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Dees_In_October

AFLW 2019 Season in Review... and Beyond

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Before we switch our focus to the men’s team, I thought we should tie up our discussions of the women’s season before the farcical finals and long off-season begins.

I’ve thought up some discussion points, feel free to add your two cents on some of these or your own reflections.

 

  • Best new player

  • Most improved player

  • Most underrated player

  • Player we missed the most from the 2018 list (aside from Daisy!)

  • 3 players we can least afford to lose to expansion

  • 3 players you wouldn’t mind having a chance at another club 😉

 

  • Best win
  • Worst loss (apart from Round 7!)

  • Best goal/other highlight


     

  • Keep the coach Y/N?

  • Player with most potential in 2020 and beyond

  • Most important area for improvement in 2020 (besides goal kicking accuracy!)

  • Type of player most needed in the draft/trade

  • Off-season wish list – what needs to happen for success in 2020?

 

  • How should the season be structured with 14 teams in 2020?

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Paging some other regulars I've seen around here this season for their views: @Lucifer's Hero @dl4e @Meggs @La Dee-vina Comedia @Dee Zephyr @Little Goffy

And I'll jump in with mine:

  • Best new player - Gay

     

  • Most improved player - Cordner

     

  • Most underrated player - Downie

     

  • Player we missed the most from the 2018 list (aside from Daisy!) - Cranston

     

  • 3 players we can least afford to lose to expansion - L.Pearce, Paxman, Hore

     

  • 3 players you wouldn’t mind having a chance at another club 😉 - Ones we could cover and that have been in and out of the team - Guest, Patterson. Phillips, who's a good player but I think we could upgrade a similar type.

 

  • Best win - A lot of our wins felt like not enough, but I guess Brisbane was most comprehensive.
  • Worst loss (apart from Round 7!) - Freo. Could have won, should have won. Would have shaped the season.

     

  • Best goal/other highlight - Zanker v. the Bulldogs. Can't go past it, not even Newman on the run v. North.

     

  • Keep the coach Y/N? - Y. Continuity between seasons overrides any misgivings at this stage.

     

  • Player with most potential in 2020 and beyond - Hanks. Great one-touch skills and movement, will find more consistency with experience.

     

  • Most important area for improvement in 2020 (besides goal kicking accuracy!) - Better handball-kicking balance. Need to know what to do when the handball game is shut down.

     

  • Type of player most needed in the draft/trade - We definitely seemed to lack strength around the ball in comparison to the Crows. Unfortunately, this type of player will be in hot demand from expansion teams.

     

  • Off-season wish list – what needs to happen for success in 2020? - As many players as possible to play VFLW, preferably together at Casey. Alignment between the levels is becoming stronger and teams that can have that continuity in the second best comp. will be advantaged.

 

  • How should the season be structured with 14 teams in 2020? No conferences! Ideally, a 13 game H&A season. Realistically, a straight ladder with most teams playing each other. And an easier draw for North and Melb to make up for this year 😉
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A very fair summation @Dees_In_October. Was Zanker a first year player or back from injury ? She would be my best 1st year player. I will agree with Cordner, Downie and Cranston. In players we can't afford to lose i would have O'Dae and miss C. Keeping the coach I am a bit up in the air about.

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Dees, I think you have covered it incredibly well.  Pretty much agree with your nominations in each category.  In terms of most improved player, Mithen would be right up there.  She and teammates in defence did a fantastic job all year.

I'm not convinced the coach has a winning game plan.  This year's game plan was better than the first two years.  It certainly isn't a winning game plan at Casey where we lost all 4 of our 'Home' games and its iImperative that we train there more often.  The coach has had exceptional players and failed to make the most of their talents for three years!  I doubt the club will make a change for 2020 but that has to be his last chance.

My angst is that other teams are improving faster than we are and we may be left behind.  We have the players, the coach needs to bring it all together.

I'm totally against conferences.  If we must have them keep them as a fixturing process but the finals should be from a combined ladder.  North incredibly hard done by this year.  Us to a less extent.  We had our chances; we weren't good enough

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Posted (edited)

Great summary Dees-in-October, and yeah, I'd go along with a lot of the assessments.

I was particularly pleased to see Cordner really step up and be a clear best 22 type. There's just something about the way she goes about it (even last year when she was often a bit iffy) that makes you think she really appreciates football. Not just because of the name, either! I wonder if Lauren Pearce though would actually count as most improved? I guess it depends on how you compare going from" not-quite-right to good' against going from "good to outstanding".

Other rate Lily Mithen's season higher than I do, but I think paradoxically that is because I rate Mithen herself at a very high level. So I end up feeling slightly disappointed by anything less than stardom!

Karen Paxman reminds me of Arjuna from the BBC production of the Mahabarata, just does everything a little more calmly, a little better.

Player I'm most looking forward to watching next season is Cunningham, I just feel like there's something brewing there as confidence grows.

Agree on Zanker's goal over Newman's. Newman plays football in a way that makes me happy to be around it, but that Zanker goal is a gem and particularly outstanding in a competition where the fine skills development still needs time. Oh, hang on, Zanker gave us two beauties if I remember right - the kick from right on the boundary in the pocket against the Dogs, and also there was a great snap from congestion about 40 out.

Edited by Little Goffy
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Posted (edited)

Great post DIO, can’t really add much more. I though Lauren Pearce was phenomenal all season. She was brilliant to watch and hope she gets the recognition she deserves for a wonderful season. 

Zanker is the player I’m looking forward to watching next year and her goal from the boundary is GOTY for mine. 

Not completely sold on the coach, but with more teams coming in next year it could be a tad risky going with a new coach imo. I’d keep him on for next season.

Freo loss was most disappointing as I thought we had the win, not much room for slip ups in a 7 week season. We’ve had one each season so far that’s proved costly. Crows game is best forgotten, shame as the girls were so upbeat on family day. 

It’s not often we make an early call, but it was the right call back in round 2 where you could see the conference system was a joke. Hopefully they put a lot more thought into the fixturing next season, I’d like to see 13 rounds. 

Overall, we enjoyed the spectacle as a family and kids were into it a lot more this season. 

Edited by Dee Zephyr
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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, Dees_In_October said:

Paging some other regulars I've seen around here this season for their views: @Lucifer's Hero @dl4e @Meggs @La Dee-vina Comedia @Dee Zephyr @Little Goffy

Excellent thought provoking post D_I_O – some of Meggs thoughts since you asked:

• Best new player - Gay, agree .  Maddie looked better and better as the season went on.  Hanks looks such a natural and I thought Emonson was a worthy addition

• Most improved player – Cordner, yes she was great.  Lauren Pearce took her game to a whole new level in 2019 and really influenced games

• Most underrated player - Downie was always there providing support. Kat Smith is another one who plays her role.  Needs to be able to run off not just run with her direct opponent.

• Player we missed the most from the 2018 list (aside from Daisy!) - Cranston   100% concur

• 3 players we can least afford to lose to expansion - L.Pearce, Paxman, Hore. Young guns Mithen, Zanker and Hanks.  Agree that we need to keep most of our senior players to help support the youngsters

• 3 players you wouldn’t mind having a chance at another club  - Ones we could cover and that have been in and out of the team - Guest, Patterson. Phillips, who's a good player but I think we could upgrade a similar type.  A bit controversial but Shelley Scott would be one, Claudia Whitfort and agree with Guest and Patterson.  Also I was surprised how far off 2019 recruit Jordann Hickey looked in the practice match, not surprised she didn’t play a game

• Best win - A lot of our wins felt like not enough, but I guess Brisbane was most comprehensive. Agree with both points

• Worst loss (apart from Round 7!) - Freo. Could have won, should have won. Would have shaped the season.   100% agree.  The backline didn’t work, not enough midfield support plus losing Shae Sloane to a season ending knee injury

• Best goal/other highlight - Zanker v. the Bulldogs. Can't go past it, not even Newman on the run v. North.  Love Zanker, that goal was truly impressive

• Keep the coach Y/N? - Y. Continuity between seasons overrides any misgivings at this stage.   NFI but probably Y if the Club thinks so.  He was able to play a fairly settled team throughout the season apart from losing Sloane early

• Player with most potential in 2020 and beyond - Hanks.  Great one-touch skills and movement, will find more consistency with experience.   Yes indeed, a beauty.  Zanker and Mithen worthy of mention

• Most important area for improvement in 2020 (besides goal kicking accuracy!) - Better handball-kicking balance. Need to know what to do when the handball game is shut down.   V good observation

• Type of player most needed in the draft/trade - We definitely seemed to lack strength around the ball in comparison to the Crows. Unfortunately, this type of player will be in hot demand from expansion teams.   Yes contested ball winners and girls that have better natural kicking and handballing technique

• Off-season wish list – what needs to happen for success in 2020? - As many players as possible to play VFLW, preferably together at Casey. Alignment between the levels is becoming stronger and teams that can have that continuity in the second best comp. will be advantaged.  Concur

• How should the season be structured with 14 teams in 2020? No conferences! Ideally, a 13 game H&A season. Realistically, a straight ladder with most teams playing each other. And an easier draw for North and Melb to make up for this year    Scrap the US style conferences and have one ladder with each team playing each other once

Edited by Meggs
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This season was basically over before it began with a poor performance for three quarters against Fremantle. That game was ultimately symbolic for a team that went missing for periods in most games and failed to make the most of dominant periods in others. To have not played finals for three years is bad enough, but the continued failures in big games is a real concern. Forget the conference debacle, we lost to all three teams above us, had a mediocre percentage and have nobody but ourselves to blame for not playing finals.

There are three main issues with this group:

1. Too many small-medium sized goers, particularly in the midfield, who try hard but are undersized, have poor skills and make poor decisions under pressure. Smith, Phillips and Scott are all in this category, along with a bunch of lesser lights. O'Dea has the size and is a good leader, but is not a great kick. I was impressed by Gay, and Paxman is a star, but they need help. We wasted Pearce's ruck dominance this year.

2. Our forward line doesn't work. Cunningham is fantastic, but they ask too much of Hore for her size and Newman flashes in and out. Another big bodied marking option is a must for next year. The delivery doesn't help (see point 1) but the structure is wrong.

3. I'm not a fan of the coach. He has one game plan which clearly doesn't work against good sides and doesn't really suit his playing list. He doesn't shut the game down when momentum is against us, which has been an issue for three years. I would look to replace him before 2020.

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Putting my head in the sand re: Round 1 and checking in here instead. The pain is less fresh!

On 3/21/2019 at 4:33 PM, dl4e said:

A very fair summation @Dees_In_October. Was Zanker a first year player or back from injury ?

2

Zanker played a couple of games at the end of the 2018 season and pretty sure she was 18 or 19 then.

On 3/21/2019 at 4:47 PM, Lucifer's Hero said:

In terms of most improved player, Mithen would be right up there.  She and teammates in defence did a fantastic job all year.

1

Mithen, of course! I felt like a broken record praising her early in the season! And I agree about the coach - a bad result next year might signal time for a new approach. I actually think the top coaching gig requires a very particular skill set given the challenges of the competition structure and the quickly changing game style from year to year.

On 3/21/2019 at 8:58 PM, Little Goffy said:

I wonder if Lauren Pearce though would actually count as most improved? I guess it depends on how you compare going from" not-quite-right to good' against going from "good to outstanding".

Player I'm most looking forward to watching next season is Cunningham, I just feel like there's something brewing there as confidence grows.

1

Cordner has for sure become more than a sentimental favourite. Good call on L.Pearce. I probably overlook her improvement because I'd expected it off the back of her VFLW season. But it really was quite the rise!

It'd be great if Cunningham played in the VFLW this year, everything she needs will come from more games. I think she went back to basketball last winter though so who knows.

On 3/21/2019 at 11:11 PM, Dee Zephyr said:

It’s not often we make an early call, but it was the right call back in round 2 where you could see the conference system was a joke. Hopefully they put a lot more thought into the fixturing next season, I’d like to see 13 rounds. 

Overall, we enjoyed the spectacle as a family and kids were into it a lot more this season. 

1

Yeah, we could all see it early, and presumably with less info than the ones making the conferences! Mind boggling stuff. I hope you are correct in your call for 13 games but I don't hold out much hope. Glad to hear your kids enjoyed the season.

On 3/22/2019 at 8:26 AM, Meggs said:

• Most underrated player - Downie was always there providing support. Kat Smith is another one who plays her role.  Needs to be able to run off not just run with her direct opponent.

 

Agree completely! Definitely flies under the radar but is a consistent player and, easy to forget, only 20 years old so lots of potential to add that next level to her game.

On 3/22/2019 at 8:26 AM, Meggs said:

• Type of player most needed in the draft/trade - We definitely seemed to lack strength around the ball in comparison to the Crows. Unfortunately, this type of player will be in hot demand from expansion teams.   Yes contested ball winners and girls that have better natural kicking and handballing technique

 

 

On that last point - with the way some 18-year-olds played across the competition this year, I think in a couple of years there'll be a tipping point where the skills of the youngsters have to be weighed against the experience of the middle tier players. Will be interesting.

On 3/22/2019 at 11:18 AM, poita said:

1. Too many small-medium sized goers, particularly in the midfield, who try hard but are undersized, have poor skills and make poor decisions under pressure. Smith, Phillips and Scott are all in this category, along with a bunch of lesser lights. O'Dea has the size and is a good leader, but is not a great kick. I was impressed by Gay, and Paxman is a star, but they need help. We wasted Pearce's ruck dominance this year.

2. Our forward line doesn't work. Cunningham is fantastic, but they ask too much of Hore for her size and Newman flashes in and out. Another big bodied marking option is a must for next year. The delivery doesn't help (see point 1) but the structure is wrong.

3. I'm not a fan of the coach. He has one game plan which clearly doesn't work against good sides and doesn't really suit his playing list. He doesn't shut the game down when momentum is against us, which has been an issue for three years. I would look to replace him before 2020.

1

1. Definitely agree, we really missed Cranston in this regard. Gay started to step into this role as the season went on but it was clear against the Crows that we were lacking in this area.

2. Typical Melbourne, feels like we're constantly waiting for that one last marking option and then when we get one the delivery into 50 falls apart!

3. Yep, teams who know when to play the slow game often succeed. Maybe it just hasn't made it to the top of the 'to do' list yet, there's a lot to work on.

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