Player Watch #37: Dylan Clarke

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calyam

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Given we have no chance of making the finals, the onus should be on fast-tracking some of our kids. Clarke is our best prospective inside midfielder and there is great value to pumping games into him and allowing him to adapt to the higher quality of AFL. We can maybe win an extra game across the entire season by playing Myers but what is the point? Is finishing 12th really any better than finishing 13th?

This isn't to say that Clarke cannot learn more in the VFL. Of course he can. But there are also limitations to learning your craft in a secondary competition. We have a deficiency in his ideal position and that needs to be rectified immediately even if that is detrimental to our near-term success. For years, our team has been designed to 'win now' not with an eye to winning finals but simply to keep people employed. It's a treadmill that we have been on for over a decade and it will continue unless the match committee makes some tough choices.

The philosophy should be applied to the whole team. The likes of Myers, Baguley and Green are not the difference between a winning and losing team and we know this because none of them have ever played in a successful side. If Myers and Baguley are great teammates and good guys then give them a chance to shape our younger players in the VFL. But don't allow them to hinder the long-term success of the AFL side.

Give Clarke six weeks to make a mark. Let him know that mistakes won't cost him a spot. Give him a sense of continuity in his football that will allow him to adjust to the pace of the AFL and learn his role surrounding by a cast of different players. The same should apply to other guys such as Ridley, Guelfi and Mutch.
 
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Yep - but we have a chance of making the finals.

Sydney were 0-6 last year and still beat us in the finals.

They went to 3-6 and then lost.

So even if GWS beat us this weekend we are still 3-7 and on a par with the swans last year. If we are 4-6, we’re well in the mix.
 

BrunoV

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Finals are completely academic at this stage.


They are but I don't know why team development and winning games became mutually exclusive.

I thought that the frustration came from the realisation that senior players were not doing a good enough job and that the next generation would do a better job.

That's what last week and the next few weeks are about, not wholesale change gifting games to kids no matter how unprepared they are. There is a group of 5 to 7 players whose VFL and AFL performances demand that they be given opportunities who I think also round out the rest of the best 22 to make it a more effective team.

They're the ones who have been clearly a class above in the VFL. Laverde, Langford, Ridley, Redman and Francis are or have been pulling VFL matches apart and are the priorities as far as I'm concerned. They're the players that have to be persisted with and I think that we can now mount a pretty good case for Guelfi. That's already four guys for the midfield rotation.

We're not a worse team with these guys playing.
 

ant555

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Had another look at his game just before. The good was he was one on one at all stoppages often pushing of his opponent which is what I like with midfielders. His direct opponent won very limited clearances. Only issue was he only won 1 himself. 5 tackles where good. 9 disposals at 22% was poor. Given his form I was expecting maybe 3 or 4 more clearances and at least 14 or 15 possessions. His outside game was poor as well. Often running in circles and being well out of position.
Good to see him get a go. Now he has seen the standard he knows what he has to work on. No big shock to see him out this week.
 

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Zach Package

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I've got no issue with this, it's not as if Clarke won't benefit from more VFL time if he's given specific things to work on. His kicking needs to get flatter and he needs to find more easy ball. Those are two specific things you could send him back to work on.

Langford and to a lesser extent Guelfi have both well and truly clocked the VFL and with Laverde and Ridley it's more a matter of repetition at the top level. Complete common sense move.
 

donlav99

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Completely reasonable omission. The young man's been given a taste, he's now experienced first hand how some of the best play the game go about it (danger / ablett / selwood). He'll go back to the VFL with a greater understanding of his short comings & now a clearer perspective & understanding of how and where he needs to improve.

Dangerfield first game: 9 disposals, 1 tackle. round 20
Dangerfield 2nd game: 3 disposals: dropped. round 21 (maybe injured haha)

We need to keep debuts in perspective.
 

Lore

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Good for him, Could've given him 2 and not many would complain, Well done mate well deserved.
I'm curious if we only offered him one year, or if he asked for one year. I feel like we nearly always offer two years unless it's something dicey and we're not sure if they'll make the grade. We even gave Morgan 2 years and he spent most of his time at Essendon rehabbing injuries so...

Yeah I feel like maybe he asked for one year. Not sure what the thinking behind that would be except that it avoids the Langford situation. Club has to keep him happy if they want him to recontract again?
 

TheGrizz

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I'm curious if we only offered him one year, or if he asked for one year. I feel like we nearly always offer two years unless it's something dicey and we're not sure if they'll make the grade. We even gave Morgan 2 years and he spent most of his time at Essendon rehabbing injuries so...

Yeah I feel like maybe he asked for one year. Not sure what the thinking behind that would be except that it avoids the Langford situation. Club has to keep him happy if they want him to recontract again?
A 19 year old pick 63 who has played 1 game doesnt have that amount of bargaining power i would have thought.

I imagine both parties arent too sure how next year will pan out for clarke in terms of development/game time. My guess is that it was 1 year as agreed by both.

If Clarke plays well next year he gets a nice bump in his next contract. Also if essendon dont play him he has a chance to move.

For essendon, it means that they can see how next year pans out. If he plays well they get first right of reply but if he bombs then they can give him another 1 year at minimum-ish money or cut him.
 

Lore

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A 19 year old pick 63 who has played 1 game doesnt have that amount of bargaining power i would have thought.

I imagine both parties arent too sure how next year will pan out for clarke in terms of development/game time. My guess is that it was 1 year as agreed by both.

If Clarke plays well next year he gets a nice bump in his next contract. Also if essendon dont play him he has a chance to move.

For essendon, it means that they can see how next year pans out. If he plays well they get first right of reply but if he bombs then they can give him another 1 year at minimum-ish money or cut him.
Ridley was recontracted for two years without playing a single game, and very few at VFL level either. I feel like the club almost automatically gives two years to 19 year old national draftees. A contract ending in 2019 is a surprising lack of confidence in the kid really, unless he's asked for it.

The last time they did anything less was Eades and Nyuon I think... for obvious reasons. I can't see those question marks with Clarke though.
 
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