Universal Love Where does our improvement come from next year?

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Bonz

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Sep 14, 2007
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Think it's time for a positive themed thread (negative nancy's not welcome).

Where do you believe we will have improvement from next year?

For myself.

Ladhams
I think Ladhams is going to add a near instant improvement in our team, his quote mobile and instantly fixes our ruck depth. His also another decent option up forward.

Midfield
Lets be honest, our midfield was our biggest issue this year. But I think we can take another step with continued improvement from our youngsters. Looking forward to seeing Rowbottom with an uninterrupted pre season and honestly think both Stephens and The Chad will take another step forward next year in their development (third/ forth years are usually the good ones).

Running Game
Think Blakey will continue his improvement from the second half of the year and become one of the first selected players in our side. Looking forward to McInerney taking another step forward towards becoming one of the elite players of the competition, and finally think Campbell will add another dimension to our side.

Key forwards
Next year I think our key forward set up is going to be quite different. McDonald, Franklin and Ladhams are each mobile and offer a different type of target so we should be able to stretch majority of defences in the league, plus having the likes of Gulden, Paps and Wicks at their feet is enough to give any Swans support a wet dream and opposition supporters a nightmare.
 

scaryness

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I'm heading into next season with my eye firmly on McDonald. He was brilliant for a first year key forward last year in the small amount of games we saw, and looks to have a ton of smarts and skill that are cause to be very excited.
 

caesar88

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I didn't mind our midfield this year, particularly in the second half of the season. Our defence was the bigger issue for mine as we let forwards get off the chain too much. Though I have to appreciate the irony of, after all the talk about our rebuild, our midfield ending up being that group of JPK, Parker and Hewett again. :p

On that note, I would say improvement will come from:
- Not sure it's feasible to expect a genuine flag tilt without at least one mid being in that AA/Brownlow territory. So Mills, who is our best mid at the moment, getting a full season is key to our hopes.
- Ditto Rowbottom, who I rate as the best of our kids and probably the key in taking our midfield into it's next phase.
- Any one of Melican, Paddy, Reid or Gould surpassing expectations to become genuine, AFL-standard key defenders working in tandem with T. McCartin.
- Keeping the forward rotations active. We have three young talls (McDonald, McLean and Amartey), let's use them if form demands it.
- Getting Heeney's role right. Which I realise is easier said than done, as he's a gun everywhere. I think I like a 60/40 forward/midfield split.
- A few players who might be on the brink just shore up their spots a bit more: Florent by being more consistent, Wicks by kicking straighter, etc.
- Finding the balance with Hickey & Ladhams. We looked really dangerous when we had Hickey & Amartey in the side together this year, and I think Ladhams is an upgrade on Amartey at this point.
- The re-emergence of 'Blakinerney' out of defence. So important to our ball movement-centric game plan.
- And of course the young brigade continuing to show their enormous promise.

The two main ones though being that kinda pressing key defender need, and getting the midfield rotations right.
 
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RUNVS

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With the loss of Dawson and Hewett our midfield has super super thin depth but if all of our kids stay fit it is quite a good group on paper.
 

Bonz

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With the loss of Dawson and Hewett our midfield has super super thin depth but if all of our kids stay fit it is quite a good group on paper.

Hewitt is covered by our draftees, a fit Rowbottom and hopefully Chad/ Stephens taking another step.

Dawson wasn't a traditional midfielder for us, McInerney and Blakey cover him out of defence, but I believe he will be covered by some structural changes.
 

Kapers

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Our improvement will come through consistency. Our highs were super high, and our lows were super lows.

I feel if we can cut out Suns, Hawks, and St Kilda games, where we didn't even feel competitive, or even the slow starts we had vs GWS twice, we can be a real contender next year.
 

Bloods_sucker

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One area we seemed to struggle with last year was starting games well. There seemed to be countless games where we were slow to get going, got 4-6 goals down, but still managed to win fairly comfortably in the end. Whether this would help is arguable, but probably something we need to address consistently.

I think other clubs, over time, will work out how to play against our system better. It will be interesting to see what else we can bring as another layer or development of our game strategy. We will need to evolve. To me this was the main reason we improved so much last year, our ability to follow the system and work as a team. Our evenness is a strength.

If Rowbottom and Warner can have a good run (relatively injury free) and become more consistent, this should bode well in terms of contested football improvement, hoping that can improve despite the loss of Hewett. Possibly Sheldrick could contribute here, bonus if it happens next year.

Hickey was huge for us last year, we need to somehow consolidate on that without falling away, a lot will depend on his fitness and ability for Ladhams to partner or provide cover to the same level.

A bit of a cliche, but our list demographic in terms of experience should lean towards gradual natural improvement, add to that hopefully we get some unexpected big step ups, possibly from someone like Campbell, Stephens, Sheather, OConnor, Wicks, or an established player like Heeney, Mills, Tom McCartin, or even Blakey has an all Australian year next year (or hopefully all of them!)
 

kelpie_X

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Every other player on every other team catching covid right before we play them and having to isolate
 

Kiama Chris

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On an individual basis who looks as if they may have significant improvement in them in some important facet of their game or contribution to the team?
Wicks goalkicking
McDonald and Ladhams mobility
Ladhams stronger 2nd ruck and keeping Hickey stronger
Heeney fitness (ie not injured)
Campbell (if picked) kick penetration
Florent demanding more ball and better delivery inside 50
Warner more CBA and breakaway clearances
Blakey learning to defend fully
Paddy McCartin meets or exceeds our hopes as a KPD.
Other players will maintain a high standard or naturally evolve. Someone may break into the side as I hope Paddy will.
There's enough improvement there.
The other part is the game plan. Horse has already identified that we need to improve our clearance work.
Last year we adapted when teams overcame our "kick over" clearance plan. We'll need more of that and as has been said we need to make better starts. We were fit enough and our skills good enough. Mostly between the ears.
 

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Grand Uncle Horace

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Our defence will improve even if Paddy Whack proves to be an average best 22 KPD.

Blakey will become a reliable defender who provides wonderful burst speed and disposal. JMac will continue his development and be a vital link swinging between defence and wing.

Our midfield was ordinary this year as it has been for some time. Mills will take another step up and lead the Mids to being more competitive, particularly in winning quality clearances.

A fit Rowbottom and stronger The Chad will have more CBA's. Both will be vital in assisting Mills. Parker will still be an important contributor. Mixing it up contributions can also be expected from Gulden, Papley, Ollie, Campbell and JPK. We are blessed with good wingers IMO. I am looking forward to the debut of the clearance grenade - Sheldrick.

Ladhams will help Hickey out big time and keep us competitive at clearances.

Our forward line is pretty handy with plenty of choice for KPFs. I think Ladhams will augment it and I expect McDonald to impress with more games.

I reckon Wicks will benefit from a good pre season and the Comps premier small defensive forward will slot more snags. Haywood will build on a decent 2021 and be more of a goal scoring threat. Heeney is surely due a decent run on the injury front

Our game plan will be enhanced and our starts will improve.

Our depth to the best 28 has improved and competition is tough on positions 23-28.
 

Bloods86

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Game plan - Another year, on top of the couple we've already spent developing it, should see us mature in our positioning, running patterns, link ups and forward entries.

I think we'll have some individual improvers across midfield and to the wing. Mills if he can stay fit, will hopefully be even better. Rowbottom similar, was starting to really come on before injuries this year. Expect most of the following to improve individually e.g. Chad, Florent, Campbell, Gulden, Stephens. Hopefully at least one draftee plays some good cameos either in the mids or up forward.

Tom McCartin should just keep developing as a KPD.

Areas of the ground where I think we'll improve overall are the half back flanks (with consistent appearances from Blakey and McInerney), ruck (if Hickey stays fit, Ladhams is a better backup/fwd option), and the forward line. With the latter, hopefully entries are better, and the expected improvement from McDonald, as well as consistency from Papley, Wicks, Hayward, Heeney when he's down there, should help us out.
 

Gimmeafree

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I agree with most here that with more experience under their belt the youngsters will keep improving.

it’s the bottom 6 we need a lift from and if we get it what a boost that would be.
Hopefully with enough depth coming through and a good run with injuries, we should be ruthless in ensuring the bottom 6 have to fight for and earn their spots - no passengers.

personally I think the 2022 bottom 6 will be way better than 2021.
 

McRobie

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I'm heading into next season with my eye firmly on McDonald. He was brilliant for a first year key forward last year in the small amount of games we saw, and looks to have a ton of smarts and skill that are cause to be very excited.
It’s east to forget he’s a top 4 pick kpf, simply because we havnt drafted a player like this since I can remember.
very exciting to watch how he pans out.
 

McRobie

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Stephens, Rowbottom, Florent have the microscope on them imo. If they plateau that’s a really bad result for us. We need them to take next steps or they will just be mediocre players clogging midfield.
 

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