It seems a fair assessment that SOS does not rate "small forwards" as a priority, and blind Freddie can see a similarity with his GWS list compilation. In fairness, the move to multiple pressure forwards per team has only really gained traction during our rebuild years.Agree with most of the post but i think you're underestimating how much SOS undervalues small forwards. (judging by his track record) he doesn't see them as secondary, he sees them as not necessary at all which is a mentality from an era long since past.
His 'couple of throws' at this area were pickett (not a small forward at all), lebois, fasolo and owies. we're lucky cuningham has turned into a pretty good small forward when healthy but he was originally meant to be a midfielder. Bolton and Teague were forced to play small guys there because they're small like fisher, curnow, dow, polson, gibbons etc but none of them are small forwards.
If the process of signing of betts caused a rift within management then that's a conversation to be had, but ultimately betts was necessary because there was a position to be filled that SOS failed to fill.
SOS has done a great job of generating 90% of the list but he seems incapable/unwilling to devote any serious resources to address the small forward position and if SOS can't do it then someone else needs to.
For what it's worth the small forward position is the one weakness of GWS as well who despite their unprecedented plethora of talent can't quite seem to get that elusive flag.
Two questions for you and others. Both us and GWS have/had compiled lists brimfull of top end, but immature midfield talent, do you not think that the coaching brains trust of both groups would prioritise the opportunity to provide experience and an avenue to transition in to their respective teams over the need to fill up with specialist "small forwards".
The second question is simple? What is a small forward? A dedicated crumbing goalkicker? A small, mobile player tasked with getting to the fall of the ball and applying pressure to opponents in order to gain or maintain possession and keep the ball in the attacking portion of the ground? Perhaps a small, mobile player tasked with linking and distributing to the deep forwards?
Oils ain't oils Sol. Small forwards can be either or all of the above. Do they need to be "smalls", it could be argued that Jack Silvagni is consistently our best pressure forward, do we necessarily need multiple "smalls"? I would argue that we, under Teague have displayed sufficient defensive pressure to compare favourably with most, if not all sides. High, half forward, the linking distributor has been an issue, however, we may just have the players already to elevate those standards. There is no doubt we are missing that high productive offensive weapon, or should I say were missing. Eddie will fill the role for a year or two. We certainly need to recruit a goalkicker in the very near future.
Personally, I have plenty of faith in the scope of Cuningham, Gibbons. Fisher, even JSOS and Kennedy along with resting mids such as Stocker, Murphy, Ed, Dow and the highly likely acquisition of Jack Martin to manage the majority of our needs. Matt Owies may also elevate with a decent go at things. We do need a younger version of Eddie or even a dynamic midsizer to apply a little more regular scoreboard pressure. Clearly Bolton had similar beliefs, being happy to make a long term investment in Cam Polson as a viable option.
SOS, like any other recruiter will continue to identify options in this area while Teague develops and best utilises the assets we have. Papley would have been the dream, a young developed player who could fulfil all of the variants mentioned above. It turns out that he was never a realistic option, barring a Daniher trade being realistic. Our "failed" attempts with the likes of Lebois etc were throws at the stumps for small currency as the guts of the list was developed. If we had been fortunate we would have found another Eddie or Jeffy cheap as chips. SOS and co topped up with the likes of Fasolo, Garlett and FWIW Bugg to provide a feasible option until the position could be filled. Our list is now at the point that it is feasible to spend a late first or a second rounder on a less speculative small forward option.