Ants · My posts are longer than yours....

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  • Rocky

    At a cost of #38, he'd have to be an axe murderer for me to turn it down.
  • #22 - Jake Carlisle: Gone

    So what I miss?
    There was some talk of him going.
    Some talk of him staying.
    Some talk that if he left he was useless, a bastard and we wouldn't miss him.
    Some talk that if he stayed he's the messiah.
    Some talk that if he left he was useless, a bastard, we wouldn't miss him and we should get pick #1 and Yarran for him
    A lot of talk that Yarran was crap
    Some talk that Yarran is just mis-understood and in a bad team and will come good with the right environment
    Some talk that Carlisle loved Hird and is now going
    Some talk that Carlisle hated Hird and was going
    Some talk that he'll end up at Carlton, St Kilda or the Bulldogs.
    Most people with rumours got jumped on.

    And there was an in-depth, detailed analysis of the game of Golf.

    Have I missed anything?
  • Welcome to Essendon, James Stewart

    I don't know how good he is, or have seen him play (beyond the youtube clips posted). But a few thoughts:

    • Fits a need, which is for more talls/tall depth. If he's only depth it isn't the worst move assuming he's cheap.
    • It would be hard to get a go at GWS behind Lobb, Patton and Cameron
    • Case in point - Tomlinson also dominated NEAFL, couldn't get in. Suddenly got a shot and has looked perfectly capable in a finals side.
    • GWS let Jaksch and Bruce (under pressure) go. They kept Stewart. That's a good sign.
    I'm hopeful.
  • Draft wrap up

    Seemed to fit here.
    I actually like this draft quite a bit. Ok, I agree it's a little bit on the safe side. However, given our circumstances, is that a bad thing? We lost the possibility of key top end talent with those terrible draft sanctions. In that context, getting some greater 'bankability' in this supposedly 'deep midfield pool' draft with 5 picks inside 45 seems quite reasonable.

    We picked a genuine gun at pick 1 - a smart, courageous, speedy, strong, defensive midfielder with an attacking mindset who can take the game on and change its complexion single-handedly. He will almost certainly play next year. No doubt, Hugh is silk - a beauty for Brisbane, but our boy has the will and killer instinct that may well help him get more out of himself and the game than the more easy-going McC.

    We picked 2 other all-Australians, one the biggest ball-winner in the U-18s - a contested possession beast, and the other a clean-handling, high work-rate inside/outside type with good footy IQ, who kicks well off both feet.

    We picked a super-skilled (won the kicking test at the combine), strong marking, highly versatile utility, who Brisbane were apparently looking to take at the very next pick to ours. He is a bit light-bodied, but it's probably a whole lot easier to put some meat on him than to get say, a Bolton type, to the elite kicking level Ridley is already at. Lots of upside about him.

    We picked a strong, big-bodied forward/mid who is aggressive, powerful, and has a great boot on him. He is a super set-shot for goal and actually kicked more goals (27) in TAC than... McCluggage this year (though admittedly, he did play more permanent fwd than McC did, especially early in the season). If we can get him fit, I reckon there is a LOT to work with here.

    Sure, we didn't pick up a whole lot of X-factor, though McGrath certainly has some of it, and maybe Begley, but we most definitely picked some very decent footballers with strong AFL quality potential, and I actually don't think any of them were a huge 'reach'. Clarke and Mutch were probably 'unders', McGrath was consensus top-two, Ridley was expected to go 20-27 per most phantoms, and Begley (maybe our biggest 'stretch') was top 40 for a lot of good judges (Knightmare had him at 36 I think, and Tigers were apparently thinking about him at 27). We also still have the Rookie Draft and B-list to fill with a few more 'excitement' types (and a ruckman).

    And then there are Fantasia, Tippungwuti, Long, Colyer, McKenna, Laverde, and Green, so it's not like we are struggling for X-Factor at the club. They are also mostly quite young and should be around a while. Watson, Goddard, Stanton, Kelly, Hocking, and Baguley on the other hand aren't and most probably won't. Hibberd is already gone, Myers is quality, but too often broken.

    Playing the odds, I reckon Dodoro has done beautifully this draft (and trade period), complementing the existing list, looking at upcoming major holes, and picking 5 players in a (supposedly) deep and even midfielders' draft (with no real 'sliders'), who have a very strong chance of making it, with at least one or two having the potential to be top 5 quality on our list.

    I believe we are building well.
  • Training Wednesday 14/12/16

    Jackie, back in 2014 with bomber in charge I'm pretty sure the pre-season expectations from the coaching panel were for top 4. Obviously it didn't work out that way but it was our best year in recent times. I know you and Karma were bigger fans of Bomber than Hird.

    How does the training this pre-season compare to the 2014 pre-season.


    Good question

    I see as the main differences:

    5) Hird was aloof and self centred and about the same standard as Buckley and Voss. He trained the players hard for the start of the season but they invariably fell away in the second half of the season.

    In sum we are better prepared than at the start of the 2014 pre season in my opinion.


    Hang on, but this place had him as the greatest coach ever had the media and asada not brought him down.

    No it didn't. Many criticised Hird and his coaching team for a few substantial and different reasons.

    edit, having said that, there are criticisms of worsfold to the same tune, so makes you wonder
    The thing with Hird was that his initial start wasn't particularly stronger than Knights, he had an improving list and should have started doing better (which they did), and the proof in the pudding would have been whether or not he could have achieved ultimate success. Which obviously got derailed. Its easy to get into a heated debate because without that decent period of (un-derailed) years, its hard to evaluate any coach unless they're unmitigated disasters or successes. Hird was kind of doing what the minimum expected was, without huge over/under achievement, with his real test still to come. So each person is going to have a different view of how that was tracking, partly based on their own views of the list and what should be achievable.

    In short - its a thorny issue evaluating him so its open to personal interpretation. Given the circumstances, it then becomes a touchy subject.
  • Did anyone else enjoy this year?

    Yes.

    I was quite vocal last trade period that I didn't think the list was good enough to challenge, and we had to reboot. We needed draft picks, and the only way I could see getting them was to trade players out. Well, now we're getting at least two - and if we trade #1 for two picks three - top 20 picks. We've been able to stuff a hole heap of development into a heap of players. And it looks like we fixed our tall's issues with the 2015 draft, grabbing two mature players who can slot straight in.

    I went in with no expectations, thinking we were seriously likely to be bashed pillar to post and not win a game. I was giving us a 60 point handicap when looking at the scores. Instead, we fought damn hard. We didn't rely on the top ups (much). We developed a heap of kids and could find out who played under the pressure. We wouldn't know half what we do about Walla, Hartley, Ambrose, Brown, Parish, Fanta, Laverde and Langford if this year hadn't happened. Many wouldn't have got the games they did, or the responsibility. Zerrett and Parish were huge. Walla and Fanta will be weapons up forward. In Hartley, Ambrose and Brown we've got three AFL quality KP players we didn't think we had last year. No way would they have all got the game time they did if Hooker and Hurley had been around.

    And we'll be adding #1 and #19 as a minimum.

    I went to 10-12 games, and although I saw some thrashings, I also saw us win three times, take it up to Geelong/GWS/St Kilda, and generally play with a lot of spirit despite the obstacles.

    I don't know what 2017 will bring. But I'm far more optimistic about it than I was at the end of 2015.
  • Patton Pending

    I've got to admit, I'd prefer to midfielders over Patton. I don't think talls are a big demand, but we really need to be rebuilding the midfield. Especially with where GWS's and the Bulldogs are at. Those are the teams our midfield will need to beat in 2-3 years time (post Jobe/Hocking/Stanton/Goddard), and the more we can pump quality into it the better.
  • Merve Keane

    I think our recruiting got a lot better when we started spending money on it ....

    Fark Jackson
  • Patton Pending

    4 Goals in a Preliminary final.

    Yeah we don't want him at all.
    No. Did you see the goals? Two were him being left alone in the F50 so that when there was a fast break by GWS he could mark unopposed. One was a lucky forward kick from congestion he was best positioned for. Only one goal was particularly good work. All the while being on their 3rd best tall defender (this is Bulldogs, remember how bad their tall defenders are?), yet he couldn't take a contested mark for his life. Didn't do much on the wings as a link up player. Dropped a mark, didn't crash and bash.

    For me, it solidified my view that he's not up to it. That he scored 4 in a preliminary final is hardly proof - Quinten Lynch kicked 6 goals in a semi-final and 3 in a grand final. He was a good player, but not worth a top 10 pick which is the price most here are talking about paying for Patton. And hell, Lynch was getting the opposition's #1 defender in 2006 and 2007.

    Compare Patton as the third target in front of a great midfield in this his 5th season against another 2nd/3rd target in a premiership team playing their 5th season - Chris Dawes in 2011. Dawes averaged 13.5 disposals, 4.5 marks, 3.2 tackles and 1.5 goals a game. Patton averages 10.2 disposals, 5.7 marks, 1.4 tackles and 1.6 goals a game. i.e. Dawes was just as good as Patton. What did that lead to? Melbourne giving up a (late) for #20. How did that turn out for them? Everyone is saying beware of Hawthorn because their fringe players look like gods - well why doesn't this apply to Patton?

    I would also point out that in his 6th season, Bellchambers in 2013 pre-injuries averaged 10.3 disposals, 21.9 hit outs, 4.0 marks, 1.3 tackles and 1.6 goals. So he almost did what Patton did, with an additional 21.9 hit-outs from his time in the ruck.

    We've seen this final series just how crucial a strong midfield i. Our talls were pretty decent this year before adding two AA's, Francis and Belly. We should be focussing on mids mids mids, and keeping spare salary for a real push at players next year as we move up the ladder.
    4 Goals in a Preliminary final.

    Yeah we don't want him at all.

    I'm clearly a bad judge, I thought Patton was underwhelming, did he take a contested mark ?
    Well, I'm not alone.

  • #8. Marty Gleeson. Finish your Rep and...do 10 more.

    The way I see things. Bags is 29. Kelly is 30 something. Walla is a forward or mid only. I'm not a fan of any of our mids bar Heppell near the backline, and don't want Heppell wasted there.

    So I see Gleeson, Dea and McKenna as actually all pretty freaking important going forward - that they both stay and improve. With Ahby not up to it and Hibberd leaving we've no depth beyond them in the younger group at all. We need all three staying, we need McKenna promoted, and we really need another small defender somewhere in the draft. Assuming injuries, all three will play lots of footy in 2017.