Strategy The midfield

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Jeremias

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There has been a lot of discussion creeping into other threads about our midfield, but it deserves its own thread.

We enter 2020 still reliant on an experienced few, though the depth we have managed to build in this area of the ground is seriously impressive. We now have a glut of talent who could feature prominently, albeit many are very young and require further development.

The proof will as always be in the pudding, but it is very hard to not get excited about what this group may produce in 2020 and beyond, and it all starts in the midfield.

For a while now I have wanted to take a deeper look into our midfield, and 2020 is finally the year to do it.
I will be posting in this thread a weekly update on formations, success rates and any other stats relevant to the midfield debate.

In the meantime, I am keen to hear what you think is our optimal midfield setup come R1 vs the Tigers?
What are your expectations for our midfield group in 2020?
What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of our midfield options, both individually and as a collective?
Are there any specific types you think we need to target come the player movement period at the end of 2020?

For reference, this is the midfield group we recently voted as being our consensus best 22:

C: Sam Walsh, Patrick Cripps, Will Setterfield
FOL: Matthew Kreuzer, Ed Curnow, Marc Murphy
INT: Sam Petrevski-Seton, Zac Fisher, Jack Newnes

Whether or not you agree with this as being our best setup to start the year, there is no doubt this is a very talented group. Even more telling perhaps is the caliber of footballers who would be waiting in reserve.

Have at it.
 

HARKER

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They are similar players but i see Milera having a much more attacking game possessing elite speed and far superior run and carry style that can open the ground right up. He was recruited as a forward and although like many players that finds them trialed in other positions early on in their career to help develop and find their feet he has the talent to play anywhere imo.
I’d much rather Milera out of the D50 than SPS who i believe is more of a high class midfielder in the making which atm has a fair line in front of it...
If SPS doesn't work out as planned in the back-line, there are other spots open to him around the ground. No problem with SPS.

Who do we see as being our starting midfielders next year, leaving out the ruckman. I recall we used to have -
Judd, Gibbs and Murphy as our premium set-up with Carrazzo as first drop and then further back to McLean and bits and pieces after that.

If we used a similar formula who are the three that will take up the bulk of midfield duties, who's next drop and then the one after that?

1. Cripps
2. Murphy
3. Walsh

4. ECurnow

5. Dow

That doesn't feel right to me and then we have Setterfield, Fisher, SPS and maybe Kennedy to be involved to some degree. Hard to know.
 

HARKER

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AFL affords the possibility of changing matchups.

Who does Richmond start in center bounces with in Q1 - will determine how Teague wants to match up.

Just a guess.
Generally speaking, a club have their preferred starting set-ups which from memory (not research) happen to be the preferred overall set-up.

Cripps will be involved in about 80% of centre square stoppages.
I just wonder who takes up the second, third, fourth and fifth most used options.
 

Blue__Balls

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If SPS doesn't work out as planned in the back-line, there are other spots open to him around the ground. No problem with SPS.

Who do we see as being our starting midfielders next year, leaving out the ruckman. I recall we used to have -
Judd, Gibbs and Murphy as our premium set-up with Carrazzo as first drop and then further back to McLean and bits and pieces after that.

If we used a similar formula who are the three that will take up the bulk of midfield duties, who's next drop and then the one after that?

1. Cripps
2. Murphy
3. Walsh

4. ECurnow

5. Dow

That doesn't feel right to me and then we have Setterfield, Fisher, SPS and maybe Kennedy to be involved to some degree. Hard to know.
Keeping in mind it's only necessary for centre bounces:

Cripps, Walsh, Setterfield would be my preferred trio.
Murphy 80% wing with the occasional stint on ball.
Curnow only at the centre stoppages if there's an opposition player who needs special treatment.

Then occasional rotations from Fisher, SPS, Dow, Martin, Cuningham, Kennedy, JSOS etc.

Secondary stoppages around the ground we'll see plenty more players around the ball anyway.
 

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HavUEvaSeenTheRain

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Generally speaking, a club have their preferred starting set-ups which from memory (not research) happen to be the preferred overall set-up.

Cripps will be involved in about 80% of centre square stoppages.
I just wonder who takes up the second, third, fourth and fifth most used options.
Our mids still haven’t got the runs on the board so I would go Cripps, Murphy and one of SOJ/Curnow as taggers until atleast the younger players step up.
Cripps will hold his own most weeks and hopefully SOJ/Curnow can break even most weeks. Maybe rotate the third with Murphy doing the majority though with Setters, Walsh, Fish, Dow, Stocker, SPS ect getting smaller amounts. When Cripps is out try keep two of Curnow, Setters and hopefully Stocker in there. If the kids start stepping up the things will change for the better very soon.
Until we are stronger in this area I would be running a tag most weeks.
 

Kreuuuzeurns

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Might be an unpopular opinion but I don’t want Walsh near centre bounces next year.

He was a huge asset on the wing and will only improve as he builds his strength, though I feel he’s still a fair way off competing for 4 quarters at the centre bounce. I don’t want to see us bang him up too much and he is at the moment a class above O’Brien and Newnes who are the prime wing candidates.

Leave that stuff to Cripps, Murphy, Ed, Setters and one of Dow/Stocker/Gibbons/SOJ/Kennedy. IMO of course.
 

FitzroyBlueBagger

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If SPS doesn't work out as planned in the back-line, there are other spots open to him around the ground. No problem with SPS.

Who do we see as being our starting midfielders next year, leaving out the ruckman. I recall we used to have -
Judd, Gibbs and Murphy as our premium set-up with Carrazzo as first drop and then further back to McLean and bits and pieces after that.

If we used a similar formula who are the three that will take up the bulk of midfield duties, who's next drop and then the one after that?

1. Cripps
2. Murphy
3. Walsh

4. ECurnow

5. Dow

That doesn't feel right to me and then we have Setterfield, Fisher, SPS and maybe Kennedy to be involved to some degree. Hard to know.
To be honest, i think the midfield is the biggest headscratcher of all our positional lineups. Who starts in there against what's our opposition , particular lineups , like for like , bigger bodies , quicker options , balance , inform personnel , left field surprises , shutdown rolls , dominated by opposition ruckman etc etc .
You would think that all these and more are going to be played out as the season rolls on, I just feel after Cripps we will heavily rotate players and the ones that stand up more often will obviously get the more time through there...

I see Setterfield as a key component in giving us the big bodied class/support we need
Jack to play important rolls on opposition big bodies
Walsh SPS Fisher Dow to add the speed evasion and balance through there
Ed and Murphy to again do the heavy hitting but hopefully others stepping up takes the heavy reliance off
Cuningham and Martin with the cameos that can add another dimension

As of round one vs Richmond... all up to form and injury..

Kruezer Setterfield Murphy
Walsh Cripps Newnes
 
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JustaBattler

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Generally speaking, a club have their preferred starting set-ups which from memory (not research) happen to be the preferred overall set-up.

Cripps will be involved in about 80% of centre square stoppages.
I just wonder who takes up the second, third, fourth and fifth most used options.
I reckon we've never had the options before....which is great for teh coach and match day...


I see first bounce roun d1 Q1

Kreuzer|Cripps|Ed |Murphy outside Walsh /Setterfield or Williams or LoB or Newnes or Fisher

I see kreuzer cripps Setterield Stocker etc

I see Kreuzer setterfield Ed Dow etc

all sorts of match ups depending on when and where etc...

We've never had so much potential talent before - it is a new era really

if Setterfield/Stocker/DOw can actually win their own inside ball - sans Cripps - it will b eamazingly hard for most opposition to match up
 

murphster

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Generally speaking, a club have their preferred starting set-ups which from memory (not research) happen to be the preferred overall set-up.

Cripps will be involved in about 80% of centre square stoppages.
I just wonder who takes up the second, third, fourth and fifth most used options.
I suspect come Rd 1 our starting set up will still be the same as it was last year.

Cripps
Murphy
Curnow

Walsh
Setterfield
Dow

Eventually the starting 3 will be
Cripps
Walsh
Setterfield

Dow
SPs
Fisher

I’m hoping this changing of the guard starts to happen a third of the way into the season, will be interesting to see how quickly they can develop into an a grade midfield.
The last 1/3rd of last year really started to show how good our midfield was going to be, our work at centre stoppages was A grade during this period and really started to develop a great symmetry between Kreuz and the mids, but the really great work was done at around the ground stoppages where we started to get our balance between inside and outside right as well as out numbering at these contests, these 2 things where always a weakness under Bolts but by the end of the year was a massive strength and helped us to come back in so many games where we started slowly.

A great indicator for us being a successful team is the fact that the 2 areas that teams generate the majority of there scores from, forward half pressure/turnovers and scores from stoppages are both becoming strengths of ours.
We saw in the Grand Final an example of 2 teams with different scoring techniques, Richmond the quintessential scoring team from forward half pressure/turnovers and GWS the opposite that generates most of its scores from stoppages, now we saw which technique dominated on the day whether this would happen every time I don’t know, the good part for us is that Teague has taken both sources and made them both strengths for us which should hold us in good stead going forward as we improve in both areas, the addition of Betts and Martin will definitely improve our forward half pressure and scoring, while our natural growth from our young mids as well as more time developing there stoppage craft together will certainly improve our scores from stoppages.
Next year for me is going to be a developmental sweet spot for us where we get a lot of big growth from a large number of players like Setterfield, Fisher, SPS, Ob4Kinobi, Paddy WOW, Silvagni, Kennedy, Walsh and Stocker all of which are led and driven to succeed by our CoCaptain and leader of the midfield Cripps.
 

RobR

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Keeping in mind it's only necessary for centre bounces:

Cripps, Walsh, Setterfield would be my preferred trio.
Murphy 80% wing with the occasional stint on ball.
Curnow only at the centre stoppages if there's an opposition player who needs special treatment.

Then occasional rotations from Fisher, SPS, Dow, Martin, Cuningham, Kennedy, JSOS etc.

Secondary stoppages around the ground we'll see plenty more players around the ball anyway.
Cripps, Setterfield and Walsh is mouth watering stuff.
 

Jeremias

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We shouldn't dismiss Fisher when it comes to our starting midfield.

His pace and skill on the outside are a real weapon but it is his hands in close which are arguably his greatest asset.

He was a staple of our centre square work early in the year. I know we moved away from that once Teague took over but it won't surprise should he see an expanded role on the inside in 2020.
 

bmaurizio

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Might be an unpopular opinion but I don’t want Walsh near centre bounces next year.

He was a huge asset on the wing and will only improve as he builds his strength, though I feel he’s still a fair way off competing for 4 quarters at the centre bounce. I don’t want to see us bang him up too much and he is at the moment a class above O’Brien and Newnes who are the prime wing candidates.

Leave that stuff to Cripps, Murphy, Ed, Setters and one of Dow/Stocker/Gibbons/SOJ/Kennedy. IMO of course.
Agree with you I’d prefer palace Sam on a wing to allow him time to develop, and be preserved.
He’ll become a special inside midfielder too in a few years one of the best.
Meanwhile Jack Martin is durable, almost 100 games experience , a brilliant footballer a real weapon, he can certainly help out the engine room in the interim.
 

HARKER

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We shouldn't dismiss Fisher when it comes to our starting midfield.

His pace and skill on the outside are a real weapon but it is his hands in close which are arguably his greatest asset.

He was a staple of our centre square work early in the year. I know we moved away from that once Teague took over but it won't surprise should he see an expanded role on the inside in 2020.
If one looked at key attributes only, I'd have Cripps, Dow and Fisher as starting mids.
Dow and Fisher aren't physically ready to take on full-time duties here, but the trio may make for a wonderful starting set-up.

Cripps because.........well, he's Cripps.
Dow because of the ability to read off the hands and explode out of packs........although Dow needs to become stronger
Fisher because of lightning reflexes, sticky fingers and the ability to move the ball to advantage.......but needs to be able to hold his ground.

Setterfield to support Cripps when needing a rest,
Stocker when the extra grunt is required.
Walsh? It may almost become a waste using him in the middle. He can get his thirty possessions around the ground, coming off a wing.
 

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Arr0w

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IMO Fisher plays the same role as Murphy in the midfield, and I wouldn't play both in the centre square at the same time
I don't disagree, but I guess tactics come into play depending on weekly/specific centre bounce matchups

Cripps + 1 of Setters/Ed/Newnes/Jack/SPS then inject some toe, Murphy, Dow, Fish, Cuners, Martin etc

Love that we have options
 

Jeremias

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If one looked at key attributes only, I'd have Cripps, Dow and Fisher as starting mids.
Very possible - exactly as we did R1 this year.

Dow hasn’t been in my R1 side but the more I look at things, the more I’m wondering why.

One year on with more support around them it could be the same again.
 

true blue19

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Is there a bit too much overlap between Milera's preferred role and SPS's new role? Neither are particularly "defensive" players, they're distributors with good vision and disposal, who have been squeezed out of their respective midfields.
Both can play midfield or forward. IMO you can't have to much talent. If Milera is getable than get him and work out where he fits later. He's a star.
 

true blue19

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Might be an unpopular opinion but I don’t want Walsh near centre bounces next year.

He was a huge asset on the wing and will only improve as he builds his strength, though I feel he’s still a fair way off competing for 4 quarters at the centre bounce. I don’t want to see us bang him up too much and he is at the moment a class above O’Brien and Newnes who are the prime wing candidates.

Leave that stuff to Cripps, Murphy, Ed, Setters and one of Dow/Stocker/Gibbons/SOJ/Kennedy. IMO of course.
I agree with you 100% Walsh is an A grade wingman after just 1 season. A high quality wingman is a match winner and rare to find. Leave Walsh on the the wing as we have more than enough play the can play inside.
 

true blue19

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Our Midfield

Inside mids
Cripps is our inside bull obviously with Kemp to develop.
Curnow is our hardnut but need to be over taken by Setterfield, JSOS and/or Stocker.
Murphy is our classy and runner but needs to be replaced by Dow, Fisher and/ or Philp.

Wings
Walsh is 100% on one of the wings. The is between O'Brien and Newnes.

I've left out but may play part time roles in the midfield.
Martin because I see him more as a HFF.
SPS because I see him more as a HBF.
Kennedy i want him to make it but I'm losing faith and think at best will be a 3rd tall forward.
 

HARKER

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I don't disagree, but I guess tactics come into play depending on weekly/specific centre bounce matchups

Cripps + 1 of Setters/Ed/Newnes/Jack/SPS then inject some toe, Murphy, Dow, Fish, Cuners, Martin etc

Love that we have options
I can't see Newnes, Cuningham, JSilvagni nor Martin involved in the midfield proper - Let midfielders midfield.

Centre square -
Grunts - Cripps, Setterfield & Stocker
Speed - Fisher & Dow
Class - Walsh & SPS

Back-up - Kennedy & Philp, maybe in time.

7 - 8 having the ability to rotate through the senior squad midfield is plenty.
 

AndyLucimitis

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I agree with you 100% Walsh is an A grade wingman after just 1 season. A high quality wingman is a match winner and rare to find. Leave Walsh on the the wing as we have more than enough play the can play inside.


One the most basic coaching premises is don't move a 'positive (i.e Walsh on a wing) to fill a 'negative'.
 

Arr0w

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I can't see Newnes, Cuningham, JSilvagni nor Martin involved in the midfield proper - Let midfielders midfield.

Centre square -
Grunts - Cripps, Setterfield & Stocker
Speed - Fisher & Dow
Class - Walsh & SPS

Back-up - Kennedy & Philp, maybe in time.

7 - 8 having the ability to rotate through the senior squad midfield is plenty.
Harks this is not the 80s

While there would predominantly be 6 or so rotating through, you will have at least a dozen or so having time at centre bounces, not to mention round the ground stoppages

Newnes, Martin, Jack, Cuners, will play cameos

Don't be surprised to see Doc take a few as well
 

FitzroyBlueBagger

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I can't see Newnes, Cuningham, JSilvagni nor Martin involved in the midfield proper - Let midfielders midfield.

Centre square -
Grunts - Cripps, Setterfield & Stocker
Speed - Fisher & Dow
Class - Walsh & SPS

Back-up - Kennedy & Philp, maybe in time.

7 - 8 having the ability to rotate through the senior squad midfield is plenty.
Harks... Jack will progress, with Setterfield our main two bulls, JSOS enormous upside as a inside mid .... Martin and Cuningham to be rotated through the midfield as a difference with their speed and Xfactor
For us to rise will be all to take it to the next level...
 

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