Strategy Trade and List management Thread Part 4 (opposition supporters - READ posting rules before posting)

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Martyn_30_

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Sep 14, 2007
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The reality it doesn’t matter where English sees himself, because right now I’m certain no club in the league would view him as their number one ruck.

It’s not as simple as English becoming more aggressive in the ruck ,which is actually a very difficult thing to change but it’s his complete lack of technical skill in the ruck contests. Which is quite bizarre given he’s skilful for someone of that height.


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DueWest

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Jul 31, 2021
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Gawn suffered three major knee injuries prior to fully breaking out, not really a fair comparison. In contrast, English has had a pretty easy run with injuries but has instead been held back solely by his lack of physical development.

A better comparison would be Grundy, who at 24, the same age English is now, was All Australian and won Collingwood’s B&F in a year where they made the grand final.
English did have a serious concussion this year and missed several games, about 4 or so from memory. It’s not a visible injury so everyone ignores it

He was in great form prior and average after, even though serviceable although he couldn’t compete as well in contests, wonder why ?

He will be ok long term
 

josh the gent

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Sep 25, 2008
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Has English even provably played better in games that he was a forward than in the ruck? I get that up forward a bad game is just disappearing rather than letting your opponent ruck dominate, and it's not as if English ever had a game where his direct opponent had 12 intercept possessions or whatever. But his very food games in the ruck are numerous, his very good games as a forward total one, the Ballarat v Brisbane game. He's arguably proven more effective inside 50 from the ruck pushing forward than starting out of there anyway.
He was 3rd tall forward / 2nd ruck to Stef in rounds 1-5 this season.

5 games and 9 goals.

Good for Tim, good for our structure.

It stretches oppo defences to have to cover the 3 big guys, and for Tim it means he’s fresher when he does go into the ruck.

I thought his forward craft was pretty good ever since i saw him in a fourth quarter vs Gold Coast in Ballarat in 2018 (maybe)…
 

Virgin Dog

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 29, 2017
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It’ll get wheeled out for sure… They always say it with this unsure pause, like they don’t realise the reason they’re saying it.
I remember seeing a highlight video of Nik Cox. Someone passed him the ball. He took a standard uncontested mark, turned around, and started running towards goal at the pace of about a jog in a straight line. Of course, they used the word "athleticism" at least twice during that segment. I think I've seen more athleticism from Mason Cox than I saw from Nik Cox in that play.

It's the go-to line for any commentator who has no ******* idea what's happening
 

gangsta deluxe

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Rajasthan Royals!!!
I remember seeing a highlight video of Nik Cox. Someone passed him the ball. He took a standard uncontested mark, turned around, and started running towards goal at the pace of about a jog in a straight line. Of course, they used the word "athleticism" at least twice during that segment. I think I've seen more athleticism from Mason Cox than I saw from Nik Cox in that play.

It's the go-to line for any commentator who has no ******* idea what's happening
It’s also a descriptor far more likely to be applied to players who are Aboriginal or have a Sudanese family background, which I think Scrag was referencing. Most often without good reason and when it isn’t relevant or doesn’t apply to them (clearly it may apply to Leek given the score he’s just achieved in the combine).
 

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perro_loco

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Looking at Sweets stats again from his games it’s not the worst reading - I might watch a couple back when I get a chance.

Will be 24 early next season and he’s already a huge unit. It’s literally all about getting that tank up this preseason, just ground coverage that’s all that needs to improve for him to be an adequate option IMO. My idea would be a pretty even 60/40 split with Timmy, Sweet aiming for around 80% game time each week with 20% forward. He can be a target down there he’s actually quite smart at VFL level, just bring the ball to ground and he’s a good kick usually. That should keep him fresh enough to cover the ground for his time in ruck. His clearance and tackle numbers are actually really good and he won’t get dominated in the hitouts by most ruckmen again it’s just about him getting to contests.

40/60 is perfect for Tim, we don’t want him sitting deep forward all game playing a key position post. He does his best work getting around the ground and then pushing deep hard to get a mismatch. Plus his work up the ground is elite for a tall utility. With Sweet taking the brunt of the ruck that should allow Timmy to chop out, especially later in games and be a real weapon with his height and skills when he gets going he hits some really nice hits to advantage but just gets bullied if asked to carry all the grunt work.

Both 24 so no excuses for either, it’s a good mix. Sweet with game time will really come into his own imo.

Still want another back up though.
Everybody here is talking about Street and rucks in general need to get their tank up. But how is it done in AFL terms? Any one know. what type of training do they do? is it just running and running like in the old days. dumb question from me for the cognoscenti, but I am really interested. Happy to learn if anyone knows and is serious to share their knowledge. GO DOGS!!!
 

weltschmerz

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May 23, 2019
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I'm in a phantom draft and managed the ideal situation of getting Toby Conway, thanks to a pick trade with St Kilda that included our late picks and downgrading our future second to their future third. Darcy slid to fourth which is unlikely in the real world, but hell yeah, good scenario.
 

perro_loco

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Man it’s really not hard haha. I said I don’t want English rucking with Schache 2nd ruck, you said that’s pointless because it won’t happen. You then said English is our locked in first ruck. So either English is our first ruck with Schache back up/forward, English is our first ruck with Sweet back up/forward (no chance of happening) or Sweet first ruck with English back up

Which way are you claiming I’m really not sure
Hey guys, can we please leave Schache out of this conversation. He is 70% likely to be a defender and the rest a forward. Ruck, maybe on the odd occasion. he is not a ruck.
 

perro_loco

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I wasn't enamoured by Ceglar but the Bulldogs were interested in him months ago and the Hawks were going to pay the bulk of his salary.
He may be the player Bevo referred to as the reason we'd look "substantially different" next year.
We did sound out Ladhams too but we pulled our interest pretty quickly.

I liked Max Lynch but clearly the club were chasing a more experienced ruckman. When that chase fell through we decided to re-sign Stef and extended the Sweet offer from 1 to 2 years. Both signings (Stef late, Sweet initially being offered one year) are hardly ringing endorsements by the club and indicate we did want extra ruck support.
we'd look "substantially different" then can we suspect that there is another ruckman from the Vfl or some other league, or even delisted player coming in?
 

perro_loco

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Munnez

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we'd look "substantially different" then can we suspect that there is another ruckman from the Vfl or some other league, or even delisted player coming in?
At this point I would think it is unlikely, may bring in a developing or depth option nothing that is really going to improve our Ruck division substantially. Seems like we were lining up a deal with a ruck throughout the year but the deal fell apart for whatever reason.
So I can't see us now acquiring a ruck in this off season that makes us much better
Hope we bring in a developing Ruck as at least a little insurance in case of injuries
 

RedWhite&Blue

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If English wants to be the number one ruck then that’s completely fine with me. It’s his last chance though, if he can’t hold down ruck contests adequately next year then that ship has sailed.

He’s been the number one ruck in most games he’s played for 3 seasons now, he’ll be nearly 25 and his weight is a complete non issue these days.

If we decide to play him as the number one, the bigger issue is who backs him up. Naughton, JUH & Schache should all not spend any time at centre bounces for a variety of reasons and there’s no clear option until Bruce is back.
This article on English is an interesting read. Maybe our perception of big Chilli is not correct…
WE NEED TO CHANGE HOW WE THINK ABOUT TIM ENGLISH
BY NATHAN JOHN 19 HOURS AGO

The “ruck merry-go-round” became the calling card of the player exchange period, with six of the seven ruckmen to pursue a move finding new homes.
Mabior Chol, Callum Coleman-Jones, Darcy Fort, Jonathon Ceglar, Max Lynch and Peter Ladhams will each wear new colours next season.


It was speculated that the Western Bulldogs would be in the market, but the vanquished Grand Finalists did not put their hands up.
After list manager Sam Power lured experienced Hawthorn tall Tim O’Brien to Whitten Oval, with coach Luke Beveridge promising minutes behind the ball, the Dogs were done.
Power fended off interest from West Coast to pin down rookie ruckman Jordon Sweet until 2023, while Channel Seven’s Mitch Cleary has reported 34-year-old Stefan Martin will go around again.
This inaction has almost certainly consigned the Dogs to another season of having each loss explained away by relative inexperience in the ruck.
Tim English will likely reprise his role as the lightning rod, having been appraised as timid and too skinny to take the top ruck mantle permanently.
It is a narrative worthy of closer examination.
How was English deployed over the course of the season just past?
Late in the home-and-away season and early in the finals, Beveridge put English in the forward line and selected fringe tall Lewis Young to take the ruck contests.
It is said this illustrates a lack of trust in English, but the truth is that the 24-year-old was on ruck duties for three months, up until Josh Bruce ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.
From Rounds 12 to 21, English averaged 23.2 hitouts, 4.2 marks and booted six goals, matching established players such as Sean Darcy, Nic Naitanui and Reilly O’Brien.
In the semi-final against Brisbane he went into the ruck where Oscar McInerney was all over Young, and in blunting 'the Big O' he changed the course of the game.
Even having spent more than half the season in the forward line, English recorded the second-most hitouts in a season of his AFL career to go with his 19 goals.
Would any of the ruckmen on the market have brought more to the team than English?
Difficult to shift, Ceglar recorded 20.9 hitouts, four clearances and two inside 50s per game, reflective of both his physicality and position as a permanent ruck.
The 30-year-old can jam up a stoppage and offer an aerial contest, but he isn’t going to move the needle against elite, experienced players.
Sydney recruit Ladhams averaged fewer hitouts, marks, tackles and intercepts than English in the same role, having lined up forward and gone into the centre when Scott Lycett needed a breather.
Chol for the most part offered mobility after the contest, Fort has had few senior opportunities while Coleman-Jones and Lynch are largely untested.
If the Dogs wanted to lure a contracted ruckman, they would have had to part with draft assets needed to secure Sam Darcy, and money needed to re-sign a handful of stars next season.
How has English improved as a ruckman year-on-year?
The West Australian made just nine appearances in his first two seasons, swaddled in cotton wool as Jordan Roughead and Jackson Trengove went through the centre.
Handed the keys in his third season, English improved to average 19.1 hitouts, 2.2 inside 50s and 2.1 clearances, lowering his colours only to Max Gawn, Brodie Grundy and Todd Goldstein.
In 2020 he was more competitive in the air around the ground, and honed a harder edge with contested possession, stoppage clearance and intercept numbers up.
The arc of his progression has been obfuscated by the recruitment of Martin, and the taste Beveridge has developed for his height and strong hands in the forward line.
To extrapolate from his spell as a permanent ruck in the middle of the season, it is clear English is bearing the fruits of having tapped into the former Lion’s experience and craft.
Is English going to be the same player as the Dogs continue to challenge?
At the same age, Melbourne premiership captain Max Gawn had played 39 games and booted 18 goals; English has played 69 matches and snagged 36 goals.
As a simple measure of competitiveness, Gawn registered 485 hitouts in 13 games in 2015; English recorded 341 in nine games as an out-and-out ruckman in 2021.
This isn’t to say he’ll get to that level - Gawn will be remembered as one of the greatest ruckmen of all time - but experience adds up.
Where other exponents of the craft have had their reputations and projections protected by a long apprenticeship in the twos, English has served his at the top level.
He’s going to get better, again.
Have the Bulldogs’ fortunes turned on the centre bounce?
It is indisputable that Luke Beveridge has been tactically frustrated by the reality the Dogs’ ruck division so far hasn’t been on the same timeline as their vaunted midfield.
The premiership coach has spoken of doing “different things to try and get an edge,” often giving up on and “risk-managing” hitouts when up against the best ruckmen in the competition.
The angle has been inflamed by what could be interpreted as Beveridge's disdain for the position, having sent midfielders into the ruck throughout his tenure.
From defender Brett Goodes contesting centre bounces against Fremantle giant Aaron Sandilands in 2015 to Lin Jong and Josh Dunkley rucking around the ground in more recent times, he has been willing to dispense with the role.
If Beveridge could pick a dominant tall and let the players focus on their strengths rather than mitigating opposition hitouts to advantage, it would afford the Dogs a greater degree of control.
However, they were able to risk-manage - or indeed risk - their way to a 19-point lead in the third quarter of a Grand Final.
Irrespective of Stefan Martin’s fitness for purpose, or the progression of English and Sweet, there are perhaps more pertinent questions of the Dogs’ midfield than whether they control the ruck.
How the players were arranged, combinations of strength, acceleration and defensive intent, and on-field leadership all factored into the Grand Final outcome as much or more than the taps.
So, what does this mean?
We need to recalibrate our perspective of Tim English, basically.
It can be contended that he isn’t as far along as the Dogs need him to be, but his evolution and contribution has been measured against those circumstances, unfairly so.
Similarly, his gentle character and softly-spoken nature has been projected onto his game.
He has been an important piece in a finals team for three seasons now, progressed in multiple roles while building out his body, and is still young for a player of his height.
As for the Dogs, there is work to do, but no personnel change short of adding a Gawn or a Brodie Grundy is going to be as transformative as has been speculated.
 

Bulldog in Kiev

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Watched Leek Alwer in about his 5th SANFL game, very impressive intercept marker who grabbed everything. Hate to say it, but Aliir Aliir is a pretty good comparison in playing style. Would be a good get but doubt we have any picks to do so.
 

Optimistic Dog

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Oct 11, 2014
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This article on English is an interesting read. Maybe our perception of big Chilli is not correct…
WE NEED TO CHANGE HOW WE THINK ABOUT TIM ENGLISH
BY NATHAN JOHN 19 HOURS AGO

The “ruck merry-go-round” became the calling card of the player exchange period, with six of the seven ruckmen to pursue a move finding new homes.
Mabior Chol, Callum Coleman-Jones, Darcy Fort, Jonathon Ceglar, Max Lynch and Peter Ladhams will each wear new colours next season.


It was speculated that the Western Bulldogs would be in the market, but the vanquished Grand Finalists did not put their hands up.
After list manager Sam Power lured experienced Hawthorn tall Tim O’Brien to Whitten Oval, with coach Luke Beveridge promising minutes behind the ball, the Dogs were done.
Power fended off interest from West Coast to pin down rookie ruckman Jordon Sweet until 2023, while Channel Seven’s Mitch Cleary has reported 34-year-old Stefan Martin will go around again.
This inaction has almost certainly consigned the Dogs to another season of having each loss explained away by relative inexperience in the ruck.
Tim English will likely reprise his role as the lightning rod, having been appraised as timid and too skinny to take the top ruck mantle permanently.
It is a narrative worthy of closer examination.
How was English deployed over the course of the season just past?
Late in the home-and-away season and early in the finals, Beveridge put English in the forward line and selected fringe tall Lewis Young to take the ruck contests.
It is said this illustrates a lack of trust in English, but the truth is that the 24-year-old was on ruck duties for three months, up until Josh Bruce ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament.
From Rounds 12 to 21, English averaged 23.2 hitouts, 4.2 marks and booted six goals, matching established players such as Sean Darcy, Nic Naitanui and Reilly O’Brien.
In the semi-final against Brisbane he went into the ruck where Oscar McInerney was all over Young, and in blunting 'the Big O' he changed the course of the game.
Even having spent more than half the season in the forward line, English recorded the second-most hitouts in a season of his AFL career to go with his 19 goals.
Would any of the ruckmen on the market have brought more to the team than English?
Difficult to shift, Ceglar recorded 20.9 hitouts, four clearances and two inside 50s per game, reflective of both his physicality and position as a permanent ruck.
The 30-year-old can jam up a stoppage and offer an aerial contest, but he isn’t going to move the needle against elite, experienced players.
Sydney recruit Ladhams averaged fewer hitouts, marks, tackles and intercepts than English in the same role, having lined up forward and gone into the centre when Scott Lycett needed a breather.
Chol for the most part offered mobility after the contest, Fort has had few senior opportunities while Coleman-Jones and Lynch are largely untested.
If the Dogs wanted to lure a contracted ruckman, they would have had to part with draft assets needed to secure Sam Darcy, and money needed to re-sign a handful of stars next season.
How has English improved as a ruckman year-on-year?
The West Australian made just nine appearances in his first two seasons, swaddled in cotton wool as Jordan Roughead and Jackson Trengove went through the centre.
Handed the keys in his third season, English improved to average 19.1 hitouts, 2.2 inside 50s and 2.1 clearances, lowering his colours only to Max Gawn, Brodie Grundy and Todd Goldstein.
In 2020 he was more competitive in the air around the ground, and honed a harder edge with contested possession, stoppage clearance and intercept numbers up.
The arc of his progression has been obfuscated by the recruitment of Martin, and the taste Beveridge has developed for his height and strong hands in the forward line.
To extrapolate from his spell as a permanent ruck in the middle of the season, it is clear English is bearing the fruits of having tapped into the former Lion’s experience and craft.
Is English going to be the same player as the Dogs continue to challenge?
At the same age, Melbourne premiership captain Max Gawn had played 39 games and booted 18 goals; English has played 69 matches and snagged 36 goals.
As a simple measure of competitiveness, Gawn registered 485 hitouts in 13 games in 2015; English recorded 341 in nine games as an out-and-out ruckman in 2021.
This isn’t to say he’ll get to that level - Gawn will be remembered as one of the greatest ruckmen of all time - but experience adds up.
Where other exponents of the craft have had their reputations and projections protected by a long apprenticeship in the twos, English has served his at the top level.
He’s going to get better, again.
Have the Bulldogs’ fortunes turned on the centre bounce?
It is indisputable that Luke Beveridge has been tactically frustrated by the reality the Dogs’ ruck division so far hasn’t been on the same timeline as their vaunted midfield.
The premiership coach has spoken of doing “different things to try and get an edge,” often giving up on and “risk-managing” hitouts when up against the best ruckmen in the competition.
The angle has been inflamed by what could be interpreted as Beveridge's disdain for the position, having sent midfielders into the ruck throughout his tenure.
From defender Brett Goodes contesting centre bounces against Fremantle giant Aaron Sandilands in 2015 to Lin Jong and Josh Dunkley rucking around the ground in more recent times, he has been willing to dispense with the role.
If Beveridge could pick a dominant tall and let the players focus on their strengths rather than mitigating opposition hitouts to advantage, it would afford the Dogs a greater degree of control.
However, they were able to risk-manage - or indeed risk - their way to a 19-point lead in the third quarter of a Grand Final.
Irrespective of Stefan Martin’s fitness for purpose, or the progression of English and Sweet, there are perhaps more pertinent questions of the Dogs’ midfield than whether they control the ruck.
How the players were arranged, combinations of strength, acceleration and defensive intent, and on-field leadership all factored into the Grand Final outcome as much or more than the taps.
So, what does this mean?
We need to recalibrate our perspective of Tim English, basically.
It can be contended that he isn’t as far along as the Dogs need him to be, but his evolution and contribution has been measured against those circumstances, unfairly so.
Similarly, his gentle character and softly-spoken nature has been projected onto his game.
He has been an important piece in a finals team for three seasons now, progressed in multiple roles while building out his body, and is still young for a player of his height.
As for the Dogs, there is work to do, but no personnel change short of adding a Gawn or a Brodie Grundy is going to be as transformative as has been speculated.
A bit off the topic.

There was a fool proof way we could have stopped the Dees centre bounce dominance and running it out unopposed in the GF in the second half. The Dees still get first possession but it is from a stop play with us having a defensive wing set up to assist our defence and negate the 6 v6 forward structure.

So what is the tactic. You have one of our players deliberately enter the centre square before the ball is bounced. The umps must pay a free kick to the Dees ruckman and because we know exactly what will happened we could set up our defence accordingly. Under the current rules there is nothing that can be done to stop this tactic. The AFL would need to change the rule to award a free kick in front of goal if you have been deemed to deliberately enter the centre square.
 
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