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2017 AFL DRAFT REVIEW - SIMON GOODWIN’S SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS

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SIMON GOODWIN’S SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS by Whispering Jack 

Melbourne’s selections during the 2017 AFL Trade Period and at the National Draft bear the imprimatur of Simon Goodwin and clearly demonstrate the direction in which the club’s head coach intends taking the club into the future. 

To be clear, the final decision as to which player was taken with any given selection was made on draft night by national recruiting manager Jason Taylor but the direction was laid out by the coach and his coaching panel.

The emphasis is firstly on players with pace, good skills, especially in terms of disposal and decision-making and most importantly, on character and competitive instincts. 

And in the main, the club’s recruits are not the sort players who have been given an easy ride into the elite level of the sport or on a silver platter but rather, they’ve done it the hard way.

Jake Lever spent his draft year recovering from ACL surgery and was forced to watch from the sidelines as his Calder Cannons and Vic Metro teammates went through an entire season in the hope of catching the eye of an AFL selector. It’s well documented how hard he worked on his rehabilitation and that he used that time to learn as much as he could about the game from being around his club.

Harley Balic came out of the same TAC system but a serious wrist injury that required surgery followed by bouts of homesickness and a hamstring tear which soured his time with Fremantle but it’s clear that commitment to improving his game never wavered.

Melbourne’s selections at Friday’s draft meeting in Sydney were -
 
Round Two:

29 Melbourne – Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
31 Melbourne – Bailey Fritsch (Casey Demons/VFL)
37 Melbourne – Harrison Petty (Norwood/South Adelaide)

Round Three:

48 Melbourne – Oskar Baker (Aspley/Queensland)
 
Twelve months ago, the diminutive Spargo who hails from a strong footballing and professional athletics background going all the way back to great-grandfather Bob Snr. appeared headed towards the Giants via their Academy but the AFL changed the  GWS zone and he became available to all comers and would have been a top ten pick but for a shoulder injury that kept him from producing yet another consistent season in junior ranks. 

Fritsch was considered too slight of build to get into TAC Cup ranks but his perseverance with local club Coldstream finally earned him an invitation to play at Casey. After two injury-riddled seasons he had a standout 2017 to win the Fothergill-Round Medal - the VFL equivalent of the rising star award.

Harrison Petty wasn't really on the radar as far as many SA judges were concerned earlier this year but a superb national championships saw him win All Australian status and an MVP for his state. 

Oskar Baker was dropped off the list at the Brisbane Lions Academy so he walked into NEAFL club Apsley where he was given a rookie position at the start of 2017. He took his opportunities there, made the senior team and starred kicking the goal of the year and producing some breathtaking football.

The commmon thread among the four Demon recruits from this draft is hard work, competitiveness, pace and good disposal skills. It won't be easy for any of them to break into the AFL straight away but the fact that they have all come through the school of hard knocks should hold them in good stead.

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Excellent call.  Each have had challenges.  

None are the sliders that we may have hoped for. 12 months ago Spargo was top 20 material.

Still amazed we skipped Charlie Constable.

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I find it amusing how Taylor looks like he has just had a wisdom tooth pulled after every pick. He actually looks sick. He is the master of the deadpan. While some clubs nearly do handstands on the table after picking a player, Taylor looks like he is about to be tortured.

He certainly gives nothing away.

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1 hour ago, spirit of norm smith said:

Excellent call.  Each have had challenges.  

None are the sliders that we may have hoped for. 12 months ago Spargo was top 20 material.

Still amazed we skipped Charlie Constable.

I was a fan of Constable but on reflection, the knocks on him (disposal, lack of run) probably rule him out if the emphasis is on fast, clean and efficient movement of the footy. 

Hes still a good player but ...

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MELB-2.jpg

Selections before academy and father/son bidding: 29, 31, 36, 47
Selections after bidding: 29, 31, 37, 48 
Who they picked: Charlie Spargo, Bayley Fritsch, Harrison Petty, Oskar Baker

Verdict: Spargo is a terrific play-making midfielder-forward, with the capacity to take the play on and create for his team. He is the son of former North Melbourne and Brisbane Lions player Paul. Only a shoulder injury kept him from producing another consistent season. Fritsch is well known to Melbourne after kicking 42 goals in 19 VFL games for the Casey Demons. Petty will add to a developing tall back mix after an outstanding under-18 championships. Melbourne has long been into Baker who comes from Aspley in the NEAFL. Has been dubbed the 'ginger ninja' and it's clear by watching his highlight tapes that Baker has some serious breakaway pace through the midfield. The Demons believed they needed to add to their small forward setup and did so with Spargo and Fritsch. Look for Petty to push to be in senior contention early days too – he can play. – Ben Guthrie

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Nope, our list is now finalised.

With Maynard elevated our 3 other rookies are Filipovic, Keilty and T Smith.

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Bucky's thoughts from the Hun:

BUCKENARA SAYS: In my Melbourne list analysis column for the Herald Sun during the trade period I wrote the Demons needed a small forward to help Jeff Garlett and they’ve got that in Charlie Spargo. He can play through the midfield but I think his position at AFL level will be as a small forward who loves to tackle and pressure the opposition. I really like the selection of Harrison Petty. I had him rated at 22 in my top 50 so to get a potential key defender of his quality at 37 great value. He reads the ball really well in flight. The Demons have a bit of a history of taking mature-age players out of second-tier competitions and they’ve done it again with Bayley Fritsch who kicked 42 goals for Casey this year. Melbourne also need some more outside pace and they get that with Oskar Baker.

THE VERDICT: Melbourne came into the draft last at pick No.29 but would have walked away pretty happy. They’ve addressed list needs so that’s a tick from me.

Edited by ChaserJ
Fixed a typo
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On 11/24/2017 at 10:46 PM, Demonland said:

SIMON GOODWIN’S SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS by Whispering Jack 

Melbourne’s selections during the 2017 AFL Trade Period and at the National Draft bear the imprimatur of Simon Goodwin and clearly demonstrate the direction in which the club’s head coach intends taking the club into the future. 

To be clear, the final decision as to which player was taken with any given selection was made on draft night by national recruiting manager Jason Taylor but the direction was laid out by the coach and his coaching panel.

The emphasis is firstly on players with pace, good skills, especially in terms of disposal and decision-making and most importantly, on character and competitive instincts. 

And in the main, the club’s recruits are not the sort players who have been given an easy ride into the elite level of the sport or on a silver platter but rather, they’ve done it the hard way.

Jake Lever spent his draft year recovering from ACL surgery and was forced to watch from the sidelines as his Calder Cannons and Vic Metro teammates went through an entire season in the hope of catching the eye of an AFL selector. It’s well documented how hard he worked on his rehabilitation and that he used that time to learn as much as he could about the game from being around his club.

Harley Balic came out of the same TAC system but a serious wrist injury that required surgery followed by bouts of homesickness and a hamstring tear which soured his time with Fremantle but it’s clear that commitment to improving his game never wavered.

Melbourne’s selections at Friday’s draft meeting in Sydney were -
 
Round Two:

29 Melbourne – Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
31 Melbourne – Bailey Fritsch (Casey Demons/VFL)
37 Melbourne – Harrison Petty (Norwood/South Adelaide)

Round Three:

48 Melbourne – Oskar Baker (Aspley/Queensland)
 
Twelve months ago, the diminutive Spargo who hails from a strong footballing and professional athletics background going all the way back to great-grandfather Bob Snr. appeared headed towards the Giants via their Academy but the AFL changed the  GWS zone and he became available to all comers and would have been a top ten pick but for a shoulder injury that kept him from producing yet another consistent season in junior ranks. 

Fritsch was considered too slight of build to get into TAC Cup ranks but his perseverance with local club Coldstream finally earned him an invitation to play at Casey. After two injury-riddled seasons he had a standout 2017 to win the Fothergill-Round Medal - the VFL equivalent of the rising star award.

Harrison Petty wasn't really on the radar as far as many SA judges were concerned earlier this year but a superb national championships saw him win All Australian status and an MVP for his state. 

Oskar Baker was dropped off the list at the Brisbane Lions Academy so he walked into NEAFL club Apsley where he was given a rookie position at the start of 2017. He took his opportunities there, made the senior team and starred kicking the goal of the year and producing some breathtaking football.

The commmon thread among the four Demon recruits from this draft is hard work, competitiveness, pace and good disposal skills. It won't be easy for any of them to break into the AFL straight away but the fact that they have all come through the school of hard knocks should hold them in good stead.

Thanks WJ. An excellent summary from an angle that hones in on some of the my thoughts which have been bubbling under the surface re. our recent recruitment as to reoccurring themes.

The non-negotiable of competitiveness aside, my basic thoughts were that Jason Taylor's m.o. has been to value-add through sliders who may have had diminished recent exposure through injury (rather than sliding due to other question marks - inc. a greater gamble on especial talent-based upsides), and bolters with less long-term exposure who he has been willing to go 'all in' for at a higher cost before perhaps more tentative recruiters counter-reacting to the potential hype. 

The common theme is limited exposure - or, more succinctly framed, non-traditional or alternative pathways - inc. evidence of determination through some other element of adversity or lack of traditional opportunity. On reflection, Simon Goodwin himself fits this mold - coming up rapidly through a non-traditional pathway and with an other-than-footy background (as well has having to move beyond some off-field behavioural issues and unwanted attention).

To date, the Taylor recruits who fall within these categories include Garlett, Hunt, Frost, VandenBurg, Melksham, Oliver, Weideman, J. Smith, Hibberd, Hannan, T.Smith, Keilty and Maynard, along with our latest crop of arrivals in Lever, Balic, Spargo, Fritsch, Petty and Baker - of which altogether a reasonable number will be expected to make up a significant portion of our best 22 in 2018.

Add in the early injury/health travails of Gawn, Hogan, Petracca, Brayshaw and Salem and we have a sizeable and potent mix of players who have overcome career-threatening obstacles to have even made it this far.

Go Dees!

 

 

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On 25/11/2017 at 8:56 AM, Redleg said:

I find it amusing how Taylor looks like he has just had a wisdom tooth pulled after every pick. He actually looks sick. He is the master of the deadpan. While some clubs nearly do handstands on the table after picking a player, Taylor looks like he is about to be tortured.

He certainly gives nothing away.

I would love to play cards with someone whose deadpan give-nothing-away demeanour involves looking wisdom tooth sick. That's not a tell, it's a tell.

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On 11/25/2017 at 8:46 AM, Demonland said:

SIMON GOODWIN’S SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS by Whispering Jack 

Melbourne’s selections during the 2017 AFL Trade Period and at the National Draft bear the imprimatur of Simon Goodwin and clearly demonstrate the direction in which the club’s head coach intends taking the club into the future. 

To be clear, the final decision as to which player was taken with any given selection was made on draft night by national recruiting manager Jason Taylor but the direction was laid out by the coach and his coaching panel.

The emphasis is firstly on players with pace, good skills, especially in terms of disposal and decision-making and most importantly, on character and competitive instincts. 

And in the main, the club’s recruits are not the sort players who have been given an easy ride into the elite level of the sport or on a silver platter but rather, they’ve done it the hard way.

Jake Lever spent his draft year recovering from ACL surgery and was forced to watch from the sidelines as his Calder Cannons and Vic Metro teammates went through an entire season in the hope of catching the eye of an AFL selector. It’s well documented how hard he worked on his rehabilitation and that he used that time to learn as much as he could about the game from being around his club.

Harley Balic came out of the same TAC system but a serious wrist injury that required surgery followed by bouts of homesickness and a hamstring tear which soured his time with Fremantle but it’s clear that commitment to improving his game never wavered.

Melbourne’s selections at Friday’s draft meeting in Sydney were -
 
Round Two:

29 Melbourne – Charlie Spargo (Murray Bushrangers/Allies)
31 Melbourne – Bailey Fritsch (Casey Demons/VFL)
37 Melbourne – Harrison Petty (Norwood/South Adelaide)

Round Three:

48 Melbourne – Oskar Baker (Aspley/Queensland)
 
Twelve months ago, the diminutive Spargo who hails from a strong footballing and professional athletics background going all the way back to great-grandfather Bob Snr. appeared headed towards the Giants via their Academy but the AFL changed the  GWS zone and he became available to all comers and would have been a top ten pick but for a shoulder injury that kept him from producing yet another consistent season in junior ranks. 

Fritsch was considered too slight of build to get into TAC Cup ranks but his perseverance with local club Coldstream finally earned him an invitation to play at Casey. After two injury-riddled seasons he had a standout 2017 to win the Fothergill-Round Medal - the VFL equivalent of the rising star award.

Harrison Petty wasn't really on the radar as far as many SA judges were concerned earlier this year but a superb national championships saw him win All Australian status and an MVP for his state. 

Oskar Baker was dropped off the list at the Brisbane Lions Academy so he walked into NEAFL club Apsley where he was given a rookie position at the start of 2017. He took his opportunities there, made the senior team and starred kicking the goal of the year and producing some breathtaking football.

The commmon thread among the four Demon recruits from this draft is hard work, competitiveness, pace and good disposal skills. It won't be easy for any of them to break into the AFL straight away but the fact that they have all come through the school of hard knocks should hold them in good stead.

And this club attitude to tough heads & tough footy, gives my heart new breath, new blood, to maintain hope.

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