Lions Season 2020

Quigley

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 23, 2006
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I would go with a 2 ruck combination. Stef is not getting any younger and it is good to get games into Oscar. I would like to see Ballenden get a few games this year as well to see if he is likely to be able to step up. We are not going to have a star ruck going forward but I think Oscar and Archie are both competitive number 1 ruck options.

As a junior I liked Hipwood much more as a KPD but that is not going to happen. I do think he is a KPF now but I think he would work better as a mobile target. Get him into the game taking a few marks up the ground and working his opponent into positions they are not comfortable with. It would be ideal to have a strong marking type in the goal square that he could work off. Jenkins despite having a poor year might have been a target for me to play that role. Dixon if we were confident his body would stand up could be someone to ask about next year. I might also keep an eye on the Freo players. They have a bucketful invested up forward there and something good could drop out of favour there.

With all that said if we could manage 45 goals a year from Hipwood and 20+ from the backup ruck option I think we could easily go with a smaller line up if that is where the talent is. Design your team to give your best players games and don't feel like you have to conform strictly to structural stereotypes . I could easily see Charlie, Cam, Keidean and the resting mids giving opposition teams absolute nightmares. If that was the case play the guys who present the problems for the opponent. Coleman Jr next year also looks like another really nice small forward option.
 

martinson

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Apr 4, 2015
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Yeah, even if Daniher comes back fine from injury, I’d still be adverse to signing him.

There’s just something about having mesh inserted into his muscle to help hold it together, that screams long term injury risk to me.
Well whoever's interested has a good chance to have a proper look at him this year don't they.

I think we have enough promising players on our list to have some hope that at least one of them will give us some extra firepower up forward.

And of course if Payne and someone else stepped up in the back line there's always the chance of playing Harris Andrews as a key forward which would be a huge headache for the opposition. And McStay would be better down back anyway.

We seem to have some genuine depth now with enough young, basically untried players to be hopeful that we can pull a couple of rabbits out of the hat.
 

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rangatangtang

Team Captain
Jul 20, 2019
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It's interesting to consider how we might move the magnets around. It strikes me that there is an argument for keeping things more or less the way they are, allowing for the natural ins/outs and driving growth through the continuing development of Mccluggage, J. Berry, Bailey, Rayner, Witherden, Adams, Hipwood, Cox, E. Smith, Robertson, as well as the new guys that are auto select if fit CEY and Birchall.

We need to be more dynamic and less predictable to get deeper inside 50s, more of them and faster, and continue to have an army of goal threats in Robbo, Neale, Clugga, Zorko, Lyons, Mccarthy, Rich, Christensen pushing fwd.

One thing I think about is that each year that goes by we are getting further and further away from the compromised drafts from GC and GWS (until last year but that shouldn't hopefully effect our window now, looking at you GC). St Kilda, Carlton, Fremantle, Melbourne, dare I say North, and GC are all going to be more competitive so I'm interested to see how much the coaches and players explore alternative roles when the season comes around, and how much we can get out of continuing to challenge players in existing roles to go a little step further.

There's been some suggestions I am hoping to possibly see:

- Starcevich playing wing;
- Andrews forward, Payne coming in;
- Ah Chee fwd
- Mcfadyen fwd
- i personally am looking forward to seeing what Prior back can do if he is as ready made as answerth was;
- Cox back and having a breakout year if can get some consistency and development
 

Fagenslions36

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Jun 14, 2017
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I think we are very keen to get Payne in the team he has all the attributes of a key back who can play on the brutes ( Hawkins , Kennedy’s , lynches etc ) . Not sure I’d be robbing Peter to pay Paul though in Andrews . All Australian full back play him there . Adams is probably the person who will be under pressure to perform and given injury history not sold on him getting though the whole season . However if Mcstay doesn’t come on putting Andrews up forward with hipwood could be a possibility.
 

Maroon Monsoon

Team Captain
Oct 1, 2019
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I think we are very keen to get Payne in the team he has all the attributes of a key back who can play on the brutes ( Hawkins , Kennedy’s , lynches etc ) . Not sure I’d be robbing Peter to pay Paul though in Andrews . All Australian full back play him there . Adams is probably the person who will be under pressure to perform and given injury history not sold on him getting though the whole season . However if Mcstay doesn’t come on putting Andrews up forward with hipwood could be a possibility.
I'm broadly of the same mind on Harris. By and large I'd prefer he stay down back where he provides a proven level of excellence, though I'd be happy if he were sent forward experimentally for a quarter or a half in a game that is very securely in hand. Unfortunately that means that we probably won't see him playing in the forward line for at least the first 40 minutes of the season
 

KissKiss

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Nov 26, 2012
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I think we are very keen to get Payne in the team he has all the attributes of a key back who can play on the brutes ( Hawkins , Kennedy’s , lynches etc ) . Not sure I’d be robbing Peter to pay Paul though in Andrews . All Australian full back play him there . Adams is probably the person who will be under pressure to perform and given injury history not sold on him getting though the whole season . However if Mcstay doesn’t come on putting Andrews up forward with hipwood could be a possibility.
Im the same. Harris and Hipwood I think are locked in at either end of the ground. Its McStay and Adams that have more pressure on them in their current roles
 

briztoon

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Well whoever's interested has a good chance to have a proper look at him this year don't they.

I think we have enough promising players on our list to have some hope that at least one of them will give us some extra firepower up forward.

And of course if Payne and someone else stepped up in the back line there's always the chance of playing Harris Andrews as a key forward which would be a huge headache for the opposition. And McStay would be better down back anyway.

We seem to have some genuine depth now with enough young, basically untried players to be hopeful that we can pull a couple of rabbits out of the hat.
I disagree that our current young KPF’s in the seconds have shown enough to be encouraged about.

Schache and Hipwood showed more in their first year at AFL level, than any of our reserve KPF’s have at NEAFL level.

The best we’ve seen is the occasional glimpse.

I really hope either Fullerton or Skinner have a dominant season at full forward.

Wooller has shown the most, but he players more of a similar role to Hipwood.
 

Quigley

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 23, 2006
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It's interesting to consider how we might move the magnets around. It strikes me that there is an argument for keeping things more or less the way they are, allowing for the natural ins/outs and driving growth through the continuing development of Mccluggage, J. Berry, Bailey, Rayner, Witherden, Adams, Hipwood, Cox, E. Smith, Robertson, as well as the new guys that are auto select if fit CEY and Birchall.
Personally I do not see CEY or Birchall as automatic ins if fit. Given they are new recruits that is probably the case early in the year just because the coaching staff have gone out on a limb to bring them in but realistically neither is of such quality as they should be considered automatic selections. Birchall would certainly have been in his prime but he has declines as his injuries has caught up with him. He provides less run now and his kicking is not at the same level as it was. On merit I could easily see quite a few getting picked ahead of him.

CEY was drafted in 2011 and has played a total of 39 games. He is a big body who is okay in clearance situations but nowhere near elite and his skills are average at best. Again it is easy for me to see some of the younger players who could offer more. I think he is a solid, top 25 type, depth player but not a lot more.
 

scoman

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Sep 19, 2013
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Personally I do not see CEY or Birchall as automatic ins if fit. Given they are new recruits that is probably the case early in the year just because the coaching staff have gone out on a limb to bring them in but realistically neither is of such quality as they should be considered automatic selections. Birchall would certainly have been in his prime but he has declines as his injuries has caught up with him. He provides less run now and his kicking is not at the same level as it was. On merit I could easily see quite a few getting picked ahead of him.

CEY was drafted in 2011 and has played a total of 39 games. He is a big body who is okay in clearance situations but nowhere near elite and his skills are average at best. Again it is easy for me to see some of the younger players who could offer more. I think he is a solid, top 25 type, depth player but not a lot more.
Agree. I am really hoping a couple of the younger lads in Starc, E Smith and Robertson get a start early over those two and don't look back. Better for us long term.
I wasn't a huge fan of the Birchall move at all. I guess if he adds some experience come finals time and around the club, that would justify it. CEY was fair enough as we lack a bit of size through the middle, but would prefer to see E Smith take that role.
 

WhiteLionFeva

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Personally I do not see CEY or Birchall as automatic ins if fit. Given they are new recruits that is probably the case early in the year just because the coaching staff have gone out on a limb to bring them in but realistically neither is of such quality as they should be considered automatic selections. Birchall would certainly have been in his prime but he has declines as his injuries has caught up with him. He provides less run now and his kicking is not at the same level as it was. On merit I could easily see quite a few getting picked ahead of him.

CEY was drafted in 2011 and has played a total of 39 games. He is a big body who is okay in clearance situations but nowhere near elite and his skills are average at best. Again it is easy for me to see some of the younger players who could offer more. I think he is a solid, top 25 type, depth player but not a lot more.
39 games in 8 seasons due largely to injury. His stats are on par with J Lyons in almost all areas across their respective careers, including disposal efficiency (70% vs 64%). In 2019 Lyons improved his defensive skills and disposal efficiency and had close to a career best season and there is every reason to think CEY could do likewise at the Lions in 2020, if fit. On that basis, he will be very close to best 22 and certainly better than depth. Birchall I agree is past his best and was clearly a fallback when other trades didn't eventuate.
 

rangatangtang

Team Captain
Jul 20, 2019
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I should clarify then that imo CEY and Birchall would not just have to be fit but also show their best, if and only if they do that then due to their size (CEY) and experience (Birchall) they may add more early on. I too want to see E.Smith push past CEY and have CEY as depth.
 

Clarkythelion

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May 20, 2015
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Would you still go with the two ruck set up?

What is your view of Hipwood, a true KPP or is he more like a very tall forward flanker?

Now I have no idea if we’ve banked a future first round pick for next year with a potential trade in the pipeline, unless it’s Brodie Grundy, I don’t know who we could trade in to improve our list, as I can’t see any of the top kpf’s moving next year.

From early discussions, there looks to be a few likely KPF’s towards the top end of next years draft. I genuinely hope at our first two picks we’re considering a KPF and a ruck.

Hoping our academy lads fill our need of another small forward and a couple of outside mids.
I know we have been on this a while now - given they didn't draft a ruckman this year I would think they have to trade one in from somewhere. My thoughts are they already know who that is and are pretty sure they have it nailed.
 

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Clarkythelion

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I disagree that our current young KPF’s in the seconds have shown enough to be encouraged about.

Schache and Hipwood showed more in their first year at AFL level, than any of our reserve KPF’s have at NEAFL level.

The best we’ve seen is the occasional glimpse.

I really hope either Fullerton or Skinner have a dominant season at full forward.

Wooller has shown the most, but he players more of a similar role to Hipwood.
I think Wooller plays similar role to Cam Rayner actually. Wooler was playing a lot more midfield minutes than Rayner and particularly started in the centre each bounce even if he didn't follow the ball deep into the backs. I watch every game and tend not to watch the stats too much but I have this feeling he particularly started centre bounces when Skinner and Ballandene we doing the ruck work. I don't recall him playing as the key forward much then some of the matches we were flogging the opposition by so much everybody was being shuffled around all over the place to get a touch of leather.
 

Maroon Monsoon

Team Captain
Oct 1, 2019
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Just noticed that Robbo is set to play his 100th game for the club this year (currently on 91) after playing a 100 for the Blues. Inspired bit of recruiting that.
I just checked and unfortunately it'll be an away game which is a shame. I suspect he probably would have gotten similar support to richy in his 200th last year otherwise, fan favourite that he is
 

WhiteLionFeva

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In the context of the discussion about our second ruck options, interesting to look at our talls as listed on the Lions website (not including Harry, Hippy, McStay):
205 cm - Big O
203 - Archie
200 - Ballenden, Eagles, Fullarton
198 - Skinner
197 - Payne
195 - Wooller
I've included Wooller because he was used as an occasional backup ruckman at U18 level.
 
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briztoon

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In the context of the discussion about our second ruck options, interesting to look at our talls as listed on the Lions website (not including Harry, Hippy, McStay):
205 cm - Big O
203 - Archie
200 - Ballenden, Eagles, Fullarton
198 - Skinner
197 - Payne
195 - Wooller
I've included Wooller because he was used as an occasional backup ruckman at U18 level.
Ballenden played ruck forward as a junior. I genuinely hope he keeps improving, and if Eagles could instil some mongrel in him, I’d be ecstatic.

Wooller has grown about 3cm since we drafted him.

I’d love for Skinner to have finally put the injuries behind him, and get a decent run at playing at his best.
 

Hollow Knight

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I just checked and unfortunately it'll be an away game which is a shame. I suspect he probably would have gotten similar support to richy in his 200th last year otherwise, fan favourite that he is
I’m sure he can make sure he plays his 200th at home courtesy of a little suspension. Maybe run through Ben Stratton or Ben Cunnington in the early rounds.
 

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