Analysis 2020 List, Game Plan and Best 22?

S120

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Dawson is a great piece for any team but don't really see him being an AA level player. Especially when the AA team ignore Sydney defenders.
I get your hesitance, but his trajectory is really positive. He's yet to play 30 games but he's already influential in just about any given game. Now that will be curtailed after a while if it continues, the opposition will start targetting him. But his skillset and attributes are conducive to success in multiple positions and I really think he has the potential to make an AA squad or two. Consistent AA 22 selections may be a stretch, I agree. But if he gets even fitter this preseason (and he's off to a good start) he could make another good leap in 2020.
 

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mtooler

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My post draft best 22:

B: Rampe Brand Mills
HB: Dawson Allir Lloyd
C: Blakey Parker Taylor
HF: Heeney Franklin Reid
F: Papely Sinclair Gray
R: Naismith Kennedy Rowbottom
INT: Hayward, Mccartin, Hewett, Florent

I cant squeeze Cunningham or Gould in. This would be an easier task if we knew how many talls we'd start.
 

BloodySwan

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I’m just keeping everything crossed that Heeney has a full pre-season. And plays out of the goal square all year.
He's wasted in the goal square. His best games are when he plays as a high half forward. Brings others into the game but can still snag 2-3 of his own.

The only player I want locked to the goal square is McCartin
 

caesar88

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He's wasted in the goal square. His best games are when he plays as a high half forward. Brings others into the game but can still snag 2-3 of his own.

The only player I want locked to the goal square is McCartin
Disagree, I think we’ve looked best when we’ve had a marking target as close to goal as possible. There is no better marking target than Heeney in our side. He’s our best one on one player by a country mile. The closer he is to goal, the better chance we have to maximise that strength of his.
 

Arwib

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Thinking a bit about Stephens and Gould and what they tell us about the gameplan. Most specifically, that we're committing to a move away from winning the coalface at all costs.

As we probably all know, the Swans have actually been really weak in clearances, inside 50s, and contested footy, we've been getting killed by teams exiting stoppages and contested situations too easily and we're just not an inside midfield team any more. The young brigade is much more running and outside focused than the previous team.

In 2018-19 the style around the ball started getting noticeably different, they were visibly working on quite a new game approach to suit the group they now have - we've seen guys like Florent, Hayward and Papley (and formerly Jones) tasked with more midfield duties and getting more clearances. It's a faster, skinnier, far less inside-dominant midfield group than the earlier era. I don't think it's a stretch to say whatever mix we use involving Florent, Rowbottom, Papley, Hayward, Gray, LTaylor, Stephens, Bell, etc, won't win as much hard ball and first use as Kennedy, Parker, Hannebery, etc. However, they can potentially be a lot more threatening when they do win it or win it back, because of their speed and/or attacking instincts. We'll have a number of guys who can burst from a pack themselves in a way we maybe haven't seen in the past.

Hewett, Heeney and (for a little while) Kennedy can maintain a token inside presence, but the future midfield is just not going to be as tough and dominant as peak Kennedy/Parker/Jack/Hannebery. A big clue we're comfortable drawing back from inside midfield dominance is the recruitment of the burst midfield and running machine Dylan Stephens, without even bidding for inside bull Tom Green. As it turns out, they didn't even try to get the obvious Kennedy successor and go back to the coalface inside midfield brutality of 2012-16. Didn't even try!

Critical to this approach working, though, is still being able to defend and control stoppages in a more open setup. That means getting the "second layer" correct, the players a handball or a spillage away from the coalface, the second possession options 10 to 30 metres from the contest. These guys need to be more experienced and organised because they currently get exploited positionally the way they currently play. Many of them are not yet good at defending the "second layer" of those contests, they are often very obviously sucked into overly keen 2-v-1 tackle and corral attempts jut to open up an opponent midfielder to receive a handball and run off undefended. Experience and organisation needs to clamp down on that, but our young brigade's closing speed should make it a natural development.

Down back, I think Gould just signals an attempt to open up our ball use options. Rampe, Mills and Aliir intercept plenty and even while finishing 15th, we were the second best defensive side after Geelong in terms of points per inside 50. So we're fine actually defending, it was just the weight of entries that got them. Gould by all accounts reads the ball well, so can help on that side of the ball, getting his share of intercepts.

But what might change is how they move out of defence and how we take advantage of our intercepting power. Currently we transition with:

  • Lloyd's slow reliable shorter kicks (his workrate to always present as an option make this work)
  • Some pretty sketchy running rebound options like O'Riordan, Cunningham and formerly Jones
  • Bombs to the decent contested marking options of Reid, McCartin, Heeney, Franklin, Blakey, and Parker (we're actually a sneaky good contested marking side now - 3rd best in contested mark differential this year).
We just don't have guys who can quickly send it 65 metres, and we don't have guys whose threat of doing that also stretches the field and opens up shorter and especially diagonal targets. So fairly obviously, they targeted Gould for both decision-making and a thumping kick, and when he adjusts to the AFL he should help us escape defense more threateningly, which has flow-on effects downfield with the more attacking midfield group and contested marking targets. If he pans out to be the second coming of Shannon Hurn as advertised, he projects to become a guy who can both run it and kick it 60, and make good decisions in that ball use.
 
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Kiama Chris

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If we can find a key defender that keeps Lewis “2 yards behind” Melican in the NEAFL, then I reckon our best 22 is pretty competitive.

Here’s hoping Gould makes the grade.
It's a lot to ask of Gould to start life as a key defender. If Brand goes OK in the preseason training and games I reckon we play him as a lockdown on the big blokes. Play Gould as a flanker which should allow more freedom to Rampe and Mills to move into the midfield. Let him develop.
IMO back 7 is
Lloyd Brand Rampe
Gould Aliir Cunningham
IC from COR, Fox, Melican
Hope that would allow Mills and Dawson to play midfield.
 

The Gong

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Disagree, I think we’ve looked best when we’ve had a marking target as close to goal as possible. There is no better marking target than Heeney in our side. He’s our best one on one player by a country mile. The closer he is to goal, the better chance we have to maximise that strength of his.
It would be very poor coaching using someone like Heeney playing out the goal square. In no way is that a best use of his talents for the team. If you want someone playing a stay at home forward role who can clunk a few and kick some goals in close you'd be better off plonking Sinclair there.
 

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Kiama Chris

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It would be very poor coaching using someone like Heeney playing out the goal square. In no way is that a best use of his talents for the team. If you want someone playing a stay at home forward role who can clunk a few and kick some goals in close you'd be better off plonking Sinclair there.
Actually all the candidates for FF have pretty good tanks: Bud, Sinkers, Tommy, Sammy, Nick and Hayden. A lot of mobility there. Some big challenges ahead for the Match Committee.
 

The Gong

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Actually all the candidates for FF have pretty good tanks: Bud, Sinkers, Tommy, Sammy, Nick and Hayden. A lot of mobility there. Some big challenges ahead for the Match Committee.
It's the modern game. You don't really have a stay at home forward doing a 30 metre sprint out of the square any more. Everyone floods back and then floods forward.

If Buddy plays his contract out then I'd expect him to have to transform his game a bit and play a lot more inside the 50 metre arc though and could still be a very damaging target forward. I keep on thinking back to that game in Perth against West Coast Round 1 2018 when we isolated Buddy forward and he slotted 8 goals. It was a bit of a throwback tactic but worked beautifully.
 

caesar88

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It would be very poor coaching using someone like Heeney playing out the goal square. In no way is that a best use of his talents for the team. If you want someone playing a stay at home forward role who can clunk a few and kick some goals in close you'd be better off plonking Sinclair there.
His talents are his strength in one-on-ones, his overhead marking, his aerial capacity and his goal sense. All staples of a gun forward. But playing him closest to goal is not the best use of his talents? Alright...
 

The Gong

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His talents are his strength in one-on-ones, his overhead marking, his aerial capacity and his goal sense. All staples of a gun forward. But playing him closest to goal is not the best use of his talents? Alright...
He's one of our most talented players in general play but you want to park him in the square in a team that has one of the lowest number of inside 50 entries in the league? Alright...
 

caesar88

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It's the modern game. You don't really have a stay at home forward doing a 30 metre sprint out of the square any more. Everyone floods back and then floods forward.

If Buddy plays his contract out then I'd expect him to have to transform his game a bit and play a lot more inside the 50 metre arc though and could still be a very damaging target forward. I keep on thinking back to that game in Perth against West Coast Round 1 2018 when we isolated Buddy forward and he slotted 8 goals. It was a bit of a throwback tactic but worked beautifully.
Your first point undermines your last point though.
 

caesar88

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He's one of our most talented players in general play but you want to park him in the square in a team that has one of the lowest number of inside 50 entries in the league? Alright...
In general play he’s good but that’s not where his strengths are. His best and most important plays have been almost entirely inside 50. Sure he can do everything else up the ground, but he’s not a huge possession-getter, is solid without being amazing at winning a clearance, is not really elite with his kicking. Why do you want to make him a decent all-rounder when he could be a superstar forward?
 

The Gong

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Your first point undermines your last point though.
By isolating I don't mean inside the 50 metre arc. The rest of the team flooded back but Buddy stayed high and was taking grabs around the top of the centre square, not playing out of the goal square.

Edit: Read this post and I haven't explained myself well.

In the good old days the full forward would literally just stand in the goal square or very near it and didn't go anywhere until the ball was about to come inside 50 and they'd start doing some leading patterns. That's not acceptable in the modern game because there's large periods where that player isn't impacting the play and flooding is the norm.

Right now Buddy is covering a huge amount of ground but I'm expecting him to slow down and I think they'll use him more one out high inside our offensive 50 then push up to near the centre square or wing to take a possession.
 
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The Gong

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In general play he’s good but that’s not where his strengths are. His best and most important plays have been almost entirely inside 50. Sure he can do everything else up the ground, but he’s not a huge possession-getter, is solid without being amazing at winning a clearance, is not really elite with his kicking. Why do you want to make him a decent all-rounder when he could be a superstar forward?
He could be a superstar forward but not one playing out of the goal square. If he's going to stay a forward then he's a high half forward who can make things happen around the arc and bring his teammates into the game. I just don't think he'll impact anywhere near as much playing close to goal.
 

caesar88

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He could be a superstar forward but not one playing out of the goal square. If he's going to stay a forward then he's a high half forward who can make things happen around the arc and bring his teammates into the game. I just don't think he'll impact anywhere near as much playing close to goal.
But that last player between the arc and the goals is what I think we missed a lot this year, and when Heeney is that bloke we’re that much better for it I’ve noticed. He was giving quality GWS defenders a bath in the second derby this year playing closer to goal than he’d played all year. His four goals kept us in that game against superior opposition, and his two missed shots actually could’ve sealed us the win. It’s because even though we still lost the inside 50s by 12, the quality of those inside 50s were far better. They were kicks deep inside 50 and more than anyone, Heeney was on the end of them. When we have a tall parked deep, I feel our entries lack any purpose or target. When it’s Reid or Buddy or Sinclair we just bomb it in the sky which plays directly into the hands of intercepting defenders who killed us on the regular this year.

Heeney’s leading patterns and athletic ability on the ground and in the air make him far less susceptible to shit delivery and the inevitable chop off from an opposition defender IMO.
 

The Gong

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But that last player between the arc and the goals is what I think we missed a lot this year, and when Heeney is that bloke we’re that much better for it I’ve noticed. He was giving quality GWS defenders a bath in the second derby this year playing closer to goal than he’d played all year. His four goals kept us in that game against superior opposition, and his two missed shots actually could’ve sealed us the win. It’s because even though we still lost the inside 50s by 12, the quality of those inside 50s were far better. They were kicks deep inside 50 and more than anyone, Heeney was on the end of them. When we have a tall parked deep, I feel our entries lack any purpose or target. When it’s Reid or Buddy or Sinclair we just bomb it in the sky which plays directly into the hands of intercepting defenders who killed us on the regular this year.

Heeney’s leading patterns and athletic ability on the ground and in the air make him far less susceptible to shit delivery and the inevitable chop off from an opposition defender IMO.
If you look at the stats our ability to convert an inside 50 into a score is actually very good. The whole issue is that our inside 50s are so terribly low that the forward line doesn't get enough of it to post a decent score whether it's bombed in or not. Everyone was after Stevie J's head because we couldn't crack 100 points but I really don't think it was his fault.

Sure Heeney looked good closer to goal because he's pretty good wherever you want to park him. I still think he could be great as a permanent mid but if he's staying in this forward role then I think you need to use his talents in making sure that he's contributing to getting the ball inside 50 by playing that high half forward role. He can impact up field in transition but still be a target inside 50 when we do get the ball locked into the forward half.
 

BloodySwan

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Disagree, I think we’ve looked best when we’ve had a marking target as close to goal as possible. There is no better marking target than Heeney in our side. He’s our best one on one player by a country mile. The closer he is to goal, the better chance we have to maximise that strength of his.
McCartin & Reid are our best marks. Heeney is bloody good but could easily get out-muscled by a bigger body
 

Arwib

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McCartin & Reid are our best marks. Heeney is bloody good but could easily get out-muscled by a bigger body
Heeney is incredibly strong and effective overhead for his size, but for that he needs a mismatch (ie, a guy his size) which he won't find near the goalsquare.
As far as his marks go, we want him up the wing as a bailout target, or floating forward and bobbing up in a crowded forwardline where people are worried about defending the real talls.
 

TheMase

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Both Heeney and Hayward developed the yips when kicking for goal last year. I hope they both sort that out during the preseason.
I think you could say that of Hayward who kicked 12.16 (compared to 28.18 and 22.13 in prior seasons).

Heeney however kicked 26.15 which was his best % accuracy since his second season where he kicked 28.15 at 65% (from two extra games).

He had a game or two with the yips but I am not sure it was that big of an issue overall.
 

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