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Young Dee

Can Melbourne win a premiership with its current list?

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After the well-known 2009 draft, myself and I think many others thought that we had built a premiership team. However after a couple of eye opening seasons I think many demonlanders have come to a realisation. Like so many of you I find myself always asking the same question will this current list (with maybe the addition of a couple trades, free agency, draft picks etc) be good enough to win a premiership. I believe we will experience success with the current list but to what extent? Will we be a top 4 team for a number of years without winning a premiership and then have to go through another rebuilding phase?

I personally believe we have the talent and resources (players/coaches) to win a premiership but it will rely on the club as a whole to make the most of them (players/resources). I think if we are to succeed it will all begin with a "winning culture". With a winning culture I think players such as Jamar, Jones, Sylvia, Frawley will lift and this will lead to the development of stars (Trengove, Viney, Toumpas). However we need more than this, we need to take advantage of everything we have! With a winning culture/serious football department we need to be able to make players out of our under the radar draft picks: Taggert (pick 36) - desperately in need of midfielders with class and a good kick!, Jetta - another potential midfielder with pace, aggression and a beautiful kick - can play inside and outside while resting up forward, Sam Blease (Pick 17) - Need his pace and confidence in wing to high forward position - need to fix his disposal, Max Gawn (Pick 34) - another who has great potential it just is yet to be harnessed, Dean Kent (Pick 34) - has shown promise and talent could be a great midfield/high forward, James Strauss (Pick 19) - needs to step up and be that medium defender - with run and carry/great kick out of defence, Luke Tapscott (Pick 18) - another which has shown promise but has done little since - I like other have come to question where he fits in on our list - would like him to become like Chappy (a high forward that can go into the midfield (like Sylvia) - I think if this is going to be done he will have to tone down (to become quicker/fitter), Jack Watts (Pick 1) - we all know his weakness'/strengths - needs to get more aggressive and use his supposed talent!, Dom Barry (Pick #) - From reports has show talent, lets not let him become a Jamie Bennel (who I thought was immensely talented but just didn't want to use it).

That's 8 players (more than a 1/3 of a team) who you could say are average/fringe players that have the talent to be premiership players. If we can develop/groom 4 or more of these players in to premiership players than I think with the addition of our current top 18, I think we have a chance of winning a premiership!

I think our only hope lies in creating the right culture to develop young talent (a winning culture)! If we get to the point of being in finals I think we will all be blown away by the increase in devotion and desire to win (by the whole list). We have recently begun to witness what I believe is the first step to creating a winning culture, the competition for spots on the list (ie. Sellar and Pedersen). Success will only make the club greater! For example look at Nathan Jones or Lynden Dunn (Pick 15) for so long he has been nothing more than a fringe player who has continually made silly decisions but with a change of culture/coach he has been given a position down back which he seems to have cemented despite pressure for that spot (Garland, Watts, Terlich, Gilles etc).

And so to cap it up yes I believe we have the potential to become a premiership side but it will require us (club/supporters etc) to take advantage of every resource whether that's turning an under the radar player such as James Strauss into the player that he has the potential to be or using a fringe player such as Pedersen to at the very least create competition for spots.

So heres my starting 22: For Round 1 and beyond

FB: Watts, Frawley, Stauss


CHB: Dunn, McDonald, Jetta


C: Blease, Jones, Toumpas


CHF: Howe, Dawes, Sylvia


FF: Byrnes/Barry (need small fwd), Clark, Byrnes

FOLL: Jamar, McKenzie/(Need a Star), Viney

INT: Trengove, Grimes, Kent


EMER: Tapscott, Sellar, Rodan, Gawn, Taggert + Hogan

What do you think? do we have the potential?

Edited by Young Dee
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I think we have a core dozen players that could be involved in a flag. The rest are "interchangeables". Collingwood, Hawthorn and even Geelong still have a core group that you build premiership teams around.

I must say though that Sydney's win last year has had me reassessing what is possible. I reckon it's one of the more extraordinary football feats I can remember. They won the flag in 2005 and in just 7 years virtually rebuilt their list and won another. There were just 4 players that played in the 05 team. It's crazy how they could do it with virtually no access to decent draft picks. I appreciate the salary cap difference, but it is truly astonishing what they were able to do. Even when I look at the premiership side on paper it looks pretty average.

Edited by Ben-Hur
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Here's the first of many many problems. Name one Melbourne players since 2004 who's developed nicely. Nath Jones might be an example, sure it took him a while but he eventually has gone from kid to respected AFL performer. Frawley as well. Tom McDonald is coming along very nicely but isn't at the level where you'd say his a complete package. Jamar improved over the course of a decade.

What I'm saying is wheres the evidence we have any idea how to develop footballers yet alone a team. Too many of our guys come in, play some nice football and then find a comfort level. Sylvia is the chief offender but there are plenty of others. Even Grimes looked like a star at half back and now due to necessity he looks like another midfield plodder.

You've used the example of Dunn who's played half a season of ok football. Same goes for Blease. What about Howe how come he can't get 20 touches a week and 7 or so marks and actually be a beautiful dangerous linking half forward with the ability to run back inside fifty and score. Col Garland went from great prospect to back pocket who does a nice job defensively but isn't creative attackingly and throws in a brain fade almost every match.

It's rediculous that we are talking up Kent over Tapscott. Tapscott should be a much fitter, stronger and more dangerous forward much more equipted at playing attacking and defensive football but instead is just another name of the list and now we hope for Kent to be some sort of star.

Can we win a premiership with this current list (+/- the usual pick ups along the way), well possibly. But I need to think for some reason Viney becomes the Sam Mitchell or Joel Selwood of his football generation and Toumpas becomes the Nick Dal Santo. With the way we develop a team and players I think more likely in a decade we'll be ruing why Viney is a mid level Brock McLean type and Toumpas is a Travis Johnstone.

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Here's the first of many many problems. Name one Melbourne players since 2004 who's developed nicely. Nath Jones might be an example, sure it took him a while but he eventually has gone from kid to respected AFL performer. Frawley as well. Tom McDonald is coming along very nicely but isn't at the level where you'd say his a complete package. Jamar improved over the course of a decade.

What I'm saying is wheres the evidence we have any idea how to develop footballers yet alone a team. Too many of our guys come in, play some nice football and then find a comfort level. Sylvia is the chief offender but there are plenty of others. Even Grimes looked like a star at half back and now due to necessity he looks like another midfield plodder.

You've used the example of Dunn who's played half a season of ok football. Same goes for Blease. What about Howe how come he can't get 20 touches a week and 7 or so marks and actually be a beautiful dangerous linking half forward with the ability to run back inside fifty and score. Col Garland went from great prospect to back pocket who does a nice job defensively but isn't creative attackingly and throws in a brain fade almost every match.

It's rediculous that we are talking up Kent over Tapscott. Tapscott should be a much fitter, stronger and more dangerous forward much more equipted at playing attacking and defensive football but instead is just another name of the list and now we hope for Kent to be some sort of star.

Can we win a premiership with this current list (+/- the usual pick ups along the way), well possibly. But I need to think for some reason Viney becomes the Sam Mitchell or Joel Selwood of his football generation and Toumpas becomes the Nick Dal Santo. With the way we develop a team and players I think more likely in a decade we'll be ruing why Viney is a mid level Brock McLean type and Toumpas is a Travis Johnstone.

Virtually the entire coaching group and sports science department has been at the club for one season. I know what you're saying, but it's pretty irrelevant what has happened at the club before they've come to office. It's a new team and guys like Craig and Neeld have had success developing players elsewhere.

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Here's the first of many many problems. Name one Melbourne players since 2004 who's developed nicely. Nath Jones might be an example, sure it took him a while but he eventually has gone from kid to respected AFL performer. Frawley as well. Tom McDonald is coming along very nicely but isn't at the level where you'd say his a complete package. Jamar improved over the course of a decade.

What I'm saying is wheres the evidence we have any idea how to develop footballers yet alone a team. Too many of our guys come in, play some nice football and then find a comfort level. Sylvia is the chief offender but there are plenty of others. Even Grimes looked like a star at half back and now due to necessity he looks like another midfield plodder.

You've used the example of Dunn who's played half a season of ok football. Same goes for Blease. What about Howe how come he can't get 20 touches a week and 7 or so marks and actually be a beautiful dangerous linking half forward with the ability to run back inside fifty and score. Col Garland went from great prospect to back pocket who does a nice job defensively but isn't creative attackingly and throws in a brain fade almost every match.

It's rediculous that we are talking up Kent over Tapscott. Tapscott should be a much fitter, stronger and more dangerous forward much more equipted at playing attacking and defensive football but instead is just another name of the list and now we hope for Kent to be some sort of star.

Can we win a premiership with this current list (+/- the usual pick ups along the way), well possibly. But I need to think for some reason Viney becomes the Sam Mitchell or Joel Selwood of his football generation and Toumpas becomes the Nick Dal Santo. With the way we develop a team and players I think more likely in a decade we'll be ruing why Viney is a mid level Brock McLean type and Toumpas is a Travis Johnstone.

Well that's exactly what I am saying we have been useless at developing players and if we fix this who knows where we will end up!

Yes maybe dunn was not the best example but is still evidence of a change of culture and competition of spots.

But I guess the main point was where will a winning culture take us, I have no doubt that it would force players such as Sylvia to stand up.

Edited by Young Dee

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I think we have a core dozen players that could be involved in a flag. The rest are "interchangeables". Collingwood, Hawthorn and even Geelong still have a core group that you build premiership teams around.

I must say though that Sydney's win last year has had me reassessing what is possible. I reckon it's one of the more extraordinary football feats I can remember. They won the flag in 2005 and in just 7 years virtually rebuilt their list and win another. There were just 4 players that played in the 05 team. It's just crazy how they could do it with virtually no access to decent draft picks. I appreciate the salary cap difference, but it is truly astonishing what they were able to do. Even when I look at the premiership side on paper it looks pretty average.

Extreme midfield quality and depth is what makes an average team actually a very very good one. They had every position in the midfield covered and spare and how they got them was very clever and again relates to my point on development.

Goodes, O' Keefe, Bolton and McVeigh were there from the first premiership. McVeigh is a complete and hard running midfielder, Goodes is a freak X factor player. Bolton is Bolton. O'Keefe they reconfigured into a midfielder but did it incredibly well.

Then they got:

Josh Kennedy (traded with McGlynn for 2/3rd round pick I think)- clearance freak who they cleverly traded for just when Hawthorn were short sighted enough to give him away.

Shane Mumford, again same as Kennedy target a quality player who can't get a game and then develop them

Kieran Jack - all around midfielder who they developed from their zone selection

Hannebery (2nd round pick)- second round draft choice who could always run all day and is tough as nails and any doubts over his kicking were rectified surely by Sydney's coaching.

Jetta - the outside speed they needed

Plus they were unlucky but still had Rohan if he wasn't injured.

Pretty much I think what they did was as quick as possible bring in a wonderful amount of quality to their midfield to fill the holes left by the likes of Kirk and Jolly.

From then they just gave games to consistent performers (some old, some new)- Richards, Grundy, Mattner, Shaw, Smith down back, Pyke, LRT, Bird, McGlynn and others forward.

Now I bet we've got a spine of decent players and we can fill in the flanks with reasonable types, but I'm yet to see anything to prove we've got any hope in hell of developing guys good enough to go deep into September in the furnace that is the midfield.

Since 2003 - McLean, Syvlia, Jones, Scully, Trengove, Gysberts, Morton, Grimes, Maric, Strauss, Blease - all first or early second round draft picks and as much as I love Jonesy there isn't one Patrick Dangerfield, Nat fyfe, Dayne Beams, Dan Hannebery or even a Luke Shuey or Scott Selwood among them. How can you justify that, its an outrage.

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Virtually the entire coaching group and sports science department has been at the club for one season. I know what you're saying, but it's pretty irrelevant what has happened at the club before they've come to office. It's a new team and guys like Craig and Neeld have had success developing players elsewhere.

I agree. But until we've seen results we can't predict any success. I'm not saying throw out the Neeld regime because they haven't had a chance but the Neeld regime would be miracle workers to win a premiership because they came into such a disadvantaged club and list.

I'd say one thing I'm not happy about is that we have an amazing opportunity to draft talent last year - 3 first round picks and Viney as a F+S and we have Todd Viney as our head recruiter. A guy who's never done it before. Now maybe we did the best we could trying to find someone and waiting for Taylor this year from Collingwood but to me it didn't make a lot of sense. Now I'm happy with the way we used those picks but the end doesn't justify the means necessarily.

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...Extreme midfield quality and depth is what makes an average team actually a very very good one. They had every position in the midfield covered and spare and how they got them was very clever and again relates to my point on development.

Yes, their midfield was most definitely the key. Not star studded, but as hard working and supportive of each other as you'd ever find. They had 5 midfielders kick 20 goals, or more, and McVeigh who kicked 18. When is the last time that happened ?

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Given the first rebuild was an utter failure, one of our big issues now will be timing.

If we're being honest, we're a few years away from thinking about finals football, let alone premierships. The development of GWS, Gold Coast, and to a lesser extent Port and Brisbane means any premiership window we enter will likely coincide with theirs.

If we are reaching our peak at the same time as GWS, with their list, good luck to us.

For this reason we need to fast track the development of our players as much as possible.

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Given the first rebuild was an utter failure, one of our big issues now will be timing.

If we're being honest, we're a few years away from thinking about finals football, let alone premierships. The development of GWS, Gold Coast, and to a lesser extent Port and Brisbane means any premiership window we enter will likely coincide with theirs.

If we are reaching our peak at the same time as GWS, with their list, good luck to us.

For this reason we need to fast track the development of our players as much as possible.

I was thinking the same thing and I think that is partly the reason why Neeld went after - dawes, rodan, byrnes etc (fast track development - but can make room for youth in 2-3 years)

We can only hope that GWS/GC face major problems (ie. they struggle once the AFL stops their funding or they lose a lot of key players).

As for Port and Brisbane, I don't think we have to worry to much. I would be more worried about Richmond and North

Edited by Young Dee

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Honestly, I think we can quickly catch up to North and Richmond. They are well drilled and work better as a team, but their lists aren't as great as their own fans seem to think. They remain very top heavy in terms of talent. But you're right, they are in the frame as well.

GWS can field a 22 comprised of Top 20 picks. That's just ridiculous.

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Honestly, I think we can quickly catch up to North and Richmond. They are well drilled and work better as a team, but their lists aren't as great as their own fans seem to think. They remain very top heavy in terms of talent. But you're right, they are in the frame as well.

GWS can field a 22 comprised of Top 20 picks. That's just ridiculous.

They both have already experienced some success (finals contenders).

Yes I think when we experience some success (wins), we will quickly improve

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Not a hope in hell, we wont play finals for another 5 seasons, Brisbane, Richmond GWS and Gold Coast will play finals before us, and when those top power sides start to slide they will just take players like Frawley through Free Agency, the club had its chance and blew it big time, its there own fault for allowing coaches like Bailey to be there for 4 seasons.

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No

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Some good points above but it's not all about the list only.You only have to go back to the GF,where the Hawks had the more talented team on the day but the Swans had the superior gameplan which ultimately won them the cup.

Hawks couldn't stand up to the pressure for 4 quarters,they couldn't get their 30 metre chipping game going because the Swans owned the space.

As much as we need to build a very talented list,if Neeld doesn't get the gameplan right,we won't play top 4 football,same goes for Giants & Suns.

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It is terribly refreshing to open a thread and see that the Original Poster has put some thorough consideration into the question they are asking. I think it's a great way to start a thread and engage readers in meaningful debate rather than just one liners back and forth.

My thought is that we do have a list that is capable of improving dramatically. The question remains however if that is going to be to the point of winning the cup. Remember when Brock was apparently unhappy with the 5 year plan that was thrown around after 2008. Well that 5 years is almost up and we are still a long way off. It all comes down to development and what our coaches can do with the list, but more importantly its about us finding new leaders who can stir the passion in the playing group and getting us playing as a team that works hard for one another.

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Some good points above but it's not all about the list only.You only have to go back to the GF,where the Hawks had the more talented team on the day but the Swans had the superior gameplan which ultimately won them the cup.

Hawks couldn't stand up to the pressure for 4 quarters,they couldn't get their 30 metre chipping game going because the Swans owned the space.

As much as we need to build a very talented list,if Neeld doesn't get the gameplan right,we won't play top 4 football,same goes for Giants & Suns.

Agreed anything can happen on Grand Final day or even finals.

On another note If we end up being a top 4 side for 2 years I will be happy. Have never really experienced a realy successful Melbourne because I was toyoung during the 2000 GF

Edited by Young Dee

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It is terribly refreshing to open a thread and see that the Original Poster has put some thorough consideration into the question they are asking. I think it's a great way to start a thread and engage readers in meaningful debate rather than just one liners back and forth.

My thought is that we do have a list that is capable of improving dramatically. The question remains however if that is going to be to the point of winning the cup. Remember when Brock was apparently unhappy with the 5 year plan that was thrown around after 2008. Well that 5 years is almost up and we are still a long way off. It all comes down to development and what our coaches can do with the list, but more importantly its about us finding new leaders who can stir the passion in the playing group and getting us playing as a team that works hard for one another.

Thanks, it was just a question that I had to get off my chest (no doubt on a lot of other minds as well)

It's suprisingly a topic that has not really been disscussed recently, maybe some are trying to avoid it. But it's good to hear others opinions.

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asking the original question this time next year may be a whole different thing.

We still have some legacy ( read aka lethagy ) issues with some on the list. They will be gone in 7months.

Could we play finals..who knows, im hoping yes , but ackowledging its a big ask. A premiership with current list no. A premiership with 2014's list...well its either a resounding yes or Ill go follow tournament bridge or something.

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asking the original question this time next year may be a whole different thing.

We still have some legacy ( read aka lethagy ) issues with some on the list. They will be gone in 7months.

Could we play finals..who knows, im hoping yes , but ackowledging its a big ask. A premiership with current list no. A premiership with 2014's list...well its either a resounding yes or Ill go follow tournament bridge or something.

When I said current list I did not mean physically now! I meant in say 3-4 years with this list (and the addition of the odd draftee/free agents)

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Great post YD and the optimist in me would like to say yes. However,it seems that in recent years we have either FTU badly or remain in the wake of the more powerful and successful clubs. The problem now is that the competition has got so much harder. Richmond and north have jumped ahead of us and while the new franchises are receiving heavy support to a level that we will not be able to compete with.

I don't think I can live thru another rebuild but if I want to see a flag I may have to.

Edited by Bitter but optimistic

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Great post YD and the optimist in me would like to say yes. However,it seems that in recent years we have either FTU badly or remain in the wake of the more powerful and successful clubs. The problem now is that the competition has got so much harder. Richmond and north have jumped ahead of us and while the new franchises are receiving heavy support to a level that we will not be able to compete with.

I don't think I can live thru another rebuild but if I want to see a flag I may have to.

Yes, I have been amazed by the number of people that have said no but at the same time inspired to see that even if they think we will not achieve the ultimate success with the list that we have been building since 2007 - they are still posting/following on demonland. Though if we don't succeed with this list do we have to rebuild? - Look at Collingwood which has continued adding talent to their premiership side (2012: Pick 18:Brodie Grundy, Pick 19: Ben Kennedy, Pick 20: Timothy Broomhead). Geelong is another example of a team that has experienced prolonged success while picking up talent along the way.

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When I said current list I did not mean physically now! I meant in say 3-4 years with this list (and the addition of the odd draftee/free agents)

reread my post. As the list stands no...with the last of the slowcoaches and nqrs purged (at eos) we will have a list to go on with . Currently its not quite there.

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