Analysis A quick look toward a rebuild

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“I’m hoping our supporters can see that we’ve got a good young group coming through. Our NEAFL team had a good win today, so we think we’ve got some positive things coming through. It doesn’t always gel straight way, but we’ll keep trying to fast-track these kids as quickly as we can,” - John Longmire

I know its not a popular thing around these parts to quote Horse these days, but as I was reading the quotes from Horse's press conference on Saturday Night I was left in no doubt that the club was throwing the towel in on the rest of season, while trying to be as open as possible with the fan base about where we sit and what we plan on doing about it for the rest of the year - play the kids.

So will this year be a small dip for quick reward similar to 2009 or will we face a prolonged period down the ladder? As promised to Heeney2Franklin this is a look at where we sit.

Our Youth

Over the past 3 season we have blooded an impressive 22 young players while trying to compete for finals and avoiding a drop down the ladder but while we made the 2016 Grand Final to begin with we have slowly fallen behind the league as we continue our focus on the draft and allow a gap to open up between our youth and older players. So where we sit now has to leave the question are the kids good enough long term to take us to a Premiership?

Only 3 of the 22 players given their first games since 2016 are signed past 2020 (Mills, Blakey and McCartin) which indicates the club is unsure of where many of the remaining players sit. The likes of Dawson, Jones and O'Riordan are up for renewal this year and Florent, Hewett, Hayward, Ling, McInerney, Melican, Papley, Ronke, Rowbottom and Stoddart follow after next year. Most of this group we know about, but others we need to have games put into them so we can decide what futures they have and what roles they will fill and thus what areas we won't need to cover. Some we might even have to trade to rejig our age profile in the manner GWS keep doing.

Our List Profile

We have 12 players signed past 2020, of those 3 are over the age of 28 at the start of next season (Sinclair, Rampe and Buddy) so while these three will be important to us over the next few years they won't form our long term core. The future core is from the remaining 9 players we have signed long term Blakey, Mills, Heeney and McCartin are all under the age of 24 while Reid, Naismith, Allir, Lloyd and Parker are between the age of 24 and 28.

Its this group (along with the likes of Papley, Cunningham, Jones and Hewitt) that more or less will make up the core of our next successful side. Clearly when we look at this group weaknesses become clear and the direction of our rebuild becomes clear.

So what are our weaknesses?

Given we are playing with more of a focus to play though the corridor this year (abet slowly) our midfield has been a weakness which is not helped by the likes of Jones, Parker, Lloyd and Florent all being in the Top 50 for turnovers in the League. Skilled player by foot are needed badly and the likes of Rowbottom, McInerney and Ling are seen by the club as long term answers in this area but a focus on this continuing won't hurt.

Sinclair and Naismith being our long term rucks is going to be a weakness so has to be addressed sooner rather than later. Sinclair has done a great job carrying the load of our ruck division on his own, is great around the ground but is just not providing our midfield with first use that we need from a ruckman. Naismith is just too injury prone to be relied upon but his first use stats are a tease and show why he is signed for as long as he is.

Defense continue to soak up the pressure the midfield is giving up. You can see with the attempted trades for Moore and then Langdon last year that the club wants to improve the defense so they can release Mills into the midfield as they have with Jones. With what we have on our books currently Melican hasn't proven himself other than what we saw in 2017 and with Grundy out of the side and likely to retire at the end of the year we need to decide whether he is the long term replacement. The signs currently aren't promising. Depth in this area and an improvement to the midfield will help this group more than anything else.

So? Skills, Ruck, Defense - Its the midfield stupid.

The midfield is getting killed and in turn its hurting other areas of the team. The defense is getting overrun and the skills of the players on the way out when we have the ball means the forward line either has to chase after a turnover or is out of position because they are getting sucked up the ground. Improving the above areas can help the midfield out but it won't be the only way to solve the midfield issues. It will involve the coaches working to the strengths of the midfield via the gameplan they use.

So, just where are we at?

When you put this altogether it paints the coaching staff in a bad light, but I think the club isn't even thinking about sacking Horse let alone moving on from him. This board can become an echo chamber at times and doesn't reflect what the rest of the supporter base think nor the club itself. If the club was thinking of sacking Horse or he was told his job was in danger the above quote wouldn't of been made. A change in gameplan has started to take place and we're starting to look at what our list has available, I think Horse will be given time to put in place the start of the rebuild.

So if we get our trades right (if we make them) we could have a one year dip, but realistically this could be a prolonged dip as our core isn't as strong as the core we had in 2009. Its promising that a different kind of gameplan is being attempted but currently we just don't have the cattle to pull it off and it might be sometime until we do. People calling for a change of gameplan or more attacking style won't get what they want because even a move to play though the corridor has proven beyond this group of players and taking on more risks has seen the ball turned over in greater numbers.

I like our list in parts but we need this time down the ladder as we need to reinvent the list further than we can while challenging for finals and that means a few years out of the finals.
 

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The King!

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#2
Good analysis

I think the coaching group is a key part of the list build. I know we have a horse thread. But they will be a key part

As a group reid parker allir lloyd and naismith is a poor core

We have blooded a lot of kids, hopefully we can use a few as trade chips to upgrade overall.


I dont agree with your last points, horse might in my view push the rebuild publically to assist in keeping pressure off that the board may hint at,


A lot of where we find ourselves was self induced, poor list management
 
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Good analysis

I think the coaching group is a key part of the list build. I know we have a horse thread. But they will be a key part
Thanks, agree the coaching staff as a whole will have a huge part to play and will also have to be looked at as a group.

As a group reid parker allir lloyd and naismith is a poor core
It really stuck out when I looked at contracted players past 2020.

We have blooded a lot of kids, hopefully we can use a few as trade chips to upgrade overall.
I think a player like Florent or Jones will have to go on the table. To get another 1st Round Pick it will just have to be looked at.

I dont agree with your last points, horse might in my view push the rebuild publically to assist in keeping pressure off that the board may hint at,
Coaches would never commit to a rebuild if their job was directly on the line.

A lot of where we find ourselves was self induced, poor list management
Yep
 

Mick Oxlong

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#4
I don’t totally disagree with your analysis. My thinking (and this is my thinking), is that Longmire has been told to shape up or ship out. There was a major shift in team dynamics by way of his media responses as opposed to what has been said in previous weeks. To single out the supporters, suggests that the club is listening...they listened with their feet against GWS, by not turning up!
 

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#5
Thanks, agree the coaching staff as a whole will have a huge part to play and will also have to be looked at as a group.



It really stuck out when I looked at contracted players past 2020.



I think a player like Florent or Jones will have to go on the table. To get another 1st Round Pick it will just have to be looked at.



Coaches would never commit to a rebuild if their job was directly on the line.



Yep

when you are 1-5 you dont have many choices, he wants paitence he didnt say rebuid, you may be right but I think he could be under the pump and or just trying to create a perception publically so it helps him longer term with other jobs
 

RUNVS

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#7
We need to play players where they are their strongest/where we imagine them playing in 3 to 5 years. Heeney and Mills need to be full time midfeidlers, I don't care if it makes our forward line and defence a bit weaker. I think Rowbottom needs to play at least 40% of game time in the midfield too. Stop chopping and changing players positions. Give each player a certain level of consistency.
 

Number37

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#8
I think a player like Florent or Jones will have to go on the table. To get another 1st Round Pick it will just have to be looked at.
Do you really think we will get a 1st rounder for either Florent or Jones?
IMO Florent will ask to be traded to a Victorian club (Hawks) at the end of the year.
Should we pay overs for Jones like we did for Lloyd?
The Lloyd contract IMO was a big mistake.
 

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#9
Do you really think we will get a 1st rounder for either Florent or Jones?
IMO Florent will ask to be traded to a Victorian club (Hawks) at the end of the year.
Should we pay overs for Jones like we did for Lloyd?
The Lloyd contract IMO was a big mistake.
I feel we have to pay fractionally over for Jones as he's one player we don't have a lot of- speedy linebreaking mids.
 

Kummerspeck

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#10
Good analysis

I think the coaching group is a key part of the list build. I know we have a horse thread. But they will be a key part
This is actually pretty massive. Over the last few years we've moved from veteran coaches in assistant positions (or at least coaches who'd been at two different clubs or levels) to a group of rookie coaches in Johnson, Cox, Kirk, and Kennelly.
 

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Do you really think we will get a 1st rounder for either Florent or Jones?
To the right clubs yes and I think we'll have to hold a little stronger line in this regard but it can be done.

Should we pay overs for Jones like we did for Lloyd?
Depends on what overs is. Remember we have to pay 95% of the salary cap, so we'll end up overpaying someone next year, just a case making sure its either front loaded or a short term contract. Jones isn't the type of player to pay overs for.
 

Number37

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#14
Depends on what overs is. Remember we have to pay 95% of the salary cap, so we'll end up overpaying someone next year, just a case making sure its either front loaded or a short term contract. Jones isn't the type of player to pay overs for.
We would be wise to use cap space on positions where we have list deficiencies wouldn't we? Ruck or Fullback would be top of the list?
 

Bloodied52

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#16
A rebuild should be founded on solid terrain. Someone mentioned the other day that we have not had review for 17 years or thereabouts.

Pridham and his colleagues on the Board would be responsible in initiating a constructive root and branch review of the Footy Department. (I also think they need to review their relationship with the AFL) This should encompass everything from the boot studder (probably a moulder nowadays) to the Academy (I heard Jared Crouch on Sunday discussing the miniscule AFL experienced support he has).

The review should include
1 The Coaching set up and Director of Footy - does it have sufficient skills to drive the re-build? Issues include selection, development etc. At the risk of being jumped on again, of our current crop of players under 23 have had a breakout year where they improved significantly? (Ollie is the exception, Haywood and Paps are pretty much where they were when they made their debuts and Mills, George and Allir have arguably gone backwards).

The review should also look at the thorny issues like the game plan and how it needs to evolve to ensure the success of the rebuild.

Inevitably, a diligent review would also look at the quality of the relationships between the Footy Department and current players. I am certain the Board would be interested in the views of some former players, who retired or were delisted or traded.

2 Recruitment - are we sufficiently organised to get the best results from our drafting and trades?

3 List management - aside from Lance (who is worth every penny he gets) we have had several players on long and expensive contracts. The value of recontracting older players on long contracts is a serious question requiring examination. We were lucky to offload Hanners' salary. We have not been so lucky with blokes like KJ who has been banged up for several years and I expect would still be on good coin.

Has the list been managed in a sufficiently ruthless manner and is change required? Other Clubs such as Hawthorn have been ruthless in bringing forward the departures of some of their champs. Arguably Hanners should have been traded out at the end of 2017 and Rohan at the end of 2016.

Should JPK, Ramps, Parker, Reid, Sinkers be told they are unlikely to be offered more than one year contract extensions at the conclusion of their current contract and that performance will dictate the pay offer for that one year extension?

Even allowing for the COLA removal debacle, why is it we are playing an undersized yeoman ruckman? Yes we are developing Cameron and Naismith is injured (and will be lucky to ever play a full season). Why have we not picked up a strong bodied tall ruckman with some experience who is able to contest in the CS and around the ground?

4 Speaking of injuries and fitness, those areas require consideration. Most other Clubs seem to have faster runners than we do. Are we concentrating too much on training players to run 15klm per game at the expense of building speed? Are our blokes spending too much time in the weights room (not you young Nick!)? For example are Mills and Melican quicker now in repetitve sprints than they were 2 year or 3 years ago?

How well are the Swans managing injuries? How many players are being jabbed up to play each week? Do the current medicos and fitness gurus have strong relationships with the coaches? Are we playing blokes who should be rested or sent off to surgery? Buddy's travails over the past year or so could probably be a large case study in itself. To what extent has the Club's actions led to players being cooked (KJ, Hanners, even Kurt)? Is there scope for better practice?

Anyway, the above are just a few thoughts on issues a solid Review would contemplate.
 
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A rebuild should be founded on solid terrain. Someone mentioned the other day that we have not had review for 17 years or thereabouts.
That someone would be me. I think you failed to understand what a review is.

The Board would look to ask the Head of Football to review the Football Department and how it is structurally setup and where there are areas that can be improved upon for the long term benefit of the club, be it the coaching staff, recruitment staff, medical staff or development staff. Not to look back with hindsight at what we should've done in terms of list management or team selection. If you think a review would look at why we didn't trade Hanners a year earlier, I can tell you you're going to end up disappointed.

As for you most pointless review request I told you before our relationship with the AFL is not up for review and is above the remit of whoever does our review. Maybe read again my last post in reply to your obsession to our CEO and Head of Football and see why its not going to happen.

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/swans-talk-in-the-media-2019.1210737/page-40#post-60518749

You seem hell bent on financially ruining this club for no good reason
 

Crust

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#18
Thanks, agree the coaching staff as a whole will have a huge part to play and will also have to be looked at as a group.



It really stuck out when I looked at contracted players past 2020.



I think a player like Florent or Jones will have to go on the table. To get another 1st Round Pick it will just have to be looked at.



Coaches would never commit to a rebuild if their job was directly on the line.



Yep

I can't see any reason why we would trade Florent for a first rounder. If he wants to go elsewhere, then sure, get the best trade we can.
He's 20 years old (21 in July), he WAS a first rounder, No 11, and he's had a break out year. He's getting better IMO. A known quantity.
Any draft pick involves something of a punt. There are many first rounders who have been duds. So I can't see why we would swap him for that unknown.
 

Mick Oxlong

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#19
I can't see any reason why we would trade Florent for a first rounder. If he wants to go elsewhere, then sure, get the best trade we can.
He's 20 years old (21 in July), he WAS a first rounder, No 11, and he's had a break out year. He's getting better IMO. A known quantity.
Any draft pick involves something of a punt. There are many first rounders who have been duds. So I can't see why we would swap him for that unknown.
But...but...sausages knows all!
 

Bloodied52

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#20
That someone would be me. I think you failed to understand what a review is.

The Board would look to ask the Head of Football to review the Football Department and how it is structurally setup and where there are areas that can be improved upon for the long term benefit of the club, be it the coaching staff, recruitment staff, medical staff or development staff. Not to look back with hindsight at what we should've done in terms of list management or team selection. If you think a review would look at why we didn't trade Hanners a year earlier, I can tell you you're going to end up disappointed.

As for you most pointless review request I told you before our relationship with the AFL is not up for review and is above the remit of whoever does our review. Maybe read again my last post in reply to your obsession to our CEO and Head of Football and see why its not going to happen.

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/swans-talk-in-the-media-2019.1210737/page-40#post-60518749

You seem hell bent on financially ruining this club for no good reason
That is not my intent at all and I find your last sentence to be insulting.

Such a Review must be initiated by the Board and directed through the CEO. Poor governance to have the Director of Footy review his own role. You clearly have not
served on or worked to a Board. The Hanners example was used as part of the argument about going forward - ie it is helpful to learn from experience.
 

Bloodied52

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#21

Mick Oxlong

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#22
That someone would be me. I think you failed to understand what a review is.

The Board would look to ask the Head of Football to review the Football Department and how it is structurally setup and where there are areas that can be improved upon for the long term benefit of the club, be it the coaching staff, recruitment staff, medical staff or development staff. Not to look back with hindsight at what we should've done in terms of list management or team selection. If you think a review would look at why we didn't trade Hanners a year earlier, I can tell you you're going to end up disappointed.

As for you most pointless review request I told you before our relationship with the AFL is not up for review and is above the remit of whoever does our review. Maybe read again my last post in reply to your obsession to our CEO and Head of Football and see why its not going to happen.

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/swans-talk-in-the-media-2019.1210737/page-40#post-60518749

You seem hell bent on financially ruining this club for no good reason
I clicked the link, read the post and now have to ask you a question.

What $15M loan? Governments don’t provide a loan service, they provide grants. This is a grant and grants don’t get paid back. So your waffle about the AFL being guarantor is absolutely wrong!
 

The King!

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#23
That someone would be me. I think you failed to understand what a review is.

The Board would look to ask the Head of Football to review the Football Department and how it is structurally setup and where there are areas that can be improved upon for the long term benefit of the club, be it the coaching staff, recruitment staff, medical staff or development staff. Not to look back with hindsight at what we should've done in terms of list management or team selection. If you think a review would look at why we didn't trade Hanners a year earlier, I can tell you you're going to end up disappointed.

As for you most pointless review request I told you before our relationship with the AFL is not up for review and is above the remit of whoever does our review. Maybe read again my last post in reply to your obsession to our CEO and Head of Football and see why its not going to happen.

https://www.bigfooty.com/forum/threads/swans-talk-in-the-media-2019.1210737/page-40#post-60518749

You seem hell bent on financially ruining this club for no good reason

Not sure why you seem to get so pissy if someone doesn’t take your word as gospel

Not like you work at the club mate
 

Bloodied52

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#24
Not sure why you seem to get so pissy if someone doesn’t take your word as gospel

Not like you work at the club mate
Am sure that poster is as passionate a supporter as any here. I simply identified some areas that a Review could and should consider. Not likely to lose sleep over his supercilious response.
 
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