What are the question marks over your team in 2022?

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Toump Ass

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Jun 14, 2015
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You had a very good run

The Dogs lost Dunkley and Treloar (who hasn't played a full season for a few years now) during the season, but they were both fine for the grand final. If you say Melbourne had a very good run because their best midfielders were still available, than I'd say that likewise the Dogs had a very good run because McRae and Bontompolli both played every game.
 

Obeanie1

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The Dogs lost Dunkley and Treloar (who hasn't played a full season for a few years now) during the season, but they were both fine for the grand final. If you say Melbourne had a very good run because their best midfielders were still available, than I'd say that likewise the Dogs had a very good run because McRae and Bontompolli both played every game.

Just bank and enjoy the flag and stop being idiots.

You don't want to evolve into Richmond flogs who spent 4 years beating their chests telling everyone how good they think they are.

Dogs lost more key players. Bruce was a big one and Martin played finals underdone returning from injury. He battled but wasn't match fit.
 

weltschmerz

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2019
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  • With Bruce out, is Naughton ready to be our number one key forward? And can JUH be our second tall?
  • Will Stef Martin stay fit? If not, can Jordon Sweet be an AFL-standard ruck throughout the season?
  • Will Ryan Gardner step up and make the CHB role his own?

If those things can happen, we can win a flag.
 

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CarnTheScray

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 4, 2019
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My big question is that can we maintain consistency against the top team?

We were one of the best against the top 4 and 8, was that fluke? Were teams not ready for us? Are we really that good when we have hunger?

First four weeks will reveal if we are pretenders.
I will be surprised if Sydney’s record last season was a fluke. Very good side with a coach I rate highly at the top. Can’t see them not making the top 4-6.
 

aussierulesrules

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I will be surprised if Sydney’s record last season was a fluke. Very good side with a coach I rate highly at the top. Can’t see them not making the top 4-6.
Losing Dawson and Hewitt won’t help and then you’ve got Kennedy turning 34yo in a few months, while Buddy is now 35. If he has another good year then they ought to be good again, but if he’s back to being injury-riddled it will make it much much harder for them.

Also got to wonder if Hickey (about to turn 31yo) was a “one season wonder”, or if he’ll back it up.

Some genuine question marks there IMO. So much rests with Buddy’s availability.
 

Blackhawk42

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I will be surprised if Sydney’s record last season was a fluke. Very good side with a coach I rate highly at the top. Can’t see them not making the top 4-6.

I feel they overachieved in 2021. Some great looking young players and veterans still playing excellent footy. But can that balance be sustained again with Dawson and Hewitt gone and the veterans a year older?

If all goes well I think they'll have a similar season to 2021. Have them finishing anywhere from 6th to 11th. May be reliant on some kids having out of the box seasons or the likes of Campbell and Stephens really cementing their spots.
 

Noidnadroj

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Dec 8, 2020
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The Dogs lost Dunkley and Treloar (who hasn't played a full season for a few years now) during the season, but they were both fine for the grand final. If you say Melbourne had a very good run because their best midfielders were still available, than I'd say that likewise the Dogs had a very good run because McRae and Bontompolli both played every game.

I’ll simplify this as we can all quibble about so and so missed a few games and such and such is important to team structure and he missed games etc…

Gawn, Petracca and Oliver are clearly Melbourne’s 3 best players. No dispute. No argument. They played 75 of 75 games.

Their next best players are Steven May and Jake Lever who missed 2 games.

So that’s 123/125 from their 5 best players.

Squabble all you like about the rest of the team, but that’s an amazing injury run to start a flag quest, and if replicated they’ll probably win it again.



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Toump Ass

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Gawn, Petracca and Oliver are clearly Melbourne’s 3 best players. No dispute. No argument. They played 75 of 75 games.

Their next best players are Steven May and Jake Lever who missed 2 games.

So that’s 123/125 from their 5 best players.

See I really don't think that is amazing. No one says the Dogs injury run was "amazing" and they had McRae, Bontempelli, Caleb Daniel, Bailey Dale, Liberatore, Hunter, Naughton, Bailey Smith miss a combined 4 games only. That's a lot of their best players being available for the whole season too.

(And FYI Stevie May was subbed out of two games and played with a broken leg in the grand final :thumbsupemoji:)
 

weltschmerz

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2019
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See I really don't think that is amazing. No one says the Dogs injury run was "amazing" and they had McRae, Bontempelli, Caleb Daniel, Bailey Dale, Liberatore, Hunter, Naughton, Bailey Smith miss a combined 4 games only. That's a lot of their best players being available for the whole season too.

(And FYI Stevie May was subbed out of two games and played with a broken leg in the grand final :thumbsupemoji:)

Obviously your boys outplayed ours when it mattered most.

Our biggest out was a major structural player in Josh Bruce. He's our forward line leader and spearhead, and the whole forward line needed to be restructured around the very young Naughton.
 

Toump Ass

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Obviously your boys outplayed ours when it mattered most.

Our biggest out was a major structural player in Josh Bruce. He's our forward line leader and spearhead, and the whole forward line needed to be restructured around the very young Naughton.

Yup, huge loss. Took a few weeks to figure out your attack and missed Top 4 in the process, made your finals run harder and the rest is history.

I do wonder if things would be different if you didn't have Jamarra guaranteed. The Treloar trade struck me as pretty odd, Adam's a champion but your midfield is and was stacked with talent already. Not sure why your club didn't chase a (younger) ruck or a forward.
 

Trav 20

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I’ll simplify this as we can all quibble about so and so missed a few games and such and such is important to team structure and he missed games etc…

Gawn, Petracca and Oliver are clearly Melbourne’s 3 best players. No dispute. No argument. They played 75 of 75 games.

Their next best players are Steven May and Jake Lever who missed 2 games.

So that’s 123/125 from their 5 best players.

Squabble all you like about the rest of the team, but that’s an amazing injury run to start a flag quest, and if replicated they’ll probably win it again.



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It's the best injury run I've seen in my time supporting Melbourne.

That said, Petracca has missed one game in 5 years and Oliver has missed zero games in 5 years. They've missed one game between them in 5 years.

It may not continue, but they're very durable.

But Bontempelli and Macrae have only missed 5 games between them in 5 years. Not too shabby either.

So we had a great injury run, but more-so, the penny finally dropped for the club as a whole.
 

weltschmerz

Norm Smith Medallist
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Yup, huge loss. Took a few weeks to figure out your attack and missed Top 4 in the process, made your finals run harder and the rest is history.

I do wonder if things would be different if you didn't have Jamarra guaranteed. The Treloar trade struck me as pretty odd, Adam's a champion but your midfield is and was stacked with talent already. Not sure why your club didn't chase a (younger) ruck or a forward.

God, we've been wondering the same. Though our forward structure is in decent shape, even without Bruce - a Naughton, English, JUH tall forward line can be pretty potent, the penny dropped for Weightman, and Smith is very good off a half forward flank. It's a KPD and ruck we really need. Word is we were chasing Soldo in the last trade period, and didn't seem to have a plan B when he re-signed with Richmond.

Bevo doesn't rate the ruck role. For him to consider a ruck worth playing, he has to effectively be an extra midfielder. We have a quite capable ruckman on the list in Jordon Sweet, but he doesn't have a second role.
 

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weltschmerz

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If Darcy settles into the forward line, maybe next year, I wouldn't mind seeing English try out a role as an intercepting key defender. One of the few tall enough to mark over a King-sized key forward, and when he's on he's got hands like magnets. He was having a very good year in the forward line actually, but then he copped the Knee Of Naughton and was out with concussion for four weeks. Hasn't been the same since.
 

Toump Ass

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Though our forward structure is in decent shape, even without Bruce - a Naughton, English, JUH tall forward line can be pretty potent, the penny dropped for Weightman, and Smith is very good off a half forward flank.
Yeah absolutely. Bont's deadly around forward 50 stoppages as well. It's a pretty young forward line though and as you pointed out, losing Bruce messed with your structures. It's an area I thought was an issue at the end of 2020, especially given Bruce hadn't had a great debut season with the Dogs. From an outsider I'd imagine there's a lot of pressure on JUH this year.

You're right though, an elite key defender would be pretty handy.
 

Noidnadroj

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See I really don't think that is amazing. No one says the Dogs injury run was "amazing" and they had McRae, Bontempelli, Caleb Daniel, Bailey Dale, Liberatore, Hunter, Naughton, Bailey Smith miss a combined 4 games only. That's a lot of their best players being available for the whole season too.

(And FYI Stevie May was subbed out of two games and played with a broken leg in the grand final :thumbsupemoji:)

Yeah, Dogs had a great run with injury also … and they made the GF!! Seeing any pattern yet Toump ?


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KickLongTackleHard

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It's the best injury run I've seen in my time supporting Melbourne.

That said, Petracca has missed one game in 5 years and Oliver has missed zero games in 5 years. They've missed one game between them in 5 years.

It may not continue, but they're very durable.

But Bontempelli and Macrae have only missed 5 games between them in 5 years. Not too shabby either.

So we had a great injury run, but more-so, the penny finally dropped for the club as a whole.
Also it’s no coincidence that it coincides with heavy investment in sports performance, getting Burgo, the best in the business and in the medical team just as the young list is hitting its prime. And yep, best team football we’ve played.
 

master bate

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If Darcy settles into the forward line, maybe next year, I wouldn't mind seeing English try out a role as an intercepting key defender. One of the few tall enough to mark over a King-sized key forward, and when he's on he's got hands like magnets. He was having a very good year in the forward line actually, but then he copped the Knee Of Naughton and was out with concussion for four weeks. Hasn't been the same since.
I've thought about that for him, but I wonder if it's bit like when McEvoy did it at the Hawks. Playing as a ruck dropping back to intercept mark is a lot easier than being responsible for an opponent and doing it. He was excellent forward early in the year. Forward with some bursts in the ruck is his best role IMO.
 

master bate

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  • With Bruce out, is Naughton ready to be our number one key forward? And can JUH be our second tall?
  • Will Stef Martin stay fit? If not, can Jordon Sweet be an AFL-standard ruck throughout the season?
  • Will Ryan Gardner step up and make the CHB role his own?

If those things can happen, we can win a flag.
Aside from personnel I think it's worth asking if the Dogs can win it all with such an aggressive front position zoning backline. It helps in a lot of ways but it also means the defenders need elite midfield pressure and have to read the play perfectly to stay a step ahead of it. The Demons centre clearance smashing is unlikely to ever happen again but Fritsch and Brown manipulating defenders taking aggressive positions is more likely to keep happening.

Caleb Daniel ends up with a billion possessions (which is clearly good) and gets to share the ball around with the mids to counter attack, but there's a fair price to pay for that.

Bevo's zone was vital to the Hawks and the Dogs 2016 flag, but Richmond kept at least Rance and then Grimes deep out the back and Melbourne often did the same with May. The strategy the Dees had was to zone with half backs and then drop with deeper backs and if teams got the ball 55-70 out from goal at times we could live with that because at least they weren't getting space inside 50. Unless the player 60 or so out makes the perfect kick we can then get back and clog the back 50.

Might be time that Bevo updates the game plan.
 

master bate

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Losing Dawson and Hewitt won’t help and then you’ve got Kennedy turning 34yo in a few months, while Buddy is now 35. If he has another good year then they ought to be good again, but if he’s back to being injury-riddled it will make it much much harder for them.

Also got to wonder if Hickey (about to turn 31yo) was a “one season wonder”, or if he’ll back it up.

Some genuine question marks there IMO. So much rests with Buddy’s availability.
They paid a decent price but getting Ladhams to counter act any Hickey injury or decline was smart.

Kennedy started playing more on the wing and Hewett played mostly at half back. The Swans transitioned to a younger quicker midfield and reaped the reward.

Parker, Mills, Heeney (surely), Florent, Warner, Rowbottom, Stephens, Gulden, McInerney and every chance one of Roberts or Sheldrick jumps up early has the Swans well stocked for mids.

The talls are the worry. How they manage Buddy and McDonald and if they can play in the same side is a big question. And down back they'd love Rampe to have the freedom to be the 3rd tall option and McCartin to intercept more. Barrass won't be the last tall defender they have a crack at getting.
 

weltschmerz

Norm Smith Medallist
May 23, 2019
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Might be time that Bevo updates the game plan.

He's a stubborn man, but a lot of us are hopeful about Marc Webb as our new mids coach, he seems to really get that we need to step our defensive game out of the midfield.
 

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