Is this Freo's best ever list?

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gungho

All Australian
Dec 31, 2013
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i know everyone thinks we are in rebuild mode but if you objectively look at who Freo can put on the park at the moment I will venture to say we have a better list than the 2013 grand final side.
2013 Pav is probably better than 2019 Hogan, McPharlin at his best probably covers Alex Pearce (but not by much), and Sandi at his best covers Lobb but,
aside from that, we have genuine quality on every line, and our worst 6 (am thinking Colyer, Switta, Conca, Nyhuis, Brayshaw and Cerra) are still pretty good players.
Am I getting ahead of myself here to think that if we have a good run with injuries and get Blakely and S Hill back in the team then we can give the premiership a shake?
 

greatgatsby

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Oct 17, 2010
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i know everyone thinks we are in rebuild mode but if you objectively look at who Freo can put on the park at the moment I will venture to say we have a better list than the 2013 grand final side.
2013 Pav is probably better than 2019 Hogan, McPharlin at his best probably covers Alex Pearce (but not by much), and Sandi at his best covers Lobb but,
aside from that, we have genuine quality on every line, and our worst 6 (am thinking Colyer, Switta, Conca, Nyhuis, Brayshaw and Cerra) are still pretty good players.
Am I getting ahead of myself here to think that if we have a good run with injuries and get Blakely and S Hill back in the team then we can give the premiership a shake?
For now, yes, but I think it has the potential to be so - noting the list will change a bit over the next couple of years.
 

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Docker82

Premiership Player
Jun 21, 2013
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No. Our A Graders aren’t as good as our 2013 team.

Pavlich, Sandilands, McPharlin and Johnson were bloody special. Fyfe is better know than he was then, Mundy worse now and 2013 Barlow would be our second or third best mid now. Duffield was a better kick than anyone currently on our list bar maybe Walters and Mundy who were on our list in 2013. Ballantyne was a better small forward than Matera is now imo - three good games aren’t enough to change that.

I think our bottom six might be a touch better but those A Graders were what almost took us to a premiership. It’s all potential at the moment. We are closer to our 2010 list than our 2013 on ability to perform right now.

We need to find one or two more A Grade mids. Big couple of off seasons coming up in terms of who’s out of contract too. The fact we have two players born 1994 or later not from WA but so many younger non-WA players on our list somewhat worries me tbh.
 

Heart Of Purple

Team Captain
Mar 26, 2018
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2013 list was pretty strong up the top-end. We probably spread the load a bit better now though (Due to both a weaker top end and stronger bottom end). Brayshaw/Cerra are good lads but they dont really offer much just yet, Matera/McCarthy still have a bit more to prove and the back 6 now are solid, but they don't have the defensive capabilities we used to. Dawsons lockdown jobs were incredible and Johno through that period shits all over Luke Ryan (who I love and think is top 10 defender in the comp) but Johno was on another level for a couple of years there. I think the fact Neale was a sub and Brayshaws a walk up start shows the difference.
Sandi also changes things considerabley, we were able to play a heavily stoppage based game (worked to our mids strength too) given we new we'd get first possesion 90% of the time - changes the whole game.

This crop's got the potential though - especially if Hogan can get going and be that genuine A grade KPF.
 

Dump Truck

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Aug 18, 2009
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In the words of Reverend Lovejoy; "yes" with an "if." Long answer, "no" with a "but."
Yes, IF it continues on this trajectory: We seem to want to be more focused, with more intent on spreading the load. 2012-2015 Pav, McPharlin, Johnno, Mundy, S.Hill, Duffield, Sandilands, Barlow and potentially AA Ballantyne and 2013 Ibbotson could all arguably be walk-up starters in our current team.

Ross seems to have identified the big weaknesses that saw us fall short, so here's my IF's*
IF#1 Lack of fwd support: We don't have a "PAV" like player anymore. One could suggest that Hogan could become that, but it's not necessary anymore. With our goalkicking potency this season, it's obvious we identified we can't be focused on one player, despite him being in the top 10 players ever to play AFL (this is not an argument, just a fact and you will never change my mind).
IF#2 No more reliance on stoppages: We've clearly deviated from that gameplan, despite what some people may believe. We now don't block the way for Fyfe/S.Hill. We now seem to get ourselves in a winning position through the duration of the game, and not rely on stoppages and mauls to transfer the play.
IF#3 Less negating players: Let me be clear, I loved Dawson/Crowley/Suban etc. Crowley, Dawson were all lockdown/role players and were brilliant at the roles they were assigned, however, it meant Fyfe/Mundy/Hill had to work harder to create the results. I probably love Suban more than most, but we seem to have transitioned from having more than 1 or 2 negating players. Hamling/Pearce can both play a role outside their spoils. Conca can also distribute the ball as well as block, Tucker/Banfield can tag but don't, Ross trusts our mids to break even.
If#4: The spread is more even: Our bottom 6 won't be predominantly foot soldiers. Suban, Mzungu, DeBoer, C.Peierce, Mayne (brilliant 2013/14, 2015 became mainly a tackler with fewer goals). I think we've tried to lessen the top 6 to the bottom 6, hopefully, it's a successful model.

So short answer....No, BUT; we could be.

*I'm completely aware I'm talking out of my arse.
 

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anchor man

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Apr 6, 2001
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Who would you take?

Alex Pearce - Joel Hamling - Luke Ryan
or
Luke McPharlin - Zac Dawson - Michael Johnson

Considering Hamling is our most experienced defender at 69 games it's quite something that we're evening discussing it.
What has to be remembered in that comparison, is that the latter three were all experienced campaigners at that stage.
Our three back right now are still learning their trade.Hamling 70 or so games,Pearce 48 games,37.
On past performance yes MCPharlin Dawson and Johnson.But give the other boys another couple of years we may be thinking differently.
Though I loved the way Zac Dawson played to Lyons plan, I think that football wise Ryan leaves him for dead.And that is at this early stage of his career.
 

SHill Shall

Club Legend
Aug 22, 2009
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What has to be remembered in that comparison, is that the latter three were all experienced campaigners at that stage.
Our three back right now are still learning their trade.Hamling 70 or so games,Pearce 48 games,37.
On past performance yes MCPharlin Dawson and Johnson.But give the other boys another couple of years we may be thinking differently.
Though I loved the way Zac Dawson played to Lyons plan, I think that football wise Ryan leaves him for dead.And that is at this early stage of his career.
I see Hamling as the equivalent to Dawson now. AP is the Macca replacement and currently Hughes (perhaps in time Logue) the Jonno equivalent.
 

beetz

Premiership Player
Apr 30, 2014
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Overall, yes but we have had seasons where we had elite top tier players such as Pav, McPharlin, Sandilands in the same team. However, had to many crappy role players like Clayton Hinkley.
 

fnerd

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Aug 23, 2009
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Duffield was a better kick than anyone currently on our list bar maybe Walters and Mundy who were on our list in 2013.

Ryan is just as good a kick as Duffield but can actually intercept and defend - not even in the same conversation in terms of worth to the side.
Very true and Was also 10x as soft as Luke ....

buuuuut....Duffield was more than just a good kick for the team , would often rack up midfield type possession numbers which combined with his elite kicking meant he was a very good creator for the team particularly in transitioning the ball.
Was a great compliment to our other lockdown defenders at the time.
Was no coincidence our transition from defence went become pretty much the worst in the Comp once he retired
 

Belnakor

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Apr 10, 2005
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Midfield not there, no guarantee it will ever be either. Good to be excited again about the team but perhaps 2-3 rounds early for that question for this year.
we're building. On the weekend when the game was up for grabs, first bounce down in the 4th, Ross went with Brayshaw as one of the midfielders. Very significant Ross is beginning to trust these guys when we need them the most.
 

Docker82

Premiership Player
Jun 21, 2013
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Duffield was a better kick than anyone currently on our list bar maybe Walters and Mundy who were on our list in 2013.

Ryan is just as good a kick as Duffield but can actually intercept and defend - not even in the same conversation in terms of worth to the side.
I know you’re quoting me so here goes:

Duffield is the best kick from the back half we’ve ever had. Honestly Ryan is probably the better player on current form for the other reasons above but to say he’s just as good a kick as Duffield is just plain wrong imo. Perhaps it’s not a major reason why the 2013 list is better - as you rightly point out Ryan is a bloody good intercept/rebounding defender but Duffield’s kicking was huge for that team and from watching that team I stand by my comments that he was at least the third or fourth best kick we’ve had since 2013 (I deliberately left Stephen Hill out of my post above as I think our wingmen are quite alright atm).
 

bushchook

Team Captain
Dec 9, 2018
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2010 was our strongest list year IMO. Had all the same players as in 2013 bar Neale and Taberner but with Hasleby and Roger Hayden still playing.
 

heypenny

All Australian
Oct 10, 2006
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It could be in terms of talent. If you look at the average age and games for 2013 - it was significantly higher. Consistency comes with age and experience and I think we are going to see a lot more ups and downs in 2019. It will be a tough feat to make finals this year but will be really valuable for the young guys and provide confidence going into 2020.

We are starting to establish a strong back 6. We have a good front 6 on paper however they need to keep developing and maintain consistency. The middle lacks depth but hopefully we'll be okay with the emergence of Blakely, Brayshaw and Cerra
 

Farrand

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Sep 20, 2003
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I think we're forgetting how good we were in 1997 like when we smashed the Bombers. The team that day was:

B: Chisholm O'Reilly Parker
HB: Black Carroll McGovern
C: Dhurrkay Allan Toia
HF: Callaghan Bandy Leach
F: Leach Hunter Abraham
R: Burton Mitchell Wills
I/C: White Harding Kickett Clement

But in all serious, our 2003-2009 team was fairly strong and makes you wonder if a more accomplised coach could have done something with us.
 

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