Player Watch #41: Ben McNiece - In against Fremantle - 16/5

Ambrosia

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He's got a similar style game to Shannon Hurn. Accountable defender who can set up attacks with his zone breaking kick, if he builds on this game he might earn himself another year. He'll be hoping McKenna is out for a few more weeks though.

If we managed to get both Francis and Redman into the side, along with Benny, Saad and McKenna then there won't be a zone or a wall that can contain us.
I don't see the Hurn comparison at all. Hurn is a big bodied mid size defender who's a strong intercept mark and excellent kick.
 

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bombreys

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I bagged this guy for his game against Gold Coast, and then he produces the best game I've seen him play. Some of his kicks were like lasers.
He was poor against the Suns, there's no denying that.

He probably goes back to the 2's if McKenna wasn't injured - but he stays in and plays the best game of his young career. Funny how it all works sometimes.
 
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I don't see the Hurn comparison at all. Hurn is a big bodied mid size defender who's a strong intercept mark and excellent kick.
Hurn is also 10x the player McNeice is and will ever be. More about what role they play and the type of player they are, as opposed to how good they are. McNeice's kicking is his best attribute, which is why it was good to see him give a bit of a teaser on the weekend.
 

srobbo

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Played v well against freo.

Finally we saw him some upside. Worked to hard to be an option coming out of defense, won his own ball & used it extremely well.

Sydney’s a big game for him. If he can do his job again, will go along way to being best 22
 

Yoda_

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Thought he played his best game for us on the weekend. He's got good rebound ability.
That kicking has been a staple of his game in the VFL. Has been tremendous and finally transferring that skill set to the AFL has been wonderful.


If he can balance out his attacking game with his defensive mindset then he really could play 100 games for EFC.
 

Mr Mojo Risin

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Ambrosia

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Regardless of being dropped I think he's earned a contract extension. He's excellent depth for Mckenna/Saad and could even allow us to experiment with McKenna up into the midfield next year.
 

Kakkle

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I feel like if he was 20-21 this thread would have 50 more posts in the last two weeks, and we'd all be talking about how Dodoro has done it again!!!!11111


Improving every game he plays in, and for me is one of those ideal players similar to Dea you want on your list in that 22-34 range.
 

blitzer

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I'm not entirely sold on him yet. He's now starting to show his good foot skills at AFL level but I reckon his actual defending is a bit suss both in the air and on the lead. He's not particularly quick which is unfortunate because we probably would love a guy that can play the genuine shutdown on the oppositions best small forward so that Saad, McKenna or occasionally McGrath can rebound a bit bit more.

The other thing is at his age you are going to judge him more harshly. He's 26 already I believe. I'd give him another year but I reckon its touch and go whether he gets to 50 games and he's gonna need some injuries to get there. Against most teams he's probably a depth small defender and we would probably go in with 2 small defenders in Saad and McKenna and some medium sized guys like Gleeson/Redman/Dea + at least 2 talls Hurley/Hooker/Francis/Ambrose.
 
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I feel like upgrading him to the Cat-A list may have been a mistake. We could have left him on the Cat-B list and had the extra rookie spot to play with, which in this draft could be quite useful.
 

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Was below poor in the VFL yesterday. Didn't look anywhere near it in the end. Won't be disappointed if he is not renewed a contract for 2019 but then again, our very little depth in small defenders could see this Cat B rookie given a second year
 

blitzer

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I don't reckon McNiece will make it. He's mature aged and simply hasn't shown enough in the 2 years we've had him for. He's not really quick enough for the role he'd need to play at AFL level and is a bit lacking in defensive nous. Will give him credit though he's not afraid to put his head over the ball but I think VFL is really his level.

We definitely need to recruit another small defender or else McGrath may end up spending another year down back or constantly shifting positions.
 

naraku

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I wouldn't keep him. Hind can take his spot as a small defender, and I will be happy if Hind is RL at least.
Even for Cat B, I think we will look at someone like Hanna.
 
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