Player Watch AFL skill level

Topkent

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Im happy to debate this with anyone, but I think in this professional era of footy the skills are worse than they were 20 years ago, possibly at an all time low in the TV era

Everyones talking about the lack of scoring in modern footy and even ive been sucked into trying to come up with rules to fix it but none of them ultimately will work until they spend some money on Junior coaching.
Look at some of the number 1-5 picks in the draft the last few years, these are supposed to be the BEST talents in the country and they lack so many fundamentals.

Brayshaw is a tough tough kid who can extract the pill, but his kicking soooo bad. Petracca doesnt have a left foot at all
Sam Walsh is a running machine who doesnt kick it well, we picked up Sparrow at 26 or 27 who cant kick
Paddy Dow is ******* horrible at kicking.
Dom Tyson, Andrew Brayshaw, Setterfield, Pickett etc.

The majority of draftees now dont have the ability to kick on both feet, nor handball with both sides. These arent even rookies these are the best kids in the country.

Forwards technical craft are at an all time low, guys like Fevola and Lloyd, Richo, Riewoldt etc had the ability to hit packs hard and mark the ball with their arms infront of them. Not alot of them look comfortable in that aspect anymore. They would rather beat opponent with athleticism on the ground working up and back.
The best midfielders in the game in early 2000s were,
Hird, Ricciuto, Buckley, Voss, Black, Aker, Goodes, Crawford, Harvey, Kouta etc
Just beautiful kicks everywhere.
Nowadays its
Martin, Danger, Fyfe, Cripps, Oliver, Sloane, Bont, Crouch, Mitchell, Kelly, Treloar etc
Half of them atleast are poor kicks of the footy.

In fact the only thing thats improved is defending, the best markers of the ball all play in defence now. The intercept marking of the best is miles ahead of what I can remember.

The AFL needs to take all of the ******* money they are wasting and pump it into grass roots development. Who are the former AFL coaches and assistant coaches down at all of the teams in the Under 18s competitions developing the juniors. Where are the specialist goalkicking coaches working to help iron out goalkicking problems with young key forwards, run ups and ball drops etc.Kidd now are running into an open goal and run away from the goal and try for the nana, who the **** is teaching this ****?


I think its time to go to 16 on the field at the elite level again aswell. There just too much defensive coverage on the ground now with the fitness of all the players, not only does it make it hard to defend the ground with 2 less options but it gets rid of 36 scrubs who shouldnt be good enough to be getting a game.
 
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Djcjdees

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TK for commissioner! Or whatever Gil is.

Also, imagine what the skills would be like if the AFL decided that handballs actually had to be handballs.
 
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Bluelegs

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Fitness > Skill

Until the game is played in a way that players don't need to be running machines who need to make every contest and every stoppage on every part of the ground the skill level will not be a priority to any team. Crowding the footy wins you more games than kicking straight, and perfect skills make no difference if you're forced to kick long down the line every time you have to move the ball. If you can crowd the footy and spread effectively when in possession, moving the ball by hands is a much higher percentage play than nailing lace out kicks from coast to coast.
 

Grimesy87

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Im happy to debate this with anyone, but I think in this professional era of footy the skills are worse than they were 20 years ago, possibly at an all time low in the TV era

Everyones talking about the lack of scoring in modern footy and even ive been sucked into trying to come up with rules to fix it but none of them ultimately will work until they spend some money on Junior coaching.
Look at some of the number 1-5 picks in the draft the last few years, these are supposed to be the BEST talents in the country and they lack so many fundamentals.

Brayshaw is a tough tough kid who can extract the pill, but his kicking soooo bad. Petracca doesnt have a left foot at all
Sam Walsh is a running machine who doesnt kick it well, we picked up Sparrow at 26 or 27 who cant kick
Paddy Dow is ******* horrible at kicking.
Dom Tyson, Andrew Brayshaw, Setterfield, Pickett etc.

The majority of draftees now dont have the ability to kick on both feet, nor handball with both sides. These arent even rookies these are the best kids in the country.

Forwards technical craft are at an all time low, guys like Fevola and Lloyd, Richo, Riewoldt etc had the ability to hit packs hard and mark the ball with their arms infront of them. Not alot of them look comfortable in that aspect anymore. They would rather beat opponent with athleticism on the ground working up and back.
The best midfielders in the game in early 2000s were,
Hird, Ricciuto, Buckley, Voss, Black, Aker, Goodes, Crawford, Harvey, Kouta etc
Just beautiful kicks everywhere.
Nowadays its
Martin, Danger, Fyfe, Cripps, Oliver, Sloane, Bont, Crouch, Mitchell, Kelly, Treloar etc
Half of them atleast are poor kicks of the footy.

In fact the only thing thats improved is defending, the best markers of the ball all play in defence now. The intercept marking of the best is miles ahead of what I can remember.

The AFL needs to take all of the ******* money they are wasting and pump it into grass roots development. Who are the former AFL coaches and assistant coaches down at all of the teams in the Under 18s competitions developing the juniors. Where are the specialist goalkicking coaches working to help iron out goalkicking problems with young key forwards, run ups and ball drops etc.Kidd now are running into an open goal and run away from the goal and try for the nana, who the **** is teaching this ****?


I think its time to go to 16 on the field at the elite level again aswell. There just too much defensive coverage on the ground now with the fitness of all the players, not only does it make it hard to defend the ground with 2 less options but it gets rid of 36 scrubs who shouldnt be good enough to be getting a game.
Nail. On. Head.

The way the game is played now is a slightly more physical version of soccer. Keeping off, slow build up from the back and try to break down a defence parked behind the ball. And defending team just sit back waiting for a turnover in the midfield, and try to exploit on the counter.

Trouble is, teams don't have the skill to do either. Removing 2 players from the ground will ease congestion, but recruiting will still favour the athletes to substitute that.

I can't recall who it was during saints vs hawks on Sunday in the last quarter, trying to kick a left foot check side 40m out as they didn't have a right foot (think it was wingard) but it's comical.

Dead set, was more enjoyable watching modewarre and Anglesea on Saturday afternoon. Skills were fairly similar save some inaccurate kicking and lower fitness.
 

00Stinger

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A big problem is the AFL doing their best to tire the players out as they believe this will open the game up.

WRONG!

It means that the skill level drops for 2 key reasons
1. The clubs put more emphasis on getting the fitness and aerobic ability of players up causing them to put let les emphasis on skill training. Which drops the skills
2. Players are fatigued during a game. Anyone knows when people are fatigued they don't perform as well as when they aren't. Which once again drops the skill level
 
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saj_21

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I don't think skills have dropped off, but the time and space has. The game is far more congested than it was 20 years ago, i'd love to see Buckley play in this era and see if coaches afforded him the time and space he was allowed in his prime. All players are much fitter and with rotations there is always fresh legs on the ground to defend.

A bit harsh on judging 4 gamers as bad kicks particularly when they are still picking up the speed of the game.
 

Dark Avenger

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I haven't played footy for some time but one thing I noticed at my cricket club is it is so hard to find volunteers to coach & help out nowadays. In todays hectic society many parents view sporting activities as a break from their kids & don't even watch their kids play let alone offer support to the clubs. This means former players & Little Johnnys old man who used to be a good player don't pass on knowledge & Little Billys mother ends up managing the team rather than coaching them. Its hard to teach kids fundamental skills when the coach barely knows them themselves.
 

Cannon82

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I haven't played footy for some time but one thing I noticed at my cricket club is it is so hard to find volunteers to coach & help out nowadays. In todays hectic society many parents view sporting activities as a break from their kids & don't even watch their kids play let alone offer support to the clubs. This means former players & Little Johnnys old man who used to be a good player don't pass on knowledge & Little Billys mother ends up managing the team rather than coaching them. Its hard to teach kids fundamental skills when the coach barely knows them themselves.
I think that's a byproduct of people having less and less time due to extended work hours / days. Parents at clubs help out because their kids are involved but a combination of having young kids / careers generally makes it difficult for them to do more than the basics. You really need some recent retirees around to help, but from what I've noticed, people tend to burn out, get jack of it and walk away.

I think part of the problem too is that sport is now viewed as more social than competitive. If you want the kids to improve and better themselves, it needs to be competitive. If parents are just dropping their kids off at glorified childcare so they can spend time with teammates Billy and Bobby, then it doesn't really matter if they win, lose, etc as long as no one gets hurt and everyone gets a pat on the head. If kids are only playing socially, then whats the difference between social cricket, social video games or social beach days? Its just an activity with a bat and a ball rather than a sport.
 

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Topkent

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I think that's a byproduct of people having less and less time due to extended work hours / days. Parents at clubs help out because their kids are involved but a combination of having young kids / careers generally makes it difficult for them to do more than the basics. You really need some recent retirees around to help, but from what I've noticed, people tend to burn out, get jack of it and walk away.

I think part of the problem too is that sport is now viewed as more social than competitive. If you want the kids to improve and better themselves, it needs to be competitive. If parents are just dropping their kids off at glorified childcare so they can spend time with teammates Billy and Bobby, then it doesn't really matter if they win, lose, etc as long as no one gets hurt and everyone gets a pat on the head. If kids are only playing socially, then whats the difference between social cricket, social video games or social beach days? Its just an activity with a bat and a ball rather than a sport.
Yeah part of the best part of playing sport when i was younger was how seriously everyone took it. I remember a game in the under 12s where we played Ajax and they made us stand outside at half time in a hailstorm because we were the enemy while they rugged up inside.
 

Crusty Demon

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The game is nearly unwatchable right now. I watch football now less than ever in my life and at a time where i have a 9 and 5 year old who are teetering on the edge of not caring for the game.

Skill level is absolutely at an all time low. It's become a game of who can run further for longer. Players are too exhausted to hit targets or kick straight for goal. I went to round 1 and I didnt even know the rules and I've been watching for 40 years!! Scoring is at an all time low and the game is over officiated. Commentary is at an all time low which doesn't help, and free agency makes it so hard for kids to get fanatical about players anymore with so many swapping ever season.

The draw is horribly unfair and we have people running the game who have no idea wtf they are doing. The game has been slowly going downhill since Fitzroy was booted from the comp. We didn't need a team on the Gold Coast, especially when we still dont have a team in Tassie. The game is in trouble and i think there needs to be a huge change in head office for it to potentially head back in the right direction. But these new rule changes are ridiculous and have clearly had a negative impact on the game. Who would've guessed that based on a couple of VFL games!! Time to go back to move forward IMO..
 

saj_21

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You not knowing the rules isn’t the afl’s fault.

Plus there is no need for a tassie team
When then afl already control that market.
 

Cannon82

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You not knowing the rules isn’t the afl’s fault.

Plus there is no need for a tassie team
When then afl already control that market.
That's the problem, though. Instead of catering to the current fanbase (ie having a Tassie team, not ******* with the rules and interpretation every 7 seconds, etc), the AFL is constantly tarting itself up to try to attract fringe fans, markets, fickle people who like fireworks and guernseys with nicknames on the back, and so on. Should focus on having a quality core product instead of teasing new fans into the game who'll leave just as quickly.
 

mrmonkey

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I agree that not enough money is getting pumped into grassroots footy. It's quite alarming the amount of clubs folding around the country. I'm not really sure about the statistics but I'm sure there's plenty of underprivileged kids not getting a chance to play. Not sure if there's a pathway for families who can't afford the fees and uniform for their kids to get the opportunity to play. I'm sure if more money got put into things like that would increase the depth of the talent pool. Talking about the depth of talent I think expansion has contributed to a decline in skill in the game. With the addition of gc and gws has meant that clubs have had to dig deep to find players from lower levels who probably wouldn't get a game had expansion not happened. Expansion may help in the long run with talent but atm it's hurting. I guess another argument could be that could be a generational thing kids would rather play fifa than kick the footy outside all day.
 

saj_21

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That's the problem, though. Instead of catering to the current fanbase (ie having a Tassie team, not ******* with the rules and interpretation every 7 seconds, etc), the AFL is constantly tarting itself up to try to attract fringe fans, markets, fickle people who like fireworks and guernseys with nicknames on the back, and so on. Should focus on having a quality core product instead of teasing new fans into the game who'll leave just as quickly.
Cater to the markets and you are the nrl and have limited crowds/tv exposure. The afl is a nationwide sport and with more eye balls on tv means more dollars.

I don’t necessarily disagree with you but just the reality of the facts. Doesn’t mean I’m right or your wrong.
 

Cannon82

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Cater to the markets and you are the nrl and have limited crowds/tv exposure. The afl is a nationwide sport and with more eye balls on tv means more dollars.

I don’t necessarily disagree with you but just the reality of the facts. Doesn’t mean I’m right or your wrong.
Football (soccer) does the same thing and that sport just steamrolls on year to year. Even the A League does okay despite being the 179th ranked league in the world or something along those lines.

Rugby league is a spectacle for knuckle draggers and if they didn't cater to their fanbase, it would fall over and die. It's just a boring and repetitive game to watch with little to nothing exciting about it, yet the NRL have maintained a stranglehold on the NSW and QLD markets and even the Storm have a strong following. Quite remarkable they can compete with the national games, actually, so I would argue that's more of a positive in their favour compared to the AFL.
 

stEdy

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Skills look worse due to crazy amounts of pressure on the ball carrier compared to yesteryear, as well as not having a bloody forward or a genuine 1v1 up ahead to kick to. Normally you're looking at an entire team's zone in front of you - consistently hitting kicks between that zone is tough to do.

Kicking to a leading forward is a lost art though, most players just put it up long and high and play the "territory" game
 

The Dr

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Absolutely sensational OP, Topkent ... such deplorable skills across the comp these days.

I actually find footy boring a lot of the time and in the past 18 months or so have found myself switching the channel in games not involving the Dees. So many ****house games.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

Topkent

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That's the problem, though. Instead of catering to the current fanbase (ie having a Tassie team, not ******* with the rules and interpretation every 7 seconds, etc), the AFL is constantly tarting itself up to try to attract fringe fans, markets, fickle people who like fireworks and guernseys with nicknames on the back, and so on. Should focus on having a quality core product instead of teasing new fans into the game who'll leave just as quickly.
Yep
I reckon the AFL probably has more casual fans than ever and less hardcore fans. It's becoming more an more like an amusement park where you might take the kids for a couple hours and then no one thinks about it again for a while.

I also wonder why the next generation will invest it, 30-40 years ago you had genuine home grounds which ment your club had a home. It had a base and it felt like home. You could play and train there etc and it was yours. Now there's 2 pretty soulless grounds, there's no fighting any more and no real rivalry. Teams don't talk **** about each other or talk about winning they would rather tell you to support charity x each week.

So once the fanatical generations pass you'll have a generation of kids with 9 teams and nothing different about them except colours. How do you expect fans to stay attached when their teams not going well if there is nothing to be passionate about.
 

saj_21

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I was driving around for work the other day and listening to SEN, Terry Wallace and Andy Maher were talking about the current state of the game and a lot of the sentiments on here. They played a clip from Taylor Adam's who was pretty open about the fact sides are starting to defend with the ball, slowing the game down and allowing the zones to set up and quite simply keeping the ball off the other team so they can't score.
 

Topkent

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I was driving around for work the other day and listening to SEN, Terry Wallace and Andy Maher were talking about the current state of the game and a lot of the sentiments on here. They played a clip from Taylor Adam's who was pretty open about the fact sides are starting to defend with the ball, slowing the game down and allowing the zones to set up and quite simply keeping the ball off the other team so they can't score.
The only way they could stop that was to make all kicks have to be 25m for a mark to count and they have to go forward. Then teams will just start torping it
 

saj_21

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The only way they could stop that was to make all kicks have to be 25m for a mark to count and they have to go forward. Then teams will just start torping it
It would encourage sides to just take territory so getting the ball from one end to the other as quickly as possible
 
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