Analysis Assessing the Midfield

Dylan82

Premium Platinum
Aug 14, 2004
1,540
4,134
Brisbane
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Cardiff City
The midfield is without doubt the most contentious area of the current squad and often seen as the greatest point of weakness in the team. But what do the numbers actually say?

Here follows some simple quantitative analysis regarding the midfield with respect to the rest of the competition.

There are a myriad of statistics that are available today in AFL that can be applied to midfield players to measure their productivity: disposals, tackles, marks, metres gained, pressure acts, score involvements, time on ground, distance covered, stoppage attendance and on and on and on.

Each can be useful in their own right, however the use of just three statistics is able to purposefully determine a midfield player’s output effectively (and they have been widely available for decades):
  • Contested possessions
  • Clearances
  • Inside forward 50m entries

Take a player’s overall rank in the competition for each of these above statistics per game and combine them into one figure to determine their corresponding “midfield score”.

For example an elite player that was ranked #1 in the league for all three statistics would have midfield score of 3 (1+1+1=3), which is obviously the lowest possible outcome and thus their “midfield rank” would be #1.

Taking this further, here is a chart of the top 50 players for the 2017 season according to this means of ranking:
2017-MID-Rank50.jpg

Top 50 midfield rankings 2017: note the gap between the top three and the rest of the competition.


Shuey is our only player in the top 25 ranked midfielders and our only other representative in the top 50 in Priddis is now retired.


Also note there is a description of the “midfield type”. This is gained by calculating the above three statistics in the method:
Midfield-Type-Eqn.jpg
Positive totals are indicative of players that predominantly occupy an inside stoppage role where conversely negative totals are indicative of players that predominantly occupy an outside or receiving role in the team. Totals close to zero are indicative of complete midfielders who are capable of occupying both inside and outside roles for their team.

As expected, the majority of elite midfielders in the competition are complete players.


As for the Eagles, the composition of midfield options and rotations is almost entirely outside, especially now with the retirements of Priddis and Mitchell:

2017-MID-WCE-Rankings.jpg

West Coast Eagles midfield rankings 2017: note the high number of outside types in the list.

For those interested, in 2016 Naitanui was our third highest ranked “midfielder” (73rd overall) and was inside dominant. Our newest acquisition B. Ah Chee was ranked 109th overall this season, in an outside dominant role for Port.

From the above it can also be noted the folly of past recruitment of flankers with a view to midfield conversion. A flanker in the midfield still plays like a flanker - they're just in the midfield and remain incapable of winning the hard ball. Simply put, if you want to draft a player to act as a hard-ball winner in the team, draft a player that has a history of playing inside and winning at stoppages.
Redden now becomes vital in that he is our sole naturally inside-playing midfielder. Gaff meanwhile is so exclusively outside-minded that he never will take that next step in his development like Duncan has at Geelong. The same can be said to a greater extent for both Jetta, Masten and I fear, Duggan.
Similarly, looking to Yeo and Sheed as saviors of our midfield failings will end in frustration - they are both too outside-minded when compared with elite midfielders at the same ages of development.

Indeed, it has been a decade now since we have had an elite midfield presence in the team:

2017-MID-WCE-2016-2011.jpg 2017-MID-WCE-2010-2005.jpg

Suffice to say the story of the last ten years of this club has been the unsuccessful search for replacements to those lost at the end of 2007.



But how do we currently compare to the rest of the competition?

Here is a chart displaying the ranked midfield options of each club, including their age and type – for both the end of season and post-trading:

2017-MID-Composition.jpg

2017 AFL trading period midfield composition:
Midfield Quality calculated from top three midfielders for each club averaged.
Midfield Depth calculated from top eight midfielders for each club recursive.
Note the "topping-up" of many teams with existing superior midfields during the trading period.
Retirements of Priddis and Mitchell have left very little in the way of proven depth but have allowed regeneration in terms of the age profile - across top six midfielders we are now fourth youngest after only Bulldogs, St Kilda & GWS.

Note also the ongoing mismanagement of the two Queensland clubs. Despite having arguably bottom four squads and removing Rockliff and Ablett from their respective lists, Brisbane and Gold Coast have the third and fourth oldest midfields in the AFL.

Since 2005, all but twice have the premiers been placed top four according to midfield depth at the end of the season. Only once (Hawthorn 2013) in the past 12 years have the premiers been placed outside the top four for both midfield quality and depth.



For comparison, here is the same chart at this time last year:
2016-MID-Composition.jpg
2016 AFL trading period midfield composition: note Richmond addressing their midfield depth deficiency which played a major role in them becoming premiers.


The 2017 chart above provides frightening concerns for the future of the club. Not only does it write off our chances for 2018, but also brings in question the following seasons as well due to how long it takes for midfield depth to build outside of trading. It also infers that the current midfield is unbalanced when compared to other teams, with too many players who are outside dominant in comparison to inside contested ball winners.

It is a personal concern that the future success or failure of the team is now almost entirely reliant upon a group with a handful of games between them and a clutch of second round picks in what is seen to be (almost unanimously apart from the club) a weaker than average draft year. This is a considerably risky strategy that has been enacted; one that I only hope does pay off.

Regardless, finding the right players and right balance of inside versus outside will take time and cause inconsistency. Inconsistent teams don’t win premierships. Finding consistency of performance is going to be a key issue for this team in order to progress towards the next flag.


If one were to play Devil’s Advocate with the above figures it would be easy to dismiss that barring exceptional circumstances, we are sliding towards the bottom four next year with finals out of the question for possibly the better part of a decade.

I personally don’t share that sentiment – the Bulldogs and Tigers have shown in the past two seasons that teams not considered as chances at the start of the season are capable of building and going all the way.

However, it cannot be denied that we are not ideally placed for a rebuild. As was demonstrated in the recent trading period, those clubs who feel close to the top are going all-in for the premiership now before the squads of St Kilda, GWS, Melbourne, Bulldogs and Collingwood become dominant. The problem that presents for West Coast is that right now our midfield is unlikely to be able to compete with the quality that Geelong, Adelaide, Port and GWS possess. Unfortunately also by the time our rebuild matures Kennedy, Naitanui, Shuey, Jetta and possibly Redden will be gone whilst the likes of the aforementioned developing lists will be at their peaks. The optimistic view is Darling and McGovern are both 25 and the removal of some older players (Masten, Jetta) that are having negligible impact upon the current midfield places us in the same field so long as we nail those draft picks next month.


The fear remains in my opinion that unless we unearth some diamonds this coming season we may be headed for a prolonged period where we are competitive enough to be in the hunt for finals but not good enough to compete for a premiership.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Eaglespur

Premiership Player
Nov 2, 2014
4,590
5,328
Melbourne
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur
The midfield is without doubt the most contentious area of the current squad and often seen as the greatest point of weakness in the team. But what do the numbers actually say?

Here follows some simple quantitative analysis regarding the midfield with respect to the rest of the competition.

There are a myriad of statistics that are available today in AFL that can be applied to midfield players to measure their productivity: disposals, tackles, marks, metres gained, pressure acts, score involvements, time on ground, distance covered, stoppage attendance and on and on and on.

Each can be useful in their own right, however the use of just three statistics is able to purposefully determine a midfield player’s output effectively (and they have been widely available for decades):
  • Contested possessions
  • Clearances
  • Inside forward 50m entries

Take a player’s overall rank in the competition for each of these above statistics per game and combine them into one figure to determine their corresponding “midfield score”.

For example an elite player that was ranked #1 in the league for all three statistics would have midfield score of 3 (1+1+1=3), which is obviously the lowest possible outcome and thus their “midfield rank” would be #1.

Taking this further, here is a chart of the top 50 players for the 2017 season according to this means of ranking:
View attachment 430862
Top 50 midfield rankings 2017: note the gap between the top three and the rest of the competition.


Shuey is our only player in the top 25 ranked midfielders and our only other representative in the top 50 in Priddis is now retired.


Also note there is a description of the “midfield type”. This is gained by calculating the above three statistics in the method:
View attachment 430863Positive totals are indicative of players that predominantly occupy an inside stoppage role where conversely negative totals are indicative of players that predominantly occupy an outside or receiving role in the team. Totals close to zero are indicative of complete midfielders who are capable of occupying both inside and outside roles for their team.

As expected, the majority of elite midfielders in the competition are complete players.


As for the Eagles, the composition of midfield options and rotations is almost entirely outside, especially now with the retirements of Priddis and Mitchell:

View attachment 430864
West Coast Eagles midfield rankings 2017: note the high number of outside types in the list.

For those interested, in 2016 Naitanui was our third highest ranked “midfielder” (73rd overall) and was inside dominant. Our newest acquisition B. Ah Chee was ranked 109th overall this season, in an outside dominant role for Port.

From the above it can also be noted the folly of past recruitment of flankers with a view to midfield conversion. A flanker in the midfield still plays like a flanker - they're just in the midfield and remain incapable of winning the hard ball. Simply put, if you want to draft a player to act as a hard-ball winner in the team, draft a player that has a history of playing inside and winning at stoppages.
Redden now becomes vital in that he is our sole naturally inside-playing midfielder. Gaff meanwhile is so exclusively outside-minded that he never will take that next step in his development like Duncan has at Geelong. The same can be said to a greater extent for both Jetta, Masten and I fear, Duggan.
Similarly, looking to Yeo and Sheed as saviors of our midfield failings will end in frustration - they are both too outside-minded when compared with elite midfielders at the same ages of development.

Indeed, it has been a decade now since we have had an elite midfield presence in the team:

View attachment 430865 View attachment 430866

Suffice to say the story of the last ten years of this club has been the unsuccessful search for replacements to those lost at the end of 2007.



But how do we currently compare to the rest of the competition?

Here is a chart displaying the ranked midfield options of each club, including their age and type – for both the end of season and post-trading:

View attachment 430868
2017 AFL trading period midfield composition:
Midfield Quality calculated from top three midfielders for each club averaged.
Midfield Depth calculated from top eight midfielders for each club recursive.
Note the "topping-up" of many teams with existing superior midfields during the trading period.
Retirements of Priddis and Mitchell have left very little in the way of proven depth but have allowed regeneration in terms of the age profile - across top six midfielders we are now fourth youngest after only Bulldogs, St Kilda & GWS.

Note also the ongoing mismanagement of the two Queensland clubs. Despite having arguably bottom four squads and removing Rockliff and Ablett from their respective lists, Brisbane and Gold Coast have the third and fourth oldest midfields in the AFL.

Since 2005, all but twice have the premiers been placed top four according to midfield depth at the end of the season. Only once (Hawthorn 2013) in the past 12 years have the premiers been placed outside the top four for both midfield quality and depth.



For comparison, here is the same chart at this time last year:
View attachment 430869
2016 AFL trading period midfield composition: note Richmond addressing their midfield depth deficiency which played a major role in them becoming premiers.


The 2017 chart above provides frightening concerns for the future of the club. Not only does it write off our chances for 2018, but also brings in question the following seasons as well due to how long it takes for midfield depth to build outside of trading. It also infers that the current midfield is unbalanced when compared to other teams, with too many players who are outside dominant in comparison to inside contested ball winners.

It is a personal concern that the future success or failure of the team is now almost entirely reliant upon a group with a handful of games between them and a clutch of second round picks in what is seen to be (almost unanimously apart from the club) a weaker than average draft year. This is a considerably risky strategy that has been enacted; one that I only hope does pay off.

Regardless, finding the right players and right balance of inside versus outside will take time and cause inconsistency. Inconsistent teams don’t win premierships. Finding consistency of performance is going to be a key issue for this team in order to progress towards the next flag.


If one were to play Devil’s Advocate with the above figures it would be easy to dismiss that barring exceptional circumstances, we are sliding towards the bottom four next year with finals out of the question for possibly the better part of a decade.

I personally don’t share that sentiment – the Bulldogs and Tigers have shown in the past two seasons that teams not considered as chances at the start of the season are capable of building and going all the way.

However, it cannot be denied that we are not ideally placed for a rebuild. As was demonstrated in the recent trading period, those clubs who feel close to the top are going all-in for the premiership now before the squads of St Kilda, GWS, Melbourne, Bulldogs and Collingwood become dominant. The problem that presents for West Coast is that right now our midfield is unlikely to be able to compete with the quality that Geelong, Adelaide, Port and GWS possess. Unfortunately also by the time our rebuild matures Kennedy, Naitanui, Shuey, Jetta and possibly Redden will be gone whilst the likes of the aforementioned developing lists will be at their peaks. The optimistic view is Darling and McGovern are both 25 and the removal of some older players (Masten, Jetta) that are having negligible impact upon the current midfield places us in the same field so long as we nail those draft picks next month.


The fear remains in my opinion that unless we unearth some diamonds this coming season we may be headed for a prolonged period where we are competitive enough to be in the hunt for finals but not good enough to compete for a premiership.
Great effort mate. Diamonds are needed but also a new insane work ethic and self belief
 

Falco

Club Legend
Sep 30, 2012
2,278
2,164
Country Vic - behind enemy lines
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Subiaco Lions, Ferrari, Minardi
The midfield is without doubt the most contentious area of the current squad and often seen as the greatest point of weakness in the team. But what do the numbers actually say?

Here follows some simple quantitative analysis regarding the midfield with respect to the rest of the competition.

There are a myriad of statistics that are available today in AFL that can be applied to midfield players to measure their productivity: disposals, tackles, marks, metres gained, pressure acts, score involvements, time on ground, distance covered, stoppage attendance and on and on and on.

Each can be useful in their own right, however the use of just three statistics is able to purposefully determine a midfield player’s output effectively (and they have been widely available for decades):
  • Contested possessions
  • Clearances
  • Inside forward 50m entries

Take a player’s overall rank in the competition for each of these above statistics per game and combine them into one figure to determine their corresponding “midfield score”.

For example an elite player that was ranked #1 in the league for all three statistics would have midfield score of 3 (1+1+1=3), which is obviously the lowest possible outcome and thus their “midfield rank” would be #1.

Taking this further, here is a chart of the top 50 players for the 2017 season according to this means of ranking:
View attachment 430862
Top 50 midfield rankings 2017: note the gap between the top three and the rest of the competition.


Shuey is our only player in the top 25 ranked midfielders and our only other representative in the top 50 in Priddis is now retired.


Also note there is a description of the “midfield type”. This is gained by calculating the above three statistics in the method:
View attachment 430863Positive totals are indicative of players that predominantly occupy an inside stoppage role where conversely negative totals are indicative of players that predominantly occupy an outside or receiving role in the team. Totals close to zero are indicative of complete midfielders who are capable of occupying both inside and outside roles for their team.

As expected, the majority of elite midfielders in the competition are complete players.


As for the Eagles, the composition of midfield options and rotations is almost entirely outside, especially now with the retirements of Priddis and Mitchell:

View attachment 430864
West Coast Eagles midfield rankings 2017: note the high number of outside types in the list.

For those interested, in 2016 Naitanui was our third highest ranked “midfielder” (73rd overall) and was inside dominant. Our newest acquisition B. Ah Chee was ranked 109th overall this season, in an outside dominant role for Port.

From the above it can also be noted the folly of past recruitment of flankers with a view to midfield conversion. A flanker in the midfield still plays like a flanker - they're just in the midfield and remain incapable of winning the hard ball. Simply put, if you want to draft a player to act as a hard-ball winner in the team, draft a player that has a history of playing inside and winning at stoppages.
Redden now becomes vital in that he is our sole naturally inside-playing midfielder. Gaff meanwhile is so exclusively outside-minded that he never will take that next step in his development like Duncan has at Geelong. The same can be said to a greater extent for both Jetta, Masten and I fear, Duggan.
Similarly, looking to Yeo and Sheed as saviors of our midfield failings will end in frustration - they are both too outside-minded when compared with elite midfielders at the same ages of development.

Indeed, it has been a decade now since we have had an elite midfield presence in the team:

View attachment 430865 View attachment 430866

Suffice to say the story of the last ten years of this club has been the unsuccessful search for replacements to those lost at the end of 2007.



But how do we currently compare to the rest of the competition?

Here is a chart displaying the ranked midfield options of each club, including their age and type – for both the end of season and post-trading:

View attachment 430868
2017 AFL trading period midfield composition:
Midfield Quality calculated from top three midfielders for each club averaged.
Midfield Depth calculated from top eight midfielders for each club recursive.
Note the "topping-up" of many teams with existing superior midfields during the trading period.
Retirements of Priddis and Mitchell have left very little in the way of proven depth but have allowed regeneration in terms of the age profile - across top six midfielders we are now fourth youngest after only Bulldogs, St Kilda & GWS.

Note also the ongoing mismanagement of the two Queensland clubs. Despite having arguably bottom four squads and removing Rockliff and Ablett from their respective lists, Brisbane and Gold Coast have the third and fourth oldest midfields in the AFL.

Since 2005, all but twice have the premiers been placed top four according to midfield depth at the end of the season. Only once (Hawthorn 2013) in the past 12 years have the premiers been placed outside the top four for both midfield quality and depth.



For comparison, here is the same chart at this time last year:
View attachment 430869
2016 AFL trading period midfield composition: note Richmond addressing their midfield depth deficiency which played a major role in them becoming premiers.


The 2017 chart above provides frightening concerns for the future of the club. Not only does it write off our chances for 2018, but also brings in question the following seasons as well due to how long it takes for midfield depth to build outside of trading. It also infers that the current midfield is unbalanced when compared to other teams, with too many players who are outside dominant in comparison to inside contested ball winners.

It is a personal concern that the future success or failure of the team is now almost entirely reliant upon a group with a handful of games between them and a clutch of second round picks in what is seen to be (almost unanimously apart from the club) a weaker than average draft year. This is a considerably risky strategy that has been enacted; one that I only hope does pay off.

Regardless, finding the right players and right balance of inside versus outside will take time and cause inconsistency. Inconsistent teams don’t win premierships. Finding consistency of performance is going to be a key issue for this team in order to progress towards the next flag.


If one were to play Devil’s Advocate with the above figures it would be easy to dismiss that barring exceptional circumstances, we are sliding towards the bottom four next year with finals out of the question for possibly the better part of a decade.

I personally don’t share that sentiment – the Bulldogs and Tigers have shown in the past two seasons that teams not considered as chances at the start of the season are capable of building and going all the way.

However, it cannot be denied that we are not ideally placed for a rebuild. As was demonstrated in the recent trading period, those clubs who feel close to the top are going all-in for the premiership now before the squads of St Kilda, GWS, Melbourne, Bulldogs and Collingwood become dominant. The problem that presents for West Coast is that right now our midfield is unlikely to be able to compete with the quality that Geelong, Adelaide, Port and GWS possess. Unfortunately also by the time our rebuild matures Kennedy, Naitanui, Shuey, Jetta and possibly Redden will be gone whilst the likes of the aforementioned developing lists will be at their peaks. The optimistic view is Darling and McGovern are both 25 and the removal of some older players (Masten, Jetta) that are having negligible impact upon the current midfield places us in the same field so long as we nail those draft picks next month.


The fear remains in my opinion that unless we unearth some diamonds this coming season we may be headed for a prolonged period where we are competitive enough to be in the hunt for finals but not good enough to compete for a premiership.
Great work mate. I have bolded the most telling part for me - drafting of flankers on the hope of transitioning them to the midfield results in a player in the midfield who instinctively sits on the outside, resulting in a drafting fail. I think this penny has dropped in WC (or at least I hope to Christ it has) and I expect more pure midfielders to be drafted this year.
 

Eastern Rangers

2015 Worsfold Medalist - Rowen Powell
Aug 27, 2006
27,588
11,849
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Royals & Subi
Re: Duggan and Sheed, surely those two players stats are augmented by Priddis and Mitchell. Especially Sheed, he’s always been one of those players who excelled on the inside but didn’t have much influence in the spread. Duggan id be looking to follow the trajectory of a Duncan or Gibbs, slowly increasing his time on ball.

Don’t have an issue with Yeo, he’ll float into stoppages every now and again, he’s being used as a midfielder to paper up those cracks. He’s not got a problem with winning the ball in stoppages he just doesn’t always know what to do with a hard won ball.

I’d love to see this in 12 months time. Great post.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

kerrazy

Club Legend
Apr 26, 2008
2,854
2,819
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Stats are definitely not right for sheed. He was pushed out of the guts by Mitchell and priddis and when he was in there, did pretty well.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Feeling Groovy

Club Legend
Apr 8, 2016
1,083
2,068
Vietnam
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
East Perth
Great work. As other's have said, some of the stats may be skewed a bit by players being forced to play on the outside due to our previously inflexible midfield/Ah Chee being played as a forward flanker and not in the midfield. But the gist is clear - regardless if they have been played out of position, we are relying on players that don't as yet have runs on the board at AFL. That said, I am optimistic that our midfield will be better (maybe not immediately but soonish) having more flexibility and an ability to run both ways and with more speed. I also think the coaches/list manager (finally) see this and have a clear strategy, hence why they picked up Ah Chee and want the 5 earlyish picks (at least one of whom will no doubt be a bit more mature).
 

Gugs9

Team Captain
Apr 24, 2008
403
1,069
Adelaide
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
AC Milan
Great analysis.

Only thing i’d say is that our stats are skewed by the fact that sheed redden etc obviously had a lot less opportunity with priddis and mitchell taking a lot more mid time. Which means they were never going to be ranked high in these 3 statistics.

Don’t know the exact stats but redden was probably in the top 25 mids in the comp at the end of his time at the lions, and sheed is now at the perfect age to go the next step. He has already shown he can kick goals as well, as has ah chee.

Be interesting to see this in 12 months time but i still think an inside midfield core of nic nat, redden sheed ah chee and a rotating yeo may end up being ranked 7-10 in the comp by the end of the year
 

WCErevival

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 28, 2009
17,040
19,838
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Reading FC
Statistically we look poor next year but our midfield is a big unknown. It's guaranteed to be quicker at least. Sheed has the ability to go to another level plus Venables could be anything. It's exciting to see how it will take shape through the preseason.
 

Patron

Genuine Shuperstar
Aug 1, 2010
9,019
3,173
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Great analysis. Didn't need it to tell us we have a midfield black hole next year. I think most are massively underselling the losses of Mitchell and Priddis. They were the grunt and literal heart of the team last year and although they made our midfield structurally slow we are going to be really short of inside talent next year. Sheed and redden will have to lift big time and Yeo will be forced to play almost full time as a midfielder even if he's better down back. Don't think we will make finals with only one proven on ball player.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 
Last edited:

ziad

Brownlow Medallist
May 2, 2009
14,561
7,077
Sydney
AFL Club
West Coast
Great effort mate. Diamonds are needed but also a new insane work ethic and self belief
Yep, great work hence our trade strategy. very focused.

Interesting that the focus on Richmond is all about their trading - but it was the attitude change than impacted more than anything.
 

Eagle Wrath

Club Legend
Oct 22, 2017
1,096
1,647
AFL Club
West Coast
I think the eagles are planning on bringing in players like Tim Kelly, Hayden Schloithe to help cover the midfield. They are ready to start immediately. Tim Kelly especially could be a massive coup.

So if we add a few mature age prospects (early 20's) into the midfield, plus the addition next year of Venables and pick 13 and 21 (hopefully midfielders) we will be ok.
And all going well a fit Nic Nat will boost the stats of all our mids. Remember 2015/2016- Nic Nat and Shuey combo had the most center clearances in the competition. All our forwards are missing is this supply.

We will definitely miss Sam Mitchel this year but I think losing Priddis isn't a bad thing. Except the finals, he had a terrible season. When he retired mid season he was correct. And Butler didn't really play this year. Petrie was good but hopefully Nic Nat and Lycett more than improve on that.

So I think the eagles situation isn't as bad as the media makes out.

We still have a great backline, although it may be a bit big, and our forward line on paper is very good.
 

eaglesfan84

Club Legend
Oct 6, 2011
1,868
1,350
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
Great work. As other's have said, some of the stats may be skewed a bit by players being forced to play on the outside due to our previously inflexible midfield/Ah Chee being played as a forward flanker and not in the midfield. But the gist is clear - regardless if they have been played out of position, we are relying on players that don't as yet have runs on the board at AFL. That said, I am optimistic that our midfield will be better (maybe not immediately but soonish) having more flexibility and an ability to run both ways and with more speed. I also think the coaches/list manager (finally) see this and have a clear strategy, hence why they picked up Ah Chee and want the 5 earlyish picks (at least one of whom will no doubt be a bit more mature).
They could even use 4 of those on pure midfielders, surely one of them at least will come good. The other one they should target a young ruck, with Nic Nats knee likely to only last another couple years. He'll be retired by 30.
 

eaglesfan84

Club Legend
Oct 6, 2011
1,868
1,350
Perth
AFL Club
West Coast
I think the eagles are planning on bringing in players like Tim Kelly, Hayden Schloithe to help cover the midfield. They are ready to start immediately. Tim Kelly especially could be a massive coup.

So if we add a few mature age prospects (early 20's) into the midfield, plus the addition next year of Venables and pick 13 and 21 (hopefully midfielders) we will be ok.
And all going well a fit Nic Nat will boost the stats of all our mids. Remember 2015/2016- Nic Nat and Shuey combo had the most center clearances in the competition. All our forwards are missing is this supply.

We will definitely miss Sam Mitchel this year but I think losing Priddis isn't a bad thing. Except the finals, he had a terrible season. When he retired mid season he was correct. And Butler didn't really play this year. Petrie was good but hopefully Nic Nat and Lycett more than improve on that.

So I think the eagles situation isn't as bad as the media makes out.

We still have a great backline, although it may be a bit big, and our forward line on paper is very good.
I think we've got a pretty good mix all over the ground on paper, if they stay fit. If we get Kelly and Schloithe that means we'll have added 3 mature age mids, so should draft 2 young ones with other picks, mix them with Venables then you've got competition for spots in that midfield and for future positions too. Hopefully Mitchell is urging the selectors to go down this path.
 

Top Bottom