Analysis Inexperience watch

Last of the Roys

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Thread starter #1
After being convertered about the impact of the Lions inexperience over the course of the year, I have been watching it closely most weeks.

The more inexperienced kids we play in a match compared to the opposition the less likely we are to be competitive. Obviously this is not the only significant factor in the outcome of any match, but it is one of the biggest.

So as a simple proxy of that (so that I could look at the stats quickly) I have reviewed all of our games this year for the number of players with less than 25 games experience in our side vs. the opposition. Here are the results:
  • Round 1 - Won by 41 points against Melbourne at the MCG - Lions 6 vs. Melbourne 5 (we had 6 players with less than 25 games experience, the Dees had 5)
  • Round 2 - Lost by 91 points against Carlton at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Carlton 4
  • Round 3 - Lost by 29 points against Freo at Subiaco - Lions 7 vs. Freo 4
  • Round 4 - Won by 65 points against Gold Coast at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. GC 14
  • Round 5 - Lost by 38 points against Geelong at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. Geelong 7
  • Round 6 - Lost by 67 points against Essendon at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. Essendon 2
  • Round 7 - Lost by 58 points against Collingwood at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Pies 4
  • Round 8 - Won by 92 points against GWS at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. GWS 16
  • Round 9 - Lost by 16 points against North at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. North 5
  • Round 10 - Won by 2 points against WC at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. WC 3
  • Round 11 - BYE
  • Round 12 - Lost by 65 points against the Hawks at the MCG - Lions 9 vs. Hawks 3
  • Round 13 - Won by 58 points against the Bulldogs at Etihad - Lions 7 vs. Dogs 8
  • Round 14 - Won by 61 points against Melbourne at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. Dees 6 (9 if the cut off was 31 games)
  • Round 15 - vs. Sydney at the SCG - Lions 8 or 9 vs. Sydney 1 (based on round 14 and the possibility of McGrath being replaced by an inexperienced player)
Basically when there has been a significant difference (3 or more difference) in the number of young inexperienced players the results have gone with the more experienced team everytime (the blue matches) except for our win against West Coast.

This makes me pretty wary of our match against the Swans. It is not impossible that we could win, but history is against us. (The Swans do have 4 players with less than 37 games; and they seem to fade a lot in last quarters - so getting a good start will be critical).

If we really do want to be competitive for the rest of the season I think we need to manage the difference in young inexperienced players vs. our opposition. Obviously we can't do anything about what the opposition side is, but trying to keep our number of young players down to about 7 could make the difference when coming up against vastly more experienced sides.

I realise it is not an easy thing to manage, especially when there are good young players playing well in the reserves and we get injuries to experienced players. But if we ignore it we do so at our peril.

(I will try to keep this thread updated for the rest of the year to see if the level of inexperience continues to make a difference)
 

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#2
After being convertered about the impact of the Lions inexperience over the course of the year, I have been watching it closely most weeks.

The more inexperienced kids we play in a match compared to the opposition the less likely we are to be competitive. Obviously this is not the only significant factor in the outcome of any match, but it is one of the biggest.

So as a simple proxy of that (so that I could look at the stats quickly) I have reviewed all of our games this year for the number of players with less than 25 games experience in our side vs. the opposition. Here are the results:
  • Round 1 - Won by 41 points against Melbourne at the MCG - Lions 6 vs. Melbourne 5 (we had 6 players with less than 25 games experience, the Dees had 5)
  • Round 2 - Lost by 91 points against Carlton at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Carlton 4
  • Round 3 - Lost by 29 points against Freo at Subiaco - Lions 7 vs. Freo 4
  • Round 4 - Won by 65 points against Gold Coast at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. GC 14
  • Round 5 - Lost by 38 points against Geelong at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. Geelong 7
  • Round 6 - Lost by 67 points against Essendon at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. Essendon 2
  • Round 7 - Lost by 58 points against Collingwood at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Pies 4
  • Round 8 - Won by 92 points against GWS at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. GWS 16
  • Round 9 - Lost by 16 points against North at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. North 5
  • Round 10 - Won by 2 points against WC at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. WC 3
  • Round 11 - BYE
  • Round 12 - Lost by 65 points against the Hawks at the MCG - Lions 9 vs. Hawks 3
  • Round 13 - Won by 58 points against the Bulldogs at Etihad - Lions 7 vs. Dogs 8
  • Round 14 - Won by 61 points against Melbourne at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. Dees 6 (9 if the cut off was 31 games)
  • Round 15 - vs. Sydney at the SCG - Lions 8 or 9 vs. Sydney 1 (based on round 14 and the possibility of McGrath being replaced by an inexperienced player)
Basically when there has been a significant difference (3 or more difference) in the number of young inexperienced players the results have gone with the more experienced team everytime (the blue matches) except for our win against West Coast.

This makes me pretty wary of our match against the Swans. It is not impossible that we could win, but history is against us. (The Swans do have 4 players with less than 37 games; and they seem to fade a lot in last quarters - so getting a good start will be critical).

If we really do want to be competitive for the rest of the season I think we need to manage the difference in young inexperienced players vs. our opposition. Obviously we can't do anything about what the opposition side is, but trying to keep our number of young players down to about 7 could make the difference when coming up against vastly more experienced sides.

I realise it is not an easy thing to manage, especially when there are good young players playing well in the reserves and we get injuries to experienced players. But if we ignore it we do so at our peril.

(I will try to keep this thread updated for the rest of the year to see if the level of inexperience continues to make a difference)
Unless we get NM's medical staff I can't see this happening for the next season and a half.

While your theory has merit, stats (as we know) cannot encapsulate the entire argument.

I'm sure you would agree that If you watched a performance of the lions before and after round 8, it's abundantly clear that those are two completely different teams playing. One looks to have clear structures in place that are high risk/reward that are paying off, the other does not.

I do agree however with the 7 players under 25 games per match ratio.
 

chopperduck

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#3
Unless we get NM's medical staff I can't see this happening for the next season and a half.

While your theory has merit, stats (as we know) cannot encapsulate the entire argument.

I'm sure you would agree that If you watched a performance of the lions before and after round 8, it's abundantly clear that those are two completely different teams playing. One looks to have clear structures in place that are high risk/reward that are paying off, the other does not.

I do agree however with the 7 players under 25 games per match ratio.
I think it's worth noting the experience levels of the rest of the team above 25 games in games where under 25 game players are similar in number. We've improved a lot over the course of the year, and i think you can attribute that to young players starting to learn and execute the game plan, as well as gelling and getting use to one another. It's why you do have to be careful about bringing in ssoooo many fresh faces, especially kids in their first or 2nd years. There is no reason to rush these players, they are still getting benefit from playing in the 2nds, and you might upset team balance in the process.

I agree with LOTR that we can't really carry any more youngsters than around that 7 mark, and it's probably why we've settled on this current team when we could probably play another 2 or 3 playing well in the 2nds. The other side of it is player management of those under 25 game players themselves, they usually won't have the fitness to play out a full year, and you are better off managing their work load, letting them play out the year in the 2nds so they get some footy into them and they are fit for preseason, rather than run them into the ground in the seniors trying to fast track them.

Rocky is the perfect example, didn't play much in his first year, didn't have the fitness. Just because he was a promising player doesn't mean you need to force senior games into them. They won't be of any benefit if they aren't physically or mentally ready to play at that level.
 

Gibbo_88

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#5
Good effort LOTR. Even though we have a few guys such as Golby and Harwood close to playing over 25 games for the club over the next year I can see that number of players under 25 games staying very similar as this season and next should be the ones that Docherty, Bartlett, Lisle, Longer and Yeo are rotated through the side.
 

BeamStar17

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#6
Good effort LOTR. Even though we have a few guys such as Golby and Harwood close to playing over 25 games for the club over the next year I can see that number of players under 25 games staying very similar as this season and next should be the ones that Docherty, Bartlett, Lisle, Longer and Yeo are rotated through the side.
Add Beams (8) and Crisp (3) to that list as well.
 

POBT

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#8
If we really do want to be competitive for the rest of the season I think we need to manage the difference in young inexperienced players vs. our opposition. Obviously we can't do anything about what the opposition side is, but trying to keep our number of young players down to about 7 could make the difference when coming up against vastly more experienced sides.
My mind turned immediately to this statement when I saw the ins and outs for this week's match. The loss of McGrath's experience is offset by the selection of an experienced campaigner (Stiller) whilst Golby/Polec (total of 35 games) were replaced by Karnezis/Crisp (total of 18 games).

I don't think experience is the defining factor in team selection but I certainly reckon LOTR is on to something when he talks about managing the number of inexperienced players named each week.

Good thread.
 

king and i

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#9
Good effort LOTR. Sydney having but 1 is a bit of a surprise... and statistically a concern. Fortunately stats suck!:p
After how many games do players start to decline... statistically speaking I wonder?
 

mINORITY

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#10
A well thought out and expressed argument LOTR, and there does seem to be a pattern there, with round 10 being an outlier. It will be interesting to see how the figures look at the end of the season.
 

BigCat2

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#11
Good thread. And I think the 25 gamer theory holds up quite well, unless you have players like Joel Selwood who look like veterans in their 1st season.
 

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Haggis McHaggis

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#12
The loss of experience from the team that played tonight was telling IMO. It wasn't just the years played, but also the cohesion that's been built recently being broken up in a key line.

Goose = the strong bodied defender that would've allowed us to keep Merrett forward
Ash = the experienced, smart small forward. Missed in offense & defense
Black = the clearance king that could've really been the difference in the middle

Time and again, as we lost confidence, the young lads were drawn inside. We failed to keep our width, and got killed once the ball got out. So much second guessing & indecision. It stood out like the dogs proverbial.
 

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Thread starter #13
The loss of experience from the team that played tonight was telling IMO. It wasn't just the years played, but also the cohesion that's been built recently being broken up in a key line.

Goose = the strong bodied defender that would've allowed us to keep Merrett forward
Ash = the experienced, smart small forward. Missed in offense & defense
Black = the clearance king that could've really been the difference in the middle

Time and again, as we lost confidence, the young lads were drawn inside. We failed to keep our width, and got killed once the ball got out. So much second guessing & indecision. It stood out like the dogs proverbial.
Yeah it played out as I thought it would after things started to go against us, particularly from the second quarter onwards. Once that initial enthusiasm / momentum is lost and you are facing a hard task - then any inexperienced team tends to wilt. I guess at least it wasn't as bad as it could have been.


For the record it was:
- Round 15 - Lost by 47 points against the Swans at the SCG - Lions 9 (players <25 games) vs. Sydney 1.
 

weevil

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#14
Yeah it played out as I thought it would after things started to go against us, particularly from the second quarter onwards. Once that initial enthusiasm / momentum is lost and you are facing a hard task - then any inexperienced team tends to wilt. I guess at least it wasn't as bad as it could have been.
Fully agree. Think this is very much along the lines of what the coaches were saying about the team needing to learn how to absorb the times when the opposition gets on top, and then being able to strike back.

The kids are fine when they are full of beans and everything is rolling nicely. Soon as the Swans got those couple of quick goals at the start you could see the energy drain completely out of our game.

It’s easy to talk about confidence, but the players need to genuinely feel it and that takes time and experience.
 

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Thread starter #15
This week the selected teams line up with the Lions having 7 players with less than 25 games experience vs. the Saints with 4. That is a lot better than the Sydney game and a fair bit better than what it would have been if neither team had made any changes from last week (it would have been 9 vs. 3 inexperienced players based on the round 15 teams).

Perhaps Vossy and the others selecting the team had this in mind with some of the changes this week. It will still be very difficult to win, but this week is obviously a lot more winable than the Sydney match.
 

ZoBlitz

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This week the selected teams line up with the Lions having 7 players with less than 25 games experience vs. the Saints with 4. That is a lot better than the Sydney game and a fair bit better than what it would have been if neither team had made any changes from last week (it would have been 9 vs. 3 inexperienced players based on the round 15 teams).

Perhaps Vossy and the others selecting the team had this in mind with some of the changes this week. It will still be very difficult to win, but this week is obviously a lot more winable than the Sydney match.
It's obvious that they have been following this thread. No doubt if we win this week you should take a fair share of the credit. :thumbsu:
 

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Thread starter #17
To update the results a bit, things have continued as expected so far:
  • Round 1 - Won by 41 points against Melbourne at the MCG - Lions 6 vs. Melbourne 5 (we had 6 players with less than 25 games experience, the Dees had 5)
  • Round 2 - Lost by 91 points against Carlton at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Carlton 4
  • Round 3 - Lost by 29 points against Freo at Subiaco - Lions 7 vs. Freo 4
  • Round 4 - Won by 65 points against Gold Coast at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. GC 14
  • Round 5 - Lost by 38 points against Geelong at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. Geelong 7
  • Round 6 - Lost by 67 points against Essendon at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. Essendon 2
  • Round 7 - Lost by 58 points against Collingwood at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Pies 4
  • Round 8 - Won by 92 points against GWS at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. GWS 16
  • Round 9 - Lost by 16 points against North at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. North 5
  • Round 10 - Won by 2 points against WC at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. WC 3
  • Round 11 - BYE
  • Round 12 - Lost by 65 points against the Hawks at the MCG - Lions 9 vs. Hawks 3
  • Round 13 - Won by 58 points against the Bulldogs at Etihad - Lions 7 vs. Dogs 8
  • Round 14 - Won by 61 points against Melbourne at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. Dees 6 (Melbourne had 9 players if the cut off was 31 games)
  • Round 15 - Lost by 47 points against the Swans at the SCG - Lions 9 vs. Sydney 1
  • Round 16 - Lost by 13 points against the Saints at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Saints 4
  • Round 17 - Won by 11 points against the Suns at Metricon - Lions 8 vs. Suns 9 (although Gold Coast had 16 players with less than 35 games experience)
This week against West Coast is obviously another tough one. If the teams stay unchanged it will be the Lions with 8 players <25 games experience vs. West Coast with 2 (although the Eagles have 5 players with less than 40 games experience).

On a brighter note some of our players are very close to moving out of the 'very inexperienced' category. Harwood and Bewick are on 23 games, ACorn is on 22 and Golby is on 21.
 

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Thread starter #18
Last weeks belting from West Coast highlighted perfectly what a huge experience gap can do. We ended up having 8 players with less than 25 games experience vs. the Eagles with 0. No wonder we got shown up along the lines that Gold Coast and GWS do.

It is also surely a big wake-up call for those on here that constantly call for more and more young players each week. Yeah you can do that, but be prepared for some massive hammerings when you do.

This week we are looking a fair bit better, but we are still definitely on the wrong side of the ledger:
- Lions with 7 players with less than 25 games experience vs. Richmond with 4.
- although the Lions have 8 players with less than 35 games experience vs. Richmond with 6

One interesting thing to note is Harwood is playing his 25th game so he technically jumps out of the 'very inexperienced' category I have created (for Richmond Post is playing his 26th game, so it evens out).
 

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Thread starter #19
Just looked at the games played for the teams this week and suprisingly we both have exactly the same number of very inexperienced players (with less than 25 games experience): Lions 6 vs. Carlton 6

In addition both teams have 2 players each that are just over that are just over that mark - for us Harwood plays his 26th game and Bewick his 25th (I guess technically he has had only 24 games experience coming in). Carlton have Curnow playing his 27th game and Tuhoy playing his 28th.

Despite that I am pretty sure Carlton is still fielding a much more experienced side than us if you look at average games played. I am not sure if those stats are easily available anywhere, but I couldn't be bothered calculating them.

(Edit - for the record with Maguire pulling out it end up as Lions 7 vs. Carlton 6)
 

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Here is the latest update of this year's results:
  • Round 1 - Won by 41 points against Melbourne at the MCG - Lions 6 vs. Melbourne 5 (we had 6 players with less than 25 games experience, the Dees had 5)
  • Round 2 - Lost by 91 points against Carlton at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Carlton 4
  • Round 3 - Lost by 29 points against Freo at Subiaco - Lions 7 vs. Freo 4
  • Round 4 - Won by 65 points against Gold Coast at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. GC 14
  • Round 5 - Lost by 38 points against Geelong at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. Geelong 7
  • Round 6 - Lost by 67 points against Essendon at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. Essendon 2
  • Round 7 - Lost by 58 points against Collingwood at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Pies 4
  • Round 8 - Won by 92 points against GWS at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. GWS 16
  • Round 9 - Lost by 16 points against North at Etihad - Lions 8 vs. North 5
  • Round 10 - Won by 2 points against WC at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. WC 3
  • Round 11 - BYE
  • Round 12 - Lost by 65 points against the Hawks at the MCG - Lions 9 vs. Hawks 3
  • Round 13 - Won by 58 points against the Bulldogs at Etihad - Lions 7 vs. Dogs 8
  • Round 14 - Won by 61 points against Melbourne at the GABBA - Lions 8 vs. Dees 6 (Melbourne had 9 players if the cut off was 31 games)
  • Round 15 - Lost by 47 points against the Swans at the SCG - Lions 9 vs. Sydney 1
  • Round 16 - Lost by 13 points against the Saints at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Saints 4
  • Round 17 - Won by 11 points against the Suns at Metricon - Lions 8 vs. Suns 9 (although Gold Coast had 16 players with less than 35 games experience)
  • Round 18 - Lost by 98 points against the Eagles at Subiaco - Lions 8 vs. Eagles 0
  • Round 19 - Lost by 48 points against Richmond at the GABBA - Lions 7 vs. Tigers 4
  • Round 20 - Lost by 36 points against Carlton at Etihad - Lions 7 vs. Carlton 6
  • Round 21 - Won by 10 points against the Crows at the GABBA - Lions 6 vs. Crows 4
  • Round 22 - Won by 11 points against Port at AAMI - Lions 5 vs. Port 6
This week against the Bulldogs at the GABBA if the teams remain unchanged the Lions will have 5 players with less than 25 games vs. the Bulldogs with 9 such players.

Although three of our players have only just broken the 25 game barrier - Bewick on 27, Harwood 28 and Hawksley 31.
 

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Thread starter #23
I have been meaning to update this thread from last year for a while as I think inexperience continues to be one of our biggest problems. Having a look at our list in the lead-up to the NAB Cup Grand Final I was actually shocked at how inexperienced we still are. I didn't want to deflate everybody's bubble so I delayed posting about it. Although the first few rounds may have proven what I suspected - we are just too inexperienced to be a real contender this year (which doesn't mean we can't play well and still win a fair amount of games / possibily even challenge for the last spot in the 8 if everything goes right).

There are a number of ways to measure inexperience, such as: average age; average games played; a detailed look at the distribution of total games played across each list; number of very inexperienced players; etc.

I chose to look at the number of players with less than 25 games experience because it was easy to use and it anecdotally seems to be a reasonable indicator of inexperience and how a team is likely to perform on average when compared to the experience of the opposition they are facing. When there is a big gap in experience that is when you are more likely to struggle to win.

Obviously there a whole host of other issues going on in football matches besides experience. It is definitely not the only factor, or necessarily the determining factor – however it does seem pretty significant.

Anyway, here are a couple of lists / ladders I developed looking at every club's inexperience:

Total number of players on each club’s list at the start of 2013 who had played 25 games or more (including Rookie list players):
1. West Coast 32 players
2. Hawthorn 28
=3. Collingwood 27
=3. Sydney 27
=5. Carlton 26
=5. Essendon 26
7. Richmond 25
=8. Adelaide 23
=8. Fremantle 23
=8. Geelong 23
=8. North Melbourne 23
=12. Gold Coast 21
=12. Melbourne 21
=12. Western Bulldogs 21
=15. Brisbane Lions 20
=15. Port Adelaide 20
=15. St.Kilda 20
18. GWS 9

Total number of players in each club’s senior side in Round 1, 2013 who had played less than 25 games
=1. Carlton 2 players
=1. Hawthorn 2
=1. North Melbourne 2
=1. Sydney 2
=1. West Coast 2
=6. Adelaide 3
=6. Fremantle 3
=6. Richmond 3
=9. Collingwood 4
=9. Essendon 4
=9. Geelong 4
=12. Melbourne 7
=12. St.Kilda 7
=12. Western Bulldogs 7
=15. Brisbane Lions 8
=15. Gold Coast 8
17. Port Adelaide 12
18. GWS 17
 

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Thread starter #24
I also looked at the list distribution for each club according to games played (after round 2, 2013 – not including Rookie list players). I did the table in Word, but it almost completely stuffed up when I pasted it into here. You can still read it - but it takes much more effort than it should.
0-24
25-49
50-99
100-199
200+
Total
Brisbane
20 players (0-24 games)
2 players (25-49 games)
8 players (50-99 games)
8 players (100-199 games)
2 players (200+ games)
40 players (in total on senior list)
Adelaide
17
8
6
7
2
40
Carlton
14
4
10
8
2
38
Collingwood
14
3
7
13
3
40
Essendon
13
9
10
6
2
40
Freo
17
4
9
8
2
40
Geelong
23*
5
3
10
5
46*
Gold Coast
21
12
3
5
1
42
GWS
41
1
4
3
1
50
Hawthorn
12
8
6
10
4
40
Melbourne
19
5
7
9
0
40
North
17
6
10
5
2
40
Port
20
4
6
8
2
40
Richmond
16
2
13
8
1
40
St.Kilda
20
2
5
8
5
40
Sydney
12
4
9
9
4
38
West Coast
9
7
12
8
4
40
Bulldogs
18
9
4
6
3
40
*I think Geelong’s numbers include Rookies.

The Lions seem to have too many players with less than 25 games; not enough in the next four brackets; very low between 25-49; and we need more players in the last three brackets to be a premiership contender.
 

Gibbo_88

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#25
Will be interesting to see what this is like by halfway through the season. I know we have Golby, Karnezis, Zorko, Green and Lester just outside the 25 games experience but we will probably see more of Mayes and Longer and also possibly the debut of Paps, Clarke and Doch.
 
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