Roast Topping up on senior players was the wrong move

iameviljez

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... Smith, Tuohy, Henderson, Scott Selwood, and most of all, Ablett. (I'd throw Stanley, HMac and Rivers into that, too.)

Dangerfield, I think, was in a different category - because, simply put, you don't say no to a once-in-a-generation player like that. Our mistake was thinking that adding Dangerfield to a list which finished 10th was enough to put us within striking distance of a flag. We did make prelims two years running - but the results were flattering in both years, when almost all the tight games fell our way.

This year was probably a better indication of our ability.

Trading our way out of the draft - Stanley for p21 is the obvious favourite, but Henderson for a late R1 and Smith for two middling picks are other examples - was, in retrospect, a bad move given the success we've had there before. Even picking up Ablett - in return for a few pick swaps - was foolish, given that the evidence was there that we were a LONG way off Richmond.

The lack of continuity that we have had for our fringe players has been damning. Certain players like Brown, Cunico, Thurlow, Vardy, Horlin-Smith and the like haven't had a concerted run at it, because we haven't been keen to withstand the short-term pain after a bad month. It's easy to point at them and say they obviously aren't good enough - but significant faith was never shown in them, either.

I know it's easier to say in retrospect, because hindsight is perfect, but we were never close enough to a flag at the end of 2015 to justify the quick solution - and it's really hurt the club now.
 

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Vdubs

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... Smith, Tuohy, Henderson, Scott Selwood, and most of all, Ablett. (I'd throw Stanley, HMac and Rivers into that, too.)

Dangerfield, I think, was in a different category - because, simply put, you don't say no to a once-in-a-generation player like that. Our mistake was thinking that adding Dangerfield to a list which finished 10th was enough to put us within striking distance of a flag. We did make prelims two years running - but the results were flattering in both years, when almost all the tight games fell our way.

This year was probably a better indication of our ability.

Trading our way out of the draft - Stanley for p21 is the obvious favourite, but Henderson for a late R1 and Smith for two middling picks are other examples - was, in retrospect, a bad move given the success we've had there before. Even picking up Ablett - in return for a few pick swaps - was foolish, given that the evidence was there that we were a LONG way off Richmond.

The lack of continuity that we have had for our fringe players has been damning. Certain players like Brown, Cunico, Thurlow, Vardy, Horlin-Smith and the like haven't had a concerted run at it, because we haven't been keen to withstand the short-term pain after a bad month. It's easy to point at them and say they obviously aren't good enough - but significant faith was never shown in them, either.

I know it's easier to say in retrospect, because hindsight is perfect, but we were never close enough to a flag at the end of 2015 to justify the quick solution - and it's really hurt the club now.
We had to. And where do you think we'd be now had we just done the draft?
It WAS the right thing to do. And Hawks followed suit, but they just select better players to top up with. We need to be more ruthless. In 16, at some stages, our very best players were Danger, Hendo, SS, Smith
 

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... Smith, Tuohy, Henderson, Scott Selwood, and most of all, Ablett. (I'd throw Stanley, HMac and Rivers into that, too.)

Dangerfield, I think, was in a different category - because, simply put, you don't say no to a once-in-a-generation player like that. Our mistake was thinking that adding Dangerfield to a list which finished 10th was enough to put us within striking distance of a flag. We did make prelims two years running - but the results were flattering in both years, when almost all the tight games fell our way.

This year was probably a better indication of our ability.

Trading our way out of the draft - Stanley for p21 is the obvious favourite, but Henderson for a late R1 and Smith for two middling picks are other examples - was, in retrospect, a bad move given the success we've had there before. Even picking up Ablett - in return for a few pick swaps - was foolish, given that the evidence was there that we were a LONG way off Richmond.

The lack of continuity that we have had for our fringe players has been damning. Certain players like Brown, Cunico, Thurlow, Vardy, Horlin-Smith and the like haven't had a concerted run at it, because we haven't been keen to withstand the short-term pain after a bad month. It's easy to point at them and say they obviously aren't good enough - but significant faith was never shown in them, either.

I know it's easier to say in retrospect, because hindsight is perfect, but we were never close enough to a flag at the end of 2015 to justify the quick solution - and it's really hurt the club now.
I think they slightly overrated their list when they went after Dangerfield, Henderson, Smith & S. Selwood. They gave up the farm in regards to draft picks thinking they could win a flag & now they are paying the penalty because they don't have any real gun youngsters with the possible exception of Ratugolea coming through.

I think they need to go back to the draft & see if they can improve their draft position by trading out players like Horlin-Smith, McCarthy & Murdoch. Your not going to get great picks for any of those players but if you can move up the draft order by swapping 2nd & 3rd round picks it will help as these players are not going to get any better.

I also think rookie listing Crameri was a mistake as he is another who's body lets him down & has no upside.

Your best players, Dangerfield excepted are all 30 or over & that is a concern going forward. None of your ruckman are AFL standard & against teams like Melbourne that weakness was fully exploited.

I agree that it might take a few years of pain before they re-emerge as a genuine contender again & unfortunately stars like J, Selwood, Hawkins, Taylor & Ablett will be gone by then.
 

catempire

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Recycling an old post that addressed this very point.

I'm going to break my opus on this topic into chunks. Here's Part I:

Why it is reasonable Geelong hasn't undertaken a 'conventional' rebuild

Here’s the central premise of my thesis: a club will never make the decision to undertake a decisive rebuild while it still feels it can win a flag with the core of its current group.

This thesis explains, to me, why Geelong has never undertaken the conventional rebuild so many here seem to crave. Ask yourself, should we have started the rebuild in:

2011? No, still had stacks of premiership stars and it was quite likely a new coach could inject much needed enthusiasm and new ideas. Worth seeing what a new coach could deliver. And deliver he did.

2012? Finished 6th after H&A. The pundits all said “if anyone can win a flag from here it’s Geelong”. Sadly didn’t happen but it looked like with a decent ruckman (took a very bad gamble on McIntosh at this point) a flag was within reach. No.

2013? Finished 2nd after H&A, having only lost 4 games by an aggregate of 23 points. A really humiliating loss at home in the first final, nearly straight sets in the 2nd week and bundled out by the arch nemesis in the prelim after being in a winning position at three quarter time. Ruckman aside, still no real reason why a flag unattainable.

2014? Finished 3rd winning 17 games in the H&A. Straight sets finals exit. Plenty of questions asked. Have we overachieved with the list we have? Midfield starting to look very thin. A gaping hole is opening up in the 23-26 year old age bracket. But Christensen walks out opening the door to get another ruckman (Stanley). Mitch Clark falls in our lap and looks a great pairing (on paper) with Hawkins. Critically, those in charge know one thing for certain most people don’t: in 12 months’ time Patrick Dangerfield is about to walk through the door.

2015? Absent the Dangerfield factor it would be the obvious candidate, a shocker of a season and our worst result for a decade. Something had to change. But again the opportunity to improve the list, not only with Dangerfield but with Henderson and Scott Selwood means a rebuild is not even given a passing thought.

2016? Flag favourites going into the finals. A coin toss win first up followed by the worst possible performance on the big stage in week 3. Yet again, far too close to be talking rebuilds.

I think many people use hindsight and say that given we didn’t win in those years we might as well have undertaken a rebuild and we erred in not doing so. Decision makers don’t have the benefit of hindsight. They have to judge in the moment whether they are within reach or not and act accordingly. There was never anything to suggest in those years that a clearer path to success was a conventional rebuild rather than grabbing the players we could to fill obvious holes and to get us closer to the ultimate goal. Did the club make mistakes? Absolutely! I shouted from the rooftops that McIntosh was a mistake before we did the deal. Others were mistakes with the benefit of hindsight (Clark) or were hard to explain to the public for various reasons (Johnson, Chapman).

So did Geelong err in not undertaking a decisive rebuild in the past five years? I can’t see any basis for that claim putting myself in the shoes of the decision makers at the time. A flag was always justifiably perceived to be within reach even if we didn’t end up winning it.

Next up: Part II - are we approaching "The Cliff"?
 

iameviljez

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In 16, at some stages, our very best players were Danger, Hendo, SS, Smith
Oh, look - they have been good players, no doubt. But I think there's a reasonable argument that you only really top up with experienced players to provide leadership to a raw list, or win flags - and we over-estimated how close we were to doing the latter.

For all that, though, it hasn't helped that none of the other three have kicked on quite as we would have liked. Selwood never reached the same heights he did in his Eagles B+F year, Smith is now in the VFL and Hendo hasn't really recovered the touch he showed in 2016.
 

cynical

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end of 2013 was when a clean out should have been done

instead we became like a junkie looking for the next top up fix, totally delusional about the current situation

after 2 mediocre finals in 2016 we should have cut our losses, instead chose more failure

then we wasted a 2nd round pick on a has been just for memberships and selling false hope for another flag
 

CharacterFirst

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We have never 'topped up' in my opinion.

We traded (and traded well) for players in their prime to bolster our list holes and overall age profile.

We have been terrible at drafting 1st rounders anyway, so we have hardly "sold the farm."

I was looking at the 2016 national draft/rookie draft/and trades. I think we may have hit it out of the park actually. Another good year or two like that, and we are back in business. Lets hope this years F/S are up to it.
 

geelong_crazy26

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Chill out.

Edit: He wasn't wrong in any of his points, either.
This whole over the top reaction requires a chill out.

We do what we can in the offseason by recruiting mature age players, drafting young talent and improving what we have on our list than pick ourselves up and go around again next year.
 

iameviljez

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Recycling an old post that addressed this very point.
2015 is the relevant year IMO, because it was on the back of the Dangerfield factor that we made the decision to go all-in. At the time I admit to being on the fence about it, and felt we needed to show a bit more faith in our younger players. I worried that we were going the Brisbane route, of thinking that two stars (Brown and Black, Selwood and Dangerfield) were enough to justify a change in strategy.

In our defence, we probably didn't see the losses of Motlop and Caddy coming, as well as Vardy's and Stanley's sharp declines in 2016.
 

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geelong_crazy26

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2015 is the relevant year IMO, because it was on the back of the Dangerfield factor that we made the decision to go all-in. At the time I admit to being on the fence about it, and felt we needed to show a bit more faith in our younger players. I worried that we were going the Brisbane route, of thinking that two stars (Brown and Black, Selwood and Dangerfield) were enough to justify a change in strategy.

In our defence, we probably didn't see the losses of Motlop and Caddy coming, as well as Vardy's and Stanley's sharp declines in 2016.
The club needs to look at why we are struggling to develop young players we get in the draft into A grade talent or even B grade talent which we have had too few of.

We do very well out of mature age recruits be it from the VFL or other clubs but were not developing enough young talent.

Injuries and late draft picks have played a role but a number of players just haven't gone on like we would of hoped.
 

iameviljez

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Guys if we can get Sav back in our team playing well, Dallhouse, Cockatoo (touch wood ) and do something about the ruck we have a much better side.
Every club has those "if" scenarios, and it's a lot to expect of a third-year key forward who has had promising moments, and an injury-struck highlights reel who goes missing most of the game. There's potential, but it is a LONG way from realised.
 

Partridge

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We have never 'topped up' in my opinion.

We traded (and traded well) for players in their prime to bolster our list holes and overall age profile.

We have been terrible at drafting 1st rounders anyway, so we have hardly "sold the farm."
There is no way Scott Selwood was in his prime. He was creaking badly and now he’s completely broken.

If we’re bad at drafting 1st rounders anyway, here’s an alternate idea - get better at it.
 

Vdubs

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There is no way Scott Selwood was in his prime. He was creaking badly and now he’s completely broken.

If we’re bad at drafting 1st rounders anyway, here’s an alternate idea - get better at it.
It's a retrospective analysis though.
Who would have predicted we're about to lose Thurlow for zilch- should have been a v good player
 

Partridge

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It's a retrospective analysis though.
Who would have predicted we're about to lose Thurlow for zilch- should have been a v good player
I did actually.

It was easy to predict. First round pick who had some injuries and wasn’t yet a star. Scott goes off them - Brown, Smedts, Lang - very quickly.

I’ll give you another one. Cockatoo will be next. Watch how fast this board goes quiet on him if he doesn’t produce early next year.
 

Vdubs

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I did actually.

It was easy to predict. First round pick who had some injuries and wasn’t yet a star. Scott goes off them - Brown, Smedts, Lang - very quickly.

I’ll give you another one. Cockatoo will be next. Watch how fast this board goes quiet on him if he doesn’t produce early next year.
No, I meant when we selected him.
You say get better at it; we can only judge many years later.
 

Gee Class Loco

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Gotta disagree... Quite happy with what we did and most likely will still be doing (Dahl & maybe KK).
Free Agency has changed the landscape 360degrees. Love it personally.
Work with some St.Kilda and Carlton fans and you'll understand their envy of the Cats last 4-5 seasons. Seriously winning is better than losing.
Alsot hink about this. Remember without Scarlett, Hawkins, G.Ablett & N.Ablett who were obtained with FS selections we would be without any AFL cups IMO, but we have 3 of them.
Sometimes you gotta thank Lady Luck and at other times you curse her Big Fat Arse.
It's football, a industry of sport where the final outcome isn't a given. It's not like running Apple Inc. or Microsoft.
Just a Footy Club, always was and always will be.
Cheers & Go CATTERS!!!
 

geelong_crazy26

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Every club has those "if" scenarios, and it's a lot to expect of a third-year key forward who has had promising moments, and an injury-struck highlights reel who goes missing most of the game. There's potential, but it is a LONG way from realised.
The simple reality is that in an 18 team comp the only way you can win a premiership is for those IF's to go right.

Mate a plan to take us to a premiership without a lot of luck does not exist, if it did the club we been using it.

Trust me it might be easy to look back in hindsight but as someone who started posting back in 2006 and has always been optimistic most posters including Geelong posters thought I was nuts going into 2007.

No I don't think were going to be that good with this group, I do still think with luck and I don't think what I am suggesting is beyond the realms of possibility we can win a flag.

No easy path exist to a premiership no matter what we do.
 

Strange Cat

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Guys if we can get Sav back in our team playing well, Dallhouse, Cockatoo (touch wood ) and do something about the ruck we have a much better side.
Doesn’t resolve the lazy players, poor skills and selfish players on the list

It will change nothing untill that is addressed and this leadership group is incapable of doing so
 

Whit3y

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We had to top up because we had a conga line of players drafted that didnt make the cut. And because of that we had to plug holes.

Comprised drafts really didnt help us, that 2012 and 13 draft looks sickening, along with consistent injuries to the same players

Why get Smith when we could have had Party Vardy or West. Mumford would have been handy. God bless hindsight

Why get a CHF in Stanley when we could have had Markologist Mitch Brown

Why get Henderson when we had Laidler, Hambling , Gillies, Drum.

Why Tuohy when we had the dashing Lang, or Cowan. Smedts or dazs mate Eardley

The list goes on, I'm sure there is more but you get my drift

At least a positive sign for wells is that the last two drafts at this stage look promising

Go catters
 
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iameviljez

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The simple reality is that in an 18 team comp the only way you can win a premiership is for those IF's to go right.
That is frankly not true. We've had a reasonable share of poor luck in our premiership years - from the best player in our history choosing to leave, to our number one ruckman spending almost the whole year in the treatment room, to our All-Australian CHB suffering a career-ending injury, to Menzel's knee, to Nathan Ablett's retirement. Injuries and the like *can* decide a flag - 1997 is the best example I can think of - but clubs don't need everything to go right to win one.
 
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