Yes playing young or debut players during the season is not such a bad thing.Absolutely, not at the same time, and that was what I was trying to say. Having been retired for a couple of years I have a bit of time on my hands and I have watched or attended every NEAFL and AFL game last year, and whilst I am no expert (far from it), there are a couple of talented young blokes who have been pushing really hard from last year and in pre season match sims this year. I think rewarding some of the young guys throughout the year is not sending the wrong message, or a horrible idea, or we are expected to win or whatever. It is actually the opposite, by rewarding young talent who have had good preseasons, and giving them some much needed exposure with the prize being 2021 or 2022. I doubt we would lose a game because Payne replaced Adams or because Skinner was given a chance in the forward line, or because Ely Smith or Ballenden were given some limited game time etc.
I think it is necessary if you want to stay in the top eight for an extended period.
Out of interest listed below are the clubs that played the most debut players for the last three years.
If i went back 10 or 15 years the numbers may tell a different story.
|Year||Club That Played The Most Debut Players For The Year||Number Of Debut Players||Ladder Position End H & A Season||Finals|
|2018||West Coast Eagles||8 (equal with Melbourne)||2nd||Premiers|
|2018||Melbourne||8 (equal with WCE)||5th||Beaten in Preliminary Final|