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

Candiru

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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.
I guess I'm trying to identify exactly where that improvement can or will come from.

And I just keep coming back to Rioli as the guy.
 

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Candiru

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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.
With any new faces rolling through?
 

Carbine Chaos

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#28
With any new faces rolling through?
Slightly related, but the Ainsworth pick still seems so bizarre to me, given the success we had this year relying on retaining possession with foot skills.

I think his career may go the Partington route, but for different reasons. He clearly has the attitude and drive.
 
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#29
I guess I'm trying to identify exactly where that improvement can or will come from.

And I just keep coming back to Rioli as the guy.
Probably a bit too much to put on one young guy. He is certainly who I see being able to take a bit more of a step up if given the opportunity.

I think Shuey's output could increase a bit from this year and I think Sheed has to take a step up from his early season form. Probably won't expect him to bring GF level form but it needs to be more consistent and take advantage of being third/fourth hombre. Hard for teams to be looking after Yeo, Shuey, Gaff, Redden...who can all kill you offensively and will more than hold their own defensively.

Add Rioli to the mix, and I think there's enough improvement with the potential of a one of the other younger ones running through there when needed. I think if the seniors bring near enough to what they brought this year, we're going to be ok.

This is all based on your initial presumption that injuries aren't factored in. If we have all of these guys available, the younger guys aren't going to get much of a look in. Particularly given the durability the first choices have all shown.

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Candiru

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Slightly related, but the Ainsworth pick still seems so bizarre to me, given the success we had this year relying on retaining possession with foot skills.

I think his career may go the Partington route, but for different reasons. He clearly has the attitude and drive.
Brayshaw seems highly rated.
 

Candiru

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Probably a bit too much to put on one young guy. He is certainly who I see being able to take a bit more of a step up if given the opportunity.

I think Shuey's output could increase a bit from this year and I think Sheed has to take a step up from his early season form. Probably won't expect him to bring GF level form but it needs to be more consistent and take advantage of being third/fourth hombre. Hard for teams to be looking after Yeo, Shuey, Gaff, Redden...who can all kill you offensively and will more than hold their own defensively.

Add Rioli to the mix, and I think there's enough improvement with the potential of a one of the other younger ones running through there when needed. I think if the seniors bring near enough to what they brought this year, we're going to be ok.

This is all based on your initial presumption that injuries aren't factored in. If we have all of these guys available, the younger guys aren't going to get much of a look in. Particularly given the durability the first choices have all shown.
My presumption is that it offers not much to just say injuries will be the biggest factor. Because that is true for every team and I'd prefer to talk more specifically about our players.

And yeah, in light of that, I reckon Rioli is the one with the big upside although I agree on Sheed. If he can produce a whole season of what he did in the last six weeks of 2018, he'll be an important player for us. A barometer even. I still think our midfield needs to improve. Admittedly, Gaff is a handy addition.

But I reckon Rioli can become a guy who averages 20 touches and a goal a game, playing wing, HF and FP. Even in the guts occasionally. He could be for us what Wingard was at his best for Port before losing his mojo.

I'm also trying to be specific, for the sake of discussion.
 

Candiru

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Let's say we fast forward to the halfway mark of 2019. In the mid-season report card, who will everyone be talking up as "the big improver"?

It can be a kid who's come from outside the 22 or someone already there who's taken another step.

I keep coming back to Rioli. I think he's cherry ripe and that would also be perhaps the best outcome for us, short of one of the established mids absolutely blitzing.
 
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#33
Backline is as close to perfect as I think it's going to be so just more of the same there, assuming no key injuries. Midfield and Forwardline performances will be what determines our fate in 2019.

Key factors in the middle that will go a long way to getting us B2B:
  • Yeo taking the next step and establishing himself as a top 10 mid in the competition, which I think is quite likely given what we just saw from his first full season in the middle.
  • Sheed going close to maintaining his form after returning late in the season, which I also think is likely given he will be almost reaching his prime and the confidence he will have gained from the GF would be massive. If he can keep doing what he's doing but add another 2-3 tackles a game we will be laughing.
  • I think Shuey can go up another level and deliver games like his GF more consistently with a more balanced midfield where he's not the only player tagged. We all know how good he can be, but he's shouldered too much load for too long which has stopped him being able to consistently reach the level he's capable of, until now.
  • The JK/JD 2 pronged attack staying healthy and maintaining their 2018 form. JK is still a 3+ goal a game player and if he can produce more than half a season, along with JD going close to replicating his form in the first half of 2018 we will absolutely monster some teams, remember 13 - 0.
  • Ryan getting his behavioural issues in check, as a full season from him with natural improvement on his first season and smoothening some of his rougher edges will push him into the elite small forward category. Not only that but it will allow Rioli more midfield time.
  • Rioli establishing himself as a genuine secondary mid rotation, which will also depend on the above point. He has more natural talent than probably any other player on our list and his impact per touch is only comparable to Naitanui. If he can average ~16 touches a game next year then opposition coaches will be pulling their hair out.
  • Venables upping his fitness and production, which will allow him to be used through the middle more, as well allowing Rioli more time in the middle if he can find more of the ball up forward and kick a few more goals. If he can up his disposals from 10 up to 15 a game, and his goals from 0.6 up to 1, then it will just add another things for oppostion defenses to worry about.
  • Oscar Allen making Lecras' position his own, bob up for a goal or 2 here and there and set up a couple more per game. Has the skill and support to do so, hopefully he can gain a little bit of size in the off season which will help.
  • Big if on this one, but if Naitanui can come back and have a similar impact and stay on the park this time around, whether thats through pure luck or cutting down in size, then we will have a massive trump card later in the season. Through his absence we were forced to find a midfield setup that could atleast break even and compete with the best despite no aerial advantage, and sometimes a significant disadvantage. We now have a midfield that can not only compete with the best, but that has shown it can beat the best. Add Naitanui's taps to advantage along with his stoppage work to that mix and we have a very good chance of going back to back.
 

FKASC

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#35
Brayshaw seems highly rated.
Way too slow at the moment

Slightly related, but the Ainsworth pick still seems so bizarre to me, given the success we had this year relying on retaining possession with foot skills.

I think his career may go the Partington route, but for different reasons. He clearly has the attitude and drive.
Some of his disposal in the AFL games he played was close to the worst I’ve seen - made early Ebert look good.

Gee how bad was that late 00’s disposal...Ebert, Selwoods, Houlihan, Swift, Masten and Priddis before they fixed their decision making...yikes
 

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RookiePick

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#37
...

Also, the Eagles will be the hunted now. Look for teams to exploit Essendons thrashing of WCE by running it through the HBF
I agree but we were our own worst enemy that day in a lot of ways. This one and the Tassie debacle were our worst performances of the year.

Essendon were a real PIA last year burned me hard in the tipping both ways.
 

Gugs9

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#40
We are in a unique position coming off a flag in my opinion. The lack of having 3 of our best players miss the GF has become a blessing in disguise in that their hunger will continue to drive this team.

Further, while I do agree you need to improve to continue to challenge, in my view we copped a horrid run with injuries all year to the point where if it even just normalised next year we would improve anyway. Shuey missed 6 games, Gaff 6 games, Kennedy and Nic Nat missed 10+ games, Darling a month and shep went down late. They are 6 of our best players who all missed significant periods.

In any event I think we have a few on the list that will improve next year:
- Barrass' second half of the year was excellent and think he will elevate again next year
- Cole and Duggo will continue to improve in their Half Back roles
- Yeo was already elite this year but was still learning his midfield craft this year as the season progressed. Scary to think he can improve even more
- Sheed finally found his feet come finals and has massive scope to improve on his 2018 output next year
- Allen will be given more opportunities with the retirement of lecras
- With another pre season rioli will become even more consistent
- Ryan and Venables missed half a year this year and they will also continue to grow next year if they remain injury free
 
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#41
Masten.- Question mark as in could somebody do his job better? Waterman?
Hickey - Question mark as to replacing Lycett.
Sheed- Question mark over his consistency.getting a defensive side to his game would give improvement to the side.
Jetta - Question mark over his age and fitness
Cripps - Can improve in big games.
Lecca - Made it easier for the match committee.Maybe his replacement will give us fresh legs.
NN - Lets hope the club gets some weight off him in his comeback.Should be played forward more and ruck less.A fit NN with Vardy must be an improvement on Vardy and a sore Lycett.
Allen and Brander - both got terrific hands and both very mobile, we wont lose by either of them coming into the team.
.Most importantly we must win a good block of games early as per this season.
 

kranky al

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#42
I agree but we were our own worst enemy that day in a lot of ways. This one and the Tassie debacle were our worst performances of the year.

Essendon were a real PIA last year burned me hard in the tipping both ways.
Essendon also have 3 guys with ludicrous pace coming out of there.


Hopefully a fit ryan and rioli can counteract this
 

flyinghi64

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#43
No Injuries.








And

Ryan getting his Sh#% together and playing consistent footy.
Vardy even improving on last year with another full pre-season with Hickey making the Saints look silly for letting him go.

Stop letting teams get a jump on us and spending the next 3 qtr's playing catch up, we can't sustain that.
 

beatlesmith

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#44
Simply put, if Darling stays fit and plays as well as he did last year (before injury) then we're going to give it a nudge.

I honestly think he's the difference between being there or thereabouts and being the best team in the league. When he plays well, we almost invariably win.
 

ROYAL EAGLE

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#46
For me it's simply using our whole list again.
At the end of this season we had a best 22 apart from the 3 that missed the game.

Next year we cant start the season with a best 22 we need to debut another 5 or 6 players
and give games to boys who debuted last season

We should only settle on best 22 just before finals

Guys like Francis Watson, Matthew Allen, Joshua Rotham and Hamish Brayshaw all need to debut

Then there will be our 2018 draftee's well.

So we will need a best 18 each week and allow our bench to be changed each week depending on form.
 

Doashuey

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#47
Dont agree with this ^
You earn the right to play in this team by killing it in the WAFL for an extended period. Sure, if we have injuries, one or some of these guys need to be firing and ready to go. If one of our 22 is stinking it up and needs a spell in the 2s and one of these guys is forcing the issue- do it. But having a metric on the number of debutants and just trying to hit that number with no valid reason to replace a B22 member is not on. Im not saying we dont blood youngsters if there is a good and valid opportunity to do so but lets not base our success on hitting a predetermined number.
We debuted 8 last year- adding an extra 5 or 6 to that number this year would likely mean we have regressed- half our team being 1st or 2nd year players would not be good.

For me, the biggest factor is to maintain the iron-clad belief that we can win anywhere against anybody from almost any position. That's why we won this year and why we can do it again in 2019.
 

ROYAL EAGLE

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#48
Dont agree with this ^
You earn the right to play in this team by killing it in the WAFL for an extended period. Sure, if we have injuries, one or some of these guys need to be firing and ready to go. If one of our 22 is stinking it up and needs a spell in the 2s and one of these guys is forcing the issue- do it. But having a metric on the number of debutants and just trying to hit that number with no valid reason to replace a B22 member is not on. Im not saying we dont blood youngsters if there is a good and valid opportunity to do so but lets not base our success on hitting a predetermined number.
We debuted 8 last year- adding an extra 5 or 6 to that number this year would likely mean we have regressed- half our team being 1st or 2nd year players would not be good.

For me, the biggest factor is to maintain the iron-clad belief that we can win anywhere against anybody from almost any position. That's why we won this year and why we can do it again in 2019.
Man that's a weird comment you made there ?
No way have I said half our team will be 1st or second year players.
I said you have a core 18 players and use the bench to continue to develop
I said we need to continue to develop our list major portion of our success this year
was creating more depth for places in the side.
That makes our best work harder and no complacency.
Those young guys need to show form to be picked like I said.
 

Doashuey

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#49
You actually said we need to dedut at least 5 or 6. Given that we have had 8 debutants last year with at least 3 of them as full time B22 and 4 of them next in line ( OAllen Waterman Brander and Petro) plus Achee then if we have another 5 or 6 joining them that is half a team. If they leapfrog them then either they have dramatically improved or this years cohorts have drastically dropped off.
Either way, setting a metric if 5 to 6 debutants the year after we debued 8 is overstepping the mark IMO.
Of those that havent yet had a run I reckon only Matty Allen will make it. Who we draft will be interesting and until we know that too early to make comment on.
I agree we need pressure from below, all good teams have a best 30. I think we need to develop players of course, but the 8 that were debued last year are the ones we need to develop plus perhaps 1 or 2 that push their case next year.
 
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