Welcome back, you crazy kids! Hands up if you’ve missed footy? OK you can all put your hands back down now. We don’t have crowds or 20 minute quarters, but in these times I think we’re all just thankful to have a small shred of normality back. And, naturally, that includes Supercoach.
There are a number of different factors we have to consider this year – as already mentioned in the excellent “re-preview” article by allsaints – and with an abbreviated season to deal with, we also have to re-assess the relevance of our rookies. All those slow burners we took a punt on at the start of the year may well have to go on the scrapheap due to time constraints, while the job security of others will come into question after the extended layoff. Thankfully we have those five trades to help us out. Obviously we’ll know more after round 2 teams are named but in the meantime, here’s the state of play for the freshers as I see it, with just 10 sleeps until this weird little season gets underway once more….
FIRE: The backline was pretty tough going for most coaches in Round 1, regardless of which strategy you went for. The bad news is it looks like it may get even tougher, with the likes of Brandon ZERK-THATCHER (ESS, $189 000) and Fischer MACASEY (ADE, $184 800) almost certain to miss selection as established stars return from injury. Brandon STARCEVICH (BRL, $147 700) was very quiet in his first game of the season, but with a couple of injuries in the Lions’ backline, he might just hold on.
HIRE: On the upside, while John NOBLE (COL, $215 400) is priced a little above the regular rookie threshold, he was super impressive and might be worth a look if you don’t have him (and can afford him). Keep an eye out for the likes of Hayden YOUNG (FRE, $180 300), Will GOULD (SYD, $117 300) and Bailey J. WILLIAMS (WCE, $123 900), who all missed selection in the opening round after impressing in the pre-season. Hopefully popular swingman Jarrod BRANDER (WCE, $133 000) can hold his spot after a solid 59 in round 1.
HIRE: Better news in this area, as popular and well-performed picks such as Matt ROWELL (GCS, $207 300), Marlion PICKETT (RIC, $123,900) and Justin MCINERNEY (SYD, $123,900) are all locked in at this stage. These three amigos combined for over 250 points in round 1, and you should make sure you have all three somewhere in your midfield. There’s less certainty around the likes of Deven ROBERTSON (BRL, $117 300) and Tyler BROWN (COL, $123 900) but keep everything crossed they can keep their spots in strong teams.
And I’m obligated to put the name Harley BENNELL (MEL, $123 900) here. I won’t say any more.
FIRE: Tom GREEN (GWS, $166 800) looks to be the most likely casualty of the popular rooks, with skipper Callan Ward set to resume his regular place in the Giants’ midfield. 60% of coaches may be forced to move him on.
HIRE: Whispers that Mason Cox has gone in for scans may open the door for Pies recruit Darcy CAMERON (COL, $123 900). Bailey Williams (see defs) may also be an R3 option if he can get a game.
HIRE: An injury scare for first-up centurion Sam STURT (FRE, $123 900), who is currently nursing a sore back. Expected to return to training this week though, so monitor closely. Curtis TAYLOR (NTH, $123 900) had a superb second half on debut and if named is a must-have, while the much-hyped Izak RANKINE (GCS, $123 900) may finally get his chance after a frustrating run of injuries. Can Stephen HILL (FRE, $190 600) stay on the paddock?
FIRE: Ugh, where to start. Connor BUDARICK (GCS, $106 900) and Ben CAVARRA (WBD, $123 900) were rarely sighted in their respective debuts, while Mitch GEORGIADES (PTA, $130 800) was great but may be the unlucky one to miss out when Charlie Dixon returns. The junior Crows DAVIS ($123 900) and FRAMPTON ($165 400) were modest scorers first up and must be on shaky ground, while the suspended Tyson STENGLE ($202 000) will miss at least the next month.
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