Autopsy Season 2020

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melbournehammer

Club Legend
Apr 22, 2013
2,962
3,255
AFL Club
Sydney
I get the reason why people are so frustrated with florent - a lot of it is his kicking when in space. it was always average at AFL level and is probably worse than that now.

but he doesnt shirk a contest, doesnt hide from the ball, takes it under pressure and is genuinely evasive and puts himself into positions to deliver the ball well. his movement creates opportunities for others around him.

I've probably got rose coloured glasses on, but I'll bat for Hayward and Florent. I feel they still have their best ahead of them, and would fair much better with either 1. A better team around them, or 2. More experience under their belt.

Both could also be massive disappointments in 2-3 years, but for my own happiness I'll assume that they'll be stars by then hahaha.
We dont need them to be stars. we just need them to play their role when they are selected. for hayward that means kicking goals when he has a chance and stopping easy exists and occasionally when he plays a run with role as a forward he will be expected to halve contests in those situations.

with florent we just need him to continue to be evasive, win the ball when its a hard ball, tighten up defensively so his man doesnt get easy exits and kick to advantage when going forwards.

both can be 200 game players for us and provided they arent super expensive players they will be key contributors. you win with 26-30 afl standard players not 4 and they have to fit within a salary cap. the criticism our players receive is over the top because we are setting the bar too high.

they key is to have a team which is all improving at the same time and a game plan which plays to that teams strengths.

both hayward and florent have been victims of their own success. they both had ripping early seasons. florent used to get caught a lot with the ball (like stephens does now) but this very rarely happens now. you can see how he has adjusted to the pace of ther game but now just needs to balance when kicking. Hayward started kicking goals again this season that held him back last year. he just needs to turn some of his games into the 3 goal matches instead of the 1 goal and he's also there.

PS sick to death of the reid bashing. he has clearly been playing injured for a number of weeks as evidence by the massive padding on his ribs. He rarely gets outmarked. He provides a contest down the line, goes into the ruck and competes there and when we didnt have him our forward line was completely dysfunctional.

sure he's not a world beating centre half forward but he does a job. we just seem to want to beat up on our forwards repeatedly without acknowledging how much harder it is to play forward of the ball - mccartin has shown that playing behind the ball - when you dont have someone trying to block your run and grab your arm and push you off the line every single time - does free you up to fly for the ball.

i just wanted to make those points because i am a bit frustrated with the endless criticisms. we dont need any of them to be stars but wto have a team where everyone just does their job
 

Angry Red Bull

Club Legend
Aug 9, 2016
2,178
2,984
AFL Club
Sydney
As for the players themselves. Note that there were a few games I missed so might've made some bad assumptions about these guys:

1. Chad Warner - looked like a real bolter early doors but his performances in the side showed there's a long way to go. His attack on the footy is a very promising sign, though.
2. Kaiden Brand - thought he was about to show that he could be a handy fullback short-term after his start to the season but unfortunately injuries did him in. I feel like given the list cuts he might be up against it for a spot in 2021 alas, especially given McCartin's form down back later in the season.
3. Dylan Stephens - pretty handy Year 1. Still bullied somewhat around the ball but I see that improving as his body becomes more AFL ready. His ability to take things on looks very exciting and his skills are rather solid too. I think he's going to be a very good player and someone that can easily be a top-level winger/midfielder.
4. Ryan Clarke - very much a case of "what you see is what you get". He's not the most talented bloke in the system and his kicking is very poor but you know that he'll work his ass off and his ability to stop the best players is extremely handy. A very nice guy to have in the 20-30 range and has probably shown better tagging ability than Hewett (though unlike Hewett he won't hurt you going forward).
5. Isaac Heeney - sh*t go, eh. Performances pre-ankle injury was pretty patchy though not helped by being moved around from the midfield to forward line and being the leading target up forward despite only being 6'1" doesn't help. He did still have some outstanding performances - we don't beat Adelaide or North Melbourne without him, and if we lose those games we'd be celebrating a certain kind of woodwork...... I'd still like to see him improve his bad games, because we all know that with consistency he has the potential to be a Top 20 player in the game.
6. Jackson Thurlow - thought he was on his way out of the AFL halfway through the year, but to his credit his second half of the year was quite exciting. His two goal performance against Collingwood was the best performance but added quite a bit off half-back and looked more like the player I'd thought he'd become before his ACL (which was way back when he was still at Geelong!). I kind of fear this was very much a "play well for a new contract" bump but ehhh, that's nothing a year on year rolling contract won't fix.
7. Harry Cunningham - reinvented as a defender, he did a good job. I don't think he had performances that was off the page unlike Lloyd or Rampe but always seemed to do his job and never had his colours lowered. I like his speed there too, gives us something extra we didn't really have.
8. James Rowbottom - what a fantastic season! Oddly his numbers aren't as fantastic as I expected but for a second year player in an often quite undermanned midfield he was given a role that many men of his age and experience wouldn't dream of. And he took it with both hands! Every game he won plenty of clearances and produced a couple of "wow" plays. He'll be up there with the Kirk's, Kennedy's, Bolton's, Jack's etc. of the world by the time he retires I think.
9. Will Hayward - not sure if it's the travails of being a young forward in a bad team or something but it hasn't really worked in the last couple of seasons. He still seems capable of magic but he rarely had a performance that really stood up to take notice - he didn't kick more than 2 goals in one game and his highest disposal count was 15. Get the feeling he'd be better in a good team - he was one of our best kids in 17/18.
10. Sam Naismith - poor fella. Actually did quite well when he was fit but he tore his ACL and that was that. I can't help but think this should be the end but given he's contracted for 2021 hopefully he gets a farewell game. Made us look a significantly better team at his best.
11. Tom Papley - fu** you, Alastair Clarkson. Before his rant after his mediocre team was exposed Papley was on fire, almost a Coleman threat and certainly the best small forward in the comp. In the second half of the year he got a shittier run with frees and missed a lot of shots on goal. 26.27 says a lot - it should've been a 35-40 goal year which would've been insane given the year. Thank fu** he's staying, hoping for a 50+ goal season next year.
12. Josh Kennedy - I was worried that knee injury was going to be it for him. Happily, it wasn't. A strange year from him as while there were plenty of games where he still looked the key cog of our midfield, there were times where he looks really slow. I worry about how he's going to fare next season but I said something similar this time last season so who knows. Hopefully his likely farewell year is more Kirk than O'Keefe.
13. Oliver Florent - loved his start to the season but lost confidence significantly after a certain point and just seemed lost. I can cop the bad kicking as he does take the game on and give us skills that our midfield otherwise lacks but he plain could not find the footy. Hopefully it was just an off year as his progress was moving along very nicely. If it's not, that is a real concern going forward.
14. Callum Mills - lots of question marks about where he should be playing and I'm still not sure of the answer. Ideally this would've been the perfect time to trial him midfield but tall defensive injuries generally put paid to that. The good news is as a defender he is still a fantastic servant. He might lack Rampe's brilliance, Dawson's kicking or Lloyd's accumulation but he is a very smart footballer and he rarely lets you down. His performance against Richmond in particular was the difference between the ultra defensive strategy kind of working and it flopping. He showed good signs when he did play midfield but seemsed to generally lack the dominance he has down back, which makes me think it's not going to happen. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
15. Sam Grey - OK, I got the logic in signing him. When Port played him midfield he was generally pretty good and he did have games where he kicked some bags up forward. But for the most part he added nothing. Only kicked one goal in seven games and seemed to have minimal impact with his touches. I think the only thing that saves him is the extra (?) year on his contract.
16. Zac Foot - played a couple of games and showed OK signs. The speed and pressure at least is a decent thing to fall back on. Still he has a long way to go if he's to become AFL relevant and alas there may not be the time for him to get there.
17. Will Gould - I was really looking forward to him being unleashed but the break came at a really sh*t time for him given his fitness base when coming to the club. Alas in the scratchies he looked a long way off AFL conditioning and couldn't add much even at that level so I see why he wasn't played. Needs a huge off-season (and not that kind of huge).
18. Callum Sinclair - a brilliant servant for so, so long. Alas, not really his year. Still fought hard and never was completely anonymous but generally struggled for impact and his body seemed to show signs that it was failing him. I worry about him next year, but hopefully he can still do some damage.
19. Matt Ling - liked his debut, but I'm not sure there's enough there. Seems to have some good traits but whether he can improve enough to maintain AFL relevance is another question. If this was his first year I'd be liking his chances but alas it's his third....and the main reason I haven't completely given up is because of where he was drafted....
20. Sam Reid - just wasn't his year. Couldn't seem to impact games at all, and his body plain didn't look up to AFL standards. Maybe he'll get back to somewhere near his best with a full off-season but even that level isn't exactly sky high and he'll be 29 too.
22. Nick Blakey - he got a bit too ahead of himself this year after looking like the next big thing last year and he'll need to work on that. It probably didn't help he was left all alone up forward without Reid, Franklin and even for a time McCartin. When Reid got back he was moved up the field a bit and looked a lot better playing a hybrid onball/half-forward role. Still think he's going to be a great player, but probably needs to learn how to impact when things aren't quite going his way. Which in fairness there were great signs of later in the year.
23. Lance Franklin - miss you. Please come back and produce some magic of old. It might be too much to expect with a 34 year old body but if there's anyone I can't quite write off, it's Buddy.
24. Dane Rampe - pre-injury was in borderline AA form. He did a fantastic job leading an often inexperienced defence in both a defending and attacking role. His performances against Hawthorn and GWS are exactly the types that young players should be looking towards when they're looking for the definition of courage. Shame the injury happened, but hey at least it let the other defenders take control.
25. Ben Ronke - poor run with injury. That said, still added little when he did play. The memories of that great 7 goal performance is rapidly fading, and I feel like his position has been overtaken by other players and his time at Sydney is up.
26. Luke Parker - typical year from Parker, though I'll also add I think I was more impressed by him than I have been in the recent past as he was often the one leading the midfield and generally did a very good job. He's still not quite at his 14-16 level of brilliance, but not that far off it and along with Rampe (and permainjured Franklin) our best, most important player.
27. Justin McInerney - what a find! I was surprised he broke his way into the 22 at the start of the season but showed good signs early doors, and when he came back he looked like a 300 gamer. His energy and enthuisiasm shows and his impact undeniable. I am extremely excited going forward.
28. Lewis Taylor - should've copped an absolute bullocking for the way he turned up in the off-season. In saying that, his performances on the park were mostly OK. Nothing fantastic but he did add some pressure and speed to the forward line when there. At the very least, the experiment worked better than Grey even though I don't think he's going to amount to too much.
29. George Hewett - frustrating year. Was never quite 100% fit and the situation with his son couldn't have helped either. Kennedy's injury should've opened up a huge role for him in the midfield without him needing to tag but then his back went. Still a very important player at the club and hopefully he re-signs.
30. Tom McCartin - tremendous young player. Form up forward was patchy but for a 20 year old with not fantastic service he showed some good signs. Where he really excelled though was down back, I'm not sure he lost a matchup playing as a key defender in the back half of the year. Reads the play so, so well. He is going to be a star.
32. James Bell - actually got a fair crack, there were a few OK signs but for the most part I can't say I was terribly impressed. Seems to have some decent pace but doesn't have enough ability to get himself involved and seemed to lack the nous to play forward. Maybe he'll be better in the guts but there's like 10 better options there. Don't think he's up to it.
33. Ryley Stoddart - unfortunately for him my main memory of Stoddart's season is that performance against Gold Coast where he torched the ball every time he got it. Alas I feel like his ball use is too much of a liability to be an effective defender and that is a problem when he can't really play anywhere else.
34. Jordan Dawson - a bit of a strange year, but made up for it big time in the second half of the year. The first half of the year he generally played OK but for the most part didn't find as much of the footy as I had hoped. Wanted him to take the kick-outs but Lloyd's form made that impossible. Playing as an outside utility of sorts in the second half of the year though he was fantastic. Excellent ball use and hit the scoreboard well too. A terrific weapon to have.
36. Aliir Aliir - again a fairly patchy year. There were times where I thought he looked a genuine weapon, there were times where he looked kind of lost. It seems like we've lost a lot of trust with him down back which hurts when you look at his 16/18 form. Might be best suited to the ruck funnily enough, but his lack of size hurts there.
37. Elijah Taylor - on the field looked rather promising. But that is basically irrelevant as things stand. I think most of what can be said has already been said so I won't go further.
38. Colin O'Riordan - can barely remember him playing. Just seemed to add nothing offensively and didn't really stand out defensively. Not really sure he's Best 22 anymore, might be a handy depth option I guess.
41. Hayden McLean - more in and out of the team than I would've hoped. When he played I thought he showed a lot of good signs; he showed a lot of aggression and seemed a good mark, yet got dropped at the first sign of a bad game. I worry what that means for his future going forward. If he can maintain trust going forward I like him as an option, even if he may not have the extreme talent of someone like Blakey.
42. Robbie Fox - what a year! I questioned keeping him on the list as he was already 27 and was basically a fringe player. The first game he played this season was rather bad. Yet out of necessity he played as an undersized KPD for the whole season....and did a really good job! Was very honest and rarely let his man dominate. I'm not sure how good he's going to be going forward but he's someone that all incoming players should look to as someone who does the tough stuff and gets the best out of him.
43. Lewis Melican - back in the side mid-season after a seemingly neverending run with injury, he did a reasonable if unspectactular job. There were quite a few games where his lack of pace seemed exposed but for the most part remained disciplined and seemed to put up reasonable disposal numbers for a defensive KPD. Not sure he's the right option going forward but his end to the season was solid.
44. Jake Lloyd - I remember being quite annoyed at him last year for accumulating a lot of cheap touches without really doing much, but happily this year his game has expanded far beyond that. He was having a fair bit of impact with his disposal and never seemed to lose his head down back. His leadership down back seemed strong after Rampe's injury, too. A brilliant year that will likely see him rewarded with the B&F and might have a shot at AA.
45. Sam Wicks - finally got a good crack after having to wait for ages to play after dominating in the NEAFL. I'm not convinced on him but his defensive pressure is undeniable and seems to have OK enough forward nous. Probably has overtaken Ronke in that role.
46. Joel Amartey - alas, I didn't really notice him in the only game he played. Hard to say he stood out much in that.
Congrats but a bit light on detail
🤪
Next time can i have it alphabetised?

Maybe an index?
 
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melbournehammer

Club Legend
Apr 22, 2013
2,962
3,255
AFL Club
Sydney
Am I the only person on here that likes Lewis Taylor and thinks he could become invaluable?
i dont seem him becoming invaluable but i dont mind him. i do think he's fat which is unfortunate but he's a decent enough player who uses the ball pretty well and runs to good positions

again subject to his wage etc I'm usually ok with him being in the team
 

Jewelsbon

Club Legend
Aug 30, 2016
2,068
5,428
AFL Club
Sydney
If he survives he can turn it around but why would you show up in bad shape when a club has given you a lifeline in the first place?
Yer I have to agree with this, no defending that. I just like what he has to offer and maybe my initial invaluable was a bit strong, but I think he could really add something.

If he survives the cull- and personally I think he will by virtue of his contract status, it will be interesting to see what condition he turns up in come pre-season.
 

BruceFromBalnarring

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 13, 2007
8,850
10,940
Melbourne
AFL Club
Sydney
I agree with those saying 5-12 doesn't feel that bad given the circumstances, but I would be disappointed with another bottom four finish next year as I think this group is capable of more.
I think it’s a recognition of injuries and youth.

A better run with injury and I’ll be spewing if we don’t play finals next year.
And I don’t think I’ll be spewing. We’ve a club with a stack of character and an exceptional coach.
 

Kiama Chris

Club Legend
May 10, 2016
1,047
1,763
Kiama
AFL Club
Sydney
As for the players themselves. Note that there were a few games I missed so might've made some bad assumptions about these guys:

1. Chad Warner - looked like a real bolter early doors but his performances in the side showed there's a long way to go. His attack on the footy is a very promising sign, though.
2. Kaiden Brand - thought he was about to show that he could be a handy fullback short-term after his start to the season but unfortunately injuries did him in. I feel like given the list cuts he might be up against it for a spot in 2021 alas, especially given McCartin's form down back later in the season.
3. Dylan Stephens - pretty handy Year 1. Still bullied somewhat around the ball but I see that improving as his body becomes more AFL ready. His ability to take things on looks very exciting and his skills are rather solid too. I think he's going to be a very good player and someone that can easily be a top-level winger/midfielder.
4. Ryan Clarke - very much a case of "what you see is what you get". He's not the most talented bloke in the system and his kicking is very poor but you know that he'll work his ass off and his ability to stop the best players is extremely handy. A very nice guy to have in the 20-30 range and has probably shown better tagging ability than Hewett (though unlike Hewett he won't hurt you going forward).
5. Isaac Heeney - sh*t go, eh. Performances pre-ankle injury was pretty patchy though not helped by being moved around from the midfield to forward line and being the leading target up forward despite only being 6'1" doesn't help. He did still have some outstanding performances - we don't beat Adelaide or North Melbourne without him, and if we lose those games we'd be celebrating a certain kind of woodwork...... I'd still like to see him improve his bad games, because we all know that with consistency he has the potential to be a Top 20 player in the game.
6. Jackson Thurlow - thought he was on his way out of the AFL halfway through the year, but to his credit his second half of the year was quite exciting. His two goal performance against Collingwood was the best performance but added quite a bit off half-back and looked more like the player I'd thought he'd become before his ACL (which was way back when he was still at Geelong!). I kind of fear this was very much a "play well for a new contract" bump but ehhh, that's nothing a year on year rolling contract won't fix.
7. Harry Cunningham - reinvented as a defender, he did a good job. I don't think he had performances that was off the page unlike Lloyd or Rampe but always seemed to do his job and never had his colours lowered. I like his speed there too, gives us something extra we didn't really have.
8. James Rowbottom - what a fantastic season! Oddly his numbers aren't as fantastic as I expected but for a second year player in an often quite undermanned midfield he was given a role that many men of his age and experience wouldn't dream of. And he took it with both hands! Every game he won plenty of clearances and produced a couple of "wow" plays. He'll be up there with the Kirk's, Kennedy's, Bolton's, Jack's etc. of the world by the time he retires I think.
9. Will Hayward - not sure if it's the travails of being a young forward in a bad team or something but it hasn't really worked in the last couple of seasons. He still seems capable of magic but he rarely had a performance that really stood up to take notice - he didn't kick more than 2 goals in one game and his highest disposal count was 15. Get the feeling he'd be better in a good team - he was one of our best kids in 17/18.
10. Sam Naismith - poor fella. Actually did quite well when he was fit but he tore his ACL and that was that. I can't help but think this should be the end but given he's contracted for 2021 hopefully he gets a farewell game. Made us look a significantly better team at his best.
11. Tom Papley - fu** you, Alastair Clarkson. Before his rant after his mediocre team was exposed Papley was on fire, almost a Coleman threat and certainly the best small forward in the comp. In the second half of the year he got a shittier run with frees and missed a lot of shots on goal. 26.27 says a lot - it should've been a 35-40 goal year which would've been insane given the year. Thank fu** he's staying, hoping for a 50+ goal season next year.
12. Josh Kennedy - I was worried that knee injury was going to be it for him. Happily, it wasn't. A strange year from him as while there were plenty of games where he still looked the key cog of our midfield, there were times where he looks really slow. I worry about how he's going to fare next season but I said something similar this time last season so who knows. Hopefully his likely farewell year is more Kirk than O'Keefe.
13. Oliver Florent - loved his start to the season but lost confidence significantly after a certain point and just seemed lost. I can cop the bad kicking as he does take the game on and give us skills that our midfield otherwise lacks but he plain could not find the footy. Hopefully it was just an off year as his progress was moving along very nicely. If it's not, that is a real concern going forward.
14. Callum Mills - lots of question marks about where he should be playing and I'm still not sure of the answer. Ideally this would've been the perfect time to trial him midfield but tall defensive injuries generally put paid to that. The good news is as a defender he is still a fantastic servant. He might lack Rampe's brilliance, Dawson's kicking or Lloyd's accumulation but he is a very smart footballer and he rarely lets you down. His performance against Richmond in particular was the difference between the ultra defensive strategy kind of working and it flopping. He showed good signs when he did play midfield but seemsed to generally lack the dominance he has down back, which makes me think it's not going to happen. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.
15. Sam Grey - OK, I got the logic in signing him. When Port played him midfield he was generally pretty good and he did have games where he kicked some bags up forward. But for the most part he added nothing. Only kicked one goal in seven games and seemed to have minimal impact with his touches. I think the only thing that saves him is the extra (?) year on his contract.
16. Zac Foot - played a couple of games and showed OK signs. The speed and pressure at least is a decent thing to fall back on. Still he has a long way to go if he's to become AFL relevant and alas there may not be the time for him to get there.
17. Will Gould - I was really looking forward to him being unleashed but the break came at a really sh*t time for him given his fitness base when coming to the club. Alas in the scratchies he looked a long way off AFL conditioning and couldn't add much even at that level so I see why he wasn't played. Needs a huge off-season (and not that kind of huge).
18. Callum Sinclair - a brilliant servant for so, so long. Alas, not really his year. Still fought hard and never was completely anonymous but generally struggled for impact and his body seemed to show signs that it was failing him. I worry about him next year, but hopefully he can still do some damage.
19. Matt Ling - liked his debut, but I'm not sure there's enough there. Seems to have some good traits but whether he can improve enough to maintain AFL relevance is another question. If this was his first year I'd be liking his chances but alas it's his third....and the main reason I haven't completely given up is because of where he was drafted....
20. Sam Reid - just wasn't his year. Couldn't seem to impact games at all, and his body plain didn't look up to AFL standards. Maybe he'll get back to somewhere near his best with a full off-season but even that level isn't exactly sky high and he'll be 29 too.
22. Nick Blakey - he got a bit too ahead of himself this year after looking like the next big thing last year and he'll need to work on that. It probably didn't help he was left all alone up forward without Reid, Franklin and even for a time McCartin. When Reid got back he was moved up the field a bit and looked a lot better playing a hybrid onball/half-forward role. Still think he's going to be a great player, but probably needs to learn how to impact when things aren't quite going his way. Which in fairness there were great signs of later in the year.
23. Lance Franklin - miss you. Please come back and produce some magic of old. It might be too much to expect with a 34 year old body but if there's anyone I can't quite write off, it's Buddy.
24. Dane Rampe - pre-injury was in borderline AA form. He did a fantastic job leading an often inexperienced defence in both a defending and attacking role. His performances against Hawthorn and GWS are exactly the types that young players should be looking towards when they're looking for the definition of courage. Shame the injury happened, but hey at least it let the other defenders take control.
25. Ben Ronke - poor run with injury. That said, still added little when he did play. The memories of that great 7 goal performance is rapidly fading, and I feel like his position has been overtaken by other players and his time at Sydney is up.
26. Luke Parker - typical year from Parker, though I'll also add I think I was more impressed by him than I have been in the recent past as he was often the one leading the midfield and generally did a very good job. He's still not quite at his 14-16 level of brilliance, but not that far off it and along with Rampe (and permainjured Franklin) our best, most important player.
27. Justin McInerney - what a find! I was surprised he broke his way into the 22 at the start of the season but showed good signs early doors, and when he came back he looked like a 300 gamer. His energy and enthuisiasm shows and his impact undeniable. I am extremely excited going forward.
28. Lewis Taylor - should've copped an absolute bullocking for the way he turned up in the off-season. In saying that, his performances on the park were mostly OK. Nothing fantastic but he did add some pressure and speed to the forward line when there. At the very least, the experiment worked better than Grey even though I don't think he's going to amount to too much.
29. George Hewett - frustrating year. Was never quite 100% fit and the situation with his son couldn't have helped either. Kennedy's injury should've opened up a huge role for him in the midfield without him needing to tag but then his back went. Still a very important player at the club and hopefully he re-signs.
30. Tom McCartin - tremendous young player. Form up forward was patchy but for a 20 year old with not fantastic service he showed some good signs. Where he really excelled though was down back, I'm not sure he lost a matchup playing as a key defender in the back half of the year. Reads the play so, so well. He is going to be a star.
32. James Bell - actually got a fair crack, there were a few OK signs but for the most part I can't say I was terribly impressed. Seems to have some decent pace but doesn't have enough ability to get himself involved and seemed to lack the nous to play forward. Maybe he'll be better in the guts but there's like 10 better options there. Don't think he's up to it.
33. Ryley Stoddart - unfortunately for him my main memory of Stoddart's season is that performance against Gold Coast where he torched the ball every time he got it. Alas I feel like his ball use is too much of a liability to be an effective defender and that is a problem when he can't really play anywhere else.
34. Jordan Dawson - a bit of a strange year, but made up for it big time in the second half of the year. The first half of the year he generally played OK but for the most part didn't find as much of the footy as I had hoped. Wanted him to take the kick-outs but Lloyd's form made that impossible. Playing as an outside utility of sorts in the second half of the year though he was fantastic. Excellent ball use and hit the scoreboard well too. A terrific weapon to have.
36. Aliir Aliir - again a fairly patchy year. There were times where I thought he looked a genuine weapon, there were times where he looked kind of lost. It seems like we've lost a lot of trust with him down back which hurts when you look at his 16/18 form. Might be best suited to the ruck funnily enough, but his lack of size hurts there.
37. Elijah Taylor - on the field looked rather promising. But that is basically irrelevant as things stand. I think most of what can be said has already been said so I won't go further.
38. Colin O'Riordan - can barely remember him playing. Just seemed to add nothing offensively and didn't really stand out defensively. Not really sure he's Best 22 anymore, might be a handy depth option I guess.
41. Hayden McLean - more in and out of the team than I would've hoped. When he played I thought he showed a lot of good signs; he showed a lot of aggression and seemed a good mark, yet got dropped at the first sign of a bad game. I worry what that means for his future going forward. If he can maintain trust going forward I like him as an option, even if he may not have the extreme talent of someone like Blakey.
42. Robbie Fox - what a year! I questioned keeping him on the list as he was already 27 and was basically a fringe player. The first game he played this season was rather bad. Yet out of necessity he played as an undersized KPD for the whole season....and did a really good job! Was very honest and rarely let his man dominate. I'm not sure how good he's going to be going forward but he's someone that all incoming players should look to as someone who does the tough stuff and gets the best out of him.
43. Lewis Melican - back in the side mid-season after a seemingly neverending run with injury, he did a reasonable if unspectactular job. There were quite a few games where his lack of pace seemed exposed but for the most part remained disciplined and seemed to put up reasonable disposal numbers for a defensive KPD. Not sure he's the right option going forward but his end to the season was solid.
44. Jake Lloyd - I remember being quite annoyed at him last year for accumulating a lot of cheap touches without really doing much, but happily this year his game has expanded far beyond that. He was having a fair bit of impact with his disposal and never seemed to lose his head down back. His leadership down back seemed strong after Rampe's injury, too. A brilliant year that will likely see him rewarded with the B&F and might have a shot at AA.
45. Sam Wicks - finally got a good crack after having to wait for ages to play after dominating in the NEAFL. I'm not convinced on him but his defensive pressure is undeniable and seems to have OK enough forward nous. Probably has overtaken Ronke in that role.
46. Joel Amartey - alas, I didn't really notice him in the only game he played. Hard to say he stood out much in that.
Very thoughtful analysis and generally agree. McCartin has looked at home against bigger guys and is competitive on the lead. I hope we persevere with him as CHB. I hope Brand can get a decent run at it and do a job on the FFs.
A fit forward line next year could be quite something, especially if McLean can push through.
We sure need a more competitive Ruck. Sinkers is a real worker but his body may let him down big time.
Florent and Ling were our first round picks. Ling 2 games after 3 years in and Florent looking a bit lost is not a great outcome.
 

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S120

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 19, 2011
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Avoiding the SCG most of the year wasn’t the worst thing, hopefully we play it better than the last few years

will be a lot of list changes to go league wide but as it stands don’t think we have a finals contending list yet , need a good draft and trade period
Underrated issue of our current side. The ground doesn't exactly suit how we're trying to play now and our results over the last 2-3 years support that.
 

MarkP

That guy
Jun 22, 2012
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Finished where I thought we would....unfortunately.

Some took giant steps forward like Rowbottom and Tom M - others languished a bit eg Hayward and Florent

Bloody injuries

We literally beat no one and even those that finished above us we seemed to get them when their form was shot to sh*t. Still a win is a win and we tried our guts out.

Richmond game was putrid. But that was the only game I really thought Horse lost the plot so well done - the rest were great in reality.

Most importantly we started to attack, the defence structure held anyway so we gave ourselves a chance and it was great to watch. I hope he keeps this up.

Papley needs a hand. He can't do it alone although he tries to.

We are not the druggies or GWS so there is that.

Good signs but lots and lots of work to do.
 

The King!

Chosen One
Aug 3, 2004
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Underrated issue of our current side. The ground doesn't exactly suit how we're trying to play now and our results over the last 2-3 years support that.

and take nothing away but youth, injuries etc meant expectations were very low

theres. lot of positive vibes around our year amongst fans, but also footy community, but pressure will go up on us next year
 

S120

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 19, 2011
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and take nothing away but youth, injuries etc meant expectations were very low

theres. lot of positive vibes around our year amongst fans, but also footy community, but pressure will go up on us next year
I think the fan base has been appropriately patient to this point and that's partially due to clear communication from the club that we're focusing on youth and development. But I think you're right, next year the patience will start to wane if we don't see development beyond being a bottom 4 side. Not necessarily to be a finals side, but to be more competitive than bottom 4 certainly.

A fit Rampe, a fit Heeney, whatever from Bud (at this point, anything from him is a bonus), a competitive ruck traded in and maybe one more senior calibre player from elsewhere along with more natural development of McCartin, Blakey, Florent, McInerney, Hayward etc. would fit that bill.
 

caesar88

Brownlow Medallist
Apr 26, 2016
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I've probably got rose coloured glasses on, but I'll bat for Hayward and Florent. I feel they still have their best ahead of them, and would fair much better with either 1. A better team around them, or 2. More experience under their belt.

Both could also be massive disappointments in 2-3 years, but for my own happiness I'll assume that they'll be stars by then hahaha.
Haha it's a good philosophy to have.

I have a lot more hope for Florent than I do Hayward for what it's worth.
 

BruceFromBalnarring

Norm Smith Medallist
Jan 13, 2007
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Underrated issue of our current side. The ground doesn't exactly suit how we're trying to play now and our results over the last 2-3 years support that.
I think it’s quite the opposite actually, we just didn’t get to execute there this year.

Fast movement through the corridor is how to play the SCG. That’s what we’re trying to do.
 

SeanM

Team Captain
Oct 17, 2016
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I think this season has mirrored last season a bit.

Beginning - Struggled with injuries, players out of form and experimented with different game plans.
Middle - Started to see better performances, had a few satisfying wins and we had new players like Rowbottom and Dawson last season emerge as best 22.
End - Lost a few close games but had a lot of positive performances to give us optimism for next year.

I think it is important what Longmire talked about in the post match. Just because we are a young side and gave experience to a lot of players. It does not mean success in the future is going to happen automatically.

So I would not expect it to be a linear upwards improvement. Where it is 2021: top 8, 2022: top 4 2023 onward : challenging etc.
 
Last edited:

Big Blood

Club Legend
Jun 27, 2010
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If we had to have a year where we were smashed by injury and out of contention, then great that it was this dumpster fire of a season.

Also great that our young players got to travel the breadth of the country and bond with their teammates.

I think only Bulldogs and West Coast really got a hold of us. We were competitive with most teams for most of the game and in last few weeks took it up to Port, Lions, Geelong. We just don't have the legs and the experience to play four quarters.

Looking across the lines, the midfield has been our weak link. We really got murdered in some weeks, but again in the last few games showed a lot of improvement. Among the young mids - Blakey was bit of a revelation as an inside mid and I think he'll spend his career alternating between mid, high half forward and occasionally as forward target. Florent stepped up this year but he needs to fix his kicking. Rowbo stepped up a lot - pretty unlucky not to be picked in 22 under 22. Stephens looks comfortable at A-grade and wherever he plays McInerney is going to be a star
We play a lot better with Naismith on the park but big question mark over him. A big agile ruckman is gold in current comp - Aliir could be the one, with McCartin going down back.

I think our rebuild is tracking pretty well, a bit behind Freo, a bit ahead of the Suns. By contrast, Hawks, North, Carlton, Adelaide are at sixes and sevens with their rebuilds.
 

Corpuscles

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 3, 2006
8,722
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I delivered my assessment weeks ago.

Controversially,

THEY (many) NEED to hit the gym .......with HEAVY WEIGHTS!

Rowbum, Stephens, Florent, Blakey, McInnerney, Wicks, et al

HEAVY! Both to balance leg and upper body!

Bulk UP!

Also need a true professional sprint coach - even if iterant part time!


It is faster but more harder at the ball

Also powerful straight handballls not lolly popops!


Go the Swannies!
 

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