Preview Identify the biggest factor in whether we can go again in 2019

Candiru

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Setting aside the shit sandwiches of injury, what will be the single biggest factor in us improving or at least holding our ground and contending again in 2019?

Having a reasonably fit list is a given - I'm thinking more from a personnel/tactical point of view here. For example, if I had to look at 2018, I'd say the single biggest factor was finally getting the balance right in the midfield, as evidenced by a greater spread of contested possession. I think we had four guys going at more than 10 per game, along with someone like Gaff going from totally outside to adding a contested facet to his game. That was huge. It meant we were no longer so dependent on a turnover game. And if you really boil it down, that was overwhelmingly about Redden and Yeo stepping up and becoming big-bodied engine room mids. First and second in the B&F accordingly. That was the big improvement, complemented by some guys who hadn't played a lot of senior football or were fringe players 12 months ago. And of course the very solid standard from the senior, established guys. But Yeo and Redden were the big changes, IMO. They played those roles in a way that changed the way the team could play.

For 2019, here are some options:
  • Getting Naitanui back in June/July and getting some half-decent level of matchplay into him
  • Some of the guys who haven't yet played 80 games taking the next step and becoming top-liners (Sheed, Duggan, Barrass, Cole, Rioli etc)
  • Is it finding another goalkicker?
  • Does it rely on getting a certain standard of contribution from Hickey/Vardy?
  • Or is there a kid who comes from nowhere to be influential? One of the Allens or Brayshaw? Or Venables breaking out?
  • Or is there a single player already there who goes to the next level? I reckon Rioli to the midfield could be one
Thoughts?
 

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KERRPOW

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#2
You've brought up some very valid points, so ive got not too much to add.

  • Older players like Hurn & Kennedy maintaining their form (not declining)
  • Key players such as Darling, Gov, Yeo, Redden improving a bit more on last year.
  • Roili and ryan to step up on last season.
  • Big improvements from Duggan, Cole, Venables
  • Need another key forward to show signs of life after kennedy.
 

Godfather32

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#3
Setting aside the shit sandwiches of injury, what will be the single biggest factor in us improving or at least holding our ground and contending again in 2019?

Having a reasonably fit list is a given - I'm thinking more from a personnel/tactical point of view here. For example, if I had to look at 2018, I'd say the single biggest factor was finally getting the balance right in the midfield, as evidenced by a greater spread of contested possession. I think we had four guys going at more than 10 per game, along with someone like Gaff going from totally outside to adding a contested facet to his game. That was huge. It meant we were no longer so dependent on a turnover game. And if you really boil it down, that was overwhelmingly about Redden and Yeo stepping up and becoming big-bodied engine room mids. First and second in the B&F accordingly. That was the big improvement, complemented by some guys who hadn't played a lot of senior football or were fringe players 12 months ago. And of course the very solid standard from the senior, established guys. But Yeo and Redden were the big changes, IMO. They played those roles in a way that changed the way the team could play.

For 2019, here are some options:
  • Getting Naitanui back in June/July and getting some half-decent level of matchplay into him
  • Some of the guys who haven't yet played 80 games taking the next step and becoming top-liners (Sheed, Duggan, Barrass, Cole, Rioli etc)
  • Is it finding another goalkicker?
  • Does it rely on getting a certain standard of contribution from Hickey/Vardy?
  • Or is there a kid who comes from nowhere to be influential? One of the Allens or Brayshaw? Or Venables breaking out?
  • Or is there a single player already there who goes to the next level? I reckon Rioli to the midfield could be one
Thoughts?
Nic Nat and Oscar Allen
 

Max zero

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#7
Yeah but what else?
Thats it.

If our spine of Kennedy, Darling, Nic Nat, Mcgovern and Barass are fit and firing how do we lose through skill or gameplay?

Not worried about hunger. We aren't some minnow team who has been starved of success for 30 years. We know how to win and more importantly we know how to handle the pressure that comes with winning.

Not worried about complacency. We are what 4th in line for the betting for the flag next year? All the Victorian 'experts' think its between Melbourne, Collingwood and Richmond with Hawthorn and Essendon the darkhorses. We are barely even on the radar (again).

Which is fine by me.

Not worried we have peaked skill wise. We have room for improvement from Venables, Rioli, Ryan, Cole, Duggan and Barrass. It's a pity we couldn't get Kelly cause that would of been like a 3rd of the best 22 with reasonable expectations of improvement.

Just got to avoid key injuries. Almost derailed us this year.
 

Max zero

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#9
It's a bit generic innit? True for every team.

Needs to be improvement somewhere.
Have expanded my post since.

Venables, Rioli, Ryan, Cole, Duggan and Barrass. Thats where the improvement comes from. Imagine if Barrass becomes a second Mcgovern? Imagine if Ryan, Venables and Rioli begin to find the consistancy of a Lecras or Cripps? Imagine if Duggan and Cole begin to have the poise and composure of Sheppard?

Like I said it's a pity we didn't get Kelly to learn off Shuey, Yeo and Gaff.
 

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Candiru

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Thread starter #12
Have expanded my post since.

Venables, Rioli, Ryan, Cole, Duggan and Barrass. Thats where the improvement comes from. Imagine if Barrass becomes a second Mcgovern? Imagine if Ryan, Venables and Rioli begin to find the consistancy of a Lecras or Cripps? Imagine if Duggan and Cole begin to have the poise and composure of Sheppard?

Like I said it's a pity we didn't get Kelly to learn off Shuey, Yeo and Gaff.
Would you like to single out one player or area that you think is paramount?
 

Max zero

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#14
Would you like to single out one player or area that you think is paramount?
Probably the same area as its been the last few years the midfield. Our back and forwards are fine (assuming not injured).

Need Sheed and Masten to maintain their improvement. Sheed I am confident on Masten less so. Hopefully Gaff comes in for Masten and we find a decent winger to pair with him the other side. I know people say Sheed but I reckon his best work is inside not on the wings.

One possibility would be to keep Schofield in, have Sheppard take Jetta's spot and move Jetta (does he have the work rate?) to the wing. Rioli could play more mid just concerned 2 changes in the forward line could mess things up a bit.

How is Achee's endurance?

Much hate to Geelong for being so greedy over Kelly.
 

Candiru

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Probably the same area as its been the last few years the midfield. Our back and forwards are fine (assuming not injured).

Need Sheed and Masten to maintain their improvement. Sheed I am confident on Masten less so. Hopefully Gaff comes in for Masten and we find a decent winger to pair with him the other side. I know people say Sheed but I reckon his best work is inside not on the wings.
Surely Masten is pretty close to his ceiling. That's why I reckon we need to tap some other guys with midfield ability.

I'm hoping that someone like Allen, Brayshaw or Ainsworth can force their way in. Or we experiment successfully with one of the other young guys already there.
 

frenchconnection

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#16
Yeah but what else? Every team would probably say "no injuries".
As has been said by others the team that has the better bottom tiered players will be the team that can win a flag, as you then have the depth in the event of injuries. Anyway hopefully the injury gods leave us alone in 2019. Would love to see OAllen get a decent run at AFL level next year.
 
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#18
The obvious improvement is going to come from the younger crew. Pretty confident we will see improvement from Duggan, Cole and Barrass. TB in particular I’m quietly excited about. His GF was massive. For a 50 gamer to play such an assured and confident game under so much pressure speaks volumes for his mental and physical attributes. I hope the confidence they get from the finals/GF helps them see they most definitely belong and that they can dominate opponents.

Venners and Ryan, I’m not sure about. Venners I think will improve, but not to the ‘breakout’ levels that some on here are hoping. I just hope he gets an uninterrupted run at it. With Ryan I have this uneasy ‘second year blues’ and complacency feel about him. He will be crucial because his inclusion and form will dictate whether Rioli gets more midfield time.

Rioli is the guy I think has the opportunity to really take a big step. Shit just happens when he is around the ball, why not put him around it more often? Think he is that damaging HFF/Mid that the coaches have spent years trying to develop in Masten, Karps etc.

As great a backend of the year he had, Sheed has to take another step. Too much to expect he plays at GF level every week, but he must have more consistent impact and influence around the contest….and ffs, do some work on the defensive side of your game.

Vardy is the other who will need to step up. Nothing particularly genius about this. At the time we traded him in, I said that I felt he had the potential to be possibly the most important of the trades (including Mitchell and Petrie etc). Mitchell probably has won that for the moment, but Vardy still has a few years to take that title. I think he has it in him. I saw him more as a replacement/insurance for JK in the medium term but Nic Nat’s knees have dictated otherwise.

Don’t think we can expect too much more from our seniors. Play at or around the level they achieved this year and you’d have to say we have every chance to improve as a group. Perhaps Shuey could take it up a notch from this year. Some 2016-type form would be pretty delicious. I think we’re still underrating Hurn’s year. We talk about his kicking and his offensive value, but I think his stopping and intercept marking isn’t given nearly enough credit. He was huge across half back and his ability to go with the medium (and talls at time) and still be an offensive weapon was huge. He doesn’t have as good a year, and potentially Yeo gets dragged back to half back and has less influence around the ball. It will be critical that he plays at or around that same level next year.

Similarly with Jetta, but …them calves. Players approaching 30 with calf issues are pretty much f***ed in my book. Seems a very difficult issue to get on top of. I think Jetts is going to be in and out of the team next year because of this. What will that do for backline balance/cohesion and taking some pressure off Hurn as the distributor?

Game plan wise I feel we have got to take our ground ball contested game to another level, this includes tackling. We aren’t going to lose too many aerial contests. Teams are aware of this. They’re going to look to take us on with speed at ground level. They’ll also look to take away our kick/uncontested mark strategy. We’re going to need to be prepared to scrap. Winning the contest at ground level stops them at the source and gives us field position, which we seem to leverage pretty well to feed our dangerous forward line.
 

Candiru

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Thread starter #19
As has been said by others the team that has the better bottom tiered players will be the team that can win a flag, as you then have the depth in the event of injuries. Anyway hopefully the injury gods leave us alone in 2019. Would love to see OAllen get a decent run at AFL level next year.
Premiership teams still need to improve. You can't just cross your fingers and hope for no injuries.
 

Candiru

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Thread starter #20
Rioli is the guy I think has the opportunity to really take a big step. Shit just happens when he is around the ball, why not put him around it more often? Think he is that damaging HFF/Mid that the coaches have spent years trying to develop in Masten, Karps etc.
Yeah Rioli is the guy with the big immediate upside, particularly if he can get it a bit more.
 

squashface

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#21
I think a major reason of our rise in 2015 and subsequent fall in 2016 was that guys had career best seasons in 2015 but then couldn’t back it up the next year for whatever reason. So hopefully we don’t see the same thing next year.
 
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#22
I think a major reason of our rise in 2015 and subsequent fall in 2016 was that guys had career best seasons in 2015 but then couldn’t back it up the next year for whatever reason. So hopefully we don’t see the same thing next year.
Career best years to experienced players Cripps, Hurn, Darling, Hutch, Redden, Masto (in terms of consistency). Perhaps not career best, but certainly up there in very good form Yeo, Gov, Gaff, Jetta, Shepp. Hard to imagine all of them will maintain or improve on this year. My hope is that most of them can be thereabouts and bring a level of maturity to the group, with the younger boys bringing the improvement.

JK on the park for more than 11 games will brings a bit more to the table. Shuey and Vardy, of the 25+ category to perhaps produce a bit more.

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#24
For me - it’s maintaining midfield cohesion

Our forward and back lines have enough star power to keep doing what they do

Our midfield really stepped up to a new level as a unit - moreso than individually. If we can maintain that level of performance - we go bloody close again.
 

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#25
Midfield spread.

Yeo and Shuey are complete mids, inside outside
Redden is more inside
Gaff is more outside.

Its the others I am concerned about from a strategy point of view. What do we do with Masten, Sheed, Hutchings, Ainsworth, Ah Chee and Brayshaw?

I'm thinking....

C Sheed Redden Gaff
R Shuey Yeo
INT: Hutchings.

Basically from the GF we substitute Masten for Gaff.

If ww get the balance wrong or get spooked and start pushing out forwards to add extra mids Ill be worried.

Also, the Eagles will be the hunted now. Look for teams to exploit Essendons thrashing of WCE by running it through the HBF
 
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