5 most important players for NMFC in 2021

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Moti

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2001
11,161
6,869
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Still locked up, why not make a list :)

This one is the 5 most important players for NMFC in 2021, not necessarily resulting in the greatest impact on success in 2021, but the players that are important for the club now and into the future but need to have a certain impact in 2021.

1. LDU
Why: The next A+ Grader?
We are obviously the least attractive club in the comp, even though we have one of the biggest cheque books. One of the key areas we lack in is a genuine young A grade midfielder. I wasn't sold earlier in the year but LDU's past month has opened the eyes. He needs to be a difference maker in 2021 to generate the excitement we need as well as a lift in performance on the field.

2. McKay
Why: The next anchor
Even though we have been up and down over the past 6 or 7 years, we have had Tarrant as a constant and it always helps when you have key positions solved. Mc Kay is a different player, and is suited to the bigger forwards, but at 23 if he can hold up that key post, with Corr, Walker and Tarrant we can take the KP defenders as an area of concern. After 2020, he should have a great understanding of where the body needs to be to have an even better 2021.

3. Thomas
Why: We need mercurial and exciting
While I think his best footy is still a couple of years away, we are in desperate need of excitement and he is best position to deliver. Regardless of the forward setup next year, the ability of Thomas to take marks with his great leap and hands should be used more and obviously he is an excellent field kick. Doesn't have the pace of Cyril but we need him to be the presence he was. This is his first big step, major midfield numbers are for the years after.

4. Perez
Why: A genuine all-rounder, 200 gamer?
Almost every player on our list has a trait or two that are really good, but also have a trait or two that are really not. It is the all round player that is essential to premiership teams because they do what they need to at a good level. I think Perez is our best chance. Endurance is good, speed is good, courageous, dual sided, accurate disposal, defensive minded, hard at it, composed, evasive, good mark ... He looks like a complete player. In 2021, with a full pre-season, if he can slot into the backline and build off his last few games, he will be the type of player that we can rely on for a decade. Would love him to elevate beyond this but this is the type of player I want to see in 2021;

5. Cunnington
Why: does help help
One part is the injury, is it short term or long term. However my big question is how well he syncs with LDU and Simpkin as all three can be creative clearance players. Other than Higgins on the outside, most of the clearance players around Cunners are just get ball and kick type players, whereas the two young guns think their way through situations. If the three work well together, our centre square effectiveness should lift significantly and I think it might prolong his career.

Just outside of this group was Bonar, who if steps up could add to 5 and make this a big strength, and Comben, because if he shows that he could be a genuine KP forward / ruck moving forward, regardless of what happens with Brown, that is something we need and with Larkey mean we could have our KP forwards for a decade.

That's mine, what's yours?
 

Supreme_Chancellor

🤡🤡🤡
Dec 18, 2014
2,013
4,849
Victoria
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Still locked up, why not make a list :)

This one is the 5 most important players for NMFC in 2021, not necessarily resulting in the greatest impact on success in 2021, but the players that are important for the club now and into the future but need to have a certain impact in 2021.

1. LDU
Why: The next A+ Grader?
We are obviously the least attractive club in the comp, even though we have one of the biggest cheque books. One of the key areas we lack in is a genuine young A grade midfielder. I wasn't sold earlier in the year but LDU's past month has opened the eyes. He needs to be a difference maker in 2021 to generate the excitement we need as well as a lift in performance on the field.

2. McKay
Why: The next anchor
Even though we have been up and down over the past 6 or 7 years, we have had Tarrant as a constant and it always helps when you have key positions solved. Mc Kay is a different player, and is suited to the bigger forwards, but at 23 if he can hold up that key post, with Corr, Walker and Tarrant we can take the KP defenders as an area of concern. After 2020, he should have a great understanding of where the body needs to be to have an even better 2021.

3. Thomas
Why: We need mercurial and exciting
While I think his best footy is still a couple of years away, we are in desperate need of excitement and he is best position to deliver. Regardless of the forward setup next year, the ability of Thomas to take marks with his great leap and hands should be used more and obviously he is an excellent field kick. Doesn't have the pace of Cyril but we need him to be the presence he was. This is his first big step, major midfield numbers are for the years after.

4. Perez
Why: A genuine all-rounder, 200 gamer?
Almost every player on our list has a trait or two that are really good, but also have a trait or two that are really not. It is the all round player that is essential to premiership teams because they do what they need to at a good level. I think Perez is our best chance. Endurance is good, speed is good, courageous, dual sided, accurate disposal, defensive minded, hard at it, composed, evasive, good mark ... He looks like a complete player. In 2021, with a full pre-season, if he can slot into the backline and build off his last few games, he will be the type of player that we can rely on for a decade. Would love him to elevate beyond this but this is the type of player I want to see in 2021;

5. Cunnington
Why: does help help
One part is the injury, is it short term or long term. However my big question is how well he syncs with LDU and Simpkin as all three can be creative clearance players. Other than Higgins on the outside, most of the clearance players around Cunners are just get ball and kick type players, whereas the two young guns think their way through situations. If the three work well together, our centre square effectiveness should lift significantly and I think it might prolong his career.

Just outside of this group was Bonar, who if steps up could add to 5 and make this a big strength, and Comben, because if he shows that he could be a genuine KP forward / ruck moving forward, regardless of what happens with Brown, that is something we need and with Larkey mean we could have our KP forwards for a decade.

That's mine, what's yours?
1. LDU
2. Simpkin
3. Larkey
4. Zurhaar
5. McDonald
 

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Moti

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2001
11,161
6,869
Melbourne
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I'd swap Perez for Simpkin from the OP purely from a 2021 viewpoint.

Flynn is still in the embryonic stages. Simpkin taking the next step from very good to elite would be huge.
Didn't add Simpkin as I thought he had already shown that step and I am looking for the progression rather than anything out of left field. But thats just the way I look at the team at the moment.
 

ArchKing Carey

Club Legend
Jun 17, 2011
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In no particular order:
- Simpkin
- LDU
- Thomas
- Larkey
- Our first pick. This pick is important from the aspect of hope and playing a few games. If we have a poor year but have a star in the making, the year won't be a total loss.
 

Star

The Lisp Manager
Mar 25, 2002
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I look at this a bit differently to most and would hope for continued development of all our young guys Jy, LDU, TT, Taylor, Scott, Larkey, Z, McKay etc but if these 5 guys can be, not just best 22 but solid contributors by season's end, we're going to be in a good position going forward:

Will Walker
Flynn Perez
Aiden Bonar
Charlie Comben (be great to play 6-8 games)
Kyron Hayden
 

Only Forwards

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 14, 2008
19,852
48,179
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It'll really depend upon the shape.of the list in 2021.

It also depends on what is meant by most important.

For the future I'd think the two current most important for next year are Jy and LDU.

Jy needs give us a season of his early 2020 form.

LDU needs to build to something resembling consistent high level performances through the second half of the year.

I'd like to see LMac consolidate his 2020 with a consistent 2021.

If after tradeapolloza we have Brown, Higgins, Polec still on the list then their years are critical.

It's also probably make or break for Jack.

So most important is hard to quantify. It depends on what the goals of 21 are.

Is it more cycling through the list.

Is a mid table finish going to get us where we want.

Will the coach adjust the game plan from whatever the f*** 2020 was to something that may actually see us win a few?

In Rick's latest article there is a quote about list analysis and it being wrong if you don't know what the goals are and at the moment we most certainly do not know what the goals of 2021 are.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
19,496
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AFL Club
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Ben Brown (or some other quality forward) - Larkey, Comben and Xerri will need him.
Ben Cunnington - all our young mids need him around.
Luke McDonald - needs to back up and show the young guys the difference trying to get everything out of yourself makes.
Cam Zurhaar - despite leading goal kicking for the club he could have done more. Needs to step up and take onfield leadership next year.
Ben Mackay - needs to take the next step and become a dominant backman across the comp. He is capable.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
19,496
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In terms of young players, not including Mackay or Jed who aren't really, then Jy, LDU, Cam, Souva, and Xerri all have to take the next step from where they are. If Cunners plays we should see the first two maintain or improve their absolute best form and be more consistent. Next year Jy is in his fifth season and everyone knows who he is now. Cam as I mentioned above needs to set the tone. He needs to make our forward line a nasty place to be for the opposition. Physically and scoreboard wise he weds to hurt the opposition. Larks and Xerri just need to keep developing. LArkey was good despite this year being a struggle. He took some great contested marks. Xerri needs games in the VFL or AFL.
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
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In terms of the youngest kids... And this is probably what the OP is getting at yeah?

Tarryn needs to really start stamping himself on games. Has it all. Needs to show the world.

Perez and Bonar - both need to become best 26 type players next year. I reckon both can play off the back flank and move thru the midfield. Both can kick long and reasonably well. We need long accurate kicking into the forward line off line breaking run. Tarryn can do this as well (ditto LDU.). Four younger players doing that (well five if you include Bailey Scott and you should), as well as Higgo, Polec and LMac, and suddenly our ball movement and transition out of the backline will make more sense.

Ideally we get Hollands and Phillps and they round out the five.

Bailey Scott, Kyron Hayden, Mahoney, Comben and Curtis Taylor didn't get mentioned because it's the improvement in those first three that will make a huge difference to the side over the next two or three hundred games. Cant comment on Comben but the others just need to maintain consistent development over that time and we'll be in a very good place.
 

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Gasometer

TheBrownDog
Mar 14, 2002
51,575
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1. Cam Z- potential to be next the DeGooey
2. LDU- potential to be the next Pendles
3. Larkey- potential to be anything
4. Cunners- potentially IDK
5. Jy- potential to be an elite mid
 

HongKongRoo

Club Legend
Jul 6, 2006
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For me, five most important players who will improve us are:

1: LDU - Talent in the midfield. Complements Cunners and Jedi's Grunt, releases the tag from Simpkin and works as hard as Dumont to get back in defence but has better acceleration and foot skills to transition the ball quickly.
2: Curtis Taylor - He does everything the big forwards should be doing. Flying for marks and kicking goals and he is dynamic at ground level. Surprised he is not on other people's lists
3: Tarryn Thomas - Can do it all. I think he is far more dangerous as a goal-kicking half forward than in the midfield. Without him, Curtis and Brown in the team we struggled to kick a goal a quarter. Sure he can have a run through the midfield but then rest him forward, not on the bench.
4: Larkey - If he can get his body right and offer 2 goals a game we will be straightened up in attack. Hits packs, makes a contest, just didn't get a chance to play with Taylor and Thomas at his feet and our forward entries were annus horribilus
5: Scott - Goal kicking wingman who runs both ways, if he gets better defensively he can lock down that wing for the next 10 years

BMac is doing all he needs to do, beat his man, think and act quickly and hit a target. Likewise Kyron is showing enough to suggest he can be a player. It's not our backline which is leaking goals it's the lack of pressure from upfield which is creating unstoppable entries.

Simpkin is already a gun, but it the improvement from the above five which will allow Simpkin to get off the leash a bit more

I'm not including the senior players such as Cunners, Higgo, Goldy, BBB, LMac, Polec and Tarrant who obviously make us more competitive or the role players such as Jed, Ziebs, J Walker or Dumont as they have pretty much shown what they can do and done it consistently.

Also not including the perenially injured such as Garner who could turn us around pretty significantly.
 

Swallow_Wood

Team Captain
Jun 11, 2015
503
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AFL Club
North Melbourne
It depends on what we are hoping to achieve. Personally I look at 2021 as a year for the next generation to show that they are up to the challenge. By that I don't mean taking the competition by storm and making a flag run, but I want them to rock up day one of preseason in top shape, ready to work their arses off, ready to accept the challenge of being the best player they can be. With that as the starting point, the following are the most important to us for 2021, players I want to see take the lead and stay injury free.

1: LDU
He has the talent to be the best of the bunch, a top 5 mid in the competition and is showing glimpses of just what a package he can become. LDU needs to go on with it if we are to move forward in the next three years.

2: Simpkin
As a pairing with LDU, we need Jy to continue on his development. More strength, more fitness to complement his wonderful attitude and work ethic.

3: Larkey
Larkey needs to eat, work out, sleep, repeat. Improvements in his conditioning in 2021 will really benefit the club and give us more info to project where he could be in 2024 and beyond. A key focus for our forward ball movement.

4:Zurhaar
I am only hopeful on Cam really elevating his game to a level where the flashes become the standard, but man if he does manage to do it, to get super fit, to get into the rotations, watch the fu** out.

5: Thomas
Again, he is one that I think is going to take some time to come on. Not convinced that his head is ready to match his talent, but if it all clicks for him in preparation, application and then on field in 2021, then we can look forward to a fun time over the next decade with him, Jy and LDU running through the guts.
 

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