Player Watch #38: Noah Balta

RFCGloryJC

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I always thought Balta's natural preferred position was a half-forward flank chiming in, running along the flank, and moving in laterally to take pack marks at CHF.
We will wait to see.
A young player with plenty of potential.
The next Bontempelli, the player I hoped he would turn out to be, is not easy to pluck out of thin air.
 

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Meteoric Rise

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I always thought Balta's natural preferred position was a half-forward flank chiming in, running along the flank, and moving in laterally to take pack marks at CHF.
We will wait to see.
A young player with plenty of potential.
The next Bontempelli, the player I hoped he would turn out to be, is not easy to pluck out of thin air.
Very different type of player to Bontempelli. The latter is an oversized one paced accumulator with great all round skills, especially ball handling. Balta is a straight line explosive impact athlete, with very good kicking skills. Not even sure there is a strong precedent to Balta, but he is a bit like a shorter version of Natanui I think. Whoever he is or isn't like, it is apparent he will be a fantastic player once he matures a bit more and assumes a suitable role within the team.
 

Crumpet_avenger

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Page 5.

How’s the kid been tracking?
Been playing in defense mainly from what I've seen. Makes some poor decisions and has a few brain fades.
To be expected at such a young age.
Not a defender imo
Maybe they are teaching him some defensive aspects to round off his game
 

Meteoric Rise

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I really hope this defensive stuff is just to learn a few more things and not a proper positional change.

We would be crazy to chain him down as a defender.

Let him run free and cause chaos!
I think it is about as simple as Rance gone for season, any injury to Astbury means we have no ready made key defence option for this season's finals. I think the footy department has looked at the makeshift options and come up with Balta as the best from a list of bad choices to be prepared for the role. Garthwaite is just not big enough, strong enough or good enough at this stage for the really big gun forwards. Miller nowhere near AFL level yet. Chol may have come under consideration but with his extra height they may have reasoned he is the better second ruck option.

Impossible to know all the considerations taken into account. Based on what I have seen I would have kept Balta in the second ruck position in the seniors where I think he could have been a hell of a weapon in the finals, and sent Chol to the key defence insurance role. As it stands of course Chol is doing quite well and Balta just mainly looks lost in the key defence role from what I have seen.

I firmly believe the club needs to address this issue in the trade period, and bring in someone capable of being, inter alia, a backup key defender from day one. Sam Day looks off the market. Lachie Keefe, Levi Casboult, someone around that level may be happy to come to the club in that role. I am sure there are other options.
 

Dr Tigris

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I think it is about as simple as Rance gone for season, any injury to Astbury means we have no ready made key defence option for this season's finals. I think the footy department has looked at the makeshift options and come up with Balta as the best from a list of bad choices to be prepared for the role. Garthwaite is just not big enough, strong enough or good enough at this stage for the really big gun forwards. Miller nowhere near AFL level yet. Chol may have come under consideration but with his extra height they may have reasoned he is the better second ruck option.

Impossible to know all the considerations taken into account. Based on what I have seen I would have kept Balta in the second ruck position in the seniors where I think he could have been a hell of a weapon in the finals, and sent Chol to the key defence insurance role. As it stands of course Chol is doing quite well and Balta just mainly looks lost in the key defence role from what I have seen.

I firmly believe the club needs to address this issue in the trade period, and bring in someone capable of being, inter alia, a backup key defender from day one. Sam Day looks off the market. Lachie Keefe, Levi Casboult, someone around that level may be happy to come to the club in that role. I am sure there are other options.

Only issue is why would an AFL quality KPB come to us right now. We've got plenty of talent - Dave, Rance and Grimes. They'll be around for a couple more years at least. This draft is apparently pretty good for KPB, so draft a couple maybe. And develop, develop, develop.
 

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Grrr

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I think it is about as simple as Rance gone for season, any injury to Astbury means we have no ready made key defence option for this season's finals. I think the footy department has looked at the makeshift options and come up with Balta as the best from a list of bad choices to be prepared for the role. Garthwaite is just not big enough, strong enough or good enough at this stage for the really big gun forwards. Miller nowhere near AFL level yet. Chol may have come under consideration but with his extra height they may have reasoned he is the better second ruck option.

Impossible to know all the considerations taken into account. Based on what I have seen I would have kept Balta in the second ruck position in the seniors where I think he could have been a hell of a weapon in the finals, and sent Chol to the key defence insurance role. As it stands of course Chol is doing quite well and Balta just mainly looks lost in the key defence role from what I have seen.

I firmly believe the club needs to address this issue in the trade period, and bring in someone capable of being, inter alia, a backup key defender from day one. Sam Day looks off the market. Lachie Keefe, Levi Casboult, someone around that level may be happy to come to the club in that role. I am sure there are other options.
As much as Balta tantalises as a second ruck, it is a roll Chol can play, and will only get better with. So whilst it may seem like we have the next Kouta or Richo running through the middle of the ground, the fact is those guys had equal footballer and athletic ability. Balta is not near that level yet.

So why not let him settle as a tall back. Once he learns the basics, (he did play well in that position as a first year player in the VFL last year), he will be a weapon with his kicking ability and his rebound. With another 6-8 games at VFL level this year and a preseason learning of Rance and co. he could be very good next year. Keefe and Casboult etc. would just ****** his development.
 

Dr Tigris

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As much as Balta tantalises as a second ruck, it is a roll Chol can play, and will only get better with. So whilst it may seem like we have the next Kouta or Richo running through the middle of the ground, the fact is those guys had equal footballer and athletic ability. Balta is not near that level yet.

So why not let him settle as a tall back. Once he learns the basics, (he did play well in that position as a first year player in the VFL last year), he will be a weapon with his kicking ability and his rebound. With another 6-8 games at VFL level this year and a preseason learning of Rance and co. he could be very good next year. Keefe and Casboult etc. would just ****** his development.
Long term Balta isn't a genuine back up ruck, given the other 200cm players we already have. If he can turn himself into a mid then fine. Otherwise it's KP. And we need KD more right now. Also. to some extent, KPD is more about discipline and I reckon he'll learn a lot from our defenders on how to be an AFL player.
 

Grrr

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As much as Balta tantalises as a second ruck, it is a roll Chol can play, and will only get better with. So whilst it may seem like we have the next Kouta or Richo running through the middle of the ground, the fact is those guys had equal footballer and athletic ability. Balta is not near that level yet.

So why not let him settle as a tall back. Once he learns the basics, (he did play well in that position as a first year player in the VFL last year), he will be a weapon with his kicking ability and his rebound. With another 6-8 games at VFL level this year and a preseason learning of Rance and co. he could be very good next year. Keefe and Casboult etc. would just ****** his development.
The autocorrector doesn't like the word to 'halt the development of'. Thinks I'm being abusive. Starts with R****d. Nest time I'll just say f@%k his development.
 

Meteoric Rise

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Only issue is why would an AFL quality KPB come to us right now. We've got plenty of talent - Dave, Rance and Grimes. They'll be around for a couple more years at least. This draft is apparently pretty good for KPB, so draft a couple maybe. And develop, develop, develop.
It is a good point and this is why I mentioned players like Casboult and Keefe, players who won't enjoy automatic selection at their current clubs, and may be prepared to play reserves footy and act as backup key position defenders for us. The whole thing may have worked better had Marsh not been picked off our VFL list by the saints. We could have just upgraded him. But that is perhaps another avenue, get another equivalent player into our VFL system ready to be elevated in the mid season draft if it appears necessary
 

Vassp

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I’m not sure Balta has the temperament to play down back, if he learns a few things like discipline all the better for him. I see his best position on the wing where he can fly, run and kick the ball deep into the big boys.
 

David_Full

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I see him as wing/half-forward chaos player and is a back up to a "back up" ruckman if we run out of a ruck during game because I don't see him getting a spot just as back up now he will have find his way in another position push someone out. which is likely is going to be a hard thing to do considering Caddy has been out of the team.
 

telsor

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I’m not sure Balta has the temperament to play down back, if he learns a few things like discipline all the better for him. I see his best position on the wing where he can fly, run and kick the ball deep into the big boys.

Problem is he's not especially 'footy smart', so can get lost/not find the ball enough to be given such a free role.

Playing him in defence means he can have his opponent lead him to the ball (and from there, he can use his athleticism to beat them).

Hopefully, in time, he'll learn enough to be played elsewhere, but for now....
 

Wallaby

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I'm not sure about the 'letting your opponent lead you to the ball' argument. I think if youu let your opponent lead you to the ball, your opponent will get to the ball first.
I think he's doing the basic apprenticeship, which, today, includes a fair bit of defensive knowledge. Man's got to know his limitations.

No idea where Balta will eventually end up. I'd like to think he could make it as a ruckman, but then the constant physical slog may nullify his athleticism, and he will turn into the traditional plodder. Which would be fine - but slightly frustrating.
 

Grrr

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Thing about Balta is he may be a good wingman / ruckman even forward, but we need a gun key back to fit in and eventually replace Rance and Astbury. They don't fall off trees. His talent may be used elsewhere if and when another gun key back is drafted/traded in. We have plenty of wings and even rucks at the moment.
 

Dr Tigris

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The coaches have said that Noah is a great reader of the ball. I think it got lost in the AFL. Maybe he just needs time to get himself sorted as a professional footballer.

Anyway, his 'weakness' was people didn't know where to play him because he could play anywhere. And I'd say that is still true at the RFC. But I don't want him getting smashed by genuine 200cm+ AFL rucks. Those guys will destroy him over time (physically). But 3rd ruck, awesome! My gut (plenty of it there is:( ) reckons he'd be an awesome running player through the middle. Intercept marking and delivering the ball over defensive set ups. But then he can do just about anything :D
 

Morro

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I really hope this defensive stuff is just to learn a few more things and not a proper positional change.

We would be crazy to chain him down as a defender.

Let him run free and cause chaos!
He's not a smart enough footballer to play KPD full time IMO, although he could learn, I agree, let him run free.
 

Grrr

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He's not a smart enough footballer to play KPD full time IMO, although he could learn, I agree, let him run free.
You don't think he could slot in next year in the back pocket alongside Rance, Grimes, Astbury, Vlaustin etc. Can't get a much easier gig in football. Running free sounds good, but you have good footy nous to get a kick as a wingman (or a similar possession / running free).

MacIntosh to me doesn't have a lot of footy nous, hence he doesn't get many possessions (but he is an imposing wingman in form). Ellis has plenty of footy nous, but is not imposing. Not an easy gig. Hence our wings should be Stack and Bolton with Naish coming through.
 

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