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

 

caesar88

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Apr 26, 2016
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This is the wrong thread but per the discussion above ^^, I have a theory as to why we have done so well in the past with later picks, and not so much with our higher picks, and it's to do with coaching and development. (And no it's not a criticism.)

High draft picks are typically gifted with natural talent or an elite attribute that makes them a stand-out, be it their pace or their foot skills or their athleticism, or sometimes all of the above. This can sometimes mean the work-rate, intensity and professionalism needed to get the best out of yourself as a pro athlete isn't there, because they haven't always needed it as a junior.

Later draft picks are typically not blessed with as many natural gifts, which makes them limited in their capabilities on-field. But they will likely have the work-rate, intensity and professionalism required to get the best out of themselves as pro athletes, because they've needed it to get themselves into the AFL in the first place, despite their limitations.

Now I wonder which of the above types of player would do well under Paul Roos and, until recent years, John Longmire, coaches known for prioritising competitiveness, effort and hardness over all else, and for their game-style that often revolved around contested footy and team defence, as opposed to free-flowing, skills-centric footy?

I'm not laying the blame at Roos' or Horse's feet btw. I think a lot needs to go right for any draftee to do well in the AFL, and in our cases, it's very possible that a lot of them just might not've been the right fit for what we were doing as a team for many years, and Roos & Horse, as great as they are as coaches, just might not've been the best fit for what those individual players needed either. They absolutely succeeded in getting the best out of workmanlike warriors like Grundy and Jack and Smith and Bolton and LRT and ROK, taking their limitations and turning them into consistent, disciplined, quality players. But Goodes & Buddy aside, I can't say our history this century has seen too many naturally talented players go on to fulfil their full potential.

However credit to the recruiting staff at our club, and credit especially to Horse, as the former have not only remained focused on getting the best talent possible onto our list but have even become adventurous with our later and rookie picks (e.g. more willing to roll the dice on a skinny flanker with flair with a rookie pick as opposed to a battler.) And the latter has also evolved as a coach, to the point we have 18, 19, 20 year old first and second round picks coming into his team playing with a sh*t-load of confidence in a game-plan that is also evolving to become more aggressive and dynamic.

Just my two cents :shrug:
 

Bear31

Club Legend
Feb 15, 2020
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This is the wrong thread but per the discussion above ^^, I have a theory as to why we have done so well in the past with later picks, and not so much with our higher picks, and it's to do with coaching and development. (And no it's not a criticism.)

High draft picks are typically gifted with natural talent or an elite attribute that makes them a stand-out, be it their pace or their foot skills or their athleticism, or sometimes all of the above. This can sometimes mean the work-rate, intensity and professionalism needed to get the best out of yourself as a pro athlete isn't there, because they haven't always needed it as a junior.

Later draft picks are typically not blessed with as many natural gifts, which makes them limited in their capabilities on-field. But they will likely have the work-rate, intensity and professionalism required to get the best out of themselves as pro athletes, because they've needed it to get themselves into the AFL in the first place, despite their limitations.

Now I wonder which of the above types of player would do well under Paul Roos and, until recent years, John Longmire, coaches known for prioritising competitiveness, effort and hardness over all else, and for their game-style that often revolved around contested footy and team defence, as opposed to free-flowing, skills-centric footy?

I'm not laying the blame at Roos' or Horse's feet btw. I think a lot needs to go right for any draftee to do well in the AFL, and in our cases, it's very possible that a lot of them just might not've been the right fit for what we were doing as a team for many years, and Roos & Horse, as great as they are as coaches, just might not've been the best fit for what those individual players needed either. They absolutely succeeded in getting the best out of workmanlike warriors like Grundy and Jack and Smith and Bolton and LRT and ROK, taking their limitations and turning them into consistent, disciplined, quality players. But Goodes & Buddy aside, I can't say our history this century has seen too many naturally talented players go on to fulfil their full potential.

However credit to the recruiting staff at our club, and credit especially to Horse, as the former have not only remained focused on getting the best talent possible onto our list but have even become adventurous with our later and rookie picks (e.g. more willing to roll the dice on a skinny flanker with flair with a rookie pick as opposed to a battler.) And the latter has also evolved as a coach, to the point we have 18, 19, 20 year old first and second round picks coming into his team playing with a sh*t-load of confidence in a game-plan that is also evolving to become more aggressive and dynamic.

Just my two cents :shrug:
I will agree with you and go you one further and refer to a Horse interview last year where the question was why is Sydney more successful than other clubs by remaining at the top so long. I'm paraphrasing. But he said good people. He went on. But both on and off the field you need good people. Sounds easy. But I think with Sydney and their history with the bad times they have developed traits and expectations of both staff on and off the field are non negotiables. They need to be better than othe clubs. We Flirted with danger with E Taylor, but sometimes you have to take the risks.
I think with our recruiting team(and ihave read a bit about them) they know what they are doing. They bring in intelligent footballers with the right character to continually keep our club successful.
 

Slingshot Footy

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Oct 10, 2018
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I will agree with you and go you one further and refer to a Horse interview last year where the question was why is Sydney more successful than other clubs by remaining at the top so long. I'm paraphrasing. But he said good people. He went on. But both on and off the field you need good people. Sounds easy. But I think with Sydney and their history with the bad times they have developed traits and expectations of both staff on and off the field are non negotiables. They need to be better than othe clubs. We Flirted with danger with E Taylor, but sometimes you have to take the risks.
I think with our recruiting team(and ihave read a bit about them) they know what they are doing. They bring in intelligent footballers with the right character to continually keep our club successful.
The old 'no dickheads' policy certainly rings true and hopefully for years to come at the Swans. I think Rowbottom exemplifies that as well as anyone on our list.
 

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TheMase

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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.
Ling is my smokey for round one! Just a gut feel...

Easy to forget that the coaches effectively admitted he wasn’t senior match ready fitness was for debut. I think it was a show something moment and aside from a couple of errant kicks I thought he was impressive.
 

Bonz

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Ling is my smokey for round one! Just a gut feel...

Easy to forget that the coaches effectively admitted he wasn’t senior match ready fitness was for debut. I think it was a show something moment and aside from a couple of errant kicks I thought he was impressive.
His kicking as a junior was very impressive.

Hope he can transition his vision and skills to afl
 

Bear31

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His kicking as a junior was very impressive.

Hope he can transition his vision and skills to afl
He is one I cannot wait to see playing(amounst others). Excited for the new season to start.
Kicking is a fixture in our recruitment over the last few years. Dawson, Ling, Blakey, Stephens, McInerney, Taylor, Campbell.
 

caesar88

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Apr 26, 2016
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Ling is my smokey for round one! Just a gut feel...

Easy to forget that the coaches effectively admitted he wasn’t senior match ready fitness was for debut. I think it was a show something moment and aside from a couple of errant kicks I thought he was impressive.
I agree. I think he has a big future for us. He was given a one-year contract to prove himself, which is fair enough given the investment the club has put in him with little return (through no fault of his own.) And I think he will take that opportunity and absolutely prove himself.

I don't think the foot skills are as we'd hoped, but defensively he could be a gun. Seems to give his opponent absolutely no space at all and I particularly like that he has the instincts to take a one-on-one win and turn it into an aggressive counter-attack. In that sense, he could play the role of Nick Smith, but with more strings to his bow. He's not in my round 1 team, but I get the feeling that once he gets consistent games and starts whooping some opponent's arses, he'll become a favourite of Horse.
 

Punts

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Nov 11, 2012
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Needs to improve big time to get a contract after this year

was average at best when playing both seniors and 2s

yea was of not much preparation and injury

1 year deal says it all
 

Kapers

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Sep 25, 2019
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Needs to improve big time to get a contract after this year

was average at best when playing both seniors and 2s

yea was of not much preparation and injury

1 year deal says it all
we're so off-topic that I thought Punts was talking about Rowbottom when I came on here, I was thinking you were off your rocker saying Rowbottom needed to improve to get a contract.
 

markwithac

Draftee
Jan 12, 2021
15
19
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I agree. I think he has a big future for us. He was given a one-year contract to prove himself, which is fair enough given the investment the club has put in him with little return (through no fault of his own.) And I think he will take that opportunity and absolutely prove himself.

I don't think the foot skills are as we'd hoped, but defensively he could be a gun. Seems to give his opponent absolutely no space at all and I particularly like that he has the instincts to take a one-on-one win and turn it into an aggressive counter-attack. In that sense, he could play the role of Nick Smith, but with more strings to his bow. He's not in my round 1 team, but I get the feeling that once he gets consistent games and starts whooping some opponent's arses, he'll become a favourite of Horse.
I see ling as more inside than where a lot of others do... he competes... we still should of taken oscar allen but oh well
 

Tedeski

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Ling is my smokey for round one! Just a gut feel...

Easy to forget that the coaches effectively admitted he wasn’t senior match ready fitness was for debut. I think it was a show something moment and aside from a couple of errant kicks I thought he was impressive.
His number one asset that I noticed in the game I saw him play was that he had so much composure.
The bonus is his kicking but players with composure are cherished in the AFL.

I agree Masey. If not round one, he will be a mainstay of our team by year's end, with some luck on the injury front.
 

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Punts

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Nov 11, 2012
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His number one asset that I noticed in the game I saw him play was that he had so much composure.
The bonus is his kicking but players with composure are cherished in the AFL.

I agree Masey. If not round one, he will be a mainstay of our team by year's end, with some luck on the injury front.
Not sure on mate IMO

thought he panicked
 

Bear31

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Feb 15, 2020
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His number one asset that I noticed in the game I saw him play was that he had so much composure.
The bonus is his kicking but players with composure are cherished in the AFL.

I agree Masey. If not round one, he will be a mainstay of our team by year's end, with some luck on the injury front.
I get the feeling, though I like the look of him, that we do not know where to play him. We have a square peg with no where to put him. Defence is full. You were injured too long(3 years)and your spot got taken. Others over took you. Will be interesting where he fits in the puzzle.
 

Kiama Chris

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May 10, 2016
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Hopefully he can remove any doubt any of us have by playing more games & consistently showing composure.
I'm happy to wait & see.
I'd like to see Ling playing ressies doing the role that Nic Newman performed, tidying up and releasing long to the wing. Won B&F in a losing Grand Final doing that exceptionally well. Ling is more talented than Newman.
From there he can force his way into seniors playing that role, probably coming forward from back pocket.
A lot depends on the "new" backline structure.
 

JackSwans

Head Scout
Jan 12, 2021
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Not that, for some reason the thread was talking about a player who was not Rowbottom and they were bagging the player, so I initially thought they were bagging Rowbottom which I thought was crazy, till I realised they were bagging someone else.
I understand now, was about to say I think you're first person I've seen to say something negative about Rowy, just had to make sure haha
 
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