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AnEmptyChair

Club Legend
Nov 12, 2020
1,954
7,413
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Schoenberg would be be rated much more highly if he didn’t cop an absolute walloping from the ugly stick. He looks a clear gun to me with his ability to breakaway from congestion.
Yep, agreed. His speed and power away from the contest is a real point of difference in their midfield too and a nice complement to the toughness of Keays, the accumulation skills of Laird, and the nice skills of someone like Sholl.
 

Lampers

Club Legend
May 27, 2004
1,143
2,078
Eastside
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Melbourne
Part of the formula to winning a premiership is to manage injuries and recovery. Also depth plays an important key also. Dees did all three of those things perfectly this season. We kept Brown and Weid from the first 6 rounds really then made them compete in the VFL instead of bringing either straight in. Harmes and Viney injuries were again wonderfully managed. Hunt was also a part of our best 22 and missed the finals. Previously we would have rushed back Vines but we held him back until 100%. Petty came in seamlessly and replaced Tomlinson who was having a stellar season. Bowey came in and replaced Hunt seamlessly also. Luck played no part in any of that. We still had our fair share on injuries, but our recovery, our injury management, and our depth should be applauded.
Melbourne were fortunate in that they didn’t get slammed with injuries to the same type of players at the same time.

That’s not quite true, the consensus first choice tall forwards during pre-season were Ben Brown and Weideman and as you pointed out they missed the first third of the year. Even when they were back their fitness was not up to AFL level for a few more weeks. McDonald came from the clouds to have a great first half of the year and Fritsch really stepped up which covered that loss.

Then the backline was on a knife’s edge the whole year. In pre-season it looked like Neitschke was pushing for a back flanker spot battling against Jetta, Hunt and Rivers, but did his knee. Then Hore, who is the depth cover for Lever, did his knee. Then Tomlinson, who had been Melbourne’s best lock down tall defender to that point, did his two months into the season. Joel Smith was the other depth tall defender and he was perpetually injured. Then Hunt missed over a month at the pointy end. Age really caught up with Jetta, he went from best 22 to depth pretty quickly and was a liability in the few games he managed.

Melbourne had a better injury run than many clubs, but it’s a myth that the depth was never tested.

There was no depth left for the tall backs, in the grand final the choice was playing an injured May or an injured Joel Smith. When you have to play Mitch Brown as a tall forward for a game early in the season you’re right on the edge of your depth chart too.

One other factor is Melbourne have a relatively young list. Injuries and recovery will generally be better with that profile. Melbourne’s older players, including Hibberd who ended up in the premiership team, were depth players. When they got injured - and they did as you’d expect - it didn’t matter so much.

When you bring in a Stef Martin, or rely on an Easton Wood, at their age and with their injury history, it’s not “bad luck” when they get injured. It’s phenomenal luck if they get through the season largely uninjured.
 

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Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
14,059
8,854
AFL Club
Essendon
Part of the formula to winning a premiership is to manage injuries and recovery. Also depth plays an important key also. Dees did all three of those things perfectly this season. We kept Brown and Weid from the first 6 rounds really then made them compete in the VFL instead of bringing either straight in. Harmes and Viney injuries were again wonderfully managed. Hunt was also a part of our best 22 and missed the finals. Previously we would have rushed back Vines but we held him back until 100%. Petty came in seamlessly and replaced Tomlinson who was having a stellar season. Bowey came in and replaced Hunt seamlessly also. Luck played no part in any of that. We still had our fair share on injuries, but our recovery, our injury management, and our depth should be applauded.
What? Luck is a key component of a teams injury run. I agree Melbourne are probably at the top of competition in terms of the controllables in that area but contact injuries like rolled ankles and broken bones for example have a clear luck component.

Melbourne were the best team in the comp this year and thoroughly deserved their premiership. I am not trying to degenerate their win in anyway.
 

Stabby McGee

All Australian
Jul 30, 2011
749
1,518
Right behind you
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
Gunners & Steelers
I have Melbourne as clear premiership favourites but it will be interesting to see how they go with even a league average injury run compared to their incredible run this year.
For sure. It’s a huge part of football. I remember the 90’s when we had Swartz, Lyon, Jackovitch and Charles... and in short order either in rehab, gone from the game or limping. Keep two of those fully fit and we’d have probably snagged a flag or two in those years.
Same as 2019... geez we copped crap for our drop off but it was really about having no fully fit players.
Will we get a run like this year again... who knows? Football gods are fickle. All you can do is get the best recovery/medical/etc types around and hope that any injuries you get are a couple of week things and you have a ready replacement.

Someone mentioned youth as a bounce back factor and it’s true in my experience. I played reasonably high level in a bunch of sports, and I was always bash and crash (I was bloody stupid in retrospect but I only understand go hard or go home kamikaze play)
At 18 I didn’t feel a thing
At 23 Sunday’s hurt but so be it
At 28 I was mostly playing with some niggle or another
At 33 everything hurt every game. I retired when I realised that win or lose the next contest was going to hurt for weeks no matter what.
I can’t even imagine how much the body would take when I’m getting smashed up by 6’4 95 kg engines all day
 

Ambrosia

Brownlow Medallist
Mar 11, 2010
14,059
8,854
AFL Club
Essendon
Richmond had a dream injury run in 2017 and an even better run in 2018, but it didn’t make much difference in the end.
Richmond were clearly the best team in the comp in 2018. Getting jumped in a final
can happen to anyone. It’s what single elimination sports like the AFL, NFL and soccer world cup so exciting.
 
Apr 19, 2006
74,965
154,867
The local Satanist Cabal
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Storm, Spurs, Socceroos
We are short of class mids which we need to draft over the next year or two, but both ends of the grounds are building, with our young defense our clear strength, and it looks like we've found a few in Kosi, Jeka and Brockman.

B: Hardwick, DGB, Impey
HB: Jiath, Sicily, Scrimshaw
C: Day, Worpel, Bramble
HF: Moore, Lewis, Jeka
FF: Brockman, Koschitske, S.Mitchell

Foll: Reeves, Newcombe, Nash

inter from: Morrison, Maginness, Phillips, Hanrahan, Callow, Saunders, Downie, Howe
 

Gysberts2Bate

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 12, 2013
21,514
27,315
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
They won their first final by 5 goals and finished 2 games clear on top.
And they won 3 of their last four H&A games by under 10 points against sides ranked 8th and below. Was nothing like the way they ended 2017, 2019 and 2020, probably their worst finish to a season of the four even discounting the prelim. They also lost their very next matchup to Collingwood in R2, 2019, so it’s hardly as though they got jumped just once out of the blue.

Having a perfect injury run and finishing on top is far less important than hitting form at the end of the year. Even if we’re hit by injuries next year the only thing that matters is winning enough games to finish top four and peaking in September, both of which we can do without a dream injury run again.
 

JasRulz63

Norm Smith Medallist
May 26, 2007
9,823
10,005
Melbourne
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
B: Starcevich, Payne, Gardiner
HB: Coleman, Andrews, Madden
C: Prior, Robertson, Bailey
HF: Rayner, McStay, Cockatoo
FF: Ah Chee, Hipwood, Fullarton
R: H Smith/Lane, McCluggage, J Berry

Int: Mathieson, T Berry, Answerth, Sharp

Ruck is an obvious weakness with two first year ruckman behind McInerney (who's 27). I've avoided listing players who haven't debuted apart from at ruck (though I guess you could put Fullarton there if you wish, and bring someone like Ballenden in).

We haven't brought in a top 20 pick since 2017 (Rayner, Bailey and Starcevich) which made the bench harder to fill out. I think hitting the draft with our two first rounders this year (which we plan to do) and then hopefully two highly rated F/S prospects next year (Ashcroft and Fletcher) will be important in keeping the highly rated talent coming through that can push for spots in the best 22.
 

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AnEmptyChair

Club Legend
Nov 12, 2020
1,954
7,413
AFL Club
North Melbourne
We are short of class mids which we need to draft over the next year or two, but both ends of the grounds are building, with our young defense our clear strength, and it looks like we've found a few in Kosi, Jeka and Brockman.

B: Hardwick, DGB, Impey
HB: Jiath, Sicily, Scrimshaw
C: Day, Worpel, Bramble
HF: Moore, Lewis, Jeka
FF: Brockman, Koschitske, S.Mitchell

Foll: Reeves, Newcombe, Nash

inter from: Morrison, Maginness, Phillips, Hanrahan, Callow, Saunders, Downie, Howe
That backline is maybe a KPD short but otherwise it's got it all. Speed, power, skill, oodles of players who intercept. As you say, that's a clear standout.
 
Apr 19, 2006
74,965
154,867
The local Satanist Cabal
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Other Teams
Storm, Spurs, Socceroos
That backline is maybe a KPD short but otherwise it's got it all. Speed, power, skill, oodles of players who intercept. As you say, that's a clear standout.
Callow went back for Box Hill late in the season and Mitchell reported that he saw something that he wanted to explore further, so there’s hope that he might come on as a key back.
 

danster168

Club Legend
Apr 29, 2016
1,691
1,732
AFL Club
Melbourne
Now 26 years and under/ born no later than 1994 is an arbitrary number but hopefully gives teams enough players to select a best 22 pre the draft on Wednesday with the reduced lists.

keen to see who will be potentially looking decent in 3 plus years times

B: Hayden Mckay Young
HB: McDonald Corr Perez
C: Dumont LDU Stephenson
HF: Taylor Comben Garner
F: Turner Larkey Zurhaar
R: Xerri Simpkin Thomas
I: Mahony Jed Bonar Atu Scott
No offence but I think you need to put a lot of these guys first names in there. When I read 'Young, Taylor, Scott, Hayden' I've really got to think hard about who it is.
 

Dominic03

Club Legend
Oct 28, 2020
1,028
783
AFL Club
Hawthorn
We are short of class mids which we need to draft over the next year or two, but both ends of the grounds are building, with our young defense our clear strength, and it looks like we've found a few in Kosi, Jeka and Brockman.

B: Hardwick, DGB, Impey
HB: Jiath, Sicily, Scrimshaw
C: Day, Worpel, Bramble
HF: Moore, Lewis, Jeka
FF: Brockman, Koschitske, S.Mitchell

Foll: Reeves, Newcombe, Nash

inter from: Morrison, Maginness, Phillips, Hanrahan, Callow, Saunders, Downie, Howe
Need a genuine key defender to go with DGB and think Scrimshaw pushes more up the ground.
 

Kangas_11

All Australian
Nov 14, 2013
987
3,184
Toronto
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Colts, Raptors, Milan, FU Crabs
No offence but I think you need to put a lot of these guys first names in there. When I read 'Young, Taylor, Scott, Hayden' I've really got to think hard about who it is.
To be fair that would be the case for literally every teams under 26 team. Most non-melbourne fans would have no idea who Laurie, Hore, Smith are as well.
 

ItsAllAboutMe

Norm Smith Medallist
Dec 22, 2006
8,111
8,828
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Tottenham Hotspur
Its not too far from our best 22, the ones i have listed are under 26 at round 1 next year.

B- Williamson, Weitering, Marchbank
HB- Stocker, Young, Kemp
C- Cerra, Hewett, O'Brien
HF- Kennedy, Curnow, Fisher
F- Owies, McKay, Silvagni
R- De Konig, Walsh, Dow
I - Fogarty, Setterfield, Pittonet, Durdin
 

5minutes_of_Dew

Debutant
Oct 15, 2017
68
84
AFL Club
Hawthorn
Callow went back for Box Hill late in the season and Mitchell reported that he saw something that he wanted to explore further, so there’s hope that he might come on as a key back.
Mids mids mids and a pacey forward this year (who knows whether Seamus Mitchell and Brockman will hit their straps).

Then 2022 draft is apparently KPP heavy at the pointy end, so we can reevaluate then whether a FF or a FB is the best option moving forward. I like what I've seen from Koz and Lewis but I'm not convinced that's a combination that's going to win flags in 5 years time.
 

cecil

Club Legend
Feb 28, 2010
1,787
2,010
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Western Bulldogs:

FB: Bailey Williams, Ryan Gardner, Ed Richards
HB: Bailey Dale, Zaine Cordy, Caleb Daniel
C: Lachie Hunter, Josh Dunkley, Bailey Smith
R: Tim English, Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae
HF: Latham Vandermeer, Aaron Naughton, Riley Garcia
FF: Josh Schache, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Cody Weightman
Int: Roarke Smith, Toby McLean, Rhylee West, Sam Darcy

Only a small handful of our grand final team missing.
 

Gysberts2Bate

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 12, 2013
21,514
27,315
Melbourne
AFL Club
Melbourne
Western Bulldogs:

FB: Bailey Williams, Ryan Gardner, Ed Richards
HB: Bailey Dale, Zaine Cordy, Caleb Daniel
C: Lachie Hunter, Josh Dunkley, Bailey Smith
R: Tim English, Marcus Bontempelli, Jack Macrae
HF: Latham Vandermeer, Aaron Naughton, Riley Garcia
FF: Josh Schache, Jamarra Ugle-Hagan, Cody Weightman
Int: Roarke Smith, Toby McLean, Rhylee West, Sam Darcy

Only a small handful of our grand final team missing.
Macrae is 27
 

Cripps 'n' Blue Bloods

Sir Cripps of Carlton House
Mar 26, 2015
8,522
15,615
Bendigo
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Melbourne Tigers Philadelphia 76ers
I've also left out Cripps and Martin because they'll be 27 at the start of next year.

FB: Stocker, Weitering, Young
HB: Williamson, McDonald, Kemp
C: Cerra, Walsh, O'Brien
HF: Silvagni, Curnow, Owies
FF: Fisher, McKay, Honey
Foll: Hewett, De Koning, Dow
Int: Carroll, Kennedy, Durdin, Fogarty
Em: Pittonet, Cuningham, Setterfield

Unlucky (remaining players): Marchbank, Parks, Mirkov, Cottrell, Philp

I don't mind that. Could possibly use a good HBF or two, as I'd prefer to move Stocker and Kemp into the middle.
 

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