Analysis Our Game Plan under JLO

dockerfemme

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Aish has already said Longmuir's biggest strength is game plan knowledge. Really hope selection and drafting is now based less on filling a role and more on getting enough players who have good skills to implement a precise kicking game plan. Our list has too many inside mids lacking pace and small forwards with average pace compared to most small forwards on afl lists. I cant see roles for either Crowden or Shultz in a precise kicking game plan. Hence Id rather delist them and bring in players who could potentially help in Menedue and a quick skilled state league player. Speaking of game plan I really hope the likes of Connor Blakly are given an absolute rocket next season when they follow the ball and dont work hard enough to cover their man spreading from stoppages. Connor's work rate in terms of staying with his man in sprints longer than 40 metres and ball watching last year were as appalling as ive seen from a freo mid in a long time.
I was really surprised to see sherrif write this a few days ago about a precise kicking game plan. (Hope you don't mind me quoting you sherrif). I know sherrif thinks about the game deeply, but given the general view of our skills and Richmond's success I was hoping we would implement something with elements of Richmond's game plan.

I really like Richmond's game plan. They score well, they covered well when they had a lot of injuries, they implemented it quickly in the 2017 preseason and they made structural changes with the use of more talls without losing their essence. What's not to like.

It seems to me to be unmeasurable. They get low possession counts, low contested possessions, low clearances, low marks (I guess because they are not controlling the ball), low contested marks and yet go inside 50 a lot, get a lot of marks inside 50 (even in 2017 with only 1 tall forward) and score well. I notice they bounce the ball a lot (their fifteenth bouncer is Cotch with .29 bounces per game in 2019, our fifth bouncer is Conca with .27 bounces per game). I guess this is because they are happy to move the ball with run and carry. They are said by the commentators to handball forward rather than backward, but I don't have any stats for this.

Our strengths seem to be oriented towards clearances and contested ball (and defence of course, and this is true of Richmond) and we need to use our strengths so maybe the Richmond way shouldn't be our way.

I am interested in opinions on what we should be doing with the player group we have, and what, if anything, can we learn from Richmond.


PS Richmond do remind me a little bit of North Melbourne under Pagan, who had low possession counts, scored quite freely, and seemed to force the ball forward at every opportunity. There were a lot less stats kept in those days.
 

Bring back Drum

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It’s really important that we come up with a game style that is sustainable & not a direct copy of other teams but more of a hybrid.

The reason is, RTB fell into the trap of trying to be Hawthorn after losing to them. He bought in Hawk ex players as assistant coaches & tried to turn a big bodied bunch of defensive minded mids into elite kickers. It didn’t work & we ended up with compromised game style that was just hard work.

Richmond base their game style on defence, but not at the contest. They set up further behind the ball with a minus 1 around the contest. Richmond’s stoppage & clearance numbers are low but their turnover rate is the best in the game.

We have numbers around the contest historically & that’s great, but when we go forward we are generally outnumbered. This is where opposition teams expose us on turnover & use the switch to open up the other side of the ground as we have previously had numbers around the original contest on one side of the ground.

Richmond like to turn the ball over between centre & half back after losing the contest further up the ground & then run, run, run! Move the ball with a weight of numbers drawing opposition to the contest in the middle of the ground creating space in the forward half because the quick ball movement doesn’t allow opposition teams to set up defensively.

I really look forward to what Longmuir develops, but it will take time to get right on game day, so patience will be required by fans.
 

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Deveraux

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I wouldn't call Richmond's game plan a highly skilled one but it is definitely effective.. move the ball forward at any and all opportunity. The team knows it and positions accordingly. The best defences are scrambled at best when it is in full flight.

If we had high skills to go with the game plan of earlier this season then we would have blown teams off the park, unfortunately there was no time left for skills after structures which was unacceptable.

JLO is already on the record for increasing skills which is awesome and I can't wait to see what he comes up with. But don't expect our structures to hold up or be as rigid under pressure as it has been - Ross was elite at this.

Not overly concerned though, there will obviously be a backward step during the teething process but I can't wait to see some kicks hitting their targets for once!!
 

dockerfemme

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Ball retention is the dominant strategy, but you have to have the players to execute it. Not sure we have enough good kicks to play that way.
I don't think Richmond's approach is about ball retention. I can't see it when I watch them play. I think getting the ball going forward is part of their approach, but what happens after that I am not sure.

Certainly the Eagles, Hawthorn and Collingwood are about ball retention.
 

Cobbler

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I’m not sure about all the intricacies of how a game plan rolls out, but teams that use the handball forward are infinitely better than those that handball defensively. If nothing else I’d like to see us handball forward rather than rugby style it backwards and eventually kick the long ball like we’re an under 16s side.
 

Joao

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I don't think Richmond's approach is about ball retention. I can't see it when I watch them play. I think getting the ball going forward is part of their approach, but what happens after that I am not sure.

Certainly the Eagles, Hawthorn and Collingwood are about ball retention.
No I agree, never meant to say that Richmond was ball retention based. Simply suggesting that ball retention is dominant if executed correctly. Richmond would be easier to emulate as all you need is speed.
 

PurpleThunder

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No I agree, never meant to say that Richmond was ball retention based. Simply suggesting that ball retention is dominant if executed correctly. Richmond would be easier to emulate as all you need is speed.
I don't think that's something we have a lot of.
 

CapitalA

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No I agree, never meant to say that Richmond was ball retention based. Simply suggesting that ball retention is dominant if executed correctly. Richmond would be easier to emulate as all you need is speed.
True but i think richmonds game style is more sustainable often beating ball retention teams. They seem to be able to grind down other teams even if they lose early quarters teams can't match them for 4 quarters.

I am not sure if that is gameplan or the fitness of their players but i am leaning to gameplan since i assume most afl teams have a similar fitness level.
 

Piggy Smalls

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I’m hoping that the discipline of maintaining those defensive structures has been drilled in long enough now as to be inherent to the playing group. If we can improve skills and ball movement in attack these elements should complement each other nicely.

I think the main challenge will be to have our forwards in position to influence more on transition without the dependence on our two main runners (both now departed) to carry the ball forward. Clearly this style of play is grinding the players down and contributing to the injury toll and late season fade outs. An emphasis on skills training over the pre-season will help the players move the ball more efficiently. Hopefully this will help with player fatigue which in turn helps with skills and decision making. It’s a beautiful cycle which could have an exponential impact.

It would be nice to also see a real emphasis on defensive work at the stoppages as the ball seems to get walked out of there far too easily if Fyfe doesn’t win the clearance.

Having said that I am sure J-Lo has a much better footy brain than me and I trust him entirely to find the right balance, which he had already addressed as a fundamental at his first presser. I really can’t wait to see what it all looks like on the field when it starts to click for us.
 

sherrif

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Yeah I'm with you the precise kicking game plan feels outdated. Pressure + run and carry for the win.
Yeak thats actually what Im saying.
I was really surprised to see sherrif write this a few days ago about a precise kicking game plan. (Hope you don't mind me quoting you sherrif). I know sherrif thinks about the game deeply, but given the general view of our skills and Richmond's success I was hoping we would implement something with elements of Richmond's game plan.

I really like Richmond's game plan. They score well, they covered well when they had a lot of injuries, they implemented it quickly in the 2017 preseason and they made structural changes with the use of more talls without losing their essence. What's not to like.

It seems to me to be unmeasurable. They get low possession counts, low contested possessions, low clearances, low marks (I guess because they are not controlling the ball), low contested marks and yet go inside 50 a lot, get a lot of marks inside 50 (even in 2017 with only 1 tall forward) and score well. I notice they bounce the ball a lot (their fifteenth bouncer is Cotch with .29 bounces per game in 2019, our fifth bouncer is Conca with .27 bounces per game). I guess this is because they are happy to move the ball with run and carry. They are said by the commentators to handball forward rather than backward, but I don't have any stats for this.

Our strengths seem to be oriented towards clearances and contested ball (and defence of course, and this is true of Richmond) and we need to use our strengths so maybe the Richmond way shouldn't be our way.

I am interested in opinions on what we should be doing with the player group we have, and what, if anything, can we learn from Richmond.


PS Richmond do remind me a little bit of North Melbourne under Pagan, who had low possession counts, scored quite freely, and seemed to force the ball forward at every opportunity. There were a lot less stats kept in those days.
Yeah I actually agree with what you are saying and hope we follow the Richmond model as well. My point about a precise kicking game plan is that we need more players with good skills so that allows Longmuir to come up with a plan. You cant make a plan that doesnt work because so many players miss kick. Seriously, our kicking from Round 14 to the end of last year was statistically the worse result I can remember for any team. We were 17th or 18th for every kicking stat. No gameplan works with that skill level.

Im hoping Longmuir brings in more speed and pressure into the team and has a better balance between inside and outside players. My theory as to why we constantly get killed outside the contest is that we consistently play too many players who's natural instict is to be inside their player rather than spreading wide. Guys like Cerra and Tucker arent suited to the roles they have been playing so they react rather than create play. I think playing too many instinctive inside players is the biggest flaw we've had in the gameplan in recent years. If it came down to a choice between Conca and say Swita in the team Im hoping that JL choses to pick the lesser player of Swita so that we have less players who get exposed on the outside in the team.

My idea for bringing more all ground pressure and speed would start in the ruck. Id go with Lobb and Logue not playing Darcy unless there is an injury. Both Lobb and Logue would add around the ground pressure significantly compared to how Sean went last year. Logue played ruck a fair bit as a junior.

In the forward line Im hoping Sturt comes good so we can play him as the third tall. Potentially he cold add speed, marking and skill to the forward set-up. If Sturt is still not ready then the third tall should be a resting mid rather than Cox or McCarthy. A rotation of Acres/Fyfe/Mundy/Logue (Mundy and Logue to also switch back)and perhaps Hughes (if he plays mid) would be better than sacrificing an extra runner in the team.

At both Collingwood and West Coast Longmuir had control of the forward group for a period when he was there. In both cases he built forward lines based on having a lot of speed and keeping a six man structure. Im thinking he will do the same at freo, but it might take more than this off season to get the right personal in the squad to implement the plan. At both West Coast and Collingwood the skill level of the players overall seemed to increase the longer Longmuir was there. Hopefully he played a role in that happening.
 

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Joao

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True but i think richmonds game style is more sustainable often beating ball retention teams. They seem to be able to grind down other teams even if they lose early quarters teams can't match them for 4 quarters.

I am not sure if that is gameplan or the fitness of their players but i am leaning to gameplan since i assume most afl teams have a similar fitness level.
Richmond have one of the best lists. I'd back West Coast to beat them in Perth and probably at a neutral ground too (both teams at full strength). I'd back the 3 peat Hawks too, although they would be made to earn it.

There is nothing wrong with Richmond's game plan, I just think ball retention is superior but also harder to get right.
 

blue shark

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Richmond have one of the best lists. I'd back West Coast to beat them in Perth and probably at a neutral ground too (both teams at full strength). I'd back the 3 peat Hawks too, although they would be made to earn it.

There is nothing wrong with Richmond's game plan, I just think ball retention is superior but also harder to get right.
Clarkson closed the door on the Eagles finals this year when the Hawks showed them up. Losing Willie, Mastern, and Kennedy nearing
the end but gaining Kelly is it enough?
Tigers could be stronger again with Rance, it's going to take some sort of miracle to stop that juggernaut.
 

dropbear101

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richmonds game plan is built around the handball (or moving the ball forward), If you hand ball directly forward the pack behind the ball forms a defensive wall ready to pounce if there is a turnover (turnovers are usually accompanied by a small delay in the ball moving either forward or back unless the ball is taken at pace allowing the pack to catch up). This pressure on the opposition causes a rushed kick which is promptly moped up by their back six. This is why richmond seem so hard to score against and why they like a spare in defense.
Their attack works because teams set up defenses then the forward ball hand ball makes them out of position . Richmond hand ball it forward again if they can't find an option. The next handball forward again means that the defense needs to shift to accommodate this all while losing ground. Eventually they find a target 90 metres from where they extracted it because of the kick, handballs and run.

What do you do? Push your defense right up to the contest to clog that forward handball movement and allow dusty to roam out the back aka brisbane final, back off and allow them to forward handball at their leisure or put a spare man behind the ball and allow them the luxury of a spare man in defense.
How do you stop there offense.
Imagine if you had a person that could stop whoever they isolate deep pearce on lynch, hamling on riewoldt and hughes on martin (could he stop martin or is that a pipe dream)
All of this is why richmond when they are up and going seem impossible to stop.

Collingwood during that prelim smashed them around the ball. (you need to be clean as well otherwise their will be a hack kick and turnover)
west coast back there precise kicking to not allow that pressure for the turnover.

I reckon collingwood style as I'm not confident in us executing a west coast style.
Brisbane style would be interesting as i reckon they genuinely scared richmond that first quarter cats where in-front at half time but didn't outplay richmond the same way brisbane did during that first quarter.
 

sherrif

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I don't think we have had a problem creating turnovers, I think we are just even worse at giving it back
Yep agreed. Thats why I think someone like Conca could be a surprise omission. Yes, he's good at pressure, but if he gets the ball from a turnover its more than likely be another turnover unfortunately. I know Im in the minority, but Connor Blakely is pretty much the same in my view consistently goes through games with minimal involvement in scoring chains. I could be wrong but Im pretty sure our most effective player in terms of intercepting the ball resulting in scores was Ethan Hughes last year. At least he takes the game on and runs off his man when he intercepts the ball.
 

Taylor

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Yep agreed. Thats why I think someone like Conca could be a surprise omission. Yes, he's good at pressure, but if he gets the ball from a turnover its more than likely be another turnover unfortunately. I know Im in the minority, but Connor Blakely is pretty much the same in my view consistently goes through games with minimal involvement in scoring chains. I could be wrong but Im pretty sure our most effective player in terms of intercepting the ball resulting in scores was Ethan Hughes last year. At least he takes the game on and runs off his man when he intercepts the ball.
I think there is room for players like Conca who have elite hands and can compete for four quarters. It would be nice to have a team of elite kicks but that's not the reality.

I want our elite kicks on half back and half forward, if I have less than an ideal number to choose from.

It comes from a very negative perspective, I don't want turnovers within 70m of their goal, so elite kicks there get it out to the hard working mids like Conca and Blakely. Those sorts of of players then can either kick inside to a loose, probably nobody loose, or kick it another 50m away. Contested marks here, bringing it to ground if not.

Then I want the inside fifties to be better, so other elite kicks starting there. When we are pressing deep in attack the half backs will function as the inside fifty kickers anyway.

Long way for me to say that Conca is in my best team, he will keep his man honest.
 

dropbear101

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Are we forgetting the job conca did on duncan against the cats.
Got a lot of time for conca when he beats his man like that.

Blakely i reckon is the one who gets the chop. Name a performance of his where he beat his opponent. I'm not a fan of his defensive work either.
 

wayToGo_

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We were the 4th best intercepting team last year (behind Port, Hawks, Richmond). If Alex Pearce didn't get injured, meaning Hamling didn't have to take the best KPF, then I think we would have been the 2nd best and had two top 5 interceptors in Ryan and Hamling. Ryan ended up 2nd behind McGovern - we must sign him long term!!!!!!!! Hamling was top 4 until Pearce got injured from memory.

I think we had the defensive game plan looking pretty sweet in the first half of the season. We were often inconsistent but there were many times when it was ultra tight and our mids were pressuring the long kick, making it easier for our half backs to intercept. I don't think that game plan needs to change dramatically - we have some good pressure/accountable mids (Tucker/Conca/Brayshaw), and a back line with a bunch of good interceptors in it. We were definitely still missing pressure in the forward line though but I'd put that down to all our talls getting injured. Early in the season we had a heap of marks inside 50 and our pressure was fine because there was no loose ball for the opposition to scoop up with their +1 and walk away with it. Fast forward to tall injury crisis, no marks i50 and we couldn't apply pressure.

With the loss of our wingers we need more run out of defence, to keep our tall forwards out on the field, and add some speed at their feet - to swoop up the ground ball if the talls bring it to to ground. We have the big bodies and footy brains in the middle of the ground that can then keep the ball moving forward with a more play on instinct mentality. It only works if you have a functional forward line to kick it to though. We haven't had which is why we turned it over more than we intercepted - and therefore on balance were a below average team.
 

Cayman Docker

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I’m hoping that the discipline of maintaining those defensive structures has been drilled in long enough now as to be inherent to the playing group. If we can improve skills and ball movement in attack these elements should complement each other nicely.

I think the main challenge will be to have our forwards in position to influence more on transition without the dependence on our two main runners (both now departed) to carry the ball forward. Clearly this style of play is grinding the players down and contributing to the injury toll and late season fade outs. An emphasis on skills training over the pre-season will help the players move the ball more efficiently. Hopefully this will help with player fatigue which in turn helps with skills and decision making. It’s a beautiful cycle which could have an exponential impact.

It would be nice to also see a real emphasis on defensive work at the stoppages as the ball seems to get walked out of there far too easily if Fyfe doesn’t win the clearance.

Having said that I am sure J-Lo has a much better footy brain than me and I trust him entirely to find the right balance, which he had already addressed as a fundamental at his first presser. I really can’t wait to see what it all looks like on the field when it starts to click for us.
love this, wish I could see the game through your eyes, that’s what’s great about being in here, listening to others and I think you’ve addressed our prior shortfalls perfectly. It makes a lot of sense to me, even though I never thought about it that hard.

It does sound like we are in a great set of hands with J Lo. Like others have said, I hope he gets a proper go. By the sounds of it I don’t think anyone has much to worry about and he couldn’t have had a better journey to get to this point in his career which he has completely and deservedly earned.

The stage is set!
 

go_the_dockers

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I wonder how he will play players like Sturt, Henry, Walters.

We badly need speed in the side, and assuming they both have a good preseason both should start round 1.
 

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