the same forward of centre then we'll score a lot more and all the players (especially our mids) won't feel like they are working their butts off just for us to just turn it over and have it come back with interest (suspect Neale was frustrated with this).
 

sherrif

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Our midfield wasn't anywhere close to as bad as our forward line was last season (and the past 3 seasons - probably longer). I think people forget that when either the defence or forward line isn't doing their job then the midfield have to carry the extra load. We had the worst tackles inside 50 of any team and bottom 4 for marks i50. That puts immense pressure on our mids (and our defenders) to pick up the slack the other way. No wonder their delivery inside 50 was awful at times, they were exhausted (which is backed up by how much our mids ran compared to their opponents). They not only had to help out the defence, they then had to carry the ball the entire way down the field because our half forwards were woeful at providing options forward of centre - intercepts against our half forwards would have been the highest of all clubs.

Some will point to our i50 supply being bottom 4 as well but our mids' i50 numbers were fine when compared to other teams' mids. However our i50s by forwards would be clear 18th based on my rough analysis of the stats. Your forward line has to be responsible for more than just kicking goals at the end of the chain. The good teams all have really good half back lines that rack up massive intercept numbers - the opposite seems to also be true that the worst teams tend to have horrible half forward lines that can't compete against a half decent defence.

I'm not down playing the loss of Neale as significant but for a guy that racked up so many possessions his impact on games was a fair way behind the absolute best mids. Him holding the most broken tackles record is probably also a sign that we aren't losing that much in the other direction either. We still have 3 A grade mids fit and available in Fyfe, Mundy and Walters. All three are far more damaging per disposal than Neale is/was, as too would SHill, Bennell and BHill when fully fit and in form. I think Blakely is going to be a great ball winner for us but like Neale he's unlikely to be as damaging per disposal as these other guys (at least not in the short term). The trick for us is making sure the other mids we bring in, to support Fyfe et al, are highly accountable as sans Neale (and Blakely unavailable) we are probably going to win far less in and under ball. I think Conca, Brayshaw and Banfield are all capable of providing that accountability - all three are willing to put their bodies on the line, are defence first minded and know how to tackle. Cerra could be as damaging but only in spurts, and I'm not judging Colyer until I've seen more but he will at least inject pace and has good rapport with Fyfe. That seems like plenty to work with imo, and hopefully unlike last season when our mids are running down field and look up they'll see more options than a double teamed 19yo Cox, or Walters surrounded by guys 15cm taller than him.

Not expecting miracles straight away but I strongly believe having structure and quality forward of centre will take pressure off our midfielders (and hopefully our defenders as well). I think we started to see what difference a half decent (skilled - eg Ryan and Wilson) defence makes in reducing turnovers in our back half. If we can do the same forward of centre then we'll score a lot more and all the players (especially our mids) won't feel like they are working their butts off just for us to just turn it over and have it come back with interest (suspect Neale was frustrated with this).
Yep I agree. I think what our stats show the most is that our biggest weakness was our kick into the fifty and that I put done more to playing a five man forward line as much as anything. Last year we had so many players playing forward that relied on an exact kick to get a mark close to goal (eg Matera, McCarthy when playing as our key forward, Ballaz or Walters bar a great specky) This year hopefully a decent kick (kicks where players can get to an aerial ball, but not lace out kicks to leads) in the vacinity of Lobb, Hogan, Tabs or Cox will increase our marks inside fifty and also crumbing goal opportunities. Last year decent kicks where either spoiled or intercepted by opposition defence the majority of of the time. They have definitely been instructed to go longer in training and are training with a one on one structure across the ground so hopefully that is a sign of things to come in the season proper.

As far as increasing our kicking efficiency into the forward fifty then Brett Bewley might yet be a major key. He could potentially help improve our forward fifty delivery almost instantly in the same way Ryan almost immediately improved our kicking from defence when he came into the team.
 

theGav56

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If Harley plays a full season, Ballaz plays well, along with Walters, the Hill brothers, Sandilands and our new recruits, we should have a better year. Apparently pre season has been much better. Let’s see it on the field.
That kind of statement is a truism for most teams. If your best players play their best, and if the newbies step up....then you're probably defying gravity.
 

Docker82

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Our midfield wasn't anywhere close to as bad as our forward line was last season (and the past 3 seasons - probably longer). I think people forget that when either the defence or forward line isn't doing their job then the midfield have to carry the extra load. We had the worst tackles inside 50 of any team and bottom 4 for marks i50. That puts immense pressure on our mids (and our defenders) to pick up the slack the other way. No wonder their delivery inside 50 was awful at times, they were exhausted (which is backed up by how much our mids ran compared to their opponents). They not only had to help out the defence, they then had to carry the ball the entire way down the field because our half forwards were woeful at providing options forward of centre - intercepts against our half forwards would have been the highest of all clubs.

Some will point to our i50 supply being bottom 4 as well but our mids' i50 numbers were fine when compared to other teams' mids. However our i50s by forwards would be clear 18th based on my rough analysis of the stats. Your forward line has to be responsible for more than just kicking goals at the end of the chain. The good teams all have really good half back lines that rack up massive intercept numbers - the opposite seems to also be true that the worst teams tend to have horrible half forward lines that can't compete against a half decent defence.

I'm not down playing the loss of Neale as significant but for a guy that racked up so many possessions his impact on games was a fair way behind the absolute best mids. Him holding the most broken tackles record is probably also a sign that we aren't losing that much in the other direction either. We still have 3 A grade mids fit and available in Fyfe, Mundy and Walters. All three are far more damaging per disposal than Neale is/was, as too would SHill, Bennell and BHill when fully fit and in form. I think Blakely is going to be a great ball winner for us but like Neale he's unlikely to be as damaging per disposal as these other guys (at least not in the short term). The trick for us is making sure the other mids we bring in, to support Fyfe et al, are highly accountable as sans Neale (and Blakely unavailable) we are probably going to win far less in and under ball. I think Conca, Brayshaw and Banfield are all capable of providing that accountability - all three are willing to put their bodies on the line, are defence first minded and know how to tackle. Cerra could be as damaging but only in spurts, and I'm not judging Colyer until I've seen more but he will at least inject pace and has good rapport with Fyfe. That seems like plenty to work with imo, and hopefully unlike last season when our mids are running down field and look up they'll see more options than a double teamed 19yo Cox, or Walters surrounded by guys 15cm taller than him.

Not expecting miracles straight away but I strongly believe having structure and quality forward of centre will take pressure off our midfielders (and hopefully our defenders as well). I think we started to see what difference a half decent (skilled - eg Ryan and Wilson) defence makes in reducing turnovers in our back half. If we can do the same forward of centre then we'll score a lot more and all the players (especially our mids) won't feel like they are working their butts off just for us to just turn it over and have it come back with interest (suspect Neale was frustrated with this).
It’s rather funny. Around the end of the season I seem to remember lots of people having my opinion (that our midfield was shite). Now no one does other than those on the Main Board, many of which are trolls tbh.

I think all the issues you’ve highlighted exist btw but I also think I saw mids failing to lower their eyes and find good options. I remember watching McCarthy all game one game last year - I thought he made good leads but he was always ignored for outnumbers. Also our tackling was shite in general last year bar a minority of players I’d barely need a second hand to count.
 

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It’s rather funny. Around the end of the season I seem to remember lots of people having my opinion (that our midfield was shite). Now no one does other than those clearly trolling on the Main Board.
I am sure like with most things you'll have people blaming the forwards and others blaming the mids - in truth I suspect most of us agree it is a bit of both. I think you'll find a lot of those that blame the mids primarily don't go to the games live and get to see how the whole team moves and instead rely on what they see on TV which is a zoomed in shot of someone kicking inside 50 and then panning to the ball not hitting a target. But the reality was (at least from the games I watched live - and I often moved to lvl 5 from my seat on lvl 3 just to get a broader view) that our forward line was terrible at keeping structure and timing their leads so the mids often had to try and pick the least worst of a bunch of bad options. I would have hated to be a mid with ball in hand running toward our forward line because my only option would be to pin point a pass to the advantage of a double or triple teamed forward whilst I'm running at full tilt before the guy coming up behind me nails me. Piece of cake huh? :)

What we really want is guys like Hogan, McCarthy, Bennell, Walters, even Cox marking just outside 50 (ie as half forwards) so they then have the time (even if they just wheel round) and space to find a leading forward inside 50 (or hand it off to a mid/forward running past to run it in). The probability of successfully executing the two scenarios above is vastly different (but we'll need to be able to execute both). Having better forward structure and timing will make both scenarios far easier and therefore more realistic than expecting our mids to be super human with their i50 entries whilst on the run.
 
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