Opinion Naughton 2021: Forward or Defence?

F or D?

  • Forward

    Votes: 63 56.3%
  • Defender

    Votes: 44 39.3%
  • Wing

    Votes: 5 4.5%

  • Total voters
    112

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Philthy1

All Australian
Sep 17, 2017
926
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We gotta find a way to have Caleb delivering the ball inside 50 rather than than from the back half. He will be hitting our forwards lace out. Unfortunately trying to do that by playing him on the wing in previous years say him exposed. Time to go to work in the offseason.
 

ossie_21

Brownlow Medallist
May 28, 2010
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If we can’t bring in an a-grade ruck, my ideal scenario would be to get Gunston and move Naughton back. Gunston & Bruce would be more compatible than Naughton & Bruce.
 

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doggies ftw

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 22, 2008
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View attachment 1018518


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Strongly disagree with this, no doubt it’s a huge bonus to have a good intercepting defenders but I think it’s a luxury not a necessity. I reckon you can win the flag without good intercepting defenders if you’re good enough. You can’t without a good forward.

Plus your intercepting defenders don’t necessarily have to be KPDs, you can have a couple of tall negating types surrounded by mediums. Some of the best intercept marks in the league are sub 190cm. Wood, Sicily, Howe, Croz, the list goes on. Not to mention these guys can be found late in the draft, or even sometimes they’re guys who have failed in other positions but have found a niche in defence.

Gun key forwards are 1000x more rare to find. No one fails in one role than transitions to being a successful key forward. You don’t find them late in the draft. Simply put that makes them more important in my mind.

I genuinely think Naughty could realistically be the best forward in the comp or the best defender in the comp. pretty obvious which one ya take for mine.
 

LondonBulldog

Club Legend
May 27, 2002
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This is the Chris Grant conundrum all over again. Our best CHB and best CHF. What to do....

I like him CHF, yet if the coaches decided its CHB for team balance so be it. I don't like Cordy or Gardiner in the key defensive posts.

It may depend on injuries, we lack depth in the key defensive post so he may be needed there.
 

Cadillac

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 25, 2016
5,677
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He’s shown potential to become the best key forward in the league. Why would we move him to defense when we’ve been starved off developing a key forward for as long as I’ve been a fan of the club?

He’s stated himself that he loves playing forward. After what happened to Dunkley I hope Bevo learns to play players in their preferred positions. There’s probably 16 clubs that would offer him a million + a year to play him as a key forward where he’s shown dominance and potential to be a superstar.
 

dogwatch

Premium Platinum
Jun 17, 2009
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He’s shown potential to become the best key forward in the league. Why would we move him to defense when we’ve been starved off developing a key forward for as long as I’ve been a fan of the club?

He’s stated himself that he loves playing forward. After what happened to Dunkley I hope Bevo learns to play players in their preferred positions. There’s probably 16 clubs that would offer him a million + a year to play him as a key forward where he’s shown dominance and potential to be a superstar.
To be fair, if Bevo had played him in his preferred position he'd never have been tried as a forward and would still be playing as a defender. According to the B&F count his best year at the club was in 2018 as a defender. He finished 4th. He had a good season in 2019 as a forward (32 goals, 8th in the B&F) but the excitement was more about what he promised not so much what he actually delivered. His 2020 was of course marred by injury but he never really got going.

I was one of the first to say he should be switched back to defence in 2019 but my position on this has changed because we've now invested two years developing him as a KPF and as you say he reportedly "loves playing forward". To switch him back now might well work but it would also be an admission of wasting two years of his development as a KPD for not very much benefit in his time as a forward. And if that didn't work and we switched him forward again in 2022 ... that's even worse!

I think we now have to persist with him as a forward for at least another year.

That leaves our dearth of quality tall defenders as an unsolved matter but I think we have to uncouple that from thoughts of Naughton and deal with it as a different problem altogether.
 

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Triple Baileys

Club Legend
Jan 7, 2019
1,390
1,548
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Western Bulldogs
With the recruitment of JUH and Martin, I think Naughton is needed down back more than forward.

Backline pros:
1. Wood is past his peak and can no longer be expected to play key positions and Cordy is a versatile third tall back more than a key position back. Gardner shows some promise but an awesome upgrade is of course preferrable. Gardener can play 3rd tall back too and will get opportunities anyway.
2. We have Keath. We need one more star KPD right now.

Backline cons: nil

Forwardline Pros:
1. Naughton has been inconsistent enough up forward to raise questions as to whether his best value is realised there.
2 We are recruiting the next Buddy Franklin: JUH who is going to be FF or CHF. We should start playing him immediately in the forward line. You don't treat a once in a lifetime recruit like that as a reserves player, ever.
3. With the recruitment of Martin, English can play at least half a game on the FF line. He is a genuine marking threat on the forward line and tidy enough below the knees to bother tall defenders. (By implication, I want us to play 2 rucks. Martin 1st ruck/resting on the bench, English forward/2nd ruck.)
4. Schache and Bruce can battle it out for the CHF/FF position not occupied by JUH.

Forwardline cons: some of Naughton's games at FF/CHF have been such that one is very reluctant to play him anywhere else. There will be an element of robbing Peter to pay Paul but on balance I would shift his to FB/CHB.
 

dogwatch

Premium Platinum
Jun 17, 2009
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People say “persist” like he’s a liability up forward who we’re hoping comes good. Injury free he’s already there.
I don't think you'll find anybody who says he's a liability up forward.

I say persist because he hasn't yet played a dominant season as a forward despite 2-3 excellent games there in 2019 and one in 2020.

He's a great talent and very promising as a forward but still very much a work in progress there.
 

bobs head soup

Premiership Player
Sep 14, 2015
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For mine, the major argument against moving Naughton back is that we don't play a defensive system that allows intercept markers to have a big impact.

We have good intercept markers such as Keath, Crozier and Williams, yet our intercept numbers are very low.

That is because we are looking to press very high and strangle the opposition around the ball were possible, if it doesn't work the opposition can score quickly out the back.

The system has its pros and cons, but it doesn't allow for value for money out of a blue chip asset like Naughton.
 

doggies ftw

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 22, 2008
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I don't think you'll find anybody who says he's a liability up forward.

I say persist because he hasn't yet played a dominant season as a forward despite 2-3 excellent games there in 2019 and one in 2020.

He's a great talent and very promising as a forward but still very much a work in progress there.
He’s yet to have a dominant season there? He’s played basically 2 seasons, 1 forward 😂. If he didn’t improve at all which he obviously will he is still already the best key forward option we have on our list by a mile, the best key forward we’ve had since Hall, and better than a fair few teams number 1 key forwards.
 

Bemoreboyddog

Norm Smith Medallist
Nov 4, 2014
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Strongly disagree with this, no doubt it’s a huge bonus to have a good intercepting defenders but I think it’s a luxury not a necessity. I reckon you can win the flag without good intercepting defenders if you’re good enough. You can’t without a good forward.

Plus your intercepting defenders don’t necessarily have to be KPDs, you can have a couple of tall negating types surrounded by mediums. Some of the best intercept marks in the league are sub 190cm. Wood, Sicily, Howe, Croz, the list goes on. Not to mention these guys can be found late in the draft, or even sometimes they’re guys who have failed in other positions but have found a niche in defence.

Gun key forwards are 1000x more rare to find. No one fails in one role than transitions to being a successful key forward. You don’t find them late in the draft. Simply put that makes them more important in my mind.

I genuinely think Naughty could realistically be the best forward in the comp or the best defender in the comp. pretty obvious which one ya take for mine.
We won in 2016 without a good key forward. We had two rucks and a shadow of Jake Stringer. Picken and Dickson were key.
 

Martyn_30_

Club Legend
Sep 14, 2007
2,070
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Western Bulldogs
One of the biggest myths in footy right now is the bulldogs forward line, it can definitely get a lot better but the team is the number 3 offence over the past two seasons. It could be the best in the comp when Naughton and Ugle Hagen play together for a couple of seasons. I can’t fathom how anyone would won’t to move a player who could a top line forward to the much easier role of a tall defender.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
 

BEaston

Hungry
Oct 9, 2013
7,104
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One of the biggest myths in footy right now is the bulldogs forward line, it can definitely get a lot better but the team is the number 3 offence over the past two seasons. It could be the best in the comp when Naughton and Ugle Hagen play together for a couple of seasons. I can’t fathom how anyone would won’t to move a player who could a top line forward to the much easier role of a tall defender.


On iPhone using BigFooty.com mobile app
Agreed.
Scoring across the whole league is hard/ugly at the moment. While we watch our dogs each week and can see how messy it looks in our forward half, it's not a unique situation. If you watch most other teams they look a lot more messy. The fact is we score decently well when compared to our peers.
 

dogwatch

Premium Platinum
Jun 17, 2009
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Agreed.
Scoring across the whole league is hard/ugly at the moment. While we watch our dogs each week and can see how messy it looks in our forward half, it's not a unique situation. If you watch most other teams they look a lot more messy. The fact is we score decently well when compared to our peers.
It's been a trend over the last decade or so as coaching strategy aims at strangling opposition scoring opportunities.

You're right: it's not pretty. The AFL is concerned so we should expect more ill-conceived rule tweaks to Make Our Game Great Again (MOGGA).

1606475012156.png
 

doggies ftw

Brownlow Medallist
Sep 22, 2008
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He has played 1-2 dominant games in each of his two years as a forward. When he's not on his output is marginal.

As a defender he influences games practically every week.

18 games as a gun defender > 2 games as a dominant forward. Not as sexy, granted, but more valuable.
When he’s not on he’s still valuable. He still works up the ground he still crashes packs he still chases and harasses and causes havoc when the ball hits the deck, he still draws multiple defenders to him and makes everyone elses job easier. Bit of a reach to say he dominates every game he’s ever played in defence but only give him credit for 2 good games in the forward line 😂

The impact he has on games if he kicked 0 goals next year he’d still be more valuable to us in the forward line than defence. He’ll probably kick close to 50 with a full season though.
 

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