Player Watch #29: Will Phillips

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Shack18

Draftee
Feb 13, 2021
4
30
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The boy is a star. Had the good fortune to see him play from u10’s right though to Oakleigh and Caulfield Grammar. Most enjoyable games was CGS v Carey APS game in 2019. Was a cracking game with Will pretty much going head to head with Matt and Noah in the centre and on ball. Absolutely held his own, was awesome ina team on the back foot (and he was year 11). if junior footy had of been played last year i would have been surprised if he didn’t absolutely dominate the TAC cup. He kind of did back half of 2019 tac cup. We have a beauty with genuine leadership. Only question I have with him is his versatility to play forward or back. He should be starting smack bang in the centre square from round one, though am conscious he didn’t play any footy last year but don’t think it will matter.
cheers
Go Roos
 

pupstar

Club Legend
Aug 12, 2017
1,272
1,518
cairns
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The boy is a star. Had the good fortune to see him play from u10’s right though to Oakleigh and Caulfield Grammar. Most enjoyable games was CGS v Carey APS game in 2019. Was a cracking game with Will pretty much going head to head with Matt and Noah in the centre and on ball. Absolutely held his own, was awesome ina team on the back foot (and he was year 11). if junior footy had of been played last year i would have been surprised if he didn’t absolutely dominate the TAC cup. He kind of did back half of 2019 tac cup. We have a beauty with genuine leadership. Only question I have with him is his versatility to play forward or back. He should be starting smack bang in the centre square from round one, though am conscious he didn’t play any footy last year but don’t think it will matter.
cheers
Go Roos
Good post Shack18. Personally it does not bother me 1 iota that he MAY not be able to play back or forward just stick him in the guts and watch him dominate. I think we sometimes make more of it than we need to with some players not being to play multiple positions. I realize you need to sometimes be versatile but i think he will bring enough versatility in the middle. Lets bring this season on and get some games into our multitude of young talent.
 

Shack18

Draftee
Feb 13, 2021
4
30
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Good post Shack18. Personally it does not bother me 1 iota that he MAY not be able to play back or forward just stick him in the guts and watch him dominate. I think we sometimes make more of it than we need to with some players not being to play multiple positions. I realize you need to sometimes be versatile but i think he will bring enough versatility in the middle. Lets bring this season on and get some games into our multitude of young talent.
Spot on whack him the guts and let him do his thing. Obviously preference is to be able to play multiple positions and as he develops that will likely happen. For his first year put him in the guts , his best position, and let him play.
Go Roos
 

speedy

Premiership Player
Sep 5, 2001
4,806
2,065
Melbourne, VIC
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I really hate this “only suited to playing on ball excuse” especially for super talented juniors. Same was said about LDU and Jy to a lesser extent. Good luck Nobes with getting the versatility you are after in your playing group.

if Will is half as good as everyone thinks he is then he should be able to contribute when not playing on the ball.
 

shinboner magic

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 17, 2007
13,830
16,410
melb home of the kangas
AFL Club
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I really hate this “only suited to playing on ball excuse” especially for super talented juniors. Same was said about LDU and Jy to a lesser extent. Good luck Nobes with getting the versatility you are after in your playing group.

if Will is half as good as everyone thinks he is then he should be able to contribute when not playing on the ball.
After a year of not playing any footy - it’s probably best he plays vfl in the midfield to get a feel of it.
When he hit form he then come in and play flank with stints in the midfield
 

The Y Factor

Premium Platinum
Sep 28, 2005
1,471
3,971
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LOL, Polec doesn’t tackle isn’t pointless sh*t?

On this occasion, he’s bang on. It’s akin to going up bullshit street if you ask me. It’s the little things that win you flags. Lairy boots can be worn once you’ve got a kick.
What if it’s part of his sponsorship package with the club?

I have zero idea but if it was snd it was part of his job just show off the new release boots on the number 1 draftee - would it matter?
 

Mjs94

Team Captain
Apr 24, 2016
470
1,096
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I really hate this “only suited to playing on ball excuse” especially for super talented juniors. Same was said about LDU and Jy to a lesser extent. Good luck Nobes with getting the versatility you are after in your playing group.

if Will is half as good as everyone thinks he is then he should be able to contribute when not playing on the ball.
I love LDU, have been a fan since day one and think he will be a top 5 in the league player but he has shown absolutely nothing as a forward and shouldn't play there other than to rest occasionally.

I have no doubt that Will could play a flank role if forced to, but it would take at least well into his second season for him to be comfortable and performing in that role and by then he should be looking to get into the starting on-ball rotation. I would much rather he spend time learning midfield positioning, running patterns etc in the VFL/AFL than be stuck on a flank learning skills that he will probably rarely ever use again.

Versatility is great but we don't need it for the sake of it
 

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Shack18

Draftee
Feb 13, 2021
4
30
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The bottom line is, is he a better option in the middle than:

Cunners
Simpkin
Anderson
LDU
Polec
Scott

If not, then he waits for his chance.
TPA as a centre square mid I rate him better than LDU, POlec and SCott from your list. I know is ambitious to say given he hasn’t played an afl game yet but that’s my view. We are not overly blessed with hard tough ball winners who can use the ball well so would be surprised if he does not start in round 1 team and play as a genuine mid including centre square time.
time will tell so will be fun to watch, and am really pleased we are building a strong midfield.
GO Roos
 

TennisPlayerAndy

Klay Thompson's Headband
Apr 1, 2008
45,283
68,735
AFL Club
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TPA as a centre square mid I rate him better than LDU, POlec and SCott from your list. I know is ambitious to say given he hasn’t played an afl game yet but that’s my view. We are not overly blessed with hard tough ball winners who can use the ball well so would be surprised if he does not start in round 1 team and play as a genuine mid including centre square time.
time will tell so will be fun to watch, and am really pleased we are building a strong midfield.
GO Roos
I listed Polec and Scott as I believe they’re the best two options we have as wingmen.

Phillips is a superb prospect, but I don’t believe he’s a better option than any of those I listed, at this stage.

Cunners is a lock. Anderson is required to kill people. Simpkin and LDU have more in their arsenal, at this stage.

Phillips will get his time, but he’s fifth in line currently and I don’t want him rotting on a flank, playing a position that is alien to him.
 

SimpkinByTheDockOfTheBay

Seasoned Football Analyst
Aug 21, 2018
17,693
41,722
AFL Club
North Melbourne
What knee injury?

You’re not mixing him up with Hollands
A niggling knee injury would likely have ruled Phillips out for a fair chunk of the first half of this season had it been played as planned, but clubs are well aware of the midfielder's traits.

 

Val Keating

Brownlow Medallist
Dec 27, 2017
11,120
24,086
AFL Club
North Melbourne
You’d think he’d get at least a quarter in.
Did he in our latest intra? Lazzaro seems to have gone ahead of him there, but they could just be rotating Phillips, Lazzaro & Powell because they are going up against Cunners, Jed, LDU & Simpkin. I’m guessing it’s why they’re using Tyson, Hall + 1 of the draftees to protect the young blokes a bit.
 

the big lebowski

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 4, 2006
10,047
17,012
The hood
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Really only here before people start referring to WiPhi as a bust because he's not playing in the first practice match of the preseason
It is strange don’t you think?

I think there might be some issues with trying to do too much. He seems the type of kid that fully embraces what the coach wants from an inside mid. Maybe he just needs to narrow his focus first and win the footy rather than follow structures to the letter etc.
 

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