Player Watch #8 James Rowbottom - pick 25, welcome to Sydney

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Kennedy Parker

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Jul 9, 2015
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Sydney Sixers, Gold City Royals


James Rowbottom

The Sydney Swans recruited James Rowbottom with their second selection at the 2018 AFL Draft and the midfield bull impacted from the get-go. The Oakleigh Chargers product made his AFL debut against Richmond at Marvel Stadium in Round 5, 2019 and finished the season with 12 senior games beside his name. Rowbottom also led the NEAFL MVP voting when it was hidden from the public after Round 12. The young Swan is a ball magnet, explosive at the stoppages, an outstanding tackler and a clean user of the footy.

James Rowbottom
DOB: 19 September 2000
DEBUT: 2019
DRAFT: #25, 2018 National Draft
RECRUITED FROM: Camberwell (Vic)/St Kevin's College (Vic)/Oakleigh U18

 

Kirkswan

Premium Gold
May 10, 2014
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Am I the only one not reminded of another player when I watch Rowbottom?
Give it a few years mate... I think it's an age related thing. The more players you've watched, the more you see bits of them in the youngsters coming through!

Neither a good or bad thing, and certainly not meant to be disrespectful to the youngster...
 

caesar88

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
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Give it a few years mate... I think it's an age related thing. The more players you've watched, the more you see bits of them in the youngsters coming through!

Neither a good or bad thing, and certainly not meant to be disrespectful to the youngster...
Oh yeah for sure, I'm sure it's meant as praise for a youngster to say they remind you of x, y or z. Just not sure it does them favours when they inevitably end up deviating from the types of players we think they are/want them to be.

I remember when Hewett was going to be the next JPK, and some (myself included) were so fixated on that idea that what Hewett wasn't became more important than what he was.

I've seen Rowbottom compared to Martin, Neale, JPK and Jude among others. Four pretty different types of mids. He can't be all at once, so someone is in for disappointment.
 

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RUNVS

Hall of Famer
Feb 28, 2007
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Well done James
Sure people who do a Bachelor of Commerce degree are usually w***ers but I will give James a pass on this one :p
 

Big Blood

Club Legend
Jun 27, 2010
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Isn't it a rule that all players must do some kind of study or training? Good for their personal and professional development and also makes them understand there's a whole world out there that isn't footy.
 

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RUNVS

Hall of Famer
Feb 28, 2007
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Aren't you like, the military history guy?

There are amazing histories on like, the Australian frontier wars and all.

Australian history is genuinely fascinating and to find it boring reflects badly on you
.

On Nokia 7.1 using BigFooty.com mobile app
I do find Australian military history interesting but I don't really find early settler history interesting.
 

RUNVS

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If McCartin's birthday was a month later he would have been an early to mid first round pick in the next draft imo maybe just behind the King brothers
Yep. Teams constantly underestimate the younger players in a draft, not considering that being 9 months younger really is a big thing, and that players who are born after September and such actually have more development in them than a player born in the early months of the year.

I mean look at just this year

1. JUH - April
2. Thilthorpe - July
3. Phillips - May
4. McDonald - April
5. Campbell - February
6. DGB - April
7. Hollands - April
8. Cox - January
9. Perkins - March
10. Reid - March

So the youngest player in the top 10 this year was drafted in July, with most drafted in April or earlier.
 

JackSwans

Head Scout
Jan 12, 2021
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Yep. Teams constantly underestimate the younger players in a draft, not considering that being 9 months younger really is a big thing, and that players who are born after September and such actually have more development in them than a player born in the early months of the year.

I mean look at just this year

1. JUH - April
2. Thilthorpe - July
3. Phillips - May
4. McDonald - April
5. Campbell - February
6. DGB - April
7. Hollands - April
8. Cox - January
9. Perkins - March
10. Reid - March

So the youngest player in the top 10 this year was drafted in July, with most drafted in April or earlier.
They're not underestimated but clubs would obviously prefer to get the extra year to look at the youngsters before committing to them, same reason as why there's been more of a push set the minimum draft age to 19
 

caesar88

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
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2018 was a really strong draft but I think the argument could be made that Rowbottom should of been top ten. At least on the edge of.
It's easy to say this with the benefit of hindsight, but at the time of the 2018 draft, absolutely no one had him in their top 10. I was a huge fan and felt he was under-rated, and I still only had him as 12th-best of the lot.

There were some ahead of him who have definitely not shown what he has shown, like Caldwell, RCD and even Blakey, but who undeniably put forward a better case as a junior than Rowbottom. Caldwell & RCD were prolific ball-winners who were talked about as potential top 10 picks along with other mids like Smith and Walsh. And Blakey, despite his flaws, was a 195cm versatile player blessed with elite speed and classy foot skills - there was no way he wasn't going top 10.

I thought Rowbottom was as good as all of the above, but he didn't have the tank to accumulate like they could (and he still doesn't), so he didn't have the kind of dominant performances to his name that the rest had. Would've been seen as more of a risk.
 

markwithac

Draftee
Jan 12, 2021
15
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It's easy to say this with the benefit of hindsight, but at the time of the 2018 draft, absolutely no one had him in their top 10. I was a huge fan and felt he was under-rated, and I still only had him as 12th-best of the lot.

There were some ahead of him who have definitely not shown what he has shown, like Caldwell, RCD and even Blakey, but who undeniably put forward a better case as a junior than Rowbottom. Caldwell & RCD were prolific ball-winners who were talked about as potential top 10 picks along with other mids like Smith and Walsh. And Blakey, despite his flaws, was a 195cm versatile player blessed with elite speed and classy foot skills - there was no way he wasn't going top 10.

I thought Rowbottom was as good as all of the above, but he didn't have the tank to accumulate like they could (and he still doesn't), so he didn't have the kind of dominant performances to his name that the rest had. Would've been seen as more of a risk.
The whole point was saying it in hindsight, there is no other option now.
 

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