Tell me why we shouldn't be expecting to make Top 4 this year

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I never understood the people that say not to aim big or predict big, as you get egg on your face

So what? Who gives a shit? I'd much rather go into a season with hope instead of just being resigned to defeat every week. Why bother even going to the game if you think we're going to lose? Stay home, enjoy the hollow existence of being sad and right
 
I never understood the people that say not to aim big or predict big, as you get egg on your face

So what? Who gives a s**t? I'd much rather go into a season with hope instead of just being resigned to defeat every week. Why bother even going to the game if you think we're going to lose? Stay home, enjoy the hollow existence of being sad and right
The club should be aiming high for sure. They shouldn't overestimate though, because that leads to bad decisions such as the Saints picking up all those B graders a few years ago thinking they were in the flag mix. I can't think of too many places in life (there are a few) where having an inaccurate understanding of the world is superior to an accurate one if you need to make decisions based on it.



Fans can do as they pleased but I am not sure how good your hope is in the face of your team being ****. I find overestimating Freo's ability greatly reduces my enjoyment but that is entirely subjective.
 

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I feel like there’s a pretty strong correlation between people who state we are primed and should be finishing top 4 with all our talent and those who want JL gone / under pressure.

It’s not a 100% correlation I’m sure, but it feels strong.
 
Doesn't rate matter if you rate De Goey or not. We lack his type of player.

Jackson with always be playing forward and ruck. He might play midfield as well.

We need someone who's primarily a midfielder that can go forward and kick goals
I think that will come once our midfield is deep.
The last couple years AB has been needed on the ball the whole time.
AB would kick the a goals of the degoey type player if he’s resting half fwd
He’s kicked 22 the last 2 seasons playing full time mid
 
I feel like there’s a pretty strong correlation between people who state we are primed and should be finishing top 4 with all our talent and those who want JL gone / under pressure.

It’s not a 100% correlation I’m sure, but it feels strong.
A large fraction of every supporter based overestimates their players. It's tribalism. It's comforting to think your special so we all assume there is some magical reason why our top 30 draft picks are going to lift us up but nobody else's are.

Once you think your players are better than they are, you then automatically assign all blame for "poor" performance to the coach. There is no where else for it to go.

I'd be surprised if there has ever been a supporter base that, on average, underestimated their team. Even now, you'll find plenty of North and West Coast fans upbeat about 2024 just as you could have for 2023.

Interestingly, most people recognise the phenomena in other teams, but few admit it for their own.
 
I think that will come once our midfield is deep.
The last couple years AB has been needed on the ball the whole time.
AB would kick the a goals of the degoey type player if he’s resting half fwd
He’s kicked 22 the last 2 seasons playing full time mid
Brayshaw is a good start - his goal numbers are already pretty good for an inside mid so him improving only slightly helps the situation.

I think we've got the forward options to rotate midfield (Switta, Jackson) tbh - the issue over the coming years will be finding miss that can go the other way. Playing an extra forward in the side most weeks didn't help.
 
Because expectations without any control over how they're achieved are folly :shrug:

Ignoring that... we're still a young list (and probably getting younger) for a regular top 4 profile.

But if we get top shelf performances from certain players (esp forward, clearance, wing areas) we've got the potential talent profile to nudge the top 4-6.
 
I feel like there’s a pretty strong correlation between people who state we are primed and should be finishing top 4 with all our talent and those who want JL gone / under pressure.

It’s not a 100% correlation I’m sure, but it feels strong.
I think there are very few who 'expect' us to be top 4 contenders in 2024. Realistically there are 6 or so teams that are clearly more strongly credentialled. Doesn't mean that this thread isn't worth talking about.

Making the 8 is quite another story and a far more realistic expectation at this stage of our development. There is plenty of talk among Freo supporters and the general media that JLo's position will be under threat if we are not top 8. When JLo akcnowledged that age is no longer an excuse in 2024 he de facto owned that assessment. All up there's a lot at stake for FFC in 2024, we live in interesting times.
 
Why we shouldn’t expect us to make top 4?
Current players between 26-31yo - Tabs, JOM, Aish, Hughes, Pearce, Ryan, McDonald, Corbett, Switta, Wagner & Banfield. 1 quality, some lower half B22 and depth players.

I don’t think we can’t make top 4 but it probably relies on 2019 form from both Fyfe/Walters & 2021 form from Darcy.

Truth is if a large majority of your best 12 players aren’t between 24-31yo then you probably aren’t making top 4. We are starting to see them come through (Brayshaw, Cox, Darcy) but it’s early days.

List age/experience averages only tell part of the story, even Eagles can put together a team with the right experience levels but they obviously aren’t a top 4 threat.
 
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A large fraction of every supporter based overestimates their players. It's tribalism. It's comforting to think your special so we all assume there is some magical reason why our top 30 draft picks are going to lift us up but nobody else's are.

Once you think your players are better than they are, you then automatically assign all blame for "poor" performance to the coach. There is no where else for it to go.

I'd be surprised if there has ever been a supporter base that, on average, underestimated their team. Even now, you'll find plenty of North and West Coast fans upbeat about 2024 just as you could have for 2023.

Interestingly, most people recognise the phenomena in other teams, but few admit it for their own.

I don't think I'm overestimating our players actually. I deliberately didn't include Fyfe or Walters as part of our core. They could play important roles this year, but I'm going on the assumption that they won't. I'm not talking about Jaeger O'Meara, or using him as an argument that we are experienced since he's a 100-something gamer as someone else was talking about. I know he's fringe. Ditto Hughes.

I'm talking about our core, who we know are very, very good. Midfield-wise Darcy, Jackson being AA contention players as people on the panel have confirmed. Serong and Brayshaw are AA players. Young, who we know is in that mold. That's our midfield core. I don't care if they are top 30 picks or not, I know and we all know they are top end talent because they've proven that. Plenty of other top 30 picks have not. And ours are entering their prime. We have a similarly strong backline core, and I'm arguing that our makeshift forward-line of young, genuine talent + veterans will have enough opportunities supported by those other groups to make waves in 2024.

I don't think it's tribalism. It's recognizing where your list is at. Every supporter base is optimistic, but objectively every team is in a different position. Richmond relied on top end talent in their success era and their retirements/ageing past their prime have taken them out of the equation. Geelong have ageing players but not the top end prime-aged youth coming through to replace them. Hawthorn, North Melbourne have a lot of talent but their core is well below the 23-27 age mark. You could go on.

Freo is in with a group of maybe 10 or so teams who's profiles suggest they can genuinely be in the mix. 1 of those supporter bases are going to be right about their team and walk away with the silverware. I'm not saying that is us, but we can be in that challenging group.

And lastly, when you are in that group of teams genuinely able to compete, the coach does make the final difference. The gamestyle, the communication of it, the day to day during the week, the ability to correctly analyse a great win or bad loss in-season and make the right adjustments, and get that information across clearly. Even the 'vibe'. You'd have a hard time arguing that Craig McCrae isn't a significant factor in Collingwood's 2023 premiership, walking in 2 years after Nathan Buckley left them towards the bottom of the ladder. Ditto with Chris Fagan overseeing a culture change at Brisbane, or Chris Scott engineering a lengthy period of consistency at Geelong. It all adds up and the coach is a big part of it.
 
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I don't think I'm overestimating our players actually. I deliberately didn't include Fyfe or Walters as part of our core. They could play important roles this year, but I'm going on the assumption that they won't. I'm not talking about Jaeger O'Meara, or using him as an argument that we are experienced since he's a 100-something gamer as someone else was talking about. I know he's fringe. Ditto Hughes.

I'm talking about our core, who we know are very, very good. Midfield-wise Darcy, Jackson being AA contention players as people on the panel have confirmed. Serong and Brayshaw are AA players. Young, who we know is in that mold. That's our midfield core. I don't care if they are top 30 picks or not, I know and we all know they are top end talent because they've proven that. Plenty of other top 30 picks have not. And ours are entering their prime. We have a similarly strong backline core, and I'm arguing that our makeshift forward-line of young, genuine talent + veterans will have enough opportunities supported by those other groups to make waves in 2024.

I don't think it's tribalism. It's recognizing where your list is at. Every supporter base is optimistic, but objectively every team is in a different position. Richmond relied on top end talent in their success era and their retirements/ageing past their prime have taken them out of the equation. Geelong have ageing players but not the top end prime-aged youth coming through to replace them. Hawthorn, North Melbourne have a lot of talent but their core is well below the 23-27 age mark. You could go on.

Freo is in with a group of maybe 10 or so teams who's profiles suggest they can genuinely be in the mix. 1 of those supporter bases are going to be right about their team and walk away with the silverware. I'm not saying that is us, but we can be in that challenging group.

And lastly, when you are in that group of teams genuinely able to compete, the coach does make the final difference. The gamestyle, the communication of it, the day to day during the week, the ability to correctly analyse a great win or bad loss in-season and make the right adjustments, and get that information across clearly. Even the 'vibe'. You'd have a hard time arguing that Craig McCrae isn't a significant factor in Collingwood's 2023 premiership, walking in 2 years after Nathan Buckley left them towards the bottom of the ladder. Ditto with Chris Fagan overseeing a culture change at Brisbane, or Chris Scott engineering a lengthy period of consistency at Geelong. It all adds up and the coach is a big part of it.
This is still the same argument though. You even said yourself there are 10 teams thinking the same thing. Why are we special?

Could you detail the other 9 lists as much as ours?
 
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This is still the same argument though. You even said yourself there are 10 teams thinking the same thing. Why are we special?

The answer is, you support Freo.

I didn't say we were special. But rather than taking the pessimistic view, 1 of those 10 teams is going to be special. And 4 of them are going to make the top 4.
 

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I didn't say we were special. But rather than taking the pessimistic view, 1 of those 10 teams is going to be special. And 4 of them are going to make the top 4.
I amended the original post with a better question.

Can you tell me all about the other 9 lists and why they would be optimistic? And also why it is 10 and not 14 say?
 
I amended the original post with a better question.

Can you tell me all about the other 9 lists and why they would be optimistic? And also why it is 10 and not 14 say?

I'm not going to do a list analysis on 9-14 other teams lol, but I'm basically agreeing with you that we are not necessarily more special than those contending teams. And obviously some contending teams, such as Brisbane, are better placed than us, based on a list profile with more prime aged talent and experience. I'm taking an optimistic approach that we can edge out similarly placed teams and I've explained why we should be optimistic about that.

It would be pretty sad to be resigned to 12th every year because 'even though we have a great list, there are 11 other teams with great lists, so there's no reason to think we'll do any better than them'.
 
I'm not going to do a list analysis on 9-14 other teams lol, but I'm basically agreeing with you that we are not necessarily more special than those contending teams. And obviously some contending teams, such as Brisbane, are better placed than us, based on a list profile with more prime aged talent and experience. I'm taking an optimistic approach that we can edge out similarly placed teams and I've explained why we should be optimistic about that.

It would be pretty sad to be resigned to 12th every year because 'even though we have a great list, there are 11 other teams with great lists, so there's no reason to think we'll do any better than them'.
That's great, optimism is fine. I try to be as close to realistic as possible, but to each their own.

But your original post and the title was expectation - which is not a synonym of optimism.
 
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I never understood the people that say not to aim big or predict big, as you get egg on your face

So what? Who gives a s**t? I'd much rather go into a season with hope instead of just being resigned to defeat every week. Why bother even going to the game if you think we're going to lose? Stay home, enjoy the hollow existence of being sad and right
Maybe you havent been around for our full 28 yr history?

The problem here is aiming big, predicting big and having the club rollout positive spin is the essence of being a Dockers Supporter. Every year we go through this, and ultimately we're poo.

In the last several years i've run out of positive tickets. 2022 was a nice surprise, then last year we were back to the ol, get our hopes up, promise heaps, deliver nothing. I aint got the energy left anymore to be Mr Positive with our club.

History would tell us we're not going far. Aiming low and being overjoyed to finish high is much more satisfying than the other way around.
 
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I don't think I'm overestimating our players actually. I deliberately didn't include Fyfe or Walters as part of our core. They could play important roles this year, but I'm going on the assumption that they won't. I'm not talking about Jaeger O'Meara, or using him as an argument that we are experienced since he's a 100-something gamer as someone else was talking about. I know he's fringe. Ditto Hughes.

I'm talking about our core, who we know are very, very good. Midfield-wise Darcy, Jackson being AA contention players as people on the panel have confirmed. Serong and Brayshaw are AA players. Young, who we know is in that mold. That's our midfield core. I don't care if they are top 30 picks or not, I know and we all know they are top end talent because they've proven that. Plenty of other top 30 picks have not. And ours are entering their prime. We have a similarly strong backline core, and I'm arguing that our makeshift forward-line of young, genuine talent + veterans will have enough opportunities supported by those other groups to make waves in 2024.

I don't think it's tribalism. It's recognizing where your list is at. Every supporter base is optimistic, but objectively every team is in a different position. Richmond relied on top end talent in their success era and their retirements/ageing past their prime have taken them out of the equation. Geelong have ageing players but not the top end prime-aged youth coming through to replace them. Hawthorn, North Melbourne have a lot of talent but their core is well below the 23-27 age mark. You could go on.

Freo is in with a group of maybe 10 or so teams who's profiles suggest they can genuinely be in the mix. 1 of those supporter bases are going to be right about their team and walk away with the silverware. I'm not saying that is us, but we can be in that challenging group.

And lastly, when you are in that group of teams genuinely able to compete, the coach does make the final difference. The gamestyle, the communication of it, the day to day during the week, the ability to correctly analyse a great win or bad loss in-season and make the right adjustments, and get that information across clearly. Even the 'vibe'. You'd have a hard time arguing that Craig McCrae isn't a significant factor in Collingwood's 2023 premiership, walking in 2 years after Nathan Buckley left them towards the bottom of the ladder. Ditto with Chris Fagan overseeing a culture change at Brisbane, or Chris Scott engineering a lengthy period of consistency at Geelong. It all adds up and the coach is a big part of it.
Your last point about the coach is key here. Here is a question - if Justin Longmuir had taken over Collingwood two years ago from Nathan Buckley, would they have made the prelim last year and won the flag this year?
We will never know the definitive answer but I would say no.
 
That's great, optimism is fine. I try to be as close to realistic as possible, but to each their own.

But your original post and the title was expectation - which is not a synonym of optimism.

Well I've tried to explain how the optimistic outlook might not be too different from the realistic outlook. When there's reasons behind the optimism, it's okay to have expectations. You probably think Freo won't be much chop this year, and would be fine with that. I wouldn't. We embarked on a rebuild 7-8 years ago, and while it hasn't gone to plan the bulk of those players are still here and 5-8 years into their career.

I understand we all have serious PTSD and trauma issues from supporting this club, but it's okay to expect a certain standard when there is good reason to. And it's okay to not meet expectations sometimes, because it helps you analyse the problems and grow. The real failure is setting a low bar and meeting it, sort of how the whole club was quite content about being swept off the park in a Semi-Final in 2022 which set-up some poor decisions and hard reality checks in 2023.
 
Maybe you havent been around for our full 28 yr history?

The problem here is aiming big, predicting big and having the club rollout positive spin is the essence of being a Dockers Supporter. Every year we go through this, and ultimately we're poo.

In the last several years i've run out of positive tickets. 2022 was a nice surprise, then last year we were back to the ol, get our hopes up, promise heaps, deliver nothing. I aint got the energy left anymore to be Mr Positive with our club.

History would tell us we're not going far. Aiming low and being overjoyed to finish high is much more satisfying than the other way around.

Mate I've been a fan since day dot, I'm a 20 plus year member. I just can't stand overly negative Freo fans, I'm surrounded by them at the games and they actively ruin the GameDay experience. We literally have fans whinging when we're winning, it's insufferable and ridiculously unnecessary
 
The reason the coach gets such a hard time and tough expectations is quite simple - he is BY FAR the single most important individual at any AFL club. You cannot win anything without a decent head coach. It’s more important than any individual A grade player. Many a great and talented list has underperformed in the game with a mediocre or poor coach.

There is no more important single decision this decade at the Fremantle football club than whether to stick or twist with Justin Longmuir. I don’t genuinely know that the right decision is but I do know there wont be a bigger one made by this club in this era.
 
Your last point about the coach is key here. Here is a question - if Justin Longmuir had taken over Collingwood two years ago from Nathan Buckley, would they have made the prelim last year and won the flag this year?
We will never know the definitive answer but I would say no.

I don't think so either. But to be fair Longmuir would be taking over in his first and second year as coach without a lot of the assistant coaching experience McCrae had. He was extremely fresh when he came to us, compared to how much time McCare had spent in the system.

This isn't a JL bashing thread, on the flipside, while I've been a pretty big critic of him, this year is an opportunity for him. It's a clean slate the way I see it. JL should be primed to have the best coaching year of his career. He came to us extremely green, has spent 4 years as a senior coach and has seen the ups, the downs, had his gameplan criticised, praised at time, he's had the whole bit and has spent 4 years molding a playing group.
He comes into 2024 with an almost fully fit group, in a really good position to compete for him as I've outlined, and off the back of a reality check year where he's had a summer to make adjustments. There should be no surprises for him coming into Round 1. Let's see what he's got. Ultimately if it all goes pear shaped, I don't get why Freo fans would be pushing so hard against accountability - we don't want to waste the potential prime of this playing group with a mediocre coach.
 
Well I've tried to explain how the optimistic outlook might not be too different from the realistic outlook. When there's reasons behind the optimism, it's okay to have expectations. You probably think Freo won't be much chop this year, and would be fine with that. I wouldn't. We embarked on a rebuild 7-8 years ago, and while it hasn't gone to plan the bulk of those players are still here and 5-8 years into their career.

I understand we all have serious PTSD and trauma issues from supporting this club, but it's okay to expect a certain standard when there is good reason to. And it's okay to not meet expectations sometimes, because it helps you analyse the problems and grow. The real failure is setting a low bar and meeting it, sort of how the whole club was quite content about being swept off the park in a Semi-Final in 2022 which set-up some poor decisions and hard reality checks in 2023.
The issue isn't with the optimism, its with the choice of word "expectation".

Expectation isn't some hopeful feeling, its a strong conviction of expected outcome.

If you want to defend it, you'll need to demonstrate why and how our similar looking circumstances to ours (at least 9 others you have agreed) are actually inferior. If you don't want to do that, whatever, but change your title away from expectation, because that's not what you mean.

And it's completely ridiculous to base judgements of outcomes on expectations that you agree are optimistic. That will obviously lead to poor decisions over any sustained period of time.
 
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SEN had the over/under line for us at 9.5 wins in their discussion - yeah, I know it’s Kane and Kingy, and their analysis wasn’t great - but I think somewhere around there is a realistic expectation.

injuries will probably then determine which side we land on. Good injury run and I‘m expecting 11-12 wins.

I‘d be over the moon if we got to 13 wins from 23 games. Definitely disappointed if we finish on 9 or less.
 
The real failure is setting a low bar and meeting it, sort of how the whole club was quite content about being swept off the park in a Semi-Final in 2022 which set-up some poor decisions and hard reality checks in 2023.
A lot of simarltries with 2010 here I think. 2011 turned out not that dissimilar to 2022 subsequently*. In a way that belting from Geelong I think was almost the beginning point of the arc that carried us through to a grand final, two semis and a prelim in the following 6 seasons.

This time our core of best players is larger and very much younger at the outset**. If things turn out well actually we could have quite a long run since only one of our oldest 'best' players as of right now is over 24, and he's 25.



*Cept we didn't sack the coach this time.

**If you look at that side in terms of top 10 or so best players only around half were actually taken during the rebuild that preceded it: Fyfe, Walters, Barlow and Ballas. Neale by the end of the run. Pav, McPharlin, Mundy, Sandilands, Johnson etc. were all well established stars before even our previous run at the finals.
 

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