Strategy Round 17-23 2017 - Pre Season Phase 1


Brownlow Medallist
Aug 24, 2002
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Thread starter #1
Just having a think about the remainder of the year now that finals are off the cards. I was wondering what some of our more learned footy types might like to see out of the list for the remainder of the year in order to maximise the gains possible from the remainder of season 2017 and use this is as a genuine springboard for 2018. There are obviously a few competing elements to this discussion:

- Injuries
- Competitiveness (both for gate return and 2018 fixture reasons)
- Status of new signings (ie. if we had commitment from JK / Dusty / Jones we may not be too worried about overall "attractiveness" and more interested in trying players that fit around these anticipated signings)
- Development - Seeing what we have to work with in our areas of weakness
- List management of delistings
- Draft position - Intentionally losing games is completely out however the reality is that we are now in a position that wins are less important than assessing the list for turnover and final finishing position - what weight on this?

I'm not necessarily a "play the kids!" type as I think you need to have a good base to introduce these guys in order to get any real sense of their capabilities. There needs to be a core to play around. We've mostly done this quite well this year but probably a touch on the conservative side. For example I'm happy to keep playing Gibson for example as I suspect he's nigh on irreplaceable for run right at this moment. Not sure of his contract status though, so if we don't plan on playing him next year time to think about what that means for this year... I assume he will be pulling on the jumper again in 2018 though at this stage.

LMAC as a mid - I know we've had some injury issues on the back / HB line but personally I'd rather no pull him from the midfield to cover there unless we are not planning on having him in the midfield permanently. I'd rather get the mid development time into him and leak a couple of extra goals if need be. Our weakness is in the midfield and we need long term options. The only reason for me to play him back is if we expect to be recruiting players that take this spot from him in the longer term.

Rotation of fringe mids / HB's / wingers - Barring availability I'd like to push through in a rotation a number of the younger types for both exposure for the future and also to make calls on some of these guys (Fordham) for retention as backup / potential if in form. I get that often we see players at VFL level perform that we just don't think will have the attributes to compete long term at AFL level. Personally however I don't have a huge issue with playing some of these types here and there. I think rewarding form - even if we're not convinced of long term future - has it's own value at times and also that sometimes we can be surprised. Would anyone expect Cam Pederson to still be getting games when we recruited him all those years ago?

Play with the backline. It is probably our most solid line at the moment - or at least it has the most ability to show it's competence as opposed to our forward line that often starves for opportunities as we can't get the ball cleanly to them. I think fit Durdin / Nielsen need to get games for the bulk of the remainder of the year. If that means we have to move someone like Tarrant forward simply to provide space, so be it. Can always move the pieces mid game. Durdin is apparently quite handy kicking for goal. I don't want to butcher our setup completely simply for development however if these guys are basically physically ready and we need to make calls on Hansen, Thompson or even Waite then I'd like to see what that might look like now.

Majak - I'm a bit torn on this one. He started the year full of promise and played a couple of very good games. Last week was awful for him. Without knowing for sure the plan with Goldstein / Preuss it's hard to comment but suffice to say that if internally it is seen as unlikely that Goldy will be here next year then I’d suggest we almost have to play Majak for the remainder and give him ruck time and wear some pain. Hopefully it is only a form / confidence / niggle issue. I still think he's more of a natural follower at this level. I’d be inclined to weight his ruck time more heavily at the start of games and push to forward later in quarters and more particularly later in the game when his physical attributes are more likely to get him separation.

I'd love to hear some of your thoughts on what we can get out of the remainder of games and how that leads into the pre season.

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Premiership Player
Oct 2, 2006
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Agree that the next 7 rounds are about preparing for 2018. Happy for "us to play the kids" but agree that this has to be balanced with not throwing them them to the wolves. The Coaching situation has the potential to have a disabling impact on the team and recruiting, but I can't see this being settled within this season.
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