Team Review – Geelong

Written by Thommo on January 21 2016

2015 Revisited

In the 2015 preseason, Chris Scott mentioned the need for bigger bodies around the ball so he decided to return Bartel and Kelly to the midfield. However after injuries to Bartel and Duncan early in the year, Joel Selwood was left to do the heavy lifting and it proved too much for him. As the year passed, young midfielders Duncan (on return from injury), Guthrie, Motlop and Caddy lifted their output but it was too little, too late and with the lack of midfield drive, Geelong missed the finals for the first time in 9 years. On a positive note, Mark Blicavs came out of nowhere to win the B&F.

After a disappointing year on the field, it was during the trade period that the magic happened for the Cats. Seeing the need for youth and noticing a drop in their output, Scott decided Kelly, Stokes and Stevie J needed to retire or be traded. In return, Dangerfield, Scott Selwood, Lachie Henderson and Zac Smith were traded in by the Cats. The only losses during trade period were draft picks, Josh Walker and Jansen to Brisbane and David Gore to Adelaide.

It would be an understatement to say that the town of Geelong was buzzing with anticipation at the end of 2015.

 

Best 22

This is a little hard to pick with so many changes so hopefully Geelong fans can correct me! It seems likely that Smith will push Stanley for the number 1 ruck role in the preseason.

B: Jake Kolodjashnij, Tom Lonergan, Lachie Henderson

HB: Corey Enright, Harry Taylor, Jackson Thurlow

C: Mitch Duncan, Joel Selwood, Mark Blicavs

HF: Steven Motlop, Tom Hawkins, Jimmy Bartel

F: Josh Caddy, Mitch Clark, Daniel Menzel

Foll: Rhys Stanley, Patrick Dangerfield, Cameron Guthrie

Int: Scott Selwood, Andrew Mackie, Darcy Lang, Cory Gregson

Fringe: Jed Bews, Nathan Vardy, Jordan Murdoch, George Horlin-Smith, Sam Menegola, Zac Smith, Nakia Cockatoo

 

Crystal Ball

Welcome to Geelong, Paddy! He has very quickly become Geelong’s favourite son. He will give the much needed midfield grunt alongside Joel Selwood and allow Duncan, Caddy and Guthrie to thrive while Scott Selwood will add depth or more if he gets fit. Fellow newcomer Henderson will replace the retired Rivers in the already stacked backline unless the improved Kolodjashnij pushes him from the team.

So with Paddy’s inclusion, Geelong will no doubt improve in the midfield, but it is up forward that Geelong has a problem. Tom Hawkins has become a pillar of strength in the forward 50 but as Travis Cloke can attest, tall forwards can’t do it alone. If Clarke, Vardy, Stanley and new ruck Smith can stay fit, Geelong will be able to kick a winning score, but if Hawkins is forced to work alone a top 4 berth seems out of reach.

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The Players

Defenders

Guns (>$400K)

Jimmy Bartel – D/M – $470,400

2015 Av. 88 from 11 games.

Past 5: 102, 106, 99, 101, 102

Vest: 1 R, subbed in Q1, Rd 3 (GC).

2015: Bartel was a popular forward line selection after Chris Scott indicated that he would spend more time in the midfield. That decision soon went pear-shaped after a knee injury in Round 3 saw Jimmy subbed on 5 Supercoach points and then miss 11 rounds. On his return, Bartel averaged in the high-90s and was one of the few ageing Cats who will play on in 2016.

PROs: Due to the red vest in round 3, Jimmy is discounted by about 10 points.

CONs: He’s ageing and likely to see less midfield time with the arrival of Dangerfield and the development of Duncan, Guthrie and Caddy.

Verdict: Yes he’s cheap, but he’s a big risk at age 32.

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Midfielders

Guns (>$450K)

Patrick Dangerfield – M – $647,000

2015 Av 119 in 23 games

Prev: 106, 113, 119, 80, 70

2015: Dangerfield starred in 2015. He only dropped below 100 on four occasions, with a low of 74 and missed only 1 game for the year. These statistics are even more impressive when you consider the speculation surrounding his possible defection to Geelong didn’t ease up all year.

PROs: His contested ball-winning style of game is made for Supercoach, he’s durable and he may receive more assistance amongst the bigger bodies in the Geelong midfield.

CONs: It’s always hard to rate how a change of clubs will affect a player and you will pay top price for Dangerfield after a career best-equalling 2015.

Verdict: He won’t let you down but you’ll pay for his services. If you don’t start with him, you’ll want to bring him in as soon as possible.

 

Joel Selwood – M – $565,500

2015 Av. 105 from 20 games.

Past 5: 121, 118, 117, 112, 118

2015: A lack of support in the midfield and late season injury caused Selwood to have his worst year since 2008. By the end of the year, he couldn’t fight off the taggers and although he did pump out some big scores (142, 171, 145 back to back from round 17-19) he didn’t have his usual end of year form spike. He has since admitted to struggling to run the year out due to fatigue and soreness.

PROs: Dangerfield! Selwood is likely to find more space with Danger in the team and he was already cheap.

CONs: He has been managed in the preseason due to injuries late in the 2015 season, always a concern for the year ahead. [Ed: in mid-December it was revealed he has plantar fasciitis]

Verdict: If he doesn’t play a pretty full NAB cup, stay away! If he does, he’s a bargain.

 

Mark Blicavs – M/R – $562,700

2015 Av. 104 from 21 games

Past: 69, 67

2015: In the absence of a recognised and fit ruckman, Blicavs broke out in a big way, increasing his average by 35 in 2015. He only dropped below 90 on 6 occasions and managed a high of 153 against Melbourne in round 12. He only missed one game for the year.

PROs: Durable, super-fit and ear-marked to play a midfield role.

CONs: With the arrival of Smith and if Stanley is fit, expect Blicavs to spend less time in the ruck. Will his midfield numbers offset the loss of hitouts?

Verdict: Last year was the time to select Blicavs. Little value this year, especially with uncertainty over his role.

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Mitch Duncan – M – $493,000

2015 Av. 91 from 11 games.

Past 5: 100, 81, 80, 75, 58

2015: A wasted year for Duncan. To start the year Scott made the random decision to use Duncan in tagging roles which hurt his output with scores of 63, 44, 93 and 81. The penny dropped for Scott after that and he was released from tagging and he pumped out 2 huge scores before injury (broken foot) struck in round 7. When he returned from injury in round 16 he was unfit and struggled to impact before his season ended in round 19 due to further injury (calf).

PROs: His 140 and 153 in rounds 5 and 6 showed what Mitch can do if allowed to run free and Chris Scott has decided he is no tagger. He’s underpriced and normally very durable. The arrival of Dangerfield will only make his job easier.

CONs: Will Dangerfield’s arrival push him out of the midfield? Few drawbacks otherwise.

Verdict: Consider strongly as turning 25 and entering his sixth season, Duncan could step into the elite.

 

Cam Guthrie – M – $524,200

2015 Av. 97 from 21 games.

Past 5: 80, 59, 46, 34

2015: Guthrie started the year as a tagger and was serviceable until round 18 manning players like Hill, Fyfe, Cunnington and Prestia. His scoring was good for a tagger but nothing to interest Supercoaches. However from round 18 onwards, he was released from tagging and showed what a ball magnet he could be, averaging 27.5 possessions and 123 supercoach points per game.

PROs: Underpriced if he’s released from tagging and unlikely to receive attention from taggers.

CONs: Will the arrival of Selwood and Dangerfield push him back into this tagging role?

Verdict: Too expensive unless Scott guarantees he’ll be freed from defensive roles.

 

Mid-price Madness ($200K – $450K)

Scott Selwood – M – $310,300

2015 Av. 57 from 13 games

Past 5: 81, 104, 104, 82, 65

Vests: 4 G, Rd 8 (St K), Rd 14 (Melb), Rd 17 (Syd), Rd 18 (GC), twice on in Q3, twice in Q4.

2015: A persistent ankle injury prevented Selwood from playing his best football in 2015. He missed 8 games with injury, 2 for form and was subbed in 4 more, all of which added up to his average dropping from 81 in 2014 to 57 in 2015. He’s a better player than he showed.

PROs: Remember 2012 and 2013 when he averaged 104? If he gets close to that he’s practically half priced and Geelong need ball-winning mids.

CONs: His preseason has again been interrupted so he may struggle to find form early.

Verdict: If he gets his body right, he’s a steal. I’ll select him if he plays at least 2 preseason games.

 

Rookies (<$200K)

Sam Menegola – M – $117,300

2015 Draftee #66 from Subiaco in the WAFL

What’s the deal?

Mature age rookie alert! The 23 year old Menegola couldn’t win a game on the strong Fremantle and Hawthorn lists but after averaging 27 possessions per game for Subicao in the WAFL, he looks like he is AFL-ready. He finished third in the best and fairest in the WAFL despite playing only 12 games.

Verdict: If he earns a game, he’ll be very popular.

 

Ruck

Gun (>$400K)

Zac Smith – R – $425,300

2015 Av. 79 from 11 games.

Past: 76, 77, 70, 78

Vests: 1 R, off Q3, Rd 6 (Adel)

2015: He played a full preseason and looked to have improved under the tutelage of Rodney Eade but his form was so poor early that he was dropped to the NEAFL for 12 of 16 games from Round 5. Geelong chased his services once the season ended so it will be interesting to see if he can finally realise his full potential.

PROs: He seems to have talent and Geleong obviously see him as their future number 1 ruckman. At 25 he’s at the peak age for a ruckman.

CONs: He’s injury prone and he hasn’t really improved since he was drafted so it’s difficult to judge how he’ll respond to a new club.

Verdict: He could improve but he’s a huge risk: I’ll be looking elsewhere.

 

Forward

Guns (>$400K)

Steven Motlop – M/F – $475,400

2015 Av. 88 from 20 games

Past: 81, 82, 62, 41, 7

2015: The year started pretty well with 5 scores in the 90s with the exception of the round 2 suspension when the Hawks dobbed on him for being a naughty boy and drinking days before the season started. From then the rollercoaster ride began with 26, 39, 42, 49, 64 and 68 mixed with 147, 144, 119, 119, 116 and 115. Generally if the Cats played well, he scored well, but as soon as the team struggled or he received attention from tight checking defenders, he dropped off in a big way. For all that, he did improve his average in a tough year for the club.

PROs: He can go large and he’ll receive less attention with so many talented midfielders at the Cats.

CONs: Will he push up the ground as much this year or will Dangerfield and the developing midfield force him deeper into attack?

Verdict: I was not going to review him until I noticed coaches showing interest. He’s a big risk for little reward. Prepare to strap onto the rollercoaster if you select him.

 

Mid-Price Madness ($200K – $400K)

Daniel Menzel – F – $260,600

2015 Av. 69 from 2 games.

Past: 63, 54

Vest: 1 R, subbed in Q3 of Rd 23 (Adelaide).

2015: One of the feel-good stories of 2015 for the Cats in a poor year was the return of Menzel in Round 22. His 4 goal, 119 Supercoach-point performance against the Pies was great for all to see (including the Pies players) even if it did inflate his 2016 starting price.

PROs: He has obvious talent and the Cats want him playing and there is room with the departure of Stevie J, Kelly and Stokes.

CONs: The obvious: injury. We all hope he gets through a whole year unscathed but he’s a risk and he did inflate his price with one good game.

Verdict: He’ll be popular in many forwards lines as long as he gets through the preseason.

 

Nathan Vardy – R/F – $293,400

2015 Av. 78 from 3 games.

Past:  69, 56, 54

2015: Vardy spent most of the year recovering from complications from his knee injury, returning to the VFL in round 17 and the AFL in round 21. He showed great signs in 3 games and should be primed for 2016.

PROs: He’s cheap and he’s a DPP.

CONs: He’s injury prone and his scores will fluctuate as he’s likely to be used as a KPP. It’s hard to know whether he will be able to play with both Clarke and Stanley in the team.

Verdict: If he’s best 22, he may make a good forward-ruck swingman.

 

Rookies (<$200K)

Michael Luxford – F – $123,900

2015 Av. 13 from 2 games.

Vests: 2 G in Rd 10 and 12.

2015: The ex-basketballer managed to play 2 games from the Rookie list to replace injured players. He didn’t affect the 2 games he played much but it was a development year and he started both games as sub. He has improved his running ability over the year so he has developed a good fitness base.

PROs: He’s rookie priced in an injury prone forward line and entering his third year on the list.

CONs: He will rely on injuries to play with Geelong’s tall forward line and he didn’t look quite ready in his brief time on field in 2015.

Verdict: Watch his preseason to see if he has a role in the best 22.

 

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15 thoughts on “Team Review – Geelong”

  1. I’m liking Menegola and Vardy might be a better risk than Luey.

    Scott Selwood was on my early drafts but we really need some preseason form from him.

    If he can get back to form, he’ll be one of the top bargains of the year. But that’s a big if.

    sensational write up yet again.

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  2. Killing it with your articles, Thommo! Really appreciate your efforts!

    While I agree that Duncan is a decent player, I just can’t see him surpassing Danger & J.Selwood on his way to being a potential 110+ elite. For that reason, I can’t justify spending $493k right now. Until the moment J.Selwood is missing from the Rd1 team, I’ve got him in my side.

    His brother Scott should also be considered IF he stays injury-free during the pre-season.

    Think I’ll only take Menzel if other FWD rookie options fall over before Rd1, too pricy otherwise.

    Thanks again, Thommo!!

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  3. From the top-shelf this article!!! Problem with S.Selwood is there are 3 better mid priced midfielders this year. Any other year I’d be interested. Only J.Selwood, Danger & Bartel in the mx for me

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