Player Watch #9 Will Hayward - contract extended to 2024

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Kennedy Parker

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Jul 9, 2015
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Will Hayward
Spritely Sydney Swans forward Will Hayward enjoyed a rocketing start to his career as he became the 11th-youngest player in the AFL era to reach 50 career goals in 2018. The 2016 draftee’s nippy pace and cunning goal awareness have made him a dangerous option in coach John Longmire’s forward line. A broken jaw and a persistent hip injury limited Hayward to just 12 goals in 13 senior games in 2019, but the South Australian is attacking the 2020 campaign on the back of his first full pre-season. Don’t be surprised if the exciting Swan finds himself on a wing this year.

Will Hayward
DOB: 26 October 1998
DEBUT: 2017
DRAFT: #21, 2016 National Draft
RECRUITED FROM: Walkerville (SA)/North Adelaide (SANFL)

 

LukeParkerno1

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Sep 23, 2005
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he missed only 9 and he was no better than any other year

he needs to improv
but given his age profile and ability theres no need for concern imo
He’s the least of my concerns. Probably does need to work on staying involved as he can go missing a bit. Should look at how Papley goes about it or Steve Johnson when he played forward
 

caesar88

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The Rohan comparison I think is valid in true output as a mid-sized forward. Just look at their numbers. But I certainly grant that Hayward has a lot of upside.

My point about him potentially being underwhelming is linked to his status as a mid-sized forward who can't play anywhere else and has never won a lot of ball. I'm more concerned about his ability to become a really good player than the others you mention as the others are more versatile and play multiple positions (Blakey, Dawson) or are midfielders who have shown in their junior years that they can win a lot of ball (Florent, Rowbottom). Hayward has always been a low possession player who can only play one position.

It might come across like I don't like Hayward which isn't the case, and again, I wouldn't have him on the chopping block (scaryness ) - we're just discussing him. To me, he just has natural limitations in his game which would make him less likely to go to the top level (and be an AA player for example).
Why does he need to be an AA player? 40 goals every year would not make him an AA player but it would go a long way to helping us have winning seasons, no?
 

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S120

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Why does he need to be an AA player? 40 goals every year would not make him an AA player but it would go a long way to helping us have winning seasons, no?
He certainly doesn't need to be an AA player and 40 goals would be excellent. But 40 goals in a year from a mid-sized forward who can only play in one spot and has never won a lot of ball is pretty rare. Alex Sexton did it last year (39 goals to be precise) but no others that I can see. Stephenson, De Goey, Martin, Breust and the like all go into the midfield regularly, and thus have extra value as players.

Again, I think there are some natural limitations to his game that might prevent him from going to the next level. I'm not certain they will, but I do think there's a good chance.
 

caesar88

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He certainly doesn't need to be an AA player and 40 goals would be excellent. But 40 goals in a year from a mid-sized forward who can only play in one spot and has never won a lot of ball is pretty rare. Alex Sexton did it last year (39 goals to be precise) but no others that I can see. Stephenson, De Goey, Martin, Breust and the like all go into the midfield regularly, and thus have extra value as players.

Again, I think there are some natural limitations to his game that might prevent him from going to the next level. I'm not certain they will, but I do think there's a good chance.
Do they?

If Hayward kicked 22 and 28 goals in his first two years, when he was a teenager, I see absolutely no reason to expect that he won't greatly improve on those numbers as he gets more experienced. Unless he just reached his ceiling as a 19 year old?
 

Kirkswan

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May 10, 2014
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Discussion: Hayward is only marginally better than Trent Dennis-Lane and we would be best to trade him before his value drops.
Have you had you're eyes checked lately? Experiencing bouts of selective forgetfulness? It could be that new syndrome I've been hearing about... think it's called Lackofaussierules! It's almost epidemic proportions in Victoria!

Hayward is in a completely different class than Dennis-Lane.
 

mtooler

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Feb 5, 2012
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Do they?

If Hayward kicked 22 and 28 goals in his first two years, when he was a teenager, I see absolutely no reason to expect that he won't greatly improve on those numbers as he gets more experienced. Unless he just reached his ceiling as a 19 year old?
Rohan is a very low water mark and he's having difficulty keeping pace.
 

scaryness

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Hayward is way more talented around goals than Rohan. It's not really close.

Rohan gets goals from 2 ways: set shot and running straight at goal.

Hayward has a full arsenal of snaps and bananas, he is talented enough to kick a goal from anywhere inside 50 when he gets it. The goal he kicked in R1 when he did an inside-out banana off one step in the pocket was class.

He should be played out of the goal square with Heeney.

I've come to realise that judging any forward by how many disposals they get in a Horse-coached team is pointless.
 

SeanM

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Oct 17, 2016
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I will be upset if we are looking to trade him. I don't think it is easy to trade/draft as good a player in his position.

I was happy when we signed him because at the time I think we needed a good medium forward. He works hard defensively, can take a leaping mark, decent kick, looks very quick this season and wants to be here. He also looks to be developing a good partnership with Papley and Blakey.
 
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caesar88

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Hayward is way more talented around goals than Rohan. It's not really close.

Rohan gets goals from 2 ways: set shot and running straight at goal.

Hayward has a full arsenal of snaps and bananas, he is talented enough to kick a goal from anywhere inside 50 when he gets it. The goal he kicked in R1 when he did an inside-out banana off one step in the pocket was class.

He should be played out of the goal square with Heeney.

I've come to realise that judging any forward by how many disposals they get in a Horse-coached team is pointless.
My god the bolded is unbelievably accurate
 

bedford

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Loved him at the start . He has now turned in to a smart arse who can't find the footy . Wants to mouth off and push and shove and then won't back it up . Now if he keeps this up , trade him.
 

Dan87

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Playing the same spot since debut, but now with no key forwards around him.

Change it up. Put him on the wing for a bit. Probably a bit bored.
 

caesar88

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Concerning yesterday is that he was up and about and fired up, moving well, desperate to win, looking confident... and still only had six touches.

It's possible he may be one of those players who is as good as the team around him. 2017 and 2018 we were finalists and he was playing alongside Buddy, and was pretty effective. Now days not so much.

But the more likely scenario is that he is just out of form and needs to be dropped. He had an interrupted 2019, and 2020 has been even more so. No shame in being dropped, but it needs to happen or we risk falling into the same trap of lack of accountability that we had with Reid and Rohan.
 

SGBeach

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Jul 19, 2019
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Concerning yesterday is that he was up and about and fired up, moving well, desperate to win, looking confident... and still only had six touches.

It's possible he may be one of those players who is as good as the team around him. 2017 and 2018 we were finalists and he was playing alongside Buddy, and was pretty effective. Now days not so much.

But the more likely scenario is that he is just out of form and needs to be dropped. He had an interrupted 2019, and 2020 has been even more so. No shame in being dropped, but it needs to happen or we risk falling into the same trap of lack of accountability that we had with Reid and Rohan.
Agree he needs to be dropped.. Looks like his mind is on other things instead of getting the ball, tackling and kicking goals.
He could benefit from playing on the wing or at half back - happy to let the coaches make that decision
Reckon Horse will rip into him this week
 

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