Interceptor - The new most important role in an AFL team? | BigFooty

Interceptor - The new most important role in an AFL team?

Discussion in 'AFL - The Australian Football League' started by bris0, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Antares

    Antares All Australian

    Western Bulldogs
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    And do you think having one is mandatory to win a flag?

    For a long while now, most clubs utilized a minimum of two tall defenders to fill the full-back and centre-half back positions on the team sheet, forming the back end of the spine. Then you might have guys like Tom Harley or Nick Maxwell as the third man up role, usually roaming the defence and attempting to spoil as the third man.

    In recent years however, fast, strong, contested marking defenders, capable of generating drive out of defence, seem to have become very important in premiership-winning teams. This year, Jeremy McGovern made a huge difference for West Coast all year with his ability to take big intercept marks, and the big contract West Coast gave him further confirms his importance to their team.
    The previous year we had Alex Rance at Richmond, who's had 5 All-Australians in a row, and is by far their most important pillar in defence.
    In 2016, the Bulldogs had Easton Wood, who while not as tall as the aforementioned two, still easily took as many contested marks. He dropped off a bit since the Dogs won the flag, but him becoming an elite intercept defender in 2015 is one of the biggest reasons the Bulldogs went from a rabble in 2014 to 6th in 2015.
    In Hawthorn's three-peat team from 2013-2015, they had Brian Lake, who arguably revolutionized the role back when he was playing for the Bulldogs, topping the AFL's contested mark stats from defence. Sure enough, the moment the Hawks pushed him out after 2015, they stopped winning Premierships. I know Stratton does a pretty decent job in this role, but his strength was always as more of a pure stopper.

    Then you see players like Jake Lever traded to Melbourne for two first rounders, and guys like Harris Andrews, Aaron Naughton, Tom Barrass, Nick Haynes among others very highly rated and valued internally by their respective clubs.

    Is it now time we start separating the traditional "Key-Position Defender" role from an actual intercepting defender? The general perception of a 'KPD' is a tall, 192-196cm player who plays on the Key-Position Forward, but as we've seen with Easton Wood, there's no height requirement to be a gun interceptor.
     

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  2. AndyLucimitis

    AndyLucimitis Norm Smith Medallist

    Carlton
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    It was also the most important role in Mad Max - freaky !!



    interceptor.jpg
     
  3. Silent Alarm

    Silent Alarm (sandy)

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    The only monster here is the maekung monster that has enslaved our backlines! I call him the Interceptor!
     
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  4. Bluelegs

    Bluelegs Brownlow Medallist

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    The Black Pearl has the Interceptor covered for speed.
     
  5. This Is Anfield

    This Is Anfield Brownlow Medallist

    Richmond
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    They should all drive these in club colours...
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Bazza97

    Bazza97 Premiership Player

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    I think it's a very important and desirable attribute to have in a team's defence. You need to have players who can win the ball back for the team. Having defenders who have the ability to intercept mark is important for a few reasons. One, it takes the pressure off the other defenders. Two, it nullify's the opposition's team to score and three, it gives the team who won the ball back the opportunity to quickly transition into attack. For these reasons, I think intercept marking is one of the most important attributes to have in a team's defensive dynamic.
     
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  7. Milanista28

    Milanista28 Brownlow Medallist

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    So happy we have Aaron Francis.
     
  8. Engimal v3

    Engimal v3 Club Legend

    North Melbourne
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    I feel that Majak somehow turning from shit, to elite intercept backman in 2018 was one of the reasons North finished higher than expected.
     
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  9. master bate

    master bate Brownlow Medallist

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    I think it's very important, but it's also got a bit overrated. Aliir took about 5 great intercept marks early against the Giants then gave up 3 goals from defensive mistakes.

    The thing that makes McGovern so valuable is that he almost never gets beaten in a contest and then he draws the forward to him, so you don't have to worry about getting him on the right match up.

    The game really is about applying and withstanding pressure these days and intercept marks take away an opponents forward pressure but you do have to capitalise on them by quickly countering.

    And it's risk reward. Interceptors are great around half back where they can read the play and pick off kicks, but you need those deep defenders who can stop a dangerous forward. The Eagles had such a nice balance in the grand final. McGovern was marking everything up the field. Barrass was marking it when he was favoured in the contest and punching really well when he wasn't. Schoefield was doing the old school disciplined defender job at full back on DeGoey.
     
  10. STFU Donnie

    STFU Donnie Premiership Player

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    Don't forget these babies from Gerry Anderson's UFO.

    Interceptors.jpg
     
  11. Firestarter

    Firestarter Premium Platinum

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    That and people overrate Carlton up the arse.
     

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  12. Upgrayedd

    Upgrayedd A Vote for Clive is a Vote for Justice

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    I think it's more having the zoning pressure to let guys who can read the play well and have the licence and confidence to move off players and take these marks. Majak Daw can because he knows if he's made a mistake that Thompson can pretty much null the contest, Same with McGovern (who is a top 5 player in the AFL) he can rely on Barras/Shepered to win most the 50/50 so if he leaves his man to take that mark he knows his other 5 defenders will make the right calls and kill the contest

    It's more having your back 6 have absolute faith, restricting supply which makes the guy with the licence to be able to do these things, Did you see the drastic improvement when Worsefold fired Neeld and suddenly its like the back 6 were playing team ball rather then "just make sure MY man doesnt kick the goal" Milanista28 .

    So it's trust in your midfield defensive structure, Having 6 players absolute confidence in themselves. As someone said Stratton this year for us went into AA contension, But ild also argue and great point OP that Stratton was better when he was a pure stopper and it shows in the hawthorn B+F voting he was top 5 in both years when Gibson took the honours
     
  13. Shane Heard

    Shane Heard All Australian

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    Ssssssucks nnnnnitro
     
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  14. Shane Heard

    Shane Heard All Australian

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    8C2CDDD8-06C8-486E-9393-5A35BF554090.jpeg My all time favourite interceptor..
     
  15. Blueyboy74

    Blueyboy74 Club Legend

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    It can't be given that for the 4 years this statistic has been recorded, Alex Rance has been ranked 1st, 3rd, 1st & 1st in total intercepts in the AFL and according to opposition supporters he's overrated.
     
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  16. tigertigertiger

    tigertigertiger Club Legend

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    Have been thinking the same thing, Rance, McGovern (?) eagles, without them results go a very different way!
     
  17. LightTower4

    LightTower4 Club Legend

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    I think it was this one....

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Isaac Cumming No 1

    Isaac Cumming No 1 Premium Platinum

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    I think you're being a bit sensitive. Yes Rance does cop ridiculous criticism, but I think that's more to do with Mexican deep seated rivalry than anything. He's clearly in the top few defenders in the league, and trolls make a lot of noise. Not sure it's anything like a majority.
    McGovern is a genius though, more than anyone he can cover a player by reading the ball and not his man.
     
  19. Balls In

    Balls In All Australian

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    CHB has been the most important position in footy since. . forever
     
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  20. PowerForGood

    PowerForGood Self-imposed Suspension to 2019.

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    If Don Bradman had received the amount of media love that Rance does, he would have been overrated as well.

    Yes I don't think that any one disputes Rance's intercept ability or that he is a good defender in general, it's when his opponent starts kicking goals and everyone madly scrambles around trying to convince us that Rance wasn't on them that the ridicule starts. Some games you'd swear Rance was on no-one following the conversation.
     
  21. PerthBoy86

    PerthBoy86 Premiership Player

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    There may be many Interceptors, but there's only one Governator (his brother doesn't count, though he's getting there).
     
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  22. The_Eagles

    The_Eagles Norm Smith Medallist

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    As has been said a lot lately WA State of Origin side looks All Time, even more so that McGovern then Rance are so clear cut 1 and 2 defenders in the game and marching towards ever
     
  23. The Falcon Strike

    The Falcon Strike Hall of Famer

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    Franklin and Kennedy up front as well....
     
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  24. Ed_Gein

    Ed_Gein You are nex !

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    Aliir Aliir gonna make All-Australian squad next year. Bookmark it. :thumbsu:
     
  25. Elite Master

    Elite Master Norm Smith Medallist

    North Melbourne
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    I think they were a couple of years ago, but it seems the new trendy important role is a defender that can crash packs and take big contestent marks.
     
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