Defenders: Gilbert, Hodge, H. O’Brien, Kennelly, Malceski, Ladson, Greenwood
Emg: Maguire, P. Davis
Mids: Swan, Mitchell, Harvey, Higgins, Masten, Cotchin
Emg: Trengove, Moles
Rucks: M. Clark, Warnock
Emg: Bellchambers, Skipper
Forwards: J. Brown, Franklin, LeCras, Tippett, T. Cloke, J. Kennedy, Medhurst
Emg: Rusling, G. Rohan
Rusty not only submitted his team but also gave me some insight into why certain options were made and some of the risks he thought he was taking by making those choices. Here’s what he said:
“Risks: I have taken quite a few deliberate risks during selection, which could either make me look very foolish, or pay dividends nicely. Malceski, Ladson, Cotchin, Warnock and Rusling have all had their injury woes, but given their respective quality, would not be found at the bargain prices had they not. If each remain fit, it’s hard to see their stock not rising rapidly.
Weakness: The ruck department is definitely one area I have skimped on. Having said that, I’m fairly confident that each player will get game time throughout the season .
One area a team can be made or broken is with the emergencies. I have followed, with close interest, the impressive crop of young midfielders currently making names for themselves in the NAB cup/challenge matches. Any one of 4 or 5 first year players could easily slot into their respective teams come round one, and this is one area I have not completely settled on.
As a pies supporter (yes, I do realize your criticism may no longer be constructive) I believe Harry O’Brien is set for a fantastic year. At very least, his price will stay steady, barring injury. I’m not completely set on Travis Cloke as yet, but he’s fit, has a point to prove and has put some distance between himself and some off field dramas which would adversely affect anybody’s psyche. His goal kicking lets him down, so it’s a good thing that this is not the only area points can be scored. One of the best contested marks in the league should increase his average this year, I hope.
This leaves $64,300 in the bank. Where should I be spending this?”
The issue I have with the structure is the weakness of the ruck division compared to the power of the midfield. Its not enough for players who are on your field just to get game time. These guys need to score for you week in, week out and hopefully score well. My advice here would be to trade Cotchin for a first year player, push Warnock to the bench, and upgrade Bellchambers to a premier ruck. I haven’t done the math but choose any name from Cox, Sandilands, Petrie, Jolly, Ottens, Kreuzer, McIntosh, even Naitanui. You have taken some risks with some of your defender and forward options but in most cases I think they’re worth taking (except for Rusling). All up I’d give this team a 7.5/10. Good effort.
Defenders – This all looks good except for one bloke. And I’m not just saying this because of the way I feel about the Pies. Harry O, as good as he’s been looking at the moment, had an average last year of 70 and plays mainly a shutdown style of footy. I think there are better options available. Maguire and Davis are fine as cash cows.
Mids – You haven’t scrimped at all here. Clearly the strength of your side. Any one of the first 4 blokes listed could take the captaincy. You are taking a risk with Cotchin given his history and I found it interesting that you haven’t included any of the rookies that everyone is talking about this year, namely Martin, Barlow, Banner, or Shuey. I guess you’re aiming to differentiate from your competitors. Trengove over Scully is the correct choice.
Rucks – As you suspected, this is where your weakness lies. With Leuenberger and eventually Charman back, Clark won’t get the same amount of time in the ruck as he did last year which could negatively impact his score. When a guy is worth $500k that’s a big risk. Warnock is great as your first bench ruck but hasn’t yet played a regular season game for Carlton and therefore shouldn’t be on your field. I would cut back somewhere else to grab a more proven player. Hille would be the obvious choice given his value and your propensity for risk taking. Bellchambers could struggle to get a game this year and Skipper looks a solid choice after Taylor went down over the weekend.
Forwards – Solid. I think Jono will get more opportunities given to him than Fev but I’d still like to see how it all goes before picking him. Franklin and Tippett are set for a great year. LeCras could play a midfield role this year so I like him and I’ve always been a fan of Kennedy, I just wish he would realise his potential. Medhurst is looking good and if you’re a Pies man then I can understand the Cloke choice (I just don’t agree with it). Rusling is the biggest risk you’ve taken in this team – I just get the feeling he’s going to be one of these blokes that never gets right. Rohan is a good second bench option.
Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom