Teams 2021 St.Kilda Best 22 (assuming all players are fit)

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StCicatriz

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Here are his year on year stats (after you have adjusted for the shorter quarters in 2020:

Higgins 2018Higgins 2019Higgins 2020Lonie 2020Lonie PB
Kicks7.59.211.19.19.8 (2019)
Handballs8.77.573.55.8 (2017)
Marks2.834.54.24.1 (2018)
Tackles2.532.12.64 (2017)
Goals.8.7.61.11.4 (2018)
Behinds.7.3.9.61.5 (2019)
Inside 50's2.12.73.52.22.5 (2019)
Assists.8.6.5.51 (2018)
Score Involvements5.655.54.66.3 (2018)
Stoppage Clearances1.1.61.1.5.9 (2017)

What these numbers indicate to me are we are seeing a plyer move away from a first year crumbing forward to a player that is moving further up the ground. Instead of simply being there to pick up the scraps, he is becoming more of a player that is a part of the chain during the transition from the middle of the ground to the forwardline.

Now there are certainly some signs of stagnation there, but given what the young bloke has been through, it is actually quite remarkable how quickly he has bounced back.

Lonie on the other hand has stagnated across 2017-2020. He has been slightly more damaging on the score board than Higgins, but that has been a bigger part of Lonie's role than it has been, or will be for Higgins.

IMO, Lonie isn't competing with Higgins for a spot, he is competing, and well behind Butler.

I love the little guy, but going forward, unless something drastic changes, Lonie is a depth player. Higgins may not make it, but if he does end up a bust, I think we would be likely to see more of Gresh / Billings / Steel (for stints) playing forward than we would be to see Lonie become a permanent fixture going forward.
great post!
 

L_W_P

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Merrett would be perfect for us.

Round 1 - 2022

FB: Paton - Howard - Highmore
HB: Coffield - Wilkie - Long
C: Clark - Steele - Hill
HF: Gresham - King - Billings
FF: Butler - McKernan - Membrey
R: Marshall - Crouch - Merrett
I: Battle - Jones - Higgins - Hannebery/Ross/Bytel

I think Dunstan will be gone in 9 months. Would do well at a team like Adelaide, North or Sydney, who could use an experienced inside option to help protect some of their younger guys.

EDIT - Added in Clark
 
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The Jack

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Merrett would be perfect for us.

FB: Paton - Howard - Highmore
HB: Coffield - Wilkie - Long
C: Billings - Steele - Hill
HF: Gresham - King - Higgins
FF: Butler - McKernan - Membrey
R: Marshall - Crouch - Merrett
I: Battle - Jones - Hannebery/Ross/Bytel - Byrnes/Sinclair/Kent

I think Dunstan will be gone in 9 months. Would do well at a team like Adelaide, North or Sydney, who could use an experienced inside option to help protect some of their younger guys.
Hunter, Jake?
 

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Crusty Undies

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Merrett would be perfect for us.

FB: Paton - Howard - Highmore
HB: Coffield - Wilkie - Long
C: Billings - Steele - Hill
HF: Gresham - King - Higgins
FF: Butler - McKernan - Membrey
R: Marshall - Crouch - Merrett
I: Battle - Jones - Hannebery/Ross/Bytel - Byrnes/Sinclair/Kent

I think Dunstan will be gone in 9 months. Would do well at a team like Adelaide, North or Sydney, who could use an experienced inside option to help protect some of their younger guys.
Highmore hasn't played a game yet, Wilkie is too short to be a key back, McKernan should never be a consistent feature of our 22, no Clark in your team, Hannebery and Ross will never be competing with one another for a single spot on the bench, Jones and Battle shouldn't be starting off the bench which could be remedied by not starting highmore and mckernan at all let alone on the field. I really don't know where this team has come from but I hope we don't run with it sorry.
 

StJHD

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I’d be starting with this team round 1 based off pre season form.

Webster Howard Paton
Coffield Carlisle Wilkie
Hill Clark Hannebery
Billings King Membrey
Gresham Marshall Butler
Ryder Steele Jones

Ross Battle Sinclair Higgins
Looking good with Crouch to be injected in for R3. For me the most pleasing aspect of the projected teams being posted is the bench.
 

aussierulesrules

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I’d be starting with this team round 1 based off pre season form.

Webster Howard Paton
Coffield Carlisle Wilkie
Hill Clark Hannebery
Billings King Membrey
Gresham Marshall Butler
Ryder Steele Jones

Ross Battle Sinclair Higgins
If Clark is playing in the guts I'd say we'd definitely need Long as the "7th defender".

Who misses out for him would be a tough call.
 

SaintersUnite

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If Clark is playing in the guts I'd say we'd definitely need Long as the "7th defender".

Who misses out for him would be a tough call.
If you’re of that belief then I think Sincs would miss. But in my personal opinion I’d rather Sinclair in the team over Long.


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George

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Saw the best 22 in the trade discussion, moved it here and wanted to add my thoughts;

First I reckon we need to assess who are no questions asked best 22 players. I reckon at the moment there's 16 of them; Coffield, Jones, Gresham, Crouch, Hill, Steele, Clark, King, Billings, Butler, Marshall, Howard, Higgins, Membrey, Paton and Wilkie.

Geary will play regardless of the captaincy. Carlisle would've been in that list but I decided to leave him out for now due to his injury history (maybe some questions over that / his fitness). Same with Hanners. Ryder will be in if we play two talls, which I think we will, but if we didn't I don't think he is the number one ruck so would miss. Battle has heaps of upside and will probably play most games anyway so will probably fit in somehow in my 22 but just hasn't done enough yet to be guaranteed a spot. The rest that missed are pretty straight forward. So I'll fit the first 16 in;

FB: , Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, , Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King,
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER:


If we play one ruck we have the flexibility to put Higgins in the forward pocket and in doing so have the ability to rotate more through the midfield - an area we struggled badly last season. If we stick with what we did in 2020, and play two rucks, then Ryder would be in the forward pocket and I chose Higgins on the bench - not that it matters but feel Gresham is more dynamic/game changer and has the ability to rotate through the midfield with possibly Steele who has done well when played higher up the ground as a resting mid. I know Higgins can play mid too, but you get the idea.

I've put Jones on the wing although I would prefer he play midfield but really is nowhere to put him as he is better suited than the other option (Clark) due to his speed - and Steele/Crouch are genuine mids. As for rucks - lets go with the two ruck setup, it worked in 2020 and I can't really see them changing it. As for the backline it's obviously down to Carlisle or Frawley for the CHB spot. I will go with Carlisle for now but that position will probably be horses for courses. I think Frawley will play often this year anyway. Can't have him on the bench though (too tall IMO) so will be emergency. As for the other pocket - I could've gone Long or Webster but lets be honest Geary will play regardless of captaincy so I'll put him there.

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER: Frawley


So that leaves three spots on the bench and two in emergency. Think Ross & Hannebery (if fit) will be in the side most weeks, so I'll stick them on the bench. That leaves one bench spot between the remaining guys I've considered - Lonie, Long, Bytel, Battle, Webster, Allison, Highmore and Sinclair;

Lonie - Think with the inclusion of Higgins and return of Gresham there seems to be no spot for Lonie in the side if everyone is fit. Good little player, inconsistent at times but has shown he can contribute.

Long - I love Longy, love his aggression and think if he can clean up his recklessness he is a player we need. I just don't see a spot for him in the backline, the only position he could take is Geary's but it won't be this year IMO.

Bytel - Still needs to develop, think he'll play games of course but not in our best 22.

Battle - Hardest one to decide on. I want him in the side. Think he is our most versatile player.

Webster - Spent too long away to be sure if he can contribute more than the guys already in his position (Wilkie, Coffield). Don't think he replaces either.

Allison & Highmore - Just don't know enough to be sure yet, obviously not best 22 straight off the bat.

Sinclair - Think he is one of the best users of the ball but doesn't get it enough - saying that he had a ripper end to last year but haven't seen it for long enough to be comfortable enough to know that he will produce good performances every week.



This is the final team IMO;

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins, Ross, Hannebery, Battle

EMER: Frawley, Long, Sinclair


Battle takes the final bench spot over the other tall that missed out in Frawley. Battle is much more versatile, can play Frawley's position if needed, younger and has plenty more upside.

Long & Sinclair round out the emergencies with Lonie unluckily missing out. Again, I like Long and think he needs to feature, and probably will anyway. I chose Sinclair over Lonie just for Sinclair's field kicking and that seems to be a theme of what Ratts & co are after. Plus, we have a plethora of small forwards and midfielders who can rotate and provide enough scoring power.

The others that didn't make it are just depth IMO. Good depth at that. Overall think we are really building a strong list given this was actually pretty difficult to fit everyone in and try to strike a team balance at the same time. Players that missed will still play obviously, injuries will come and players will need to step up but I think the players we have in waiting this year are far better than what we've had to work with in years prior.

Enjoy the thesis...think the gears are starting to turn in my head about how close the season is and how much potential we have to really start to challenge the better clubs!
 

The Punter

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Paton Howard Wilkie
Coffield Carlisle Clark
Hill Steele Billings
Gresham Membrey Higgins
Marshall King Butler
Ryder Jones Ross
Hannebury Crouch Long Battle Sinclair

I can't get it down to a last 22, but Crouch is unavailable Round 1 so let's leave him out for now.
 

phantom13

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Saw the best 22 in the trade discussion, moved it here and wanted to add my thoughts;

First I reckon we need to assess who are no questions asked best 22 players. I reckon at the moment there's 16 of them; Coffield, Jones, Gresham, Crouch, Hill, Steele, Clark, King, Billings, Butler, Marshall, Howard, Higgins, Membrey, Paton and Wilkie.
I like the logic here but i must admit i dont understand how Higgins is a no questions asked best 22 player.
 

L_W_P

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Highmore hasn't played a game yet, Wilkie is too short to be a key back, McKernan should never be a consistent feature of our 22, no Clark in your team, Hannebery and Ross will never be competing with one another for a single spot on the bench, Jones and Battle shouldn't be starting off the bench which could be remedied by not starting highmore and mckernan at all let alone on the field. I really don't know where this team has come from but I hope we don't run with it sorry.
Wasn't clear that the team was meant to be looking at next year, after we hypothetically acquire Merrett.

Frawley might go again but I don't think Carlisle will be with us after this season. He was already in a rocky spot and with Chip coming I think he will be fighting to play senior football.

Hanners is injury prone and Ross needs to work out what his role is. If he is going to be a defensive/tagger type then he wouldn't be needed every week.

We don't have a depth tall forward/ruck who can take over that spot should Marshall go into the ruck full time next year. If it's not McKernan then we need to decide on either getting another #1 ruck OR a Ruck/Fwd option to assist. No way would I want King rucking with just Membrey and Battle forward. Marshall needs a spell on the bench at some point...
 

OxSaint

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Saw the best 22 in the trade discussion, moved it here and wanted to add my thoughts;

First I reckon we need to assess who are no questions asked best 22 players. I reckon at the moment there's 16 of them; Coffield, Jones, Gresham, Crouch, Hill, Steele, Clark, King, Billings, Butler, Marshall, Howard, Higgins, Membrey, Paton and Wilkie.

Geary will play regardless of the captaincy. Carlisle would've been in that list but I decided to leave him out for now due to his injury history (maybe some questions over that / his fitness). Same with Hanners. Ryder will be in if we play two talls, which I think we will, but if we didn't I don't think he is the number one ruck so would miss. Battle has heaps of upside and will probably play most games anyway so will probably fit in somehow in my 22 but just hasn't done enough yet to be guaranteed a spot. The rest that missed are pretty straight forward. So I'll fit the first 16 in;

FB: , Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, , Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King,
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER:


If we play one ruck we have the flexibility to put Higgins in the forward pocket and in doing so have the ability to rotate more through the midfield - an area we struggled badly last season. If we stick with what we did in 2020, and play two rucks, then Ryder would be in the forward pocket and I chose Higgins on the bench - not that it matters but feel Gresham is more dynamic/game changer and has the ability to rotate through the midfield with possibly Steele who has done well when played higher up the ground as a resting mid. I know Higgins can play mid too, but you get the idea.

I've put Jones on the wing although I would prefer he play midfield but really is nowhere to put him as he is better suited than the other option (Clark) due to his speed - and Steele/Crouch are genuine mids. As for rucks - lets go with the two ruck setup, it worked in 2020 and I can't really see them changing it. As for the backline it's obviously down to Carlisle or Frawley for the CHB spot. I will go with Carlisle for now but that position will probably be horses for courses. I think Frawley will play often this year anyway. Can't have him on the bench though (too tall IMO) so will be emergency. As for the other pocket - I could've gone Long or Webster but lets be honest Geary will play regardless of captaincy so I'll put him there.

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER: Frawley


So that leaves three spots on the bench and two in emergency. Think Ross & Hannebery (if fit) will be in the side most weeks, so I'll stick them on the bench. That leaves one bench spot between the remaining guys I've considered - Lonie, Long, Bytel, Battle, Webster, Allison, Highmore and Sinclair;

Lonie - Think with the inclusion of Higgins and return of Gresham there seems to be no spot for Lonie in the side if everyone is fit. Good little player, inconsistent at times but has shown he can contribute.

Long - I love Longy, love his aggression and think if he can clean up his recklessness he is a player we need. I just don't see a spot for him in the backline, the only position he could take is Geary's but it won't be this year IMO.

Bytel - Still needs to develop, think he'll play games of course but not in our best 22.

Battle - Hardest one to decide on. I want him in the side. Think he is our most versatile player.

Webster - Spent too long away to be sure if he can contribute more than the guys already in his position (Wilkie, Coffield). Don't think he replaces either.

Allison & Highmore - Just don't know enough to be sure yet, obviously not best 22 straight off the bat.

Sinclair - Think he is one of the best users of the ball but doesn't get it enough - saying that he had a ripper end to last year but haven't seen it for long enough to be comfortable enough to know that he will produce good performances every week.



This is the final team IMO;

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins, Ross, Hannebery, Battle

EMER: Frawley, Long, Sinclair


Battle takes the final bench spot over the other tall that missed out in Frawley. Battle is much more versatile, can play Frawley's position if needed, younger and has plenty more upside.

Long & Sinclair round out the emergencies with Lonie unluckily missing out. Again, I like Long and think he needs to feature, and probably will anyway. I chose Sinclair over Lonie just for Sinclair's field kicking and that seems to be a theme of what Ratts & co are after. Plus, we have a plethora of small forwards and midfielders who can rotate and provide enough scoring power.

The others that didn't make it are just depth IMO. Good depth at that. Overall think we are really building a strong list given this was actually pretty difficult to fit everyone in and try to strike a team balance at the same time. Players that missed will still play obviously, injuries will come and players will need to step up but I think the players we have in waiting this year are far better than what we've had to work with in years prior.

Enjoy the thesis...think the gears are starting to turn in my head about how close the season is and how much potential we have to really start to challenge the better clubs!
I will be very surprised if Geary and Ross have the form to hold their spots. I hope they do but won’t be overly thrilled if they hold Sinclair/Long/Bytel/ Webster (if fit and finds form) out of the side when not performing. They will have to be at their best to warrant a spot.
 

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Gershwin

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Saw the best 22 in the trade discussion, moved it here and wanted to add my thoughts;

First I reckon we need to assess who are no questions asked best 22 players. I reckon at the moment there's 16 of them; Coffield, Jones, Gresham, Crouch, Hill, Steele, Clark, King, Billings, Butler, Marshall, Howard, Higgins, Membrey, Paton and Wilkie.

Geary will play regardless of the captaincy. Carlisle would've been in that list but I decided to leave him out for now due to his injury history (maybe some questions over that / his fitness). Same with Hanners. Ryder will be in if we play two talls, which I think we will, but if we didn't I don't think he is the number one ruck so would miss. Battle has heaps of upside and will probably play most games anyway so will probably fit in somehow in my 22 but just hasn't done enough yet to be guaranteed a spot. The rest that missed are pretty straight forward. So I'll fit the first 16 in;

FB: , Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, , Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King,
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER:


If we play one ruck we have the flexibility to put Higgins in the forward pocket and in doing so have the ability to rotate more through the midfield - an area we struggled badly last season. If we stick with what we did in 2020, and play two rucks, then Ryder would be in the forward pocket and I chose Higgins on the bench - not that it matters but feel Gresham is more dynamic/game changer and has the ability to rotate through the midfield with possibly Steele who has done well when played higher up the ground as a resting mid. I know Higgins can play mid too, but you get the idea.

I've put Jones on the wing although I would prefer he play midfield but really is nowhere to put him as he is better suited than the other option (Clark) due to his speed - and Steele/Crouch are genuine mids. As for rucks - lets go with the two ruck setup, it worked in 2020 and I can't really see them changing it. As for the backline it's obviously down to Carlisle or Frawley for the CHB spot. I will go with Carlisle for now but that position will probably be horses for courses. I think Frawley will play often this year anyway. Can't have him on the bench though (too tall IMO) so will be emergency. As for the other pocket - I could've gone Long or Webster but lets be honest Geary will play regardless of captaincy so I'll put him there.

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER: Frawley


So that leaves three spots on the bench and two in emergency. Think Ross & Hannebery (if fit) will be in the side most weeks, so I'll stick them on the bench. That leaves one bench spot between the remaining guys I've considered - Lonie, Long, Bytel, Battle, Webster, Allison, Highmore and Sinclair;

Lonie - Think with the inclusion of Higgins and return of Gresham there seems to be no spot for Lonie in the side if everyone is fit. Good little player, inconsistent at times but has shown he can contribute.

Long - I love Longy, love his aggression and think if he can clean up his recklessness he is a player we need. I just don't see a spot for him in the backline, the only position he could take is Geary's but it won't be this year IMO.

Bytel - Still needs to develop, think he'll play games of course but not in our best 22.

Battle - Hardest one to decide on. I want him in the side. Think he is our most versatile player.

Webster - Spent too long away to be sure if he can contribute more than the guys already in his position (Wilkie, Coffield). Don't think he replaces either.

Allison & Highmore - Just don't know enough to be sure yet, obviously not best 22 straight off the bat.

Sinclair - Think he is one of the best users of the ball but doesn't get it enough - saying that he had a ripper end to last year but haven't seen it for long enough to be comfortable enough to know that he will produce good performances every week.



This is the final team IMO;

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins, Ross, Hannebery, Battle

EMER: Frawley, Long, Sinclair


Battle takes the final bench spot over the other tall that missed out in Frawley. Battle is much more versatile, can play Frawley's position if needed, younger and has plenty more upside.

Long & Sinclair round out the emergencies with Lonie unluckily missing out. Again, I like Long and think he needs to feature, and probably will anyway. I chose Sinclair over Lonie just for Sinclair's field kicking and that seems to be a theme of what Ratts & co are after. Plus, we have a plethora of small forwards and midfielders who can rotate and provide enough scoring power.

The others that didn't make it are just depth IMO. Good depth at that. Overall think we are really building a strong list given this was actually pretty difficult to fit everyone in and try to strike a team balance at the same time. Players that missed will still play obviously, injuries will come and players will need to step up but I think the players we have in waiting this year are far better than what we've had to work with in years prior.

Enjoy the thesis...think the gears are starting to turn in my head about how close the season is and how much potential we have to really start to challenge the better clubs!
I always enjoy matching our defence against our forwards. How would you do that George and who wins?


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Crusty Undies

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Wasn't clear that the team was meant to be looking at next year, after we hypothetically acquire Merrett.

Frawley might go again but I don't think Carlisle will be with us after this season. He was already in a rocky spot and with Chip coming I think he will be fighting to play senior football.

Hanners is injury prone and Ross needs to work out what his role is. If he is going to be a defensive/tagger type then he wouldn't be needed every week.

We don't have a depth tall forward/ruck who can take over that spot should Marshall go into the ruck full time next year. If it's not McKernan then we need to decide on either getting another #1 ruck OR a Ruck/Fwd option to assist. No way would I want King rucking with just Membrey and Battle forward. Marshall needs a spell on the bench at some point...
I see your point it's just incredibly ambitious to state players like highmore and mckernan yet to pull on the boots for us are going to lockdown a spot in the 22 let alone on the field. We have a loaded backline already and a player like Wilkie is just not suited to being a kpp. He will play the role you've penciled highmore in for for the forseeable future. Snake is 29 and he is our best KPD, comfortably. Frawley is 3 years older, coming from further back and wants the FB spot from Howard who is a better FB than CHB. I just don't think it's realistic to expect players to become something they are simply not physically suited too. I also disagree to the assertion that we need another ruck fwd. King will pinch hit in future to give Marshall a rest and a fwd line of King, Membrey and Battle is well tall enough and mobile enough to stretch oppo defences without crippling our ability to lay a tackle in the f50 by playing another lumbering McKernan type. Just because the Ryder/Marshall experiment has worked with those 2 doesn't mean it will work with any 2 or that we need to stick with it after Ryder is gone.
 

George

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I always enjoy matching our defence against our forwards. How would you do that George and who wins?


Sent from my iPad using BigFooty.com
From the team I picked, if we were in a game situation;

Geary, Howard, Paton
Butler, King, Gresham

Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
Membrey, Ryder, Billings

Wilkie / Coffield can play on either of Membrey or Billings. Whoever is on Billings can use their height and peel off him as the rebounding defender and generate attack from the back. Think Coffield does this better than anyone in the back six so gave him Billings.

Alternatively you just put Battle in as the 7th defender to cover Membrey, Wilkie on Billings and Coffield as the spare.

I think the forwards would win but would be close.

I like the logic here but i must admit i dont understand how Higgins is a no questions asked best 22 player.
Talented 1st round pick that we just traded in, you can pencil him in to play every game if fit I'd say.

I will be very surprised if Geary and Ross have the form to hold their spots. I hope they do but won’t be overly thrilled if they hold Sinclair/Long/Bytel/ Webster (if fit and finds form) out of the side when not performing. They will have to be at their best to warrant a spot.
Don't really care too much if Webster doesn't push for selection. Bytel still needs time to develop, Long will probably play alot of games anyway, as will Sinclair.

If we are being honest, barring injury Geary plays every game as does Ross. Two leaders one the captain/former captain. Don't think they put him in the reserves immediately. Think this is Gears last year so there will be opportunity for others soon enough anyway...Long in particular, even though again I think he will feature plenty this year.
 

Keg still on legs

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I'll have a crack

B: Paton Howard Wilkie
HB: Coff Carlisle Clark
C: Hill Steele Billings
HF: Gresh Roma Membrey
F: Higgins Winx Butler
R: Ryder Crouch Jones

I/C: Hanners, Battle, Ross, Geary / Long
 
Last edited:

phantom13

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Talented 1st round pick that we just traded in, you can pencil him in to play every game if fit I'd say.
Coming off a brain injury and a season where he couldn’t break into a team of average small forwards.

Also a position we have a plethora of depth in (Billings, Gresh, Lonie, Sinclair, Butler).

I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s best is in our best 22 but without a game played, even a practice match it’s ambitious to say he’s a best 22 lock in my opinion.
 

George

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Coming off a brain injury and a season where he couldn’t break into a team of average small forwards.

Also a position we have a plethora of depth in (Billings, Gresh, Lonie, Sinclair, Butler).

I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s best is in our best 22 but without a game played, even a practice match it’s ambitious to say he’s a best 22 lock in my opinion.
What do you mean? He played 10 games last year. I did also say he would play every game if he is fit.

He is a better player than Lonie so there's enough room for him in there. I can't see who you replace him with. He is best 22 for me.
 

Kildonan

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Coming off a brain injury
I want to point out that Higgins did suffer a bleed in his brain, but there was no injury to his brain. He was suffering from a congenital condition (I believe it to be an haemangioma which is a nest of blood vessels which can be prone to rupture and bleeding). Higgins received the very best medical care (as do almost all AFL footballers) - his condition may never have caused him any harm once he recovered from the headaches. The very headaches that alerted the clinicians to the condition. A member of the general public with the same condition untreated might have had no further consquences, or they might have had a serious bleed where the intracranial pressure caused serious injury or death.

Jack had this dangerous nest of blood vessels removed and is very likely to have no negative consequences. He is now prevented from being on that knife edge of uncertainty. We have gained a first round draft pick with an uncanny goal sense. Do not think of him as damaged, think of him as repaired.
 

Crusty Undies

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Definitive Best 22 if everyone is fit in my exceptionally unhumble opinion:

B: Wilkie - Howard - Paton

HB: Coffield - Carlisle - Clark

C: Hill - Steele(C) - Hannebery

HF: Billings - Marshall - Membrey

FF: Butler - King - Higgins

R: Ryder - Crouch - Gresham

I/C: Ross - Battle - Webster - Jones
 

phantom13

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What do you mean? He played 10 games last year. I did also say he would play every game if he is fit.

He is a better player than Lonie so there's enough room for him in there. I can't see who you replace him with. He is best 22 for me.
It’s your team and I liked the method I just don’t see based on pretty limited evidence that he’s a best 22 lock. I hope by this time next year with some runs on the board we can say that but played 10 games in a team that didn’t have great small forward options when he wasn’t injured, versus coming into a team with a lot of small forward options.
 

ScrappyDo

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Saw the best 22 in the trade discussion, moved it here and wanted to add my thoughts;

First I reckon we need to assess who are no questions asked best 22 players. I reckon at the moment there's 16 of them; Coffield, Jones, Gresham, Crouch, Hill, Steele, Clark, King, Billings, Butler, Marshall, Howard, Higgins, Membrey, Paton and Wilkie.

Geary will play regardless of the captaincy. Carlisle would've been in that list but I decided to leave him out for now due to his injury history (maybe some questions over that / his fitness). Same with Hanners. Ryder will be in if we play two talls, which I think we will, but if we didn't I don't think he is the number one ruck so would miss. Battle has heaps of upside and will probably play most games anyway so will probably fit in somehow in my 22 but just hasn't done enough yet to be guaranteed a spot. The rest that missed are pretty straight forward. So I'll fit the first 16 in;

FB: , Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, , Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King,
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER:


If we play one ruck we have the flexibility to put Higgins in the forward pocket and in doing so have the ability to rotate more through the midfield - an area we struggled badly last season. If we stick with what we did in 2020, and play two rucks, then Ryder would be in the forward pocket and I chose Higgins on the bench - not that it matters but feel Gresham is more dynamic/game changer and has the ability to rotate through the midfield with possibly Steele who has done well when played higher up the ground as a resting mid. I know Higgins can play mid too, but you get the idea.

I've put Jones on the wing although I would prefer he play midfield but really is nowhere to put him as he is better suited than the other option (Clark) due to his speed - and Steele/Crouch are genuine mids. As for rucks - lets go with the two ruck setup, it worked in 2020 and I can't really see them changing it. As for the backline it's obviously down to Carlisle or Frawley for the CHB spot. I will go with Carlisle for now but that position will probably be horses for courses. I think Frawley will play often this year anyway. Can't have him on the bench though (too tall IMO) so will be emergency. As for the other pocket - I could've gone Long or Webster but lets be honest Geary will play regardless of captaincy so I'll put him there.

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins,

EMER: Frawley


So that leaves three spots on the bench and two in emergency. Think Ross & Hannebery (if fit) will be in the side most weeks, so I'll stick them on the bench. That leaves one bench spot between the remaining guys I've considered - Lonie, Long, Bytel, Battle, Webster, Allison, Highmore and Sinclair;

Lonie - Think with the inclusion of Higgins and return of Gresham there seems to be no spot for Lonie in the side if everyone is fit. Good little player, inconsistent at times but has shown he can contribute.

Long - I love Longy, love his aggression and think if he can clean up his recklessness he is a player we need. I just don't see a spot for him in the backline, the only position he could take is Geary's but it won't be this year IMO.

Bytel - Still needs to develop, think he'll play games of course but not in our best 22.

Battle - Hardest one to decide on. I want him in the side. Think he is our most versatile player.

Webster - Spent too long away to be sure if he can contribute more than the guys already in his position (Wilkie, Coffield). Don't think he replaces either.

Allison & Highmore - Just don't know enough to be sure yet, obviously not best 22 straight off the bat.

Sinclair - Think he is one of the best users of the ball but doesn't get it enough - saying that he had a ripper end to last year but haven't seen it for long enough to be comfortable enough to know that he will produce good performances every week.



This is the final team IMO;

FB: Geary, Howard, Paton
HB: Wilkie, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele, Crouch
INT: Higgins, Ross, Hannebery, Battle

EMER: Frawley, Long, Sinclair


Battle takes the final bench spot over the other tall that missed out in Frawley. Battle is much more versatile, can play Frawley's position if needed, younger and has plenty more upside.

Long & Sinclair round out the emergencies with Lonie unluckily missing out. Again, I like Long and think he needs to feature, and probably will anyway. I chose Sinclair over Lonie just for Sinclair's field kicking and that seems to be a theme of what Ratts & co are after. Plus, we have a plethora of small forwards and midfielders who can rotate and provide enough scoring power.

The others that didn't make it are just depth IMO. Good depth at that. Overall think we are really building a strong list given this was actually pretty difficult to fit everyone in and try to strike a team balance at the same time. Players that missed will still play obviously, injuries will come and players will need to step up but I think the players we have in waiting this year are far better than what we've had to work with in years prior.

Enjoy the thesis...think the gears are starting to turn in my head about how close the season is and how much potential we have to really start to challenge the better clubs!
Good analysis George.

Personally l don't think Gears should be there, which opens a spot for Long.
He's been a warrior for us, but with handing the baton over he loses his guaranteed place and is not in future plans.
Having him in the 2s will benefit us very well.

FB: Wilkie, Howard, Paton
HB: Long, Carlisle, Coffield
C: Hill, Clark, Jones
HF: Billings, Membrey, Gresham
FF: Butler, King, Ryder
FOLL: Marshall, Steele(C), Crouch
INT: Higgins, Ross, Hannebery, Battle

EMER: Frawley, Bytel/Byrnes/Sinclair, Webster/Highmore

Ryder will be managed and eventually retire. Bytel will move into a permanent position.
 
Last edited:

Joffaboy

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I never have a crack at best 22 for a couple of reasons, I can't make a decision as the info is historical and therefore my knowledge is limited, secondly, my knowledge is limited ;) , thirdly, I am just too lazy.

I do appreciate the posters who do have a crack and analyse the reasons. Possibly the best thread on this board for analysis.

Mostly good work George for moving the best 22 to here as i hadn't seen the great post by Armoo on Higgins he posted in December.

Thumbs up.
 

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