“Stuff” Father Dougal Says – Breakouts and Frogs

Written by Father Dougal on March 8 2023

Hi Everybody!


A lot of my pre-season writing time has been sucked up by real life work, which is way annoying.  I had hoped to do fresh posts on a lot of topics, but that’s not gonna happen this year, so I’ve revised, updated, and added to   summaries of past stuff.  Since I often write about general strategy and not stuff specific to one year, this stuff still applies – assuming it did before of course. Now, if I were a professional writer I’d pretty much do this every year but not admit it, but since I write to amuse myself and hopefully others, why not?

Also, I may or may not blather on about things that would be pretty confusing for anyone who wasn’t familiar with past stuff. Anyways, I’m gonna do a series of these.

Second Intro

First, not so useful to coaches but getting mentioned anyhow is the CTAP, or Cow Talk Advisory Panel. That would be me, my Imaginary Interlocutor

Hi! He only thinks I’m imaginary, don’t tell him otherwise!

And my hamster, To Mini-Therion the little beast .666

Hi! I like pumpkin seeds! Squeak! 

Sometimes I let them “help” with posts. Sometimes they just chime in, and sometimes I provide beer and I write while they are sleeping it off.

This is not one of those times.

Yes, clearly. Anyways….


Breakouts and Frogs



How old a player is matters a lot.  Young players tend to score poorly; note the lack of 6 year olds in the AFL. Old players also tend to score poorly; note the lack of 60 year olds in the AFL.  The solid, safe productive range for players tends to be 23-28.  Lots of stuff on players breaking out exists, but not a lot on aging, so here stuff on that.  Aging in Supercoach scoring is like playing the old video game Frogger. They try to make it through the season without a big age-related drop off just as the frog tries to make it across the road without getting hit by a beer truck.  When a player hits 29 they play on the tutorial level and hardly anyone loses the tutorial, although it can happen. At 30 they play level 0, at 31 they play level 1, at 32 they play level 3, and so on. At some point, if they keep playing, they are going to get hit by a beer truck and their scoring will drop off dramatically.  The older they are the more likely it is. The only way to avoid the beer truck is to retire. Some players play on after getting hit, especially if they were really good before hand.

Joel Selwood, for example, got hit before 2019, but played on, usefully to his club, through 2022.  He went from a 105.1 average in 2018 to a 85.8 average in 2019.  If he was 27 then he’d be a great candidate to bounce back, but he was 31, so beer truck. Next season he went for 82.8 in 11 games, then went for a respectable but not sustainable at his age 100.9  before finishing with a 85.1.

Anything you want to add to that, with hindsight and more data? 

Again with really good players, I think the hit may not be blatantly obvious at the time, but still noticeable.  Dangerfield is a good example of that. He went from 113.9 in 2020 to 104.3 in 13 games in 2021.  Not a huge drop, but he turned 32 in 2021, so that drop and especially the injury were clues. Fell right to 83.1 last season.  Terrible candidate to bounce back since he is turning 33 this season.

Could he bounce back?

Could? Sure, but it is not very likely and why risk it when there are so many other better options?

Anything else?

Injuries should probably factor in somehow too. Maybe a career full of injuries is like a sticky joystick?


Not like that! Argh, ok….like, getting old with a history of injuries increases the risk of a negative beer truck interaction.

Thanks for reading!



Leave a comment / Scroll to bottom

2 thoughts on ““Stuff” Father Dougal Says – Breakouts and Frogs”

    1. I think Fyfe has little chance of being a keeper but may make cash. Question is how long before he gets hurt and can he put up a big score or two at the right time. I wouldn’t say don’t get him as cow, but I would evaluate him as a cow. I want him to do well but my heart and brain are at war there.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *