Let's wait to see how the season plays out first before locking in "needs". All are required "soon" but priority is still to be seen.I want 3 spine players in the next 12 months.
Swing KPP 22-25 year old, Brander, McStay type
A KPD, best draftee
Ruck/Forward, best draftee
Make it happen List Management
If Charlie and Kemp can finish the season strongly, not to mention Marchbank, it will make a huge difference.
Despite rumours to the contrary, the Jones boy is not yet 30 (will be at start of season). It is fair to think he has this season and two more as a minimum.
We do need a viable KPD back up. Levi is great value, but may be indispensable forward or rucking. McDonald training with us, seems a no brainer to add.
The forward mix is clearly a young developing player short. The pragmatist in me would love to add a forward/ruck in the mould of Coleman-Jones or
even better Williams from West Coast who is a genuine swingman/ruck. It is hard to see their respective clubs letting them go though. A glance at the available semi mature young ruck types suggests slim pickings, Hayes for instance has an extended contract at Port despite the likelihood of being third banana for the
foreseeable future. I was surprised we didn't draft a young ruck to develop and we seem destined to run the gauntlet with injuries this season.
We are certainly ready to draft a KPD, to replace Jones down the track. While McKay, McAsey and DeKoning are attractive young prospects, it is hard to see them coming over to bide their time as fringe types behind Weiters and LJ. Surely McDonald is the go until a decent draftee presents. I do like Brander and McStay, but they would not be guaranteed best 22 spots either.
We have an unique list balance. While back up is thin, if the injury gods are kind, there is a no vacancy sign on our talls for about three years. So saying that, I would add McDonald as a capable back up for the next few years and hitting the draft for youngsters as ruck, KPF and KPD as players become available. The problem arises if Levi starts to decline quickly and/or McGovern continues to underwhelm. It is fair to say that our midfield and the flanks are exceptionally well catered for on the list with a myriad of young players at various stages of development. Martin, Williams and Saad have given us brilliant experienced talent to offset the inexperience of the kids. Edit, probably should add Newnes to that list.
Not wanting to push anyone out the door, but our proliferation of developing midfielders may offer a trade option with Geelong for SDK if he can't get past Blicavs, Henderson and co. for a spot at Geelong this season. He is capable at either end, leaning to KPD and can pinch hit in the ruck. He would be my pick of trade targets, mobile like his brother and more versatile, giving him more prospects of getting a game early. Would love Ben McKay who is out of contract at season's end, but hard to see him competing for a team spot, while a walk up start for 22 games at North if remains fit.