Draft Expert Knightmare's 2021 Draft Almanac

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Knightmare

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Thanks for the reply KM.

I think my main point is that although you are right in some ways. If the Tigers can grab someone like Green from GWS next year (for type of player), pick up a quality KPF in the draft then they suddenly start to have a decently balanced list.

To me the tigers list is, for young guys, relatively shallow and not well balanced. But the 25-30 age group is actually quite strong and deep. The weakness is that the A grade players are mainly 30+ now. I don't think that picking up decent older players cheap will fix that. What the club is doing is trying to fix short term issues whilst rebuilding the list from the draft - unlike the other dynasty teams so far. So what I see is 2-3 year problem of the list becoming unbalanced and losing quality. (Which I suspect Geelong will face very soon if not this year). But I also think that a couple of good pick ups = rebuild (in the short term - a la Geelong). If the club can pick up a few more key pieces in the next couple of years then, with some good development, the Tigers will be back somewhere around contention at the same time as the big $ from Dusty etc come off the books. That then leads to the ability to go hard for FA's. Anyway, that's how I see it - a 3-5 year plan to be back in the window.

Green would be an obvious and excellent target if he comes onto the market.

Ages 25-33 is where Richmond's talent is largely concentrated, with Baker and Graham soon to join that age bracket. That means you're in the win-now category. I'd be making the most of that opportunity and aggressively pushing given that. And in any club situation, I'd be looking to improve my list.

The point people and clubs alike miss is age demographics don't matter. No one knows it, because clubs are always busily talking about their age demographics and drafting youth to ensure they meet age demographic levels they intend to stay within. It misses the point entirely that most of the young players you draft will fail and be out of the competition in a few years and that only a small few of those young ones drafted could in the long run be pieces of significance who can be built around.

Older lists that have played together for a long time helps towards winning normally, but the push for good youth by all clubs is overboard and not in keeping with past results when we reflect back.

We're in the free agency era whereby you can easily trade for and acquire undervalued players at discount rates and on top of that, there are mature age prospects who offer both higher floors and higher ceilings than their younger draft alternatives. No club has aggressively pushed the limits, but if they did, and clubs outside of the first two rounds of the draft went almost always for mature agers, and would happily trade down and trade for undervalued opposition talents, there is huge potential to outperform, with these being the highest % opportunities to improve your list and secure the best value from an opportunity cost perspective.

What people miss looking at Geelong is they haven't overconcentrated by drafting mature agers, but the mature agers they have taken despite not even being early picks have been so good that they've elevated Geelong's list and a number of them have been among their best players. Mature agers drafted generally aren't even that old with clubs, and Richmond recently to their credit is the only club that doesn't have this total blind spot, with clubs ignoring mature agers over the age of 25 completely.

Building through the draft (and securing youth) is the lowest percentage way of building a list and the easiest way to get wrecked and often generationally wrecked, particularly when clubs overconcentrate on the draft and don't put together the established footballers and established leaders around them to enable them to develop.

I'll create on YouTube over the coming weeks a breakdown of in hindsight those best-15 players from each draft. I'm not yet decided just how far I'll go back. Perhaps to 2009 as that was when I started contributing on Bigfooty. People won't believe until going through the names how many mature agers and overagers make those top-15s and how much later they went - be it mid draft/late/rookie compared to those younger guys who make those top-15s.

It staggers me, and this isn't a go at any one person in particular as my view is universally everyone in the industry is guilty of this as they're just not aware, but it staggers me how broadly no one understands that mature age prospects offer both, and this is across any draft you look at, higher floors and higher ceilings compared to players drafted out of the u18s and that there is a point in every draft where you're moving into the higher success % threshold once going for mature agers every time from at least outside the first 40 picked.
 

Dr Tigris

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Green would be an obvious and excellent target if he comes onto the market.

Ages 25-33 is where Richmond's talent is largely concentrated, with Baker and Graham soon to join that age bracket. That means you're in the win-now category. I'd be making the most of that opportunity and aggressively pushing given that. And in any club situation, I'd be looking to improve my list.

The point people and clubs alike miss is age demographics don't matter. No one knows it, because clubs are always busily talking about their age demographics and drafting youth to ensure they meet age demographic levels they intend to stay within. It misses the point entirely that most of the young players you draft will fail and be out of the competition in a few years and that only a small few of those young ones drafted could in the long run be pieces of significance who can be built around.

Older lists that have played together for a long time helps towards winning normally, but the push for good youth by all clubs is overboard and not in keeping with past results when we reflect back.

We're in the free agency era whereby you can easily trade for and acquire undervalued players at discount rates and on top of that, there are mature age prospects who offer both higher floors and higher ceilings than their younger draft alternatives. No club has aggressively pushed the limits, but if they did, and clubs outside of the first two rounds of the draft went almost always for mature agers, and would happily trade down and trade for undervalued opposition talents, there is huge potential to outperform, with these being the highest % opportunities to improve your list and secure the best value from an opportunity cost perspective.

What people miss looking at Geelong is they haven't overconcentrated by drafting mature agers, but the mature agers they have taken despite not even being early picks have been so good that they've elevated Geelong's list and a number of them have been among their best players. Mature agers drafted generally aren't even that old with clubs, and Richmond recently to their credit is the only club that doesn't have this total blind spot, with clubs ignoring mature agers over the age of 25 completely.

Building through the draft (and securing youth) is the lowest percentage way of building a list and the easiest way to get wrecked and often generationally wrecked, particularly when clubs overconcentrate on the draft and don't put together the established footballers and established leaders around them to enable them to develop.

I'll create on YouTube over the coming weeks a breakdown of in hindsight those best-15 players from each draft. I'm not yet decided just how far I'll go back. Perhaps to 2009 as that was when I started contributing on Bigfooty. People won't believe until going through the names how many mature agers and overagers make those top-15s and how much later they went - be it mid draft/late/rookie compared to those younger guys who make those top-15s.

It staggers me, and this isn't a go at any one person in particular as my view is universally everyone in the industry is guilty of this as they're just not aware, but it staggers me how broadly no one understands that mature age prospects offer both, and this is across any draft you look at, higher floors and higher ceilings compared to players drafted out of the u18s and that there is a point in every draft where you're moving into the higher success % threshold once going for mature agers every time from at least outside the first 40 picked.

Agree pretty much completely.

Outside of the top 20, and maybe 30ish, picks if you can get someone to play good AFL standard footy for 2 years you've won. And a 25 year old with the proven talent might do that for 5 years at a much lower risk.

Where I do disagree is the top end talent that is needed to win premierships. These are usually top 10 picks, and cost a fortune in trades. Sometimes you get a champ cheap. I think at some point a massive focus on mature players can leave you with a team of B grade talent. You'll make the top 8 most likely, but won't win premierships. Another way of saying what I am saying is that the point is not to win the most matches (mature agers probably is the way to do that most easily), but it is to win more than one premiership each 18 years. And to win the last game in September (most years anyway :moustache:) typically requires that you have 5ish A graders. Which then means you most likely need to have drafted a bunch of them, and maybe traded/FA in the others.

So in summary I agree with you in the abstract, but think that a more aggressive pursuit of top 10 picks alongside a more money ball approach would likely be the 'best' approach. Trade your 1st and 2nd to get that high end pick and then go for the cheaper guys you are talking about. My thoughts anyway.
 

Tiger_Of_Old

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. The decline of Cotchin and Dusty. That's a killer. Dusty isn't competitive with the likes of Petracca and Bont, both of whom have far surpassed the player Dusty now at this age/stage is, no longer looking like even a top-10 player in the competition,
12 mnths ago he won his 3rd Norm Smith.lol
Think tigerfan1961 is right.
 

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Knightmare

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Agree pretty much completely.

Outside of the top 20, and maybe 30ish, picks if you can get someone to play good AFL standard footy for 2 years you've won. And a 25 year old with the proven talent might do that for 5 years at a much lower risk.

Where I do disagree is the top end talent that is needed to win premierships. These are usually top 10 picks, and cost a fortune in trades. Sometimes you get a champ cheap. I think at some point a massive focus on mature players can leave you with a team of B grade talent. You'll make the top 8 most likely, but won't win premierships. Another way of saying what I am saying is that the point is not to win the most matches (mature agers probably is the way to do that most easily), but it is to win more than one premiership each 18 years. And to win the last game in September (most years anyway :moustache:) typically requires that you have 5ish A graders. Which then means you most likely need to have drafted a bunch of them, and maybe traded/FA in the others.

So in summary I agree with you in the abstract, but think that a more aggressive pursuit of top 10 picks alongside a more money ball approach would likely be the 'best' approach. Trade your 1st and 2nd to get that high end pick and then go for the cheaper guys you are talking about. My thoughts anyway.

The bolded I strongly disagree with and is a widespread misconception, and the most unproductive to clubs looking to maximise their draft returns.

Whether it's Tim Kelly, Liam Ryan, Bayley Fritsch, Liam Baker, Tom Stewart, Rowan Marshall, Luke Ryan, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Tom Papley, Jack Steele, Reilly O'Brien, Adam Saad, Charlie Cameron, Ben Brown, Aliir Aliir, Dane Rampe, Nick Haynes, Mark Blicavs, Jeremy Howe, Isaac Smith, James Podsiadly, Ben Stratton, Michael Barlow. These are among the calibre of high end names we've had either as overagers or mature agers drafted. And I could be selective and go generations further back and add the Sam Mitchell's and Matt Priddis', but for the purposes of this response, I'm keeping it to more recent names to show they're still out there and attainable. Those guys are all clear-cut top-10 on any list calibre pieces in their primes and top-15 players from their respective drafts and major difference makers towards premiership success. And there may be others, but these are names top of mind. They're not just role players or b-graders. You can get b-grade mature agers, but these are guys aren't all just b-graders and when doing a comparison for the same parts of the draft, you're not getting junior talent in the same parts of the draft who are this great at this frequency. That's why I'm talking about mature agers not only having a higher floor than prospects taken through the junior ranks, but also when we hit that certainly 40+ part of the draft each year, and most years it's earlier than that, mature agers offer the best of both.

I still support using early selections to draft the best talent, particularly if there is someone who projects to be great or a generational talent. I'm not here to propose trading out of early picks. I am here though to suggest clubs never bottom out though. To take this year for example, Matthew Johnson went pick 21. Inside the top-10 I would have been comfortable drafting him. Finlay Macrae last year made it through to pick 19. If I'm picking late first round as a Geelong who are pretty much a top-4 side just about every year might be. I'm more than happy bringing in that calibre of footballer and comfortable with not needing a pick up the very pointy end of the draft. Further to that, if I have a team that hasn't given up hope and is looking to remain competitive and I have an established group of good footballers and an established leadership group, I'd also back those guys I'm drafting to outperform a good number of those players picked up the very pointy end of the draft. I view that approach as dramatically better than being a say Gold Coast and drafting generationally great talent - David Swallow, Jaeger O'Meara and Jack Martin alike all had top-5 in competition scope. Jack Lukosius is the best junior I've seen and Izak Rankine is the most exciting I've seen and the most influential when 'on.' Look at the career outcomes of those kinds of top talents going to bad teams v a Hawthorn who with late/rookie picks mostly have even with un-incredible drafting have been able to develop talents to a level dramatically higher than those guys have any right to develop into based on even the most optimistic pre-draft evaluations.

12 mnths ago he won his 3rd Norm Smith.lol
Think tigerfan1961 is right.

A lot can change in 12 months and has changed. Mid-year, and I was among the very few, but in my mid-year All-Australian team, one of the players who most disagreed with me having in there was actually Dusty, (Bolton was also in there - and I like both because you get the dual position difference making impact). I'm still of the view Dusty is a difference maker and Richmond's most valuable and a more than capable #1 option, but my view is he is no longer a top-10 player in the competition, and given he's only aging and his body is in decline, he's likely to get worse rather than better from this point.

Petracca, Bont, C.Oliver, Steele, Macrae, Zorko, Liberatore, Lyons, Parish, Wines, Cunnington, Walsh, Miller and Parker as midfielders top of mind all had better 2021 seasons. Greene as a forward was also better. If we're to just look at players who play similar positions.
 

Tiger_Of_Old

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The bolded I strongly disagree with and is a widespread misconception, and the most unproductive to clubs looking to maximise their draft returns.

Whether it's Tim Kelly, Liam Ryan, Bayley Fritsch, Liam Baker, Tom Stewart, Rowan Marshall, Luke Ryan, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, Tom Papley, Jack Steele, Reilly O'Brien, Adam Saad, Charlie Cameron, Ben Brown, Aliir Aliir, Dane Rampe, Nick Haynes, Mark Blicavs, Jeremy Howe, Isaac Smith, James Podsiadly, Ben Stratton, Michael Barlow. These are among the calibre of high end names we've had either as overagers or mature agers drafted. And I could be selective and go generations further back and add the Sam Mitchell's and Matt Priddis', but for the purposes of this response, I'm keeping it to more recent names to show they're still out there and attainable. Those guys are all clear-cut top-10 on any list calibre pieces in their primes and top-15 players from their respective drafts and major difference makers towards premiership success. And there may be others, but these are names top of mind. They're not just role players or b-graders. You can get b-grade mature agers, but these are guys aren't all just b-graders and when doing a comparison for the same parts of the draft, you're not getting junior talent in the same parts of the draft who are this great at this frequency. That's why I'm talking about mature agers not only having a higher floor than prospects taken through the junior ranks, but also when we hit that certainly 40+ part of the draft each year, and most years it's earlier than that, mature agers offer the best of both.

I still support using early selections to draft the best talent, particularly if there is someone who projects to be great or a generational talent. I'm not here to propose trading out of early picks. I am here though to suggest clubs never bottom out though. To take this year for example, Matthew Johnson went pick 21. Inside the top-10 I would have been comfortable drafting him. Finlay Macrae last year made it through to pick 19. If I'm picking late first round as a Geelong who are pretty much a top-4 side just about every year might be. I'm more than happy bringing in that calibre of footballer and comfortable with not needing a pick up the very pointy end of the draft. Further to that, if I have a team that hasn't given up hope and is looking to remain competitive and I have an established group of good footballers and an established leadership group, I'd also back those guys I'm drafting to outperform a good number of those players picked up the very pointy end of the draft. I view that approach as dramatically better than being a say Gold Coast and drafting generationally great talent - David Swallow, Jaeger O'Meara and Jack Martin alike all had top-5 in competition scope. Jack Lukosius is the best junior I've seen and Izak Rankine is the most exciting I've seen and the most influential when 'on.' Look at the career outcomes of those kinds of top talents going to bad teams v a Hawthorn who with late/rookie picks mostly have even with un-incredible drafting have been able to develop talents to a level dramatically higher than those guys have any right to develop into based on even the most optimistic pre-draft evaluations.



A lot can change in 12 months and has changed. Mid-year, and I was among the very few, but in my mid-year All-Australian team, one of the players who most disagreed with me having in there was actually Dusty, (Bolton was also in there - and I like both because you get the dual position difference making impact). I'm still of the view Dusty is a difference maker and Richmond's most valuable and a more than capable #1 option, but my view is he is no longer a top-10 player in the competition, and given he's only aging and his body is in decline, he's likely to get worse rather than better from this point.

Petracca, Bont, C.Oliver, Steele, Macrae, Zorko, Liberatore, Lyons, Parish, Wines, Cunnington, Walsh, Miller and Parker as midfielders top of mind all had better 2021 seasons. Greene as a forward was also better. If we're to just look at players who play similar positions.
His body in decline really?
Injured through impact not failing of his body.
Dusty has missed off the top of my head 8 or so games in his career.
Just adds more scepitsm in regards your your overall thinking of not just Dusty but our midfield group as a whole.
 

Knightmare

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His body in decline really?
Injured through impact not failing of his body.
Dusty has missed off the top of my head 8 or so games in his career.
Just adds more scepitsm in regards your your overall thinking of not just Dusty but our midfield group as a whole.

When you're dead last as a team, with separation in clearances and just 17th in contested possessions, there is no case to make that Richmond's midfield is even passable as currently constructed.

The positive component to Richmond's midfield is by having Dusty and Bolton you have high end dual position difference makers. If we look at Richmond's midfield in isolation, Collingwood is the only team I could make a case for having a worse midfield.

Even moving away from raw numbers and moving it to differential, again, Richmond are dead last for clearance differential and 16th for contested possession differential. Not healthy numbers.

As a midfield, as this will be the argument Richmond fans should be making - Richmond's pressure through the midfield has been superior during those premiership years and meant opposition sides didn't get clean ball out of there. And that's accurate. What has changed is Richmond now aren't that same pressure and tackling team. Richmond ranked 13th in the AFL last season for tackles per game. I don't have team pressure act stats, but those will as with the tackle numbers be well down, with opposition scores from stoppages against Richmond rising and Richmond's scoring off turnover dramatically dropping in 2021 which was a consistent theme to Richmond's 2021 season.

On Dusty. His durability for his career has been exceptional. Now that he's 30, that same durability can't be assumed. It's a bonus if he gets through a season healthy and doesn't miss a stretch of games, rather than an exceptional. For my prediction going forward with Dusty. I'm very concerned about his weight loss. Mild weight loss late career is generally a smart play, as you generally want less weight on your joints to be able to extend careers. What worries me with Dusty is the amount of weight lost and understanding his game and how he plays. He's not going to be as influential without the weight, as his game relies on him having not just the power, but the strength to fend off, to take advantage 1v1, to win his own footy when it's there to be won. What I'm fully expecting to happen is Dusty performs to below expectation, he tries to put on weight realising his mistake, then he'll at some point after that have injury interruptions. I'm fully anticipating the great footballer we saw from 2017-2020 is done playing that level of football and while I fully expect he'll remain a difference maker who impacts winning both through the midfield and up forward, it's likely to be bumpier going and far less frequent than Richmond fans have enjoyed during those contending years.
 

Dr Tigris

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When you're dead last as a team, with separation in clearances and just 17th in contested possessions, there is no case to make that Richmond's midfield is even passable as currently constructed.

The positive component to Richmond's midfield is by having Dusty and Bolton you have high end dual position difference makers. If we look at Richmond's midfield in isolation, Collingwood is the only team I could make a case for having a worse midfield.

Even moving away from raw numbers and moving it to differential, again, Richmond are dead last for clearance differential and 16th for contested possession differential. Not healthy numbers.

As a midfield, as this will be the argument Richmond fans should be making - Richmond's pressure through the midfield has been superior during those premiership years and meant opposition sides didn't get clean ball out of there. And that's accurate. What has changed is Richmond now aren't that same pressure and tackling team. Richmond ranked 13th in the AFL last season for tackles per game. I don't have team pressure act stats, but those will as with the tackle numbers be well down, with opposition scores from stoppages against Richmond rising and Richmond's scoring off turnover dramatically dropping in 2021 which was a consistent theme to Richmond's 2021 season.

On Dusty. His durability for his career has been exceptional. Now that he's 30, that same durability can't be assumed. It's a bonus if he gets through a season healthy and doesn't miss a stretch of games, rather than an exceptional. For my prediction going forward with Dusty. I'm very concerned about his weight loss. Mild weight loss late career is generally a smart play, as you generally want less weight on your joints to be able to extend careers. What worries me with Dusty is the amount of weight lost and understanding his game and how he plays. He's not going to be as influential without the weight, as his game relies on him having not just the power, but the strength to fend off, to take advantage 1v1, to win his own footy when it's there to be won. What I'm fully expecting to happen is Dusty performs to below expectation, he tries to put on weight realising his mistake, then he'll at some point after that have injury interruptions. I'm fully anticipating the great footballer we saw from 2017-2020 is done playing that level of football and while I fully expect he'll remain a difference maker who impacts winning both through the midfield and up forward, it's likely to be bumpier going and far less frequent than Richmond fans have enjoyed during those contending years.

Just on the weight loss. Dusty lost about 10KG. But plans to play about 1KG lighter this year. So the whole weight thing is a bit of a Furphy. He has had a focus on improving his running - for the midfield.
 

Knightmare

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Just on the weight loss. Dusty lost about 10KG. But plans to play about 1KG lighter this year. So the whole weight thing is a bit of a Furphy. He has had a focus on improving his running - for the midfield.

As long as no strength or power is lost, that's the key to Dusty playing his best football.

I don't know his current weight or precisely what he plans to play at, but around 91kg should be about right for him. Sub 90kg and I'd worry he's moving away from his strengths.
 

tigerfan1961

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When you're dead last as a team, with separation in clearances and just 17th in contested possessions, there is no case to make that Richmond's midfield is even passable as currently constructed.

The positive component to Richmond's midfield is by having Dusty and Bolton you have high end dual position difference makers. If we look at Richmond's midfield in isolation, Collingwood is the only team I could make a case for having a worse midfield.

Even moving away from raw numbers and moving it to differential, again, Richmond are dead last for clearance differential and 16th for contested possession differential. Not healthy numbers.

As a midfield, as this will be the argument Richmond fans should be making - Richmond's pressure through the midfield has been superior during those premiership years and meant opposition sides didn't get clean ball out of there. And that's accurate. What has changed is Richmond now aren't that same pressure and tackling team. Richmond ranked 13th in the AFL last season for tackles per game. I don't have team pressure act stats, but those will as with the tackle numbers be well down, with opposition scores from stoppages against Richmond rising and Richmond's scoring off turnover dramatically dropping in 2021 which was a consistent theme to Richmond's 2021 season.

On Dusty. His durability for his career has been exceptional. Now that he's 30, that same durability can't be assumed. It's a bonus if he gets through a season healthy and doesn't miss a stretch of games, rather than an exceptional. For my prediction going forward with Dusty. I'm very concerned about his weight loss. Mild weight loss late career is generally a smart play, as you generally want less weight on your joints to be able to extend careers. What worries me with Dusty is the amount of weight lost and understanding his game and how he plays. He's not going to be as influential without the weight, as his game relies on him having not just the power, but the strength to fend off, to take advantage 1v1, to win his own footy when it's there to be won. What I'm fully expecting to happen is Dusty performs to below expectation, he tries to put on weight realising his mistake, then he'll at some point after that have injury interruptions. I'm fully anticipating the great footballer we saw from 2017-2020 is done playing that level of football and while I fully expect he'll remain a difference maker who impacts winning both through the midfield and up forward, it's likely to be bumpier going and far less frequent than Richmond fans have enjoyed during those contending years.
Trying hard to not reply but can’t help myself. Yep, poor rankings this past year for clearances and contested ball for sure but you don’t think injuries had just a little to do with that?
Previous year in the finals, they stepped up and smashed sides in both categories in each of the 3 winning finals. But nah, write them off as obviously last year is the new norm in your eyes.
Strongly disagree with you but I accept you’re entitled to your opinion. Take the best mids out of any side and they’ll struggle, even the seemingly invincible (lol) Dees midfield.
Definitely over and out now👍
 

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Trying hard to not reply but can’t help myself. Yep, poor rankings this past year for clearances and contested ball for sure but you don’t think injuries had just a little to do with that?
Previous year in the finals, they stepped up and smashed sides in both categories in each of the 3 winning finals. But nah, write them off as obviously last year is the new norm in your eyes.
Strongly disagree with you but I accept you’re entitled to your opinion. Take the best mids out of any side and they’ll struggle, even the seemingly invincible (lol) Dees midfield.
Definitely over and out now👍
Don’t know why you’re getting upset about @Knightmare’s point of view. You’ll probably find a majority of other supporters believe the same.

Any sport is very much a, “you’re only as good as your last game/season, until you prove doubters wrong”.
 
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tigerfan1961

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Don’t know why you’re getting upset about @Knightmare’s point of view. You’ll probably find a majority of other supporters believe the same.

Any sort is very much a, “you’re only as good as your last game/season, until you prove doubters wrong”.
Not upset at all, just disagree. KM and others are entitled to their opinion
 

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dee64

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Trying hard to not reply but can’t help myself. Yep, poor rankings this past year for clearances and contested ball for sure but you don’t think injuries had just a little to do with that?
Previous year in the finals, they stepped up and smashed sides in both categories in each of the 3 winning finals. But nah, write them off as obviously last year is the new norm in your eyes.
Strongly disagree with you but I accept you’re entitled to your opinion. Take the best mids out of any side and they’ll struggle, even the seemingly invincible (lol) Dees midfield.
Definitely over and out now👍
So who was missing from the much vaunted Tigers midfield when the Dees smashed you in Rd 6? I just watched the start of the game, and your starting midfield was Cotchin, Martin and Edwards.
 

Tiger_Of_Old

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When you're dead last as a team, with separation in clearances and just 17th in contested possessions, there is no case to make that Richmond's midfield is even passable as currently constructed.

The positive component to Richmond's midfield is by having Dusty and Bolton you have high end dual position difference makers. If we look at Richmond's midfield in isolation, Collingwood is the only team I could make a case for having a worse midfield.

Even moving away from raw numbers and moving it to differential, again, Richmond are dead last for clearance differential and 16th for contested possession differential. Not healthy numbers.

As a midfield, as this will be the argument Richmond fans should be making - Richmond's pressure through the midfield has been superior during those premiership years and meant opposition sides didn't get clean ball out of there. And that's accurate. What has changed is Richmond now aren't that same pressure and tackling team. Richmond ranked 13th in the AFL last season for tackles per game. I don't have team pressure act stats, but those will as with the tackle numbers be well down, with opposition scores from stoppages against Richmond rising and Richmond's scoring off turnover dramatically dropping in 2021 which was a consistent theme to Richmond's 2021 season.

On Dusty. His durability for his career has been exceptional. Now that he's 30, that same durability can't be assumed. It's a bonus if he gets through a season healthy and doesn't miss a stretch of games, rather than an exceptional. For my prediction going forward with Dusty. I'm very concerned about his weight loss. Mild weight loss late career is generally a smart play, as you generally want less weight on your joints to be able to extend careers. What worries me with Dusty is the amount of weight lost and understanding his game and how he plays. He's not going to be as influential without the weight, as his game relies on him having not just the power, but the strength to fend off, to take advantage 1v1, to win his own footy when it's there to be won. What I'm fully expecting to happen is Dusty performs to below expectation, he tries to put on weight realising his mistake, then he'll at some point after that have injury interruptions. I'm fully anticipating the great footballer we saw from 2017-2020 is done playing that level of football and while I fully expect he'll remain a difference maker who impacts winning both through the midfield and up forward, it's likely to be bumpier going and far less frequent than Richmond fans have enjoyed during those contending years.
All i'll say is.
Write Dusty off at your own peril.
 

northeasttiger

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Knightmare Richmond's midfield stats have been average since Soldo was shoved into oncoming players by Hawkins and did his ACL.

A fully fit Soldo will give our midfield more access to the ball in centre bounces and ball ups.
 

Marcel Proust

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Don’t know why you’re getting upset about @Knightmare’s point of view. You’ll probably find a majority of other supporters believe the same.

Any sport is very much a, “you’re only as good as your last game/season, until you prove doubters wrong”.

Richmond also had poor mid stats when they won flags.

Stats are often overrated people too focused on super coach
 

briztoon

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Richmond also had poor mid stats when they won flags.

Stats are often overrated people too focused on super coach
I’m not focused on stats. I don’t even look at them in such a discussion.

I don’t believe the current Richmond team is as good as it was just two seasons ago.

Players age, fringe players leave, injuries occur. Opposition teams improve.

Richmond also look to have had a couple of average to poor drafts in ‘19 and ‘20. So there’s a question about the ext tier of talent coming through.

Opposition teams adapt, and the league changes some rules.

2021 might have been an aberration, but until Richmond prove the doubters wrong, I don’t believe they make the 8.
 

Knightmare

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Trying hard to not reply but can’t help myself. Yep, poor rankings this past year for clearances and contested ball for sure but you don’t think injuries had just a little to do with that?
Previous year in the finals, they stepped up and smashed sides in both categories in each of the 3 winning finals. But nah, write them off as obviously last year is the new norm in your eyes.
Strongly disagree with you but I accept you’re entitled to your opinion. Take the best mids out of any side and they’ll struggle, even the seemingly invincible (lol) Dees midfield.
Definitely over and out now👍

2021 isn't the first year Richmond have been a poor clearance or contested possession team. Richmond even during the 2017-2020 stretch had negative clearance differentials in the vast majority of games, with 2017 the only year Richmond at least made it to double digit clearance wins, and it took prime Dusty and prime Cotchin to do even that.

Richmond during those winning seasons weren't a team that beat other teams out of the middle regularly. Richmond weren't like a Melbourne or any of this year's really top-6 sides where midfield superiority played such a major part in their success. Richmond tried to get more meaningful exits from stoppages than opponents and tended to do so from a higher % of those clearances, so it was very much a qualitative approach - focusing on high quality exits from stoppages while negating the damage of opposition clearances. Richmond's gamestyle was very much pressure, tackle, try to cause turnover and stop opponents from getting good delivery and score off the turnover, and give away more free kicks than the opposing team due to style of play. It was about empowering those defenders and making them more impactful as that line of stretch. And often that often meant in a midfield context being second to the ball. Playing that kind of football.

Richmond's three premierships and that four year run was exceptional. Unlike a lot of great teams past though, Richmond's midfield wasn't the reason or even on the shortlist of reasons Richmond were great. Unusual as that is, as most of the great teams had fairly major midfield superiorities.

All i'll say is.
Write Dusty off at your own peril.

I wouldn't say I'm writing Dusty off. I still view him and expect for him to be a high level difference maker both forward and through the midfield. I'm not expecting him to return to being in that best in the competition conversation though. I'm happy to write him off from that. It's hard to see him outplaying Petracca or Bont in 2022 if they continue to play the level of football they have been.

Knightmare Richmond's midfield stats have been average since Soldo was shoved into oncoming players by Hawkins and did his ACL.

A fully fit Soldo will give our midfield more access to the ball in centre bounces and ball ups.

Richmond's midfield stats with the core of this group have never been impressive. 2017 was the last time Richmond made it to double digit clearance wins, and it took prime Dusty and prime Cotchin to do even that.

Soldo I do agree can give Richmond's midfielders first use to a higher standard than Nankervis, but I don't consider him an upgrade, with Nankervis' impact otherwise the greater of the two in my opinion at least, even if looking back at 2020 play.

Seems early to write off Nyuon. Ralphsmith. Rioli. Dow etc but each to his own

Nyuon is one I hope Richmond show patience with. He's one of Richmond's younger players where if he puts in the work and receives senior opportunities, I see upside. He's better than Aliir Aliir was at the same age, with Aliir taking time to reach that 2018 level of intercepting play in defence.
 

GhostofJimJess

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2021 isn't the first year Richmond have been a poor clearance or contested possession team. Richmond even during the 2017-2020 stretch had negative clearance differentials in the vast majority of games, with 2017 the only year Richmond at least made it to double digit clearance wins, and it took prime Dusty and prime Cotchin to do even that.

Richmond during those winning seasons weren't a team that beat other teams out of the middle regularly. Richmond weren't like a Melbourne or any of this year's really top-6 sides where midfield superiority played such a major part in their success. Richmond tried to get more meaningful exits from stoppages than opponents and tended to do so from a higher % of those clearances, so it was very much a qualitative approach - focusing on high quality exits from stoppages while negating the damage of opposition clearances. Richmond's gamestyle was very much pressure, tackle, try to cause turnover and stop opponents from getting good delivery and score off the turnover, and give away more free kicks than the opposing team due to style of play. It was about empowering those defenders and making them more impactful as that line of stretch. And often that often meant in a midfield context being second to the ball. Playing that kind of football.

Richmond's three premierships and that four year run was exceptional. Unlike a lot of great teams past though, Richmond's midfield wasn't the reason or even on the shortlist of reasons Richmond were great. Unusual as that is, as most of the great teams had fairly major midfield superiorities.



I wouldn't say I'm writing Dusty off. I still view him and expect for him to be a high level difference maker both forward and through the midfield. I'm not expecting him to return to being in that best in the competition conversation though. I'm happy to write him off from that. It's hard to see him outplaying Petracca or Bont in 2022 if they continue to play the level of football they have been.



Richmond's midfield stats with the core of this group have never been impressive. 2017 was the last time Richmond made it to double digit clearance wins, and it took prime Dusty and prime Cotchin to do even that.

Soldo I do agree can give Richmond's midfielders first use to a higher standard than Nankervis, but I don't consider him an upgrade, with Nankervis' impact otherwise the greater of the two in my opinion at least, even if looking back at 2020 play.



Nyuon is one I hope Richmond show patience with. He's one of Richmond's younger players where if he puts in the work and receives senior opportunities, I see upside. He's better than Aliir Aliir was at the same age, with Aliir taking time to reach that 2018 level of intercepting play in defence.
As usual a very fair and insightful analysis KM. The Tigers through 2017-2020 (ironically I still think that 2018 was the strongest squad of the dynasty) were something of an enigma. When required to nutshell why the Tigers were so dominant during this period, footy analysts tend to relate it to about 4 reasons, yet then find ways to immediately discredit the team in each aspect at the same time.

1. Forward Pressure
Credit - relentless tackling and trapping the footy inside forward 50, particularly by the smaller forwards.
Discredit - analysts refuse to acknowledge the individual brilliance of Castagna, Rioli and Butler (until he went to the Saints, when he finally got some we’ll-deserved recognition)

2. Frantic Footy
Credit - intense attack on the ball across the midfield, wings and flanks creating opposition turnovers. Continuously keeping the forward momentum of the ball going when in possession or even when the footy is in dispute. Forward moving inertia was palpable.
Discredit - the main protagonists of this style - Cotchin, Prestia, Lambert etc never in AA conversation, despite their dominance of matches.

3. Defensive Dominance
Credit - miserly in their allowance of opposition scoring, despite average inside 50’s by oppo. 50-year plus club records broken in scoring restriction. Defensive rebound scoring numbers through the ceiling.
Discredit - only Rance seriously considered as an AA staple, despite the brilliance of Grimes and Vlastuin. Houli got one eventually. Compare to the Cats dynasty when the likes of Scarlett, Taylor, Enright, Mackie, Milburn, Egan etc were always in the AA conversation.

4. Team Management
Credit - the whole was always considered greater than the sum of the parts during this Tiger dynasty. The synergy was brought about by a game plan that brilliantly deployed the perceived limited pieces available eg In spite of Richmond have only 9 AA’s across the five seasons 2017-21 vs 29 AA’s for the Cats 2007-11.
Discredit - Hardwick has never really been compared favourably with the likes of “Clarko genius” or “Lethal master coach”
 
Last edited:

Dr Tigris

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2021 isn't the first year Richmond have been a poor clearance or contested possession team. Richmond even during the 2017-2020 stretch had negative clearance differentials in the vast majority of games, with 2017 the only year Richmond at least made it to double digit clearance wins, and it took prime Dusty and prime Cotchin to do even that.

Richmond during those winning seasons weren't a team that beat other teams out of the middle regularly. Richmond weren't like a Melbourne or any of this year's really top-6 sides where midfield superiority played such a major part in their success. Richmond tried to get more meaningful exits from stoppages than opponents and tended to do so from a higher % of those clearances, so it was very much a qualitative approach - focusing on high quality exits from stoppages while negating the damage of opposition clearances. Richmond's gamestyle was very much pressure, tackle, try to cause turnover and stop opponents from getting good delivery and score off the turnover, and give away more free kicks than the opposing team due to style of play. It was about empowering those defenders and making them more impactful as that line of stretch. And often that often meant in a midfield context being second to the ball. Playing that kind of football.

Richmond's three premierships and that four year run was exceptional. Unlike a lot of great teams past though, Richmond's midfield wasn't the reason or even on the shortlist of reasons Richmond were great. Unusual as that is, as most of the great teams had fairly major midfield superiorities.



I wouldn't say I'm writing Dusty off. I still view him and expect for him to be a high level difference maker both forward and through the midfield. I'm not expecting him to return to being in that best in the competition conversation though. I'm happy to write him off from that. It's hard to see him outplaying Petracca or Bont in 2022 if they continue to play the level of football they have been.



Richmond's midfield stats with the core of this group have never been impressive. 2017 was the last time Richmond made it to double digit clearance wins, and it took prime Dusty and prime Cotchin to do even that.

Soldo I do agree can give Richmond's midfielders first use to a higher standard than Nankervis, but I don't consider him an upgrade, with Nankervis' impact otherwise the greater of the two in my opinion at least, even if looking back at 2020 play.



Nyuon is one I hope Richmond show patience with. He's one of Richmond's younger players where if he puts in the work and receives senior opportunities, I see upside. He's better than Aliir Aliir was at the same age, with Aliir taking time to reach that 2018 level of intercepting play in defence.

Nice post.

To me the major issue is that simply put a mass of footy statisticians have shown that winning contested ball has no real relationship with scoring. Clean ball from the contest has a high correlation with scoring. Richmond took that to heart. So our midfield was completely dominant in first ball from clearance, and simply didn't try to win the clearance to any great extent. The whole game plan was unusual and focused on stats that commentators and most observers don't care about. Therefore, the midfield looked poor by normal stats, but was also the strongest midfield in assisting our team in scoring and our defence in defending.

That fell off a cliff in 2021. We'll see what 2022 brings.

The stand rule and interchange limits took a major edge off the tigers game plan + running out of steam. If the club can adapt to this then I see no reason that we will see a return to 2017-2020. But if the rule changes mean that the old game style doesn't work then we're toast in 2022 and it's a rebuild on the run.
 
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