Can lowly clubs rebuild now?

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Dangerousfield

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Oct 11, 2012
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A while ago we all believed that teams rose and fell ladder positions on a slow cyclic rotation. You know how it has been in the past, Hawthorn and St.Kilda crap for a number of years before rising to the top, Essendon and Carlton going the opposite way over the same period.

Been thinking about whether it's still possible for lowly clubs to rebuild and move up the ladder. I'm thinking that it's no longer possible as the cycle has been broken due to four recent things, two extra teams diluting draft picks, free agency strengthening current strong clubs, free agency compo picks diluting draft picks, abolishion of compo picks for poor performing teams.

To strengthen your list you need to add better than average players at a much faster rate than you lose them to retirement. On average a team will lose two of their best 22 each year that's a team every 11 years.

In the good old days you could finish bottom, get pick 1 for having a poor year, pick 2 as the wooden spooner, pick 18 as your second rounder, pick 34 as your third rounder. Have another bad year and you could reap the same picks. A nice boost for your side.

Finish last now and you get pick 1, probably with FA compo picks, pick 21, pick 40. No where near as potent is it. Another spoon and you do it again but no where near potent enough to offset the four best 22 that retire in those years.

So all those factors plus the rise of the talent laden expansion sides has me thinking that teams like St.Kilda (3 of it's best 4 players are over 30), Brisbane (coming from too far back after last years gutting), Carlton (mostly it's best players are ageing, few kids coming on), Bulldogs (ageing best players, not enough kids really stepping up) are in for an extended stay at the bottom. Just can't see how they can add enough class players to even cover losses let alone cover retirements.

Really worried about the future.
 

L_W_P

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It's strange that people think players won't go to weaker clubs -

Mitch Clark
Chris Dawes
Bernie Vince
Arron Hamill
Stewart Crameri
Eddie Betts
Heath Shaw
Shane Mumford


That's just off the top of my head. All have moved to clubs lower down on the ladder and out of premiership contention.
 
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Zach Package

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common theme in most of those in the almighty dollar.

That, or in the case of Shaw and Mumford, their clubs were actively trying to get rid of them
 

Dangerousfield

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It's strange that people think players won't go to weaker clubs -

Mitch Clark
Chris Dawes
Bernie Vince
Arron Hamill
Stewart Crameri
Eddie Betts
Heath Shaw
Shane Mumford


That's just off the top of my head. All have moved to clubs lower down on the ladder and out of premiership contention.

All wrong - Clark went to Melb who at the time were on the up beat Swans by 80 pts that year, Dawes just needed a change of scene and big $, Vince was pushed out by us, Hamill was pissed off with Carlton, Crameri went for the $, Betts didn't go to a lower club as Carlton are clearly in serious decline and also big $, Shaw was pushed and got 6 years at 500K, Mumford couldn't stay because Sydney had Buddy salary cap problems and GWS offered four years at big $ and GWS will be a force in 2-3 years.
 

L_W_P

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common theme in most of those in the almighty dollar.

That, or in the case of Shaw and Mumford, their clubs were actively trying to get rid of them

And that is what poor clubs will have in spades.

1. Bottom and and trade some good players for picks.
2. Develop picks for 2-3 years.
3. Pay FA players as youth develops
4. Trade in 'top up' players for shot at flag

Semms like it'll be pretty much the cycle. It's just been thrown out with GC + GWS having their compo picks.

In 3-5 years everything will have settled and will even out again.
 

thejester

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All wrong - Clark went to Melb who at the time were on the up beat Swans by 80 pts that year, Dawes just needed a change of scene and big $, Vince was pushed out by us, Hamill was pissed off with Carlton, Crameri went for the $, Betts didn't go to a lower club as Carlton are clearly in serious decline and also big $, Shaw was pushed and got 6 years at 500K, Mumford couldn't stay because Sydney had Buddy salary cap problems and GWS offered four years at big $ and GWS will be a force in 2-3 years.
Saying 'blah went for big dollars' doesn't actually contradict the premise that they've gone to a weaker club, and reinforces the idea that FA can help lower clubs - because (especially under the new salary caps rules) s**t teams should have more money to use than clubs at the top end of the ladder.
 

L_W_P

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All wrong - Clark went to Melb who at the time were on the up beat Swans by 80 pts that year, Dawes just needed a change of scene and big $, Vince was pushed out by us, Hamill was pissed off with Carlton, Crameri went for the $, Betts didn't go to a lower club as Carlton are clearly in serious decline and also big $, Shaw was pushed and got 6 years at 500K, Mumford couldn't stay because Sydney had Buddy salary cap problems and GWS offered four years at big $ and GWS will be a force in 2-3 years.

Exactly. They all had some sort of reason to leave and all ended up playing for 'weaker' clubs.

Nothing to say that players won't look at St.Kilda, Brisbane, Bulldogs etc in 2-3 years and think 'For the money on offer that's a good option'. and of course money will come into things. Players would be stupid if they weren't thinking about the $$$ on offer but that's nothing new either.

In fact the salary cap is one of the biggest reasons we all study the Giants and Suns so well, we all think out clubs are a chance of nabbing a star by paying them overs on what the expansion clubs can offer!
 

whatboutbob

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And that is what poor clubs will have in spades.

1. Bottom and and trade some good players for picks.
2. Develop picks for 2-3 years.
3. Pay FA players as youth develops
4. Trade in 'top up' players for shot at flag

Semms like it'll be pretty much the cycle. It's just been thrown out with GC + GWS having their compo picks.

In 3-5 years everything will have settled and will even out again.
You missed a step between 3 and 4, at least for the Lions:
3b.Young players leave because Free Agency has made it culturally acceptable for them to 'go home' to the club they nominate and ironically they are unfettered by any FA restrictions their older counterparts face.
 

West Coast Weasel

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Semms like it'll be pretty much the cycle. It's just been thrown out with GC + GWS having their compo picks.

In 3-5 years everything will have settled and will even out again.

Yep, seems to be the way. I think the mini-draft needs to go though, it's akin to gifting a club two first picks. Also the COLA needs to be revised. Either allocate teams a monetary figure based on the amount of interstate players in their team or ditch it all together.
 

L_W_P

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Yep, seems to be the way. I think the mini-draft needs to go though, it's akin to gifting a club two first picks. Also the COLA needs to be revised. Either allocate teams a monetary figure based on the amount of interstate players in their team or ditch it all together.

Well there is no more mini draft. Is was only in the first 2 years of GWS to give them a leg up.

As for COLA - I believe the AFL have already announced it's being redone so that the allowance is only paid to players earning "below AFL average" or something like that.
 

L_W_P

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You missed a step between 3 and 4, at least for the Lions:
3b.Young players leave because Free Agency has made it culturally acceptable for them to 'go home' to the club they nominate and ironically they are unfettered by any FA restrictions their older counterparts face.

You came out of that with Taylor, Cutler, Robertson and Gardiner. Not perfect but they've all shown something for you in 2014.
 

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whatboutbob

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You came out of that with Taylor, Cutler, Robertson and Gardiner. Not perfect but they've all shown something for you in 2014.
After years of investment in their predecessors, only for other clubs to profit. Continually recycling draft picks is not going to get the club up the ladder. It needs to be addressed or the Lions will simply be a perpetual bottom 4 feeder club.

It isn't a recent phenomenon either, or borne only from the club's recent lack of success. In fact, to cite an example you gave above, we got Gardiner from the Polec trade. We got Polec because Brennan left. We got Brennan because Headland left. Perpetually chasing our tails is not a solution. The fundamental inequity of having a national competition while the vast majority (>90%) of the talent comes from only 3 states needs to be addressed. Long-term the academies may do that. And the retention allowances (by whatever name) paid to the Swans, GWS and Suns go some way to mitigating their difficulties with it. But the Lions have been left out in the cold. Regardless, as Weasel posted above, a more holistic approach needs to be taken.

And apart from any of that, I'd have preferred the Lions, yanno, kept Billy Longer (pick 8, 2011) than received a measly pick 25 for him. This free agency cultural change has fundamentally shifted the power to the young players and driven down the returns for the club they're leaving. Profit => Vic, SA & WA clubs.
 

Barry_Badrinath

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It's strange that people think players won't go to weaker clubs -

Mitch Clark
Chris Dawes
Bernie Vince
Arron Hamill
Stewart Crameri
Eddie Betts
Heath Shaw
Shane Mumford


That's just off the top of my head. All have moved to clubs lower down on the ladder and out of premiership contention.

Don't forget Goddard.
 

L_W_P

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Yeah, whatboutbob as mentioned it's not ideal but there are positives to be taken out of it.

Would you really have wanted Longer, Docherty, Yeo and Polec to stay if they weren't giving their all to the club though?
 

whatboutbob

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Yeah, as mentioned it's not ideal but there are positives to be taken out of it.

Would you really have wanted Longer, Docherty, Yeo and Polec to stay if they weren't giving their all to the club though?
Nope, but I think that's a straw man argument. It is misleading to assume that they weren't, or wouldn't have given their all.

Simon Black was one of the most homesick kids you'll ever see for several years, but he played in a time when it was more difficult to get to the club of his choice and arguably it was culturally less acceptable to pull the pin. I think you'd agree that worked out ok for all parties (well, maybe not the weagles or freo).
 

Plugger46

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it is a worrying thing but just don't see certain clubs like Brisbane playing in a Grand Final for a long time... or even finals there are other clubs besides Brisbane.

but you can get some draft pick steals like O'meara was rookied, Langdon was #61 I think??? so you can get some good young players.
 

Gysberts2Bate

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it is a worrying thing but just don't see certain clubs like Brisbane playing in a Grand Final for a long time... or even finals there are other clubs besides Brisbane.

but you can get some draft pick steals like O'meara was rookied, Langdon was #61 I think??? so you can get some good young players.
O'Meara was the furthest thing possible from being rookied. Went #1 in the first GWS mini-draft.

There would be AFL recruiters literally turned to drugs if O'Meara had slipped through to the RD.
 

Sin City

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Draft sensibly.

Develop well.

Make smart trade and free agency additions.

Have some luck with injury and development.

It's entirely possible. The Kangaroos have done a pretty good rebuild without even bottoming out. I also disagree with the OP on the Bulldogs, I don't think they're too far away from being a good team at all.
 

00Stinger

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It's strange that people think players won't go to weaker clubs -

Mitch Clark
Chris Dawes
Bernie Vince
Arron Hamill
Stewart Crameri
Eddie Betts
Heath Shaw
Shane Mumford


That's just off the top of my head. All have moved to clubs lower down on the ladder and out of premiership contention.
To be fair Dawes, Vince, Shaw and Mumford were all pretty much discarded by their old clubs for one reason or another
 

Docker82

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It was at the start of last season people were saying Port were doomed and were going to finish on the bottom for years. They've managed to turn it around very quickly

My club in 2009/2010 were predicted as bottom four for a very long time. We managed to get McPhee who was solid for three seasons, but was hardly going to make a wooden spoon team into a finals team, and we made the finals in 2010.

Both clubs have recruited a lot of players from various pathways. Some of the moves made took some serious balls indeed but it has worked out in the end. Port haven't even nailed everything along the way and neither have we but these things need to be given a go to work.
 

Yoda_

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common theme in most of those in the almighty dollar.

People can argue about extra things but I feel one way is the best way to explain it;


(I'm completely making up numbers here so feel free to post some more accurate numbers)

Nick Malceski - $350,000 per year
Lyndenn Dunn - $350,000 per year

Now your trying to tell me that Malceski and Dunn are fairly close players, ability wise? Paying a proper market value would allow the lesser clubs to pay the value for higher priced FA etc.
 

Big Bryza

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People can argue about extra things but I feel one way is the best way to explain it;


(I'm completely making up numbers here so feel free to post some more accurate numbers)

Nick Malceski - $350,000 per year
Lyndenn Dunn - $350,000 per year

Now your trying to tell me that Malceski and Dunn are fairly close players, ability wise? Paying a proper market value would allow the lesser clubs to pay the value for higher priced FA etc.

Lynden Dunn is having a great season...
 

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