Player Watch #8: Nathan Hrovat -

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tazaa

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 11, 2007
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A few times he had the chance to get dangerous and goal side and he was too easily nullified.
This is what hurts as when he is opposed to a defender whose only goal is to stop his opponent and not worry about the ball - this is where Hrovat suffers.

As a small forward you need to have an elite trait be it tackling, speed or accurate goal kicking and he doesn’t really have any.

Not his fault but he’s just always going to be a VFL standard footballer
 

ferball

Premium Platinum
Jul 24, 2015
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We played Gibson every game right until he was delisted, ditto McKenzie, Petrie didn't get dropped like he should have, neither did LT or Swallow. Now Hrovat. It doesn't make sense. He's 99% not the reason why lost, but he shouldn't be playing.
Shaw, as a cartaker coach, should be giving these fringe players an opportunity to play, especially if their VFL form earns them a place. Whoever coaches next year needs to see them in action this year, toward the end of the season, to make decisions about whether they offer him anything or not.
 

Themanbun

Club Legend
Apr 19, 2019
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North Melbourne
My main issue with the Rat as a forward is that he struggles in space and with sticking tackles.

There were a few times where his positioning was great (got out the back of a contest before our forward couldn't nullify the Brisbane defenders and split the contest) but there was no reward. There were a couple of instances in heavy traffic where he moved well and picked out the right option.

It's weird to see a small guy like that seem so much more at home in traffic than in space, but ultimately small forwards need to be able to operate in space and use pace or craft to snag goals.

Should he be delisted, I think the best thing for his career would be to find a VFL club which allows him to play in the midfield, and strutting his stuff there for a season. None of this "you're short so you will be a small forward" stuff. He's been played there once in the VFL this year and had 30 odd touches, then was moved back to the forwardline as other mids became available again.

His skills do not suit the role he has been designated at AFL level. He's trying hard, but apart from a somewhat solid 2017 with us, it's been pretty average. If someone is going to get 11-15 touches per game I'd rather it be someone electric and creative rather than an inside slogger pigeon holed into a small forward role.

Some of the vitriol directed at him has been absurd and his mistakes certainly get highlighted more than others', but unless he's setting up goals like last week his spot in the side is suspect.
 

Roosurgence

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2006
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Mount Waverley
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North Melbourne
He just isn’t up to AFL level.

It’s been pointed out 100 times, he doesn’t have any of the elite traits that are required for a small forward to be successful at AFL level.

We have a bloke who we took mid season, for the love of god, try him out, because pumping games into Hrovat is just pointless.
 

Themanbun

Club Legend
Apr 19, 2019
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Yes.


Pick Me: Clearance king Nathan Hrovat could be the next Sam Mitchell
  • Sam Landsberger
  • Herald Sun
  • November 05, 2012 12:00AM

IT was the $50 that helped put Nathan Hrovat on the draft map.

After copping a blast for his fitness levels in a frank 2011 season review, the pint-sized midfielder was told it was time to "pull his finger out’’ or his AFL dream would disappear.

Hrovat got straight to work, hell-bent on producing a faultless pre-season.

He grabbed his runners on New Years Day and hit the Rye beach and was desperate to not let a family holiday on the Gold Coast in January stall his fitness regime.

Hrovat forked out $50 for a seven-day membership at a Gold Coast gym and hit it twice most days.

When he wasn’t lifting weights in the sunshine state, Hrovat was out honing his kicking skills at Southport and any football ground he could find.

"Being a diminutive type I need to be really strong around the ball, so it certainly helped,’’ Hrovat said.

His initiative didn’t end there.

The Northern Knights captain hooked up with Brent Harvey, eager to tap into AFL resources after seeing the fruits of Lachie Hunter and Jack Viney’s father-son connections.

Hrovat’s dedication immediately impressed the North Melbourne champion.

"He’s got a lot of talent, and that’s one small part of it, but the want and the desire to constantly improve is a big part of making an AFL footballer, and Nathan’s got that,’’ Harvey said.

"I guess the knock on him is he’s short. And that’s why he wanted to speak to me, to see what sort of extra stuff you need to go to get over that hurdle.’’

Harvey mentored Hrovat this year, dishing out key advice on burst speed techniques, diets and training approaches.

As the Sam Mitchell-type tore TAC Cup sides apart with his clearance work, he went from speculative draft hopeful to a probable late choice.

Then the accolades came, igniting Hrovat up the order.

Vic Metro’s MVP and vice-captain, All-Australian, Knights best-and-fairest winner despite playing just eight games and third in the Morrish medal and second in TAC Cup coaches award.

"I spoke to our recruiters at the start of the year and they said ‘he’s got things to work on, he might get drafted’ to people talking about first-round now,’’ Harvey said.

"It’d be good to have him at Arden St, he’s an outstanding footballer and he’s got great character, so he’d fit our club well.’’


Knights talent manager Peter Kennedy said Hrovat’s standing as a late first-rounder was testament to his consistency and work-rate.

"There’s not a lot of players under 180cm taken, so he knew he had to work really hard,’’ he said.

"He had to cover all bases and he did. His ability to win the ball, weave through traffic and hit targets is (impressive), and he’s got the ability to kick a goal when needed.’’

THE NATHAN HROVAT FILE


AGE: 18
HEIGHT: 174cm
WEIGHT: 76kg
FROM: Northern Knights
POSITION: Inside midfielder
DRAFT RANGE: 15-25
IN THE MIX: Roos (15), Freo (17), Pies (21)
PLAYS LIKE: Sam Mitchell
Remember, we are playing a 'Sam Mitchell type' as a small forward. He was never quick.

Feel like his career could be done after last night's outing and it's sad to see.
 

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Roosurgence

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2006
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Mount Waverley
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Hes a midfielder by trade, playing a position he can't compete speed wise in.

Gets cut up by quick rebounding halfbacks because he simply can't go with them.
But he doesn’t have the traits to be a successful midfielder at AFL level either.

Too slow, not strong enough, not an elite kick.

Don’t get me wrong, midfield is probably his most suited role, but who does he replace in our midfield rotation?
 

Flawed Genius

NM Queensland Recruitment Specialist
Apr 26, 2008
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Hate Hut
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He is similar to Michael Gibbons at Carlton

Regularly had 30+ playing as a full time midfielder at Williamstown and when he got to Carlton they played him as a full time forward pocket/half forward because he was short

Teague realised and has gradually increased his midfield minutes where he is now getting low 20s every week. Horses for courses. Now Hrovat is probably being kept out of the midfield by Simpkin and others and won't play midfield at our club

We've just mismanaged him
 

Themanbun

Club Legend
Apr 19, 2019
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But he doesn’t have the traits to be a successful midfielder at AFL level either.

Too slow, not strong enough, not an elite kick.

Don’t get me wrong, midfield is probably his most suited role, but who does he replace in our midfield rotation?
It's been too long now since he has been played in the midfield. He spent a small portion of his time there with the Bulldogs and averaged 3 clearances a game in one season (again only playing in there in bursts). Is an excellent field kick on both sides over 30-40m.

Was picked in the U18 AA midfield alongside Aish, Whitfield and Wines. People often refer to 'elite traits' which I understand to an extent, but the same s**t was said about guys like Leigh Adams, Andrew Swallow, even Sam Mitchell at times.

The best thing for him would have been for the club to force him to stake his claim as a midfielder through the VFL and dislodge one of our midfielders through weight of performance. Instead the weird persistence with a short, slowish inside midfielder as a small forward has probably hurt both the club's depth and Hrovat's career.

I reposted GRs article from early in the thread to give people a bit of perspective when they abuse him for not excelling as a small forward. I've got a fair bit of empathy for Nathan due to (1) seeing him perform in person as a junior; and (2) having had my own playing career suffer due to being played out of position based upon supposed physical attributes.
 
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Roosurgence

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2006
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He is similar to Michael Gibbons at Carlton

Regularly had 30+ playing as a full time midfielder at Williamstown and when he got to Carlton they played him as a full time forward pocket/half forward because he was short

Teague realised and has gradually increased his midfield minutes where he is now getting low 20s every week. Horses for courses. Now Hrovat is probably being kept out of the midfield by Simpkin and others and won't play midfield at our club

We've just mismanaged him
The mismanagement has been if we picked him up with the intention of making him a small forward.

I just can’t see what trait will make him a successful midfielder at AFL level?
 

TennisPlayerAndy

Klay Thompson's Jumpshot
Apr 1, 2008
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But he doesn’t have the traits to be a successful midfielder at AFL level either.

Too slow, not strong enough, not an elite kick.

Don’t get me wrong, midfield is probably his most suited role, but who does he replace in our midfield rotation?
He doesn't.
 

Themanbun

Club Legend
Apr 19, 2019
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The mismanagement has been if we picked him up with the intention of making him a small forward.

I just can’t see what trait will make him a successful midfielder at AFL level?
Great vision with his hands, moves through traffic well and is an excellent dual sided kick. That's enough, provided he gets enough of the ball. Which we'll never know about.
 

Roosurgence

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2006
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Mount Waverley
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Because he hasn't played any midfield at AFL level

He's not been given a chance to prove that he can be an AFL mid
The question is who do you take out of the midfield to give him a go?

Of our current midfielders, who do you think he would be better than?

We have players in Ahern and LDU who also are potential midfielders.

I just can see where he is in the pecking order.

Unfortunately for him, he isn’t equipped to be a small forward and he isn’t high on the list for midfield minutes.

Poor recruitment and poor player management.
 

Themanbun

Club Legend
Apr 19, 2019
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The question is who do you take out of the midfield to give him a go?

Of our current midfielders, who do you think he would be better than?

We have players in Ahern and LDU who also are potential midfielders.

I just can see where he is in the pecking order.

Unfortunately for him, he isn’t equipped to be a small forward and he isn’t high on the list for midfield minutes.

Poor recruitment and poor player management.
As I said, either this year or last year he should have been permanently stationed in the midfield in the VFL. If he tore it up and gave us no other option but to pick him there, then our poorest performed mid makes way.

Things haven't panned out that way, though. As you say, poor player management and poor recruitment to pick him up with this role in mind.
 

Roosurgence

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 25, 2006
9,675
10,179
Mount Waverley
AFL Club
North Melbourne
As I said, either this year or last year he should have been permanently stationed in the midfield in the VFL. If he tore it up and gave us no other option but to pick him there, then our poorest performed mid makes way.

Things haven't panned out that way, though. As you say, poor player management and poor recruitment to pick him up with this role in mind.
Just another head scratcher to be added to the Brad Scott era.
 

Flawed Genius

NM Queensland Recruitment Specialist
Apr 26, 2008
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The question is who do you take out of the midfield to give him a go?

Of our current midfielders, who do you think he would be better than?

We have players in Ahern and LDU who also are potential midfielders.

I just can see where he is in the pecking order.

Unfortunately for him, he isn’t equipped to be a small forward and he isn’t high on the list for midfield minutes.

Poor recruitment and poor player management.
Exactly

Simpkin is in his spot and is a better prospect

Hrovat is cooked at NMFC and should be recruited by another club which has the intention of playing him as a full time mid
 

mouncey2franklin

Club Legend
Jun 16, 2018
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I thought he was alright the last two weeks. Some nice delivery inside forward 50. Almost Wells or Harvey like, actually.

Haven't checked the stats, maybe he didn't get enough of the pill, is that why people are complaining?
 

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