Majak Daw - injury excuses. Had a cold and then tore a pec muscle in the gym. Imagine the injuries he'd get if he played a game !I have a question for fellow NMFC supporters.
Ed Vickers Willis
2 stay, 2 go.
Who are they?
On that basis you might as well just keep everyone.McKay and Majak.
For the record I think we keep all 4.
Majak - showed he is capable of being a very good backman.
Durdin - When he has played, he showed signs he has some potential. He played forward as a junior, so I wouldn't mind him trying that.
McKay - showed a bit on the weekend. Keep persisting.
Vicker-Willis - has potential but very injury prone. One more opportunity. I'd keep Vicker-Willis over Hayden. I think Vicker-Willis when fit has better upside with disposal than Hayden.
Perhaps trying to hold on to the 90's for too long was part of the problem. Shinboner spirit can't replace talent, strategy, professionalism etcI just realised that our last bout of sustained success, 2012-16 where we played four finals series for two prelim finals, was really the last cough of the 90s team. Boomer was our last premiership player; he carried the flame of our 90s success. Wells came directly from the Carey trade. Players like Thompson, Petrie, Thomas and Firrito all had years playing alongside guys like Stevens, Archer, Simpson and Boomer of course. Individually successful players and leaders who had all conquered the league with a team.
The side was filled up with free agents but do Dal and Higgo come if not for Harvey and Wells? Probably not. We don't make finals in 2012, the season that was the springboard for an attack on the flag, without them that's for sure.
We still have Goldstein, Tarrant, Ziebell, Cunnington and Higgins who had exposure to some of that professionalism and North winning culture but the clock is ticking on them and it looks very unlikely they'll get to taste true success. It has been 21 years since 1999. 1996 came only 19 years after the '77 flag. If you've been following North since '75 or earlier you've never been this far from a premiership.
Whatever we build now is going to completely separate from the team of the 90s. The spoils of that era have been all but used up. It's not 2015 anymore. We'll have a couple of guys like Luke McDonald, Ben Brown and Shaun Atley that played alongside a North premiership winner but now more than ever it will be up to the people inside the club, players and staff, to find success in a brand new era with no inherited bounty.
McKay coming on, pretty much saves our arse, our spine is looking ok which will help any rebuild a lot more then people think.This is looking pretty spot on. We probably have 20-25 players we'll either want to or need to turn over in the next three or so seasons. Very little talent on the list and the best of it is split by a 10-15 year age gap.
Nice of Brady to post his plans here in advance.Let’s do a bit of an experiment, using data that we have on hand.
What will the NMFC list look like in three years, at this point in 2023? Who will be gone and who will remain? In doing this it exposed to me the biggest strengths and weaknesses in our list, and perhaps will point to what our recruitment strategy will look like over the coming years.
Firstly, who will be gone? This is a list of those who I speculate will either retire or be cut in the coming seasons:
Higgins, Goldstein, Hall, Tarrant, Ziebell, Campbell, Jacobs, Daw, Macmillan, Pittard, Tyson, Williams, Wood, Garner, Durdin, Ahern, Hosie, Murphy, Crocker, McGuinness
So 20 players gone from the list in over the next three off seasons and of those 20 only three will be sorely missed from a playing perspective. Wow.
That leaves us with a list comprising of 25 guys currently playing, all of whom are listed below by type. Also listed is if they are somewhat speculative, ie. if they have not solidified their position in the 22 or have only shown glimpses of AFL talent and have been injured, or as senior players who may also be delisted or might retire. Also included is their age at this point 2023, giving us an indication as to how soon those players may too need to be replaced.
Walker (KPD/KPF) 30y
Brown (KPF) 30y
McKay (KPD) 25y - Speculative
Larkey (KPF) 25y
Comben (KPF) 21y - Speculative
Our stocks are bare in this regard, with much resting now on the development of McKay and Comben, the improvement of Larkey and the return to form of Brown. It is clear that this area requires focus, with both Brown and Walker much closer to the end than the beginning by 2023. As we currently have Tarrant for at least the next 12 months we have time to plan for recruitment in this line, with a possible FA already in the wings.
Xerri 24y - Speculative
We need another prospective ruck to strengthen this area. A quality ruck is a real benefit and Goldy will be gone pretty soon. Xerri could be a nice roughhouse ruck, but that’s it.
Atley (BP/HB) 30y
McDonald (Midfield/Defender) 28y
Vickers-Willis (Defender) 27y - Speculative
Bonar (Midfield/Defender) 24y - Speculative
Hayden (Midfield/Defender) 24y - Speculative
Perez (Midfield/Defender) 21y - Speculative
Its pretty scary to look at this list and see how weak this area actually is for us. Gone will be Macmillan, Pittard and Williams, leaving us exposed and relying on injury prone or speculative players to fill the void. We desperately need to recruit both run and skill off the half back line, as well as lock down ability, with much depending on the development of Hayden and Perez.
Cunnington 32y - Speculative
Davies-Uniacke 24y - Speculative
Scott 23y - Speculative
Definitely an area of focus. Cunners might be gone. Polec is flaky. Anderson is, well, competitive. As is Dumont. Simpkin is a gun. LDU and Scott have shown signs to varying degrees. We need the lot in here.
Turner 27y - Speculative
Walker 24y - Speculative
Mahoney 21y - Speculative
An area where we seem pretty well stocked for the future. Potential midfield rotation also in Taylor, Thomas, Walker and Zurhaar could take pressure of recruitment in that area.
To summarise, we need in order (IMO)
- Priority 1 - Midfield: Just a gaping hole in quality outside Simpkin, and potentially LDU come 2023. Some decent foot soldiers, but fu** me, they need help. That 2023 midfield is slow and poorly skilled, and lacks talent overall, especially if Cunners pulls the pin.
- Priority 2 - Small/Medium Defenders: A very close second. It is such a spud farm down there when it comes to ball use and the replacements currently on the list are very speculative. We need to carry the current guys for another year or so as protection to allow the others to develop, then reassess.
- Prioroty 3: KPP’s, specifically KPD options. Possibly get a FA this year, then revisit post 2021 to see how Tarrant is travelling, and how McKay and Comben have progressed.
- Priority 4: Ruck. Xerri just isn’t enough. We may role with an average ruck for a few years just to compete as it might not be a priority. That said, look what having a gun ruck can do for a team.
- Priority 5: Small to medium forwards seem good to go. Another pacey version of Mahoney would be a good addition.
There is speculation that lists spaces will be cut to 40, meaning we have to add 15 players to the team over the next 3 off seasons. I would propose the following recruitment approach:
Recruit via Free Agency
1 x FA KPP, 1x FA medium defender, 1x FA midfielder
Recruit via National Draft
4x mids, 4x medium defenders, 2 x KPP, 1x ruck, 1 small forward
In total, 5 mids, 5 small/medium defenders, 3 KPP, 1 ruck, 1 small forward.
I would also entertain the idea of trading Brown for a top 10 pick to give us more currency in which to draft the best players available to fit our needs. If we need to roll with Walker, Ziebell and Zurhaar as our other KPF option with Larkey for a year or so, then so be it. If we could get 2 mids and a KPP in this years first 10 picks then we can strategically focus on the rest of our needs from round 2 this year through to the end of 2022 draft.
Defenders were always the kids not good enough to play forward or in the centre/wing at junior level. Draft is a bit of a lottery but based on nothing but stats alone I reckon drafting junior defenders is doomed to fail.Refer to Mckay, EVW, Durdin, Neilsen draft history. It's a mistake.
To be in Melbourne territory would mean to not win a flag until 2055This is what our 2024 best 22 is looking like:
FB: Hayden, McKay, EVW
HB: Perez, ???, McDonald,
C: Scott, Anderson, Dumont
HF: Thomas, Comben, Walker,
FF: Zurhaar, Larkey, Mahony
R: Xerri, Simpkin, LDU
That's six proven players if I'm being generous and a whole bunch of speculative talent. After three more seasons, at least eight of those players could easily have been delisted. We also can't be betting on Davies-Uniacke, Thomas, Scott and McKay all fulfilling their potential.
If I'm running this club, goal number one needs to be developing this squad. A failed finals push over the next three years and then missing again in 2024 would put us in Melbourne/Carlton territory with potentially no easy path out.
Defending is really just effort and positioning.Defenders were always the kids not good enough to play forward or in the centre/wing at junior level. Draft is a bit of a lottery but based on nothing but stats alone I reckon drafting junior defenders is doomed to fail.