Player Watch #23: Ben McKay -

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Snake_Baker

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My guess was that the short passes in defence were under instruction.

The ones in to the forward line were just as putrid. It's the single most glaring issue with our skill set.

Our "deft" kicking is utter shite. Park footballers execute it better.
 

Groucho

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The ones in to the forward line were just as putrid. It's the single most glaring issue with our skill set.

Our "deft" kicking is utter shite. Park footballers execute it better.
Watching a few other teams on the weekend such as Pies and the Eagles, well they're just in another league with their short passing compared to what I saw us do. Quite disheartening really.
 

roos_tt29

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I'm not personally going to judge Ben until he gets a solid run as that 3rd tall with Taz and Thompson. I have no expectations of him to be a locked second defender until he gets a string of games at AFL level. Being that third tall with those two will be the next stage of his development.

As long as we can see progress through until the end of the year, that's another tick. Just need to temper our expectations a bit.
 
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Ben was definitely the shyer, less confident of the twins.

He took time to adjust to being away from home and GF (as played out on social media). Didn’t he take time out of the game prior to being drafted due to pressure and a lack of confidence too?

He looks like the type of guy that works his way into things over time, rather than the confident type who steps up with ease... Like his more self-believing brother. He also looks like he has a tendency to get overwhelmed with pressure- with the injuries, he looked like he was ‘feeling it’ a bit.

At least I hope that explains things.

While not writing him off just yet - I’d be reluctant to back him in to be a mainstay of a new defensive unit for years to come.

He def didn’t grab his chance - that is for sure. What the coaches think of his performance will be displayed in selection - the Rd 1 team will be very interesting indeed.

Perhaps has the physical attributes - not sure about his mental character under the intense pressure of the AFL. Time will tell.
 
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Do we see him in the 22 when Thompson and Tarrant are both fully fit?

Last year we only played with seven defenders and I don't see that increasing with the new 6-6-6 rules. Therefore we'd have to leave out one of Tarrant, Thompson, Wright, McDonald, MacMillan, Williams or Vickers-Willis.

It's also going to become harder to get away with the three tall set up now that we can't play a spare behind the ball. It's basically going to come down to whether Thompson is still able to handle quicker mid-sized forwards such as Josh Caddy, which given he is turning 33 this year might not be realistic.
 

Harris 10

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Do we see him in the 22 when Thompson and Tarrant are both fully fit?

Last year we only played with seven defenders and I don't see that increasing with the new 6-6-6 rules. Therefore we'd have to leave out one of Tarrant, Thompson, Wright, McDonald, MacMillan, Williams or Vickers-Willis.

It's also going to become harder to get away with the three tall set up now that we can't play a spare behind the ball. It's basically going to come down to whether Thompson is still able to handle quicker mid-sized forwards such as Josh Caddy, which given he is turning 33 this year might not be realistic.
I think he plays.
I see Pittard, Wright and EVW fighting for 1 spot in our best 22. I expect through injury they’ll all play in round 1.
 

ozzyoslo

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Do we see him in the 22 when Thompson and Tarrant are both fully fit?

Last year we only played with seven defenders and I don't see that increasing with the new 6-6-6 rules. Therefore we'd have to leave out one of Tarrant, Thompson, Wright, McDonald, MacMillan, Williams or Vickers-Willis.

It's also going to become harder to get away with the three tall set up now that we can't play a spare behind the ball. It's basically going to come down to whether Thompson is still able to handle quicker mid-sized forwards such as Josh Caddy, which given he is turning 33 this year might not be realistic.
Yes, thats how you develop your players. Majak made errors last year with Taz and Thommo there until he found his mojo. Unfortunately for Mckay is that both Taz is injured and Thommo is out rd 1.
 

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Do we see him in the 22 when Thompson and Tarrant are both fully fit?

Last year we only played with seven defenders and I don't see that increasing with the new 6-6-6 rules. Therefore we'd have to leave out one of Tarrant, Thompson, Wright, McDonald, MacMillan, Williams or Vickers-Willis.

It's also going to become harder to get away with the three tall set up now that we can't play a spare behind the ball. It's basically going to come down to whether Thompson is still able to handle quicker mid-sized forwards such as Josh Caddy, which given he is turning 33 this year might not be realistic.
Probably when we play sides that play 3 genuine talls up forward. And have no issue with one of those 7 possibly missing if their form warrants a run in the scoobies

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shouldve played games last year. when majak was playing fwd for 3 weeks he shouldve come in to replace him then. give him some time and give him some confidence in the side then. Our backline structure those 3 weeks was terrible without majak there and only became better when they put him back
 

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shouldve played games last year. when majak was playing fwd for 3 weeks he shouldve come in to replace him then. give him some time and give him some confidence in the side then. Our backline structure those 3 weeks was terrible without majak there and only became better when they put him back
I reckon Maj was moved forward due to lack of appropriate match ups against Sydney and Collingwood. Hard to see who we would’ve matched McKay up with.
 

The Other Dean

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Like dejavu in here. Only difference is McKay is 20
Not sure that's the "only" difference, Groin.

For example, I can't see Ben being on the receiving end of any ridiculous calls that claim he's only getting a game on account of his racial heritage.
 
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Yes, thats how you develop your players. Majak made errors last year with Taz and Thommo there until he found his mojo. Unfortunately for Mckay is that both Taz is injured and Thommo is out rd 1.
It's not about him being ready, it's about guys like Tarrant, Thompson, Wright, MacMillan and McDonald being entrenched in the side.

If he does play it would likely be at the expense of Ed Vickers-Willis, who is also a promising young player that needs development time and who fits the structure of the team better. Playing McKay might also be asking too much of Scott Thompson, who I'm not sure can still handle playing on medium sized forwards.

Probably when we play sides that play 3 genuine talls up forward. And have no issue with one of those 7 possibly missing if their form warrants a run in the scoobies

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Would definitely love a horses for courses approach with Pittard, Wright, McKay and Vickers-Willis depending on who the opposition lines up.

Giving McKay 5-10 games this year when he has a clear match up is probably the best way to develop him as well.

You'd have to think he takes Maj's place even with Thompson and Tarrant fit - including the ruck relief role - once they're back.
The part I'm interested in and that I don't think is being discussed enough is that Maj's place doesn't really exist anymore. While obviously if he was fit we'd find a spot for him, if we're going from seven defenders to six defenders then Daw's role is the most logical to get cut.

If Daw was playing this year then he'd probably be playing forward a lot more against the teams with smaller forward lines, simply because the option for him to play spare doesn't exist anymore. As McKay doesn't have that flexibility (I imagine if we were interested in treating McKay the same way we would have trialed it in the JLT), it's hard to imagine where he would line up against sides that only play one or two tall forwards.
 

shintemaster

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If Daw was playing this year then he'd probably be playing forward a lot more against the teams with smaller forward lines, simply because the option for him to play spare doesn't exist anymore. As McKay doesn't have that flexibility (I imagine if we were interested in treating McKay the same way we would have trialed it in the JLT), it's hard to imagine where he would line up against sides that only play one or two tall forwards.
Agree, I think Maj may have been paying forward more this year. That said the changes I think do make it more likely that teams will have genuine second ruck types in them which means Maj would have had a position still and so will McKay if necessary.
 

RobZombie

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Playing McKay might also be asking too much of Scott Thompson, who I'm not sure can still handle playing on medium sized forwards.
Versatility is literally why Thompson is still on the list. If he can only play as an undersized tall defender he can do it in the VFL. Two genuine talls plus one who can play loose, tall or medium is fine for team balance.

I'm all for showing faith in McKay for a decent chunk of games to start the season. He's been decent 1v1 but suspect with the ball in hand so far. That will improve.
 

Groin guru

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Not sure that's the "only" difference, Groin.

For example, I can't see Ben being on the receiving end of any ridiculous calls that claim he's only getting a game on account of his racial heritage.
That's true. Ben is probably only getting games based on white male privilege

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Versatility is literally why Thompson is still on the list. If he can only play as an undersized tall defender he can do it in the VFL. Two genuine talls plus one who can play loose, tall or medium is fine for team balance.

I'm all for showing faith in McKay for a decent chunk of games to start the season. He's been decent 1v1 but suspect with the ball in hand so far. That will improve.
While there's a lot of negativity towards McKay in this thread, this isn't a discussion of his ability. This is just an observation on team structures. Majak Daw, who is easily one of the best third talls in the AFL, would have had to move forward for more than a few games this year so it's definitely not a question of talent.

The new 6-6-6 rules have effectively done two things; increase the importance of man on man defending and eliminated the concept of playing a loose man in defence. As a result, we now need to be able to look at the six defenders who start on the field and think about whether or not there's a match up for them. I love Scott Thompson and have plenty of fond memories of him shutting down players like Eddie Betts over the years, but at 33 years old there's questions over what types of players he can still play on. Against a taller forward line like West Coast and Adelaide McKay should definitely play, but when there's a side like Collingwood who have the ability to play a quick forward line featuring Stephenson, Hoskin-Elliott, De Goey, Thomas and Varcoe, it'd be insane to play all three of McKay, Thompson and Tarrant.
 
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Agree, I think Maj may have been paying forward more this year. That said the changes I think do make it more likely that teams will have genuine second ruck types in them which means Maj would have had a position still and so will McKay if necessary.
Yeah, there's still a lot to play out and we're not 100% sure how teams are going to line up this year. If the majority of sides start playing a FF, CHF and two genuine rucks, then that's going to open the door for McKay to play a lot of games this year.
 

Horizons_00

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While there's a lot of negativity towards McKay in this thread, this isn't a discussion of his ability. This is just an observation on team structures. Majak Daw, who is easily one of the best third talls in the AFL, would have had to move forward for more than a few games this year so it's definitely not a question of talent.

The new 6-6-6 rules have effectively done two things; increase the importance of man on man defending and eliminated the concept of playing a loose man in defence. As a result, we now need to be able to look at the six defenders who start on the field and think about whether or not there's a match up for them. I love Scott Thompson and have plenty of fond memories of him shutting down players like Eddie Betts over the years, but at 33 years old there's questions over what types of players he can still play on. Against a taller forward line like West Coast and Adelaide McKay should definitely play, but when there's a side like Collingwood who have the ability to play a quick forward line featuring Stephenson, Hoskin-Elliott, De Goey, Thomas and Varcoe, it'd be insane to play all three of McKay, Thompson and Tarrant.
Definitley team structures

With Taz, Thommo etc McKay can play as a floating/intercept defender like Daw

Remember how bad Daw was in the backline in the JLT then flourished when the season started

Unfortunately for McKay he won’t have much support in round 1 at all. I feel bad for him because I really think he needs a proper chance
 

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I would like to put some perspective into the argument. McKay's direct opponents over the 2 JLT games kicked a total of 3 goals. Yes he made some howlers but so did some other players but being close to goal, his stand out.

He definately needs support and with Tarrant back for round 1, expect a better performance from Benny.

Back him in.
 
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