Analysis Assessing the Midfield

daddy_4_eyes

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If we get Kelly and Schloithe that means we'll have added 3 mature age mids,
Are we rebuilding the list or pushing for finals in 2018?
Unless these mature agers are better than any youth available at any given draft pick (and not just better in 2018), I don't want us picking for short term gain.
 

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Godfather32

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Are we rebuilding the list or pushing for finals in 2018?
Unless these mature agers are better than any youth available at any given draft pick (and not just better in 2018), I don't want us picking for short term gain.
Kelly's certainly worth a second rounder imo and he fills a gap in our midfield and on our list age-wise where some of the guys we drafted 3 or 4 drafts ago didn't work out. Less keen on Schloithe though.
 

FKASC

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Fantastic thread and reflects my general thoughts about most of our mids - even though they're not fast linebreakers, they're a lot less competent on the inside than many think.

Going to be a very interesting year looking at how Sheed in particular handles the greater responsibility. I don't really buy the argument that Priddis and Mitchell made our other mids ranked lower - Mitchell was hardly playing solely inside, plus plenty of other sides have multiple highly ranked mids and they don't seem to affect each other.

I also reckon that draftee mids can come in and make an impact fairly quickly, not always the case that you have to wait 4 years. we have enough earlyish picks, so we just need to ensure those draftees know how to win the ball.
 

Eastern Rangers

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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.
That's it. One of my long time criticisms had been the lack of turnover in the midfield, especially when compared to our defensive unit. Essentially Shuey will be the only proper midfielder running around from 2015 Team.
 

Eastern Rangers

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Are we rebuilding the list or pushing for finals in 2018?
Unless these mature agers are better than any youth available at any given draft pick (and not just better in 2018), I don't want us picking for short term gain.
Given we traded away next years first round pick you would assume we're pushing for finals next year and we're looking to rebuild because we loaded up on second round picks to compensate for our lack of turnover in the past.
 

daddy_4_eyes

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Given we traded away next years first round pick you would assume we're pushing for finals next year and we're looking to rebuild because we loaded up on second round picks to compensate for our lack of turnover in the past.
If we're pushing for finals, that's disappointing. While winning should always be important I feel it's irrelevant to what we need to do in 2018 & 2019, being bringing the next generation of Eagles through.

If we spend the next couple years desperately pushing for finals while taking a conservative approach with blooding the youth, I feel we will be in the exact same position come 2020 as we are now but with the 2016/17 draftees - all of whom are yet to debut - (some 23% of our list not including rookies) lacking in development.
 

Eastern Rangers

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I'm not a fan of using league rankings for a formula to determine playing style. It'll spit out a weird number very quickly.

Sheed:
CP: 40%
Clearences: 3.7
Outside Dominant because he had a lot of inside 50's in a particular year? Sheed doubled his contested possession numbers on 2016 but also had a 60% increase in inside 50's per game.

Redden:
CP: 44%
Clearences: 3.4
Inside Dominant?
 

Eastern Rangers

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If we're pushing for finals, that's disappointing. While winning should always be important I feel it's irrelevant to what we need to do in 2018 & 2019, being bringing the next generation of Eagles through.

If we spend the next couple years desperately pushing for finals while taking a conservative approach with blooding the youth, I feel we will be in the exact same position come 2020 as we are now but with the 2016/17 draftees - all of whom are yet to debut - (some 23% of our list not including rookies) lacking in development.
It would depend on if we can push for finals while blooding players. We can't make the finals without blooding all of our 2016 recruits and many of those from this year. We don't have any depth otherwise.
 

eaglesfan84

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Are we rebuilding the list or pushing for finals in 2018?
Unless these mature agers are better than any youth available at any given draft pick (and not just better in 2018), I don't want us picking for short term gain.
Considering we just lost 2 mature age starting mids and have weak midfield depth with a couple young guys running through there, we need a couple of mature age bodies that have some talent and skill. Schloithe was good enough to get drafted as a youngen, so he's got talent, by his own admission it's only the last couple of years after he was delisted that he actually matured and developed his game and trained hard and he started dominating at WAFL level, he does actually have the talent to compete at AFL level and he has the desire to succeed there also.

Considering we're going in with 5 picks we can pick up 3 or 4 young players with our higher picks and use the lower ones to get a mature age player. You'd be foolish to overlook these guys, you'd have to give at least one of them a chance. If you have both of them you just improve your chances of picking up someone that can actually fill one of those midfield roles to a high standard, I'm sure one of them will make an impact. And then you've still got 3 young guys developing for the future.
 

footballfreak

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Midfield has been rotting since 2013, due to the midfield being built around Priddis, We also lost Selwood and Rosa who were great ball winners in the past.

Sheed and Redden will easily cover Priddis and Mitchell's output. Add in Duggan to the mix with natural progression, Also add in Venables , If Gaff can develop a inside game, throw in Yeo and we should have more than enough cover for the midfield.
 

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The Dodger

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Good stats and backs up what has been said about our midfield this whole time.
I however disagree that now our midfield looks unbalanced. It was at its most unbalanced this year. Priddis, Mitchell, Hutchings and rotation of Redden not to mention "outside" mids that were average for both pace and skills under pressure in Gaff & Masten we have a pedestrian midfield.
Need more mids in the "complete" rather than inside or out so to speak. People that can transition their game in a blink of an eye from scrapping for a loose ball to having breakaway pace should we win is where it's at.

It is a bit of an unknown but at this stage Im Bill Murray waking up and realising something is different and different is good. Somethings won't work.. some will but a ruckman capable of winning hitouts to advantage and mids that can hassle and pressure and we look infinitely more competitive.
Remember last season we were getting smashed in the midfield anyway...so that doesn't change (although I think NN on one leg will atlas nullify ruck dominance on behalf of the opposition) and we were still in games. You take that and just say add more pressure around the middle of the ground and we are up.

Happy to see how we go and think its not as bad as is thought.
 

westoz

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Are we rebuilding the list or pushing for finals in 2018?
Unless these mature agers are better than any youth available at any given draft pick (and not just better in 2018), I don't want us picking for short term gain.

You have to remember when they are referring to players as "mature age" they generally mean 22 or 23 year olds from the second tier comps like wafl,sanfl and vfl.
It's not like they are 27/28 year olds.
You can get 8 to 10 years out of these players and not worry about 2 or 3 years of development.
For mine if you do recruit a Kelly or any other 23 yr old then they have to be best 22 material and not there just for depth.
 
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Byrons Firen

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Great write up!

Re: Ah Chee, I believe when he did play for Port he was mainly used on the outside so may distort his perceived ability to win it at the coal face.
Nothing wrong with Arch at the coalface. Don't want to put him on a pedestal where he's on a hiding to nothing
but you guys MIGHT be pleasantly surprised. He left here with a lot of goodwill especially from regular Magpie attendees.
Myself and plenty of others hope he really delivers for you guys.
 

Chris_6678

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I think we need to stop pretending Gaff will ever have an inside game. If anything i think it has made him go backwards because on top of all the running he does when he does play in the guts he is cooked.

Let Gaff play his natural game , yes this makes him one dimensional but as long as our other mids are not then this isn't a problem.

Now lets say we draft Kelly we can use him as the other winger who CAN go in the guts.

I would go with this midfield set up for round one:

Hurn Barrass Shep
Yeo Gov Duggan

Gaff Sheed Kelly

Redden Darling Venables
Rioli JK Cripps

Ruck: Nic Nat Shuey Ah Chee

Bench: Nelson
Lycett Waterman partington

The players i have in red are players that are capable of playing in the midfield and be rotated into other positions so we are very flexible in all areas. Cripps need to spend the summer building his tank so he can spend more minutes in the midfield.
 

The wily weagle

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Great post, someone needs to get a copy of this and send it to our recruiting staff, immediately. We desperately, desperately need a true inside mid. We have way too many sheepdogs on the outside and not nearly enough inside grunt.

That said, knowing us, we will probably draft another few half back flankers and then the staff will spend the next few years wondering why we are getting smacked in the stoppages and the contested ball.

Nic Nats return will likely paper over a few cracks, but we need the best inside mid still available on draft day.
 

daddy_4_eyes

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You have to remember when they are referring to players as "mature age" they generally mean 22 or 23 year olds from the second tier comps like wafl,sanfl and vfl.
It's not like they are 27/28 year olds.
You can get 8 to 10 years out of these players and not worry about 2 or 3 years of development.
For mine if you do recruit a Kelly or any other 23 yr old then they have to be best 22 material and not there just for depth.
What my mind keeps coming back to is us reaching for a Kelly or Ryan to not bottom out in 2018, when a more talented kid is available at that pick who might only be a couple years of development behind.

Ah Chee dominated the SANFL and we only rated him worth a 3rd to 4th rd pick downgrade. Yet a WAFL equivalent is worth pick 26 just because someone else might nab him.

In the recruiters I trust

Sent from my HTC Desire 825 using Tapatalk
 

Astro7

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Great post, puts a lot of stuff into perspective...I certainly rant enough about the wasted decade, haven't had a midfield that compares to 05/06, how in 10 yrs of drafts and trade etc, we haven't been able to assemble a solid midfield, a revolving door really.
anyway it's just been announced that Wellers, Hill, Lamb, Gorter +Snadden have been cut loose! lets hope it leads to some quality draftees!?
Interesting your remarks on Yeo in the mid (more hopes+dreams?)..thought he'd adapt well there, but he certainly looks comfortable with more space around him..I also find it hard to believe that it's difficult to re-train players into new positions, for them to adapt? but having said that I guess the delistings are full of players who couldn't adapt..or improve.
 
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Yippy Yi Yeo

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Priddis and Mitchell spending a lot of time in the middle this year held back guys like Sheed and Redden getting as much time in there as they should have, and I will go out on a limb and say I think both might be in the top 50 in your ranking system this time next year. Based on the midfield types your analysis gave our midfield seems unbalanced, but with more time to more guys in the middle it will prove to be far more balanced next year than it was this year.

Port's own supporters will tell you Ah Chee was played out of position there, and that his best footy is on the inside. From everything I've heard about him, he sounded like a contested/clearance beast in the SANFL, obviously he won't have the same dominance at AFL level but when he played a good amount of midfield time against hawthorn earlier this year he had 6 clearances and 10 contested possessions, which tells me we've got something to work with there.

Venables and hopefully one of Constable or Clark will be in the side next year, and obviously won't have the fitness to play full time midfield but who's to say they can't have a similar, if not greater output than SPP for port this year?

While stats are useful, they don't always tell the whole story. Our midfield has big question marks over it going into next year, but I definitely don't think it's a certainty to be shit, all it takes is a breakout season from 1 or 2 guys and solid even contribution around the board and we'll be looking back on this years midfield woes like it was a bad dream.
 

Dylan82

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Thought I'd provide an update for this season after three rounds.
(Minimum requirement two games played)

I for one, welcome our new Mitchell overlord:

Mids2018-r3-top50.jpg


West Coast representation:
(compared to end of season 2017)

Shuey 14 up from 21.
Sheed 17 up from 54.
Gaff 44 up from 104.
 

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