Clearance Team, we are?

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Moti

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 4, 2001
10,891
6,502
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
While many parts of our team have been an issue, we have always had our ability in clearances to fall back on. The ole meat grinder.

However, when we say we are a good clearance team, we have alway used a poor definition. A good clearance team should be one that is good at creating and defending clearances.

We are clearly not. Just hearing Gary Lyon makes what has been obvious to many of us here, that we can't defend a clearance, painfully obvious. 17th for the past 2 years in defending the clearance, 16th year before that, 13th and 15th. I can't tell you how many times I am at the game and see a clearance setup that makes zero sense and watch teams handball into space and run away. And obviously we don't have any speed to catch them.

So if we are indeed a below average clearance team, how do we change it with personnel and tactics? I for one would like to see our around the ground setups have designated outliers to the side of the contest to be the outlet or pressure player if the ball comes out of congestion.
 

Luke72

Premium Platinum
Aug 21, 2012
3,668
7,269
AFL Club
North Melbourne
I reckon we need to check the opposition players more closely. It’s a delicate balance between giving up your own creativity but we seem to leave loose guys on the outside a lot and don’t pressure the guys disposing of the ball so their kicks going forward are better. When our pressure on the ball handler is good we look good.
 

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the Ziebull

Brownlow Medallist
Nov 14, 2010
19,380
15,300
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Like many aspects of our game there is no plan b

if we don’t win the tap to the pre determined spot we just watch the oppo waltz out of the centre
 

Jasemon

All Australian
Dec 27, 2011
892
2,316
Brunswick
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The concern is that even when we do win the clearance we are just as likely to either bomb it aimlessly or turn it over directly to the opposition.

So yes there is a critical need to address our clearance issues but just as importantly we need to find players with the required skill to do something constructive with ball in hand. Under pressure.
 

Passmore

Brownlow Medallist
May 22, 2001
11,564
26,404
The Gasometer Wing
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Norf
I'm not sure how far back Champion Data stats go, but it's been a problem for 10 years. We win the clearance or lose it. There's no halving it and forcing another stoppage.

I suspect it's a matter of personell as much as tactics. Not enough players work hard both ways. And we don't have enough class onballers to break away from the stoppage and use it cleanly when we do win.

LDU is one who can hopefully do that. We need to hit on more in the draft.

Sent from my SM-A908B using Tapatalk
 

shimaburnsgrieg

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2017
2,108
4,316
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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We dont work hard both ways in the clearance - we have discussed that to death in this forum, nothing new here.

Once Jacob's went down we have had no one that concentrates on the defensive side - even now Jed hunts the ball in the clearance.

Cunners is useless once the ball goes outside his immediate area and Higgo is not much better. JZ just as bad when he played as a mid.

We have been 'saved' to a degree because Goldie acts as another mid once he taps the ball - if we had a more lumbering type of ruckman I am sure we would be ranked 18th in this area.

The key is to ensure the new wave of mids - jy, ldu, kyron, Bailey - have an attitude that two running is essential.

If our new breed adopt this approach we can put this team weakness behind us.
 

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shintemaster

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 24, 2002
15,178
25,888
Ponderama
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The concern is that even when we do win the clearance we are just as likely to either bomb it aimlessly or turn it over directly to the opposition.

So yes there is a critical need to address our clearance issues but just as importantly we need to find players with the required skill to do something constructive with ball in hand. Under pressure.
The latter is the bigger issue for me. If we're putting guys in the centre that win contests but throw on the boot then surely we need to structure out HF / F line better around that. Not much point having Brown sitting under the ball at CHF when it is not his strength. If we're going to get and bomb at times then we should shuffle up forward to have our big marking, agile and agressive types off the HF line at the drop - Zurhaar, Taylor, Thomas come to mind and open up the area a bit more.
 

Rad Roo

Club Legend
Aug 2, 2017
2,107
927
AFL Club
North Melbourne
The team that had jacobs as the main tagger is the old system where we had 1 or 2 attakcing running players (harvey, wells) and a defensive player (Greenwood and then later jacobs) and then you got a few strong 'in and under' players (swallow, cunnington, ziebell). Under this model, opposition only have to subdue 1 or 2 players to get on top of our midfield. We can't have that, we need 5 primary mids who can run, break line and spread while apply defensive pressure as well. Goldstein being in his form makes him the 6th mid. So looking at the incumbent of simpkin, ldu, thomas, bailey look really decent, they are the same age as Xerri so the cluster will be a great cohort. We also have to add 2 potential top 5 picks and this will be a premiership midfield.
 

Bigeasy

I'm here for the buffet
Apr 9, 2008
26,957
27,487
The Ponderosa
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
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Opposition tag our outside runners like Higgins and Polec which is why we boot it as there are no options short or any overlap. This is why our hbf'ers aren't up to scratch. Atley Pittard, Williams and co don't provide any offence threat therefore opposition can set up easily behind the ball.
 

roos_fanatic08

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 21, 2008
20,494
30,795
Vic
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Think of our starting midfielders for the last 3 years and I think you’ll find why we have so many issues there.

- Cunners: Slow, poor on the spread

- Higgins: Attacking, not defensively minded at all. Unaccountable.

- Ziebell: See Cunnington

- Simpkin: Good two way runner but didn’t have the tank up to compete until this year.

- Anderson: Slowish, poor outside runner.

- Ahern: See Cunnington

- Polec: Limited defensively, always sits in more attacking positions around stoppages

- Dumont: good two way runner, gets caught out on the spread because he is slow.

- LDU: unaccountable, no tank.

- Jacobs: excellent positioning, accountable. NEVER ******* AVAILABLE!


Obviously speed is a big issue there, but the other thing is that we have very very limited rotations/plan b. B.Scott was too stubborn with backing his group in. Hopefully Shaw will start to rectify that by adding others to the mix.
 

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