(Written & Created By Natopotato 88)
Can Longmire continue his amazing run of consecutive Finals Series?
Here we have the Swans and John Longmire or as some of you know him, Horse. The interview was just before the preseason game, but was written after the game that I witnessed. I will try and add anything from that to the questions, but don’t expect too much as I struggle to get info from the game. (I was too busy enjoying watching a game of footy for the first time since the finals!)
“Is Callum Mills going to be a full-time addition to the midfield this year?”
Longmire starts off by accepting that they have been trying hard over the last few years to get him into the midfield, however “the reality is he has done such a good job at half-back.” That hasn’t stopped them from training him in the midfield group. Longmire did mention that they brought in Thurlow to cover for Mills and also will give others a crack.
Even though Thurlow is listed as a MID, he plays as a defender. Sydney mention him as damaging off half-back or on the wing, so this should provide great cover for Mills, allowing for more midfield time. Horse finishes his answer by accepting that Mills “will still play some really good football down back for us.” Being priced at 429k and with Hannebery departing, a spot is available for someone to take.
Recent articles suggest that he was a standout in the practice game against GWS, attending a majority of the centre bounces. However, keep note that JPK, Parker and Heeney were at AFLX instead. So, use the actual JLT games for a better insight for Mills.
It can’t be denied that Mills is looking like a real good value pick, but with a plethora of defensive value picks like Williams and Newman (who left the Swans), who looks most enticing?
Mills to midfield?
“How do you see Menzel slotting into the forward line?”
Menzel isn’t really relevant for Supercoach, however I believe it may change the chances of the forward rookies and who will get a chance. When you have Franklin and Menzel lining up in the forward line, that adds experience and it adds a bit of height. Menzel is only 188cm, but when you potentially have a resting ruckman with them and Sam Reid, can you play another tall? Also, adding Menzel to the team, how does that affect Buddy?
Will it free him up more or will he see less of the ball as the Swans use Menzel as another target with a less experienced defender on him? Menzel throws in many questions and the fact that he is touch-and-go for Rd 1, will that open up a spot for a rookie to then be gone after 2 or 3 games?
Keep an eye on the Swan’s forward line and how Longmire lines them up. Keep in mind that Buddy and Menzel are racing to be fit for Rd 1, so the first round may not be the true outcome of the Sydney team line-up.
“What’s the plan for the ruck role? Naismith and Sinclair? Does Sinclair spend time forward?”
As it stands Naismith is out of the picture coming off a knee injury. Longmire continues by saying it is “Sinclair and Darcy Cameron.” Cameron only played one game last year but did very little to his price tag. He is sitting at $136k after scoring a measly 25 against the Suns, however just 55 mins on the ground. Sinclair has come off a career best season averaging 97.3 and scoring 11 tonnes. That average was an improvement of 18ppg from the previous year, so can Sinclair back-up that average, because his scores could be an indicator on Cameron’s chances of playing. Last year was the first time Sinclair played a full season, so keep note of that too.
Longmire finishes by saying Cameron has been fantastic over the pre-season and that “we have a couple options for the early part of the season.” Horse doesn’t mention anything about spending time forward, which may mean they just play the one Ruck as the forward line got a real boost this pre-season. Cameron as a rookie is questionable, as he may just get trialled for one game and be a waste of money once Naismith comes back.
I would like to add from the practice game, Toby Pink a $124k FWD rookie spent a decent amount of time in the Ruck during the first half. He came up against Flynn and Simpson and never really won a hit-out. Cameron was the main Ruck that day, but many were thrown into the Ruck. Pink is in no real consideration as a rookie selection but being selected in the 2016 draft, would have thought he’d have a chance.
“How much of role will Blakey have this season?”
“Blakey is very talented, he’s tall, he’s quick, great endurance.” These were the first attributes that Longmire mentioned about Blakey. He was mindful of how he is still young but feels confident that he will play “some” senior footy this year. Longmire was also “not sure how much” footy Blakey will play as he still has to develop physically.
This leaves questions on whether Blakey is worth starting in our teams. Priced at $167k and is 195cm, so likely being a key position forward to replace Franklin in the coming years. This means he may be throwing out scores like 30 one week and then 100 the next, which could really hurt his cash generation. Being high priced as well, once again the slow burning cash generation thoughts come into play.
Blakey performed well in the practice match kicking 3 goals as the full-forward for the match. However, no Franklin, Menzel or Reid in the team gave him that opportunity. This performance shows some real positive signs of his capabilities, however I am taking it with a grain of salt, as I want to see how he performs next to some other key forwards. This may not be until the season actually starts due to the fitness of Menzel and Franklin. If they aren’t playing come then it will give Longmire some relief, as he will still have a key forward to use. Just keep note on the teammates around him when playing for his scoring output.
Sure to get his chance but Rd1 already?
That is all from the interview, but I have one last thing to add from that practice game. GWS had 10 behinds for the game, which meant 10 kick-ins for the Swans. I was keeping track of this to see if the new rules had any effect on how Lloyd played. Of the ten, Lloyd took the ball five times. Of those five, Lloyd played on once, turning over the ball past the 50m line. The other four kick-ins, he didn’t leave the square and took 4 short kicks going no longer than 20 metres. Of the five he didn’t take, the ball was given by a short kick to him, taking a mark three times. It may have been more, but I missed it as I was writing down that he didn’t take it. (Use this as you like, as the 1st JLT game will probably be played before this article.)
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