Player Watch #24: Jordan Houlahan

eDPS

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Houlahan has yet to put a full uninterrupted season together with his 2016 year impacted with injury which lead to him having a slow start to his draft year. So obviously he is behind the pace with his fitness which imo is the biggest reason he isn’t having much of an impact so far.

When he gets his fitness and confidence up to scratch we will be wondering how the hell to get him into our senior side
 

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Red Black and Blue

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When he gets his fitness and confidence up to scratch we will be wondering how the hell to get him into our senior side
I think there is a clear role for him when he’s ready. Playing in Baguleys current position. We saw on the weekend how much we struggled to impact aerially with our smalls when the talls were out of position. Houlhan has The attributes to be a good balance of aerial presence and pressure. I do think it’s a hard role to build into in a VFL structure and we may not see the best of him until he’s part of a well structured forward line.
 

eDPS

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I think there is a clear role for him when he’s ready. Playing in Baguleys current position. We saw on the weekend how much we struggled to impact aerially with our smalls when the talls were out of position. Houlhan has The attributes to be a good balance of aerial presence and pressure. I do think it’s a hard role to build into in a VFL structure and we may not see the best of him until he’s part of a well structured forward line.
That and like i said his fitness which is easily the biggest drawback of his game so far. He has no problem leading up at the ball and also putting on pressure and tackling hard so if he can lift his endurance to AFL level he will be playing senior footy next year.
 

eDPS

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As Jordan is a Sturt Jr I like to follow them when they go into the AFL.
How have you seen him so far? Has he taken any big grabs yet?
Of all the draftees from last year he has had the least impact, his running has been the main issue for him but that should come after a few more seasons, his fellow Sturt teammate Zerk-Thatcher has played above our expectations I think he will be a certain AFL player in a few years
 
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Of all the draftees from last year he has had the least impact, his running has been the main issue for him but that should come after a few more seasons, his fellow Sturt teammate Zerk-Thatcher has played above our expectations I think he will be a certain AFL player in a few years
Would calling him Rance like be a bit too bullish?? :)
 

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More like a young Hooker. Quick, good hands, reads the play well and a very iffy kick

Very iffy kick that has missed maybe three targets in the 6 or 7 games I've seen him play.

Zerk-Thatcher does not have a text book kicking action and he's not overly ambitious with the ball but he uses the ball simply and effectively. He's like Ambrose in that regard (and Ambrose is a much more effective kick than his action suggests that he would be).
 
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BrunoV

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On Houlahan, there are a few things working against him. The VFL forward line has been stacked with talls. Draper, McKernan, Lavender, Boyse and then Brown instead of McKernan a lot of the time in a side with Leuenberger. Houlahan seems to me to do his best work as a leading and marking player but he's not fit enough to consistently find the ball when there are so many other bigger and harder running targets. He also hasn't been fit enough to provide a consistent ground level presence as more of a small forward.

My recollection may be deceiving me but I think that he's been playing a little bit of wing more recently and it's likely to continue after the bye as he'll be in significantly better shape this time next week than he will have been at the start of the year. If it continues it should help to get him into the game a bit more.

He's had a few patches in quarters where he has looked good but that's maybe 10 minute periods and then he's spent a lot of time out of the game.

There have been a few taps and side steps, initially some clinical finishing and some strong hands that reflects some of his highlights package from last year. He has time with the ball, which is a good characteristic, and has 'class'. I'm not sure that I've seen anything from him that screams his having been a steal of the draft (as had been loosely indicated), Zerk-Thatcher on the other hand could hardly have been more impressive given where he was recruited and how much size he's been giving away to certain opponents.

I'm not writing Houlahan off, not by any stretch especially because the first half of a first year doesn't usually mean much (at least not negatively), but I'd want to see more from him in the second half of the year with some miles in his legs. He's probably shown less to this point than any other fit player we've recruited in the last five years (other than the rookies like Wallis and Thurlow who did not last).

While it's too early to make any definitive call, or to even be concerned, I'm not seeing what converts to AFL footy. 185cm marking forwards without huge engines/work rates or at least genuine speed are not really AFL players. I don't think that there is much else to say at this point.
 
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Ambrosia

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While it's too early to make any definitive call, or to even be concerned, I'm not seeing what converts to AFL footy. 185cm marking forwards without huge engines/work rates or at least genuine speed are not really AFL players. I don't think that there is much else to say at this point.
A hefty portion of them end up backman
 
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On Houlahan, there are a few things working against him. The VFL forward line has been stacked with talls. Draper, McKernan, Lavender, Boyse and then Brown instead of McKernan a lot of the time in a side with Leuenberger. Houlahan seems to me to do his best work as a leading and marking player but he's not fit enough to consistently find the ball when there are so many other bigger and harder running targets. He also hasn't been fit enough to provide a consistent ground level presence as more of a small forward.

My recollection may be deceiving me but I think that he's been playing a little bit of wing more recently and it's likely to continue after the bye as he'll be in significantly better shape this time next week than he will have been at the start of the year. If it continues it should help to get him into the game a bit more.

He's had a few patches in quarters where he has looked good but that's maybe 10 minute periods and then he's spent a lot of time out of the game.

There have been a few taps and side steps, initially some clinical finishing and some strong hands that reflects some of his highlights package from last year. He has time with the ball, which is a good characteristic, and has 'class'. I'm not sure that I've seen anything from him that screams his having been a steal of the draft (as had been loosely indicated), Zerk-Thatcher on the other hand could hardly have been more impressive given where he was recruited and how much size he's been giving away to certain opponents.

I'm not writing Houlahan off, not by any stretch especially because the first half of a first year doesn't usually mean much (at least not negatively), but I'd want to see more from him in the second half of the year with some miles in his legs. He's probably shown less to this point than any other fit player we've recruited in the last five year (other than the rookies like Wallis and Thurlow who did not last).

While it's too early to make any definitive call, or to even be concerned, I'm not seeing what converts to AFL footy. 185cm marking forwards without huge engines/work rates or at least genuine speed are not really AFL players. I don't think that there is much else to say at this point.
It's still early and he was always slated to be a long-term prospect, but for me, the biggest question mark has been his lack of self-confidence. It's such an underrated aspect of a footballer, especially for forwards. I mean just look at the difference between Jerrett and Raz, on paper they are similar, physically and skill-wise, but the biggest difference between them is between the ears, it is often what separates average footballers from champions.

Whilst confidence should increase with maturity and development, it's such an advantage for a young forward to have; hopefully Houlahan can get there cause he looks like he has a few exciting traits
 

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It's still early and he was always slated to be a long-term prospect, but for me, the biggest question mark has been his lack of self-confidence. It's such an underrated aspect of a footballer, especially for forwards. I mean just look at the difference between Jerrett and Raz, on paper they are similar, physically and skill-wise, but the biggest difference between them is between the ears, it is often what separates average footballers from champions.

Whilst confidence should increase with maturity and development, it's such an advantage for a young forward to have; hopefully Houlahan can get there cause he looks like he has a few exciting traits


I think of Houlahan as having a real swagger on the field, he can tackle to hurt and is quite often in the face of opponents (not unreasonably or unprofessionally). He is far from someone who I see as having a lack of confidence.

The difference between Fantasia and Houlahan as first year players is that Fantasia already had a VFL-level engine and he could stay in a game for something pretty close to 120 minutes.
 
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I think of Houlahan as having a real swagger on the field, he can tackle to hurt and is quite often in the face of opponents (not unreasonably or unprofessionally). He is far from someone who I see as having a lack of confidence.

The difference between Fantasia and Houlahan as first year players is that Fantasia already had a VFL-level engine and he could stay in a game for something pretty close to 120 minutes.
I haven't yet seen it, though I've only seen him live 3 or 4 times; possible that some of Dodoro's comments post draft regarding self-belief may have biased me. Certainly hope he becomes an 'in-your-face' kind of player who can also stand on your shoulders.
 

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I haven't yet seen it, though I've only seen him live 3 or 4 times; possible that some of Dodoro's comments post draft regarding self-belief may have biased me. Certainly hope he becomes an 'in-your-face' kind of player who can also stand on your shoulders.

I'd interpret Dodoro's comments as something more deep-seeded. Houlahan needs to realise how good he can be as a motivation to put in the work required to make it.

I don't think the lack of realisation manifests itself as part of his on-field presentation. He seems to me to be naturally 'in-your-face' and as I said, he seems to have a bit of swagger. I don't think that this is what Dodoro was talking about.

Kyle Reimers was as 'in-your-face' as it gets but ultimately he didn't put in the required amount of work and his swagger was ultimately meaningless. Maybe the attitude masked doubt about his ability.
 
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I'd interpret Dodoro's comments as something more deep-seeded. Houlahan needs to realise how good he can be as a motivation to put in the work required to make it.

I don't think the lack of realisation manifests itself as part of his on-field presentation. He seems to me to be naturally 'in-your-face' and as I said, he seems to have a bit of swagger. I don't think that this is what Dodoro was talking about.

Kyle Reimers was as 'in-your-face' as it gets but ultimately he didn't put in the required amount of work and his swagger was ultimately meaningless. Maybe the attitude masked doubt about his ability.
I'm pretty sure Kyle Reimers was just a D***head
 
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