What carries the greater weight in selection - structure or personnel?

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May 24, 2006
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Having a look at the two ends of the ground and we appear a bit top heavy up front and a bit small down back. I'm sure the club is aware of this.

Are we making a personnel based decision?

Forward line

Walker - leader, when fit clearly our best forward. Must play.
Himmelberg/Frampton - we need someone to compete under a high ball who can bring it to ground. Also need someone to back up ROB. Must play.
Thilthorpe - Pick 2, we're rebuilding, already showing signs. Must play.
Fogarty - early pick, we're rebuilding, in his make or break 4th season. Now or never. Must play.

We don't want any of the guys listed above not to play so find a way to fit them all in. Then design the structure around that. Maybe TOG drops into the low 70% for these guys, Fog can play some midfield minutes, Riley can start up on the wing at times.

It's much easier to leave out one of the younger small forwards or half forward/mids even if in an ideal world our structure was faster and more mobile.

So we're compromising our structure to do what is best in terms of achieving our personnel goals.

Back line

Jordon Butts, our one true tall. Doedee being asked to play taller. Smaller/medium players around them.

We could go taller if we wanted to. Murray, McAsey and Worrell are all sitting outside the team.

Is it difficult though for us to justify dropping Jake Kelly who is probably playing the best football of his career, has banked several years of experience, high work ethic, courage etc. Is it easier for us to leave Murray, McAsey and Worrell out of the team as they are young, have done less, don't have the runs on the board?

We can justify picking Kelly over Murray even though it leaves us a bit short. So we're compromising our structure to do what is best in terms of personnel. We're picking the most deserving players and then designing the structure around that.

Questions
Do you agree with the above - that we're picking the players first then designing a structure around that?

If so do you think it's the right way to go?

Is this approach specific to this season given that we're not gunning for finals so if we drop a game by having an unbalanced structure who cares?
 

Slippery Pete

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Great thread.

Remember the Chicago Bulls under Doug Collins? It was all about Michael Jordan. Get Michael the ball at all costs. Michael. Michael. Michael.

Teams structured their defence purely around Jordan, because if you could stop him, you could beat the Bulls.

Then Phil Jackson came in, with the triangle offence. Michael, we’re gonna use you less, not more. We’re gonna bring other players into the game. You’re still gonna be a star, but you’re not going to be our only offensive option.

I don’t know if this answers any of the questions, I’m still on my first coffee.

But it does show that any successful team requires a blend of system/structure and personnel, one without the other is an incomplete equation.
 

Carmo

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Form and performance in the role is one more major factor at least. Does the coaching team think that Worrell, Murray and McAsey represent too much of a drop in performance at the level that they aren't willing to play them instead of Doedee or Kelly?

Then blocks of games for people who come in is another factor, think Frampton earlier, Himmelberg and Thilthorpe now.
 

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May 24, 2006
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Form and performance in the role is one more major factor at least. Does the coaching team think that Worrell, Murray and McAsey represent too much of a drop in performance at the level that they aren't willing to play them instead of Doedee or Kelly?

Then blocks of games for people who come in is another factor, think Frampton earlier, Himmelberg and Thilthorpe now.
Those are personnel based factors
 

Anzacpaul

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The problem is trying to shoehorn them all into the same side, instead of doing what they should be doing - rotating in and out of main squad.

This is causing structural issues.

Ie: When Fog comes in to play forward, Tex gets a rest. When TT comes in, Frampton or Berg out. Don't squeeze them all into the same side.
 

rocket18

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Having a look at the two ends of the ground and we appear a bit top heavy up front and a bit small down back. I'm sure the club is aware of this.

Are we making a personnel based decision?

Forward line

Walker - leader, when fit clearly our best forward. Must play.
Himmelberg/Frampton - we need someone to compete under a high ball who can bring it to ground. Also need someone to back up ROB. Must play.
Thilthorpe - Pick 2, we're rebuilding, already showing signs. Must play.
Fogarty - early pick, we're rebuilding, in his make or break 4th season. Now or never. Must play.

We don't want any of the guys listed above not to play so find a way to fit them all in. Then design the structure around that. Maybe TOG drops into the low 70% for these guys, Fog can play some midfield minutes, Riley can start up on the wing at times.

It's much easier to leave out one of the younger small forwards or half forward/mids even if in an ideal world our structure was faster and more mobile.

So we're compromising our structure to do what is best in terms of achieving our personnel goals.

Back line

Jordon Butts, our one true tall. Doedee being asked to play taller. Smaller/medium players around them.

We could go taller if we wanted to. Murray, McAsey and Worrell are all sitting outside the team.

Is it difficult though for us to justify dropping Jake Kelly who is probably playing the best football of his career, has banked several years of experience, high work ethic, courage etc. Is it easier for us to leave Murray, McAsey and Worrell out of the team as they are young, have done less, don't have the runs on the board?

We can justify picking Kelly over Murray even though it leaves us a bit short. So we're compromising our structure to do what is best in terms of personnel. We're picking the most deserving players and then designing the structure around that.

Questions
Do you agree with the above - that we're picking the players first then designing a structure around that?

If so do you think it's the right way to go?

Is this approach specific to this season given that we're not gunning for finals so if we drop a game by having an unbalanced structure who cares?
Big call, I wouldn't assume a thing with this lot.

Most of us can see the backline is very poorly setup, you don't sacrifice a second tall for someone of Kellys ability. He has been solid but is not a star in that position - not having a second tall is not offset by Kellys "class".

RT should play most of the game as the high half forward/wing/connector similar to how Lynch plays.

Waste of his skill set with how we deliver into our f50. Carey, Lockett and Dunstall would be hard pressed to take a mark in our f50 with our long, high bombs into the forward line, gives the defenders ample time to work together to block/screen etc.

As you say rotate them through the bench, Fog some time in the guts, Berg some time in the ruck. It can be done but I have doubts on our tactical nous.
 

jenny61_99

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Obviously, if you have a set structure, you would think you'd want the right people in the right positions to accomplish that. Injuries (will and have) played havoc with that approach. I would think that looking at the opposition structure and team set up should have a significant impact on selection, but I know under Pyke (and Craig), they believed that you didn't worry about the opposition, rather you believe in the system. If people play to the system/plan/structure, we don't need to worry about the opposition. I'm not sure where Nicks sits with this yet. I do think playing injured players (no matter who) is a rooky mistake.
 

Geoffa32

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I think at the moment it is personnel over structure.

There is no way going firward we have the forward structure we are carrying now.

Too tall.

But we need Fog, TT and even Hberg to get experience. You could say Tex should not play, but he is providing cover for the younger guys.


Backline I am unsure. And concerned Nicks likes a shorter unit. Like Port. The problem is against good teams this gets found out.

We are yet to play Worrell and McAsey this year. I hope it is more a case of both needing more SANFL time rather than a structure where Nicks sees Doedee as the 2nd KPD.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 

Sanders

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You can’t have too predominant a bias towards one or the other with a rookie coach and such a young, inexperienced list. It must be a hybrid of both, and it is

what isn’t clear is in time, which way will it break - the structure towards playing stocks, or the list towards structure

I’m not even sure Nicks knows which way he wants it to go. He doesn’t strike me as single minded or dogmatic enough to be so clear this far away
 

moogerfooger

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Richmond under Hardwick is a great example of structure over personnel. One soldier down, another comes in. Obviously the soldiers need to know what their role is and first and second year players haven't learned those nuances, hence their struggles now their shallower depth is being exposed. Prioritizing structure over personnel is an easier choice when you happen to have the greatest player in living memory on your side.

It's the main reason we underestimated them on GF day in 2017. On the surface they looked like team full of duds with three or four elite players. In reality they had a swarm of role players who executed close to perfection. A bit like us in 97/98.
 

1970crow

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It's very obviously personnel. We have a fair weighting towards experience and continuity. This results in personnel above structure. For example, when Talia is fit, we'll go back to playing 2 KPDs. It won't have anything to do with structure or our opponents, it will be that Butts has ascended to best 22 status and Talia is obviously that as well. People can laugh at Vader all they like, but he has gotten one thing right, we do have a hierarchy. We basically decide who's best 22 at the start of the year and pour all our effort and patience into getting those guys up and running and getting their continuity credits up. Then there's a few players on the cusp that are in and out quickly dependent on form. If you're an experienced player in the first group it is very difficult to find your way out of it but if you do, it's easy to find your way back in. Just add a bit of pressure ie staying in the 8 or staring at losing runs. Sauce, Dougie, Mackay all recent examples.
 

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Taylor

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You plan your structure off your game plan based off available personnel.

Sides with amazing contested ball winners will find greater value in outside players who can't win their own ball but create opportunity with their run and use. Sides that don't win the contested ball so well will field bigger bodied wingers and play them closer to the contest.

I hope that suitably highlights how great players not only make their team mates better but shape list management decisions.
 

Vhaluus

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You plan your structure off your game plan based off available personnel.

Sides with amazing contested ball winners will find greater value in outside players who can't win their own ball but create opportunity with their run and use. Sides that don't win the contested ball so well will field bigger bodied wingers and play them closer to the contest.

I hope that suitably highlights how great players not only make their team mates better but shape list management decisions.
That's what you should do.

Hover I think what we're discussing here is more what the the AFC IS doing.
 

Slippery Pete

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You can’t have too predominant a bias towards one or the other with a rookie coach and such a young, inexperienced list. It must be a hybrid of both, and it is

what isn’t clear is in time, which way will it break - the structure towards playing stocks, or the list towards structure

I’m not even sure Nicks knows which way he wants it to go. He doesn’t strike me as single minded or dogmatic enough to be so clear this far away
Remember Clarkson a few years ago...I can’t remember what final it was that Hawthorn lost (it was a year or two after their 3-peat), and a journo asked him why he couldn’t pull a rabbit out of the hat on this particular night.

And Clarkson said something along the lines of, you clearly haven’t studied my coaching style over the last decade. I’m a system-based coach, we play to a system, occasionally I might pull off a miracle move but it’s the exception rather than the rule.

A bit of modesty mixed in with the truth there I’m sure, but it does reveal a lot.

I think a lot of coaches who are branded as too “inflexible” or too “system based,” it is often a reflection of their personality rather than their technical flaws.

All successful coaches have very strict systems, but the real key is that they’re able to sell them to different types of players.

A lot of players (and this applies to life in general too) are not sufficiently self-motivated, because when you strip back the path to success and make it all about the logical steps, it sounds insurmountable and highly unappealing to a lot of people.

The key is not to compromise on the strict system, the key is in understanding that different players will require different forms of motivation to arrive at executing the system.
 

Sanders

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Remember Clarkson a few years ago...I can’t remember what final it was that Hawthorn lost (it was a year or two after their 3-peat), and a journo asked him why he couldn’t pull a rabbit out of the hat on this particular night.

And Clarkson said something along the lines of, you clearly haven’t studied my coaching style over the last decade. I’m a system-based coach, we play to a system, occasionally I might pull off a miracle move but it’s the exception rather than the rule.

A bit of modesty mixed in with the truth there I’m sure, but it does reveal a lot.

I think a lot of coaches who are branded as too “inflexible” or too “system based,” it is often a reflection of their personality rather than their technical flaws.

All successful coaches have very strict systems, but the real key is that they’re able to sell them to different types of players.

A lot of players (and this applies to life in general too) are not sufficiently self-motivated, because when you strip back the path to success and make it all about the logical steps, it sounds insurmountable and highly unappealing to a lot of people.

The key is not to compromise on the strict system, the key is in understanding that different players will require different forms of motivation to arrive at executing the system.
I can see that
 

WeeBlake

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There’s no use having a strict system if you don’t have the right players to carry it out. Richmonds system works for them because they have heaps of hard running smalls. West Coast’s system works for them because they have lots of good kpps. Our problem is that we end up bombing it long a lot, but are not that good at taking f50 marks, OR at the stoppages that sometimes follow.
At this stage of our rebuild, I think the priority should be getting games into our promising young players. As they develop, and our comparative advantages become clearer (we seem to have a good number of high end runners?) the game plan, and therefore structure, should evolve to fit our list, and we should trade for players that will fit with that emerging plan.
 

bluebob1

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It is where we are in the rebuild. It is better to play 3 tall forwards plus walker who will we think may play in the next premiership team rather than a forward pocket who probably wont make it even if it is a better structure for the game at the current time. So you play the best potential players who will be or might be in the team in 3 years time (you need to play them to work out they wont make it (Frampton/Himmelberg). At the moment we are still sifting through the draftees to see what their capabilities are like.
Structure happens in a couple of years time when we have worked out who our guns are and what system suits them. Then you recruit a couple of free agents to fill in any gaps - well thats my plan anyway
 

Sanders

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There’s no use having a strict system if you don’t have the right players to carry it out. Richmonds system works for them because they have heaps of hard running smalls. West Coast’s system works for them because they have lots of good kpps. Our problem is that we end up bombing it long a lot, but are not that good at taking f50 marks, OR at the stoppages that sometimes follow.
At this stage of our rebuild, I think the priority should be getting games into our promising young players. As they develop, and our comparative advantages become clearer (we seem to have a good number of high end runners?) the game plan, and therefore structure, should evolve to fit our list, and we should trade for players that will fit with that emerging plan.
System heavy clubs like Richmond don’t just happen to have a certain type of player. They actively recruit to the scheme

in their case, the scheme came first
 

WeeBlake

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System heavy clubs like Richmond don’t just happen to have a certain type of player. They actively recruit to the scheme

in their case, the scheme came first
Not sure that’s true. My recollection is that they were widely criticized for hesitant, indirect footy in 2016, then they cleaned out their coaches and came with a new style which evolved through 2017 into 2018.
 

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