(Written & Created By Natopotato88)
Time for an interview with an under pressure Richardson and the Saints and how his responses can hopefully give us a bit of inside info for us Coaches.
“Will Gresham and Billings spend more time in the midfield this year?”
Starting things off with a name I am personally not too fond of, considering what he did last year. It will take a fair bit of convincing to ever get him back into my team. Richo begins by talking about how the team needs them “up and firing and playing through the midfield.”
This is a good start as it shows that Richardson recognises that they are useful in the midfield and can produce some good things for the team, which gives an indication they will get more time and improve. Not a second later and he is already on to how they are dangerous forwards, so they will still spend time in the forward line, but is really challenging on the amount of time they spend in each position. To finish it off Richo claims the preseason planning has been on them and they have been tracking the form and how it “has been positive playing in the midfield.” This surely comes out in really positive for coaches, as it almost gives the sign that they will play more midfield. It would be very questionable for them to not follow these positives signs they have been receiving.
Looking at the Saint’s midfield it is showing they need some players to step up and fill positions, as Steven is out with mental health and Hannebery is struggling with injuries, so it leaves a few spots open. Billings is sitting in 4% of teams at 438k after another somewhat strong finish to last year, finishing with 6 scores over 95 after his round 12 omission, with only 1 other score before that making it over the 90 mark.
From his JLT game, he came in scoring with 100 points from 20 disposals, 4 marks and 2 goals. This score shows promising signs that maybe we had his breakout year, a year early. Remember he reached an average of 92.7 in 2017 and dropped 12 points last year. So he has value in him, but can break that 2017 average and become a Top 6 FWD, or will he be that rollercoaster ride pumping out tonnes and 60’s? I can see potential, but I have no confidence in him after last year.
Gresham is only slightly lower in price at 430k and in 2% of teams. Gresham has received good comments from players such as Ross, regarding his talent and improvement in his fitness. Gresham has thrown up some decent scores last year with 5 tonnes to his name and all of those being 110+. However, he did produce 7 scores of 60 or lower, which gave out an average of 79.1 for the season.
I think it should be worth taking note that out of his 5 tonnes, they came up against Richmond twice, GWS, Demons and the Suns. This was all from round 10 onwards so it shows that the opponent doesn’t stop his scoring output. His JLT game does throw in some negativity, coming in at 60 points from 76% game time. This seems like his normal scoring habit of last year. He did also start forward, but I am unsure how long he spent there. He is capable of breaking out this year and it would definitely help if the Saints improve, after only 4 wins last year. 1 game to judge him is a bit harsh but be careful, as he could be the Billings 2.0.
“How strong is the chance that the mature aged rookies in Hind and Parker will play in Round 1?”
Richardson starts off by also mentioning Young as well as those other 2 and he likes the speed they all have. He was also fond of Parker and Young in front of the ball, this is because it “allows us to do a bit more with Gresham and Billings.” This just gives more support to that previous question on their midfield time as they have potential cover for it and they have experience, just not at AFL level. Hind is more of a midfielder, but Richo finishes up by stating that, “they are certainly a chance to play some footy for us.” It doesn’t give a time on when they are looking to get their chance, but it does surely make them downgrade targets at the very least.
These 3 are all priced at 117k with Young and Parker as forwards and Hind as a midfielder. From the JLT game, Young didn’t get to feature in the first game, so I am not seeing him until later in the year. As for Parker and Hind, they came in with scores of 61 and 52 from 81% and 58% TOG. Parker was showing good promise with 7 tackles to his name, which that pressure was something their forward line was lacking last year. He kicked 2 goals and had 4 contested possies however this was only from 7 disposals. Hopefully from the team’s ambitions to get Gresham and Billing more in the midfield, this will hopefully open up a spot for Parker.
Hind on the other hand only had 10 possessions but 6 were contested. He was fairly accurate too, only missing 1 of his targets. He wasn’t getting too much time on the field however, which may leave a little concern on his chances for round 1. With the likes of Steven and Hannebery out, surely they need someone to fill that spot but not rely on Gresham and Billings due to their needs of playing forward. One of these rookies is set to probably get a debut in round 1. However, if it is both, be weary as one may get the drop if Hannebery comes back from injury.
That is all from Richardson, I was hoping to get something on Kent as he has gone under the radar in term of his transfer looking for more midfield time. He isn’t too far from the likes of Billings and Gresham. He didn’t have an outstanding JLT scoring 61, but I’m keeping eye on him. Also, Steele is a useless pick for Supercoach 😉 That oughta rile up, Thommo hahahaha
**Big props to Natopotato88 for bringing us all the info from the Coaches over the pre-season! – Schwarzwalder**
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