Training Tactics: Stuck in 2016 - premiership flaws

LittleG

Premiership Player
Nov 18, 2015
4,405
4,710
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
In 2016 we played a highly physically taxing brand of football and was able to snag a hugely deserved flag.

Unfortunately the level of effort required to play a full 18 man zone has had some costs. Injuries appear more common and fatigue appears to have set in. I take nothing away from our 2016 finals series, it was fantastic and we were clearly the best team by quite a margin that year.

To continue to play an 18 man defensive zone has consequences. The effort must always be there and if not you get spanked. It is not compatible with KPF play and requires a team full of hard running inside mids.

We currently have a list that is more weighted to talls - particularly KPD and some star u18 KPF. This doesn't suit tactics from 2016, so things need to change.


We need to move to a 15 or 16 man zone and actually play 2 KPF plus a super fast highly skilled small. None of these players have a defensive responsibility and are instructed to play ahead of the ball at all times. This is similar tactics to how a soccer team uses a Centre Forward and a linking attacking midfielder. As the AFL ground is wider, you can play 2 KPF (one more central than the other). One can lead and the other can play long or lead back towards goal. The fast smaller player is there for the crumbs from the first marking contest and if the mark is taken, to move in the space directly in front of that contest for a short pass over the top, while the other tall leads deeper or diagonally to provide a deeper option. These players are there for turnover goals or when we break the initial zone. For slow play, they both play as deep choices.

The effect on our defence will be less pressure on the ball carrier BUT we could play an 8/9 man defence, as we would attempt to get the turnover from the extra defenders.

IMO the major list flaw that this will expose is not 1v1 defending (although it is poor), leg speed (we are slow) or even forward craft BUT our poor kicking ability. With slow play from the defensive 50, we need accurate kicks to break through another teams zone, likely to have 18 bodies filling space.


How can we overcome this?
Recruit some gun kicks. Not going to help now. I think that having both the list manager and recruiter not bringing players that fit this 2016 style, it could be one reason we have turned over both Dal & Jason. We currently have a list that isn't capable of playing 2016 football and our coach appears to still want to play that way. Although I think we should change tactics to match the list.

To get better at bothy the kicking skills and decision making required, we need to play this style for many weeks while the players focus on transition and not care about the potential heavy losses while their decision making improves.
 

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maddog37

Premium Platinum
Aug 25, 2008
6,389
8,022
Ballarat
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
In 2016 we played a highly physically taxing brand of football and was able to snag a hugely deserved flag.

Unfortunately the level of effort required to play a full 18 man zone has had some costs. Injuries appear more common and fatigue appears to have set in. I take nothing away from our 2016 finals series, it was fantastic and we were clearly the best team by quite a margin that year.

To continue to play an 18 man defensive zone has consequences. The effort must always be there and if not you get spanked. It is not compatible with KPF play and requires a team full of hard running inside mids.

We currently have a list that is more weighted to talls - particularly KPD and some star u18 KPF. This doesn't suit tactics from 2016, so things need to change.


We need to move to a 15 or 16 man zone and actually play 2 KPF plus a super fast highly skilled small. None of these players have a defensive responsibility and are instructed to play ahead of the ball at all times. This is similar tactics to how a soccer team uses a Centre Forward and a linking attacking midfielder. As the AFL ground is wider, you can play 2 KPF (one more central than the other). One can lead and the other can play long or lead back towards goal. The fast smaller player is there for the crumbs from the first marking contest and if the mark is taken, to move in the space directly in front of that contest for a short pass over the top, while the other tall leads deeper or diagonally to provide a deeper option. These players are there for turnover goals or when we break the initial zone. For slow play, they both play as deep choices.

The effect on our defence will be less pressure on the ball carrier BUT we could play an 8/9 man defence, as we would attempt to get the turnover from the extra defenders.

IMO the major list flaw that this will expose is not 1v1 defending (although it is poor), leg speed (we are slow) or even forward craft BUT our poor kicking ability. With slow play from the defensive 50, we need accurate kicks to break through another teams zone, likely to have 18 bodies filling space.


How can we overcome this?
Recruit some gun kicks. Not going to help now. I think that having both the list manager and recruiter not bringing players that fit this 2016 style, it could be one reason we have turned over both Dal & Jason. We currently have a list that isn't capable of playing 2016 football and our coach appears to still want to play that way. Although I think we should change tactics to match the list.

To get better at bothy the kicking skills and decision making required, we need to play this style for many weeks while the players focus on transition and not care about the potential heavy losses while their decision making improves.

Great post and something that at least gives a potential reasoning for many going’s on at present. Thanks.
 

Johnny_Dogg4

Premiership Player
Apr 5, 2017
4,677
3,343
Melbourne
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Arsenal
this style suited the players we had.

we cant play any other style with the players we have. we are poor kicking side, slow as a turtle , cant defend, cant attack, cant mark
 

LittleG

Premiership Player
Nov 18, 2015
4,405
4,710
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
this style suited the players we had.

we cant play any other style with the players we have. we are poor kicking side, slow as a turtle , cant defend, cant attack, cant mark
Once fit, we have 3 developing KPP, plus 4 AFL level KPP who are all capable. That is 7 players who need spots and small ball won't work playing more than 4 of these.
We are in a list transition.
 

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