The Phantom’s All-Australian Supercoach Team

Written by Motts on August 30 2017

BACK:

Rory Laird (Adelaide)

Games: 22. Total points: 2204. Average: 100. SuperCoach tons: 11.

After increasing his average from 94 to 97 in 2016, the reliable Adelaide defender finished 2017 with his first three-figure season average. Laird’s form fell away slightly after averaging 110 in the opening nine rounds but the 23-year-old, who had the fourth-most disposals in the competition, finished the year as the third-ranked defender, 138 points clear of fourth.

Michael Hurley (Essendon)

Games: 20. Total points: 2050. Average: 102. SuperCoach tons: 12.

Barely got mentioned in SuperCoach circles over the pre-season and was picked in only 3 per cent of starting teams. How silly the rest of us were. For a key defender, Hurley, who averaged 95 points in 2015, wins so much of the footy and hits a target more often than not. Averaged 110 points in his final nines games and leads a very undersized back six.

Nic Newman (Sydney)

Games: 18. Total points: 1488. Average: 83. SuperCoach tons: 3. Price change: +$236k.

Unlike Hurley, Newman was all over the SuperCoach radar over summer after a best-on-ground display in the 2016 NEAFL grand final. But then Horse didn’t pick him and then when he did, he dropped again after three impressive games. Yes, I am still bitter. The 24-year-old averaged 90 points in his first 12 games of AFL footy and was one of the year’s best cash cows, adding more than $327k to his starting price tag by round 15.

HALF-BACK:

Sam Docherty (Carl)

Games: 22. Total points: 2524. Average: 115. SuperCoach tons: 17.

There were queries over just how Docherty would deal with the extra attention after a breakout 2016 but there was no stopping the play-making Carlton defender, who took his game to another level in 2017. Docherty, who added six more points to his average this season, posted 13 SuperCoach tons in a row betweens rounds six and 19, sending his price sky rocketing above $650k

Luke Ryan (Fremantle)

Games: 11. Total points: 845. Average: 77. SuperCoach tons: 3. Price change: +$257k.

Tiger Alex Rance would seem the obvious choice at centre half-back but, given the star defender averaged nine points less than 2016, The Phantom has gone with the impressive first-year Docker. The mature-age recruit made SuperCoaches plenty of money but, more importantly, also provided some big points — three tons in his final five games, including a 136-point performance against the Giants — at vital stages late in the year.

Michael Hibberd (Melbourne)

Games: 18. Total points: 1785. Average: 99. SuperCoach tons: 10.

We had to wait until Round 5 but it was worth it. The former Bomber wasted little time in reminding us of his scoring power, posting 124 points in his first game as a Demon. Hibberd added nine more SuperCoach tons in the following 17 games to finish the year as the fifth-highest averaging defender.

CENTRE:

Josh Kelly (GWS) Captain

Games: 21. Total points: 2401. Average: 114. SuperCoach tons: 16.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again and maybe even again. The Phantom got one thing right in 2017 and that was predicting the rise of Giant star Josh Kelly. As the contested side of his game improved to match his class on the outside, the smooth-moving left-footer, who now sits among the game’s elite, scored more than 88 points in every game this season, posting 16 SuperCoach tons — seven in excess of 120 — to finish with the fifth-highest average in the competition.

Patrick Dangerfield (Geelong)

Games: 21. Total points: 2864. Average: 136. SuperCoach tons: 19.

When it comes to SuperCoach, this bloke is in his own world. With Gary Ablett slowing, Dangerfield’s scoring power is now unmatched in the competition. The superstar Cat scored more than 138 points in 14 games this season, with a season-high 196 against the Giants in Round 15.

Jack Macrae (W. Bulldogs)

Games: 22. Total points: 2352. Average: 107. SuperCoach tons: 15.

A super-consistent year from the Bulldog ball magnet saw him score more than 80 points in all but two games, while also passing the 115-point barrier on nine occasions. The 23-year-old scored 188 more points than the next-best forward and clearly finished ahead of team-mate and fellow popular dual-position forward Luke Dahlhaus.

HALF-FORWARD:

Dustin Martin (Rich)

Games: 22. Total points: 2625. Average: 119. SuperCoach tons: 17.

A dynamite year from Martin, who, at times, given his dominance, looked like that one big, strong kid on the Auskick field who would do as he pleased. It reflected in his SuperCoach scoring, too, with the 26-year-old, who scored more than 140 points in seven games, increasing his average from 108 to 119 in 2017. Finds himself starting at half-forward given his ability to hit the scoreboard.

Lance Franklin (Sydney)

Games: 22. Total points: 2163. Average: 98. SuperCoach tons: 9.

Not his most consistent SuperCoach year but when you score more than 160 on three occasions in one season, as a forward, you’re in everyday of the week. Still finished 2017 as the third-highest scoring forward, 19 points ahead of Eagle Elliot Yeo.

Hugh Greenwood (Adelaide)

Games: 12. Total points: 1015. Average: 85. SuperCoach tons: 4. Price change: +$287k.

The 25-year-old Adelaide rookie exploded onto the SuperCoach scene, booting three goals and scoring 104 points on debut against the Lions in Round 9. Greenwood proved to be vital cash cow through the middle of the season, adding more than $270k to his price tag in just eight rounds. And, just like Luke Ryan, acted as great cover as dual-position forward adding three more SuperCoach tons to his debut-season tally.

FORWARD:

Isaac Heeney (Syd)

Games: 18. Total points: 1756. Average: 98. SuperCoach tons: 8.

The SuperCoach community went into meltdown after the young Swan was diagnosed with glandular fever during the pre-season. But it didn’t take the 21-year-old long to show just why we were raving about him in the first place, posting scores of 107, 116 and 113 in three of his first four games, after returning in Round 5. Heeney finished 2017 with the fifth-highest average of all forwards.

Charlie Dixon (Port)

Games: 22. Total points: 2000. Average: 91. SuperCoach tons: 9.

Dixon has his doubters — and not just in the SuperCoach community — but the numbers don’t lie. The powerful forward scored more than 70 points in 16 of his 22 games, while also posting three scores of more than 135. The highlight for Dixon, who scored the sixth-most points of all forwards, was his four-goal, 167-point performance against the Hawks in Round 11.

Paddy Ryder (Port)

Games: 21. Total points: 2164. Average: 103. SuperCoach tons: 11.

Joining Dixon in the forward line is Power team-mate — and second-ranked SuperCoach ruckman — Ryder. The athletic big man started slow, scoring more than 100 in only two of his first 10 games but finished strongly, posting SuperCoach tons in nine of his final 11 matches, without dropping below 86.

1ST RUCK:

Matthew Kreuzer (Carl)

Games: 21. Total points: 2306. Average: 110. SuperCoach tons: 14.

We’ve seen glimpses in the past but an injury-free Kreuzer reminded us of the SuperCoach force he can be. A dominant run between rounds seven and 18 saw the 28-year-old score more than 100 points in 10 out of 11 games, eight of them in excess of 120.

Tom Mitchell (Haw)

Games: 22. Total points: 2615. Average: 119. SuperCoach tons: 20.

We all knew his scoring ability but underestimated just how good he could be as the main man. Mitchell, in his first season as a Hawk and out of the shadows of former team-mates Josh Kenney, Dan Hannebery and Luke Parker, took his game to another level. The ball magnet broke Lachie Neale’s disposal record and scored more than 100 points in all but two games. And in those two matches he scored 98 and 85.

Matt Crouch (Adel)

Games: 22. Total points: 2434. Average: 111. SuperCoach tons: 15.

What a year for the Crow midfielder. Crouch Jnr tallied 726 disposals — only Mitchell had more — and lifted his SuperCoach average from 93 to 111, on the back of a dominant second half of the year. The 22-year-old posted 11 SuperCoach tons on the trot from rounds 10 to 21, before finishing with a huge 45-disposal, 146-point performance against the Eagles in round 23.

INTERCHANGE:

Taylor Adams (Coll)

Games: 22. Total points: 2365. Average: 107. SuperCoach tons: 16.

Another big year for the prolific Collingwood midfielder, who was hot SuperCoach property after gaining dual-position status after stints at half-back in 2016. The 10th-ranked player in the game.

Clayton Oliver (Melb)

Games: 22. Total points: 2452. Average: 111. SuperCoach tons: 17. Price change:+$183k.

The fifth-ranked scorer in the competition scored more than 100 on 17 occasions and only dropped below 90 once. And the 20-year-old has only played 35 career games.

Alex Witherden (Bris)

Games: 9. Total points: 784. Average: 87. SuperCoach tons: 3. Price change:+$274.

The sublimely skilled 18-year-old scored less than 70 just once in his first nine games of AFL footy, posting three SuperCoach along the way. Added $262k to his price tag in only seven weeks.

Will Hoskin-Elliot (Coll)

Games: 22. Total points: 1789. Average: 81. SuperCoach tons: 4. Price change:+$182.

A great early-season cash cow who didn’t tail off, finishing the year with an average of 81 after 22 games in his first year at Collingwood.

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