Late to this but solid analysis. One extra point - FJ hired and trained Matty Clarke, so not only is he still working in the team, he built the team. The only real change in 2016 was hierarchical, the team is the same otherwise, so it seems arbitrary to use that to separate 'recruiting eras'.We analysed this in fine detail on the Francis Jackson thread.
My conclusion after comparing Richmond recruiting with two of the standard bearers of the Jackson era(2005-2015) was that even after allowing for Richmond’s better array of picks we outperformed the Hawks and roughly broke even or slightly outperformed the very highly rated Cats recruiting department over this period.
We discussed all the issues around resourcing etc on the thread and I think it is clear in hindsight on any fair comparison that Jackson did a fantastic job. I think I commented it is also clear that the club sees him as a very good recruiter because he was retained after the 2016 review where a lot of footy department employees were not, so it is not like they were afraid to sack people.
The evolution of our recruiting department seems to have been fantastic. Since Jackson was employed as a full time recruiter in 2006, two further full timers were added in 2009, another I think in 2013 and nobody has left. The club seems to have done a great job backing all of these guys despite some understandable hiccups along the way, especially given the relatively huge lack of resources in the early years. That Hartley and Clarke and Williams added to Jackson’s performance is to be expected as they were replacing thin air. That they performed well under him must also reflect well upon him. That they have also performed well sitting over Jackson in the hierarchy since 2017 must also partially reflect well on Jackson.
I could go on but I think the disdain some posters show for Jackson is completely unfair and he has been a brilliant force for the RFC. He seems to have been especially strong in the area of finding team players of great character…perhaps his school teacher background gave him a big edge in this area.
Anyway, here is the Hawthorn comparison I did from that thread:
I will start with my benchmark of 100 games for the club as a starting point measure of successful drafting here. We can break this group down further later. During the Jackson period, we drafted the following list of players who have played 100 games or more for Richmond or who look nearly certain to do so.
White, Riewoldt, Edwards, King, Cotchin, Rance, Vickery, Martin, Astbury, Grimes, Conca, Houli, B Ellis, Vlastuin, Mcintosh, Short, Castagna, Lambert, Rioli, Broad. (20 players)
Hawthorn came up with the following list:
Birchall, Guerra, Suckling, Rioli, Whitecross, Schoenmakers, Shiels, Breust, Stratton, Duryea, Smith, Puopolo, Ceglar, Sicily, Hardwick. (15 players)
Both clubs took roughly 90 picks in the period. I think it is fair to assume Jackson had a better array of picks to work with, but let us see if that is correct. I will list all top 60 picks both clubs took, and let’s just say after that, all picks are of roughly equal value including rookie picks because if a club really wanted to take a player who ends up at another club with a later pick than 60 they have had their chance.
Richmond array of top 60 picks 2005-2015:
2, 3, 6, 8, 8, 9, 12, 12, 13, 15, 15, 18, 19, 24, 26, 26, 26, 30, 31, 33, 33, 35, 40, 42, 44, 47, 50, 50, 51, 51, 51, 52, 55, 58, 58, 60, (all those numbers add up to 1103/36 = our average draft pick in this sample is 30.63)
As we can see:
- 36 picks in the top 60, including
- 6 x top 10 picks
- 7 x 11-20 range picks
- 5 x 21-30 range picks
- 5 x 31-40 range picks
- 5 x 41-50 range picks
- 8 x 51-60 range picks
Hawthorn array of top 60 picks 2005-2015:
3, 6, 6, 12, 14, 16, 18, 19, 19, 22, 22, 24, 24, 28, 29, 31, 33, 33, 34, 38, 38, 38, 38, 39, 40, 44, 45, 46, 49, 50, 50, 53, 55, 56, 56, 57, 58, 59(all those numbers add up to 1302/38 picks = Hawks average pick from this sample was 34.26.)
- 38 picks in the top 60, including
- 3 x top 10 picks
- 6 x 11-20 range picks
- 6 x 21-30 range picks
- 10 x 31-40 range picks
- 6 x 41-50 range picks
- 7 x 51-60 range picks
Top 10 picks, Richmond 6 v Hawks 3
11-30 range picks, Richmond 12 v Hawks 12
30-60 range picks Hawks 23 v Tigers 18
You would have to say the Tigers had the better picks at the high quality end despite Hawks having more top 40 picks overall. Just looking at that array, you would say you would expect the Tigers to find about 2-3 extra high grade or elite players, but hold no other advantage.
Now I will attempt to grade both clubs’ 100+ game players.
Richmond V Hawthorn
Elite - Riewoldt, Cotchin, Rance, Martin. V Rioli, Smith, (*Josh Kennedy)
Very high grade players who may not be truly elite - Edwards, Grimes, Houli, Vlastuin, Lambert V Birchall, Shiels, Breust, Sicily, Stratton
Other above average players for 100+ gamers - Astbury, Ellis, Rioli V Guerra, Hardwick, Puopolo, (*Ben McGlynn)
Average for 100+ gamers - Broad, Mcintosh, Conca, Short, Castagna, King, White V Ceglar, Duryea, Suckling
Disappointing for 100+ gamers - Vickery V Schoenmakers, Whitecross(neither ever really established themselves as first choice players over a sustained period)
I think what you see is the expected couple of extra elite players on the Tigers side. Aside from that it is quite even, though the Tigers probably have some extra younger players who could realistically move up the rankings over and above what the Hawks have.
* Make up your own mind about Kennedy and McGlynn. The Hawks drafted them in the period, but they only ever played a handful of matches at the Hawks. They were each traded away essentially for picks around 40 so the Hawks didn’t rate them highly. Kennedy in any event was a bit of a gift as a father son in the third round and Richmond/Jackson never got any such gifts in that period.
Overall, in terms of drafting meaningful players, and adjusting for the picks each club had at their disposal, I would say Richmond comes out decently on comparison. Certainly nothing to be sacking your recruiter over, and they didn’t. The Tigers picked up a couple more elite players and they are proper highly decorated elite, Brownlow Medallist, All Australian Captain, triple Coleman Medallist, Premiership captain, 5 time All Australian. Each of our elite guys has at least one of those accolades to his name. I think I am right in saying the Hawks didn’t come up with any of those from their draft haul in the period. We drafted 16 premiership players in the period, the Hawks drafted 13.
Also, for interest sake, let’s also list top 30 hits and misses....
Richmond(average top 30 pick is pick 15.1)
8 strong outcomes from the 18 top 30 picks. 2 Cotchin, 3, Martin, 9 Vlastuin, 13 Riewoldt, 15 Ellis, 15 Rioli, 18 Rance, 26 Edwards
8 Outright fails: 8 Oakley-Nichols, 19 Ben Griffiths, 12 Ben Lennon, 12 Corey Ellis 24 Cleve Hughes, 26 Todd Elton, 26 Jayden Post, 30 Jake Batchelor,
2 Not good outcomes: 8 Vickery, 6 Conca though both played over a hundred games and Vickery compensation got us the Bolton pick.
Hawthorn(average top 30 pick is pick 17.5)
3 strong outcomes from 15 top 30 picks. 12 Rioli 14 Birchall 19 Smith
2 jury out. 28 Tim O’Brien 19 Ryan Burton(traded out plus effectively about pick 10 for 25yo Wingard, so maybe they got about pick 19 value back for him)
5 Outright fails: 6 Beau Dowler, 6 Mitch Thorp, 22 Kieran Lovell, 22 Beau Muston, 24 Billy Hurtung,
5 Not good outcomes: 24 Brent Renouf, 18 Max Bailey, 3 Xavier Ellis none of these played 100 games but pretty sure all played in one flag, 16 Schoenmakers and 29 Whitecross who never really established as first choice but also played in a flag each.
I think Richmond do really well on that comparison, although we did again have the better array of picks to work with.
We have selected the benchmark club of the era here and analysed it I think fairly and carefully in this post. I think Francis Jackson has been shown to have done well overall. When you consider that he was part-time in 2005, full-time but the only recruiter 2006-2008, and the recruiting department remained under-resourced versus AFL average until 2014, well if he was truly responsible for all our recruiting decisions 2005-2015, he has performed miracles to not lower his colours to the much better resourced Hawks.
It is a good point actually. There is a clear continuum from when Jackson started full time in 2006. The reasons I stopped the analysis when I did was to isolate the era when Jackson was nominally in charge, and for which he was getting such fierce criticism from certain circles. But also, it left enough time for us to get a good line on how the last of the recruits from that era were progressing, whereas say judging the recruiting in 2018 or 2019 is more difficult until the players recruited in that period progress further into their careers.Late to this but solid analysis. One extra point - FJ hired and trained Matty Clarke, so not only is he still working in the team, he built the team. The only real change in 2016 was hierarchical, the team is the same otherwise, so it seems arbitrary to use that to separate 'recruiting eras'.