2021 Rd 1 - Best 22

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SGBeach

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tom hickey will offer the most significant change to the mids group this year IMO...
Yep, although I reckon Sinkers got better and better in the ruck. Also from the 'Injury Report'.. sounds like Naismith is back in full training very soon.. does that mean he could be playing April/May?
 

caesar88

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Last year was too early to expect a 2nd yr Rowbum, a 1st year 70kg Stephens, 2nd yr stick figure Blakey, 1st year Warner and a young Florent who cops a solid BF bashing, to win at the coal face. The experienced and hardened heads and bodies of JPK, Parker and Hewett were still superior and needed. This year we will see less of those three, and next year less again. The midfield is in transition.
I watched the Swans Hawks game the other day. No JPK or Hewett. Mills and Rowbum played inside and did well. but.. Mills had heaps more tackles and clearances than Rowbum, ie.. Mills did the heavy lifting
It takes a few years for draftees to settle, grow bodies, and seriously contribute to the inside.. I reckon Horse is fast tracking as quick as possible
I agree. I posted a while back that Horse's hands were tied last year, as his midfield was stuck between an older group that had become predictable at centre bounces, and a younger group that couldn't yet match their output at centre bounces. Neither were ideal so I understand why he went for experience in the veterans he knew (until his hand was forced with JPK's injury.)

But this year should be different. For starters he has Hewett back, who at 25 is perfectly primed to bridge the gap between the JPK/Parker duo, and the younger Rowbottom/Blakey duo. He also has Mills, who is 23 and far more able at this stage for the wear and tear of playing on the ball (though I'm still dubious about that move.)

Then there is the aforementioned duo of Rowbottom & Blakey. The former actually did do a lot of the heavy lifting for a period last year. There was a stretch of four or five games where he was our best mid IMO. It was never going to be sustainable as a teenager, but with another pre-season under his belt, if that four or five can be doubled to say eight to twelve really great games, that will go a long way. And Blakey will be far more comfortable on the ball this year than he was last year, when he was thrown into the role mid-season (and still looked good.)

That's two quality players now entering their primes, and two very exciting youngsters. Also with Florent hopefully turning his form around, and Stephens maybe getting a taste of inside action, I'm not sure I'll be as lenient on Horse this year if the midfield isn't given the major facelift it badly needs.
 

SGBeach

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I agree. I posted a while back that Horse's hands were tied last year, as his midfield was stuck between an older group that had become predictable at centre bounces, and a younger group that couldn't yet match their output at centre bounces. Neither were ideal so I understand why he went for experience in the veterans he knew (until his hand was forced with JPK's injury.)

But this year should be different. For starters he has Hewett back, who at 25 is perfectly primed to bridge the gap between the JPK/Parker duo, and the younger Rowbottom/Blakey duo. He also has Mills, who is 23 and far more able at this stage for the wear and tear of playing on the ball (though I'm still dubious about that move.)

Then there is the aforementioned duo of Rowbottom & Blakey. The former actually did do a lot of the heavy lifting for a period last year. There was a stretch of four or five games where he was our best mid IMO. It was never going to be sustainable as a teenager, but with another pre-season under his belt, if that four or five can be doubled to say eight to twelve really great games, that will go a long way. And Blakey will be far more comfortable on the ball this year than he was last year, when he was thrown into the role mid-season (and still looked good.)

That's two quality players now entering their primes, and two very exciting youngsters. Also with Florent hopefully turning his form around, and Stephens maybe getting a taste of inside action, I'm not sure I'll be as lenient on Horse this year if the midfield isn't given the major facelift it badly needs.
I still reckon Hewett won't be a swan next year.. what that means for his role this year I don't know? He'll play if fit, but so will JPK and Parker.
If Rowbum can play 8-12 really good games, then thats still only half a season,, and those really good games probably won't be earning him brownlow votes (Brownlow votes for all the flaws is a good measure of the impact of a midfielder). The young mids are still 1,2 or 3years away from having a serious impact.
In that Hawks game, it was Parker and Mills who led the stats sheet, Rowbum and Florent were a long way behind. That was one of Rowbums 'really good' games.
I suspect Horse will continue to develop the young mids as fast as possible, but that still means we'll see a lot of JPK, Parker and Hewett inside (mills also)
In all seriousness, its not up to you to be 'lenient' on Horse or not. He knows what hes doing, he knows his players limits, He knows how to bring young players up to AFL level. Watch, question and discuss, but dont demand or overrule, that might be seen as arrogance?
 

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caesar88

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I still reckon Hewett won't be a swan next year.. what that means for his role this year I don't know? He'll play if fit, but so will JPK and Parker.
If Rowbum can play 8-12 really good games, then thats still only half a season,, and those really good games probably won't be earning him brownlow votes (Brownlow votes for all the flaws is a good measure of the impact of a midfielder). The young mids are still 1,2 or 3years away from having a serious impact.
In that Hawks game, it was Parker and Mills who led the stats sheet, Rowbum and Florent were a long way behind. That was one of Rowbums 'really good' games.
I suspect Horse will continue to develop the young mids as fast as possible, but that still means we'll see a lot of JPK, Parker and Hewett inside (mills also)
In all seriousness, its not up to you to be 'lenient' on Horse or not. He knows what hes doing, he knows his players limits, He knows how to bring young players up to AFL level. Watch, question and discuss, but dont demand or overrule, that might be seen as arrogance?
It's not arrogant to share your opinions with conviction. I think everyone should, I wouldn't like people to not share their views in fear of being perceived as arrogant if it's a strong/unpopular view. If I'm wrong then I will admit it - as I did at the end of last year when I realised I was wrong to criticise Horse so much for the midfield personnel.

In any case I agree that the young mids are still a few years away from the kind of impact we need from them. Maybe none more so than Rowbottom who, despite impressing last year, is still a very long way off where he needs to be as an inside mid, in terms of tank and size. I was quite surprised when I saw him play live last year how slender he was. He really did look like a boy amongst men.

I think this only furthers the importance of Hewett & Mills as two guys who are big and strong enough to offer more than the kids, but young enough to help regenerate the midfield. It seems unfair to say considering Hewett's only returning from injury (and possibly will still be used as a tagger) and this is only Mills' first season in the mids, but they really need to deliver for us in the engine room this year. If they can it will make such a difference.
 

SGBeach

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It's not arrogant to share your opinions with conviction. I think everyone should, I wouldn't like people to not share their views in fear of being perceived as arrogant if it's a strong/unpopular view. If I'm wrong then I will admit it - as I did at the end of last year when I realised I was wrong to criticise Horse so much for the midfield personnel.

In any case I agree that the young mids are still a few years away from the kind of impact we need from them. Maybe none more so than Rowbottom who, despite impressing last year, is still a very long way off where he needs to be as an inside mid, in terms of tank and size. I was quite surprised when I saw him play live last year how slender he was. He really did look like a boy amongst men.

I think this only furthers the importance of Hewett & Mills as two guys who are big and strong enough to offer more than the kids, but young enough to help regenerate the midfield. It seems unfair to say considering Hewett's only returning from injury (and possibly will still be used as a tagger) and this is only Mills' first season in the mids, but they really need to deliver for us in the engine room this year. If they can it will make such a difference.
So you admitted to being wrong about how harsh you were on how Horse ran the midfield last year, and yet are saying you won't be so lenient this time?????
But yep, we agree that the mids are too young at the moment. Thats where JPK, Parker and Hewett (also Mills) come in. JPK has a truckload to teach the young on-ballers (including Mills), as does Parker who still has a few good years left. There are plenty of tricks to learn about pressure and clearances etc.
I reckon Mills will become a very good on-baller. Apart from having a great footy head, loads of talent, leadership abilities, 100 games experience, hes the perfect age to take that midfield group through the next serious charge at the flag.
I look at the new mids.. Florent, Rowbum, Warner(?), Blakey, Stephens, JMac, Gulden(?), Campbell(?), Bell, Clarke.. and see a lot of pace and elite kicks. I reckon the new game plan is being developed around that.. Im thinking players like Mills, Rowbum, Warner and Clarke will fill the role that Hewett plays.
When you look at Hewetts family, last years trade period, ability to replace him ($ and talent), trade value, contract status and where the future of the midfield is, I can easily see Hewett back in SA next year. Leaving us with Parker, 100 gamers in Mills and Florent and all the others 1 year further through the development years and closer to their prime years.. and three years from now a deep, quick, skilled midfield group beginning or in the middle of their prime.
Stephens has put on 10kg since being drafted, Wouldn't be surprised if Rowbum has put on some solid bulk too.
 

caesar88

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So you admitted to being wrong about how harsh you were on how Horse ran the midfield last year, and yet are saying you won't be so lenient this time?????
But yep, we agree that the mids are too young at the moment. Thats where JPK, Parker and Hewett (also Mills) come in. JPK has a truckload to teach the young on-ballers (including Mills), as does Parker who still has a few good years left. There are plenty of tricks to learn about pressure and clearances etc.
I reckon Mills will become a very good on-baller. Apart from having a great footy head, loads of talent, leadership abilities, 100 games experience, hes the perfect age to take that midfield group through the next serious charge at the flag.
I look at the new mids.. Florent, Rowbum, Warner(?), Blakey, Stephens, JMac, Gulden(?), Campbell(?), Bell, Clarke.. and see a lot of pace and elite kicks. I reckon the new game plan is being developed around that.. Im thinking players like Mills, Rowbum, Warner and Clarke will fill the role that Hewett plays.
When you look at Hewetts family, last years trade period, ability to replace him ($ and talent), trade value, contract status and where the future of the midfield is, I can easily see Hewett back in SA next year. Leaving us with Parker, 100 gamers in Mills and Florent and all the others 1 year further through the development years and closer to their prime years.. and three years from now a deep, quick, skilled midfield group beginning or in the middle of their prime.
Stephens has put on 10kg since being drafted, Wouldn't be surprised if Rowbum has put on some solid bulk too.
Yes that's what I'm saying. I think Horse has more options right now than he did last year. This is all subject to change though depending on injuries, form etc., but as it stands right now, I hope shuffling some roles around in the midfield is a major priority for him going into the season.

I agree that JPK has a lot to teach the young mids, but I think what they need is practical experience, and the only way they get that is by actually experiencing the role that JPK plays. It may mean redefining what JPK's role is, but I want to see JPK reduced to third or fourth in the pecking order this year. It will prolong his career, and benefit the youngsters who will learn to assume the responsibility.

I'm a bigger fan of Hewett than you evidently are. To me he is the most important mid on our list. Younger than JPK/Parker, more mature than Rowbottom/Blakey. Ultra consistent, and also our cleanest mid by some margin, both by hand and foot. Understandably he's seen as just a replaceable tagger, but I think he has greater potential than that. Many people thought that about Jack Steele, until a new coach played him in a different role, and a year later he was an All Australian, top 5 in the Brownlow, and captain of the club. I don't know Hewett's off-field circumstances, all I know is that he's a massive asset to the team that we can't afford to dismiss.
 

Wolftone

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Still a no body at afl level amd you expect him to walk in and be a gun breaking hbf
No. I don't but I expect him to be a presence. The guy has all the goods. He now needs to bring them to the table. The difference between him and many kids is he has played against men in the SANFL. He will come in and play a role. He is, according to Longmire, incredibly fit which was his issue last year.

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Punts

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No. I don't but I expect him to be a presence. The guy has all the goods. He now needs to bring them to the table. The difference between him and many kids is he has played against men in the SANFL. He will come in and play a role. He is, according to Longmire, incredibly fit which was his issue last year.

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From a watcher on here he is looking no the greatest even in an intra amd you expect him to be a gun running hbf at afl now
 

Kiama Chris

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I think it is generally agreed that 2021 will be Kennedy's last year and I hope Longmire does not play him too much in the centre when he does play as guys like Rowbottom actually played much better as the leading inside mid than he did when Kennedy came back. We need to be focused on the future in 2021, and that means if it is a 50/50 call go with the younger guy over the player who will be retiring in a year or two.

As for Parker, I strongly believe he would actually be better if he spent more time up forward.
Pretty sure you'll get your wish with Parker. Already hinting he'll spend more time there. He's a good mark, good crumber and terrific kick for goal.
I think we can afford JPK at centre bounces as long as the other two (or even one!) can break out. Hanners did that role for a long time. We now have more guys trending in that direction. As long as JPK picks up his handball!
 

SGBeach

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Where is this assumption coming from that Hewett is leaving?


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I made it up a couple of months ago.. I based the 'speculation' (and its just speculation.. but makes sense to me) that he might be leaving on..
- Name was mentioned last trade period.
- up for free agency this trade period
- Very family orientated man - new child, speaks to parents in SA every couple of days
- not the dynamic midfielder that we have been drafting
- not a leader and someone of his age will be leading the midfield after JPK / Parker days.. ie. when we are really challenging for our next flag
- Would probably be happy to go back to SA
- as a tagger can be replaced by the much cheaper ($) Clarke
- as an inside can be replaced by rowbum etc
- as a winger can be replaced by Stephens, J Mac, Blakey, Cambell etc

may not happen, its just speculation??
 

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DeadlyAkkuret

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I made it up a couple of months ago.. I based the 'speculation' (and its just speculation.. but makes sense to me) that he might be leaving on..
- Name was mentioned last trade period.
- up for free agency this trade period
- Very family orientated man - new child, speaks to parents in SA every couple of days
- not the dynamic midfielder that we have been drafting
- not a leader and someone of his age will be leading the midfield after JPK / Parker days.. ie. when we are really challenging for our next flag
- Would probably be happy to go back to SA
- as a tagger can be replaced by the much cheaper ($) Clarke
- as an inside can be replaced by rowbum etc
- as a winger can be replaced by Stephens, J Mac, Blakey, Cambell etc

may not happen, its just speculation??
Hoping he’s best 18 all year and really cements himself as a key to our future so we can keep him. We need someone like him with Rowbottom, Gulden and potentially Mills.


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caesar88

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Hoping he’s best 18 all year and really cements himself as a key to our future so we can keep him. We need someone like him with Rowbottom, Gulden and potentially Mills.


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Said it before and I'll say it again, he's the most important mid on our list.

JPK & Parker will not be part of our next flag as mids. Mills is unproven. Stephens is unproven. Blakey is unproven. Gulden is unproven. Florent's career could go either way.

He is the most age-appropriate 'known' that we have, and not sure how many more of those we can afford to let go...
 
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Jewelsbon

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Isn't in best 22*

*Not my opinion but what will be pushed out by some, particularly media because he didn't play much in 2020 even though he was injured
He has been best 22 pretty much every season since 2016 until his injury last year so how can you possibly now just assume he isn't?
In my opinion he is still the heir apparent to JPK and I personally don't see anyone else on our list capable of being the midfield bull that Georgie Boy is. From what I recall, all the talk about George being traded was simply that - media speculation and rumours that came from people on here with no real insight.

Also, how does now having a child have any bearing on where George would want to live and play? His partner is an English girl who (to the best of my knowledge) has spent most of her Australian time in NSW, so I can't see her necessarily pushing to live in SA.
 

Ralphyboy

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He has been best 22 pretty much every season since 2016 until his injury last year so how can you possibly now just assume he isn't?
In my opinion he is still the heir apparent to JPK and I personally don't see anyone else on our list capable of being the midfield bull that Georgie Boy is. From what I recall, all the talk about George being traded was simply that - media speculation and rumours that came from people on here with no real insight.

Also, how does now having a child have any bearing on where George would want to live and play? His partner is an English girl who (to the best of my knowledge) has spent most of her Australian time in NSW, so I can't see her necessarily pushing to live in SA.
One thing I noticed about Hewitt when I watched some training is that he has slimmed down hugely.
 

Donza

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I'm not sure Port or the Crows could fit him or would even want him any ways.
He'd go from "best" 22 to outside 22 at both SA clubs.
 

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