Yep, agree. Watching bits of staurday's game again the biggest thing I noticed is that when we get the any form of run from out of defense all our players are sprinting towards goal. I can barely recall anyone except maybe Billings actually hitting up at the ball carrier for that short 15-20m kick.To be fair, we don’t have the personnel that can play this hand ball happy game and I can’t recall we ever adopted this game style in the last 20 years.. to do this, you need pure mids (e.g. good at contest, used to break tackles and handball accurately under pressure) or players with speed and composure... apart from Steele, Gresham and maybe Clarke, I struggle to find another player who’s suited to this style, most of our players avoid contact like a plague when they have the ball, often prefer to give the hospital hand pass or bomb it long..
So I don’t think we are suited to this run and gun handball happy game style.. our best bet is structure the team to set positions and unclog space e.g. forwards and Backs stay home (we tend to play a swarm game like the aus kick where a huge pack develops around the ball), get the inside mids (Steele, Crouch, Bytel, Dunstan) to actually hunt the ball, when they get it, instruct them to beat his man by take on the tackler/s them release the outside runners like Hill, Sinclair and Billings. Ask all forwards to lead (not just talks) to different spot.. This movement should create opportunities for a clean forward entry..
1. It is extremely hard even for an elite footballer to hit a target that's running away from the kicker
2. It's easy for oppo teams to defend if they park 1 or 2 behind the play to cut off any longer kicks 35+ meters.
3. It exposes us badly if we do turn it over, as all our players have to stop turn around and chase arse.
If you look at the teams having success early this year (Sydney, Adelaide, Essendon, West Coast) they constantly hit up at the ball carrier and honour those short hit up kicks. with the new man on the mark rule, they can easily wheel and go or give off to a runner if oppo defenses break down. Otherwise they can hold it up and wait for more targets to present themselve's up field. By all means if there's space out the back to run onto then go for the long bomb forward but it's risky if it's not a deep entry into forward 50m