Game Day North vs Bulldogs. Preseason game 1. Welcome back Maj.

Mordecai

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Apr 8, 2006
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We have the worst batch of medium defenders in the league.

We as supporters have become accustom to them, become loyal to them etc.

However Williams, McDonald, MacMillan, Atley, Pittard as a group is ******* ordinary on a league level.

Most on this board make out like we have Pickett, King, Blakey, Archer and Pike down there.

I think Pittard is a pretty good player and certainly performed closer to his AA squad year last year than some previous ones. However, he's not exactly a top 4-5 medium defender in the league and even he stood out like dogs balls last year. I know he's a fan favorite, however, he's very much a wait and see for me, to ensure he backs up 2019, rather than reverting to his 2018 form for Port.


I've said it throughout pre-season, whilst Williams is a good, bordering great, 1-on-1 small/medium defender, you just can't afford to carry his footskills in a top 4 side. I've no doubt he would get fully exposed in a tight pressurized Prelim or GF. He just simply wouldn't get a game for a top 4 side at the moment. It's more an indictment on the defensive ability of the others in the area, rather than Marley, as I love his endeavor, effort and pace. If he was better with ball in hand he's probably be one of the best small defenders in the league. Turnovers are just death in the league at the moment.

MacMillan is basically Williams, minus the defensive ability at the moment, with an ability to rack the ball up 20+ times a game. Not a great combination. His weight loss seems to have correlated with his footskills turning to complete shit. There's no way he'd be playing regular football at a top side at the moment. He gets regularly exposed defensively and is a turnover merchant with the ball....

Atley will play his 200th game in Rnd 3, last year was his first season with an average of 20+ disposals. He owes the club a few years of very good football. Again, I feel he's a guy that has had an extremely cruisey career to date, in a very good defensive unit, I doubt he's played even 70% of the games he's played for us so far.

McDonald is a wait and see. But I'm not very hopeful, like his mates down there, his footskills go to complete water under pressure. His football brain and decision making is terrible. I don't think it's necessarily athletic/skill/ability with Luke, just between the ears. He regularly tries ridiculous options, glory kicks and just plain bad decisions. Doesn't regularly get to the right spots, bombs away blindly just trying to roost the ball like it's an u/13's juniors match etc. Which is pretty damm disappointing considering by this stage of his career, he should be an absolute gun HBF. He seems like a larrikin off the field and certainly plays like a pretty immature player on it...




The med. defender situation needs to be seriously addressed in the FA market or the draft over the next couple of years as these guys should all be in their primes and are all decidedly average at the moment with the exception of Atley and Pittard on occasions.
Always good to get a different point of view even if it is hard to hear about your own players.

Who are in the top 4-5 out of interest do you think in that category?

Houli and Hurn are in the AA team. I can't fault them defensively. They own their but of turf when the ball comes in either individually or in a pack. By foot they are stellar.

Others? Hunt, Mills, Short, z Williams, Haynes?
 

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Mordecai

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Gee I thought Atley Williams and Pittard were great last year. Our midfield leaks more than the Iraqi Navy, bloody hard yakka being a defender in the Royal Blue and White.

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It's a style of defender thats out of fashion. They can all defend and are as tough as nails (should be a non negotiable) but obviously lack in other areas.
 

GunSchwatta

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Feb 23, 2020
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My immediate reaction upon reading your post was that you're a touch harsh on Williams and Pittard. I think those two by league standards are above the average for medium defenders. Their positive attributes significantly outweigh their weaknesses. The problem lies in the fact the other three are imo below average and any positive attributes are lost in their weaknesses. As a unit, they're miles off as you point out. Change is the only solution. Maybe we need to push budding midfielders back there.
Definitely Williams. I'd be happy with him going into any GF.

I really like Pittard (ignore the rest) but to me Williams is a gun small defender. We miss him terribly if unfit or suspended.

Only reason we lost to Lions last year at Marvel in fact as he killed Charlie Cameron until then (then CC got off the chain in last as noone else can do it)
 

shintemaster

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Aug 24, 2002
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Gee I thought Atley Williams and Pittard were great last year. Our midfield leaks more than the Iraqi Navy, bloody hard yakka being a defender in the Royal Blue and White.

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They were all good or better as was McDonald. That doesn't necessarily change the fact that it is possible the mix down there is wrong and that we have too many players with some similar weaknesses.
 

FlyHigh18

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May 8, 2017
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Just watched the * v North Elimination final again as quick pick me up.

Our handball game was next level, so many of our goals came off a long chain. Just incredible to watch. Wish I could see that again.

Sadly I don’t think it will be anytime soon, it takes forever until a midfield click like that and last time we tried that game plan... well you know what happened.
 

ferball

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Jul 24, 2015
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Definitely Williams. I'd be happy with him going into any GF.

I really like Pittard (ignore the rest) but to me Williams is a gun small defender. We miss him terribly if unfit or suspended.

Only reason we lost to Lions last year at Marvel in fact as he killed Charlie Cameron until then (then CC got off the chain in last as noone else can do it)
Yep.

He was all over CC. Cameron kicked four in that game, I think all of them after Marley was injured. (Wish we'd got him too. If he'd got one extra goal every three games last year he'd have equaled or even beaten Ben Brown in the Coleman.)

Also, fwiw I thought Atley had his best year for us playing up forward in 2018.
 

King Corey

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Gee I thought Atley Williams and Pittard were great last year. Our midfield leaks more than the Iraqi Navy, bloody hard yakka being a defender in the Royal Blue and White.

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Wouldn't have classified Atley's 2019 season as "great" but that's just me.

Can give you Pittard and perhaps Williams.
 

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Psicosis

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Add Higgins and put Ziebell in the vicinity and three Bulldogs players won't be all over Cunners every time he gets the ball. It was clearly a game plan to swamp him at every contest.
Teams did this to cunners throughout last year - having Higgins and Ziebell playing made minimal difference... Midfield needs to become less predictable
 

Passmore

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Wouldn't have classified Atley's 2019 season as "great" but that's just me.

Can give you Pittard and perhaps Williams.
Atley was Atley. Mid range player in a mid range team. Does some really good stuff and follows it up with something deplorable.

As mentioned by someone else, Pittard was good last year, I'd like to see him back it up.

Williams is an interesting one. To my eye he's terrific defensively. One of the best in the comp. Offensively it can be heart in mouth a bit, but I don't reckon it's as bad as some make out. BUT, he fails in every measure in Champion Data and he seems to be slightly on the outer if the praccys are anything to go by. Plus he gets a 1 year deal when we've been known to hand out 3 year deals for fun.

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Moti

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Mar 4, 2001
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Where is Crocker at? To me he looks like the exact type of player we need. Good speed, uses the ball pretty well, good hight and has aggression. Plenty to work with.
 

Passmore

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Where is Crocker at? To me he looks like the exact type of player we need. Good speed, uses the ball pretty well, good hight and has aggression. Plenty to work with.
His numbers as a junior were as outside as you could get and still be drafted. He's had a bit of wing time in the praccys he's played.

Hopefully he gets a bit of a run on Friday.

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Caracas

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Jasper is as capable of a horrendous fu** up as anyone on the list.


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From memory, Jasper made massive kicking clangers in the pre-season last year as well. He tidied things up for the main event though, I think. I suppose we’re all, understandably, a little antsy after what was dished up in R1 last season. It would be beyond disappointing if we reprised that effort. However, it is Shaw’s first real season in charge - we can’t expect guaranteed victories. Having said that, the performances under Rhyce in the second half of last season were very positive. Also, R1 is in Marvel, not Optus. We should take that into account as well. We may or may not win against the Saints, but it should be a ding dong struggle. They are favourites after all with the bookies - for whatever that’s worth.


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Caracas

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Just watched the * v North Elimination final again as quick pick me up.

Our handball game was next level, so many of our goals came off a long chain. Just incredible to watch. Wish I could see that again.

Sadly I don’t think it will be anytime soon, it takes forever until a midfield click like that and last time we tried that game plan... well you know what happened.
Didn’t we last try it very successfully against Port in R22 last year as well? I’d prefer to hang my hat on that display, to be honest.


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Masked Avenger

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Jasper is as capable of a horrendous fu** up as anyone on the list.


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A bad one against the Dogs no doubt but it needs to be seen in the context of the type of player he is. He's a high risk, high reward player. They're pretty valuable in the top end teams as risk taking is often the difference. He pulls the trigger. They've been in short supply at our club for 20 years. He'll do me.
 

ferball

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Jul 24, 2015
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Teams did this to cunners throughout last year - having Higgins and Ziebell playing made minimal difference... Midfield needs to become less predictable
Not like they did on Friday. I saw several occasions where three of their mids converged on Cunners while Bont ran at the ball.

No way you'd do that with Higgins and potentially LDU in there as well. Not to mention JZ who would have taken at least one of them out.

That said I agree about the predictability side of things. Having Cuners in the middle and Brown up forward gives us two excellent potential decoys if the next their younger players come on well. We don't need to use those two every time.
 

Pykie

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Always good to get a different point of view even if it is hard to hear about your own players.

Who are in the top 4-5 out of interest do you think in that category?

Houli and Hurn are in the AA team. I can't fault them defensively. They own their but of turf when the ball comes in either individually or in a pack. By foot they are stellar.

Others? Hunt, Mills, Short, z Williams, Haynes?
I'd rate all of the below better than nearly everyone we have.


Attacking HBF - Whitfield, Houli, Lloyd, Williams, Laird, Saad, Sheppard, Wilson, Rich, Newman, Stack.
Lockdown/Intercept - Stewart, Haynes, Rampe, Sicily,
Combo - Hurn, Vlaustin, B.Smith, Byrne-Jones, Langdon, Mills

So Pittard or Atley might make the top 25 as it stands....
 

LuvtheKangas

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Mar 11, 2006
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I'd rate all of the below better than nearly everyone we have.


Attacking HBF - Whitfield, Houli, Lloyd, Williams, Laird, Saad, Sheppard, Wilson, Rich, Newman, Stack.
Lockdown/Intercept - Stewart, Haynes, Rampe, Sicily,
Combo - Hurn, Vlaustin, B.Smith, Byrne-Jones, Langdon, Mills

So Pittard or Atley might make the top 25 as it stands....
Pittard probably would.

It's not as bad as it looks - I mean, there are 18 teams, so the naive expectation is that most teams have one in the top 25, with the better teams having two.
 

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