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theGav56

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I am really interested to see how the list depth, and especially the talent we have in the defensive area of our list, is managed and developed. This is a bit of a long ramble, but I see this as pivotal for the club, and an excellent discussion for the preseason.

It follows from two articles on the club website.

One features comments from Luke Ryan highlighting the training of Pearce, Hamling and Logue, and he also mentions the potential of Young and Chapman.

The second is an interview with Justin Longmuir in which he comments that he sees Cox playing as a defender.

The mathematics is tricky when you try and fit the defensive depth into a theoretical best 22. For the record, my current best defensive set up is;

Ryan Hamling Logue
Wilson Pearce Young

A seventh defensive rotation would be drawn from Hill, Cox, Hughes, Conca, Duman. The only player there I feel comfortable leaving out of our best 22 is Duman, and while most of them have the potential to play other roles they probably are not first choice in those other roles. Watson deserves a mention. All of the above players apart from Hill would have 3+ years of AFL life to look forward to, although injury has been a cruel factor in several of their careers.

It is further complicated by the recruitment of Chapman and Walker, and to a lesser extent, O’Driscoll. The lot of them have been primarily defensive side players in their predraft careers.

Strategically I propose three things the club could consider;
  • Depth; in the past the club has often had the services of good depth for critical positions. Silvagni comes to mind as someone who was plausibly best 22-25. Excluding Chapman and Walker I think we have 6 players who sit in this position, and it creates some list imbalance for us. It also makes a development pathway for Chapman and Walker a little murky. I see Cox, Hughes and Conca as more than sufficient depth, and expect Hill will be in his final year.
  • Re positioning some players; if defense is an over developed part of our list, forward is a work in progress. And while midfield is bursting with potential, ruck and wings have some fragility about them. Given the skills of the players mentioned in my Depth, and especially the new recruits, there is value in considering alternative roles for them. My personal view is that all of Chapman, O’Driscoll and Walker should be groomed for the wing. Wing seems like a skill fit for them and can provide a potential point of entry to the side. I could see potential in developing Logue and Hughes as multi positional as well.
  • Trade; In my opinion our wing deficiencies are a little over played with several capable players available right now for those roles in Acres, Aish and Bewley. Frederick has shown a lot of potential. Giro sits as a wildcard for me. Our tall forwards remain a concern especially when the development time of a tall forward is factored in. The club has often preferred the trade strategy for tall forwards in the past, and rarely been successful, however our history of developing tall forwards has been equally abysmal. It is plausible that Chapman may in time fill a role in the forward line alongside Treacy. Longmuir has indicated that we could use a forward/ruck on the list, and as post Taberner and Lobb that makes a lot of sense. Taberner remains a Free Agent this year, which is a concern.
We are a club emerging from a massive rebuild. These are some of the finishing touches which I look forward to seeing over the next few seasons.
 

Arkhitect

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JL rates Cox highly given the way he finished the season last year.

Pearce loves to run with the ball but Cox has much better foot skills than both Pearce and Hamling, and he can actually think his way through a situation and hurt the opposition on the rebound with his field kicking. KPD's with those attributes are rare.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if we enter round 1 with a Cox/Pearce KPD combo.
 

theGav56

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JL rates Cox highly given the way he finished the season last year.

Pearce loves to run with the ball but Cox has much better foot skills than both Pearce and Hamling, and he can actually think his way through a situation and hurt the opposition on the rebound with his field kicking. KPD's with those attributes are rare.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if we enter round 1 with a Cox/Pearce KPD combo.
What would you predict as our backline?
 

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Square Peg

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Wilson played like two good games last year. I see him as depth at the moment, not best six. Cox is the incumbent and was outstanding.. Sure we need Pearce for the gorillas but if we play Cox back I don't see Joel walking in over Cox.
Logue is a bloody exciting freak, as we've seen he can play tall but the way he shut down Cameron after Charlie made Hughes look like an amputee on valium was a glimpse of the future.
So I like Pearce, Cox, Ryan, Logue, Young as the best five. The sixth spot you could argue for half a dozen blokes.
 

eastfreo75

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I see Cox, Chapman and Logue as a tall backs in 4 years time.

Pearce should be there too but I have my doubts about his body.

That leaves Hamling who is 28 this year.

Do we trade out Hamling for cap space ?
 

theGav56

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I see Cox, Chapman and Logue as a tall backs in 4 years time.

Pearce should be there too but I have my doubts about his body.

That leaves Hamling who is 28 this year.

Do we trade out Hamling for cap space ?
Those three could be a great combination, having a 200cm player adds another dimension.

I wouldn’t be ruthless enough to trade Hamling. He is a terrific player, and his performance in the final series with Bulldogs was remarkable. I agree cap space will become an issue.

When you talk about “in 4 years time” I can see problems. Cox and Logue are both at a development level where they can expect to be incumbents,especially in a squad that is still developing. So that really only leaves Chapman needing time, but could quickly be playing third tall.

They are all on board for now so form and availability will sort out the line up, and Peel could be the beneficiary.
 

Freomaniac

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For the people suggesting omitting or trading Hamling 😱😱, it’s not happening. If he’s fit he plays. His name is one of the six that goes up on the whiteboard in the backline.
history also shows you need at least one premiership player in your team to win a flag. 2016 dogs aside but they had Matt suckling, who was in the hawks 2014-5 sides. Would of been in the dogs 22 in that 2016 grand final if it wasn't for an Achilles injury.

Hamling is 28 years old. Who knows? Freo could win a flag in 3-4 years time with a 31 or 32 year old Hamling on the back 6 or on the bench
 

eastfreo75

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For the people suggesting omitting or trading Hamling 😱😱, it’s not happening. If he’s fit he plays. His name is one of the six that goes up on the whiteboard in the backline.
How do we have Hamling, Pearce, Logue, Cox, and Chapman all in the same team? Add Ryan and Young as medium defenders.

Is Hamling good? Absolutely.

Sure Chapman can develop in the WAFL for two years but then he needs to play or we lose him.

Cox, Logue, Pearce, Ryan and Young can cover most tall/medium forwards. Chapman can be depth.

Hughes, Watson and Duiman can play on the third talls.

We played at times with only one key back and it worked against most teams.

We need a fat side winger and extra cap space will help.
 

theGav56

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How do we have Hamling, Pearce, Logue, Cox, and Chapman all in the same team? Add Ryan and Young as medium defenders.

Is Hamling good? Absolutely.

Sure Chapman can develop in the WAFL for two years but then he needs to play or we lose him.

Cox, Logue, Pearce, Ryan and Young can cover most tall/medium forwards. Chapman can be depth.

Hughes, Watson and Duiman can play on the third talls.

We played at times with only one key back and it worked against most teams.

We need a fat side winger and extra cap space will help.
Logue, Cox and Chapman are all young enough to learn how to play in other parts of the ground, and at this stage Hamling is better than any of them as a KPD. It would also be good for their development. From what I could see of the intraclub highlights it would be shortsighted to develop Chapman as a KPD, and Cox has already displayed ability forward.

List decisions need to be made with Hughes, Watson and Duman. It is overkill having the three of them in addition to the above players unless they can be repositioned. If half decent trades are available they should be considered.
 

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Johnny Dalmas

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Logue, Cox and Chapman are all young enough to learn how to play in other parts of the ground, and at this stage Hamling is better than any of them as a KPD. It would also be good for their development. From what I could see of the intraclub highlights it would be shortsighted to develop Chapman as a KPD, and Cox has already displayed ability forward.

List decisions need to be made with Hughes, Watson and Duman. It is overkill having the three of them in addition to the above players unless they can be repositioned. If half decent trades are available they should be considered.
All 3 are out of contract at the end of the year?

The reality is that a guy like Watson won't be much of a decision. He's a rookie who has been decent when given the chance, but guys in his position get desisted all the time. Unless he has an extended run of games this year, it is hard to imagine him lasting.
 

theGav56

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All 3 are out of contract at the end of the year?

The reality is that a guy like Watson won't be much of a decision. He's a rookie who has been decent when given the chance, but guys in his position get desisted all the time. Unless he has an extended run of games this year, it is hard to imagine him lasting.
It is really difficult to see him getting that run of games with the four injured first choice defenders coming into the line up plus Chapman and Western. It is going to be mighty squeezey.
 

Purple_Turtle

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Chapman can play as a medium defender as well, right? Don't think he'll be competing for the same spot as Hamling at this stage.
 

Wilksyy

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I like Hamling, he’s a stalwart in defence but he can be too defensive minded. If he can provide a bit of run and carry off the backline alas Pearce prior to injury that would be awesome. He needs more weapons in his arsenal.
 

theGav56

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Chapman can play as a medium defender as well, right? Don't think he'll be competing for the same spot as Hamling at this stage.
He definitely could. The list of medium defenders begins with Logue (I think he is better as a medium defender than KPF but could be either) Ryan and Young, and already relegates Hughes, Duman and Watson to depth.
 

theGav56

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I like Hamling, he’s a stalwart in defence but he can be too defensive minded. If he can provide a bit of run and carry off the backline alas Pearce prior to injury that would be awesome. He needs more weapons in his arsenal.
I really don’t see this. He has sometimes played on small forwards which indicates his run is fine, and given we have Wilson, Young, Logue and Ryan as the players we should be getting the ball to, Hamling is better tasked as a stopper anyway.
 

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