Offseason Changes + Road to the 2021 Premiership

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Doashuey

Club Legend
Sep 13, 2017
2,487
5,114
AFL Club
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Ok People, you know the truth, but just won't admit it!?
We need a ballsy midfield coach, we need an ex-star of the game!?
We NEED Daniel Kerr!!
He's around apparently (often seen outside the family courts)
and is very available!
(oh well, worth a try)
Imagine how many houses will be trained burnt down during pre-season!
 

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Dylan82

Premium Platinum
Aug 14, 2004
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Have taken a week long sabbatical after last weeks debacle in addition to some upheaval concerning personal matters.

In the end 2020 had effectively the same team as 2019, with a similar result.


Kelly's addition covered Yeo's absence, with arguably the rest of the team being static in their levels of output - (i.e Duggan's improvement was mitigated by Hurn's decline, likewise Ryan with Cripps and Allen with Kennedy).

In the end nothing avoids the fact that in 2018 the forward line had Lecras, Rioli and Venables and the club has been unable to find adequate replacements for any of those three over the following two years.


In the Elimination Final against Collingwood, the squad deployed Ah Chee, Petruccelle and Ainsworth in the equivalent roles and each (not unexpectedly) were found wanting. Ideally, the club would be able to do as other clubs do and rotate midfielders through the forward line to help cover this deficiency, but as we know that option is not available as the midfield depth is non-existent.


So where to now? Finding midfield options is the obvious priority, but with no picks in the draft inside of 30 and a salary cap at (apparently) full capacity, the likelihood of procuring such a player who will improve the best 22 is exceedingly thin.

Player trades are the only real currency the club has, however any trade outcome is again unlikely to improve the performance of the squad for next season. For example Brander is arguably the best trade bait on the list without impacting negatively to a large extent and he would be lucky to get exchanged for a second-round pick if one of the rebuilding clubs (Adelaide, North Melbourne, Sydney etc) decided to come in hard for him.

Outside of defying the odds and winning the greatest steal of all time in the draft or somehow becoming the beneficiaries of an unusual player exchange (e.g J.Lyons to Brisbane), what the club has right now is going to be what is taking to the field in 2021.

That may not be an issue - if Rioli is able to return and get back to pre-ASADA levels and the squad remains injury-free, for all we know the club may not lose a match next year. But placing hopes upon those circumstances is naive - Rioli won't be back any time soon (if ever) and there will always be injuries, particularly if players are not being rested.


So how does one go about preventing another repetition next year of the post-2018 period? The answer can only lie in gameplan.

The current system has achieved success and is also arguably the most attractive in the competition to view, but has very little margin of error within it. A growing occurrence over the past two seasons has been the reduction of the team to being a threat from stoppages only and struggling to gain any ascendancy elsewhere. Unless the team executes at a near-perfect level, even against low-quality opponents the result is often far from convincing.

Without question more needs to be done to manufacture scores from opponent turnovers, whilst conversely limiting the counter-attacking avenues that opponents are exploiting to gain scores against the run of play.

Considering the options in the squad, the best way forward over the near-term may be to deploy an additional sweeping defender that can be used to architect rebounding moves at the expense of a small forward, with the midfielders given remit to push forward more often with the extra behind them.

If it sounds familiar, it is tactically similar to what the club did in 2015 with a much lesser team.


Either way, something needs to be addressed from a tactical standpoint if the club are to take a step forward next year rather than another step sideways.
 

The Gov

McLovin' it
Jun 16, 2015
344
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AFL Club
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Anyone remember a few years ago when we used to be unbelievably good at scoring from kick ins? Had the most unpredictable setup on both sides, talls often used as a distraction then Hurn or Jetta would bullet Yeo running to the top of the 50 and away we went.

From memory this was a period where NN was out so we didn't have the centre bounce score dominance, but for some reason this year with Nic back in we've lost this element of our game. Why not have both? It killed me (especially late in the season against Bulldogs especially) watching us move it so slowly out of there and let other teams choke us up, or have Hurn kick it to the right to a massive pack time after time and see it come straight back in. When we do hit the dangerous shorter kick to someone more central our first instinct has been to turn at a 60 degree angle and find someone in an inoffensive position on the wing.

I get it's probably because we're looking for the switch, but teams are expecting that now. Would love to see us get more offensive and dangerous in this area - if we must kick it long down the line why not hit a shorter option from a kickin, have Hurn/Jetta/Nelson/Duggan run past for a second bite and go the long option into our attacking half of the ground instead, let the contest happen there. We have two young extremely mobile talls in Allen and Waterman who would be perfect getting on the end of this and Ryan to stream past.

Backing our foot skills in is great and all but I feel like chipping the ball around should be regarded as a very good Plan B, and our Plan A should be more offensive. It's not that we're not good with our footskills but we are predictable with them.
 

Jiggyman

Premiership Player
Apr 1, 2010
3,033
3,501
AFL Club
West Coast
Anyone remember a few years ago when we used to be unbelievably good at scoring from kick ins? Had the most unpredictable setup on both sides, talls often used as a distraction then Hurn or Jetta would bullet Yeo running to the top of the 50 and away we went.

From memory this was a period where NN was out so we didn't have the centre bounce score dominance, but for some reason this year with Nic back in we've lost this element of our game. Why not have both? It killed me (especially late in the season against Bulldogs especially) watching us move it so slowly out of there and let other teams choke us up, or have Hurn kick it to the right to a massive pack time after time and see it come straight back in. When we do hit the dangerous shorter kick to someone more central our first instinct has been to turn at a 60 degree angle and find someone in an inoffensive position on the wing.

I get it's probably because we're looking for the switch, but teams are expecting that now. Would love to see us get more offensive and dangerous in this area - if we must kick it long down the line why not hit a shorter option from a kickin, have Hurn/Jetta/Nelson/Duggan run past for a second bite and go the long option into our attacking half of the ground instead, let the contest happen there. We have two young extremely mobile talls in Allen and Waterman who would be perfect getting on the end of this and Ryan to stream past.

Backing our foot skills in is great and all but I feel like chipping the ball around should be regarded as a very good Plan B, and our Plan A should be more offensive. It's not that we're not good with our footskills but we are predictable with them.
Been like this since the premiership. When the oppo locks-down our back half, and if we can't mark down the line, they know they can kill us with groundball.

A lot of work has gone into undoing the way we like to play, and we're not the same side that won that flag (see: Dylan's post).
However, many 'pieces' of that side remain and can be molded into something new. For example, Duggan and Nelson's overlap run from HB this season was basically our replacement for that quick transition.

Worth noting it's tough to get a reliable full-ground game-plan happening with restrictions on the size of training groups. Which probably explains why this year's footy has been scrappier with fewer blow-outs (someone correct me if I'm wrong here).
 
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truman

All Australian
Oct 24, 2013
719
526
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Not sure if it's just me but I feel absolutely deflated. I feel like our window is closed. We absolutely blew this chance, and really because we weren't as mentally strong as our opponents. 12.4 to 11.9 says it all. When you think about it, we only had one major injury heading into a final at home.

NicNat, had a season out of the absolute box, and the result was a week one finals elimination at home. Given his age you can't expect him to maintain let alone exceed his output next year, not impossible but can't bank on that.

Comparing our list to those around us I don't see how we have more improvement than our competition. Look at Brisbane, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Bulldogs. Particularly port and Brisbane, so much of their quality is driven by young players and they've got a stack (Mccluggage, Raina, Berry, Rozee, Butters, Georgiadis, Dursma) that are just going to continue to improve.

Compare that to us, apart from Kelly and Ryan all our stars are late 20s and above, can't expect any improvement from them but rather a decline or continuing trend of soft tissue injuries.

Maybe I'm just being to pessimistic but I just don't see how our premiership window isn't closed. How are we going to improve at all, let alone improve more than other premiership contenders?
 

CM9000

BigFooty Optimist
Aug 19, 2016
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Not sure if it's just me but I feel absolutely deflated. I feel like our window is closed. We absolutely blew this chance, and really because we weren't as mentally strong as our opponents. 12.4 to 11.9 says it all. When you think about it, we only had one major injury heading into a final at home.

NicNat, had a season out of the absolute box, and the result was a week one finals elimination at home. Given his age you can't expect him to maintain let alone exceed his output next year, not impossible but can't bank on that.

Comparing our list to those around us I don't see how we have more improvement than our competition. Look at Brisbane, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Bulldogs. Particularly port and Brisbane, so much of their quality is driven by young players and they've got a stack (Mccluggage, Raina, Berry, Rozee, Butters, Georgiadis, Dursma) that are just going to continue to improve.

Compare that to us, apart from Kelly and Ryan all our stars are late 20s and above, can't expect any improvement from them but rather a decline or continuing trend of soft tissue injuries.

Maybe I'm just being to pessimistic but I just don't see how our premiership window isn't closed. How are we going to improve at all, let alone improve more than other premiership contenders?
Surely you aren’t serious?

Our premiership window is as wide open as it could possibly be. Just because we don’t have a stack of top 10 picks who are the ones to drive “improvement” doesn’t mean our window is closed at all. Where will improvement come from? The players we currently have on the list - TK, better adjusted to our system; Yeo, with an uninterrupted, full year; Shuey, with another year under the belt as captain. You seem to be forgetting that we effectively got f’ed by injuries this year, and a once in a generation pandemic that gave us two less home games than we usually get. We also lost Mitchell at the end of 2018, which was another contributing factor.

Along with some players we can bring in and a normal season next year (don’t underestimate how important that is), we can easily finish top 4. And don’t forgot the fact we’ll be replacing our midfield coach, as both van Berlo and Rosa have left, which can also have a big impact on next year.

At the moment, you’re just being overly pessimistic.
 

Altum Volantes

92 - 94 - 06 - 18
Aug 4, 2003
18,081
13,231
WA
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Not sure if it's just me but I feel absolutely deflated. I feel like our window is closed. We absolutely blew this chance, and really because we weren't as mentally strong as our opponents. 12.4 to 11.9 says it all. When you think about it, we only had one major injury heading into a final at home.

NicNat, had a season out of the absolute box, and the result was a week one finals elimination at home. Given his age you can't expect him to maintain let alone exceed his output next year, not impossible but can't bank on that.

Comparing our list to those around us I don't see how we have more improvement than our competition. Look at Brisbane, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Bulldogs. Particularly port and Brisbane, so much of their quality is driven by young players and they've got a stack (Mccluggage, Raina, Berry, Rozee, Butters, Georgiadis, Dursma) that are just going to continue to improve.

Compare that to us, apart from Kelly and Ryan all our stars are late 20s and above, can't expect any improvement from them but rather a decline or continuing trend of soft tissue injuries.

Maybe I'm just being to pessimistic but I just don't see how our premiership window isn't closed. How are we going to improve at all, let alone improve more than other premiership contenders?
Ultimately, the mids let us down when it came to the crunch.

Yeo - Injured and inconsistent in 2020
Shuey - Same as Yeo.
Kelly - Unable to reproduce his best footy with us, bar a couple of cameos
Sheed - Good season...but unable to step up when the likes of Shuey and Yeo went out.
Gaff - Delivered.

From our 5 best it’s a 2/5 at best that get a pass mark and that’s with Nic playing his best footy ever.

Disappointing.
 

truman

All Australian
Oct 24, 2013
719
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Surely you aren’t serious?

Our premiership window is as wide open as it could possibly be. Just because we don’t have a stack of top 10 picks who are the ones to drive “improvement” doesn’t mean our window is closed at all. Where will improvement come from? The players we currently have on the list - TK, better adjusted to our system; Yeo, with an uninterrupted, full year; Shuey, with another year under the belt as captain. You seem to be forgetting that we effectively got f’ed by injuries this year, and a once in a generation pandemic that gave us two less home games than we usually get. We also lost Mitchell at the end of 2018, which was another contributing factor.

Along with some players we can bring in and a normal season next year (don’t underestimate how important that is), we can easily finish top 4. And don’t forgot the fact we’ll be replacing our midfield coach, as both van Berlo and Rosa have left, which can also have a big impact on next year.

At the moment, you’re just being overly pessimistic.
I hope you're right, but at this stage I think that the clubs that I mentioned, Port and Brisbane have more improvement that you can bank on. Richmond have proven their credentials with 4 prelims in a row. And it's undeniable our list is ageing.

Maybe the factors you mentioned re coaches and adjusting to system will occur. But let's not forget other teams are likely to improve through a variety of factors, i.e. Brisbane may get Daniher. True we had injuries but you can't bank on not getting injuries or predict how injuries will affect output, I.e. 2018 we were missing three of our best players and in 2019 Richmond were slammed with injuries.
 

greatwhiteshark

Brownlow Medallist
Oct 3, 2007
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In our window we couldn’t make top 4 two years in a row. We need to find hunger and a ruthless edge, without more of the same is in front of us. Close enough is good enough and I was still well paid.
 

CM9000

BigFooty Optimist
Aug 19, 2016
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I hope you're right, but at this stage I think that the clubs that I mentioned, Port and Brisbane have more improvement that you can bank on. Richmond have proven their credentials with 4 prelims in a row. And it's undeniable our list is ageing.

Maybe the factors you mentioned re coaches and adjusting to system will occur. But let's not forget other teams are likely to improve through a variety of factors, i.e. Brisbane may get Daniher. True we had injuries but you can't bank on not getting injuries or predict how injuries will affect output, I.e. 2018 we were missing three of our best players and in 2019 Richmond were slammed with injuries.
Port and Brisbane have also capitalised on a global pandemic as a result for where they are right now, especially the latter. Port wouldn’t be where they are right now if half the league weren’t forced to hub in QLD in the latter half of the year, while Brisbane got 15 home games in their own state. Do not underestimate how the the current circumstances have coloured the season - I doubt both Port and Brisbane will do as well next year. “Natural improvement“ can only account for so much.

Richmond are another case entirely, and arguably our biggest threat for the premiership next year. We just have to be good enough to beat them, which I’m certain we can.

In terms of our list ageing, I hardly think it’s a fair summation. Yes, we do have some old players, but we only have to worry about two - JK and Hurn, and we already have their replacements on our list. Our entire midfield either has players that will be here for another five years (Yeo, Kelly, Gaff, Sheed), or ones that have just turned 30 (Nic, Shuey, Redden). The difficulty will be in replacing these latter three, but that will likely be a problem we’ll have 2-3 years to deal with.

We had the worst injury crisis at the club since 2015 this year, IMO. We pretty much lost 75% of our midfield at one point, and I’m certain that hasn’t happened in quite a long time. And yet, we still somehow beat St Kilda to keep pressure on the top 4.

We’re aiming for a premiership next year, and that should be our call. Our window is definitely not closed at the present time.
 

Dylan82

Premium Platinum
Aug 14, 2004
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Not sure if it's just me but I feel absolutely deflated. I feel like our window is closed. We absolutely blew this chance, and really because we weren't as mentally strong as our opponents. 12.4 to 11.9 says it all. When you think about it, we only had one major injury heading into a final at home.

NicNat, had a season out of the absolute box, and the result was a week one finals elimination at home. Given his age you can't expect him to maintain let alone exceed his output next year, not impossible but can't bank on that.

Comparing our list to those around us I don't see how we have more improvement than our competition. Look at Brisbane, Port Adelaide, St Kilda and Bulldogs. Particularly port and Brisbane, so much of their quality is driven by young players and they've got a stack (Mccluggage, Raina, Berry, Rozee, Butters, Georgiadis, Dursma) that are just going to continue to improve.

Compare that to us, apart from Kelly and Ryan all our stars are late 20s and above, can't expect any improvement from them but rather a decline or continuing trend of soft tissue injuries.

Maybe I'm just being to pessimistic but I just don't see how our premiership window isn't closed. How are we going to improve at all, let alone improve more than other premiership contenders?
Granted, without question the team has the talent within it to have achieved far more this year (and last year) than what has eventuated.


But we are a long way off from having any premiership window closed.

If fit, the midfield is stacked better than any other going around - depth remains an ongoing concern if injuries arise, but Shuey, Yeo, Kelly, Gaff, Sheed, Redden is a damned fine list to be choosing from - and of those only Shuey and Redden will be over 30 next year.

In defence McGovern and Barrass are in their prime, Sheppard will still only be 30 in 2021 and the retirement/replacement of Hurn and Jetta is already underway with development coming from Duggan, Rotham, Cole and Nelson.

Up forward Darling is right in the middle of his best years, Allen is outstanding for a young key forward that is yet to play 40 matches and old man Kennedy still goes alright despite his age (Second in both the Coleman [34] and goals per game [2.0] this season behind Hawkins only). The oldest member of the forward group after Kennedy is Cripps who will be 29 next year.
Ryan took his game to another level - he was 8th in the competition for average score involvements per game, equal with D.Martin. The next highest Eagle for that statistic is Darling who came in 51st. Among those who managed at least 10 matches this year, just four players who have played less than 100 matches overall ranked inside the top 30 for score involvements per game: Ryan, McCluggage, Bolton and Butters. His talent is prodigious - and he has only just started to make an impact higher up the ground, giving him scope to potentially improve even further.
Cameron is another massive talent who just needs to get his body right and he will also provide a boost to the team up forward - and who knows what is going to happen with Rioli and Venables? The squad would be improved by the return of either of them.

In the ruck Hickey remains as an understudy that is still better than half of the first choice options in the competition, whilst Williams will be into his third year of development. The biggest query is probably in regard to what can realistically be expected from Naitanui as a 31 year old, particularly if the league goes back to standard quarter lengths - that said, Naitanui's absence in 2018 didn't stop the club from going all the way.


To say that the window is closed is pessimistic in the extreme. Three years ago the majority were consigning the club to a rebuild and saying that anyone over 25 should be traded out - the club did neither and won a premiership instead.

The best 22 of this club is more than capable of beating any team, anywhere, more often than not - and that places them right in the hunt for the premiership next year.
 

Dark2Light

Rookie
Oct 10, 2020
31
5
AFL Club
West Coast
Shep Barrass Cole
Hurn Gov (BLAKELY)
Duggan Yeo Gaff
Cripps JD Rioli
Ryan JK (LANGDON)

NN Kelly Shuey

Allen Redden Sheed, Rotham.

Waterman & Williams 1st call ups to replace injured talls.
Cameron, Xon as mid call ups.

Rioli will be back and Langdon in that gets us back to 4 small fwds we had. 2018 Rioli kept Waterman out as we had Venners too.

I really like Bailey Williams and expect him to get more games in 2021. The Fwd structure determines how we fit all these talls in. I find Waterman needs to be FF or that 3rd fwd but that is a problem when Oscar plays the 3rd tall fwd role. This cost us in the final. Waterman had to play half back and we had Jetta a premiership defender as EMG. I would like to keep Duggan in the midfield and trade for Blakely this gives us a Mid/Back in the right age group we require. Not sure what Freo would require in a trade for him.

Tradeable Petruccelle, AhChee, Ainsworth and maybe Brander. We drafted him to play CHF as JD was moving to FF
 

truman

All Australian
Oct 24, 2013
719
526
AFL Club
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Port and Brisbane have also capitalised on a global pandemic as a result for where they are right now, especially the latter. Port wouldn’t be where they are right now if half the league weren’t forced to hub in QLD in the latter half of the year, while Brisbane got 15 home games in their own state. Do not underestimate how the the current circumstances have coloured the season - I doubt both Port and Brisbane will do as well next year. “Natural improvement“ can only account for so much.

Richmond are another case entirely, and arguably our biggest threat for the premiership next year. We just have to be good enough to beat them, which I’m certain we can.

In terms of our list ageing, I hardly think it’s a fair summation. Yes, we do have some old players, but we only have to worry about two - JK and Hurn, and we already have their replacements on our list. Our entire midfield either has players that will be here for another five years (Yeo, Kelly, Gaff, Sheed), or ones that have just turned 30 (Nic, Shuey, Redden). The difficulty will be in replacing these latter three, but that will likely be a problem we’ll have 2-3 years to deal with.

We had the worst injury crisis at the club since 2015 this year, IMO. We pretty much lost 75% of our midfield at one point, and I’m certain that hasn’t happened in quite a long time. And yet, we still somehow beat St Kilda to keep pressure on the top 4.

We’re aiming for a premiership next year, and that should be our call. Our window is definitely not closed at the present time.
I hear what you're saying and do take your points. But I'm still not convinced that we have as much improvement in us as a few of those other teams. I think you've sold Brisbane and port short.

True Brisbane have had the easiest run but last year they finished 2nd in the ladder without any of the advantages they've had this year. Yes they got bundled out of finals last year, but that was their first finals series in years. So I think based on the last year you've got to say Brisbane are a damn good side advantage or not.

Port have hardly had an easier time than us. They finished first and us fifth because they played much better than us in the first hub, plain and simple.

I still think we will be a good team and maybe we will improve more than other teams but I just think considering we haven't made top 4 two years in a row, apart from Ryan we don't have a top 5 player under 25, and I don't think we can expect NicNat to repeat this performance next year, other teams should have more improvement in them than us.

I'd be very very happy to be proven wrong and I did not predict 2018 based on 2017 so it is possible.
 

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