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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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

 

markwithac

Draftee
Jan 12, 2021
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Yeah fair enough. FWIW I agree and would have him comfortably in the top 10 from that draft.
I am impressed you had him as high as 12 back then. He has pushed Jones and Thomas out IMO but there are others that have arguably pushed in also like Clark, Butters and Duursma. Though I am not as impressed as the latter two as most.
 

caesar88

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Apr 26, 2016
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I am impressed you had him as high as 12 back then. He has pushed Jones and Thomas out IMO but there are others that have arguably pushed in also like Clark, Butters and Duursma. Though I am not as impressed as the latter two as most.
Don't be too impressed! I had his U18s team-mates RCD (yet to debut) and Jack Ross (only played 11 games) ahead of him, as well as Sydney Stack, whose future is up in the air atm. Also had Caldwell ahead of him who, while I don't like to knock kids, has looked poor every time I've seen him.

If I had to revisit it would look something like:

1. Sam Walsh
2. Bailey Smith
3. Zak Butters
4. Ben King
5. Connor Rozee
6. James Rowbottom
7. Jack Lukosius
8. Max King
9. Izak Rankine
10. Xavier Duursma

With Nick Blakey, Isaac Quaynor, Jordan Clark, Curtis Taylor, Jack Ross, Tarryn Thomas, Jackson Hately, Will Hamill, Justin McInerney and Bailey Scott in the next rung.

As for Rowbottom, he has as much upside as any player mentioned there. He is on par with, or ahead of, Walsh & Smith in key areas for mids (contested possessions, tackles, clearances, inside 50s) despite averaging half a dozen less disposals per game than those two. That bodes incredibly well for him and his impact on games when he eventually manages to catch up to them with his tank.
 

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Millky95

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Don't be too impressed! I had his U18s team-mates RCD (yet to debut) and Jack Ross (only played 11 games) ahead of him, as well as Sydney Stack, whose future is up in the air atm. Also had Caldwell ahead of him who, while I don't like to knock kids, has looked poor every time I've seen him.

If I had to revisit it would look something like:

1. Sam Walsh
2. Bailey Smith
3. Zak Butters
4. Ben King
5. Connor Rozee
6. James Rowbottom
7. Jack Lukosius
8. Max King
9. Izak Rankine
10. Xavier Duursma

With Nick Blakey, Isaac Quaynor, Jordan Clark, Curtis Taylor, Jack Ross, Tarryn Thomas, Jackson Hately, Will Hamill, Justin McInerney and Bailey Scott in the next rung.

As for Rowbottom, he has as much upside as any player mentioned there. He is on par with, or ahead of, Walsh & Smith in key areas for mids (contested possessions, tackles, clearances, inside 50s) despite averaging half a dozen less disposals per game than those two. That bodes incredibly well for him and his impact on games when he eventually manages to catch up to them with his tank.
2-5 years time the Kings will be 1-2 imo
 

markwithac

Draftee
Jan 12, 2021
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Rozee, Rankine, Smith, Kings aahead of the rest imo, than Walsh, Rowbottom, Clark, Lukosius and Thomas.

What does Butters do that makes him stand out as an elite AFL player? He is courageous but I don't see much more than that.
 

Bonz

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Rankine overhyped IMO, he can be exciting but goes missing too often, Lukosius is very underrated because he isn't a flare type player, have him 3rd behind Walsh and Smith
Honestly wouldn't surprise me if Luko came out as the best player from this draft.

Mobile, reads the ball incredibly well, tall and probably already a top 3 kick in the league.
 

caesar88

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Apr 26, 2016
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Honestly wouldn't surprise me if Luko came out as the best player from this draft.

Mobile, reads the ball incredibly well, tall and probably already a top 3 kick in the league.
Let's be real there's about 10 kids here who could be the best player from that draft and we're still 4-5 years away at least from finding out. Just stoked we have a horse in the race (two if you include Blakey who I still think could be a very special player.)
 

Bonz

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Let's be real there's about 10 kids here who could be the best player from that draft and we're still 4-5 years away at least from finding out. Just stoked we have a horse in the race (two if you include Blakey who I still think could be a very special player.)
Would definitely include Blakey in this conversation.
 

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Deccas

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Jun 9, 2016
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That's the nature of small forward as a position and young players in general. No player in their first season is a consistent 4 quarter match winner. The hype on Rankine is that he showed that he will be a player that consistently is the difference between sides.
Rankine overhyped IMO, he can be exciting but goes missing too often, Lukosius is very underrated because he isn't a flare type player, have him 3rd behind Walsh and Smith
On Nokia 7.1 using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

Kapers

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Sep 25, 2019
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Let's be real there's about 10 kids here who could be the best player from that draft and we're still 4-5 years away at least from finding out. Just stoked we have a horse in the race (two if you include Blakey who I still think could be a very special player.)
People talking about how well Port did, we got three best 22 players for a lot less currency and a lot more creativity.
 

RUNVS

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Feb 28, 2007
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The Swans ability to identify and develop talent from the 30-50 range in the draft is second to none. It's why our dismal record with first round draft picks is so shocking and frustrating!
Genuine question to everyone but when was the last time a first round selection we made has become an AA?

I know if Jetta, him doing it in 2012, drafted in 2009, but have there been any first rounders drafted since 2009 that I am forgetting that have gone on to become All Australians?
 

Bonz

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The Swans ability to identify and develop talent from the 30-50 range in the draft is second to none. It's why our dismal record with first round draft picks is so shocking and frustrating!
Our recent first round strike rate isn't actually that bad. Especially as we haven't had very early selections outside of the academy.

2019 - Pick 5 - Stephens - Looking more than solid so far, have great expectations for him
2018 - Pick 10 - Blakey - Academy selection, developing at a nice rate, talls usually take longer
2017 - Pick 14 - Ling - This one hurts a bit, but due to injuries, still has time to come good.
2016 - Pick 11 - Florent - Solid selection, fustrates a few here but will play 150-200 games for the club and offers us a lot.
2015 - Pick 3 - Mills - Yup, very very happy with this selection, has been incredible for us in defence and should be more than solid in the middle
2014 - Academy - Heeney - Only reason he hasn't become a full star is injury, will get there this year I reckon.
2013 - Pick 15 - Jones - Wish he hadn't been traded, would be a more than solid contributor for our side and is doing well with ST Kilda.
2012 - Pick 22 (technically second round) - Towers - Mature selection, was an ok contributor but this selection was a miss.
 

JackSwans

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Our recent first round strike rate isn't actually that bad. Especially as we haven't had very early selections outside of the academy.

2019 - Pick 5 - Stephens - Looking more than solid so far, have great expectations for him
2018 - Pick 10 - Blakey - Academy selection, developing at a nice rate, talls usually take longer
2017 - Pick 14 - Ling - This one hurts a bit, but due to injuries, still has time to come good.
2016 - Pick 11 - Florent - Solid selection, fustrates a few here but will play 150-200 games for the club and offers us a lot.
2015 - Pick 3 - Mills - Yup, very very happy with this selection, has been incredible for us in defence and should be more than solid in the middle
2014 - Academy - Heeney - Only reason he hasn't become a full star is injury, will get there this year I reckon.
2013 - Pick 15 - Jones - Wish he hadn't been traded, would be a more than solid contributor for our side and is doing well with ST Kilda.
2012 - Pick 22 (technically second round) - Towers - Mature selection, was an ok contributor but this selection was a miss.
Ling has been so unlucky and I think if given the chance he'll not only be amazing for us but he good be one of the best running half backs in the comp!
 

Bonz

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Ling has been so unlucky and I think if given the chance he'll not only be amazing for us but he good be one of the best running half backs in the comp!
Not sure if he will be one of the best in the comp (he has missed a lot of football). I just want him to be good enough to be a walk up first 22 selection.
 

JackSwans

Head Scout
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Not sure if he will be one of the best in the comp (he has missed a lot of football). I just want him to be good enough to be a walk up first 22 selection.
I followed him in his draft year and was easily the best small/med defender, injuries obviously limited his development but the talent is still there and we saw glimpses of it in the 3 games he played last year. Confidence and backing from the coaches will hopefully "unlock" him. Needless to say I am very excited about seeing him develop further again this year.
 

Bonz

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I followed him in his draft year and was easily the best small/med defender, injuries obviously limited his development but the talent is still there and we saw glimpses of it in the 3 games he played last year. Confidence and backing from the coaches will hopefully "unlock" him. Needless to say I am very excited about seeing him develop further again this year.
Yeah I watched him during his draft year and he was exceptional.

He didn't really show signs of being an competition leading small defender last year, he showed signs of being a more than solid defender though.

With Long we need small steps, stay injury free and build fitness (big tick on the second one here going by pre-season reports). Then hopefully make himself indispensable.
 

Slingshot Footy

Debutant
Oct 10, 2018
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Our recent first round strike rate isn't actually that bad. Especially as we haven't had very early selections outside of the academy.

2019 - Pick 5 - Stephens - Looking more than solid so far, have great expectations for him
2018 - Pick 10 - Blakey - Academy selection, developing at a nice rate, talls usually take longer
2017 - Pick 14 - Ling - This one hurts a bit, but due to injuries, still has time to come good.
2016 - Pick 11 - Florent - Solid selection, fustrates a few here but will play 150-200 games for the club and offers us a lot.
2015 - Pick 3 - Mills - Yup, very very happy with this selection, has been incredible for us in defence and should be more than solid in the middle
2014 - Academy - Heeney - Only reason he hasn't become a full star is injury, will get there this year I reckon.
2013 - Pick 15 - Jones - Wish he hadn't been traded, would be a more than solid contributor for our side and is doing well with ST Kilda.
2012 - Pick 22 (technically second round) - Towers - Mature selection, was an ok contributor but this selection was a miss.
I'm including the 2000s, basically since 2002 when we drafted McVeigh at #5 it's been pretty tough going.

2003 - #16 Josh Willoughby
2006 - #15 Daniel O'Keefe
2007 - #11 Patrick Veszpremi
2008 - #12 Lewis Johnston
2009 - #6 Gary Rohan, #14 Lewis Jetta - the latter wins a reprieve for turning up in the '12 GF but both were hopeless in '14 and Rohan again shocking in '16.
2010 - #21 Jed Lamb - Gold Coast to be fair held seven selections before us in the first compromised expansion draft but off form we probably would have taken Daniel Gorringe!

I liked Lamb, hard to say if he sacrificed a longer career for more money (though I'm sure he's laughing all the way to the bank) but he certainly faded into oblivion once he signed the GWS deal and then moved onto Carlton thereafter. The Swans to their credit fixed a few of their mistakes from these picks and traded Veszpremi for Andrejs Everitt and Johnston for Tony Armstrong. Both of whom were big improvements on the original players taken.
 

Slingshot Footy

Debutant
Oct 10, 2018
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160
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Genuine question to everyone but when was the last time a first round selection we made has become an AA?

I know if Jetta, him doing it in 2012, drafted in 2009, but have there been any first rounders drafted since 2009 that I am forgetting that have gone on to become All Australians?
Well if you count Tom Mitchell at #21 (F/S) from 2011 as a first round pick then you've got yourself a dual All-Australian and Brownlow Medallist.
 

Bear31

Club Legend
Feb 15, 2020
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I'm including the 2000s, basically since 2002 when we drafted McVeigh at #5 it's been pretty tough going.

2003 - #16 Josh Willoughby
2006 - #15 Daniel O'Keefe
2007 - #11 Patrick Veszpremi
2008 - #12 Lewis Johnston
2009 - #6 Gary Rohan, #14 Lewis Jetta - the latter wins a reprieve for turning up in the '12 GF but both were hopeless in '14 and Rohan again shocking in '16.
2010 - #21 Jed Lamb - Gold Coast to be fair held seven selections before us in the first compromised expansion draft but off form we probably would have taken Daniel Gorringe!

I liked Lamb, hard to say if he sacrificed a longer career for more money (though I'm sure he's laughing all the way to the bank) but he certainly faded into oblivion once he signed the GWS deal and then moved onto Carlton thereafter. The Swans to their credit fixed a few of their mistakes from these picks and traded Veszpremi for Andrejs Everitt and Johnston for Tony Armstrong. Both of whom were big improvements on the original players taken.
and yet we still won 2 flags during and :cool:after this drafting debacle!!
 

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