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

swingdog

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#76
Most have been identified but anyway:

1. The ruck in the first half of the season. Yes, a fit and firing Naitanui makes a huge difference but before then we're facing probably half a season without him. Vardy and Lycett excelled as a duo and we need the same from Vardy and whichever of the replacements gets up.

2. Replacing Le Cras - may not have had his greatest season but reliable and worked as part of a cohesive forward line. We need that danger player that others can't afford to ignore. May be Ah Chee or Venables stepping up.

3. In that same vein, Waterman coming on and playing more consistently like he did in the first 6-7 games of the season. Hard running, tall, extra option going forward.

4. A fired up Gaff, ready to atone.

5. Someone to attract the tag away from Shuey a la the Grand Final, though given that experience can't see many teams making that mistake again. Alternatively, someone to do the Rowan Jones blocking role.
 

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AsterixTheGaul

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#77
3 factors apart from a fully fit list and returning NicNat

1. Friends Family and Flags
All plural so if the culture and the leadership prevail then it’s the cornerstone to putting the s at the end of flags

2. WAFL Eagles demonstrating the same spirit and implementing the same game plan meaning there is legitimate pressure for places with confidence in the next 22 and the Match Committee taking action when a player is not delivering

3. Performance above reputation to be the mantra. Examples: Sheed gets a gig because he is deserving it not because he kicked the winning goal in the GF. Ryan does not get a game until his fitness level are back to desired level. Hickey knows he may be new but the number 1 ruck role is given to the best performing ruckman. Patchy performances means a stint in the WAFL.

So all of these are mental issues. We have the list. We have the culture. The above 3 will ensure we stay hungry and do not wallow is s premiership hangover
 

CatRiot

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#80
Is Dom Sheed becoming your premiere onballer now?

He should've won the Norm Smith.

I've been backing him with these silly odds for the Brownlow win, top3, top5, top 10 finishes.

What do people think - does he have a shot for the Brownlow this season?

2018 GF + JLT1 + JLT2 form is red hot.
 

AsterixTheGaul

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#82
Is Dom Sheed becoming your premiere onballer now?

He should've won the Norm Smith.

I've been backing him with these silly odds for the Brownlow win, top3, top5, top 10 finishes.

What do people think - does he have a shot for the Brownlow this season?

2018 GF + JLT1 + JLT2 form is red hot.
Shuey was so far the Norm Smith winner it wasn’t a close call.

Yes Sheed is winning a load of the pill but his d/e has been low, around the 50% mark. I am hoping he takes the next step and improves his composure and therefore improve his accuracy. If he can do that, then it is back to his Larke Medalist form. A proven vote winner but there again umpires don’t vote in the U18 carnival
 

Eaglespur

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#83
I think the most obvious would be getting Darling and Kennedy on the park together would it not? We are so much more delicious and dangerous when they are both playing
 

Patron

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#84
1. Naitanui’s return
Whether he can come back and still be a premier ruck-man and be fit and firing for finals will be huge.

2. The game plan
As far as I’m concerned simmo won us that premiership, the question is with a few rule changes etc will our intercept marking and kicking game still be relevant in 2019? If so we can go back to back.

3. The big forwards
Kennedy and JD need to stay fit


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NYRB

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#87
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?
I think for me is how well the East Coast teams have or will have improved by playing a second season at our new Perth stadium. I think West Coast and Freo had big advantages last year playing there (as so it should be ).

If you get a 55,000+ crowd there for an Eagles game, its their 19th man on the field.

The question will be have the East Coast teams figured a way out to play on our backyard? And if so, can they deal with 55,000 + fans baying for their blood for 3 hours? I live on the East Coast but I dont think any of their sports team are as passionate as the Eagles fans.
 

Astro7

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#88
Internally, where does the improvement come from?
My money is on Rioli, Sheed and Barrass.
Yes, Sheed, Rioli and Barrass have arrived! Rioli, of course, could still go gangbusters.

But I think Redden can improve more, just nudge up to a sub-par Yeo, Gaff and Shuey?
Certainly Ryan, Duggan, Cole and Venables look to improve this season.
Darling might be the consistent beast he's threatened to be..
Waterman is tipped to come on strong this season.
Then you have the usual suspects of O.Allen, Brander, Watson and Petrol.(the next gen.)
The mystery box goes to Smith, Cameron, Nelson...and 'where is AhChee?'
 

AsterixTheGaul

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#89
I think for me is how well the East Coast teams have or will have improved by playing a second season at our new Perth stadium. I think West Coast and Freo had big advantages last year playing there (as so it should be ).

If you get a 55,000+ crowd there for an Eagles game, its their 19th man on the field.

The question will be have the East Coast teams figured a way out to play on our backyard? And if so, can they deal with 55,000 + fans baying for their blood for 3 hours? I live on the East Coast but I dont think any of their sports team are as passionate as the Eagles fans.
Melbourne are the only team to have been to Optus a second time and look at the level of improvement they discovered in the Prelim?

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I think the opposite will occur with West Coast using the oval and "friendly" atmosphere to advantage.
 

NYRB

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#90
Make no mistake a GWS, Gold Coast, Brisbane Lions , poorly supported Victorian team, will always be at a slight disadvantage playing with less fans barracking for them or when they need that energy push from the crowd.

I watched the Juventus v Atletico Madrid champions league match this week, and the way players especially Ronaldo, encouraged and tried to garner the supporters to lift when that team needed, was what got them over the line. A big crowd lifts players as fans and players feed off each other. (PS I don't classify Grand Finals, big Vicrotian Derbies, ANZAC day games as games where there is 'significant crowd advantage') Still, it will take a good side on a good day to beat West Coast on their home deck. Essendon, Sydney and Melbourne were able to do it last season, which goes to show that if your off your game against any average to top side on your day , you will lose. I just feel for those 'big games' , all the games where there is more at stake, its a massive advantage the Coasters have. Dare I say I reckon any final West Coast get on their home deck, its a 5 goal advantage straight up.

Teams like Eagles, Crows, Power and lesser extent the Swans have big advantages where they play interstate opposition on their home deck.
 
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