2019 Season Review

wayToGo_

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 24, 2015
9,564
28,461
AFL Club
Fremantle
At the beginning of the year I prepared a relatively detailed Season Preview: https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/fremantle-2019-season-preview.1210142/ - mainly because there were so many finger nail deep ones out there that said very little (and annoyed the **** out of me).

I decided to go back and read what I wrote to compare it to how our season turned out. Most of it worked out great for the first half of the season but the rest of the season not so much :( Below I have done a Season Review in the context of the main areas I established in that Season Preview that I felt we needed to improve in 2019 to be more competitive.

Pressure Around the Ball

What went right?


Our midfield accountability was considerably improved over last year. As Fyfe mentioned in his Brownlow speech, guys like Tucker and Conca made a big difference making sure we weren't left exposed. Tucker in particular had a sensational season and I was somewhat confused why we didn't use him in the middle as often in the second half of the season? His defensive work rate was almost always the highest across the team.

What went wrong?

Consistency - In games against top sides our pressure was often first class but we rarely saw it against sides rated below us. We were bottom 4 for tackles last season and were still bottom 4 in 2019. It's not a critical stat as pressure that causes turnovers is more important but we should be aiming to lay more tackles as we are strong at stoppages.

Winning the Contested Ball

What went right?


We lost one of the best contested ball winners (Neale - who was 4th in the AFL for contested possessions this year) and Blakely was either injured or not played in the middle and we still went from 16th in 2018 to 2nd overall in 2019 for contested possessions. Nat Fyfe assuming full beast mode, topping the league with 17.6 contested possessions per game helped but more importantly all our players (across the ground) improved their ball winning ability.

What went wrong?

We started strong with clearances (particularly in the centre) thanks mainly to Fyfe, Mundy and Walters all being in great form. But we dropped off a bit and ended up in the middle of the pack. The effectiveness of our clearances also took a bit of a hammering as the year progressed.

Intercepts, Intercepts and More Intercepts

What went right?


Fremantle were 16th for intercept possessions in 2018 and improved considerably to be top 4 in 2019 (Richmond has been top 3 for the past 3 seasons). It's a testament to the better pressure around the ball mentioned earlier and also to Luke Ryan being the second best interceptor (behind McGovern) in the AFL.

What went wrong?

Turnovers - the hard work done pressuring to cause intercepts is completely undone if you then turn it over down field. We were second worst for turnovers and our intercept-turnover differential average was -2. Meaning with turned over the ball two more times than we intercepted it on average each game. It remains our #1 problem and if resolved could have us climbing up the ladder quickly.

Losing Alex Pearce to injury also had a big impact as Hamling went from a top 4 interceptor in the first half of the year to having to focus on the opposition's best forward and having his intercept numbers plummet.

Attacking From Kick-Ins

What went right?


A few times we went the length of the field and scored from kick-ins. My memory is vague but I'm not sure we ever did that in 2017 or 2018. Our run along the wings assisted mostly by BHill and Langdon helped a lot, so losing them might make things more difficult transitioning the ball quickly unless others step up in their absence.

What went wrong?

Wilson was a shadow of his former self. Ryan simply had too great a workload with a sub par Wilson alongside him. Crossing fingers it was 'newborn at home' related and we'll get Wilson's attacking flair back in 2020. Later in the year we lost confidence and resorted to the short kick into the pocket for kick-ins. We always looked better when we backed ourselves in to keep the ball moving forward. No tall forwards down the line probably didn't help our confidence.

Less Borrowing from the Midfield

What went right?


Our first choice mids in Fyfe, Walters and Mundy played plenty there. Tucker had a great season and looked great when played inside. Brayshaw took another step and showed he could also impact playing from half forward.

What went wrong?

Cerra and Blakely still played predominantly back and had pretty ordinary seasons - we need other options at half back so we can play them in the midfield. We needed Walter's class up forward more often and to help him get through the season playing as an inside mid. I'm not privy to all the details (niggles etc) but was often confused by some of our midfield setups late in the season.

Inside 50 Pressure and Tackles

What went right?


Not a lot. We were improved for almost half a season.

What went wrong?

We've been the worst team for tackles inside 50 for the past 3 seasons. Around the half way point of 2019 we were 9th but dropped to dead last by round 23. Our discipline and pressure forward of the ball has been abysmal. After reducing turnovers it would have to come in at #2 most important issues to resolve for 2020. A more effective forward line would go a long way to resolving both (coaching will play an ever bigger role than personnel imo).

More Marks Inside 50

What went right?


In the first half of the season we were up to 4th for marks inside 50. It was a vast improvement from 2017 (dead last) and bottom 5 in 2018. Taberner in the top 10 (by average). Whilst Hogan, McCarthy, Matera, Cox, Walters, Lobb and Fyfe all in the top 100 players (by average - averaging between 0.9 and 2.33 i50 marks per game).

What went wrong?

Injuries to our tall forwards crippled us and we free fell to bottom 5 for marks inside 50.

Increasing Supply and Efficiency 50

What went right?


Supply - bottom in 2016, 3rd bottom in 2017 & 2018, we improved to 11th in 2019 for inside 50s. Similar to other stats our first half of the season was far better than the second half.

What went wrong?

Efficiency - disappointingly our efficiency i50 got worse between 2018 and 2019. We started strong, moving up to 6th for the first third of the season but soon became experts at turning over the ball i50 for the remainder of the season.

Overall

What went right?


Getting back to being a contested ball winning team may not seem great in isolation but it is a major positive for the future. We had two of the three parts of the ground vastly improved in 2019 (back line and midfield obviously). We showed our ceiling is capable of beating the best teams which is a good sign.

What went wrong?

Our forward line was still woeful in 2019. Gold Coast would be the only team that could challenge us for worst forward line in the AFL. A lack of cohesion combined with key (forward) injuries crippled us. They were poor at coordinating running patterns and spreading to provide targets, locking the ball in when it hit the ground, getting front and centre of marking contests, lowering the eyes, and pretty much everything else. In our best games our forward line was at least semi-functional - in our worst games it was almost always a complete mess and a liability to the point the midfield were better off kicking the goals as well.

Where To Now?

A new CEO, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches, List Manager and revamps across all football departments (eg S&C) I see more as an opportunity to build something better (than we had) around a decent young playing group. We just need to pick well and create a culture on and off the field where everyone (on and off field) is working toward a common goal and everyone (no passengers) has confidence in each other to stay focussed until that common goal is achieved. People are panicking because trade period is fast approaching and nothing has been announced yet but I'd be confident behind closed doors there is plenty going on and I'd rather we set ourselves up for the next decade than rush a decision only to have to fix it later. I'm confident that Bell with David Walls has us prepared for the upcoming trade and draft period.

Our list really isn't too bad. Within the playing group we have some great evolving leaders, starting with Fyfe (who gets better all the time), with Mundy, Walters, Pearce, Hamling, Hogan, Lobb, Brayshaw, Valente all showing good leadership/potential underneath. We've got the makings of a great spine with Hamling - Pearce - Darcy/Lobb - Hogan - Taberner. We just need to find a way to keep that spine out on the field (S&C team!).

Our back 6 when fit and healthy is one of the best in the league - the good news is it has still got plenty of room for improvement.

We probably need to add some more experience to the midfield unit (eg McIntosh/Acres) but we have a lot of youngsters who are improving year on year (Cerra will play midfield next year imo). The output on the outside by BHill and Langdon is going to be hard to replace but like we saw after losing Neale, it can reduce the reliance on individuals and be a catalyst for others to step up. I think we have a lot of players capable of playing on the wing (SHill, Conca, Tucker, Bewley, Colyer, Giro, Brayshaw, North, Wilson, Carter, Duman, Hughes, Sturt, Henry*) and I will not be surprised if we add a couple more via the draft.

We need to add more speed in our forward line. I really hope Sturt and Henry get experience pumped into them in 2020. Matera's improvement makes him a lock for the moment imo. And I'm expecting Switkowski to provide far more than defensive pressure next season. I really hope we finally have some luck go our way and Hogan is 100% next season. If he is, it would transform our forward line into a functional unit imo. Our other tall forwards staying uninjured would help a lot as well.

We should all be excited by our NGA. Ours might not have the big in and under ball winners but it is stock full of speed, skills and class - and that's certainly a massive gap we have on our list currently.

We should also be excited about our potential draft hand heading into this year's draft. We will likely pick up three top 12ish talents (inc. Henry) plus probably add a couple of promising rookies via our NGA on top. In our pick range there should be quite a few prospects from Vic Country, SA and WA - reducing the future go home factor. Some of them have experienced senior footy already - and more would be ok to play Rd 1.

The first half of the season was great. The second half was woeful. Overall I think it was a fair bit better than 2018 (as justified by the better percentage and not having lots of massive losses) but for the fourth season in a row we crumbled in the second half of the year. Hence I think it was the right decision to press reset on the off field personnel. It could all go pear shaped but continuing to do the same thing expecting different results would be insanity. I'm glad we pulled the trigger a year earlier than most predicted.

Freo 2020 - We. Live. In. Hope.
 

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dropbear101

All Australian
Sep 27, 2018
746
1,159
AFL Club
Fremantle
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brisbane lions
Nice post.
Interesting the forward pressure stat, mark inside fifty stats and joel hamlings reduced intercept marketing and how critical they were to our success in the first half of the year.
 

Shadow Man

Premiership Player
Dec 30, 2007
4,277
3,783
Southside!
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
East Fremantle
At the beginning of the year I prepared a relatively detailed Season Preview: https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/fremantle-2019-season-preview.1210142/ - mainly because there were so many finger nail deep ones out there that said very little (and annoyed the **** out of me).

I decided to go back and read what I wrote to compare it to how our season turned out. Most of it worked out great for the first half of the season but the rest of the season not so much :( Below I have done a Season Review in the context of the main areas I established in that Season Preview that I felt we needed to improve in 2019 to be more competitive.

Pressure Around the Ball

What went right?


Our midfield accountability was considerably improved over last year. As Fyfe mentioned in his Brownlow speech, guys like Tucker and Conca made a big difference making sure we weren't left exposed. Tucker in particular had a sensational season and I was somewhat confused why we didn't use him in the middle as often in the second half of the season? His defensive work rate was almost always the highest across the team.

What went wrong?

Consistency - In games against top sides our pressure was often first class but we rarely saw it against sides rated below us. We were bottom 4 for tackles last season and were still bottom 4 in 2019. It's not a critical stat as pressure that causes turnovers is more important but we should be aiming to lay more tackles as we are strong at stoppages.

Winning the Contested Ball

What went right?


We lost one of the best contested ball winners (Neale - who was 4th in the AFL for contested possessions this year) and Blakely was either injured or not played in the middle and we still went from 16th in 2018 to 2nd overall in 2019 for contested possessions. Nat Fyfe assuming full beast mode, topping the league with 17.6 contested possessions per game helped but more importantly all our players (across the ground) improved their ball winning ability.

What went wrong?

We started strong with clearances (particularly in the centre) thanks mainly to Fyfe, Mundy and Walters all being in great form. But we dropped off a bit and ended up in the middle of the pack. The effectiveness of our clearances also took a bit of a hammering as the year progressed.

Intercepts, Intercepts and More Intercepts

What went right?


Fremantle were 16th for intercept possessions in 2018 and improved considerably to be top 4 in 2019 (Richmond has been top 3 for the past 3 seasons). It's a testament to the better pressure around the ball mentioned earlier and also to Luke Ryan being the second best interceptor (behind McGovern) in the AFL.

What went wrong?

Turnovers - the hard work done pressuring to cause intercepts is completely undone if you then turn it over down field. We were second worst for turnovers and our intercept-turnover differential average was -2. Meaning with turned over the ball two more times than we intercepted it on average each game. It remains our #1 problem and if resolved could have us climbing up the ladder quickly.

Losing Alex Pearce to injury also had a big impact as Hamling went from a top 4 interceptor in the first half of the year to having to focus on the opposition's best forward and having his intercept numbers plummet.

Attacking From Kick-Ins

What went right?


A few times we went the length of the field and scored from kick-ins. My memory is vague but I'm not sure we ever did that in 2017 or 2018. Our run along the wings assisted mostly by BHill and Langdon helped a lot, so losing them might make things more difficult transitioning the ball quickly unless others step up in their absence.

What went wrong?

Wilson was a shadow of his former self. Ryan simply had too great a workload with a sub par Wilson alongside him. Crossing fingers it was 'newborn at home' related and we'll get Wilson's attacking flair back in 2020. Later in the year we lost confidence and resorted to the short kick into the pocket for kick-ins. We always looked better when we backed ourselves in to keep the ball moving forward. No tall forwards down the line probably didn't help our confidence.

Less Borrowing from the Midfield

What went right?


Our first choice mids in Fyfe, Walters and Mundy played plenty there. Tucker had a great season and looked great when played inside. Brayshaw took another step and showed he could also impact playing from half forward.

What went wrong?

Cerra and Blakely still played predominantly back and had pretty ordinary seasons - we need other options at half back so we can play them in the midfield. We needed Walter's class up forward more often and to help him get through the season playing as an inside mid. I'm not privy to all the details (niggles etc) but was often confused by some of our midfield setups late in the season.

Inside 50 Pressure and Tackles

What went right?


Not a lot. We were improved for almost half a season.

What went wrong?

We've been the worst team for tackles inside 50 for the past 3 seasons. Around the half way point of 2019 we were 9th but dropped to dead last by round 23. Our discipline and pressure forward of the ball has been abysmal. After reducing turnovers it would have to come in at #2 most important issues to resolve for 2020. A more effective forward line would go a long way to resolving both (coaching will play an ever bigger role than personnel imo).

More Marks Inside 50

What went right?


In the first half of the season we were up to 4th for marks inside 50. It was a vast improvement from 2017 (dead last) and bottom 5 in 2018. Taberner in the top 10 (by average). Whilst Hogan, McCarthy, Matera, Cox, Walters, Lobb and Fyfe all in the top 100 players (by average - averaging between 0.9 and 2.33 i50 marks per game).

What went wrong?

Injuries to our tall forwards crippled us and we free fell to bottom 5 for marks inside 50.

Increasing Supply and Efficiency 50

What went right?


Supply - bottom in 2016, 3rd bottom in 2017 & 2018, we improved to 11th in 2019 for inside 50s. Similar to other stats our first half of the season was far better than the second half.

What went wrong?

Efficiency - disappointingly our efficiency i50 got worse between 2018 and 2019. We started strong, moving up to 6th for the first third of the season but soon became experts at turning over the ball i50 for the remainder of the season.

Overall

What went right?


Getting back to being a contested ball winning team may not seem great in isolation but it is a major positive for the future. We had two of the three parts of the ground vastly improved in 2019 (back line and midfield obviously). We showed our ceiling is capable of beating the best teams which is a good sign.

What went wrong?

Our forward line was still woeful in 2019. Gold Coast would be the only team that could challenge us for worst forward line in the AFL. A lack of cohesion combined with key (forward) injuries crippled us. They were poor at coordinating running patterns and spreading to provide targets, locking the ball in when it hit the ground, getting front and centre of marking contests, lowering the eyes, and pretty much everything else. In our best games our forward line was at least semi-functional - in our worst games it was almost always a complete mess and a liability to the point the midfield were better off kicking the goals as well.

Where To Now?

A new CEO, Head Coach, Assistant Coaches, List Manager and revamps across all football departments (eg S&C) I see more as an opportunity to build something better (than we had) around a decent young playing group. We just need to pick well and create a culture on and off the field where everyone (on and off field) is working toward a common goal and everyone (no passengers) has confidence in each other to stay focussed until that common goal is achieved. People are panicking because trade period is fast approaching and nothing has been announced yet but I'd be confident behind closed doors there is plenty going on and I'd rather we set ourselves up for the next decade than rush a decision only to have to fix it later. I'm confident that Bell with David Walls has us prepared for the upcoming trade and draft period.

Our list really isn't too bad. Within the playing group we have some great evolving leaders, starting with Fyfe (who gets better all the time), with Mundy, Walters, Pearce, Hamling, Hogan, Lobb, Brayshaw, Valente all showing good leadership/potential underneath. We've got the makings of a great spine with Hamling - Pearce - Darcy/Lobb - Hogan - Taberner. We just need to find a way to keep that spine out on the field (S&C team!).

Our back 6 when fit and healthy is one of the best in the league - the good news is it has still got plenty of room for improvement.

We probably need to add some more experience to the midfield unit (eg McIntosh/Acres) but we have a lot of youngsters who are improving year on year (Cerra will play midfield next year imo). The output on the outside by BHill and Langdon is going to be hard to replace but like we saw after losing Neale, it can reduce the reliance on individuals and be a catalyst for others to step up. I think we have a lot of players capable of playing on the wing (SHill, Conca, Tucker, Bewley, Colyer, Giro, Brayshaw, North, Wilson, Carter, Duman, Hughes, Sturt, Henry*) and I will not be surprised if we add a couple more via the draft.

We need to add more speed in our forward line. I really hope Sturt and Henry get experience pumped into them in 2020. Matera's improvement makes him a lock for the moment imo. And I'm expecting Switkowski to provide far more than defensive pressure next season. I really hope we finally have some luck go our way and Hogan is 100% next season. If he is, it would transform our forward line into a functional unit imo. Our other tall forwards staying uninjured would help a lot as well.

We should all be excited by our NGA. Ours might not have the big in and under ball winners but it is stock full of speed, skills and class - and that's certainly a massive gap we have on our list currently.

We should also be excited about our potential draft hand heading into this year's draft. We will likely pick up three top 12ish talents (inc. Henry) plus probably add a couple of promising rookies via our NGA on top. In our pick range there should be quite a few prospects from Vic Country, SA and WA - reducing the future go home factor. Some of them have experienced senior footy already - and more would be ok to play Rd 1.

The first half of the season was great. The second half was woeful. Overall I think it was a fair bit better than 2018 (as justified by the better percentage and not having lots of massive losses) but for the fourth season in a row we crumbled in the second half of the year. Hence I think it was the right decision to press reset on the off field personnel. It could all go pear shaped but continuing to do the same thing expecting different results would be insanity. I'm glad we pulled the trigger a year earlier than most predicted.

Freo 2020 - We. Live. In. Hope.
Really well done.
 

dropbear101

All Australian
Sep 27, 2018
746
1,159
AFL Club
Fremantle
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brisbane lions
Is “intercept marketing” when you stop someone putting junk mail in your letterbox?
nah im a physics and economics student and im doing a marketing assignment at the moments so i think i just accidentaly wrote marketing rather than marking.
 

mightymouse75

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 26, 2011
5,944
5,526
AFL Club
Fremantle
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Wimbledon AFC
The most alarming for me was looking at the beacon award potentials. We did not blood any young stars.. all crabs.
Ross Lyons legacy
 

wayToGo_

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 24, 2015
9,564
28,461
AFL Club
Fremantle
The most alarming for me was looking at the beacon award potentials. We did not blood any young stars.. all crabs.
Ross Lyons legacy
Not sure that's entirely fair. We debuted so many in the past two years and have pumped games into them (we had more than double the amount of games for debutants as any other club last year from memory). Sturt and Valente having injury issues was the reason they were never serious debut contenders (think both might have been otherwise - and will debut next year). Carter needed time to get used to senior football (and he got a debut in the end - thought the timing was about right given his journey). Bewley had an injury as well which delayed his debut - but he got a bunch of games and will get more. Shultz debuted early and didn't really do enough to hold his spot (I just don't see what he offers personally - doubtful he'll make it - hope I'm wrong).
 

mightymouse75

Norm Smith Medallist
Apr 26, 2011
5,944
5,526
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Wimbledon AFC
Not sure that's entirely fair. We debuted so many in the past two years and have pumped games into them (we had more than double the amount of games for debutants as any other club last year from memory). Sturt and Valente having injury issues was the reason they were never serious debut contenders (think both might have been otherwise - and will debut next year). Carter needed time to get used to senior football (and he got a debut in the end - thought the timing was about right given his journey). Bewley had an injury as well which delayed his debut - but he got a bunch of games and will get more. Shultz debuted early and didn't really do enough to hold his spot (I just don't see what he offers personally - doubtful he'll make it - hope I'm wrong).
Yeah. Ok. I will take some deep breaths & relax. I am happy this year is over though.
 

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