2018 Price: $257,300
2017 Average: 78.0
2017 Games: 3 (16 in NEAFL)
Past Averages (2016): 76 (1 match)
DOB: 22 July 1997
Bye Round: 10
2017 AND 2018 PRESEASON
After debuting in Round 23 of 2016, Bonner was sent back to the Port Magpies to continue his apprenticeship in 2017, playing 16 matches before he earned his second AFL match in round 22. He made the most of his opportunities, playing the final two regular season matches and the Elimination final with an average of 18 possessions, 5 marks and 2.3 tackles.
Those statistics were not overly surprising given Bonner’s U18 form where he was an attacking half-back and averaged 18 possessions per game and gained an average of 570 metres per outing.
What most caught the attention of Supercoaches was his composure and ball use in the 2017 Elimination Final where he managed an 84.2% Disposal Efficiency in a tight match. Generally a player who stands up in the furnace of finals seems ready for consistent AFL football!
Unfortunately, despite all these positives, Bonner didn’t set the world on fire in JLT 1 last week so wait on JLT2 to see if he shows enough to hold his spot in Port’s best 22.
- He is an elite kick and he kicks far more than he handpasses.
- Bonner is entering his third season; time for a break-out?
- He is cheap and there are few good defensive rookies or premiums this season.
- Bonner is durable, missing just 1 match in his first 2 seasons on Port’s list.
- Port have many line-breaking players and skilful kicks in the backline and midfield who are already ahead of Bonner.
- With the arrival of Watts, Rockliff, Trengove, Motlop, etc, there is massive selection pressure at Port.
- His contested possessions rate was very low (28.3%) and he placed little defensive pressure on the opposition. No matter how well you kick the ball, if you don’t defend, you don’t play.
- He was ordinary in JLT1
- He is cheap but more expensive than a rookie.
Bonner is one of those ‘gut-feel’ options because he doesn’t have enough of a form line to help your selection. Based on his impressive Elimination Final performance, many Supercoaches have traded him in to their back-lines, but straight kicking alone doesn’t make a great defender.
If he plays consistently, Bonner will definitely average 18-20 possessions and 5 marks per match and pump out a solid 75-80 SC points average but he seems very likely to be in and out of the senior squad.
Even if he is named for Round 1, he seems an unnecessary risk.
I was one of those coaches who liked Bonner’s Elimination Final performance in 2017 where he didn’t waste a kick and I had him in the first draft of my Supercoach Team. However, the more I think about it, the less sense it makes selecting Bonner. With Polec injured there might be a place for a line-breaker like Bonner early in 2018 but with so many new faces at Port he seems borderline for the best 22 and destined to be sent back to the SANFL. Unless he improves his defensive efforts and ball-winning in JLT2, I definitely won’t be selecting him.
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