Will Lewis and O'Brien be our key forward solution for the foreseeable future?

Guardian Hawk

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Hi all,

As we seek to regenerate our list post threepeat, my greatest concern was the key forward spot(s) once Roughead finished up. Main reason being is that good key forwards are rare (only a handful in the league) and usually come at a very high cost - either when trading or at the very pointy end of the draft. Of all the recent FA's, I was most keen on Tom Lynch for these reasons.

But, the questions is (and may continue to be for some time)…

Can Lewis and O'Brien be a good FF/CHF combo for the next 5+ years (notwithstanding Gunston's ability to play one of these roles or as a mobile 3rd tall).

Over the past 7 games, Lewis has taken 18 contested marks and kicked 15 goals. Not bad for a 13 game, 19 year old who is already playing as the #1. He will get even more attention next season though.

O'Brien has gone from 'almost' in every marking contest to suddenly marking everything and has kicked 6 goals in the last 3 weeks. He is, however, 25 and has shown patches in the past before reverting back to form that would see his place on the list questioned. It feels a bit different this time - can he sustain (or even build) on his current form?

How do we see it? Are we now set and can focus elsewhere (KPD, gun mid, etc)? Lewis yes, O Brien no?

Over to you.
 

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HODGEYROAD

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Lewis yes, he's got the tools to be a 50 goal a year forward given what he's shown at 20 years of age. As for the other spot, we need to find some sort of solution.
 

Pessimistic

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It sort of depends where the ruck/fwd combo goes after bigboy. If there was a hale type, obrien and lewis would be enough.

2008 was done in buddy and roughs 4th year

KPF (goal average) in the 70s were martello (0.65) hendrie (1.29) moncrieff(2.81)and a little fat guy called lethal (2.76)
 

threesixpio

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Patton says hi.

But maybe. Love the versatility of TOB. He’s a wild card really. Who knows what will be his role/s. This is why he gets another contract. Can plug multiple holes or play many.
 

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rogiebear93

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I like the mobility offered by our current three pronged attack, and Nash is an important part of that despite all the angst against him. That said - Patton does fit.

HF: Gunston, Lewis, O'Brien
FF: Puopolo (2020 only), Patton, Breust
Int: Nash

That's a really dangerous set up.

Nash and O'Brien both offer genuine athleticism and pace, but they're both tall enough that if they spread up the ground they will either demand a tall to go with them or the opposition team will be giving up a significant mismatch.

Lewis can play genuine centre half forward once he brings his tank up as he looks commanding on a lead, Patton can plonk himself at Full Forward for the high balls we inevitably will sit on his head and take the ruck contests in the forward half.

Our full forwards since Rough took over in 2013 have predominantly been proficient ruckmen anyway. Rough showed the value of not only being a bloke who can kick a goal, but also someone who will use himself in marking contests to bring others into the game. He tapped the ball down to Breust, Cyril and Poppy just as much as he marked the ball. No mystery about how we had such thriving smalls in our forward line for so long.

Notice that Jack Riewoldt adopted that as a key part of his game in 2017 and 2018 too. Richmond succeeded as Jack started playing more like the big Rough.

Gunston will do what he always does, take opportunities and relish the fact that he will once again be playing on worse defenders.

It's exciting to speculate on but I wanna see it in action!
 

kazzooka

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I think Lewis is certainly going to be a permanent part or our forward line, and if Gunston gets form back we are nearly there.

I think 3 talls is what clarkson wants. He tried it with Boyle, Rough and Bud then we had Bud, rough and Gunston and then Rough, Gunston and Shoenmakers.

Most of that time we also had Hale as a resting ruck playing forward.

Depends a lot on what Patton is capable of, at the moment its unknown. But if he holds down full forward can Lewis play CHF? In my view Lewis is a FF, Obrien CHF and Ruck relief (only play 1 true ruck now) and Gunston as the 3rd. Not sure where Nash fits as I like his athleticism.

I'd prefer Gunston, Nash, Obrien and Lewis/Patton (I think Lewis will be much better than patton) that is 4 decently mobile players. Those 4 on potential and peak shown form is a good combination however there are issues. Gunston form has been down this year, Nash still raw can do really impressive things but also stuff things up or be invisible. O'brien can be really frustrating, he's improving but as we saw with Shoey who put it together for bits and pieces but never became what we wanted. O'brien hasn't had the injuries Shoey has though which has limited him. Patton has shown really good form at AFL level but he has always been bad below knees, poor agility and defensive pressure AND is coming back from a 3rd ACL. Big guys just don't perform after that and usually get soreness and eventually have to retire early from it (see max bailey).
 

rogiebear93

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Why would we even get Patton? Seems like a waste to me. He's not even that good and incredibly injury prone. The obsession on this board is strange
People are talking about it because we've been very strongly linked to him and he's apparently over the line already. What would the point be in ignoring it?
 

BJK#5

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Why would we even get Patton? Seems like a waste to me. He's not even that good and incredibly injury prone. The obsession on this board is strange
Because we currently have Lewis and Timmy as our only real AFL ready key forwards at the moment and will need depth. Adding Patton in to the mix with the other two and we can either move Timmy back, play all 3 forward of needed or have one of them as depth which will no doubt be required.

Patton is being massively underrated by some, will probably never be the superstar we thought he would be but not all that many consistent 30-40 goal a year players in the AFL. We 100% have a better list with him on it.
 

Dixie Flatline

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Depending on Patton's fitness and his capacity to fit into the Hawthorn system, I foresee him being Hawthorn's full forward in 2020, and Lewis moved out to CHF. With Gunston as the third tall forward and Nash creating mismatches with his height and speed, I suspect O'Brien will go back to defence to support Frawley and Sicily. Hawthorn needs a succession plan for Frawley in the near future (will be 31 in the 2020 season) so I think that the recruitment of Patton will have a ripple effect for the rest of the key position players on the list.
 

J in Japan

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Depending on Patton's fitness and his capacity to fit into the Hawthorn system, I foresee him being Hawthorn's full forward in 2020, and Lewis moved out to CHF. With Gunston as the third tall forward and Nash creating mismatches with his height and speed, I suspect O'Brien will go back to defence to support Frawley and Sicily. Hawthorn needs a succession plan for Frawley in the near future (will be 31 in the 2020 season) so I think that the recruitment of Patton will have a ripple effect for the rest of the key position players on the list.
Spot on assessment.

I do worry with Patton though that his mobility will be a liability, in much the same vein as Cegs/Bigboy when the ball hits the ground and we don't win possession.

In Patton's favour though is he's like Hale in that he's a forward first and foremost so understands that craft much better than Cegs/Bigboy.

Clarko will have us structured up to be more efficient though and if it doesn't work, TOB is there like he has been this year.
 

Birdofprey

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Definitely love seeing them both in the side, and working together against Geelong to rattle their defense has been one of this season's highlights for me.

Lewis is a born forward, and shows so much promise (and delivering on it!).

Was hoping Timmy would find a regular "place" - i.e,. either a gun forward or permanent lock-down back. But perhaps his best position is a swing-man - wherever required at the time with no fixed abode. He has generally good disposal (handball could be better at times), and moves so well for his height. I think he is a big asset to our overall list, I am just not sure he will end up forward that much once we have Patton in the goal square.
 

Billyc

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If Patton is fine, he and Lewis will be a good combination, with Gunston as the third tall.

TOB is able to play both ends but I still don't see him as a long term regular or in the best 22 of a strong side.
 

Collins-Langford-Ayres

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Why would we even get Patton? Seems like a waste to me. He's not even that good and incredibly injury prone. The obsession on this board is strange
I don't get the Patton thing either. He's a poor man's Hawkins for mine. Big, strong but not terribly agile or athletic. I can't see him playing the Hale role providing much of a chop out in the ruck, unless we feel we can drastically improve his tank. He then basically becomes a forward 50 key forward, meaning Lewie has to move to CHF and roam up to the wings like Nick Riewoldt did. Not sure...
 

kazzooka

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If Patton is fine, he and Lewis will be a good combination, with Gunston as the third tall.

TOB is able to play both ends but I still don't see him as a long term regular or in the best 22 of a strong side.
At times this year TOB has been the most damaging tall on the ground when Lewis, Nash and Gunston haven't threatened. I really like the idea of Lewis FF, Obrien CHF Gunston and Nash on flank and pocket respectively. All Mobile Lewis the tall marking and O'brien the flyer. I like the low risk option of patton but think that Lewis is better at FF and that Patton will be slow and I don't have faith that he will be very good now after the ACL's due to his size.

Another thing to consider is that we don't want to many key players to have injury historys. Scully, Patton, Omeara, Mitchell, Impy all with serious injuries. We are lucky that Cognilio was not an ACL.
 

WWSD

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O'Brien deserved a new contract extension. However he is NOT capable of holding down a key position spot. He plays more like a tall flanker. Due to his injury history and inconsistency he's not a lock for a best 22 spot next year depending on the off-season arrivals.
 
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