Podcast Every WC Player of the 2010's ranked

WCErevival

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I'm of the opinion that Vardys 2018 was overrated. He didnt beat anyone and was lucky if he broke even. I think everyone was just surprised he made a decent go of it and didn't get injured along the way.
 

ioppolo

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I'm of the opinion that Vardys 2018 was overrated. He didnt beat anyone and was lucky if he broke even. I think everyone was just surprised he made a decent go of it and didn't get injured along the way.
His grand final heroics might have caused a few rose coloured memories but he exceeded expectations for many.
 

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FKASC

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I'm of the opinion that Vardys 2018 was overrated. He didnt beat anyone and was lucky if he broke even. I think everyone was just surprised he made a decent go of it and didn't get injured along the way.
100% agree. Lycett was fantastic in 2018, bar a small streak toward the end of the H&A season. I think people conflate his defensive effectiveness in the ruck with Vardy.

He did come to life in Q4 of the GF though, which was great
 

ronpingwins

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#35 Quinten Lynch

A little underrated during his career I reckon. Although mainly known as a full forward, Lynch came into 2010 with experience in a few different roles, including in the ruck and the midfield, where he finished runner-up in the B&F. But in Round 1 2010 Lynch was sent back to full forward, which somewhat negated his best asset of his long kick. It lasted one week before he was dropped to the WAFL, as he suffered a stuttering first half of the season which led to talk it could be his last season for the club. Lynch returned mid season on the back of a 33 disposal, 11 mark, 3 goal 4 behind performance in the WAFL. He played a little more up the ground in the second half of the season, keeping his spot but being fairly ineffective, kicking 8.17 for the season.

In 2011 with #NNLateout happening in round 1, Lynch backed up Cox in the ruck. He was all over the place, gaining 4 frees and giving away 5, a few clangers and behinds, but finding more of it around the ground and taking some marks. Lynch returned to a lead up CHF role and played his best footy in years. Although not hitting the scoreboard prolifically aside from 4 early goals in Round 3, Lynch used his tank to roam around the ground as a strong marking target. Something had changed with his marking and all of a sudden after struggling the previous season, he had these amazing hands in the air and was virtually unstoppable, taking 40 contested marks for the year. He would regularly gain high teen to twenties disposals and was crucial in our zone keeping the ball in our half, rarely being outmarked. Standout games from the season were 22 touches (14 contested), 9 marks (3 contested) and 1.3 in the first derby, which gave him 2 Brownlow votes, as well as 22 touches, 12 marks (5 contested)and 2.2 in an away win against a strong Carlton side. Lynch was a strong performer in the first final, almost dragging us over the line. He kicked an early goal in the first, the first of the fourth, then an inspiring goal grabbing it out of the ruck in typical Lynch fashion. A solid semi without getting much out of his marking, then a quiet prelim with the team slaughtered.

2012 was a reasonable season, a bit closer to goal though. His contested marking was well down, finding less of it but his goals were up, although got a bump up in a few flat tracks. With Kennedy out for most of the season he was useful, but it was wearing thin. A poor final game led to him only being offered a 1 year deal, so he left for more security with a 2 year deal at the Pies. Hard to believe he played nearly a full season for Collingwood.


#34 Liam Duggan

Love Duggo, hasn't gone anywhere near how we were hoping early though. He arrived at pick 11 in 2014, with us just missing out on Nakia Cockatoo and controversially here selected before Jayden Laverde. Duggan got games immediately and stood out with his poise, skill and hardness. His first non sub game he racked up 25 touches and he had become a fan favourite. Mostly played on a wing, the plan was for him to become a key midfielder. His form was fantastic for a while before slowing down and getting dropped, where he got a season ending injury. Although slightly disappointed by his last few games, there was excitement to get him in the midfield in 2016.

Duggan played the first 12 games of 2016 but underwhelmed. He got chances in the midfield but looked ill-suited, his disposal and decision making came to the fore a few times but looked a bit below the season before. He seemed a player that had a lot of nice attributes that didn't add up into a suitable role. He became heavily out of favour in the second half of the season. 2017 continued to be meh, with the club not really knowing what to do with him, spalring concerns about his future. Simpson instigated a move to half back after the bye and Duggan followed up with a standout game against the Cats, looking a natural. Good form continued, including a game against Freo where he gathered 31 touches, knocked Fyfe on his arse and gained 2 Brownlow votes. He had become a regular in that role, featuring in two finals, although not standing out. Midfield plans were well and truly on the backburner.

2018 was pretty good, he didn't have a game where you would say he was in the top 5 on the ground, but he tucked in snugly to a very effective defence. His GF was admirable, not dominant but did everything right, including a brave intercept mark against Mason Cox. His 2019 continued in the exact same fashion, a best 22 lock. An ankle injury wrecked his second half of the season, although he returned for the last game, he was clearly too rusty for finals. Think there is another level to go with him


#33 Willie Rioli

Oh Willie. When we picked him up at pick 50 something, I thought he can't be too good if taken that late. I pictured a speedy small forward in the vein of other Riolis. SANFL watchers came on to the board and described him as the best kick in the league, they painted a picture of a very different player than I was thinking. With an old, stagnant team in 2017, he sounded just the antidote. When he finally got a few WAFL games, he was a livewire, however he couldn't stay fit. Willie got his debut Round 2 2018, and in his first three games I have to say I didn't get it. He looked slow, a little fumbly and against GC, a bit selfish. It turned against the Blues, although inaccurate, his defensive pressure, ability to win contested footy and the his disposal+decision making in the wet were sublime. He stood out again against Port, kicking 2 to go with 4 goal assists, he just seemed to hit the target every time, creating chances others can't see.
The season continued strongly, although he didn't rack up touches his pressure, smarts, disposal and consistency in hitting the scoreboard more than made up for it. A strong finals series, he was heavily involved when the game was won in the prelim, he kickstarted us with an accidental goal in the GF. He was very effective that day, he started in the final centre bounce of the game, showing how highly he was rated and where his future may lie.

A strong pre-season, including a 19 touch 4 goal game in the final game of the pre-season, got people excited. Unfortunately injuries came at the worst time and his start to the season was wrecked. A slow return mid season, he started playing in the middle a bit more and his form was growing. It was very exciting seeing him emerge, hitting the scoreboard regularly (including a near GOTY) and setting up a stack. His score involvements were through the roof due to his kicking, with his ability to hit a difficult target in the corridor crucial. His season, uh, ended after the first final. I hope we haven't seen the best of him.

#32 Liam Ryan

"The thing about Ryan is that despite his size, he is only a leading forward and can't crumb to save himself. He won't be able to get away with that at AFL level", "Liam Ryan provides absolutely no defensive pressure, he won't get away with that at AFL level", "Ryan Nyhuis smashed Liam Ryan in the WAFL, therefore Nyhuis is better than Liam Ryan. He won't get a kick on better defenders in the AFL". This was the consensus on here when he was drafted, at least amongst Freo supporters. Mature age recruits traditionally go a bit later in the draft, although Ryan is hardly an old man, there was a sense we overspent on a player we could have got much cheaper the season before.

Ryan played Round 1 of his first season and had an immediate impact, kicking 7 goals despite being mildly inaccurate and taking a couple of hangers. Frustratingly he got immediately injured and missed 10 games. He came back rusty, with a few poor games. His mind supposedly wasn't quite there, needing a few weeks off to ease his adaption to the level. It did the trick and he hit the ground running when he returned. His first two finals were dominant, taking more hangers, and gaining 15 and 18 touches. The first final he kicked 2 early goals in a game they were hard to come by, then becoming a livewire in the final quarter and was involved in everything. His prelim was fantastic, everywhere across half forward early, taking a great hanger as well as his famous run and bounce through the middle in the third. The GF was a mixed bag, quiet early and copping an injury, he then gave a brilliant bump on Maynard before pulling out of a crucial marking contest. By 3QT it had been a poor game. His last quarter goes down in history though, 2 behinds but the 2 final inch perfect goal assists, including the Sheed goal from an incredible mark.

Ryan had a good pre-season and had a great first half to the season, although for different reasons than expected. Ryan only kicked 7 goals in his first 10 games. However this was a result of playing further up the ground and providing elite defensive pressure. He supposedly broke the record for defensive pressure against the Pies and had 3 goal assists. The leading forward with no defensive pressure had turned it around a little. Ryan's all round game continued to improve as the season went on, the goals returned and he found more of the ball, regularly getting early to mid teens touches. Ryan finished with a strong 20 goal assists for the season. He seems to be developing very nicely, it looks like he will reach his potential and become a key player for the medium term.

#31 Andrew Embley

Embers entered 2010 as one of the few veterans to survive the barren years of 08-09. The trend continued but Embers remained a key player. He copped a fair bit of criticism due to not being a precise kick, in a team lacking them, as well as having to sacrifice his game a bit. Embley's best features are roaming the wing, running and kicking long, as well as drifting forward to hit the scoreboard. In 2010 he had to play a little more inside, due to being one of the few big bodies who could run out a game. Despite the criticism, he remained one of our best players.

2011, as the team reemerged, we saw an Embers resurgence. Getting to roam the wings, he had a 20 touch first half in Round 1, followed up by a handy 32 touch 4 goal game. The strong form continued for the first two-thirds of the season, with the team looking like a top 4 side, Embley was a crucial player in AA form. His form slowed down towards the end of the season though, aside from a few standout games he wasn't hitting the standards he did earlier. Finals were very mixed, an average game first up, he was near BOG in the semi, with a shocking prelim with 7 clangers to end it. Still an up and down season, but definitely mostly up.

Worsfold had some interesting things to say to start 2012, saying the team was so strong Embley may not be best 22, Which seemed crazy given how crucial he was so shortly before this. He started Round 1 as a sub, gaining an impressive 12 touches and a goal in 24% game time. He had legs left in him, unfortunately he got injured in the first quarter next week, taking out most of his season. He returned late in the season, with the hope the experienced finals player could add an edge. It worked to great success to start, a few solid H+A games before a 22 touch, 11 I50, 4 goal game against North, completely dominating. The next game was a little different, although he seemed to be playing slightly out of position. Of course the territory battle was different, but Embley went from 11 inside 50's/0 rebound 50's, to 1 indie 50/7 rebound 50's in the semi. He was also involved in a controversial VAR decision early. His game wasn't bad overall, he just dropped the worst possible clanger at the worst possible time, grubbing a kick in the defensive corridor, allowing the Pies an easy goal to put them back in front. People go on about that costing us momentum, but I suspect we were out of gas regardless.

2013 wasn't very interesting. The team stuttered, he looked slower and with a refresh of the list seemingly needed, an out of form 32 year old was always going to be a culprit. An absolute champ of the club, he did his best work pre 2010 but he was still effective this decade, particularly the memorable 2011.
 

ronpingwins

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Vardy's 2017 was good without having any help. But it was mostly the exceeded expectations, he hadn't played much ruck before so it was a surprise to see him be a semi-reliable player. That combined with a strong finals run in 2018 got him the ranking.
 

daddy_4_eyes

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I'm of the opinion that Vardys 2018 was overrated. He didnt beat anyone and was lucky if he broke even. I think everyone was just surprised he made a decent go of it and didn't get injured along the way.
Not every player needs to be a superstar. Vardy had a role and played it well.
Agree with your point though. The initial romance of him being a premiership player and key cog in that legendary GF goal has worn off and the realisation that he is very average is sinking in.
 

ronpingwins

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The Q-stick behind Duggan (love the kid but FFS he hasn't really done much) and a couple of first/second year players. This is recency bias on another level.
Lynch only played one good season, he was dropped a few times in 2010 and 2012. Duggan has hardly dominated but has played 26 more games and was a reasonably important defender for 1.5-2 seasons. Rioli/Ryan were regulars straight away in their first/second year. Comparing them with Lynch is only comparing their performance over 1-2.5 seasons all three played. Very debatable though.
 

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squashface

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The Q-stick behind Duggan (love the kid but FFS he hasn't really done much) and a couple of first/second year players. This is recency bias on another level.
It’s only this decade though and apart from 2011 and a bit of 2012 he either wasn’t on the list or didn’t really do much
 

eaglesnutcase

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Not every player needs to be a superstar. Vardy had a role and played it well.
Agree with your point though. The initial romance of him being a premiership player and key cog in that legendary GF goal has worn off and the realisation that he is very average is sinking in.
Vardy brings physical pressure to the table.His form was pretty ordinary early this year but he improved a lot in the second half of the season in the WAFL.I think we made a serious mistake not playing him against Geelong in the final.They are a team that like to throw their weight around and a big mean ex teammate is just what you dont want to face in the heat of battle.Yo was our No1 hardman this year and i think it wore him down a bit.In our premiership year he was No3 behind Lycett/Vardy.
 

ronpingwins

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#30 Josh Hill

Hill joined back in 2012 and arrived at the perfect time, with Nicoski and LeCras going down. At the Dogs he was a flaky forward who had shown flashes of great talent. His form early made him a success, he was kicking multiple goals and was offering fantastic defensive pressure, including 10 tackles in round 2. Hill kicked 15 goals in his first 6 games, 20 in his first 9 and was looming towards 40-50 goals while roaming half forward, covering the output of the players he replaced. The numbers slowed down as the year went on but he provided a useful option, finishing with a strong final and 36 goals.

2013 was patchy. He had a few weeks of good form here and there, but no consistency, just like the team. That he managed to finish top 10 in the B+F off 1.4 goals and 10 touches a game says where the team was at. A change in coach was not good news for Hill, as he became a fringe player under Simpson, although he came back for a few games late in the season where he found a bit of it off half forward, his career was hanging by a thread.

2015 didn't start any better, beginning with average form in the WAFL. He was a surprise recall for a derby smashing, where he held himself in good stead with 2 goals and 3 assists. Hill spent the next 6 weeks partying like it was early 2012 again. Hill kept chipping in with a few goals every week and all of a sudden was sitting on 20 goals from 7 games, AA form. Again, the numbers dwindled a little to the point he got dropped again. He returned for a derby in what is undoubtedly the best game of his career. Hill won the Glendinning Medal off 20 touches and 4 goals. Our midfield got belted, with Rosa our leading ball winner with 24. Hill was nearly our leading ball winner, despite playing forward for a beaten midfield, as well as kicking 4, with 2 of them coming at clutch times. Freo had kicked 4 goals in 12 minutes to reduce the lead to 3 goals, right before Hill snapped 2. It was a standout performance. Hill kicked 4 the next week and finished the season well.

Hill never quite returned to those goal tallies over 2016/17, kicking 40 in 34 games. He played further up the ground to at times mild success, particularly through the first two thirds of 2016, where he was reliable to gather mid teen touches and hit the scoreboard. He famously kicked the point that allowed NN to win it against GWS. He struggled to stay in the side through 2017, by the time he played his final game against GWS it was clear his heart wasn't in it anymore. Hill had 4 seasons of being a pretty solid contributor, with brief periods where it looked like he could become elite.


#29 Tom Barrass

Someone I found really hard to place. Drafted in the late 30's, his first season was wrecked by injury, managing a few WAFL reserves appearances but not really leaving an impression. He came into 2015 pretty anonymous, there was pretty much no hype over him and lowish expectations. Barrass started in the reserves but pretty quickly showed he was too good for that and almost immediately did in WAFL seniors too. Barrass was straight away among the best players, with his contested marking catching the eye. He arrived at the perfect time, with long term injuries striking down 2 of our KPD, the other 2 began to wear down with niggles, resulting in us wasting Yeo at FB. He filled in for 2 games and was solid enough, not showing all his strengths but enough signs. He snuck in a 3rd game against the Crows which finally got the best of him, playing on Jenkins who would take every chance to flat track, he was massacred early as the ball came in thick and fast. The big positive was that he recovered, he got better as it went on and still went flying for marks, taking 4 contested in the end. He was beaten, but his talent was evident.

With key defenders returning from injury, Barrass deferred to authority and continued in the WAFL for the first half of 2016. Strong WAFL form led to a return and he became a mainstay, playing the final 10 games. The standout came when he got his revenge against the Crows, he played one of the best defensive games I've ever seen, taking multiple contested marks, getting fists to contests he had no right to get to and always making good decisions, earning a Brownlow vote. The team had a poor final the following week, however Barrass was again one of our best. It seemed like he was one of the most promising players coming into 2017, however he was left out round 1. He immediately returned with a 22 touch, 10 mark game. After this, his 2017 and 2018 followed a similar pattern, holding down FB where he often zones off to take intercept marks. Occasionally this leaves him exposed, but he gets it right most of the time. His GF was outstanding, destroying Cox early and showing off all his positive attributes, including multiple strong marks.

Barrass got a significant injury early in 2019, not returning until later. Although he had a few good games to finish off, it was largely poor, making uncharacteristic errors and consistently beaten one on one. The hope is a full pre season will help him return to his best, because he was miles off it in the finals. At 24 he is at an interesting stage of his career. We would be happy with another 150 of similar quality, but does he have what it takes to become an AA calibre player? Time is now.


#28 Mark Hutchings

Ah Hutch. Despite lacking a lot of skill, he debuted in 2013 and has managed to stay a regular for the rest of the decade. He's doing something right. Hutchings got 9 games in his first season at the club, having been through a bit to get another chance at AFL. He showed he was capable at this level, with his tacking and stoppage work a feature. He finished the season BOG in the WAFL Grand Final, Hutchings had gone from strength to strength as the season went on and loomed as a player in our transition period. 2014 he began on the fringe, before putting together some strong form and becoming an important player. There were some frustrations among fans as the side seemed to be lacking the pace and skill to break back into the top 4, and Hutchings was clearly a limited player, despite playing well. He played as a tagger at times, multiple 20+ possession games and 10+ tackles.

2015 was frustrating to begin with. Despite a promising finish to the year, he still hadn't quite established himself. Injuries again slowed him to start the season, before recovering at a similar time to Scott Selwood, who was still rated above him. After a few sub appearances, he got a chance at a full game against the Swans as an attacking midfielder, with a very impressive 26 touch game with lots of score involvements. Hutchings stole Selwood's spot and kept it, with solid form as that last midfield rotation, winning lots of the ball and his limitations not being exposed by a strong gameplan. Hutchings played in the GF and he was far from the worst, kicking a nice goal although he is more remembered for being chased down by Cyril in a play that summed up our day (he got the handball away).

2016 and 2017 were solid for Hutch as he established what he was, which is a midfield rotation who can win a clearance but mostly tags. By this point he had been a regular part of the midfield for 4 years, and was just coming into his prime. He was a reliable option, but it was still limited and hard to see him as a regular part of a premiership midfield. Early 2018 he was in and out of the side, before again hitting his stride mid-season, taking his tagging up a level to become one of the best in the league. Repeatedly he could be relied upon to blanket a variety of players. His season peaked in the GF, with Sidebottom coming off 41 touches on a wing, Hutchings kept him super quiet and snuck forward for a goal himself. His 2019 continued this path, keeping the likes of Coniglio, but also Adam Saad and Jarman Impey quiet off half back. Hammies hit badly and he lost form a bit. It's been a good decade for Hutch, he's always seemed like the player the team should be looking to improve on, but he's managed to last the whole time as well as sneaking in a flag and 2 GF appearances.


#27 Sharrod Wellingham

Sharrod Wellingham's mid 2010's career often mirrored that of Matthew McConaughey. His talent was evident early, he was a flashy, laidback type who was capable of great performances but only on their terms, and often carried by others. Wellingham arrived in 2013, however there was a failure to launch early in the season as he injured himself on a trampoline, leaving him dazed and confused. He got his start early in 2013, showing his class before quickly getting injured. He returned later in the season with a bit of a purple patch, looking like the player we chased, averaging 24 touches and 1.5 goals.

His start to 2014 was very disappointing. Still a supporting player to the rest of the midfield, it was unclear what his role was meant to be. He struggled to fit in, aside from a fantastic game tagging Ablett, he offered nothing but mediocrity. But then, just as the McConaissance arose with performances in True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club, The Sharrodaissance erupted with performances off half back rebounding and intercepting. 2015 began with significant injuries to key defenders, starting slowly before Simmo realised footy was nothing but a flat web. The new role probably began in round 5 against GWS, where he was often deep in defence but racked up 24 touches and his endurance helped him provide run up the ground. The electric form continued through pretty much the whole season, his best game against North in Tassie, despite a loss he managed 3 votes. Wellingham proved to be an excellent intercept mark, belying his size, provided run and dash and strong contested ball abilities. His form was amazing, he was an untraditional defender, otherwise he wouldn't have looked out of place in an AA side, as the web was blowing teams minds. Wellinghaaaaaaaaaaaammmmm gave the performance of his career in the prelim, gathering 27 touches and a goal from defence, dominating every contest he was in. This led to Sharrod being one of the favourites for the Norm Smith the next week, that would complete the Sharrodaissance, but unfortunately it was always going to be difficult in a poor ensemble performance. He could hold his head reasonably high, with his bump on Hodge early and attempt to set the tone showing he was up for the fight.

Wellingham again had a pre season injury to miss the first few weeks, but returned comfortably to his half back role in 2016. Although not quite as damaging as the previous season, he was still very effective in his unorthodox defensive ways and remained a key player. This continued early in 2017 however he was being exposed defensively a little more, brilliant at times but it was becoming rarer. He got injured mid season and with a few more natural defenders coming through, he struggled to retain his spot. He only played a few more games, including a return in an unforced change for the semi final. Wellingham was played in, what is now out out of position for him, across half forward. He managed 14 touches, 2 goal assists from 6 I50's. Wellingham was surprisingly not offered a deal, with the team needing a mini refresh heading to the draft. It was probably the right decision, we didn't see enough of him performing outside of a webbish set up.


#26 Daniel Kerr

Daniel Kerr was inches away from winning a Brownlow multiple times in the mid 00's, and it seemed inevitable he would eventually get there. But he was coming off a few disappointing seasons heading into 2010, where he just didn't have the support/body to put that form together. 2010 continued this, after a few eh games, Kerr pulled his hammy off the bone on Friday Night Footy against Essendon. This led to a lot of critics questioning his future and whether he was finished, especially as the team was struggling and he may not be around for their return to finals.

Kerr wasn't available until round 2, where he gathered 25 touches in 66% game time. This still led to critics saying he was finished, as his performance early was very rusty as he made plenty of mistakes and looked a touch slower. He came into his own as the season went on though, although not at his absolute best, he complemented Priddis perfectly and regained his brilliant partnership with Cox, enabling him to burst away from stoppages and taggers again. He missed multiple games throughout the year, as he clearly wasn't fit. Unfortunately, he couldn't get up for the QF, which may have cost us a GF spot. We were within a goal with 5 minutes left, in a game where Swan had 43 and Pendlebury 38, while we had Priddis 24, Masten 22 and Selwood 21. Kerr was the finals king and in his 4 games across 11/12, he was probably our best player in all of them. No doubt the midfield contest would have been closer with him, which may have been enough. He returned with 2 brilliant games, dominating contested footy, winning a famous contest against multiple players in the semi that led to a crucial goal. He was great again in the prelim, but no support meant it was a lost cause.

In 2012 Kerr was solid but inconsistent, although he was kept out of the action at times to protect his body for later in the season. Kerr cruised through patches of the season but lifted when needed, with his Brownlow votes coming in dominant performances against the seasoned quality of Hawthorn, Collingwood and Geelong. He was protected well and managed every game for the season. In the EF Kerr ate North alive in the first half to set up a match winning lead, before slowing down. Kerr was brilliant again in the semi, tallying 20 contested possessions, just ahead of our next best Butler and Selwood who managed 11 each. Kerr's contested work against quality teams at times masked that our young midfield was still a little bit off. This was proven the next season as Kerr's form dropped off and so did the teams. Kerr's body broke down on him to an extent, he looked slower and his hunger wasn't as strong anymore, which probably meant it was the right call to retire mid year.
 

eaglesnutcase

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#30 Josh Hill

Hill joined back in 2012 and arrived at the perfect time, with Nicoski and LeCras going down. At the Dogs he was a flaky forward who had shown flashes of great talent. His form early made him a success, he was kicking multiple goals and was offering fantastic defensive pressure, including 10 tackles in round 2. Hill kicked 15 goals in his first 6 games, 20 in his first 9 and was looming towards 40-50 goals while roaming half forward, covering the output of the players he replaced. The numbers slowed down as the year went on but he provided a useful option, finishing with a strong final and 36 goals.

2013 was patchy. He had a few weeks of good form here and there, but no consistency, just like the team. That he managed to finish top 10 in the B+F off 1.4 goals and 10 touches a game says where the team was at. A change in coach was not good news for Hill, as he became a fringe player under Simpson, although he came back for a few games late in the season where he found a bit of it off half forward, his career was hanging by a thread.

2015 didn't start any better, beginning with average form in the WAFL. He was a surprise recall for a derby smashing, where he held himself in good stead with 2 goals and 3 assists. Hill spent the next 6 weeks partying like it was early 2012 again. Hill kept chipping in with a few goals every week and all of a sudden was sitting on 20 goals from 7 games, AA form. Again, the numbers dwindled a little to the point he got dropped again. He returned for a derby in what is undoubtedly the best game of his career. Hill won the Glendinning Medal off 20 touches and 4 goals. Our midfield got belted, with Rosa our leading ball winner with 24. Hill was nearly our leading ball winner, despite playing forward for a beaten midfield, as well as kicking 4, with 2 of them coming at clutch times. Freo had kicked 4 goals in 12 minutes to reduce the lead to 3 goals, right before Hill snapped 2. It was a standout performance. Hill kicked 4 the next week and finished the season well.

Hill never quite returned to those goal tallies over 2016/17, kicking 40 in 34 games. He played further up the ground to at times mild success, particularly through the first two thirds of 2016, where he was reliable to gather mid teen touches and hit the scoreboard. He famously kicked the point that allowed NN to win it against GWS. He struggled to stay in the side through 2017, by the time he played his final game against GWS it was clear his heart wasn't in it anymore. Hill had 4 seasons of being a pretty solid contributor, with brief periods where it looked like he could become elite.


#29 Tom Barrass

Someone I found really hard to place. Drafted in the late 30's, his first season was wrecked by injury, managing a few WAFL reserves appearances but not really leaving an impression. He came into 2015 pretty anonymous, there was pretty much no hype over him and lowish expectations. Barrass started in the reserves but pretty quickly showed he was too good for that and almost immediately did in WAFL seniors too. Barrass was straight away among the best players, with his contested marking catching the eye. He arrived at the perfect time, with long term injuries striking down 2 of our KPD, the other 2 began to wear down with niggles, resulting in us wasting Yeo at FB. He filled in for 2 games and was solid enough, not showing all his strengths but enough signs. He snuck in a 3rd game against the Crows which finally got the best of him, playing on Jenkins who would take every chance to flat track, he was massacred early as the ball came in thick and fast. The big positive was that he recovered, he got better as it went on and still went flying for marks, taking 4 contested in the end. He was beaten, but his talent was evident.

With key defenders returning from injury, Barrass deferred to authority and continued in the WAFL for the first half of 2016. Strong WAFL form led to a return and he became a mainstay, playing the final 10 games. The standout came when he got his revenge against the Crows, he played one of the best defensive games I've ever seen, taking multiple contested marks, getting fists to contests he had no right to get to and always making good decisions, earning a Brownlow vote. The team had a poor final the following week, however Barrass was again one of our best. It seemed like he was one of the most promising players coming into 2017, however he was left out round 1. He immediately returned with a 22 touch, 10 mark game. After this, his 2017 and 2018 followed a similar pattern, holding down FB where he often zones off to take intercept marks. Occasionally this leaves him exposed, but he gets it right most of the time. His GF was outstanding, destroying Cox early and showing off all his positive attributes, including multiple strong marks.

Barrass got a significant injury early in 2019, not returning until later. Although he had a few good games to finish off, it was largely poor, making uncharacteristic errors and consistently beaten one on one. The hope is a full pre season will help him return to his best, because he was miles off it in the finals. At 24 he is at an interesting stage of his career. We would be happy with another 150 of similar quality, but does he have what it takes to become an AA calibre player? Time is now.


#28 Mark Hutchings

Ah Hutch. Despite lacking a lot of skill, he debuted in 2013 and has managed to stay a regular for the rest of the decade. He's doing something right. Hutchings got 9 games in his first season at the club, having been through a bit to get another chance at AFL. He showed he was capable at this level, with his tacking and stoppage work a feature. He finished the season BOG in the WAFL Grand Final, Hutchings had gone from strength to strength as the season went on and loomed as a player in our transition period. 2014 he began on the fringe, before putting together some strong form and becoming an important player. There were some frustrations among fans as the side seemed to be lacking the pace and skill to break back into the top 4, and Hutchings was clearly a limited player, despite playing well. He played as a tagger at times, multiple 20+ possession games and 10+ tackles.

2015 was frustrating to begin with. Despite a promising finish to the year, he still hadn't quite established himself. Injuries again slowed him to start the season, before recovering at a similar time to Scott Selwood, who was still rated above him. After a few sub appearances, he got a chance at a full game against the Swans as an attacking midfielder, with a very impressive 26 touch game with lots of score involvements. Hutchings stole Selwood's spot and kept it, with solid form as that last midfield rotation, winning lots of the ball and his limitations not being exposed by a strong gameplan. Hutchings played in the GF and he was far from the worst, kicking a nice goal although he is more remembered for being chased down by Cyril in a play that summed up our day (he got the handball away).

2016 and 2017 were solid for Hutch as he established what he was, which is a midfield rotation who can win a clearance but mostly tags. By this point he had been a regular part of the midfield for 4 years, and was just coming into his prime. He was a reliable option, but it was still limited and hard to see him as a regular part of a premiership midfield. Early 2018 he was in and out of the side, before again hitting his stride mid-season, taking his tagging up a level to become one of the best in the league. Repeatedly he could be relied upon to blanket a variety of players. His season peaked in the GF, with Sidebottom coming off 41 touches on a wing, Hutchings kept him super quiet and snuck forward for a goal himself. His 2019 continued this path, keeping the likes of Coniglio, but also Adam Saad and Jarman Impey quiet off half back. Hammies hit badly and he lost form a bit. It's been a good decade for Hutch, he's always seemed like the player the team should be looking to improve on, but he's managed to last the whole time as well as sneaking in a flag and 2 GF appearances.


#27 Sharrod Wellingham

Sharrod Wellingham's mid 2010's career often mirrored that of Matthew McConaughey. His talent was evident early, he was a flashy, laidback type who was capable of great performances but only on their terms, and often carried by others. Wellingham arrived in 2013, however there was a failure to launch early in the season as he injured himself on a trampoline, leaving him dazed and confused. He got his start early in 2013, showing his class before quickly getting injured. He returned later in the season with a bit of a purple patch, looking like the player we chased, averaging 24 touches and 1.5 goals.

His start to 2014 was very disappointing. Still a supporting player to the rest of the midfield, it was unclear what his role was meant to be. He struggled to fit in, aside from a fantastic game tagging Ablett, he offered nothing but mediocrity. But then, just as the McConaissance arose with performances in True Detective and Dallas Buyers Club, The Sharrodaissance erupted with performances off half back rebounding and intercepting. 2015 began with significant injuries to key defenders, starting slowly before Simmo realised footy was nothing but a flat web. The new role probably began in round 5 against GWS, where he was often deep in defence but racked up 24 touches and his endurance helped him provide run up the ground. The electric form continued through pretty much the whole season, his best game against North in Tassie, despite a loss he managed 3 votes. Wellingham proved to be an excellent intercept mark, belying his size, provided run and dash and strong contested ball abilities. His form was amazing, he was an untraditional defender, otherwise he wouldn't have looked out of place in an AA side, as the web was blowing teams minds. Wellinghaaaaaaaaaaaammmmm gave the performance of his career in the prelim, gathering 27 touches and a goal from defence, dominating every contest he was in. This led to Sharrod being one of the favourites for the Norm Smith the next week, that would complete the Sharrodaissance, but unfortunately it was always going to be difficult in a poor ensemble performance. He could hold his head reasonably high, with his bump on Hodge early and attempt to set the tone showing he was up for the fight.

Wellingham again had a pre season injury to miss the first few weeks, but returned comfortably to his half back role in 2016. Although not quite as damaging as the previous season, he was still very effective in his unorthodox defensive ways and remained a key player. This continued early in 2017 however he was being exposed defensively a little more, brilliant at times but it was becoming rarer. He got injured mid season and with a few more natural defenders coming through, he struggled to retain his spot. He only played a few more games, including a return in an unforced change for the semi final. Wellingham was played in, what is now out out of position for him, across half forward. He managed 14 touches, 2 goal assists from 6 I50's. Wellingham was surprisingly not offered a deal, with the team needing a mini refresh heading to the draft. It was probably the right decision, we didn't see enough of him performing outside of a webbish set up.


#26 Daniel Kerr

Daniel Kerr was inches away from winning a Brownlow multiple times in the mid 00's, and it seemed inevitable he would eventually get there. But he was coming off a few disappointing seasons heading into 2010, where he just didn't have the support/body to put that form together. 2010 continued this, after a few eh games, Kerr pulled his hammy off the bone on Friday Night Footy against Essendon. This led to a lot of critics questioning his future and whether he was finished, especially as the team was struggling and he may not be around for their return to finals.

Kerr wasn't available until round 2, where he gathered 25 touches in 66% game time. This still led to critics saying he was finished, as his performance early was very rusty as he made plenty of mistakes and looked a touch slower. He came into his own as the season went on though, although not at his absolute best, he complemented Priddis perfectly and regained his brilliant partnership with Cox, enabling him to burst away from stoppages and taggers again. He missed multiple games throughout the year, as he clearly wasn't fit. Unfortunately, he couldn't get up for the QF, which may have cost us a GF spot. We were within a goal with 5 minutes left, in a game where Swan had 43 and Pendlebury 38, while we had Priddis 24, Masten 22 and Selwood 21. Kerr was the finals king and in his 4 games across 11/12, he was probably our best player in all of them. No doubt the midfield contest would have been closer with him, which may have been enough. He returned with 2 brilliant games, dominating contested footy, winning a famous contest against multiple players in the semi that led to a crucial goal. He was great again in the prelim, but no support meant it was a lost cause.

In 2012 Kerr was solid but inconsistent, although he was kept out of the action at times to protect his body for later in the season. Kerr cruised through patches of the season but lifted when needed, with his Brownlow votes coming in dominant performances against the seasoned quality of Hawthorn, Collingwood and Geelong. He was protected well and managed every game for the season. In the EF Kerr ate North alive in the first half to set up a match winning lead, before slowing down. Kerr was brilliant again in the semi, tallying 20 contested possessions, just ahead of our next best Butler and Selwood who managed 11 each. Kerr's contested work against quality teams at times masked that our young midfield was still a little bit off. This was proven the next season as Kerr's form dropped off and so did the teams. Kerr's body broke down on him to an extent, he looked slower and his hunger wasn't as strong anymore, which probably meant it was the right call to retire mid year.
I was very pissed off at the time with the way WCE used Kerr.He was a fantastic player and tough as nails ;but Woosh? used him like a battering ram.With his body the way it was he could have played forward pocket for years more and odds are he would have been one of the great FPs.
 

ronpingwins

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Apr 1, 2013
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I was very pissed off at the time with the way WCE used Kerr.He was a fantastic player and tough as nails ;but Woosh? used him like a battering ram.With his body the way it was he could have played forward pocket for years more and odds are he would have been one of the great FPs.
Absolutely. I think we used him a little better in 2012, keeping him out of the way until big games. But the first few years after Judd and Cousins left were such a waste, he took a bruising from taggers and a lack of support. He was only 30 when he retired.
 

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