Player Watch #23: Ben McKay -

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Seems to move and react more like a mobile ruckman than a key position defender - ie he is a a bit slow to play on mobile key forwards. At 200cm's and 100 kg's that is not surprising.

He will get better match ups to play on e.g Lobb in Round 1 - but if teams only play 1 key forward and Taz takes that forward BMac may struggle for the right match up.
 

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He can't and won't grow as a defender if you don't play him. He wasn't horrible at all that game, he just has to figure it out at this level like all inexperienced players do.

Play him. Needs games.
This is why it was so disappointing he didn't play 5-6 games in the back half of last year when we were no chance of a top 6 birth.

We need to know what his strengths/weaknesses are in a senior game situation - its no good relying on 'match simulation' and VFL form. Now we are going in with 2 pre season games before the Round 1 game.

I agree he needs to keep playing now (in fact he has to given our injuries) as he needs to get his confidence up at this level but there could have been much better prep for him if he had played even a handful of senior games last year.
 

Snake_Baker

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StKilda rotated their key forwards heavily in order to create mismatches with our smaller defenders to the point where it appeared to me that Ben was guarding a zone more than a direct opponent, then he picked up the KPF who went in to that zone. This is no fault of Ben's are we're fairly limited tactically with a solution.

Expect Freo to do the same thing if Tazz doesn't get up.
 
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Anyone remember Maj's pre-season game last year?

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Brad was widely mocked for putting Maj in defence and he got demolished in both JLT games, but it didn't take long until Maj found his feet and became a top defender by the end of the season.
 

the big lebowski

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StKilda rotated their key forwards heavily in order to create mismatches with our smaller defenders to the point where it appeared to me that Ben was guarding a zone more than a direct opponent, then he picked up the KPF who went in to that zone. This is no fault of Ben's are we're fairly limited tactically with a solution.

Expect Freo to do the same thing if Tazz doesn't get up.
Spot on but I’m not sure it was due to St Kilda. He was doing the same thing against dec Watson in the praccy and Larkey in some match win I watched late last year.
 

Alphonse_

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I wouldn't write off Ben-Mac yet Shinboners, it took our Harry (a higher draft pick) a while to get his **** sorted, I just wish a neutral that Brad Scott would unleash the shackles off the likes of BM and LDU and give them extended stints in the seniors.

If he struggles as a defender, why not pinch him in the ruck or even a forward, is coach Scott willing to do such a bold move though ?
 

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Brad was widely mocked for putting Maj in defence and he got demolished in both JLT games, but it didn't take long until Maj found his feet and became a top defender by the end of the season.
Sorry I forgot my sarcasm/The World's Ending facey thing!

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Without having watched the game I would have expected McKay to look slow as he has no experienced tall defenders (Taz and Thompson) giving him instructions. He's probably trying to work out structures for the first time against opposition without much help. Probably can't play instinctively as he's worrying about where he meant to be. Took Majak a while to adjust and he had both Tarrant and Thompson the helping him.
 
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Without having watched the game I would have expected McKay to look slow as he has no experienced tall defenders (Taz and Thompson) giving him instructions. He's probably trying to work out structures for the first time against opposition without much help. Probably can't play instinctively as he's worrying about where he meant to be. Took Majak a while to adjust and he had both Tarrant and Thompson the helping him.
Yep, Maj credited the seasoned players around him in the backline for talking him through during games. Outside of JMac, who was busy chasing kicks, who was the vocal fellow back 6 senior player who would have been talking to him?
 

Jack Bradley

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Yeah I'm not sold on the kid. Looks very larconic. Looks slow, not only in his movement but in his decision making. Has a durdin look about him (complete spud)
 

Tas

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I wouldn't write off Ben-Mac yet Shinboners, it took our Harry (a higher draft pick) a while to get his **** sorted, I just wish a neutral that Brad Scott would unleash the shackles off the likes of BM and LDU and give them extended stints in the seniors.

If he struggles as a defender, why not pinch him in the ruck or even a forward, is coach Scott willing to do such a bold move though ?
We are generally very slow with KPP development, it was pretty rare for someone like Brown to come out and do well in a key position at a young age.

LDU will be fine, he needed the pre-season to get his body right, he looked pretty good in the practice game. McKay I think will be fine, we just prefer to have some experience to help him out. With no Tarrant, Thompson or Daw he didn't have much support, Tarrant should be okay for round 1 and Thompson will return from suspension in round 2, I think having two experienced players plus Ben will give him a much better environment to learn in.
 
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