His Sordid past: He played one match in 2014 and 20 in 2015 at a misleading average of 53.4.
Why he left home: To go back home actually. He didn’t handle the move to Sydney from Perth too well after being drafted by GWS. After two seasons he requested a trade home despite having two years to run on his contract. GWS declined the request and McCarthy was granted personal leave indefinitely. He sat out the 2016 season as a result before being traded to the Dockers during the trade period.
Upon his return: He will be 22 right after the season starts and is listed as a forward for the Dockers. He is priced at $203,600.
He returned as: He’s a cow.
From him we expect: Well, he’s a cow. We want him to make us money and score some points along with way. Since he is an expensive cow he’ll need to do well to turn a good profit.
His Risk Rating*: Cow’s don’t have risk ratings as such; they are a different beast than players with more history and/or success.
For that risk, the reward: We know that GWS was really, seriously, reluctant to let him go. They turned down what appears to have been a hefty offer from the Dockers for him to move there for the 2016 season, “categorically” rejecting his trade request, and instead put a lot of effort into helping him deal with his homesickness. They made him sit out a season hoping he would change his mind and play for them rather than give up his career, and only traded him to the Dockers when it looked like he was going to give up on the AFL rather than play for GWS again. Fremantle gave up pick No.3 in return for McCarthy as well as picks seven, 34 and 72 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.
Cam is unusual in that he is getting a do over on his cow-season. He cost $210,700 in 2014 and while his season average was poor, the start of his season, before the homesickness started taking it’s toll, was really good. Let’s look at the start of his 2015 season.
That’s a 70.1 average through round 10, and a 78 average through round 8. His price rose to $341,300. He tonned up twice, with a 124 and 114. We can see why GWS wanted to keep him and Fremantle wanted to get him! If he only repeats his 2015 season he’s worth it, and it is certainly possible he’ll do better, even with the time off. Having his head right has to count for something.
How welcome is he? Given the lack of cows this season, he is *really* welcome. I’m not a big fan of expensive cows since it is so much harder for them to make good money. But, Cam is, if not unique, very unusual in that he showed his talent and then had his season average tank without a physical injury, leaving him priced even lower than his real cow season. He might be the best F5 out there.
*If you don’t know what a risk rating is, it is all in the article Risk Management in Supercoach.
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