Player Watch #5 Isaac Heeney - Not out for the 2021 season

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Kennedy Parker

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Jul 9, 2015
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Isaac Heeney

Isaac Heeney is a crowd favourite and one of the best young players in the competition. The QBE Sydney Swans Academy graduate won the 2018 AFL Mark of the Year award, was selected in the AFL Players’ Association’s 22Under22 team in two of his eligible four years and played his 100th senior game in 2019. Heeney can be used in the midfield, forward line – where he booted four goals in star teammate Lance Franklin’s absence in Round 20 last year – or as a loose man in defence.

Isaac Heeney
DOB: 05 May 1996
DEBUT: 2015
DRAFT: #18, 2014 National Draft
RECRUITED FROM: Cardiff (NSW)


 

caesar88

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Make or break year next year. If he is ever going to be an "elite" player it needs to begin next year.

100 games under your belt, you should be who you are as a player by now, and I think we all expect more if we're frank about it.
Not me.

He's tracking wonderfully. Always said the most talented can take a long time to fully develop and reach their peaks. The fact his first 100 games probably have no more than 5 poor games in them. That's a very good base to build your next 100 games from. His bare minimum still usually puts him in the best half of our team.

Worth noting that Dustin Martin also played his 100th game as a 23 year old, and was at that point no more than just a highlights reel, or a 'tease' as some would say. Wouldn't be another two years before he'd even be consistent enough to make an All Australian side, and three years before he'd activate beast mode. He probably won't be as good as Martin. I don't think anyone from this generation besides Buddy and Ablett have been as good as Martin. But he may follow that trajectory, and need those extra few years to really learn to harness his ridiculous talents. Certainly not make or break as you suggested.

It's also blatantly clear to me that he's a forward whose not been given the chance to really master that position. I can count at least thirty or forty mids in the comp who could do what Heeney can do as a midfielder. Probably more than that. I can only count on one hand the amount of players who can do what Heeney can do as a forward around goals. De Goey, Martin, Buddy and Greene come to mind. That ability to beat your opponent one-out, make goals happen out of nothing, and scare opponents into making mistakes. Where Heeney's even better than any of them is in the air (obviously.) I'd love to see him get a full pre-season training as a pure forward. I think it would improve his goal-kicking accuracy and would also help him get even better at the forward attributes he's already bloody good at.
 

elastic

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Agreed that I'd like to see him one out at FF. He is a big unit these days and potentially will cause problems with matching up.
we also forget that he had some ankle issues early on in 2019 which he fought through but seemed to hold him back a little.
We should see the best of Isaac in 2020
 

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S120

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He's one of the most intriguing players on our list in many ways. The supreme talent and gifts he has are obvious, but I always wonder about him mentally. I know this kind of analysis of a player is likely not completely accurate because I don't know him personally and I'm just going on what I see during matches (we don't even have training to give more context), but he has an odd habit, as I see it, of disengaging during games. There's rarely any telling when it's going to happen, but there are some games where he just looks flat and a little disinterested in putting in 100% effort. He's so talented that maybe he became used to doing that as a younger man becuase he could still get by, but you can't do that at AFL level. Not to say he can't have quiet games, but the quiet games seem to coinccide with what I see as not being completely engaged in games.

He's a very good player and was dealing with injuries through the start of the year, I just hope he's able to close the gap between his worst and best.
 

caesar88

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He's one of the most intriguing players on our list in many ways. The supreme talent and gifts he has are obvious, but I always wonder about him mentally. I know this kind of analysis of a player is likely not completely accurate because I don't know him personally and I'm just going on what I see during matches (we don't even have training to give more context), but he has an odd habit, as I see it, of disengaging during games. There's rarely any telling when it's going to happen, but there are some games where he just looks flat and a little disinterested in putting in 100% effort. He's so talented that maybe he became used to doing that as a younger man becuase he could still get by, but you can't do that at AFL level. Not to say he can't have quiet games, but the quiet games seem to coinccide with what I see as not being completely engaged in games.

He's a very good player and was dealing with injuries through the start of the year, I just hope he's able to close the gap between his worst and best.
I think it's less disengagement and more he's purely knackered. I genuinely think more is asked of Heeney than any other Swan. Like I said I've seen him shifted around to no less than three roles in the space of a half of footy. And this happens over and over every week. He's at a centre bounce one minute, then starting forward at the next bounce, then pushing up to help out in defence. Horse uses him as a Mr Fix It, and why not he can do it all, but in terms of helping Heeney put together complete performances, it does him no favours IMO. There's a lack of routine for Heeney and so I think he's still trying to figure out what he's supposed to do. Is he supposed to stay in the forward line so we have a target when it gets down there? Or is he a midfielder who needs to push up the ground and present coming out of defence? Probably feels like he's damned if he does, damned if he doesn't because Horse plays him as both.

Horse really needs to follow the KISS formula with Heeney from now on or we'll never see his best.
 

Tedeski

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Make or break year next year. If he is ever going to be an "elite" player it needs to begin next year.

100 games under your belt, you should be who you are as a player by now, and I think we all expect more if we're frank about it.
Check his review. Cox says he carried a number of injuries all year. To play every game under those circumstances is elite.
 

alex4445

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and kind of stupid from a club view
Havent liked our injury management for awhile now too many players obviously struggling with injury still being played and are often stuffed by the end of the year.

Having said that Heeney is a worry for me because almost every time he is in a contest he gets up limping and I dont think it bodes well for his longevity.
 

Punts

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Only 5 bad games for Heeney over 100 apparently

Surely the most consistent ever

In all seriousness imo he has the talent to become A grade but he lacks consistency and doesn’t run both ways hard enough

I have seen Sloane and that little prick from the gc show him up defencily and he won’t will himself like a Hanners , jack
 

GCB85

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Only 5 bad games for Heeney over 100 apparently

Surely the most consistent ever

In all seriousness imo he has the talent to become A grade but he lacks consistency and doesn’t run both ways hard enough

I have seen Sloane and that little prick from the gc show him up defencily and he won’t will himself like a Hanners , jack
To be fair, I feel Hanners is a really poor example. One of my biggest criticisms of Hanners from 2016 onwards was his tendency to go to ground after a single effort and lay there for an eternity while play continued. I would argue Heeney's 2nd efforts are well beyond what we were seeing from Hanners.
 

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Punts

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To be fair, I feel Hanners is a really poor example. One of my biggest criticisms of Hanners from 2016 onwards was his tendency to go to ground after a single effort and lay there for an eternity while play continued. I would argue Heeney's 2nd efforts are well beyond what we were seeing from Hanners.
That’s because Hanners body was not holding up

I would have Hanners pulling on the jumper knowing you what you got week on week out with hanner we’ll before Heeney
 

GCB85

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That’s because Hanners body was not holding up

I would have Hanners pulling on the jumper knowing you what you got week on week out with hanner we’ll before Heeney
Couldn't we argue based on Cox's review that Heeney's body was not holding for much of this year either? Regardless will be very interesting to see what 2020 holds for him. As I've said before, Heeney is a forward that can rotate through the midfield and not the opposite. I honestly don't think we will see the full capacity of Heeney until he is played as such for an extended period. Fingers crossed we are able to do so throughout next season.
 

GoTheSwannies

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Interesting summary of heeney and not something id thought about or even noticed.

Sounds like they're training him in the mould of a goodes or fyfe type that has license to roam and impact the game as he sees fit.

I don't necessarily agree that a player needs to be played in a single role to fast track their development. Perhaps the coaching staff has identified he has high footy iq and can be moved around while still learning the game effectively. Perhaps they recognise he has a number of strengths and to pigeonhole him in one role would hurt his overall development in the long term.

And perhaps his development appears to have stagnated (not my view). But when he puts it all together he'll enter a beastmode similar to dusty.
 

S120

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Pretty clear top 4 of Heeney, De Goey, Andrews and Moore from that draft, as I see it. Most people around the league would take De Goey first at this point, I suspect.

Collingwood nailed that draft. On top of those two they got Brayden Maynard as well.
 

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