Strategy List Management 101

TheMase

Brownlow Medallist
Jul 20, 2001
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I would be staggered if we got rid of Hirst. We willingly took him on knowing he was the size of a toothpick. Not sure what more they could’ve been expecting from him in the NEAFL that wouldn’t warrant another year. That we took him tells me the club sees him as a project player.
Almost certain someone (Harley or the list mangers) said as much. Said we were just getting in ahead of the draft and grabbing him early. Don’t see why he would be delisted unless he has attitude / character flaws they weren’t aware of.
 

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sthmelb_dimmies

Club Legend
Jun 29, 2010
1,937
4,152
Bombay
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Sydney
Episode 7 - Sydney Swans list review

It has taken almost a year, but here is the promised land. First I'll mention the big elephant in the room that I'm not going to write about: the salary cap. I have no idea what the Swans' current salary cap status is, and neither do you. I wish this wasn't the case, because I would love to analyse and take the numbers apart. But since none of us know the facts, I'm not going to discuss it. I've already stated my hunch in the thread, which is that we have a lot less salary cap space than most think.

Age and experience profile (AKA can we win the premiership?)
Recommended pre-reading: Episode 4

Right now we have 19 players on the list with 50+ games experience, and another 5 players with 25+ games experience. This is a mid-tier experience level in the league. The equal least-experienced premiership teams in AFL history were the Brisbane Lions in 2001 and the Western Bulldogs in 2016 (17 players), and we have higher experience levels than them. A 'standard' premiership squad across the history of the AFL requires 20-23 players with 50+ games experience at the start of the year.

We currently have a mathematically premiership capable list. This does not mean I think we will win the premiership, it just means it isn't completely impossible. We could bring in a number of experienced recruits to join the squad over the trade period. I'm sure this is something the club is considering.

Age profile is far less important than experience profile, and there's a long history of mature-age recruits being able to have a fantastic impact in their first AFL season (unlike 18 year old draftees). I also don't want to get into the Bigfooty nonsense of arguing over whose list is the youngest and therefore the "Bigfooty age champions". But our list is very bottom heavy at the moment with 11 teenagers and another 8 aged 20-21. Many of these players will fail so we should expect a period of sustained high list turnover for the next couple of seasons. The players aged 30+ next year will be Franklin, Kennedy, Rampe, and Sinclair, who all play key positions.

Position valuations and list currency
Recommended pre-reading: Episode 1

Tier 1 - Key Position Forwards

Sydney has deployed a lot of list currency onto key forwards, reflecting their status as by far the most valuable players in the game. The club is currently stocked with Lance Franklin (32), Nick Blakey (19), Sam Reid (27), and Tom McCartin (19). Because key forwards are more valuable than any other position, these players should be developed there as a first priority and only used in other positions if they cannot cut it as key forwards. The club has spent an appropriate amount of focus developing this area over the past 6 years with the recruitment of Franklin and Blakey and this is currently an area of relative strength. More work will be needed to ensure this continues after Franklin's departure.

Tier 2 - Elite midfielders

Unfortunately this area has been almost completely neglected. The club has had 2 of its 4 midfielders leave in recent years, Mitchell to Hawthorn and Hannebery to St Kilda. A 3rd, Josh Kennedy, is now 31 and can no longer carry the rest of the team. The last remaining member is Luke Parker (26) and his support squad is now Hewett (23), Heeney (23), Jones (24), and Florent (21). Those support players will need substantial development.

Currency assessment - where are our most valuable assets?

Key forwards are a solid area, at least for a little while. Key defenders are an area of solid competency with Dane Rampe (excellent but undersized) and Aliir Aliir (excellent intercept player with lesser man-on-man defence) lacking support. These along with elite midfielders are the top 3 tiers of player value.

Unfortunately many of our other assets are being used in low valuation areas. These include Jake Lloyd (small/medium defender), Tom Papley (small forward), Will Hayward (small/medium forward), Callum Mills (small/medium defender). The club has had an unfortunate recent history of spending high draft picks on bits and pieces players or halfback flankers rather than players with excellent midfield potential. I'd like to see a focus on deploying top draft and trade assets only on the top tiers for a little while.

Sydney's top 5 most valuable assets are:

1) Isaac Heeney
2) Luke Parker
3) Nick Blakey
4) 2019 first round pick
5) Oliver Florent

I'd say the next batch in no particular order are Aliir Aliir, Callum Mills, Tom Papley, Zak Jones, Jordan Dawson, and 2020 first round pick.

Lance Franklin has no currency value due to his $4.9m contractual obligation over the next 3 years. If McCartin succeeds as a key forward he will rapidly move towards the very top of the asset tree, as will anyone who can step up as an elite midfielder.

28! Its a magic number
Recommended pre-reading: Episode 2

How are we tracking for our 28 in 2020? The 19 players with 50+ games experience are automatic inclusions. Then there are:

20 - Lewis Melican
21 - Tom McCartin
22 - Ben Ronke
23 - Sam Naismith
24 - Jordan Dawson
25 - Nick Blakey
26 - Colin O'Riordan
27 - James Rowbottom
28 - James Rose

I am comfortable that the club has 28 players for next year. Ideally some recruits will come in and push players like Thurlow, Rose, Naismith, Ronke, Melican out of the 28.

Summary and what should we do?

The Swans list is not as inexperienced as many people think. The average age is dragged down by 11 teenagers and will be dragged down further by the national and rookie drafts, but that is a red herring. There is a solid experienced core of 19 players with 50+ games experience, and they could be joined by experienced recruits as well as McCartin, and maybe even Ronke or Melican next year.

The Swans have not allocated enough attention and resources into building elite midfielders, this is an area of substantial weakness and needs to be addressed. There are some assets that we have paid midfield prices for, that are not yet delivering enough there. These include Callum Mills, Matthew Ling, Zak Jones, and Will Hayward.

In the 2019 offseason the Swans should cut aggressively from the 19(!!!!!!!!) 18-21 years olds on the list, and delist those that will not become above average AFL players. I can think of at least 9. They should then recycle with a large intake of draftees, rinse and repeat.

The Swans' 2019 first round pick, currently #4, is one of their top currency assets and must be either traded for a quality player in Tier 1 (KPF) or 2 (elite midfield), or used to draft a player in one of those categories. It should not under any circumstances be used on another Tier 4-5 asset like a halfback flanker. Later picks or other assets can be used to target ruckmen, key defenders, and small forwards which are areas we could improve (particularly if Papley departs).
These posts are the best part of the commencement of the offseason
 

caesar88

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
14,389
14,684
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Sydney
Pretty much all rookies are project players.
Yes, but with Hirst in his current shape they were obviously not gonna be expecting much out of him. Every time I watch the NEAFL he looks like the team's ran out of top-up players and so one of the boys' 12 year old brothers has filled in instead. So you wouldn't draft a player destined for such early adversity unless you thought he'd be worth it in the end, no?
 

RobbieK

Club Legend
Aug 20, 2009
2,072
2,982
Berlin
AFL Club
Sydney
Yes, but with Hirst in his current shape they were obviously not gonna be expecting much out of him. Every time I watch the NEAFL he looks like the team's ran out of top-up players and so one of the boys' 12 year old brothers has filled in instead. So you wouldn't draft a player destined for such early adversity unless you thought he'd be worth it in the end, no?
I don't think we draft anyone that we don't think has the potential to make it. At some point you need to make the call about whether they are going to make it, though. Plenty of rookie listed players don't get extended into their second season.

It is a bit weird with the midseason draft, a bunch of these rookies have only been on the list a very short time, they didn't get to do a proper pre-season, so we don't have as much to go on with them. Maybe that means we stick with them... but it has to be said that Hirst has really only had one game where he showed much.
 

Bloodied52

Premium Platinum
May 24, 2017
8,678
8,296
Old South Grandstand
AFL Club
Sydney
Yes, but with Hirst in his current shape they were obviously not gonna be expecting much out of him. Every time I watch the NEAFL he looks like the team's ran out of top-up players and so one of the boys' 12 year old brothers has filled in instead. So you wouldn't draft a player destined for such early adversity unless you thought he'd be worth it in the end, no?
Yep, I get the thinking. However the NEAFL as we all know is not the toughest of comps. The lad turned it on in one game. In the others he has tried hard and run around a lot.

Sure he might put on some additional weight and without losing his speed. However he is not going to grow 10cm. Additional weight is not going to increase his footy IQ and find a bit more of the ball.

The two Academy lads we will most likely pick up in 2020 are both smallish and may struggle to adapt. Campbell as an under ager looked much more of a prospect than the older Hirst in the NEAFL game they played in together.
 

J_Moore

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 8, 2008
9,705
11,607
Sydney
AFL Club
Sydney
Episode 7 - Sydney Swans list review

It has taken almost a year, but here is the promised land. First I'll mention the big elephant in the room that I'm not going to write about: the salary cap. I have no idea what the Swans' current salary cap status is, and neither do you. I wish this wasn't the case, because I would love to analyse and take the numbers apart. But since none of us know the facts, I'm not going to discuss it. I've already stated my hunch in the thread, which is that we have a lot less salary cap space than most think.

Age and experience profile (AKA can we win the premiership?)
Recommended pre-reading: Episode 4

Right now we have 19 players on the list with 50+ games experience, and another 5 players with 25+ games experience. This is a mid-tier experience level in the league. The equal least-experienced premiership teams in AFL history were the Brisbane Lions in 2001 and the Western Bulldogs in 2016 (17 players), and we have higher experience levels than them. A 'standard' premiership squad across the history of the AFL requires 20-23 players with 50+ games experience at the start of the year.

We currently have a mathematically premiership capable list. This does not mean I think we will win the premiership, it just means it isn't completely impossible. We could bring in a number of experienced recruits to join the squad over the trade period. I'm sure this is something the club is considering.

Age profile is far less important than experience profile, and there's a long history of mature-age recruits being able to have a fantastic impact in their first AFL season (unlike 18 year old draftees). I also don't want to get into the Bigfooty nonsense of arguing over whose list is the youngest and therefore the "Bigfooty age champions". But our list is very bottom heavy at the moment with 11 teenagers and another 8 aged 20-21. Many of these players will fail so we should expect a period of sustained high list turnover for the next couple of seasons. The players aged 30+ next year will be Franklin, Kennedy, Rampe, and Sinclair, who all play key positions.

Position valuations and list currency
Recommended pre-reading: Episode 1

Tier 1 - Key Position Forwards

Sydney has deployed a lot of list currency onto key forwards, reflecting their status as by far the most valuable players in the game. The club is currently stocked with Lance Franklin (32), Nick Blakey (19), Sam Reid (27), and Tom McCartin (19). Because key forwards are more valuable than any other position, these players should be developed there as a first priority and only used in other positions if they cannot cut it as key forwards. The club has spent an appropriate amount of focus developing this area over the past 6 years with the recruitment of Franklin and Blakey and this is currently an area of relative strength. More work will be needed to ensure this continues after Franklin's departure.

Tier 2 - Elite midfielders

Unfortunately this area has been almost completely neglected. The club has had 2 of its 4 midfielders leave in recent years, Mitchell to Hawthorn and Hannebery to St Kilda. A 3rd, Josh Kennedy, is now 31 and can no longer carry the rest of the team. The last remaining member is Luke Parker (26) and his support squad is now Hewett (23), Heeney (23), Jones (24), and Florent (21). Those support players will need substantial development.

Currency assessment - where are our most valuable assets?

Key forwards are a solid area, at least for a little while. Key defenders are an area of solid competency with Dane Rampe (excellent but undersized) and Aliir Aliir (excellent intercept player with lesser man-on-man defence) lacking support. These along with elite midfielders are the top 3 tiers of player value.

Unfortunately many of our other assets are being used in low valuation areas. These include Jake Lloyd (small/medium defender), Tom Papley (small forward), Will Hayward (small/medium forward), Callum Mills (small/medium defender). The club has had an unfortunate recent history of spending high draft picks on bits and pieces players or halfback flankers rather than players with excellent midfield potential. I'd like to see a focus on deploying top draft and trade assets only on the top tiers for a little while.

Sydney's top 5 most valuable assets are:

1) Isaac Heeney
2) Luke Parker
3) Nick Blakey
4) 2019 first round pick
5) Oliver Florent

I'd say the next batch in no particular order are Aliir Aliir, Callum Mills, Tom Papley, Zak Jones, Jordan Dawson, and 2020 first round pick.

Lance Franklin has no currency value due to his $4.9m contractual obligation over the next 3 years. If McCartin succeeds as a key forward he will rapidly move towards the very top of the asset tree, as will anyone who can step up as an elite midfielder.

28! Its a magic number
Recommended pre-reading: Episode 2

How are we tracking for our 28 in 2020? The 19 players with 50+ games experience are automatic inclusions. Then there are:

20 - Lewis Melican
21 - Tom McCartin
22 - Ben Ronke
23 - Sam Naismith
24 - Jordan Dawson
25 - Nick Blakey
26 - Colin O'Riordan
27 - James Rowbottom
28 - James Rose

I am comfortable that the club has 28 players for next year. Ideally some recruits will come in and push players like Thurlow, Rose, Naismith, Ronke, Melican out of the 28.

Summary and what should we do?

The Swans list is not as inexperienced as many people think. The average age is dragged down by 11 teenagers and will be dragged down further by the national and rookie drafts, but that is a red herring. There is a solid experienced core of 19 players with 50+ games experience, and they could be joined by experienced recruits as well as McCartin, and maybe even Ronke or Melican next year.

The Swans have not allocated enough attention and resources into building elite midfielders, this is an area of substantial weakness and needs to be addressed. There are some assets that we have paid midfield prices for, that are not yet delivering enough there. These include Callum Mills, Matthew Ling, Zak Jones, and Will Hayward.

In the 2019 offseason the Swans should cut aggressively from the 19(!!!!!!!!) 18-21 years olds on the list, and delist those that will not become above average AFL players. I can think of at least 9. They should then recycle with a large intake of draftees, rinse and repeat.

The Swans' 2019 first round pick, currently #4, is one of their top currency assets and must be either traded for a quality player in Tier 1 (KPF) or 2 (elite midfield), or used to draft a player in one of those categories. It should not under any circumstances be used on another Tier 4-5 asset like a halfback flanker. Later picks or other assets can be used to target ruckmen, key defenders, and small forwards which are areas we could improve (particularly if Papley departs).
I wouldn’t get your hopes up on Naismith being pushed out of the 28. My understanding is, injury permitting, the club still very much sees him as the long-term #1 ruck.

Funny that we neglect the midfield and get rid of Mitchell

Sneaky guess is that they Parker is,was better and that Heeney and mills would take control

How things change
There were legit high hopes around Cunningham
 

LukeParkerno1

Post-Human
Sep 23, 2005
100,187
37,359
Sydney
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Yep, I get the thinking. However the NEAFL as we all know is not the toughest of comps. The lad turned it on in one game. In the others he has tried hard and run around a lot.

Sure he might put on some additional weight and without losing his speed. However he is not going to grow 10cm. Additional weight is not going to increase his footy IQ and find a bit more of the ball.

The two Academy lads we will most likely pick up in 2020 are both smallish and may struggle to adapt. Campbell as an under ager looked much more of a prospect than the older Hirst in the NEAFL game they played in together.
There is enough to work with with Hirst. In terms of what he's going to cost us, it's worth the risk. He stays.
 

bird_man

Brownlow Medallist
Jan 14, 2012
20,114
36,580
The River Murray
AFL Club
St Kilda
G'day guys

It's sounding as though Jones will ask for a trade. I watched him in a couple of games early in the year and was impressed with him as a midfielder. Just wondering why he wasn't playing that role later in the year?
 

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