3 to watch in 2021

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shintemaster

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 24, 2002
15,882
28,772
Ponderama
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I thought as we approach the 2021 season it might be fun to put a thread out there with a slightly different take. What I'm after here is not so much the players you think are ready to explode onto the scene (LDU for example) or those that you're most excited to see play good football (Thomas, Larkey, McKay) but those that you see as having a unique path to walk in 2021 and why. For mine these are the 3 that I'll be watching with interest from a medium term POV:

Jed Anderson - He looks absolutely primed physically this year, has all the confidence of his last 12-18 months and physically is at his peak. I've been an avowed fan from very early on but I will admit that I felt at times last year that in spite of his exceptional numbers teams effectively sweated on him at times as his disposal can be susceptible particularly in heavy congestion. He gets it done and often has brilliant passing but for mine at times his ability to hurt the opponent with the ball was often lacking. Game style didn't help either. For mine 2021 is an open book for him - we saw that physically and from a leadership POV he stepped up in the absence of some key players last year such as Cunnington.

I'm very curious to see whether Cunnington back and extra time into Simpkin - who was our most damaging mid last year IMO - and LDU who showed the highest ceiling of any of our pure mids - albeit coming back from injury and with ups and downs from that. What does all that mean for Jed - does the extra capability around him make it easier for him to shine or does it actually overshadow him / potentially mean that his role adapts more to suit the new team balance.

Turner - Big year ahead for Turner. This is the one. I'm in the boat that says he was a critical loss to our forward line last year due to the significant team first game that he plays. A thankless role that covered a lot of the gaps left by a Brown anchored forward line and style that needed dedicated defensive play. He comes into 2021 off some interrupted previous seasons though and now has some significant competition in the smaller forward ranks. Is there a need for someone purely in his previous role with a more skilled small brigade (Stephenson, Thomas, Taylor etc) and does opening up to a faster, more attacking plan allow him to shine and play a defensive forward role that can actually hit the scoreboard - or does it become the beginning of the end as his weaknesses are more of an issue with more attacking talent that can play tight and press up around him?

Xerri - I was torn on the 3rd player. There were a couple I considered including Zurhaar who I feel is at a real crossroads. Tough season due to injury last year, poor plan for his strengths and more pressure due to Brown leaving - I think he'll be a critical factor in how we develop or not over this year. That said I settled on Xerri. For mine he is the player that we have the most skin in the game from a gameplan and medium term planning POV. We don't need him to star from the start but IMO this new plan being a genuine chance of fast tracking towards top 4 over the next 12-36 months requires Xerri to come in and be able to play a genuine role relieving Goldy and structurally in the forward line. He needs to be there to protect Larkey and a smaller forward line physically while still pulling the forward line structurally together. Doesn't need to kick bags but we have a lot riding on transition to a 2 ruck structure over the next couple of years. At the end of this year we arguably need to be shopping for KPP's either ready made or drafted explicitly based on how he tracks this year. Will be very interesting to see where he plays his game time and whether he gets games in the AFL almost irrespective of how he is tracking week to week on field.
 

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The acurate one

Premiership Player
Jan 23, 2019
3,651
16,067
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I never read these threads first up as I find it can cloud one's own judgment, so best just jumping in with your own thoughts first then read the rest later. good thread though 👍


TAO- Was stung by his poor finish in the greatest ever poster of the year thread and is looking to bounce back in 2021. Has cast aside his neurological issues , although that could be a hindrance when posting around these parts. Either side of covid has bulked up in the gym and looking for a great year, has some dubious live appearances to his name which could hinder further development. Should he get his sh*t together definitely one to watch, just not live. 😲


Dan Andrews ( Captain of Victoria)- After a huge year where he single handled saved all Victorians from certain death ,destruction and burning in the fires of hell. Some may suggest how can Dan, "the stand by Dan the man" sh*t show lift another notch. A naturally charismatic chap is Dan , "the stand by the man Dan" and a fav with ladies apparently, oozes charm and wit. Dan of cause doesn't like being called Dan, "the stand by the man Dan". And prefers to be known as the Big V. And no not big vagina you crass lot.🙄

BF NMFC community- A serious bunch of posters if there ever was, some fine performers and others who'd rather post with a tongue firmly planted between their cheeks. We all know who he is. Definitely ones to watch as you shouldn't turn your back on them for a second , miserable pricks. Oh don't leave them unattended in parked cars either.
 

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The Filth Wizard

These Meats Are Spoiled
Jul 26, 2007
78,742
109,546
The Throne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Arsenal, Gold City Royals
1. Dom Tyson - Desperately unlucky to be injured last season at a time he would have had a hand on a starting mid spot from Rd 2-ish onwards. We know he can play and age wise this is his prime.

2. Nick Larkey - A big factor in why Brown is at Melbourne but let's be honest, Nick had as forgettable a 2020 as BBB. He's locked in but is he key #strainedanalogy

3. Jared Polec - Had one of his worse career seasons under Shaw and will be hoping to form a strong relationship with Noble. Is blessed in that for most impartial observers he's starting from "the bottom" again so has a really strong platform to make amends for 2020.
 

Gasometer

TheBrownDog
Mar 14, 2002
53,403
66,311
Gasometer Wing
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Kangaroos
I thought as we approach the 2021 season it might be fun to put a thread out there with a slightly different take. What I'm after here is not so much the players you think are ready to explode onto the scene (LDU for example) or those that you're most excited to see play good football (Thomas, Larkey, McKay) but those that you see as having a unique path to walk in 2021 and why. For mine these are the 3 that I'll be watching with interest from a medium term POV:

Jed Anderson - He looks absolutely primed physically this year, has all the confidence of his last 12-18 months and physically is at his peak. I've been an avowed fan from very early on but I will admit that I felt at times last year that in spite of his exceptional numbers teams effectively sweated on him at times as his disposal can be susceptible particularly in heavy congestion. He gets it done and often has brilliant passing but for mine at times his ability to hurt the opponent with the ball was often lacking. Game style didn't help either. For mine 2021 is an open book for him - we saw that physically and from a leadership POV he stepped up in the absence of some key players last year such as Cunnington.

I'm very curious to see whether Cunnington back and extra time into Simpkin - who was our most damaging mid last year IMO - and LDU who showed the highest ceiling of any of our pure mids - albeit coming back from injury and with ups and downs from that. What does all that mean for Jed - does the extra capability around him make it easier for him to shine or does it actually overshadow him / potentially mean that his role adapts more to suit the new team balance.

Turner - Big year ahead for Turner. This is the one. I'm in the boat that says he was a critical loss to our forward line last year due to the significant team first game that he plays. A thankless role that covered a lot of the gaps left by a Brown anchored forward line and style that needed dedicated defensive play. He comes into 2021 off some interrupted previous seasons though and now has some significant competition in the smaller forward ranks. Is there a need for someone purely in his previous role with a more skilled small brigade (Stephenson, Thomas, Taylor etc) and does opening up to a faster, more attacking plan allow him to shine and play a defensive forward role that can actually hit the scoreboard - or does it become the beginning of the end as his weaknesses are more of an issue with more attacking talent that can play tight and press up around him?

Xerri - I was torn on the 3rd player. There were a couple I considered including Zurhaar who I feel is at a real crossroads. Tough season due to injury last year, poor plan for his strengths and more pressure due to Brown leaving - I think he'll be a critical factor in how we develop or not over this year. That said I settled on Xerri. For mine he is the player that we have the most skin in the game from a gameplan and medium term planning POV. We don't need him to star from the start but IMO this new plan being a genuine chance of fast tracking towards top 4 over the next 12-36 months requires Xerri to come in and be able to play a genuine role relieving Goldy and structurally in the forward line. He needs to be there to protect Larkey and a smaller forward line physically while still pulling the forward line structurally together. Doesn't need to kick bags but we have a lot riding on transition to a 2 ruck structure over the next couple of years. At the end of this year we arguably need to be shopping for KPP's either ready made or drafted explicitly based on how he tracks this year. Will be very interesting to see where he plays his game time and whether he gets games in the AFL almost irrespective of how he is tracking week to week on field.
Sugar needs a big one
 

Kangaroos4eva

Premium Platinum
Aug 22, 2012
41,752
76,796
QLD
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
West Ham United
1 - Mahoney: Has incredible footy smarts, is composed, and is never flustered. Has built his tank up across the preseason, but lacks leg speed and is competing with a number of different half-forwards. Has the potential to be a really reliable Patch Adams style player.

2 - Scott: Has flown under the radar, but is everything our coach wants. A flexible versatile and smart player that does the little things right. Is a notable goal-kicker, but he's had very little midfield time. With Dumont out, Scott's tank as the outside mid is going to be very important.

3 - Stephenson: Want to see him at his best and we don't know how his wing role is going to impact on him. Will he jump out of the blocks, or continue his stagnation.
 

shintemaster

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 24, 2002
15,882
28,772
Ponderama
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Great thread. OP uses LDU as an example of a player he’s not looking for and half the posts name LDU!

Perez, Taylor and Scott are the 3 for me. These guys keep heading towards their full potential and we’re in the thick of it for the next decade.
Ha. To be fair I'm not saying you can't name him - just that this thread is more about the unkowns and the big changes over the year. For mine a player like LDU is just on a natural progression. It'll be a magnificent ride - but not necessarily a surprising one IMO.
 

Psicosis

Norm Smith Medallist
May 7, 2012
5,569
14,084
Bird Rock
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Good thread, I think that it’s obvious from the different names being mentioned how much scope for improvement we have.

Gone are the days we had a handful of “great White hope” top picks that were going to drag us to the promise land. I think it also benefits from the fact there really isn’t much we can go backwards from 2020.

We have an abundance of u23 talent, any of the following names could break out in 2021/22/23: LDU, Simpkin, Thomas, Stephenson, Larkey, Zurhaar, Taylor, Scott, Phillips, Perez, Hayden, Young, Powell, Spicer, Ford, Mahoney, Comben, Lazarro, Xerri, W.Walker...
 

amaz199

Club Legend
Apr 5, 2015
2,919
5,603
AFL Club
North Melbourne
1. JZ. I want this bloke to tear 2021 apart. Just do what the captain does best every week.

2. Garner. Need him to stay on the park and dominate.

3. TT. Needs to show he can step it up. We know he has it, needs to up his consistency.

Lot of players should be primed.
 

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