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2019 Player Reviews: #30 Alex Neal-Bullen

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The running and high pressure tackling that was a feature of Neal-Bullen's play in 2018 seemed to desert him this season as did his possession & goal kicking output in the forward line.

Date of Birth: 9 January, 1996

Height: 182 cm

Weight: 80 kg

Games MFC 2019: 14

Career Total: 73

Goals MFC 2019: 7

Career Total: 57

CDFC Games 2019: 3

CDFC Goals 2019: 3

Votes 2019 Keith 'Bluey' Truscott Memorial Trophy: 61 votes

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Looking forward to ANB getting back to his 2018 form.!!!!!!

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ANB was a bit of a scapegoat for the teams poor year. The fact we had a lot F50 entries should have been his bread and butter, but like the other 21 the ball came out over their heads into our D50 in a flash. Not sure if this was rule changes, preseason or desire. But hopefully our recruitment of wingers will get ANB back to his 2018 best and if not even better. 

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ANB must kick easy goals when he has worked hard for the opportunity

Missed far to many sitters last year

If he cant kick goals we don't need him. Lucky to be on the list in my opinion but Goody loves him so!

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8 minutes ago, Gunna’s said:

ANB was a bit of a scapegoat for the teams poor year. The fact we had a lot F50 entries should have been his bread and butter, but like the other 21 the ball came out over their heads into our D50 in a flash. Not sure if this was rule changes, preseason or desire. But hopefully our recruitment of wingers will get ANB back to his 2018 best and if not even better. 

Grew very tired of the ANB bashing that went on here, this year. He’s obviously not an elite player by any stretch, but he tries his guts out on the field and his running stats back that up. If a player who is putting in as much as possible still frustrates supporters, then it’s an issue to take up with our recruiters, not the unfortunate punching-bag of a player. Anyway, let’s hope he finds some form and this is all a moot point by the end of 2020. 

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The problem with ANB is that his skills are very shaky under any sort of pressure.  He also needs more aggression and physical pressure in his makeup.

Plus he just has to kick those 50/50 goal opportunities that present to him.

 

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I don't know the answer here. I love his 2 way running and filling holes for the team. In general he is a strong tackler too. His goal kicking and finishing overall really killed us this year. He wasn't the loan ranger but I just don't think we can persist week on week with players that are that out of form. 

Still deserves a spot on our list imo but really needs to work on his goal and field kicking. Hopefully with a bit more depth he can work on it in the 2s until he really has it sorted and come back to provide something more like his 2018 form. 

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His problems started in the first quarter of the first game of the year when he missed 2 set shots for goal against Port which would have given us a 4 goal lead on both occasions.

That set the tone of the entire year, and some of his errors and skill level was pathetic for an established AFL player. Strange because he was one of the rare players that had a full pre-season.

Still, he kicked 25 odd goals in 2018 and jagged a 3 brownlow vote game, so I can see why he was retained. Would be very border line for round 1 if we're full strength though.

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I think that is really what it is. He kicks 2.1 in a game then he has had a good game (with the running etc). He kicks 0.3 then he has had a bad one. All sport is decided on moments and millimeters. He has to make them count. My take is that he is a good player that has a bad case of the yips.

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Neal-Bullen's contribution in 2018 was magnified by getting on the end of some good play in big wins against crap sides. He has always had the tendency to go missing when the side is struggling.

His biggest problem is that he doesn't win enough of his own football, so is reliant on players around him providing with him opportunities. His running ability and forward pressure can be important, but he also needs to work on his contested marking and his clearance work.

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1 minute ago, poita said:

Neal-Bullen's contribution in 2018 was magnified by getting on the end of some good play in big wins against crap sides. He has always had the tendency to go missing when the side is struggling.

Not sure the facts back that up totally mate.

In 2018, he did have some high number games against poor sides (Suns, Carlton), but he also had good games against all of Geelong, GWS, West Coast, Collingwood and Hawthorn, who were all top 8 sides. Not all those games were wins either.

 

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Think he’ll be playing a lot at Casey next year. How he got to 14 games this year is still a bit surprising. Can’t recall a game this year that he was listed in the “best on”.

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When he is a depth player we will know we are a solid top four side.

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4 hours ago, Bring-Back-Powell said:

His problems started in the first quarter of the first game of the year when he missed 2 set shots for goal against Port which would have given us a 4 goal lead on both occasions.

That set the tone of the entire year, and some of his errors and skill level was pathetic for an established AFL player. Strange because he was one of the rare players that had a full pre-season.

Still, he kicked 25 odd goals in 2018 and jagged a 3 brownlow vote game, so I can see why he was retained. Would be very border line for round 1 if we're full strength though.

Totally support your summation of Nibbler's annus horribilis  BBP.  Expected so much more after he appeared to establish himself in season 2018. Where his contributions to the team performance were largely positive.

Early on in the season some of ANB's ball handling skills were abysmal, he could not get a"grip" for love or the money. Watching his fumbles whilst attempting to gather the loose ball did stick in our craw. Unfortunately there appeared to be no marked improvement over the season. Whatever he had (lack of confidence?) seemed to become epidemic as many of his team mates became similarly afflicted as the season wore on...

His goal  scoring "attempts" were book-ended in the final round against North when he hit the goal post low down whilst in the clear 20- 25 metres out, virtually front on. At the very end of the last quarter in Hobart. Talk about 'snatching defeat from the jaws of victory', it was very much the sour cherry on top of the indigestible melange served up by Nibbler and many of his team mates for most of the season.

Suggest he commences ball work with a lower pressure inflated softer Sherrin and consults the Maharishi this pre-season.

Edited by Tarax Club
none
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1 hour ago, Tarax Club said:

 it was very much the sour cherry on top of the indigestible melange served up by Nibbler and many of his team mates for most of the season.

Like that

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he gets a game because of his two way running not his skills.   If he kicks 30 goals its a success, if not it's a failure.

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Another year like this and its a delist.

If he could have more composure he could be a very good player. But his handballs to peoples feet, fumbles at critical times and poor delivery make him a liability.

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Looks great in a humming side when it all clicks, looks a disaster when it’s not going well.

But he deserves his spot and another crack next year.

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Did he really sign a 2 year deal?

Edited by dazzledavey36
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10 hours ago, dazzledavey36 said:

Did he really sign a 2 year deal?

Yep ! Our List management is just mindboggling! 

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43 minutes ago, picket fence said:

Yep ! Our List management is just mindboggling! 

amazing.. for all the good work Josh Mahoney does in getting appropriate deals done, its [censored] like this that makes you shake your head.

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19 hours ago, stinga said:

he gets a game because of his two way running not his skills.   If he kicks 30 goals its a success, if not it's a failure.

Hopefully when we add a couple of extra solid, two-way runners (in Langdon and Tomlinson), it will mean ANB isn't working his [censored] off anywhere near as much.  Then when he gets his opportunity in front of goal, he wouldn't have just run himself in to the ground, will gather composure quicker, and kick more accurately.

Part of the reason that it appears players like ANB have deteriorated in the goal kicking area is because they are physically exhausted when taking their set shot.  Numerous players and coaches have explained this, but the sad reality is that the result of a game is judged by the scoreboard.

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18 hours ago, Undeeterred said:

Looks great in a humming side when it all clicks, looks a disaster when it’s not going well.

But he deserves his spot and another crack next year.

He deserves a spot on the list but if he's best 22 we're in real trouble. 2 way running is impressive only if the kick execution is, say,  sublime, like tom scully when fit. He could hit a target at 50m.

Otherwise ANB is  just another great athlete in footy boots.

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4 minutes ago, Demon17 said:

He deserves a spot on the list but if he's best 22 we're in real trouble. 2 way running is impressive only if the kick execution is, say,  sublime, like tom scully when fit. He could hit a target at 50m.

Otherwise ANB is  just another great athlete in footy boots.

Scully could barely kick over a jam tin, let alone hit targets at 50m.

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6 minutes ago, The Chazz said:

Scully could barely kick over a jam tin, let alone hit targets at 50m.

We must have been at different games.

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