Rocket Eade looked to have won the coaching lottery after landing the Gold Coast coaching job. After a decent 2014 campaign where the Suns were in contention to make finals for the first time before fading late to finish 12th with 10 wins and 12 losses, many AFL fans predicted Gold Coast to be the big improver in 2015. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Losses to Melbourne away, St Kilda at home, Geelong away and the Giants away combined with injuries to Ablett, Swallow, O’meara, Prestia, Thompson, Martin, etc meant the Suns’ season was over before it really began. Some improvement was shown as the year progressed with Gold Coast managing 2 wins and a draw (against West Coast) from the last six rounds, but on the whole, the year was a disappointment.
The experience gained by draftees like Touk Miller, Jesse Lonergan, Adam Saad and Aaron Hall (as a mid) and the drafting of young gun Callum Ah Chee should have been positives to build upon, however the loss of Bennell to Fremantle and Charlie Dixon to Port during trade period set the club back.
Best to move on and forget 2015 ever happened!
B: Adam Saad, Steven May, Henry Schade
HB: Nick Malceski, Rory Thompson, Kade Kolodjashnij
C: Matt Rosa, David Swallow, Alex Sexton
HF: Jack Martin, Tom Lynch, Jaeger O’Meara
F: Brandon Matera, Sam Day, Touk Miller
Foll: Tom Nicholls, Gary Ablett, Dion Prestia
I/C: Jarrod Harbrow, Aaron Hall, Michael Rischitelli, Jarrad Grant
Fringe: Jesse Lonergan, Peter Wright, Daniel Currie or Keegan Brooksby, Jarrod Garlett
Despite the plethora of high draft picks over the past few years, the Suns’ structure is of concern. The backline is well stocked with small defenders like Kolodjashnij, Malceski and Harbrow but there is little back-up for tall defenders Steven May, Rory Thompson and Henry Schade should injury strike again. Similarly up forward Tom Lynch and Sam Day need to perform as only Peter Wright and Keegan Brooksby can cover injury and neither player appears ready for a key post. With the loss of Zac Smith, the ruck situation is even worse with Tom Nicholls unlikely to play a full season although the acquisition of Daniel Currie as cover was a smart move.
So that leaves just the midfield with more guns than an NRA meeting. If the entire Gold Coast midfield ever makes it on to the park at the same time, the Suns will win more games than they lose. A pity Rocket isn’t playing Supercoach where you only need midfielders!Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Kade Kolodjashnij – D – $482,200
2015 Av. 89 from 22 games.
2015: KK lined up on the wing in the preseason so many coaches jumped on KK in their starting squad. Unfortunately he struggled to find the ball early and many coaches jumped back off, only to watch him pump out a streak of 6 centuries from 9 games between rounds 6 and 15. He only managed 3 more tonnes for the year but these were in the last 4 rounds of the season. An increase of 21 points to average 89 was impressive for a second year player in a struggling side.
PROs: He’s super-fit, entering his third year, he finds plenty of the ball (22 possessions per game in 2015) and he seems durable. He’ll be the best Supercoach defender soon.
CONs: He’s expensive for a third year player and his form was a bit erratic in 2015 with 9 tonnes mixed with 7 scores under 80. Will the return of midfield stars effect his output?
Verdict: I reckon Eade rates him and he has plenty of upside. At the moment he’s in for the Tribe.
Matt Rosa – D/M – $419,000
2015 Av. 77 from 17 games
Past: 84, 76, 90, 87, 79
Vests: 3 Green but only 1 in regular season; On Q4 of Rd 19 (Haw)
2015: Rosa was pretty good all year barring missing 6 weeks with a hamstring strain but he still struggled to keep his spot during the finals. After copping green vests in the Prelim and Grand final after a 26 possession quarter final against the Hawks in the Qualifying final, he decided to seek opportunities elsewhere. Gold Coast pounced despite their strong midfield.
PROs: He eligible as a defender and capable of averaging in the high 80s.
CONs: He hasn’t played a full season in years, he’s going to struggle to hold his spot in the strong Gold Coast midfield, he’s awkwardly priced and he’s not a huge scorer.
Verdict: There aren’t many value defenders who could be keepers but he’s a big risk with limited upside. Too risky for me.
Mid-price Madness $200K – $400K
Nick Malceski – D – $383,800
2015 Av. 71 from 16 games
Past 5: 105, 90, 75, 68, 96
Vests: 2 Green, Subbed on Q1 in Rd 11 (Frem) and subbed on Q3 in Rd 13 (Carl).
2015: In his first season for the Gold Coast, Malceski struggled for form and fitness for most of the year. He scored 79, 52, 52 and 61 SC points in his first four games before a knee injury forced him out for 4 games. He returned via the NEAFL and a green vest on his AFL return and didn’t impress until late in the year when he finished with 108 and 120 playing across half-back in rounds 22 and 23. On the whole, his disposal count dropped from 20.8 to 16.6 and his kicking efficiency was poor, uncharacteristic stats for him.
PROs: He has averaged over 90 on four occasions, he’s cheap this year and the Suns did seem to use him in his familiar half-back role.
CONs: He has averaged under 90 as many times as he’s averaged over it and he is not getting any younger (31 to start the year).
Verdict: It’s a tough call; he’s so cheap but he’s no guarantee to score highly. He’s currently out for me.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Tom Keogh – D – $126,400
2015 ROOKIE Draftee #3
Who is he?
Tom Keogh is 24 year old a tall defender from West Adelaide who was a stand-out performer in the state game for SA versus WA. They have stated that he AFL ready.
Verdict: If he’s elevated to cover an injury, he could provide good bench cover. As mentioned earlier, the Suns do not have a lot of tall forwards or defenders.
Gary Ablett jnr – M – $623,200
2015 Av. 114 from 6 games.
Past 5 (2014 backwards): 137, 128, 138, 127, 130
Vests: 1 Red, subbed QT of Rd 17 (Adel).
2015: Gazza had a year to forget. Early in the season Ablett struggled to recover from his 2014 shoulder injury and he was clearly playing in pain in rounds 1 and 2, so he was put out to pasture until round 14. On return he looked like his old self racking up scores of 118, 153 and 189 but a knock to his knee in round 17 (while on 20 points) ended his season for good.
PROs: Sorry, if you need to know this take up a different fantasy sport.
CONs: He is the wrong side of 30 and likely to miss games through injury and rests.
Verdict: Can you afford not to have the G.O.A.T at his lowest price in years?
Mid-price Madness $200K – $450K
David Swallow – M – $416,800
2015 Av. 85 from 6 games (priced at 77)
Past: 103, 79, 78, 80
2015: Swallow had a strong preseason but he started slowly averaging only 87 until he injured his knee and missed rounds 5 to 13. He only returned for 2 more games before more knee troubles ended his year.
PROs: With his mild discount, he’s under-valued by at least 15 points and prior to 2015 he was pretty durable.
CONs: In his best season (2014), he didn’t have a high ceiling (mainly due to his poor kicking efficiency) so he will probably need to be upgraded.
Verdict: In a normal year, you’d choose him but Crouch and Liberatore may provide better value. Consider him all the same.
Jaeger O’Meara – M – $316,300
2015 Av. DNP, priced at approx. 59.
Past 5: 98, 90
2015: Jaegar missed the year recovering from his ruptured patella tendon that occurred after off-season surgery on both knees.
PROs: He’s a gun with a possible 30 point upside.
CONs: Only one: will he play round 1 and remain uninjured?
Verdict: If he plays any preseason games, everyone should consider him.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Ryan Davis – D – $102,400
2015 ROOKIE Draftee #38
Past: 2009: 35 from 3 games. 2008: 50 from 11 games.
Who is he?
Davis played with the West Coast back in 2008 and 2009 before he was cut from the squad. Playing in attack and the midfield for Swan Districts in 2015 he averaged 21 disposals and 6 tackels (and kicked 24 goals) so he was given a second chance by the suns.
Verdict: He’s 26 so he’s likely been selected to play senior football. Watch closely if elevated from Rookie list.
Tom Nicholls – R – $439,200
2015 Av. 81 from 15 games.
Past: 79, 92, 44
Vests: 2 Red; subbed QT of Rd 16 (GWS) and subbed HT of Rd 20 (Rich).
2015: Nicholls returned in round 4 following his PCL injury in 2014 and got back into the groove of AFL by about round 7 from which time he managed 6 tonnes from 8 games. A red vest for a quad injury in round 16 disrupted his run and he never recaptured that form before another knee injury ended his year in round 20.
PROs: He’s a proven scorer due to his ability to win the contested ball and he’s no longer competing with Zac Smith for the number 1 ruck role.
CONs: He has suffered knee injuries in each of the last 3 years, he’s a poor tap ruckman hitting only 1/3 of taps to advantage and he’s awkwardly priced.
Verdict: A point of difference but he’s a big risk with a moderate upside.
Daniel Currie – R – $163,200
2015 Av. DNP
Past: 61 in 2014.
2015: After 4 games in 7 years at the Kangaroos as Goldstein’s under-study, Currie did not add to his senior games in 2015. He was serviceable in the reserves, averaging over 30 hit-outs per game although he did miss 9 games with a foot injury. He was traded to the Suns as a back-up after they lost Zac Smith to the Cats.
PROs: He’s actually a pretty good tap-ruckman and an accurate kick so given only the injury prone Nicholls stands in his way, he’s likely to play games for the Gold Coast.
CONs: He’s more of a tap-ruckman so he won’t win a lot of possessions around the ground so don’t expect big scores.
Verdict: Watch his preseason. Considering he’s a better tap ruckman than Nicholls and better kick than Brooksby he should play games. He’s a good change to be the best ruck bench option for 2016.
Tom Lynch – F – $476,700
2015 Av. 89 from 20 games.
Past: 83, 67, 68, 53
2015: Lynch was one of the few consistently good players for the Suns in 2015, kicking 43 goals from 20 games to back up his 46 goals from 22 games in 2014. He was held goalless on only 3 occasions and he even assisted in defence (8% of his game time) and the ruck so his Supercoach scoring was not completely reliant on him kicking bags of goals (109 SC points from 1 goal and 17 touches against Adelaide in round 6). This lead to him scoring more consistently than most key forwards with only 3 scores under 70 compared to 8 scores over 100.
PROs: Averaged 15 disposals and 7 marks per game, good figures for a key forward. He will receive more supply with Gold Coast improving this year and Dixon moving to Port. He’s only just turned 23, so he has more improvement left in him.
CONs: He’ll receive more defensive attention without Dixon in the team and like all key forwards he can put in the odd stinker with lows of 51 (GWS) and 33 (NM) in 2015.
Verdict: A smokey, but with few great forward options he’s worth a look.
Mid-price Madness $200K – $400K
Jack Martin – F – $386,300
2015 Av. 71.6 from 12 games.
Past: 56 in 2014
Vests: 2 red, subbed at half time in round 4 (GWS) and early Q1 in round 9 (Haw). Note: knocked out in round 20 (Q3) and not subbed but only scored 32.
2015: After injury limited Martin to 11 games in 2014, the mail for 2015 was that Martin was ready to prove that he was better than O’Meara. After a disappointing 64 SC points in round 1, Martin pumped out back-to-back centuries in rounds 2 and 3 and looked like a steal. A red vest at HT in round 4 reduced his score to only 36 in round 4 but he once again scored over 100 in round 5. Sadly, that was his last 100+ score for 2015. He missed rounds 6, 7 and 8 with an ankle injury and on his return in round 9 he was vested on 5 points with a hamstring injury. He only played 6 more games for the year from round 18 to 23 but he never looked like reaching those early season heights.
PROs: Very skilled so he scores well off of limited possessions and he’s undervalued by approximately 15 points due to three injury effected scores in 2015.
CONs: Rocket has already stated that he will play forward so his possession count won’t increase much in 2016. He’s very injury prone and awkwardly priced.
Verdict: At this stage Martin appears to be one of those super-skilled footballers whose body tends to let them down. A big risk for only a small gain.Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
Callum Ah Chee – F – $189,300
2015 Draftee #8
Who is he?
The younger brother of the Port Adelaide Ah Chee, Callum is an exciting small forward who loves to take a hanger. He is agile, has great skills at ground level but he doesn’t win a lot of possessions as seen by his form playing in the seniors for South Fremantle in 2015 where he never won more than 20 possessions. He did struggle at the under-18 championships and lacks endurance so he won’t see midfield time for a while.
Verdict: There are many cheap forwards this year so there will be safer, and higher scoring, options.
Peter Wright – R/F – $187,100
2015 Av. 35 from 3 games.
2015: It was a development year in the NEAFL for Wright but he did manage 3 games of AFL. He was pretty quiet as expected from a first year tall forward. In his 15 NEAFL games he was pretty handy, averaging just over 2 goals per game and showing an ability to take a contested mark.
PROs: With the departure of Dixon, Lynch will need support so Wright is a chance to earn games.
CONs: Even if he plays, he won’t score well
Verdict: Only seltect him if you’re desperate as tall forwards (and ruckmen) take time.
Jarrod Garlett – F – $185,300
2015 Av. 34.3 from 9 games.
Vests: 3 G, rounds 1, 2 and 20 (Melb, St K, Rich), subbed on Q3, HT and HT. 1 R, subbed on 0 points in round 5 (Bris) with ankle injury.
2015: Garlett filled the sub-role early in his debut year, playing mainly forward when he came on. He only played 2 full games in round 3 and 4 for scores of 64 and 34 with the low scores caused by a low possession count and poor kicking. He injured his ankle early in the round 5 game against Brisbane and didn’t return to the AFL until round 20. He finished the year with 3 full games for scores of 56, 22 and 62.
PROs: He’s still rookies priced due to the 4 vests and he has a bit of experience at AFL level now.
CONs: Even if you don’t count the vests, Garlett averaged less than 50 points per game. He now has to compete with Jarrod Grant who Rocket has indicated will play forward. Ah Chee could also push Garlett from the side.
Verdict: Preseason watch. If he plays, he’ll be a bench option but don’t expect a huge rise in his price as he only averaged 12 possessions per game in his 5 full games in 2015.
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