Part two of the Rookie Review below:
PS. I really wanted to add Mitch Hallahan to my Special Mentions section for players just outside of rookie-price. Alas, he’s too expensive to qualify but I really like the kid so gets a mention in the intro instead. Could be another Josh P Kennedy scenario for the Hawks (let’s face it though – they’re doing alright without either player).
- Jack Redpath FWD, $204.3K – NAB SC Score 82. Redpath had 10 possessions, seven marks, two goals, a tackle and a free against in 85% game time against Richmond on the weekend. The recruitment of Tom Boyd probably doesn’t help his cause and there’s risks paying $200K without high job security.
Special mentions (players that just fall outside rookie-price): Lin Jong – started off exceptionally well against Richmond and ended up scoring 89 SC points with 19 disposals (11 contested), six marks and one tackle in 74% game time. He’s a big midfielder standing 190cm and 87kg with great speed and power. Considering he only started playing footy at 15, his rapid improvement is very impressive and I think he’ll continue to get better. With Libba unfortunately done for the year and Griffen having moved North of Albury, I think Jong could improve his SC output significantly (both he and Mitch Wallis).
- Kane Lambert MID/FWD, $102.4K – NAB SC Score 85. At that price and with dual position status you certainly have to consider Lambert. He also happens to be mature age and a bit of a ball magnet. Against the Doggies he had 15 disposals at 80% efficiency (eight contested), four marks and five tackles – all that in 65% game time. I still can’t figure out if there’s a place in Richmond’s midfield for him though.
- Ben Lennon FWD, $180.4K – NAB SC Score 73. Lennon had 16 disposals at 75% efficiency (13 kicks which is nice to see), two marks and two tackles during 77% game time. Lennon is a great user of the ball and he’d be hoping to escape the green vest and play more games this year. If he achieves both outcomes he’d be a great addition to your team.
- Nathan Drummond MID, $117.3K – NAB SC Score 45. Average game in NAB 1. Drummond is a mature age recruit and stands 182cm and 84kg. He has very good endurance and is a nice kick of the ball. He had a brilliant final year in the TAC Cup and won the best and fairest for the Murray Bushrangers. At 20 years of age and with some excellent football ability he may get some games with the Tigers this year.
- Liam McBean FWD, $123.9K – NAB SC Score 35. A quiet game against the Doggies on Saturday. We’ve been hearing about McBean for two years now but he hasn’t played a senior game as yet. At 202cm and just 86kg his name suits his stature (for now) and I reckon Richmond will retain McBean due to his continued improvement in the VFL. I wouldn’t select him in your SC team this year though.
- Reece McKenzie FWD, $117.3K – NAB SC Score 42. Already a monster sized 197cm and 107kg, in just 37 minutes game time McKenzie had five possessions at 80% efficiency (three contested), a mark, a tackle, a free for and a shot at goal for a point. Nice start I reckon and his 2014 junior numbers were unbelievable, especially for a guy who took the previous year off to pursue basketball. He’s bloody fast, has an excellent vertical leap and a background in basketball (we all know recruiters love kids with basketball backgrounds). Apart from his endurance (which can be worked on), I have no idea what the other knocks on his game are to have him slide to pick 77. I hope he gets some game time this year – he has the size, speed and confidence to mix it with the big boys.
- Cameron Ellis-Yeolmen MID, $123.9K – NAB SC Score 73. Ellis-Yeolmen had 17 disposals, three marks, three tackles and five clearances during 72% time on ground. He was a late pick in the 2011 draft and has played just the one senior game since. He keeps improving his numbers in the SANFL and Adelaide offered Ellis-Yeolmen a two year contract extension in 2013. A make or break season but with the introduction of a new coach he may get his opportunity this year, particularly if the Crows are readying themselves for the possible departure of one or two stars. Keep in mind if selected as he’s a big body and ready to go.
- Nathan Van Berlo MID, $215.6K – NAB SC Score 59. I’m still leaning towards selecting Van Berlo if he’s named round one. There was talk of him being released from tagging duties so maybe he’ll can get back to the 75+ scores of 2010-2012.
- Harrison Wigg DEF, $117.3K – NAB SC Score 12. Wigg got onto the ground in the third quarter so we can forgive him for such a low score. Very impressive junior numbers so worth keeping an eye on – outside chance of a trade-down target during the season.
- Trent Dumont FWD, $123.9K – NAB SC Score 42. Nine disposals from 81 minutes isn’t all that convincing but it was his first senior game. I still think Dumont will play a bit this year as his VFL form in 2014 was exceptional (as well as previous SANFL form) and shows he can mix it with the men in contested situations. With Greenwood gone and Ziebell’s recent success as a forward, it can only help Dumont’s cause. I remember spewing when Essendon didn’t read out his name at pick 26 in 2013. “Zach Merrett?!” I thought with contempt. Look, I can’t compare the two given Dumont’s lack of senior footy so far. Needless to say, I bloody love Zerrett and this very scenario reinforces my opinion that armchair critics like myself sometimes need to take a chill pill and leave it to the pros (I had the same reaction when Hurley’s name was read out instead of Daniel Rich).
Special mentions (players that just fall outside rookie-price): Majak Daw – bloody impressive last weekend but we know that Goldstein likes to ruck solo. There’s that, and Daw was also rucking against a 19 year old first year player and part-time Ruck Jenkins (who’s not even eligible as a Ruck in SC). Jamie Macmillan – just six games last year due to injury. He played 22 games in 2013 and averaged 73 which would have him priced at $391K compared to his 2015 start price of $279.9K – I think he’s still best 22. Ben Jacobs – looked good against the Crows and has brilliant VFL form – not sure there’s room for him yet, especially since the recruitment of Higgins who looked sensational (depends if Scott plays Higgins down back during the real stuff).
- Alex Sexton MID/FWD, $218.1K – NAB SC Score 111. Sexton had 18 disposals (11 contested and four clearances), a mark and six tackles. He played 14 games last year and his preseason form has been excellent. He’s quick and the change of coach might see him get more game time. As a dual position player I’d like to make room for Sexton if selected round one without the vest.
- Jarrod Garlett MID, $152.3K – NAB SC Score 80. In 67 minutes Garlett impressed with two goals, seven disposals (four contested), three marks, five tackles and two frees for. Not bad considering he played a bit of time against Corey Enright. I still have a preference for the bigger bodies or experienced rookie priced players (Garlett is just 69kg) but he certainly has some tricks and was a high draft pick.
- Touk Miller MID, $117.3K – NAB SC Score 71. Played well on the weekend and had 11 disposals (81% efficiency), two marks, three tackles and a goal in 72 minutes. He likes the contest and is 178cm and 83kg (heavy enough for Badger to select!). Amazing junior performances and a natural leader, Miller should get quite a few games and has the endurance to be given plenty of game time (his Mum has ran over 15 marathons so I guess he has the right genetic makeup for endurance based sport).
- Adam Saad DEF/MID, $102.4K – NAB SC Score 67. I’m quoting myself from a previous comment here – “Adam Saad did some very nice things against the Cats. He’s a mature age recruit and has been playing against men in the VFL since 2012. He’s athletically gifted and posted a 2.81 time in the 20 metre sprint as a junior. With a good mix of inside and outside ability he’s definitely a chance at senior action this year – if so he could post some nice scores along the way.” I’m actually surprised he made it to pick 25 in the rookie draft.
- Henry Schade DEF, $123.9K – NAB SC Score 25. On the ground for 56 minutes and had eight disposals. With Matthew Warnock finished up and injuries (although not long-term) to Steven May and Rory Thompson, there aren’t many monster backmen on the Suns list. Schade and Jack Leslie could be competing for a spot in the team if the Suns need to cover injury. Either way, I can’t see them scoring enough to warrant selection in your Supercoach squad.
- Jack Leslie DEF, $148.4K – NAB SC Score 40. On the ground for 90 minutes most of it on Hawkins who kicked two goals and had seven marks. Hard task for even the best defenders out there. See above write-up on Henry Schade.
Special mentions (players that just fall outside rookie-price): Jesse Lonergan – wasn’t spectacular against the Cats but I remain convinced Lonergan will be a bloody good inside mid in the next few years. Hopefully he remains injury free and can string together plenty of games.
- Darcy Lang MID, $159.1K – NAB SC Score 83. It took just 66 minutes for Lang to gather 14 possessions, two marks, five tackles and a couple goals. He’s had a thorough preseason increasing his fitness and possesses the outside pace that Geelong could use more of. A chance at senior action.
- Nakia Cockatoo MID, $177.3K – NAB SC Score 55. In 57 minutes Cockatoo had 10 disposals at 80% efficiency (six contested) as well as two marks and six tackles. A nice debut and like Darcy Lang he has plenty of speed. Will certainly provide us with some highlights when he gets games, and he’s a big enough body to cope with senior footy at 186cm and 86kg. Has the attributes to become a star just like fellow #10 draft pick Dangerfield in ’07 (how the hell did Danger get to pick 10?!).
- Mitch Clark FWD, $155.2K – NAB SC Score 66. Played 89 minutes and kicked a couple goals along with nine disposals (six contested), two marks and two tackles. The upside with Clark is just too damn high to ignore. He was magnificent for Melbourne in 2012 marking nearly everything kicked in his vicinity, and considering the irregular and poor forward delivery he did well to average 84 SC points. If he can stay fit and improve as the season goes on Clark may prove a brilliant pickup for Geelong playing next to the Tomahawk. Given the Cats injury-curse with Rucks he could even play some minutes in the ruck. I still remember round three of 2009 when Clark took over Ruck duties for the Lions after Leuenberger’s injury – from then until round 22 he averaged 24 hitouts and 17 disposals and was bloody sensational, especially for a 21 year old. I know I know, I’m living in the past and relying on former glory but he’s a bloody talent Mitch and at 27 in a great environment like Geelong he could surprise the sceptics. I wish him all the best.
- Jake Kolodjashnij DEF, $123.9K – NAB SC Score 40. As a young key defender he’s not likely to score well enough to select, let alone the fact he’s trying to break into one of the best defences in the game. Geelong does have a habit of resting players throughout the season though so I suspect he’ll get some games but not enough to select in your SC team.
More to come as the NAB games continue…
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