Podcast Every WC Player of the 2010's ranked

ronpingwins

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2013
1,488
2,704
AFL Club
West Coast
#25 Scott Lycett

UTBC. Slyce was around for a while and although he didn't put back to back seasons together, he provided multiple very solid ruck seasons. Drafted as a long term ruck project to replace Cox, he showed signs he would be capable of playing AFL very early. He was always up against it though with Cox and NN holding down the ruck, as well as strong KPF's. He managed to get a single game in his first year, a strong effort for a ruck, where he played mostly forward and showed glimpses of his talent. He kicked 2 goals, 9 contested possessions and took a lovely contested mark. Good development year. This didn't really change in 2012, managing 2 games where he didn't offer much, he was tracking well though. 2013 was a year where he'd be hoping to push through and despite more competition with Sinclair, he managed 7 games towards the end of the year with improved output. The highlight was a run along the wing against the Dogs where he showed his impressive athleticism for a player his size.

2014 only offered 12 games but was somewhat of a breakout. After a failed attempt to shoehorn him into the side early in the year, I think we ran with a 4 ruck combination at one point, he got a consistent run towards the end of the year with NN in cotton wool. He was a highly sought after trade target for Port, and with Cox coming to the end it was a coup to retain him on a 4 year deal. Slyce returned midyear to gather 4 contested marks, it was his versatility that was most impressive, strong in the air which meant we could rely on resting him forward, he kicked 12 in his last 9 games (including 4 against the Pies), he was aggressive in the ruck and capable of offering an option around the ground. Highlights were his 4 goal game as well as a 21 disposal, 29 hitout game to finish the season, which earned him a Brownlow vote.

All set to establish himself as a key player, he began the season in meh form before losing his spot. Some say he got injured, I think playing on unnecessarily from a mark 15 metres out surrounded by players and then getting run down cost him his spot. He got a chance to fill in later in the season carrying the ruck himself and he showed a lot of heart, gathering 20 touches (17 contested) 39 hitouts and 7 tackles in a brilliant effort, although he was nowhere to be seen the next week and lost his spot for the year. With Sinclair traded, his only competition for a spot in the team was himself. He still found a way to lose his spot at times, despite good form. He formed a nice combo with NN in the first half of the season, an aggressive rotation in the ruck and reliable up forward, including a 7 game period where he kicked 12 goals. The highlight of this period was punching Vickery in the face, which got him suspended, while the lowlight was missing a team meeting the day after a disappointing loss, where the team couldn't get in contact with him because he was recovering from getting very loose at Amplifier/Capitol. It was all very Lycett. He spent more time in the ruck as the year went on and continued to hold it down very well, before injuries got the best of him and output dwindled. Ready for a big year as lead ruck covering for NN, Slyce did his shoulder in pre-season and only managed 1 game for the year. His biggest accomplishment was getting absolutely trollied amongst Port supporters before coining UTBC in the final.

2018 was his final year on the list and probably his best. With NN unable to play large amounts of gametime, he carried a large portion of the truckload. He was competitive against every ruckman, even if he didn't dominate himself, he provided a very strong physical contest, which led to him winning a lot of clearances. This form continued when NN again went down and Vardy came in. He had a solid finals series, although not classic Lycett games, his opponents were Grundy, Gawn and Grundy, with none of them having any influence, his job was done. Went off to waste his final years at Port as a premiership player.


#24 Sam Butler

Butler began his career as a very promising midfielder, but by 2010 he had suffered numerous long term injuries and there were question marks over his ability to play at this level. He managed a further 105 games over the 2010's. Butler began round 1 in his new role in defence, accumulating 26 touches, but he only managed 5 games as his body struggled. He only managed 13 in 2011, but was rushed into the side each time and it was evident why when he played, he had become a strong defender and his smarts shone through. Butler always positioned himself well and used it wisely, you could always rely on him to get high teens to 20's disposal and use it effectively, despite finding a bit of it, his clanger count was always impressively low. He'd nailed the HBF/BP distributor role.

By 2012 it seemed Butler was only good for 13-14 games a season, this one was a bit poorer but he lifted for the two finals again, something you could rely on him for was being a strong finals player. 2013 didn't offer anything different, he continued to be a reliable defender but only managed 15 games. A change in coach almost left him on the scrapheap, Simpson came in and left him in the WAFL for a large part of the season, not sure what to do with him. Once he got a full game to prove himself again, he took it with both hands, strong form to finish the season including a 32 touch effort against the Pies earning a Brownlow vote. His class across half back was sorely needed and Simmo realised that. Butler was a key player and part of the rise in 2015, although only managing 17 games. The season begun with a 28 touch, 12 mark, 2 goal and 3 Brownlow vote game against the Lions and he was in career best form when he was out there. Apart of the losing GF side, it's overlooked when reflecting on it, but Butler was probably our second best player on the day, racking up 25 touches and while everyone else was wilting under the intense pressure of the Hawks, Butler repeatedly remained poised and distributed the ball effectively, his game unaffected by the pressure and his experience shining through.

There was never too much variation in Butler's performance, he was a model of consistency and it continued in 2016, managing 20 games he was a strong and reliable member of the defence. It looked like in 2010 he may end up on the scrapheap, yet 6 years later he seemed to be getting better and better. His body was reliable, aside from pulling a hammy in the warmup against the Crows. 2017 was his last, most memorable for his gif before the Swans game, Butler managed 9 games and was ever solid as usual, however his body was breaking down more often and he could no longer be trusted, especially with younger players like Duggan, Cole and Nelson vying for the role. Butler continues to make a strong contribution to the club as the comic relief on the backchat podcast.


#23 Jack Redden

Reddo arrived in 2016, and it's fair to say his start was quite disappointing. Coming off a Grand Final in 2015, it was clear that our big weakness was an inside contested ball winner to support and shortly replace Priddis. So spending our first round pick on a proven gun inside mid coming into his prime seemed an absolute no brainer. His debut was solid enough, 25 touches (16 contested) and 7 clearances, seeming like a taste of what was to come, then followed up by a quieter but respectable performance against the Hawks when we were smashed, showing some class. It went immediately downhill though, managing only 10 touches the following week, followed by back to back 14's despite being a midfielder. Redden was dropped, came back and then dropped again. This was during the period Simmo liked to play an extra midfielder off half forward who could rotate through the middle, Redden played this role at times to horrendous effect, clearly unable to impact up forward at all. He looked poor in general though, for a supposed inside bull his intensity was lacking.

2017 continued the very disappointing form, getting dropped after round 9 and not returning until round 15. At this point it was looking like a failed trade and people were questioning his future at the club. There was a bit of frustration when he was recalled ahead of Parto, but this time something had changed. Whether it was a change in role, mindset or fitness, Redden came back as one of our stronger performers late in the season, averaging 24.2 touches across his last 10 games.

2018 began with a reversion to his poor form, averaging 16 touches in his first 5 games. It was immensly frustrating. Hanging onto his spot a little, Reddo then rocked up to the derby with 34 touches out of nowhere. Then 32 and 3 Brownlow votes the next week. Then 29 and 13 clearances. It wasn't a flash in the pan and his form continued in this manner, winning clearances but also roaming around the ground to provide an option, with very safe and reliable disposal. This resurrection showed signs in late 2017, although why he started the season so slowly is unknown. Redden was a prime mover all year as the team won the flag. He finished 2nd in the B+F and was player of the finals. He provided everything we wanted in the trade and more, now looking like a bargain for 1 late first round pick. 2018 had a lot of great games, but the standouts were probably his first two finals where he was shifted to more of an outside role to help replace Gaff, accumulating 32 touches and 12 marks in the first, before a BOG performance in the PF with 31 touches, 13 marks, 9 tackles, 1 goal and 2 assists in a complete performance.

With Sheed and a returning Gaff taking a more prominent midfield role, Redden's output was slightly lower in 2019, but he provided a steady, high output throughout the year. He was reliable to find the ball, provide an option and accumulate a stack of tackles. He remains a critical part of the midfield and part of the midfield depth that allows the team to be a premiership contender.
 

ronpingwins

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2013
1,488
2,704
AFL Club
West Coast
#22 Matt Rosa

Matty Rosa was an unquick outside midfielder who was a key player during our transition. In 2010 Rosa was a reliable wingman, not someone to take us to the next level, but a Braun-esque runner. Rosa came into his prime across 2011/12, which made it unfortunate that he got injured to miss the 11 finals, and was forced to play as a sub in the 2012 semi due to a lack of fitness. Rosa was an absolute model of consistency, occasionally pulling out the standout game, with 3 votes for a 31 touch 2 goal effort in 2011, and winning the Glendinning medal in 2012 for an epic 43 disposal game. We really missed his presence and run in the finals during this period.

Rosa was ok in 2013 but his injury run meant it was again stop start. His 2014 kicked off with back to back 30 touch games, he frustratingly was only able to manage 14 games, which included again a standout 37 disposal 3 votes against the Saints. It was the fourth time he'd had 30+ touches that season, showing what could be if he could just stay fit. Rosa was again a reliable wingman through our rise in 2015, despite missing a chunk of the season between rounds 5-11 through injury. Rosa started our QF against the Hawks and was our leading ball winner, it could be argued that he was in our best 2-3 players on the night, his run and experience proving vital. With Masten and Priddis returning for the prelim, someone had to be made sub and despite a top final and having good experience, Rosa was disappointingly given that role. Masten got subbed off with 10 touches that game, which meant there was a tricky decision for the GF, was Masten completely match fit? I thought the correct decision would have been Masto sub, but Rosa somehow went from being a pivotal player in the QF to barely featuring the following 2 games. Rosa managed 11 touches in 31% game time, his extra run being effective, but the game was already a lost cause. With Jetta arriving he saw the writing on the wall and left to join a GC side full of talent and on the up.

Rosa was a key player during this period but I didn't realise just how injury prone he was. Nothing serious, but every season he missed a decent chunk of games. If he could have stayed fit, I suspect he would have established himself in the team and possibly hung around for the 2018 flag, he was capable of playing the Masten role to a higher level. Aside from that there wasn't much noteworthy about him, just a solid, reliable player.


#21 Lewis Jetta

Jetta arrived in 2016 as a big name recruit, expected to help the team reach the next level. His form was disappointing for a while, to the point 18 months in, many posters were saying it's time to move on, there's no point in playing him.

Jetts should probably be dropped if we had someone half decent to come in for him. He played his best game for the club today, but seriously, WTF is the point of pursuing it.
Jetts should probably be dropped if we had someone half decent to come in for him. He played his best game for the club today, but seriously, WTF is the point of pursuing it.
Jetts should probably be dropped if we had someone half decent to come in for him. He played his best game for the club today, but seriously, WTF is the point of pursuing it.
What's the point? You want to know what the hell the point is?!? We'll get to the point.

Jetta was traded for Callum Sinclair, who had become very useful that season. There were many questioning his recruitment, intended to become a pacy winger to provide a point of difference, it was noted that in his recent form for Sydney he wasn't using his pace that much. In fact, his form overall was disappointing to the end of his Swans tenure, and he'd also proven to go missing in finals a bit, finishing with a 7 touch game in a semi, coming off the 4 disposal GF the previous year. Was this really the player to push us over the edge?

An 8 touch debut was auspicious. He snared 2 goals and found a bit of it in his follow up, but although he showed his silk and class at times, most of his season was immensly disappointing. You wouldn't have guessed this guy was once considered the quickest player in the league. He bounced the ball twice in 12 games and had no impact. We thought we had a lemon. This didn't improve early in 2017. He got dropped after round 1, came back in then got dropped again. What does this guy actually do? What is the point of him? We gave him another chance mid season after a long run of WAFL form, and all of a sudden he was a weapon. Pushing a bit further up the ground, he racked up 28 touches and 2 goals, with his use of the ball a highlight. However, he carried a reputation of being a somewhat flaky player, which meant fans remained unconvinced this was a breakthrough. It continued over the next month though, and we worked out what his point was: His Kicking, as well as his poise to ensure he gets full use of it. His game against Geelong showcased some of the best kicking skills we've ever seen, nailing targets from all angles, including a famous 50 metre pass from a tight spot on the wing to a rushing Yeo in the corridor. His vision was genuinely remarkable. His finish to the season wasn't dominant, but he became a reliable distributor and found his role in the team.

Jetta became a permanent defender in 2018, although not known for his defensive qualities, he was given a licence to make dangerous kicks into the corridor off half back to open up the game, as he was one of the few players capable of nailing it. 8 clangers in round 1 wasn't a good start, but he began to figure it out. His season went from strength to strength as he adapted to the role. Jetta was a crucial player in our rise, we were electric rebounding off half back with his creative kicks often leading to scores. He also became a surprisingly competent defender. His crowning moment came in the QF against the Pies, Jetta was known initially as a goal kicker, kicking 42 in the Swans flag year, however hadn't had a scoring shot in 2018. With the team playing for a home PF, 2 points down and desperately needing a goal, Jetts casually intercepted a handball and snapped the winning goal. Jetta wasn't a star in the GF, getting injured early, however he was a calming influence, telling everyone to calm down during the panic of a 5 goal deficit, which led to the Rioli opener. After a disappointing game and moment for Liam Ryan, Jetta pulled him aside and got his head in the game at 3QT, which led to Ryan having a large final quarter influence. Jetta was deservedly named best clubman.

In 2019 Jetta established himself as the best kick in the game. There was even a feature story on the terrific 'Today Tonight' that was focused entirely in how good his kicking was. He had perfect poise, vision and could pull out his elite speed and agility just when he needed to execute his kick. Although he didn't have a game where you could say he was BOG, and he maybe took on too much occasionally, he was a key player and with his hammies keeping him out sometimes, there is genuine concern about finding a replacement and what we would do without him.

So, what was the point of pursuing playing Jetta? Well

- He's the best user of the ball in the game
- Kicks clutch goals and has sick celebrations
- Fantastic mentor to our indigenous players, Ryan and Rioli possibly don't adapt so well without him.

#20 Dom Sheed

Can't deny, there is a finals moment that some of you may remember that may have had an influence on his ranking.

Dom was drafted in 2013 after a crafty trade deal, sandwiched between Nathan Freeman and Ben Lennon. And Patrick Cripps shortly after, but not directly. Hopes were high early, and he was fine, but wasn't showing any elite traits straight away, causing mild concern. He looked capable of finding it and using well, but didn't have the hunger for contested ball and clearances. His WAFL form wasn't setting the world on fire, including a poor 11 touch final. We needed an extra inside mid to come through so it was obvious we needed to pump games into Dom. He began to show glimpses, although not frequently he showed his competence in contested situations, reliably gaining high teens to early twenties touches and using it effectively. He'd occasionally get more midfield rotations and played a few genuinely quality midfield games. He headed into finals off a 33 touch game, with the QF/PF ok, he had a poor GF. Dom was expected to become an important midfielder in 2016, a breakout player, however a pec injury kept him out for most of the season. He returned though, heading into finals off a 30 touch game, then managing only 9 touches (1 contested) from a full game in the midfield for the EF. Dom was starting to gain a reputation as a poor finals performer.

With Sam Mitchell arriving there wasn't a clear spot for him in 2017, missing round 1, stuck on a wing where he didn't manage a single contested possession in round 2, before being dropped again. He came back and started showing the glimpses he was showing in 2015, in his role of an inside mid rotation. Sheed had back to back 30 touch games mid season, was capable of hitting the scoreboard, tackling a bit (!) and there was optimism about him again, it seemed a matter of time before he ran the midfield as a Priddis replacement. His H+A form continued but he was frustrating, a trademark was a dominant opening 2.5 quarters, looking at 30-35 touches and a breakout game, before stopping dead later in the game. His fitness still wasn't up to scratch and it mirrored the teams form, coughing up multiple games from winning positions.

His 2018 started well enough, including a BOG 30 touch 2 goal game in round 3. However, the team had changed his rotations, reducing a midfield player for a forward, making spots very tight. Sheed wasn't playing badly necessarily, but he was the least good of a midfield really finding his voice. This left him in the WAFL frequently, where he showed he'd completed it and was far too good for it. He got games here and there, some quality and some poor. With finals looming, it seemed that he wouldn't be apart of it. He had a bit of fortune and got another chance, with a mixup of his role with Redden proving a catalyst for the flag. Dom looked a different player as the season ended. Despite having a poor finals reputation, he had a quality QF, with 27 touches (15 contested), 7 clearances and a lovely goal that he snapped on his right from the boundary. I remember thinking how oddly confident he was going onto his right from the boundary, and how he was always such a technically good set shot, he just never got to show it off much. He was then a key driver in the middle for the prelim, before gathering 32 touches, 8 clearances and the greatest AFL moment of all time in the GF. His poor finals reputation had evaporated and he was now a celebrity.

There was excitement for what he could do in 2019 and it seemed his fitness issues were gone, he racked up mass touches in the pre season and 13 in the first quarter of round 1, accumulating 38 for the game. Sheed became a genuine gun mid this season, frequently hitting the scoreboard (including set shots against the Pies) and racking up over 30 touches. He was capable of winning large amounts of contested possessions and clearances, winning 12 Brownlow votes. The only issue was his inexplicable inability to tackle, some blamed on the pec injury in 2016, however the tackling issue wasn't so low across 2017/18. Sheed's finish to the season was underwhelming as as he carried an injury, but as he enters his prime I think we can expect multiple quality season from him.
 

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CM9000

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#22 Matt Rosa

Matty Rosa was an unquick outside midfielder who was a key player during our transition. In 2010 Rosa was a reliable wingman, not someone to take us to the next level, but a Braun-esque runner. Rosa came into his prime across 2011/12, which made it unfortunate that he got injured to miss the 11 finals, and was forced to play as a sub in the 2012 semi due to a lack of fitness. Rosa was an absolute model of consistency, occasionally pulling out the standout game, with 3 votes for a 31 touch 2 goal effort in 2011, and winning the Glendinning medal in 2012 for an epic 43 disposal game. We really missed his presence and run in the finals during this period.

Rosa was ok in 2013 but his injury run meant it was again stop start. His 2014 kicked off with back to back 30 touch games, he frustratingly was only able to manage 14 games, which included again a standout 37 disposal 3 votes against the Saints. It was the fourth time he'd had 30+ touches that season, showing what could be if he could just stay fit. Rosa was again a reliable wingman through our rise in 2015, despite missing a chunk of the season between rounds 5-11 through injury. Rosa started our QF against the Hawks and was our leading ball winner, it could be argued that he was in our best 2-3 players on the night, his run and experience proving vital. With Masten and Priddis returning for the prelim, someone had to be made sub and despite a top final and having good experience, Rosa was disappointingly given that role. Masten got subbed off with 10 touches that game, which meant there was a tricky decision for the GF, was Masten completely match fit? I thought the correct decision would have been Masto sub, but Rosa somehow went from being a pivotal player in the QF to barely featuring the following 2 games. Rosa managed 11 touches in 31% game time, his extra run being effective, but the game was already a lost cause. With Jetta arriving he saw the writing on the wall and left to join a GC side full of talent and on the up.

Rosa was a key player during this period but I didn't realise just how injury prone he was. Nothing serious, but every season he missed a decent chunk of games. If he could have stayed fit, I suspect he would have established himself in the team and possibly hung around for the 2018 flag, he was capable of playing the Masten role to a higher level. Aside from that there wasn't much noteworthy about him, just a solid, reliable player.


#21 Lewis Jetta

Jetta arrived in 2016 as a big name recruit, expected to help the team reach the next level. His form was disappointing for a while, to the point 18 months in, many posters were saying it's time to move on, there's no point in playing him.





What's the point? You want to know what the hell the point is?!? We'll get to the point.

Jetta was traded for Callum Sinclair, who had become very useful that season. There were many questioning his recruitment, intended to become a pacy winger to provide a point of difference, it was noted that in his recent form for Sydney he wasn't using his pace that much. In fact, his form overall was disappointing to the end of his Swans tenure, and he'd also proven to go missing in finals a bit, finishing with a 7 touch game in a semi, coming off the 4 disposal GF the previous year. Was this really the player to push us over the edge?

An 8 touch debut was auspicious. He snared 2 goals and found a bit of it in his follow up, but although he showed his silk and class at times, most of his season was immensly disappointing. You wouldn't have guessed this guy was once considered the quickest player in the league. He bounced the ball twice in 12 games and had no impact. We thought we had a lemon. This didn't improve early in 2017. He got dropped after round 1, came back in then got dropped again. What does this guy actually do? What is the point of him? We gave him another chance mid season after a long run of WAFL form, and all of a sudden he was a weapon. Pushing a bit further up the ground, he racked up 28 touches and 2 goals, with his use of the ball a highlight. However, he carried a reputation of being a somewhat flaky player, which meant fans remained unconvinced this was a breakthrough. It continued over the next month though, and we worked out what his point was: His Kicking, as well as his poise to ensure he gets full use of it. His game against Geelong showcased some of the best kicking skills we've ever seen, nailing targets from all angles, including a famous 50 metre pass from a tight spot on the wing to a rushing Yeo in the corridor. His vision was genuinely remarkable. His finish to the season wasn't dominant, but he became a reliable distributor and found his role in the team.

Jetta became a permanent defender in 2018, although not known for his defensive qualities, he was given a licence to make dangerous kicks into the corridor off half back to open up the game, as he was one of the few players capable of nailing it. 8 clangers in round 1 wasn't a good start, but he began to figure it out. His season went from strength to strength as he adapted to the role. Jetta was a crucial player in our rise, we were electric rebounding off half back with his creative kicks often leading to scores. He also became a surprisingly competent defender. His crowning moment came in the QF against the Pies, Jetta was known initially as a goal kicker, kicking 42 in the Swans flag year, however hadn't had a scoring shot in 2018. With the team playing for a home PF, 2 points down and desperately needing a goal, Jetts casually intercepted a handball and snapped the winning goal. Jetta wasn't a star in the GF, getting injured early, however he was a calming influence, telling everyone to calm down during the panic of a 5 goal deficit, which led to the Rioli opener. After a disappointing game and moment for Liam Ryan, Jetta pulled him aside and got his head in the game at 3QT, which led to Ryan having a large final quarter influence. Jetta was deservedly named best clubman.

In 2019 Jetta established himself as the best kick in the game. There was even a feature story on the terrific 'Today Tonight' that was focused entirely in how good his kicking was. He had perfect poise, vision and could pull out his elite speed and agility just when he needed to execute his kick. Although he didn't have a game where you could say he was BOG, and he maybe took on too much occasionally, he was a key player and with his hammies keeping him out sometimes, there is genuine concern about finding a replacement and what we would do without him.

So, what was the point of pursuing playing Jetta? Well

- He's the best user of the ball in the game
- Kicks clutch goals and has sick celebrations
- Fantastic mentor to our indigenous players, Ryan and Rioli possibly don't adapt so well without him.

#20 Dom Sheed

Can't deny, there is a finals moment that some of you may remember that may have had an influence on his ranking.

Dom was drafted in 2013 after a crafty trade deal, sandwiched between Nathan Freeman and Ben Lennon. And Patrick Cripps shortly after, but not directly. Hopes were high early, and he was fine, but wasn't showing any elite traits straight away, causing mild concern. He looked capable of finding it and using well, but didn't have the hunger for contested ball and clearances. His WAFL form wasn't setting the world on fire, including a poor 11 touch final. We needed an extra inside mid to come through so it was obvious we needed to pump games into Dom. He began to show glimpses, although not frequently he showed his competence in contested situations, reliably gaining high teens to early twenties touches and using it effectively. He'd occasionally get more midfield rotations and played a few genuinely quality midfield games. He headed into finals off a 33 touch game, with the QF/PF ok, he had a poor GF. Dom was expected to become an important midfielder in 2016, a breakout player, however a pec injury kept him out for most of the season. He returned though, heading into finals off a 30 touch game, then managing only 9 touches (1 contested) from a full game in the midfield for the EF. Dom was starting to gain a reputation as a poor finals performer.

With Sam Mitchell arriving there wasn't a clear spot for him in 2017, missing round 1, stuck on a wing where he didn't manage a single contested possession in round 2, before being dropped again. He came back and started showing the glimpses he was showing in 2015, in his role of an inside mid rotation. Sheed had back to back 30 touch games mid season, was capable of hitting the scoreboard, tackling a bit (!) and there was optimism about him again, it seemed a matter of time before he ran the midfield as a Priddis replacement. His H+A form continued but he was frustrating, a trademark was a dominant opening 2.5 quarters, looking at 30-35 touches and a breakout game, before stopping dead later in the game. His fitness still wasn't up to scratch and it mirrored the teams form, coughing up multiple games from winning positions.

His 2018 started well enough, including a BOG 30 touch 2 goal game in round 3. However, the team had changed his rotations, reducing a midfield player for a forward, making spots very tight. Sheed wasn't playing badly necessarily, but he was the least good of a midfield really finding his voice. This left him in the WAFL frequently, where he showed he'd completed it and was far too good for it. He got games here and there, some quality and some poor. With finals looming, it seemed that he wouldn't be apart of it. He had a bit of fortune and got another chance, with a mixup of his role with Redden proving a catalyst for the flag. Dom looked a different player as the season ended. Despite having a poor finals reputation, he had a quality QF, with 27 touches (15 contested), 7 clearances and a lovely goal that he snapped on his right from the boundary. I remember thinking how oddly confident he was going onto his right from the boundary, and how he was always such a technically good set shot, he just never got to show it off much. He was then a key driver in the middle for the prelim, before gathering 32 touches, 8 clearances and the greatest AFL moment of all time in the GF. His poor finals reputation had evaporated and he was now a celebrity.

There was excitement for what he could do in 2019 and it seemed his fitness issues were gone, he racked up mass touches in the pre season and 13 in the first quarter of round 1, accumulating 38 for the game. Sheed became a genuine gun mid this season, frequently hitting the scoreboard (including set shots against the Pies) and racking up over 30 touches. He was capable of winning large amounts of contested possessions and clearances, winning 12 Brownlow votes. The only issue was his inexplicable inability to tackle, some blamed on the pec injury in 2016, however the tackling issue wasn't so low across 2017/18. Sheed's finish to the season was underwhelming as as he carried an injury, but as he enters his prime I think we can expect multiple quality season from him.
Small thing about your write up on Jetta - he was probably the reason why we won the EF against Port in extra time, with him running through the middle off half back essential. I'd say his finish to 2017 wasn't dominant, but it was absolutely integral to us winning.

ronpingwins this is probably my favourite thread of the year. Thanks for putting in the effort to do this, it's a great read.
 

ronpingwins

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2013
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AFL Club
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Small thing about your write up on Jetta - he was probably the reason why we won the EF against Port in extra time, with him running through the middle off half back essential. I'd say his finish to 2017 wasn't dominant, but it was absolutely integral to us winning.

ronpingwins this is probably my favourite thread of the year. Thanks for putting in the effort to do this, it's a great read.
Agreed, forgot about that. Slipping the tackle to then pump in that last inside 50 was massive, we didn't really have anyone else who could do that.

Cheers, great to see people are enjoying it. Especially as it's starting to take ages to write up the higher we get on the list. It's fun writing it up though and actually reflecting on it all.
 

ronpingwins

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2013
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AFL Club
West Coast
#19 Will Schofield

Schoey has been a reliable member of the squad through the decade, managing 175 games. Arriving at the club as a bit of a beanpole, 2010 was his fourth season, where he had bulked himself enough to become a regular. Getting his chance in round 3, he gathered 22 touches and played every game for the rest of the season. At 196cm, Schofield was an unusual player due to his athleticism, at this point there was still a bit of confusion at how to best use him, he was most natural as a key defender, but his elite running capacity and agility meant we wanted the ball in his hands and turn him into a rebounder. His year was solidish for a poor side, although combining with Mackenzie to concede 10 to Jack Riewoldt not his finest outing.

2011 was a good year for Schofield, establishing himself as a third tall defender and playing 23 games for a top 4 side. Will was a tight defender but showed a willingness to take the game on and an ability to almost breeze through tackles, when he was on the run you couldn't bring him down. Although he didn't gather much of it, there seemed to be a lot of upside with him due to his height and athleticism, with talk he could be moulded into a winger in the future. This gathered momentum in 2012 as his numbers spiked, finding more of the ball and having his inside 50's top his rebound 50's. Schofield could often be seen gut running with the ball across the wing and had a month between rounds 8-12 where he kicked a goal each week. His standout game came in Tassie against North, gathering 21 touches (10 contested) and 11 marks. At this point he was a key part of the team and had the ceiling to be anything. Schoey seemed to stagnate early 2013 before getting injured and could only return as a forward/ruck. That role wasn't natural for him but he was ok there, averaging a goal and just over 1 goal assist over his 7 week period there. His season ended abruptly missing the final game, apparently from a random street attack in Geelong which I don't remember, but he should have known better than to be on a street in Geelong at any time.

He started in the WAFL under the new coach in 2014, forced to fight his way back in. He did it well in the second half of the season, taking on his third tall/rebound kind of role to make use of his running capacity. Simpson seemed to see him more as a lockdown defender though and was asked to bulk up over the pre-season, which is remarkably good fortune as injuries meant he was the last man standing to take on the big key forwards. He held down full back with aplomb this season, rarely beaten in one on one contests and his speed meant he was very effective for the web that was established as the gameplan. Schofield didn't lose his spot to a returning Mackenzie, instead playing alongside him. 2016 was a very reliable effort again, only missing one match.

By 2017 any thoughts of playing on the wing or anything other than lockdown fullback were out the window. He was down the pecking order, only managing 10 games when required. Most notably, he had an interaction with Clayton Oliver that got him suspended, which the club appealed and got overturned, only for them to leave him out with injury anyway. Good times. Despite lacking the presence of Mackenzie, Schofield remained on the fringes of a very strong defence in 2018. Purely a shutdown defender, he only managed 10 games before being dropped for finals (including doing his hammy in a derby), before returning for the prelim. A cruisy win in the prelim led to the standout performance of his career in the GF. Going into the game many media types suggested we had no one who could go with De Goey, and although he kicked a few unstoppable goals, Schofield won just about every contest he had with him, as well as wins against Sidebottom, Stephenson and a few other brilliant defensive efforts. Schofield also told the story on his podcast of how he was nearly the hero, sneaking forward hoping to pinch the winning goal, which left Gov on De Goey who proceeded to take that mark.

Schoey continued to be a break glass in case kind of key defender, reliably filling in when needed, including two finals that I'm not sure he actually remembers. Schofield will hang around for another year as reliable depth, and a reliable story teller on the backchat podcast.


#18 Scott Selwood

Scooter. Managing 112 games for the decade, he's kind of been forgotten about but he was the bee's knees for a little while there. Coming through as part of our midfield, he was among a group of young midfielders competing for spots and he was right at the top. Far too good for WAFL, he managed 20 games in 2010 and continued showing improvement, his role was mainly as a tagger, which used his best attributes, occasionally getting off the leash himself. When given the chance to hunt the ball himself, he showed a real inclination for it. He had that little bit of acceleration that allowed him to find space and gather uncontested, as well as contested ball. This peaked in the Brisbane game, gathering 28 touches, 8 marks, 8 tackles and a goal. He was an all rounder.

In 2011 he was a lock as a centre square midfielder. His role was essentially a reverse Sheed, although he was tagging often, his focus was to tackle as frequently as possible. Scooter found the ball and clearances often, but his 8 tackles a game was what stood out and was a key part of your midfield turnaround, reaching double figure tackles in a remarkable 8 games. His highlight of the year was probably tagging Chris Judd out of the semi final, he loomed as the match winner but didn't break free all game to do anything. In 2012 he was given the chance to be an attacking midfielder and we saw a star emerge. Polling in his first three games, everything came together for him as he won lots of contested and uncontested ball (often over 30), frequently offered run and drive, hit the scoreboard and had 21 goal assists, although his tackle count was down from his previous year, it was still a very strong 5 per game. Selwood had gone past the likes of young midfielders Shuey, Gaff and Swift to be our best player. He polled 15 Brownlow votes (he actually under polled on the night) and won our best and fairest.

Sky was the limit and he was going to be a key playmaker in our drive for a flag. Something changed in 2013 though, although he was getting even better at racking up the touches and balanced this with his 2011 tackle rate, his effectiveness was way down. His disposal wasn't as effective, whether that is due to a drop in skill or the 2012 gameplan was masking his poor skill, it wasn't working. It was still a very good year, he still had a lot to offer, he was just blunt. This was best exemplified in a home game against the tigers, he gathered 31 touches, 11 tackles, 11 clearances, a goal as well as 8 inside 50, but his disposal was just completely ineffective, the team won the inside 50's on the night yet lost by about 40 points.

Optimism came in with a new coach for 2014 and at this point, Selwood was the favourite to take the captaincy from Glass in the very near future. Form was ok to begin with, 11 goal assists in his first 8 games a sign he was using it better, but his ability to accumulate large volumes of disposals and tackles were well down. At the halfway point it was revealed he'd been carrying an injury for the whole season, an explanation for his decreased numbers and exceptionally frustrating as he was covering it up, which meant the recovery was longer. Brought back for round 23 with the expectation we were playing finals, Richmond pulled a fluky win and his one game return seemed unnecessary and redundant.

Scooter missed out on the captaincy and rumours that he would be moving to play with a brother in Geelong were rife. After getting 12 tackles in round 1, he again missed half the season with an ankle injury. His previous form and seniority meant he returned as soon as close to fit, however it was clear that the team had moved on in his absence. With a group of players and structure that required more precise kicking, Selwood stood out like a sore thumb injury that he carried in 2013. His kicking was quite comical at times, he was never good but his ankle injuries had exacerbated it, it was clearly not AFL standard. As his peers had breakout form in his absence, as well as strong competition from Mark Hutchings, Selwood was no longer a regular starter and went back to the WAFL. Selwood lost his place in the pecking order to Hutchings and was a backup for the rest of the season, filling in for the first final in Priddis' absence, before being an emergency for the last two finals. He left for Geelong but his body never really recovered, he averaged over 10 tackles a game in 2017 (including back to back 17 tackles), but didn't Really do anything. A pretty sad end for someone who looked like becoming a star and inevitably the next captain.
 

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ronpingwins

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#17 Beau Waters

Following on from Scott Selwood, this guy was the original 'next captain when Glass' retires, only for injury to get him. Waters only played 59 games for the decade but left a massive impression and is the first player with a West Coast AA selection in the decade to appear.

In a wooden spoon season in 2010, Waters finished 3rd in the B+F and was an absolute warrior in a variety of roles. It was a rare season where his body didn't break down on him and he only missed one game. Although not always blessed with precise disposal, Waters had significant impact sweeping up and rebounding across half back or leading up across half forward. He was our hardest player, setting the standard for hitting contests, as well as our hardest runner, outrunning opponents that led him to gain a large number of uncontested marks to balance out his contested work. His standout game for the season was across half forward against the Cats where he accumulated 33 touches and 17 marks (!) to poll 2 Brownlow votes. Waters was 24 at this point and heading into the prime of his career, although Glass still had a few years left, it seemed a matter of time before Waters was captain, in many ways he was already our spiritual leader.

2011 was frustrating, in a successful year for the team. In round 2 he inspired the team with a famous double smother in the centre of the ground, which directly led to an Embley goal and momentum to win. The act summed Waters up. However he suffered a dislocated elbow in the game, which meant he couldn't return until round 17. Brought straight in, Waters had a solid run to the prelim, including copping a hit to the head backing bravely into a pack during a derby. The prelim was an extremely disappointing day for the club, however Waters found an extra gear. His disposal was a little off, but he managed 38 disposals, 11 marks (4 contested) and 11 rebounds. He intercepted everything in sight, probably saving multiple goals. It was a brilliant performance, but ultimately futile. In 2012 everyone was hoping Beau got a clean run at it and he did, playing 20 games. Waters played mainly across half back but used his endurance to roam the wings and set up scoring shots, including drifting forward for multiple goals on 3 occasions. Waters took 22 contested marks for the year, proving to be a capable intercept mark, a reliable runner and surprisingly good user of the ball. Waters polled Brownlow votes in 2 games, a 26 disposal game against North and a 30 disposal, 7 bounce, 1 goal game against the Lions. The season ended on a sour note, going down early in the EF, which possibly impacted the result in the SF. At the end of the season, Waters was named the AFLPA's most courageous player, as well as receiving AA selection. They were the first awards he'd received and it seemed he was destined for many more, however it was not to be. He started 2013 well, but could not stay fit, breaking down every few weeks to only manage 7 games. The shoulder injury the wrecked his entire 2014, meaning he had only managed 7 games in 2 seasons. With Glass retiring, the club correctly judged that Beau couldn't be trusted as captain due to his failing body. He returned for 2015 to have another crack, but his shoulder was stuffed, forcing him to retire at 28. A really frustrating end as he was just entering his peak in 2012, which was of an AA standard. He now uses his endurance to run marathons and remains a favourite son of the club.
 

ronpingwins

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#16 Chris Masten

Ah Masto. Drafted with the pick received for Chris Judd, he had played 2 season entering the decade. He had been ok, shown he was capable and had the ability to accumulate, however the signs were that pre draft comparisons to Simon Black and Jimmy Bartel were well off the mark. Masten had an underwhelming opening month, seemingly not having taken his game to the next level. The derby in round 6 looked like being his breakout game, the team got a surprising jump on Freo, with Masto the main driver of it, gathering 14 touches and a goal in 27% game time. He was heading for 35-40 touches and a Glendinning, however an ankle injury cut his game and most of the season short. Returning through the WAFL, he managed 7 games late in the season to limited effect.

2011 was a crucial year for him, 4 years in you would be hoping he was well beyond WAFL and able to impact the seniors consistently. Round 1 he started well in the few minutes he was on the field, gathering 5 touches in 5% game time, equivalent to 80+ touches in a full game, however an ankle injury cut that short. With the team breaking out it was tough to find a spot, a sub appearance against the Dogs had 15 touches and a goal in 37% game time, however a few poor games followed and he was stuck back in the WAFL. Not expected to be apart of finals, he got a couple of sub appearances late before finally getting another shot at a full game in the penultimate H+A game. This was the game that kick started his career, a crucial game for top 4, after falling behind Masto put the team on his back and carried them over the line. Masten gained 31 disposals (16 contested, team high) and 3 crucial games to be a very clear BOG. Masto was clearly insecure about how his career was going at this point, I remember in the post game interview, it was noted it was his 50th game and he was asked about how it didn't start well but worked out ok in the end, clearly referring to the team falling behind early but getting over the line with the result, however Masto took it personally and said that his first 49 were rubbish but that was a little better, and he hopes he's not so shit from now on, before hurrying off. He followed it up with 27 touches and 2 goals, before an ok QF performance, 22 touches in a team belted in the midfield. His semi was a bit off, inexplicably trying to push a long range JK goal back into play before being subbed off. It was a promising finish to the season overall, though as it looked like it had clicked for him.

2012 was a very strong year for him, as he played a half forward role, using his strong running capacity to roam the midfield as well. Masten was a bit of an all rounder this year, playing a lot of strong games in different ways. He had the ability to accumulate 30+ touches, he was very consistent in finding it, his kicking was also a highlight, playing off half forward frequently delivering inside 50 was perfect as he was probably the best pass to a leading forward in the team, gathering 20 goal assists for the season. Masten was also reliable in hitting the scoreboard, he kicked 20 goals for the season, including bags of 3 twice, once in a smashing of GWS and once being smashed by the Swans. In finals we also saw the emergence of jubilant Masto, he was reliable as the first player to congratulate a teammate scoring, with his emotional reaction to E-Macs first goal against North heartening.

After becoming a key player in 2012 with his outside running and kicking, he was given a chance to show off his inside game that he played in juniors, which he did well. He followed up a quiet round 1 with 3 30+ touch games in a row, including 39 (20 contested) and 11 clearances against the Demons, who were admittedly one of the worst sides of all time. While not exactly an inside bull, there was a good balance to his game as his contested possessions and clearances spiked. He had another 39 disposal game later in the season and was one of the real highlights of the year, polling 8 Brownlow votes and was one of the favourites for a placing in the B+F. 2014 was a step backwards, or at least a stagnation as he went back to a wingman/half forward role and wasn't quite as effective. His goal assist numbers were strong, but he wasn't quite as effective. As the team clicked so did Masto and he ended the season on a high, averaging 29 touches a game in the last month.

He had adjusted to his outside niche again and tucked into the role snugly in 2015, using his endurance to win uncontested ball as well as his smarts to occasionally win contested. He gathered 43 touches against GC in round 7, including 20 in the final quarter. His strong form continued until the second derby when he inexplicably liked the look of Nick Suban and chewed on his arm. We've all wanted to hurt Nick Suban in some way throughout our lives, but it was a foolish move which cost him 2 weeks on the sidelines at a crucial time. Masten returned in round 23 and hurt his hamstring, ruling him out for the PF and putting his season in doubt. Considered a key player at this point, he was brought straight into the starting team. Clearly below his best, he only managed 10 touches (0 contested) however he made 2 very difficult clutch kicks that directly led to goals, hit JK on the lead with his left and an unusual kick into the corridor to Priddis for the Wellingham goal, and in a tight game like this those moments were gold. He was far from the worst in the GF, but certainly far from the best. 2016 was similar, he didn't reach the same highs (or lows) of 2015, he remained a consistent contributor in his role. His 2017 didn't start well, but we were probably a little harsh on him in hindsight. He still showed his ability to find the ball, but there were more frustrations with his game. Never the strongest player, it had long been observed that you don't want Masten in tight spaces as he completely lacks any sort of strength that would allow him to shrug off a tackle. It seemed to be happening more frequently, where Masten would try to take players on and aggressively fail, getting caught holding the ball. The season petered out and by the end of it he looked on the ropes, missing finals and with a rebuild looming, there may no longer be a spot for him.

An interesting tidbit to emerge from the Mitchell coaching era was his interaction with Masten. With Masto trying to pump up his guns to improve his contested work, Mitchell changed the way he thought by asking him not to attempt to improve his weaknesses, but work harder and specialise in his strengths, namely his outside running. Masten's attempt to bulk up is partially considered a reason for his slide in form in 2017. Masten played all but 1 game in 2018, winning a flag. He took a spot on the wing and although his numbers were well down from his peak, his ability to gut run defensively and fill space were apparently crucial to the gameplan. 2019 and the team was ready to move on though, with age demographics starting to look 28+ heavy, Masten was the most expendable and was delisted. He started the season in the same role and was solid defensively, but just had no ability to contribute offensively as well. Despite this, he was mostly best 22 and played a part in finals.

Masto was a solid player for a decade in a variety of roles, showcasing his elite endurance and at times spearing disposal. Yet for a large percentage of it he was a whipping boy and is now considered a bit of a joke. Why?

- He leads the league in free kicks against for holding the ball. He was never able to put on the strength to be able to shrug a tackle, although brave, this made him a liability in contested situations and it is one of the most frustrating things for a fan to observe.
- His modelling career. He was in the newspaper a few times with his shirt off, showing off his shit tats while posing. It made him look quite fond of himself and it was never going to endear himself to fans.
- Early draft pick and Chris Judd replacement. JK was the steak knives and Masto was the exciting draftee we brought in, the first time we'd had an early pick since Judd. He took a while to come good and his peers in Cale Morton and Rhys Palmer, the others we were linked to, hit the ground running. Never mind that the selections after him in Morton/Grant/Myers/Palmer/Henderson all failed to establish strong careers, it was established early Masto was a dud for pick 3
- Confusion over his role. In the early years he wasn't as advertised, expected to be an inside ball winner with slick hands, he mostly played on the wing. In later years in his defensive wingman role it was hard to measure if he was any good, clearly his role was no longer to accumulate, but what he was meant to do was mostly off the ball, so no one really knew if he was playing well.
 

ronpingwins

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#15 Darren Glass

Legend. Captain for the period of 2010 until he retired in mid 2014. An important player in 2010, he only managed 8 games a he continued to suffer injuries. 2011 was a welcome return to form though, with Mackenzie developing to take the gorillas, Glass was allowed to zone off a little more, using his experience to become a quality general defender. The return to form led to an AA appearance, B+F and a key role in the team making a prelim. Glass just appeared to win every contest he was in, he had learnt how to play within his limitations when using the ball as well, seldom making a mistake despite being a technically poor kick. Glass began to zone off more and more in 2012, a terrific organiser of the defence, he found more of the ball (22 touches in round 2) and was able to influence more contests. He remained one of the best defenders in the game, although he came under some criticism for no longer being a traditional full back, he was very influential and was deservedly named AA captain, his fourth appearance in the side. 2013 continued his strong form, his contested marking improving, including 10 over a fortnight against Freo and Sydney. Glass surprisingly polled 4 brownlow votes this year, surprising because it is unusual for key defenders to poll and it wasn't even an AA year for him. At this stage Glass was the face of the club and his reputation preceded him. He opened 2014 as a 33 year old as good as ever, again polling a Brownlow vote in round 1. Getting on though, Glass was stuck in a one week on, one week off shift role as his body could no longer handle the work. His penultimate game against the Pies at the G showed he still had the quality, winning 22 touches (10 contested), however he couldn't play consecutive weeks, and the team wasn't struggling for key defenders coming through, with Gov waiting in the wings. Glassy decided to step down, still fairly close to the top of his game, in a selfless manner. An outstanding leader and nailed the transition from lockdown to general zone off defender in the later years.


#14 Brad Sheppard

Our next captain? Probably not, but Shepp has been a champ in recent years. Given a chance ASAP in 2010 as our first round pick, we thought we had a speedy wingman initially. Shepp stood out early, no issues with finding the ball, his pace was strong, he had very clean hands and used it well. He loomed as one of our most promising youngsters. 2011 didn't quite click though, spots were tough to hang on to and standards were up, starting early in the season, he stood out as not being quite right and made a few mistakes. He was carrying an injury and only played a few games in the first half of the year.

Sheep had a lot of nice attributes, but Woosha wasn't quite sure how to use them, experimenting with his role a little. He played across half forward a little and looked good there at times, although looking a little like a fish out of water as well. His pace allowed him to get into space across half forward and he could be damaging when pumping it in there. Against the Saints he managed 19 touches, a goal and 2 assists, followed by 17 touches and 10 marks in the derby. We thought we had found the role for him until an ankle injury ended his season in round 19. 2013 was frustrating, playing that same role, he showed okish form but injuries and then average WAFL form meant he couldn't get a run of games and establish himself, just playing 13 without a standout. Frustrations crept in from fans, he was an early pick who had been around for a few years now, and there were looks of envy at WA players Jetta and Fyfe who were selected after him and were starring.

Shepp started 2014 in the WAFL but a new coach was a good circuit breaker for him. Simmo put his foot down and said he was a defender, and for him to focus on that. Some strong performances followed, where he looked more confident, however ankle injuries again cut his season short. Despite a number of injuries in defence, his confidence was sky high in 2015, he formed a beautiful combo with Wellingham as intercepting, rebounding superstars. Shepp won a lot more of the ball rebounding, showing off his pace and skill, became an above average contested mark and barely lost a contest in defence. He was outstanding in an unusual game style, eventually winning best player in finals.

He played all 47 games across 2016/17 and was just about our most reliable player. Although at a standard just below AA level (he never quite had the right numbers), he was nearly the perfect HBF. As a few of his peers that showed promise in 2015 stagnated or went backwards, Shepp went from strength to strength as you had complete confidence he would win his contest and use it wisely. Perpetually on the 'most underrated' lists, he started to get recognised as the team became a contender. He continued to be a quality defender as he shut down small forwards and won nearly all of his contests, whether it was in the air or on the ground. After 95 straight games he got injured at the worst time possible, doing his hammy early in the QF, meaning he missed out on a flag. Sheppard probably has entered his peak with 2019, he was still a strong defender, but his numbers spiked in most area, as his experience helped him get to the right spots. A man on a mission, he became more of a rebounder, leading the league for marks for most of the season and regularly gaining mid 20's disposals. He finally got some recognition in the derby, winning the Glendinning medal for 25 touches and 11 rebound 50's. Despite more recognition, Shepp can remain on underrated lists as he unfairly missed out on AA selection. He ended up finishing third in the B+F. After a shaky start to the decade, he is now a key cog in the defence and as he continues into his prime it wouldn't surprise if he adds an AA or 2 and a flag along the way.
 

ronpingwins

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#13 Jamie Cripps

The Crippler. Arrived in 2013 for some nothing picks in a pretty terrible draft in the end, he came straight into the forward line and looked good, kicking 2 on debut. Cripps was in and out of the side in his first year, at times you could see his talent, his ability to work hard and nous around goals, but at other times look a bit out of his depth. There were times when he was under pressure that his skills and particularly decision making would lapse a little. He got a run through the midfield late in the season, experimenting with him a little, he managed 6 clearances against the pies but looked ill suited, without the strength or quick hands for the role.

2014 he began to get some consistency and become a regular, he didn't have a breakout game but kept hitting the scoreboard regardless of the context of the game (27 in 19 matches), found more of the ball and had gained strength to be an effective tackler. He was still prone to poor performances however, after kicking 10 goals in a 5 game period, he only managed 3 and 5 touches in the fortnight following, which earned him a WAFL spell. Overall it was promising though and he'd become an important piece across half forward. 2015 was his breakout though, hitting a high level as a defensive forward. He opened the season with 5 goals (and 19 touches), his mistakes disappearing, his tank had built enough that he was consistently involved. Quality performances continued, 2 goals and 3 assists round 2, 11 tackles a fortnight later and 3 goals to go with 13 tackles against the Saints. He provided elite pressure (139 tackles for the year), was a great linkman across half forward with 22 assists for the year as well as kicking 34 himself. He possibly peaked with 26 touches and 10 inside 50's against the Crows. His prelim was a nearly game, he had 3 assists but kicked 4 behinds himself, before an eh game in the GF.

After such a fantastic season, it was exciting to see if he had another level to go, perhaps of AA quality. He underwhelmed, really tailing off late in the season. His effectiveness across half forward was still there, his assists tally up to 25, tackles down but still 4 per game, he seemed to be running and bouncing it a lot more, but he just seemed a bit clumsier, it didn't quite come together for him. His goal tally was tracking similarly, 27 in his first 18 before falling off a cliff and kicking 1 in his last 5. He had a 6 game patch mid season where he kicked 13 and assisted 10 which was elite. 2017 was frustrating, his numbers were slightly down again although that could be pinned on an injury mid season, he didn't look the same when he returned. Still a solid player, his panic under pressure returned mildly and there were concerns we'd seen the best of him.

2018 was a return to his elite 2015 form, taking it up a level. Only 1 goal in the first 3 weeks (5 assists) before flat tracking 4 against GC, Cripps form was workmanlike early before getting to the next level. He was regularly getting high teen touches, his tackles were back up but the goals just weren't quite happening, managing 1.5 against GWS as his confidence looked low in front of goal. It came together though in the role of 'spitter' (were they still calling it that?) coming off half back at stoppages and pushing forward using his elite running capacity. In his final 9 games, Cripps averaged 2.2 goals, 18.4 disposals and 4 tackles per game as he took AA form into finals and was a crucial part of the flag. Standout games included 3 votes for a 23 touch 3 goal game against the Lions and a 24 touch, 3 goal game in the prelim as he wrecked the Dees early. Cripps finished 4th in the best and fairest as a critical player to the team.
2019 offered more of the same, although injury interrupted and put a dampener on it. Rushed in for round 3, he picked up 18 touches and 4 goals, showing no signs of rust. He backed it up in the derby with 21 touches and 10 marks. A poor fortnight individually and for the team followed, but he returned to approx 2 goals a game mid teen touches pretty consistently. After a 9 game period of 19 goals, including 4 more in a derby, Cripps suffered a significant injury early against the Pies. It was a crucial loss of a key player as we lost by a point. Cripps took full advantage of us drawing a crap Bombers side in the EF, kicking 4.3 from 22 touches.

Some might say Cripps is a bit high, but I think he gets underrated a little. His all round game is absolutely elite, he has had very high score involvement numbers for a long time, mixed with running himself into the ground across half forward and putting on some ripper tackles belying his size. He is much tougher than he is given credit for. Probably won't put together an AA level season, but as he enters his prime he can be relied upon to deliver complete performances for a defensive half forward.
 

ronpingwins

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#12 Dean Cox

The champ. Cox hung around from 2010-2014 as a partner to NN, reaching AA levels twice in that period. Cox came into 2010 off an injury that ended his 2009 halfway. By that point he had been in some pretty ridiculous form and was by far the best ruck in the comp, and clearly our best player. Cox seemed well off though this season, which was reflected in the teams results. For the first 5 games he spent a lot less time on the ground, 63-67% for 4 of them, which resulted in back to back 7 disposal games to open the season. He built into the season, and for any other ruckman you'd say he'd had a brilliant year, but he was a little slower, clearly carrying something and/or lacking a proper pre season, with his game time again dropping towards the end of the year.

As a young team broke through in 2011, Cox's form wasn't too shabby. He opened the season with 29 touches (15 contested), 29 hitouts, 2 goals and 3 votes in a solid effort. The old Coxy was back. His game changed a little, known more for his running capacity and ability to gain uncontested disposals that was unprecedented for a ruck, Cox played a slightly more traditional ruck role to great success. Cox became a standout contested mark, taking 42 for the season, his previous highest being 22 the previous season, even in his standout 2008 season he only managed 9. NN's presence in the ruck also allowed him to drift forward at times, kicking 20 for the year. After 5 games, Cox had 9 Brownlow votes and was just about the best player in the comp. He polled 18 votes but arguably under polled, a game against the GC tallied 26 touches (18 contested), 28 hitouts, 7 clearances, 5 contested marks and 2 goals for 0 votes. Ruckman often underpoll in the Brownlow, for whatever reason umpires have a tough time telling when they've played an elite game. Coming into the game off a Glendinning medal win, Cox played the best game of his career against the Dogs at Colonial. 27 touches (11 contested), 13 marks (6 contested), 37 hitouts and a goal in one of the most dominant performances of the season. To provide context, we were one point up with about three minutes left as the Dogs headed forward. The ball was pumped to the goal square as Cox took a towering mark to save the lead for us. He used the ball wisely, and at the other end Rosa had a shot from 50 with a minute or two left, a tricky shot as a behind would provide the Dogs a chance to rebound, the ball headed to the square for Cox to take yet another towering contested mark, he duly put it through and literally won us the game off his own boot (and hands). Finals were underwhelming though, considering what the season had delivered. Cox got injured in the QF and had to be subbed off, he followed it up with a near BOG effort in the semi, before a poor outing in the prelim. It was a very successful season though, with a mild change in role to take less toll on his body as he got older.

2012 was a further role change, which he adapted to with ease. He played more forward than normal, partly to allow more ruck time for NN, partly to cover for the loss of Kennedy. Despite his contested work coming under criticism in previous years, he backed up his 2011 with another 38 contested marks. Cox also kicked a career high 28 goals, on top of the 26 hitouts a game he was getting in the ruck. Cox's size and mobility but also his smarts but him a difficult prospect to manage up forward. Against the Saints he had 4 before half time, finishing with a career high 5. Cox also played probably the second best game of his career against North in Tassie, taking 15 marks (5 contested) and 3 goals, which included putting us in front in the final minutes, then dropping back into defence to take a few marks to save us the game. Cox had another BOG against the Cats later in the season, with 23 touches (13 contested), 45 hitouts and 3 goals. Although his dominant games were rarer as he spent less time in the ruck, when he got going he was more dominant than anyone else. Coxy formed a dominant pairing with NN, as they rotated between the ruck and deep forward, the combo was the main reason we nearly snuck into the top 4. Cox was rewarded with his 6th AA jumper, this time names in a forward pocket.

Cox was turning 32 in 2013 and age was starting to weary him. Injuries weren't a concern, but his body couldn't quite do the same things and he lost some of his competitive advantage. He had a few effective games resting forward, 24 touches and 3 goals in round 3, before polling 3 votes for a 4 goal game against the Dogs a few weeks later. But with NN missing a large portion of the season, they couldn't implement their lethal combo and Cox had to spend larger periods in the ruck. He was still an above average player and turned in a few brilliant performances to finish fourth in the B+F, but he was no longer amongst the top few rucks, missing out on AA. After a dominant round 1, Cox's performance slowed further and left the club in a tricky spot. Fortunately he broke the games record early in the season, which meant the team didn't have to carry him. His replacement was Lycett and he was ready to go, the transition ready to be implemented. Lycett was fielding big offers from other teams so he needed confidence he would be a starter. Cox had seniority however, and he wasn't done yet, playing just well enough that they couldn't drop him. Early in the season the three ruck combo was trialled to fit them all in, unsurprisingly gaining no success, before Coxy started getting 'rested' throughout the season. As NN ended his season abruptly, Cox announced his retirement to complete the succession plan. Cox was allowed a run of games at the end of the year as a sendoff, with one roadblock: Tyrone Vickery. In one of his last games, Cox was knocked out by a fierce elbow by Vickery, which almost started a riot from the fans and forced Cox out for a week. Cox missed round 23 on the GC, preferring his final game to be a sendoff at home, where he delivered a solid performance and was celebrated as the champ he was.

Cox wasn't playing too badly at this point. He was a shadow of what he was only a year or two prior, but probably still around the 7-8th best ruck around. If we weren't so strong in this area, with Lycett and Sinclair matured and ready to get games, he probably could have hung around for another year to get to 300+. 6 times AA in his career, forget Grundy or Gawn, Cox was the best ruck of the modern era. His best work probably came pre 2010, however he was a superstar across 2011-12, changing his game to become an elite contested mark and effective forward, showing he could do pretty much everything.
 

ronpingwins

Club Legend
Apr 1, 2013
1,488
2,704
AFL Club
West Coast
#11 Eric Mackenzie

Emac was a champ who did most of his best work in the early part of the decade, being very unfortunate to miss out on both GF appearances. By 2010 Defendzie was beginning to establish himself. With Glass missing large portions of the year, he eventually saw off competition from Schofield, Brown, Wilkes and Spangher to become the next best KPD. Using his strong body and defensive smarts, he was a reliable defender although still couldn't be trusted with the ball in hand. The lowlight had to be sharing Jack Riewoldt with Schofield when he kicked, he was unable to handle him. Mackenzie struggled with a foot injury in 2011, only managing 3 games until round 14. His return against the Blues was a sight for sore eyes as he took 5 contested marks. He continued to be reliable for the rest of the season, doing good jobs on the big forwards and allowing Glass to zone off and influence more contests.

In 2012 Emac went from reliable defender to high quality player. He became the general back there, an early highlight was beating Buddy and taking 11 marks to go with 27 touches, which earns him 2 Brownlow votes (admittedly Buddy kicked 6 behinds). Mackenzie was a crucial part of the defence for the rest of the year, adding more contested marks to his game and was dominating contests. In the EF he somehow snuck up to the forward line (his tank was elite) to hit the scoreboard for the first time, giving birth to the jubilant Masto. Turning 25 in 2013, he was hitting the age where KPP's start to peak and he became just about our best player. He consistently beat his opponents and was influential as an all round defender, his game had developed from being a liability with the ball in hand to realising his limitations and becoming one of our safest users. The standout game has to be against the Saints as he shut down Nick Riewoldt, while using his elite tank to push forward and kick 2 goals, including the winner where he dragged Wilkes forward and in a bit of symbolism of how their careers panned out, Wilkes slipped over allowing Eric to run in and kick the goal. His contested marking continued to improve, taking 4 against the Crows in a 21 touch 11 mark game, followed up with another 20 touches and 3 contested marks against Freo, before dominating Sydney with an amazing 19(!) 1%'s. Mackenzie was the standout POTY among fans, however he was still a little underrated, losing the B+F to Priddis and not figuring in the mix for AA. 2014 really felt like a player entering his prime, with occasional exceptions, Mackenzie won all his contests and rebounded effectively. Polling 2 votes in round 1, he built upon that and his numbers spiked, nearly doubling the amount of marks he took and his disposals increased from 11.7 to 15.3 per game, as we looked to move the ball through him, all the while assuming he beat his man. Playing all 22 games, it was an exceptional year for him as the team had teething problems with Simpson. He came under fire a touch for conceding 8 to Roughead mid season, which overlooked that many were Joe the gooses and Mackenzie was impacting many other contests. With Glass retiring, Emac even got a chance to captain the side and was considered one of the frontrunners to take over from Glass. He deservedly won the B+F over Brownlow medalist Priddis but was again robbed of a spot in the AA side to Rance who only managed 17 games.

Mackenzie was our best player and 2015 loomed as another strong one, where he might finally get his AA selection. It was then a devastating blow when he went down with an ACL in preseason, just the worst possible news. The team basically had to change the gameplan due to his absence, as we were seemingly vulnerable to KPF's. They handled it ok though and made a GF. Mackenzie's return in 2016 was expected to take the team up a gear, adding a new dimension to the team that made the GF. He was no longer our best player though, and his return was odd, sort of forced into a team that he didn't suit anymore. He was ok, clearly rusty, but was being beaten more often. By midseason he actually lost his spot on the team, he returned but there were concerns. It was his first year back from an ACL though, and usually players take more than a year to recover from it. After spending the first half of the season in the WAFL, he began to find his groove again and made FB his own. Not as dominant as his peak, his smarts made him competitive against all KPF's. Undoubtedly his star moment was in the EF against Port, somehow taking the ball out of bounds without being deliberate, in the most desperate of circumstances. It summed up Emac and is a moment remembered just as fondly as Shuey's goal. An overlooked part of that game was that he got absolutely wrecked by Dixon and was lucky he was inaccurate with 3.6 on the night. Injuries reared their head again and he missed the entire season as the team won the flag, forcing him to retire.

Mackenzie was a fantastic player, just about our best for a few years, ruined by injury. He was a strong body, had an elite tank (usually 100% game time, would often cruise across the wing) and had natural defensive smarts, he was a natural successor to Glass and filled in superbly. It is interesting though, in the two seasons he missed with injury, the team had to shuffle the defence around his absence, where they proceeded to make a GF. Although he was definitely a star, was the team ultimately better off without him?
 

Ambrose Burnside

Club Legend
Dec 8, 2006
2,402
2,726
WA
AFL Club
West Coast
Cox played the best game of his career against the Dogs at Colonial. 27 touches (11 contested), 13 marks (6 contested), 37 hitouts and a goal in one of the most dominant performances of the season. To provide context, we were one point up with about three minutes left as the Dogs headed forward. The ball was pumped to the goal square as Cox took a towering mark to save the lead for us. He used the ball wisely, and at the other end Rosa had a shot from 50 with a minute or two left, a tricky shot as a behind would provide the Dogs a chance to rebound, the ball headed to the square for Cox to take yet another towering contested mark, he duly put it through and literally won us the game off his own boot (and hands).
That was a ridiculous performance and end to the game. Coxy just wasn't going to let us lose that game.
 

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