But first and foremost, I would like to say a huge thanks to Motts for welcoming me to the team with open arms and letting me have a free run at the Rookies for 2017. I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and I hope you have all enjoyed my sometimes, long winded ramblings.
Without further ado, I shall issue the votes for round 23, because I can:
3 – Witherden (104): 27 disposals (20 kicks) and 5 marks for 104 points in the SuperCoach grand final was a fine way to finish 2017.
2 – Ryan (105): Just outscored Witherden but with 10% less ownership, he helped out a little less people.
1 – Newman (81): Still kicking around in 20% of teams, 81 points ranks him as one of the best “rookies” this week.
5th – Sam Powell-Pepper (12 votes)
No arguing allowed
One thing that Powell-Pepper and I share in common is that we both went to the same primary school, albeit it I was in grade 7 when he came through grade 1. He was however in the same class as my brother. Maybe I was his buddy (or mentor, as some schools call it) and I helped shape his future – I’m going to roll with that anyway, it’s not like anyone would remember! They called him Ollie Wines Jnr when he got to the club and you can now see why. An absolute bull at the stoppages, loves the contested ball and ranks 2nd in the competition for broken tackles behind Dusty and only required the one week rest all season – mental. Future Brownlow medallist, especially once he cleans up his disposal efficiency (and lowers his clanger count) as he will become an absolute damaging player. Fingers crossed he wants to return home in a few years, would look good in purple!
4th – Andy Otten (15 votes)
Super Sexy Otten
It’s not often you find a 28 year old, 79 gamer “rookie” at the beginning of the season, but here we are. Club favourite, he has had a bad run at injuries in recent years so it was great to see he was given another chance. His job security was always a little dicey, but as luck would have it, he was the one to escape early season injures which resulted in him sticking around and more importantly, being swung forward where his scores flourished. He did his job early on in the season and he did his job well.
3rd – Alex Witherden (17 votes)
Averaging a cool/calm 25 disposals and 6 marks a match in his first 6 games playing across half back he provided late season coverage for many boasting an average just under 90 points. I’m still kicking myself that I forgot to trade him in! Only 9 AFL games but with 17 votes, he ranks 1st for votes per game played. Shame he left his run a little too late, which was soured with a hamstring strain affected score and weeks rest. Brisbane love getting the ball in his hands and he even started to share the kick-in duties in the last couple of weeks and he will head into 2018 priced at around $470k, the question is, does one dare jump on?
2nd – Nic Newman (18 votes)
Rookie turned Premo
2017 was a tough year and half way through the season, it hit everyone that we would really struggle with cash generation and a defender averaging 90.3 after 12 games was performing well enough to keep at D6, especially when they were originally priced at $123.9k. The highlight of Newmans season was being a late inclusion after many people traded him out due to the Horse factor, only to score 151. Many had him on field loopholing defender rookies who got lucky and there was even less performing the captains loophole (Yiorgakis, I’m looking at you) only to be blessed with the rounds second highest scorer behind a POD midfielder, Cripps.
1st – Hugh Greenwood (20 votes)
He’s completed training camps with the Utah Jazz,
He’s represented Australia in junior basketball,
He goes by the nickname “Thor”
and now he’s won the SuperCoachTalk Rookie of 2017.
Making his AFL debut is Rd9 against the Brisbane Lions, he captured the eyes of all SuperCoaches as he joined a small, elite group of players to crack the tonne in a debut off the back of 15 disposals (9 kicks), 9 tackles and 3 goals for 104 points. The points did not stop there though as he finished the season with scores of 127, 103, 113, 90 and 84 also next to his name. What makes it even more impressive is his time was heavily managed and would usually spend no more than 60% TOG. He finished the season averaging 84.6 going at 1.1 points per minute played, which puts him equal with the likes of Josh Kelly, Scott Pendlebury, Joel Selwood, Rory Sloane, Dayne Zorko and Tom Mitchell. To put this in greater perspective, Dangerfield lead the competition at 1.3 points per minute. SuperCoach rewards contested ball and tackles, both which Greenwood has built his game around and his best 6 tackles games where were he managed to lay 9, 9, 9, 11, 11 and 13. This kid is going places and I reckon there will be a fair few who take a punt on him at $460k next season in the hopes he gets a full time gig and can boost his average to 95-100, which is very achievable with even just a fraction more game time let alone natural improvement.
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