2021 Rd 1 - Best 22

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JackSwans

Head Scout
Jan 12, 2021
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IMO we will finish around 11-14th but start pushing hard in 2023.

all depends on these so called young guns come on. A lot went backwards last year
We went backwards? Did we watch the same team, because I saw a lot of growth and progression from this squad which faced many challenges with injuries, Elijah, playing so many games away from home. We'll win more games this year.
 

mtooler

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We went backwards? Did we watch the same team, because I saw a lot of growth and progression from this squad which faced many challenges with injuries, Elijah, playing so many games away from home. We'll win more games this year.
Yep, Florent, Blakey and Hayward went backwards, Heeney injured but seems to have peaked now as has Mills. Oh and Ronke was sorted by a veterinarian out back humanely.
 

JackSwans

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Jan 12, 2021
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Love the infographic, don't think we have a winning season in 2021 with Cunningham, Melican, Florent, Sinclair and Hayward in it in those allocated positions. Too many passengers there, but by goodness this club owes Sinclair a tip of the hat, he has given his all :)
Haha thanks, I did it here: https://www.zerohanger.com/afl/pick-your-team/

Calling those players "passengers" is a bit harsh, a lot will agree that Cunningham is an underrated player in our side, Florent and Hayward are still young players, also Hayward has had some injury setbacks which probably aren't spoken about enough. Sinclair has been a solid cover in our ruck stocks, he actually wins most hitout counts so that one is a bit strange. Melican out of this group is probably the hardest to defend but he's definitely shown growth, he has step up though this year undoubtedly.
 

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JackSwans

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Yep, Florent, Blakey and Hayward went backwards, Heeney injured but seems to have peaked now as has Mills. Oh and Ronke was sorted by a veterinarian out back humanely.
Florent went backwards, Blakey is a victim of his own hype, but he's more a long term development project, Hayward initially went backwards but turned his season around, worked on his defensive game and is now essential for the side in terms of shutting down intercepting defenders.
 

caesar88

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Yep, Florent, Blakey and Hayward went backwards, Heeney injured but seems to have peaked now as has Mills. Oh and Ronke was sorted by a veterinarian out back humanely.
Your call on Florent & Hayward is correct. Your call on Heeney & Mills is garbage.

Your call on Blakey is a little more complicated. I think if you look at his season based on individual games then yeah, he had a bad year. He was average-at-best in every game up to being dropped after round 9. Came back in round 12 though and was excellent. So I think even though the journey to get there was rocky, he finished out the year looking better than ever. It basically confirmed he could be a gun player up the ground, and he's now training as such. So I think he took giant strides in his development when all was said and done.
 

Kiama Chris

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OK, time to take a crack. This is the team I think we'll see, not necessarily the one I want. Injured and unavailable Buddy Heeney, Brand, McInerney, Naismith of course.
FB Cunningham Rampe Melican
HB Gould McCartin Lloyd
C Blakey Parker Dawson
HF Hayward Reid Hewett
FF Papley McLean McDonald
R Hickey Kennedy Rowbottom
IC Fox Stephens Florent Wicks
EM Sinclair O'Riordan Campbell Ronke
Of course positions may vary but I suspect we need to go fairly tall so Melican and Gould will start. COR has been invisible. Harry will play on Cameron.
I think we'll play fairly tall up front which will give McDonald a chance. He played against big bodies all last season.
Don't think either Campbell or Gulden will start. Think Hewett will play on Neale again. Both Reid and McLean can spell Hickey, who is some use up front I hear.
 

JackSwans

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Jan 12, 2021
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OK, time to take a crack. This is the team I think we'll see, not necessarily the one I want. Injured and unavailable Buddy Heeney, Brand, McInerney, Naismith of course.
FB Cunningham Rampe Melican
HB Gould McCartin Lloyd
C Blakey Parker Dawson
HF Hayward Reid Hewett
FF Papley McLean McDonald
R Hickey Kennedy Rowbottom
IC Fox Stephens Florent Wicks
EM Sinclair O'Riordan Campbell Ronke
Of course positions may vary but I suspect we need to go fairly tall so Melican and Gould will start. COR has been invisible. Harry will play on Cameron.
I think we'll play fairly tall up front which will give McDonald a chance. He played against big bodies all last season.
Don't think either Campbell or Gulden will start. Think Hewett will play on Neale again. Both Reid and McLean can spell Hickey, who is some use up front I hear.
Decent, however there seems to be a severe lack of Callum Mills
 

Kiama Chris

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He was hiding behind Hickey! Or Gould. Or I just messed up. So, instead of:
1) Florent
2) Gould
3) Fox
Probably 3.
I can see the role for every player there EXCEPT for Mills. Might be my lack of imagination but I don't see what he adds to the midfield. Not that he's a bad player, he certainly isn't. Doesn't lack courage.
Perhaps as a more traditional centre? Defensive mid? We'll see.
 

mtooler

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Your call on Florent & Hayward is correct. Your call on Heeney & Mills is garbage.

Your call on Blakey is a little more complicated. I think if you look at his season based on individual games then yeah, he had a bad year. He was average-at-best in every game up to being dropped after round 9. Came back in round 12 though and was excellent. So I think even though the journey to get there was rocky, he finished out the year looking better than ever. It basically confirmed he could be a gun player up the ground, and he's now training as such. So I think he took giant strides in his development when all was said and done.
In the roles Heeney and Mills are given, I'm not sure theres much more they can do, Mills maybe on leadership onfield but open to hearing where the development is coming from.
 

caesar88

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In the roles Heeney and Mills are given, I'm not sure theres much more they can do, Mills maybe on leadership onfield but open to hearing where the development is coming from.
There isn't much more Heeney could do, nor much I'd want him to do. I think he's one of the best players in the competition, regardless of what stats, representative honours, or you, suggest.

As for Mills, I still believe he could be our next Rampe in defence. Not that it's likely we will ever have another Rampe, but in terms of being a medium defender who could play both small and tall, take intercept marks, provide leadership and direct our rebounds from defensive 50, I think Mills could be a star in that role. You may think it unlikely, and I've been scoffed at for thinking so before, but put it this way: Mills is the same age NOW that Rampe was when he was first DRAFTED as a rookie. And no one would've foreseen how much Rampe would learn, develop and add to his game en route to becoming arguably the best player in the comp in his role. If Rampe could, it's not beyond the realms of possibility that Mills - who is actually 2cm taller than Rampe - could also do so, given that he's starting from a much higher base.

However I worry that moving him into the midfield will be shooting ourselves in the foot in a sense. I'm not convinced he can be elite as a midfielder like he could be as a defender, nor am I convinced that he'll improve our midfield in any way when he offers nothing unique to what we already have in there (big-bodied, tough, hard ball-winners.) Just not sure it's an experiment that is worth doing, when the alternative (Mills going on to potentially become elite in his role as a defender) seems so much more assured.

That's just my view though.
 

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S120

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Worth a try I know you aren’t a fan but come on he’s been down back enough we have a zillion HB flankers
I think this and our KPD stocks are why Mills has been released to the midfield (or at least looks like he will be). McCartin and Melican look likely to be long-term key defenders (another factor in Aliir being allowed to leave), meaning Rampe can slide to the 3rd tall, interceptor, general of defence role that Mills had been moonlighting in. Throw in Dawson down back, Gould likely getting games, Cunningham and Lloyd established as very good players in their roles, Ling showing promise and Fox having a good year as a similarly sized player to Mills across defence, I think the fates all pointed in the same direction to allow him to play up the field to give us another big, experienced, dynamic body around the ball.

What will be interesting is how long it lasts. If we get injuries to any of the key defenders, I'd wager Mills will move straight back.
 

Tesla Tenet

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Apr 13, 2016
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Just a bit of a guess for some players.

Franklin out
Brand in but can be replaced be Melican
McInerney in but can be replaced by Blakey and Campbell to the bench

Fox on bench to cover every position (Ruck!!! KPD, BF, FF)
Mills can go through mids or go back


Hayward unlucky and think he has some seerious skills and used poorly.
 

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Kiama Chris

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Just a bit of a guess for some players.

Franklin out
Brand in but can be replaced be Melican
McInerney in but can be replaced by Blakey and Campbell to the bench

Fox on bench to cover every position (Ruck!!! KPD, BF, FF)
Mills can go through mids or go back


Hayward unlucky and think he has some seerious skills and used poorly.
We are pretty similar in mind and in the alternatives.
Ling vs Gould
Wicks vs McDonald
Hickey vs Sinclair
And so on. Big task for the coaches.
 

SydneyBlood

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Not a team for the 1st round, but some hopes of what will unfold in regards to player development during the season. So more of a wishful lineup for end of season games, dare I say, finals games?

A fit and firing Buddy.

McDonald and Campbell having established themselves in the first 22. Stephens improving more and being an automatic inclusion.

Really would like more pace and run and carry off halfback, don't think he has been used much in that position but I think McInerney seems a player capable of doing so. If not, Ling to get a season injury free and improve in that kind of role.

Have not watched a lot of Hickey's career, but is he much of an upgrade over always competitive Sinclair? Hope he can be. If not, is it fanciful to think McLean who has shown glimpses develops into a first choice ruck? Don't know his date expected back from injury, any chance Naismith plays by the end of the season? Thought he looked pretty good in his run of games at the start of last season. Based on that form , would have Naismith as starting ruck if somehow back by end of season.

I'd say most teams don't play two really big powerful forwards these days. Against those type of teams I'd have McCartin and Rampe as key defenders for a more agile overall defence. Against the few bigger teams Melican would come in and a smaller defender, say Cunningham or McInerney (Ling) out.

Reid to cover for the ruck position and for Buddy and McDonald in the forward line when they are resting on bench.


B: Lloyd Rampe Cunningham

HB: Mills McCartin Dawson

C: Blakey Rowbottom Florent

HF: Heeney Franklin Campbell

F: Papley McDonald Hayward

Foll: Hickey Parker Kennedy

I/C: Hewett - Reid - Stephens - McInerney

Emer: Wicks - Fox - McLean - Ling

For mine, Wicks and Fox the unluckiest to miss out, the most susceptible to being replaced by them being Hayward, Cunningham and Florent. On paper, with hopeful improvement from the 1st to 5th year players in that 22, I'm mildly optimistic.

Next handful in line ... Gould and Gulden hopefully, Melican, Sinclair, Bell.
 
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S120

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With the talk of Parker playing a different role to last year in the match simulations, I'm thinking he'll spending more time forward this year which will allow Mills more time in the guts.

With that and leaving out guys who are still recovering from injuries to my knowledge (Franklin, McInerney, Naismith), right now I'm thinking something like the following might be what we see for round 1.

Cunningham - Melican - Rampe
Lloyd - McCartin - Dawson
Blakey - Mills - Stephens
Heeney - Reid - Hewett
Parker - McLean - Papley
Hickey - Kennedy - Rowbottom

Florent - Fox - Hayward - Wicks

Gould - Clarke - Sinclair - Bell

Defence: Melican and McCartin the two main talls, Rampe 3rd tall/interceptor, Cunningham top small defender, Dawson and Lloyd rebounding and Fox just pipping Gould as a utility for now (but Gould hard on his tail)

Midfield: Hickey to take most of the ruck duties with spotting from McLean, inside midfielders primarily Kennedy, Rowbottom, Mills, and Florent with Blakey and Stephens largely on wings but also getting some inside minutes along with Hewett

Forwards: McLean and Reid the key forwards, Papley stationed forward permanently with Wicks as crumbing/pressure forwards, working to get Parker and Heeney one on one opportunities inside 50 along with Hayward who I think might play a little more up the field in a pseudo-CHF role.
 

Kiama Chris

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With the talk of Parker playing a different role to last year in the match simulations, I'm thinking he'll spending more time forward this year which will allow Mills more time in the guts.

With that and leaving out guys who are still recovering from injuries to my knowledge (Franklin, McInerney, Naismith), right now I'm thinking something like the following might be what we see for round 1.

Cunningham - Melican - Rampe
Lloyd - McCartin - Dawson
Blakey - Mills - Stephens
Heeney - Reid - Hewett
Parker - McLean - Papley
Hickey - Kennedy - Rowbottom

Florent - Fox - Hayward - Wicks

Gould - Clarke - Sinclair - Bell

Defence: Melican and McCartin the two main talls, Rampe 3rd tall/interceptor, Cunningham top small defender, Dawson and Lloyd rebounding and Fox just pipping Gould as a utility for now (but Gould hard on his tail)

Midfield: Hickey to take most of the ruck duties with spotting from McLean, inside midfielders primarily Kennedy, Rowbottom, Mills, and Florent with Blakey and Stephens largely on wings but also getting some inside minutes along with Hewett

Forwards: McLean and Reid the key forwards, Papley stationed forward permanently with Wicks as crumbing/pressure forwards, working to get Parker and Heeney one on one opportunities inside 50 along with Hayward who I think might play a little more up the field in a pseudo-CHF role.
Pretty close to the mark.
I do hope Dawson is not stuck on the HBF. Gould could take that spot.
Doubt that both Hewett AND Parker would be named in the forward line. My guess is Hewett starts and stays on Neale.
That would allow Dawson to play wing, moving Blakey or Stephens forward.
One of Florent, Hayward or Hicks would drop out. Probably Wicks, though he might stay to play on Rich.
The other big question is McLean or Sinclair at FF. I too would like to see McLean.
 

'51 Bewick

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Hi folks, please excuse the intrusion.
Just wondering about the status of James Bell. Was he injured in his last game, and do you see him getting any games this season?
Cheers.
 

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