Changes for next year, Round 1

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DoItForCaptBlood

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FB: Astbury, Rance*, Vlaustin
HB: Short, Grimes, Houli*
C: Caddy, Cotchin*, Pickett
HF: Stack, Riewoldt, Lambert
FB: Rioli, Lynch, Edwards*
Foll: Soldo, Prestia*, Martin*
Int: Broad, Ross, Castagna, Nank*

All of the players with * need to be rested through the year for a 4-5 game stint. This will allow them to rejuvenate and allow for other players time in the team.
Rance=Balta
Houli=Egg-Smith
Cotch=Collier-Dawkins
Edwards=Arts
Prestia=Graham
Martin=Macintosh
Nank=CCJ

Going to be a real challenge managing the list in 2020 if we are blessed with an relatively injury free year. I really don't mind if we get injuries early. It's only late injuries to our stars that would give us reason to be concerned because, despite wonderful depth, we can't replace Dusty/Lynch/Prestia/Edwards when push come to shove
You missed Riewoldt.

"5-6 game stint". Surely you don't mean they miss 5-6 consecutive weeks!! Even spread out throughout the season, that number of games for all those players is extremely unlikely. These guys are not 35 years old.

If they get injured, ie. more serious than a niggle, sure they might get an extra week or two to be conservative (Cotchin this year). But just for the purpose of 'resting', wanting to get gametime into younger players, aint happening. You need to see it from the players perspective. Imagine Dimma calling Dusty into his office and saying, " we'd like you to sit the next month on the sidelines to give Macca some game time ".

Next..."Alex, you will be sitting all of July in the stands so young Balta can play".

One game if Rance feels sore...possibly.
 

THE THIN MAN

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Need more drums for the intimidation affect on the opposition supporters and players
1573047047565.png
 

Walt Kowalski

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Lmfao. Our bottom 6 are no better than most teams bottom 6.Yes there are plenty of links that can and should be improved upon

What weak links that played more than 5 or so games were moved on.
To be a weak link you have to get a game.Oh i see you mean Ellis the softest player in the entire league, but wait he played in a premiership and i agree he was a weak link.

Are you seriously going to say Graham is not best 22 or that Pickett if not for Grahams injury in his one game is not best 22. Or Ross if not for the timing of his injury he was would not have played, or after 13 games this yr we are not going to put games into Balta, or how about Stacky copping an injury at the wrong time fmd mate like all clubs we have a bottom 6 and some of them are only average at best. We are lucky we have upgrades in our system and i hate to tell ya they will replace premiership favorites. Yep we have a bottom 6 and if we sit on our hands and dont try to replace em we will get overrun.

I will eat my hat if Balta , Graham, Stack, Pickett and Ross dont play the majority of games next yr that means premiership players will miss out and they will miss for good reasons.
Just playing our best 22 every week is the way to win premierships, and that's the way to keep the fringe players hungry and wanting to stay.

Picking people with 2 or 3 years down the track in mind makes no sense wrt where were are as a club at the moment.

Just pick guys on merit and nothing else. Then we'll have successful AFL and VFL teams for the next 2-3 years. There's no need to get funky at the selection table.
 

JAKLAUGHING

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You missed Riewoldt.

"5-6 game stint". Surely you don't mean they miss 5-6 consecutive weeks!! Even spread out throughout the season, that number of games for all those players is extremely unlikely. These guys are not 35 years old.

If they get injured, ie. more serious than a niggle, sure they might get an extra week or two to be conservative (Cotchin this year). But just for the purpose of 'resting', wanting to get gametime into younger players, aint happening. You need to see it from the players perspective. Imagine Dimma calling Dusty into his office and saying, " we'd like you to sit the next month on the sidelines to give Macca some game time ".

Next..."Alex, you will be sitting all of July in the stands so young Balta can play".

One game if Rance feels sore...possibly.
Something exactly like that needs to happen to avoid the limping finals entry by the Team in 2018...smart player management over a long season with players ready to fire at the pointy end! Some VFL players promoted against the weaker oppo like GCS, Carlscum, Bumbers...
 
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Grrr

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You missed my point. There are no weak links in the team. The weak links weren't getting game. Moore, Menadue, Weller, Butler, Townsend (and Ellis).
I agree... Graham, Ross, Stack (more than likely Pickett) are best 22. They were not in the team due to injury. So 'blooding' youngsters I believe you were arguing, doesn't include them.

It's Balta, CCJ, DES and RCD I'm disagreeing with you about. With Stack, Ross and Graham to come back in on top of those four. My point is Houli, Rioli, Nank and Broad are not coming out. So it will be interesting who R1 is missing (assuming no injuries).

One for Ellis. Baker perhaps. But you don't start dropping players from a premiership team when they are still dominating games. To suggest Houli is bottom 6 by leaving him out of your team is laughable.

I am looking forward and hope two kids get more than a handful of games though, and that's CCJ and RCD. But they come in on merit. I can see CCJ pushing Nank out, and RCD intonthe mids, pushing someone (??) out.
There may not be weak links but there are always players that you can improve on or can improve their game back in the VFL. Who would have thought Caddy would have found a home on the wing, because he was struggling up forward for one reason or another. You have to replace players with better players no matter that we are current Premiers.
Rance coming back means that Broad is in the firing line, not because Broad is not good enough, but that Rance is so much better. Stack may go back, for Short or Baker. Will DES come on leaps and bounds and take a half back spot. He has way more class than either. Stack is better than all of them. Ellis makes way for Pickett which is a win. I'm a massive fan of Ross and think he will be a better player than a similar sort Graham. Probably a spot for both but I'll bet that Ross becomes a superior player.
Of course injuries and to a lesser extent form will play a big part. RCD will be pressing as will Balta. Even Nank or Soldo may give way for CCJ tears it up in the VFL early.
 
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Meteoric Rise

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Just playing our best 22 every week is the way to win premierships, and that's the way to keep the fringe players hungry and wanting to stay.

Picking people with 2 or 3 years down the track in mind makes no sense wrt where were are as a club at the moment.

Just pick guys on merit and nothing else. Then we'll have successful AFL and VFL teams for the next 2-3 years. There's no need to get funky at the selection table.
It is tough to argue with the principle of picking teams based on merit and never veering from that. But I am happy to make the case against it here in answer to your post.

As we have seen in each of the last three seasons, by the time we get to the last 1/4 or so of the regular season, the selectors have more or less locked in their team and only changed it if forced by injury or some other reason. I think most premiers and probably most finals teams follow this path. I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting doing anything different to this from about 5-6 matches to go in the home and away season onwards.

What I would argue is in the first 16 rounds or so the approach needs to be more fluid. In 2019, injuries or other reasons forced us to find Baker, Soldo, and Bolton, who all played in our Grand Final team and were all at least useful. In the case of Baker, he found time to come into the team as a forward and play well, then was sent back to the VFL to learn a new role in defence, then came back into the senior team in the last phase of the regular season in that defensive role, and despite some shaky moments, played that role well. In Soldo’s case I consider it unarguable that he improved with exposure at AFL level and had Nankervis not been injured, it is highly doubtful we’d have ever arrived at him playing more than a small handful of matches in the AFL team. Earlier, Balta had been preferred in the second ruck role, right in my opinion.

Ok, you could argue Soldo came in based on merit as we needed a number one ruckman after Nankervis was injured. But what I put to you is what about the scenario where Nankervis was not injured. Would it have preferable in hindsight to rest him for a run of matches, or even send him to the VFL, while having a good look at Soldo in the number one ruck role during the middle half of the season? Perhaps you might argue this is too funky and leave well enough alone. I am saying unequivocally I would prefer to see the selectors make some of these type of selection decisions. In this case, the results were clearly favourable. I accept in other cases, they may not be, but the payoff should be worth the cost. There were other benefits to the Nankervis unavailability as well. Suddenly with Soldo vacating the first ruck in the VFL team Chol and then CCJ were given much more prominent roles in that team. Based then on his excellent VFL form Chol was given a good run in the AFL Team and this may yet pay good dividends down the track, certainly the club would have discovered some things about him they might otherwise not have known.

Caddy was another where the club appeared to benefit from creative selection. Back to the VFL to learn a new role when he was a redundant forward, and again this paid dividends. As I posted before, despite all of the injuries we had, 11 of the AFL GF team managed to do time in the VFL during the season. The unsuccessful 2018 Prelim team had I think 6 players who had played in the VFL team that season. OK, you could argue the 2017 GF team had only about 5 who had played VFL that season, but our tactics and player roles were a lot less known to other clubs at that time, and our list was a bit thinner as well, with more mature and exposed players going around in our VFL team.

To me the best pathway to being at your best and most dangerous at finals time is along these lines:

- as many relatively fresh and hungry players as possible, achieved by resting players if necessary
- players being able to play multiple roles helps cover in game injuries
- game plan not overly exposed to key finals opponents, ideally something new about your formation they haven’t seen first hand before.

It is also interesting to note the best performing home and away teams’(as judged by finishing top of ladder after regular season) recent finals results.

2019 Geelong lose PF 19 points, 1-2 finals record, premier came from 3rd on ladder
2018 Richmond lose PF 39 points, 1-1 finals record, premier came from 2nd on ladder
2017 Adelaide lose GF 48 points, 2-1 finals record, premier came from 3rd on ladder
2016 Sydney lose GF 22 points, 2-2 finals record, premier came from 7th on ladder

Note since the pre finals bye teams finishing top of ladder have a 6-6 finals record, not won a GF. In four seasons only one team finishing top 2 has won the flag, Eagles in 2018 and they fell in.

Pre finals bye introduced....

2015 Fremantle lose PF at home 27 points, lucky to win their other final, arguably nowhere near the best team in h&a season as shown by relatively weak %, 1-1 finals record, premier came from 3rd
2014 Sydney lose GF 63 points, 2-1 finals record, premier came from 2nd
2013 Hawthorn win GF 15 points 3-0 finals record, premier came from 1st
2012 Hawthorn lose GF 10 points 2-1 finals record, premier came from 3rd
2011 Collingwood lose GF 38 points, 2-1 finals record, premier came from 2nd
2010 Collingwood drew GF won replay 56 points, 3-1-0 finals record, premier came from 1st

2006-7-9 the team who finished on top won the flag. 08 Cats lost the GF after finishing top, premier Hawks came from 2nd.

So before the pre finals bye the team finishing top had made the GF all but one of the previous 10 seasons and won 5 Premierships. There was arguably a much bigger advantage to finishing on top at that time. Only two teams won the premiership in that time from outside the top 2, and both were 3rd.

9 out of 10 teams finishing top made the GF. The one that didn’t, Fremantle in 2015 were arguably the weakest top team in memory as measured by their percentage.

So 2006-2015 premiers came from:

1st on ladder = 5 times
2nd = 3 times
3rd = 2 times

-----------------------------------------------------------

The trend is clearly suggesting that since the introduction of the pre finals bye, there is not such a premium on finishing top 2, and the teams finishing top are not flourishing at all.

So I would argue there are a few good reasons to think ahead in selection and not simply select the best known available team each week in the regular season. And where the luxury exists, I would even make some selections with future seasons in mind, but this I agree is much more debatable.
 

JAKLAUGHING

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I'm of the opinion our bottom six players are pretty damn good, if you can name them!
I'm of the opinion we bat pretty damn deep for our top side, well past 22, if you can name our top 22!
I'm of the opinion that 2020 has to be about player management to have the side and best 22 fighting fit at the pointy end of the season...
I'm of the opinion our veterans in Cotch, Rance, JR8, Houli need to be closely monitored so as not to be spent come Finals time...
I'm of the opinion that such player management allows our stronger lesser lights valuable game time and experience...it's a win, win for me!
I'm of the opinion that Player Management at RFC needs to be done smart (and is a strategy/weapon in waiting!) and not compromise/flirt with both winning Team and player form... :think: ;)πŸ‘
 
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rmcq

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The club simply needs to be harsher when it comes to form and injury niggles. Give younger players a good 4 weeks when they come in. Supposedly our system is so good, we can afford to switch players around.

At least Rance will be hungry next year, which makes the whole backline hungry. And then Stack in the forward line will be gunning for a premiership.
 

DoItForCaptBlood

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There may not be weak links but there are always players that you can improve on or can improve their game back in the VFL. Who would have thought Caddy would have found a home on the wing, because he was struggling up forward for one reason or another. You have to replace players with better players no matter that we are current Premiers.
Rance coming back means that Broad is in the firing line, not because Broad is not good enough, but that Rance is so much better. Stack may go back, for Short or Baker. Will DES come on leaps and bounds and take a half back spot. He has way more class than either. Stack is better than all of them. Ellis makes way for Pickett which is a win. I'm a massive fan of Ross and think he will be a better player than a similar sort Graham. Probably a spot for both but I'll bet that Ross becomes a superior player.
Of course injuries and to a lesser extent form will play a big part. RCD will be pressing as will Balta. Even Nank or Soldo may give way for CCJ tears it up in the VFL early.
All of that I agree with. The key word you have there is "pressing". If they are "tearing it up" and a current best 22 senior player that plays their position has a niggle, then they come in for one or two games. I am against saying to Edwards, Cotch, and Dusty, you're sitting out the next 4 weeks so we can get a block of games into the next generation. Fk that. These players love to play, want to see the team win every week, and some kid coming up would want to be absolutely dominating in the VFL to take their spot. If DES takes over Baker's role, great. Ross/RCD is racking up 20+ every week and Graham is down on form, in one comes.
These senior players (Cotch /Edwards /Rance/Dusty) played in some dark years. They got reamed most weeks, and now the team bends over most teams, I am pretty sure they want to be out there enjoying every minute of every game. It's a short career these guys have. So yes we need to develop the kids, but putting senior players in the stands for multiple weeks to achieve it is wrong...imo!!
 

Grrr

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All of that I agree with. The key word you have there is "pressing". If they are "tearing it up" and a current best 22 senior player that plays their position has a niggle, then they come in for one or two games. I am against saying to Edwards, Cotch, and Dusty, you're sitting out the next 4 weeks so we can get a block of games into the next generation. Fk that. These players love to play, want to see the team win every week, and some kid coming up would want to be absolutely dominating in the VFL to take their spot. If DES takes over Baker's role, great. Ross/RCD is racking up 20+ every week and Graham is down on form, in one comes.
These senior players (Cotch /Edwards /Rance/Dusty) played in some dark years. They got reamed most weeks, and now the team bends over most teams, I am pretty sure they want to be out there enjoying every minute of every game. It's a short career these guys have. So yes we need to develop the kids, but putting senior players in the stands for multiple weeks to achieve it is wrong...imo!!
Completely agree but I feel it unlikely anyway. You soon get caught out in a season of footy if you don't treat every game with equal importance. Of course that involves a certain amount of rotations at the bottom end of the list, but the good players play every week unless they have a niggle. Geelong were guilty off it in their premiership years, but that was not until they were well entrenched in the top 4 and their senior players were then cheery ripe come finals.
 

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theflea

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Please remember that
A- its ok for players to learn their craft in the 2's (which means they don't have to be gifted games if there isn't a place for them). Remember we have been waiting for good team for a long time, and now some want to dismantle it? **** off I say!
B- while we are in our window, we need to take our chances as for all we know the next generation might not be much chop. Of course players will mix and match being in the side but we should be aiming to be full speed by mid to late year. It means that when our window is closing, those players who did get a good grounding in the 2's will be ready to take the mantle off the veteran players. This incessant need to ruin a good thing irks me.
 

Marcel Proust

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Lmfao. Our bottom 6 are no better than most teams bottom 6.Yes there are plenty of links that can and should be improved upon
I'm of the opinion our bottom six players are pretty damn good, if you can name them!
The bottom six would be something like Soldo, Broad, Bolton, Stack, Caddy, Graham/Rioli/Pickett.

thats a pretty decent bottom6, better than most teams. Not only mostly premiership and double premiership players but pretty young with a lot of upside in that group
 
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Marcel Proust

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This incessant need to ruin a good thing irks me.
yeah, the best 22 pretty much picks itself IMO

I can see a Ross or Balta breaking in potentially but generally their doesn't look too many places up for grabs

If DES takes over Baker's role, great.
I cant see how Baker or Short make the team, With Stack, Graham, Rance probably to return to the senior side
 
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Walt Kowalski

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It is tough to argue with the principle of picking teams based on merit and never veering from that. But I am happy to make the case against it here in answer to your post.

As we have seen in each of the last three seasons, by the time we get to the last 1/4 or so of the regular season, the selectors have more or less locked in their team and only changed it if forced by injury or some other reason. I think most premiers and probably most finals teams follow this path. I want to make it clear that I am not suggesting doing anything different to this from about 5-6 matches to go in the home and away season onwards.

What I would argue is in the first 16 rounds or so the approach needs to be more fluid. In 2019, injuries or other reasons forced us to find Baker, Soldo, and Bolton, who all played in our Grand Final team and were all at least useful. In the case of Baker, he found time to come into the team as a forward and play well, then was sent back to the VFL to learn a new role in defence, then came back into the senior team in the last phase of the regular season in that defensive role, and despite some shaky moments, played that role well. In Soldo’s case I consider it unarguable that he improved with exposure at AFL level and had Nankervis not been injured, it is highly doubtful we’d have ever arrived at him playing more than a small handful of matches in the AFL team. Earlier, Balta had been preferred in the second ruck role, right in my opinion.

Ok, you could argue Soldo came in based on merit as we needed a number one ruckman after Nankervis was injured. But what I put to you is what about the scenario where Nankervis was not injured. Would it have preferable in hindsight to rest him for a run of matches, or even send him to the VFL, while having a good look at Soldo in the number one ruck role during the middle half of the season? Perhaps you might argue this is too funky and leave well enough alone. I am saying unequivocally I would prefer to see the selectors make some of these type of selection decisions. In this case, the results were clearly favourable. I accept in other cases, they may not be, but the payoff should be worth the cost. There were other benefits to the Nankervis unavailability as well. Suddenly with Soldo vacating the first ruck in the VFL team Chol and then CCJ were given much more prominent roles in that team. Based then on his excellent VFL form Chol was given a good run in the AFL Team and this may yet pay good dividends down the track, certainly the club would have discovered some things about him they might otherwise not have known.

Caddy was another where the club appeared to benefit from creative selection. Back to the VFL to learn a new role when he was a redundant forward, and again this paid dividends. As I posted before, despite all of the injuries we had, 11 of the AFL GF team managed to do time in the VFL during the season. The unsuccessful 2018 Prelim team had I think 6 players who had played in the VFL team that season. OK, you could argue the 2017 GF team had only about 5 who had played VFL that season, but our tactics and player roles were a lot less known to other clubs at that time, and our list was a bit thinner as well, with more mature and exposed players going around in our VFL team.

To me the best pathway to being at your best and most dangerous at finals time is along these lines:

- as many relatively fresh and hungry players as possible, achieved by resting players if necessary
- players being able to play multiple roles helps cover in game injuries
- game plan not overly exposed to key finals opponents, ideally something new about your formation they haven’t seen first hand before.

It is also interesting to note the best performing home and away teams’(as judged by finishing top of ladder after regular season) recent finals results.

2019 Geelong lose PF 19 points, 1-2 finals record, premier came from 3rd on ladder
2018 Richmond lose PF 39 points, 1-1 finals record, premier came from 2nd on ladder
2017 Adelaide lose GF 48 points, 2-1 finals record, premier came from 3rd on ladder
2016 Sydney lose GF 22 points, 2-2 finals record, premier came from 7th on ladder

Note since the pre finals bye teams finishing top of ladder have a 6-6 finals record, not won a GF. In four seasons only one team finishing top 2 has won the flag, Eagles in 2018 and they fell in.

Pre finals bye introduced....

2015 Fremantle lose PF at home 27 points, lucky to win their other final, arguably nowhere near the best team in h&a season as shown by relatively weak %, 1-1 finals record, premier came from 3rd
2014 Sydney lose GF 63 points, 2-1 finals record, premier came from 2nd
2013 Hawthorn win GF 15 points 3-0 finals record, premier came from 1st
2012 Hawthorn lose GF 10 points 2-1 finals record, premier came from 3rd
2011 Collingwood lose GF 38 points, 2-1 finals record, premier came from 2nd
2010 Collingwood drew GF won replay 56 points, 3-1-0 finals record, premier came from 1st

2006-7-9 the team who finished on top won the flag. 08 Cats lost the GF after finishing top, premier Hawks came from 2nd.

So before the pre finals bye the team finishing top had made the GF all but one of the previous 10 seasons and won 5 Premierships. There was arguably a much bigger advantage to finishing on top at that time. Only two teams won the premiership in that time from outside the top 2, and both were 3rd.

9 out of 10 teams finishing top made the GF. The one that didn’t, Fremantle in 2015 were arguably the weakest top team in memory as measured by their percentage.

So 2006-2015 premiers came from:

1st on ladder = 5 times
2nd = 3 times
3rd = 2 times

-----------------------------------------------------------

The trend is clearly suggesting that since the introduction of the pre finals bye, there is not such a premium on finishing top 2, and the teams finishing top are not flourishing at all.

So I would argue there are a few good reasons to think ahead in selection and not simply select the best known available team each week in the regular season. And where the luxury exists, I would even make some selections with future seasons in mind, but this I agree is much more debatable.
You've just used a hell of a lot of text to say what? That because we had a few injuries this year we found we have pretty strong depth. That's how you'd hope it works in a good club.

I think selection is simple:

If DES is better than Houli on the HBF, he plays in the seniors. That's all it comes down to. If CCJ is better than Nank he plays. Easy.

Your Caddy argument is fair enough but he basically had to go back into the 2s to learn a new role as Lynch and Riewoldt are now the proper key forwards and we are always going to play a heap of small pressure guys around them (unless Dusty strolls down).

You can argue resting senior guys thru the year is viable, but I don't think it's necessary with the bye plus either 1 or 2 weeks off in the finals, depending on your ladder finish. If they are out injured, you might indulge the luxury of giving them an extra week off, but that'd be it.

You make finals by putting your best team on the park, every week.
 

Michaels

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i cant help but look at where we want to get to as far as development goes.

I really believe that Stack Graham Balta and Ross have to play most games to allow us to improve.We also need to make sure we have enough kids with enough games behind them so its a smooth transition when a lot of the big guns retire over the next 2 to 4 yrs.
Going by vfl reports and what they have done RC-D, CC-J, and DE-S are not far away. In fact what i have seen of them they look impressive.

Now this never goes down well but we do have a bottom 6 or 8 in the 22 and it is incumbent upon those in charge to look for better, look for improvement, thats despite winning the flag.Of course this brings up the question of well do we need to improve, I dont think you will find too many who think otherwise.

For me theres three big bolters to come into the team that won the flag.Thats the latter three mentioned. imo the first four mentioned will be regulars and if not for injuries could well have a premiership medallion hanging around their necks.
So in essence and people will say im crazy but from a premiership team still in its window i can see up to 6 or 7 changes on a regular basis.

Im going to phrase this this way. We have just had a horror run of injuries and this is the team thats left.

B/ Grimes - Astbury - Vlastuin
HB/ DE-S - Balta - Rance. Fair dinkum if this was our round 1 back half i would not be complaining.

C/ Pickett - Cotchin - Ross. Soldo aside who continues to improve each yr thats some midfield.
R/ Soldo - Martin - Prestia

HF/ Edwards - Riewoldt - Lambert. A young promising ruck/fwd who offers a real point of difference to Nank/Soldo
F/ CC-J - Lynch - Castagna

Int/ Stack - Bolton - Graham - RC-D. All genuine mids they offer size grunt pace and all can play fwd if need be or as a part of rotations.

If we copped the injuries to the obvious absentees who would have a problem. in many cases they are potential significant upgrades.
Are you implying that Houli, Short, Caddy, Nankervis, Broad & Rioli are our weak links?

Egg & RCD are no where near upgrades on any of those players above. They aren't getting in ahead of them until they have earnt it.

CCJ while I agree needs games, wont be playing ahead of Nankervis. CCJ will get 5 - 7 games in 2020 IMO as part of player managing Soldo / Nank so they are fresh for the back half.

Reckon 2021 could be his year.
 

JAKLAUGHING

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You've just used a hell of a lot of text to say what? That because we had a few injuries this year we found we have pretty strong depth. That's how you'd hope it works in a good club. I think selection is simple: If DES is better than Houli on the HBF, he plays in the seniors. That's all it comes down to. If CCJ is better than Nank he plays. Easy. Your Caddy argument is fair enough but he basically had to go back into the 2s to learn a new role as Lynch and Riewoldt are now the proper key forwards and we are always going to play a heap of small pressure guys around them (unless Dusty strolls down). You can argue resting senior guys thru the year is viable, but I don't think it's necessary with the bye plus either 1 or 2 weeks off in the finals, depending on your ladder finish. If they are out injured, you might indulge the luxury of giving them an extra week off, but that'd be it.You make finals by putting your best team on the park, every week.
See now that is where I disagree with you...
Going by your post, we did put our best team on the park, every week for the 2018 Season and we made the Finals...and limped into them, sore, battered and bruised...
To me you manage your senior players in Rance, JR8, Cotch in particular, Houli et al, till you make the Finals then power on..
For me it's a fine balancing act between making the top 4 and having your best players uninjured getting there...geelol with ottens! Lions the same...
Really interested in watching how we go about playing out the 2020 year...with the side we have...it has to be B2B!
 

Marcel Proust

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Are you implying that Houli, Short, Caddy, Nankervis, Broad & Rioli are our weak links?

Egg & RCD are no where near upgrades on any of those players above. They aren't getting in ahead of them until they have earnt it.

CCJ while I agree needs games, wont be playing ahead of Nankervis. CCJ will get 5 - 7 games in 2020 IMO as part of player managing Soldo / Nank so they are fresh for the back half.

Reckon 2021 could be his year.
If Short is in the side. Which he probable wil notl be. He is defiantly one of the weak links.

Broad, Rioli, Caddy, Nank are nominations for' bottom 6 players' too. It sounds harsh but most of the best 16 players is pretty firmly set
 

JAKLAUGHING

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If Short is in the side. Which he probable wil notl be. He is defiantly one of the weak links.

Broad, Rioli, Caddy, Nank are nominations for' bottom 6 players' too. It sounds harsh but most of the best 16 players is pretty firmly set
Reckon they would be the best bottom five in the League!
 

Marcel Proust

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Please remember that
A- its ok for players to learn their craft in the 2's (which means they don't have to be gifted games if there isn't a place for them). Remember we have been waiting for good team for a long time, and now some want to dismantle it? **** off I say!
In defence of the mopsy and co. points of view; If you were to swap the like of

Balta for Broad
Ross for Graham
CCJ for Soldo etc.

you are arguably not losing much, perhaps even inserting more talented footballers. 'Dismantling it is a bit drastic or alarmist terminology, competition is good.
'
With Ellis and Grigg off the list IMO the squad is pretty strong. I am confident with whatever dimma rolls out as long as he doesn't fall apart again without Blake there to hold his hand.
 

JAKLAUGHING

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In defence of the mopsy and co. points of view; If you were to swap the like of

Balta for Broad
Ross for Graham
CCJ for Soldo
etc.

you are arguably not losing much, perhaps even inserting more talented footballers. 'Dismantling it is a bit drastic or alarmist terminology, competition is good.
With Ellis and Grigg off the list IMO the squad is pretty strong. I am confident with whatever dimma rolls out as long as he doesn't fall apart again without Blake there to hold his hand.
For a few games yes we don't lose much out of the side..and those players gain experience and the Coaches gain insights to player's capabilities...win win!
If that does occur hopefully Rance in the defensive half, Cotch in the mids and JR8 up forward take charge on the field to turn it back around in our favour!
 

Grrr

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Aug 16, 2009
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For a few games yes we don't lose much out of the side..and those players gain experience and the Coaches gain insights to player's capabilities...win win!
If that does occur hopefully Rance in the defensive half, Cotch in the mids and JR8 up forward take charge on the field to turn it back around in our favour!
The scales are pretty equal. Rance for Broad is an easy win. Ross for Graham is about even. CCJ for Soldo is slightly under but with Nank as first ruck, there's not much in it.
 

Rancid_Beasties

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I would just like to say:

Grimes (AA) Astbury Vlastuin (future AA)
Houli (AA) Rance (5xAA) Stack (future AA)
Bolton (future AA?) Martin (3xAA, Brownlow, 2xNorms) Lambert (AA "squad")
Rioli (future AA?) Riewoldt (3xAA, 3xColeman) Edwards (AA)

Castagna Lynch (AA) Caddy (AA "squad")

Soldo, Cotchin (AA, Brownlow) Prestia (AA "squad" - robbed)

I/C Broad Nankervis Ross (future AA?) Pickett (future AA?)

So our best 22 contains 11 players who have been at least in the top 40 players of the AFL at one point or another, and another 2 (Stack and Vlastuin) who will surely be All-Australians in the future. In addition, I reckon we have another 4 guys (Bolton, Rioli, Ross and Pickett) who have the potential to be AA in our best 22, and (in my opinion) another 4 in our reserves, including Higgins, Balta, RCD and CCJ. As for Baker, Short, Graham; they fall in the same category as Astbury, Castagna, Soldo, Broad and Nankervis - good players who will have solid careers but we have seen enough now and I can't see any of them getting to that level (Astbury was close in 2018, leaving aside the prelim disaster, but he is now at the back end of his career).

What a position to be in coming off 2 premierships in 3 years!
 

Meteoric Rise

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You've just used a hell of a lot of text to say what? That because we had a few injuries this year we found we have pretty strong depth. That's how you'd hope it works in a good club.

I think selection is simple:

If DES is better than Houli on the HBF, he plays in the seniors. That's all it comes down to. If CCJ is better than Nank he plays. Easy.

Your Caddy argument is fair enough but he basically had to go back into the 2s to learn a new role as Lynch and Riewoldt are now the proper key forwards and we are always going to play a heap of small pressure guys around them (unless Dusty strolls down).

You can argue resting senior guys thru the year is viable, but I don't think it's necessary with the bye plus either 1 or 2 weeks off in the finals, depending on your ladder finish. If they are out injured, you might indulge the luxury of giving them an extra week off, but that'd be it.

You make finals by putting your best team on the park, every week.
I think you understand my main points despite them being a bit hidden in a long post. You just disagree with the creative selection policies. In turn, I can see your point, and I disagree that is the best option for RFC in 2020, though I do think it is a sound enough position.

If our list is good enough that we can lose 130 odd matches from our best 22 in 2019 and win the flag, and it was, then it does suggest we can do more than just pick the best available team every week and this wouldn’t disbar(nor guarantee) finals success in 2020. We look like carrying up to 27 bona fide AFL players into the season depending how you look at it, the GF team plus Ross, Graham, Stack, Higgins, Macintosh. Then players who have had a taste and look ready to become fully fledged AFL players very soon in Balta, CCJ, Egg-Smith, Chol, Naish, probably Garthwaite as well.

So you seem to be saying that say the margin between Ross and Caddy is very fine but the selectors judge Caddy just edges it....Caddy stays fit, no other positions open up for Ross, you play Caddy 22 matches and Ross none? To be clear this is the sort of selection policy I disagree with. All other things being equal I am playing Caddy maybe 14 AFL games and Ross 8 in that scenario and assuming no other places are available to them. This is because a) it keeps Caddy fresh and hungry without significantly weakening the team, b) it allows you to gauge whether you are right in judging Caddy the better option in the first place, c) it allows Ross the opportunity to show he has gone past either Caddy or someone else given he should be developing and improving all the time at his age. Plus it gives you more flexibility and less predictability come finals time.

So a player who is good enough to play well in a successful team should not languish long periods in the seconds, and a player who is judged only slightly better than the next best alternative in his position should not be playing 22 games while the other player misses out.

That part to me is essential. On top of that wherever possible, I would be resting some players to give the breakout candidates a chance at AFL level, and these guys should be at a stage where this is not just a token 1-2 matches. And unless the team was in trouble, I would be wholesale resting players to achieve this, though that should not be entirely necessary given normal injuries etc.

So to summarise our positions, you think this type of selection is too funky, and I think your strictly merit based selection is not sophisticated enough. Happy to respect your position and leave it at that if I am understanding you correctly.
 

tora tora tora

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There may not be weak links but there are always players that you can improve on or can improve their game back in the VFL. Who would have thought Caddy would have found a home on the wing, because he was struggling up forward for one reason or another. You have to replace players with better players no matter that we are current Premiers.
Rance coming back means that Broad is in the firing line, not because Broad is not good enough, but that Rance is so much better. Stack may go back, for Short or Baker. Will DES come on leaps and bounds and take a half back spot. He has way more class than either. Stack is better than all of them. Ellis makes way for Pickett which is a win. I'm a massive fan of Ross and think he will be a better player than a similar sort Graham. Probably a spot for both but I'll bet that Ross becomes a superior player.
Of course injuries and to a lesser extent form will play a big part. RCD will be pressing as will Balta. Even Nank or Soldo may give way for CCJ tears it up in the VFL early.
Agree that Rance and Stack are straight in. At this stage Ross & Graham are slightly behind Pickett. I'm happy to rotate ruck combos Nank/Soldo/CJ/Balta/Chol. Give CJ a taste of it in a couple of 4 week blocks.
Between the last game of 2018 & the last game of 2019 there were 6 changes. So that is motivation for the players who missed out this year
 

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