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List management - this year's tricky decisions



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It is always a tricky time of year for any club to determine whether to stick with players on the fringe or bring in fresh blood, or in our case (and many other clubs case) freeing up some room in the salary cap for potential trades by delisting mid-tier players.

Given that we are in the window, and have just signed up our key midfielders to long-term deals, finding salary room for possible acquisitions becomes problematic.

It could be argued that the only way you can keep your core 25-30 players happy with somewhat comparable wages and stay under the cap is to pay close to the bare minimum on the additional 10-15 players on your list - thereby creating a bit of a divide.

In the past two years we have minimised our delistings, because let's face it we have a very good list and our performance of fringe players at Casey is clearly the stuff of envy. Hopefully Casey finally gets the rewards of almost seven years of being highly competitive and wins the flag but I am sure the club is also hoping that some of our fringe players play so well in the VFL finals that other clubs come offering late-order picks for their services, along with taking their salary off our books. 

At present there are 10 unsigned players on our list for next year and below is my assessment on what we should do with them, but before I get there, it is also appropriate to factor in the impending departure of Luke Jackson to Freo which colours much of my thinking and doubtless yours. 

To me there’s two scenarios likely to be at play with Jacko’s move, which I think we all get is going to happen.
 
Firstly we have to get something productive back for him from Freo that lessens the loss. 
The Dockers doubtless will offer their first rounder (currently pick 14) and will try and throw in next year’s one as well (which based on this year’s form will also be in the 12-18 ballpark). But to me that’s not quite enough. 
If we took that offer, we would then have to offload pick 14 to Collingwood for Grundy and most likely try and include a sweetener - Tomlinson, Bedford and Weid have been mentioned as options -although after this year the Pies may just want another pick. But under this scenario we end up the losers because Jacko is 21 and our list needs that age group more than a 28yo who will be contracted for another five seasons and who uses up at least 750K of salary cap space and that assumes the Pies offer to pay $250K of it for at least a couple of years. In fact given that the Pies are desperate to get Taranto and keep deGoey, they will be even more inclined to say yes to our dealings if we reduce or even completely drop their financial contribution.
 
To me, there is a second option for us though and I just hope we are trying it. What we have to do is get Freo to combine their first rounder (or their future first rounder) with one of their young talented defenders for Jackson. I have always been a huge fan of Dandenong’s Hayden Young and was shocked when we didn’t get him that draft - preferring the Pickett/Rivers option, which certainly has been mega rewarding as well. But a Jacko for Young and a high pick would seem to be fairly equitable and keeps both clubs exchanging the same age demo and also returns both picks home. 
In our case Young, who is contracted, would be ideal as a replacement for Hibbo. Young’s form this year was superb, so the Dockers won’t give him up without a fight, but the Dockers have a plethora of good defenders - Ryan, Cox, Pearce, Chapman is a star, Walker a huge talent and Clark to name a few, so they may ultimately be persuaded into letting him go if that is the key to getting the deal done. Obviously after three years of great weather and shark-infested beaches, Young's desire to return may rule him out, but that’s where we may have to upgrade his five-year deal, which will add even more pressure on our salary cap. But he definitely would be worth it and his kicking is sublime.
 
But alas we could all go on for hours about potential trades and really only our Richo and Taylor have an inkling on what can and can’t be achieved. But gees it would be nice to get both Grundy and Young for next year.  
 
My final point on all this is that we need to hold off on re-signing some players at this stage, because we need to keep enough room in the salary cap available for Grundy and potentially a Hayden Young. Hunt, Smith, Hibberd and Melksham are all in the $250K-$400K a year bracket and in my view only Hunt is mega essential for next year and beyond. By not signing the other trio, at least until we get confirmation on Grundy and a young Freo defender, then we keep around $750K up our sleeve in case.
 
As to what I started out to do, here’s my prognosis on our out-of-contract set.

Jayden Hunt - age 27 - MUST SIGN

Heaps of Demonlanders have been critical of Hunt over the past few years but for two years now he's really made sure that he's looking at short and long kicking options and he has hit as many targets as any of our defenders. In the past two games he's been a major offensive factor with his run and the variety he provides in what has become quite a stagnant and stable defence. Hunt is the only one who regularly tries to break lines so his value can't and shouldn't be understated. Yes his one-on-one aerial skills sometimes are found lacking but his pace allows him to close down on opponents. His game on Shai Bolton was huge and it wasn't his fault that the club opted to play him on the last line of defence against Sydney (in Rd 12) and he was beaten on crucial plays by Papley and Heaney. Hunt did five weeks VFL penance for that game, I just hope the defensive coach who assigned him for the last line goalsquare role also had to do time of sorts. Since he's been back and further up the field off half-back he's been a point of difference that all sides need.

Joel Smith - age 26 - should sign, but wait for a bit

Ok, it's been another injury-decimated season for Joel, but I just hope the club hasn't forgotten the value down back he provided in our first seven games before injury hit and he was back running his usual red-vest laps at training. When fit, he now has a body that allows him to play on bigs and smalls and with his athleticism he also gives our backline pace and pressure which at times since his injury we have shown we don't have. He's been trialled as a forward at VFL level now because T-Mac got injured, but it's probably time to just send him down back again. I'd also argue that even with his penchant for accumulating injuries, that he's the ideal sub in the AFL this series because of his versatility. If Hibberd retires, then Joel is probably our only viable lock-down last line defender option (outside of May of course), so he’s worth holding on to, unless of course another club offered a second rounder for him.

Michael Hibberd - age 32- let him retire after the final series

Great bloke and just so adept at putting a timely bump on opponents, but I reckon it's time. I still love recalling his first few games for us and the run off half-back he provided - his dash and goal against Richmond on debut for us in 2017 was just huge and he deservedly got an AA gig that year, despite missing the first four or five games. But he's now unable to provide that dash off half-back and significantly now his best role is as a lockdown defender - how good was he on Charlie Cameron the other week. I reckon the club will probably sign him up again, because let's face he's still in our best 22, but like Melky, freeing up the salary cap space is a smarter move if we are to trying to lure a young Freo defender and keep our window open longer. Further to this, how many have noted that Geelong kept both Higgins and Dahlhaus on for another year after 2021 - do you reckon the club looks back and goes yeh, we should have made the hard call on them back then. Finishing up is not easy for player and club alike. Hibberd has been a great servant and his efforts on JJ in our GF win should not be forgotten. God, he was good in that first quarter when we were under seige.

Jake Melksham - age 31- let him retire after the final series

How good has it been to have Melky back in the side for a late-season cameo playing T-Mac's role, despite being four inches shorter than him. As with Hibberd, he uses his body just so well and that's why I hope the club finds a way to make both he and Hibbo assistants - sounds like we may need a few new ones with Yze and Chocco in demand anyway. Melky's best year was 2018 when he showed our squad that if you kick long and quickly, you create chaos for opponents. He's too slow to play half-forward or midfield now, but he's been so good as a tall forward the past few weeks. Does that mean we sign him up again? My view is no as we really need to play Van Rooyen next season, alongside Fritter and big Ben. The salary cap room his departure creates should allow us to nail a quality Freo defender in our trade for Jackson. But if we are less assertive at the trade table, Melky may agree to play on at a reduced rate. 

Oskar Baker - age 24 - delist, or if interest, trade 

He'll probably win our VFL best-and-fairest this year and has always been an everyready goer at VFL level with precious few chances at AFL level - 15 games in four seasons. This year he's played quite a bit in defence and there's no doubt in any other era, outside of our current successful one, he'd get games in the seniors, but alas it's probably time for the 24yo to move on. Gold Coast or Brisbane might rookie him, otherwise he'll be a great recruit for Southport.   

Toby Bedford - age 22 - trade

He's been our medical sub on several occasions and technically he's listed as having played 16 games this season, although he's probably only started in about four. He's shown a bit of toe in several games and kicked nine goals as well and a couple of rippers on the run. There's been talk of clubs such as the Giants, Bombers and Pies being interested in him and given our plethora of small forwards, he deserves another shot at making the big time. Hopefully we can do a deal for an exchange of late-order picks.

Fraser Rosman - age 20 - delist and re-rookie

Tubby Taylor took a bit of a punt on the Wesley boy with great athleticsm and a lovely left foot after missing out on another athlete - Max Holmes - who went way earlier than expected. The club was hoping Rosman would be our left-side wingman but he's been unable to really impact at VFL level and was even sent to defence to find more footy. So far it hasn't happened, although he did show a few promising signs for Casey against Sydney. Maybe the club might decide to delsit him and then re-rookie him. 

Rookies

Kade Chandler - age 22 - trade  

As with Toby, he's in the queue behind Kossie, Spargs and ANB and it's hard to realistically see that altering in 2023. Kade has quite a bit of poise with a lovely left foot so it would be interesting to see how he would go at a club that can give him a genuine shot. Given Adelaide will have Rankine along with Rachele, it might be wise for him to see if Port would be willing to swap a late pick for him.

Mitch Brown - age 32 - delist

What a talent. He’s just so smooth and reliable with his movements and has been a delightful back up for us, but unfortunately at 32 and after two seasons in the role, it’s time to move on and I suspect he’s probably got plenty of life after footy plans in place from being on the edge for about seven seasons. If he’d been a tad quicker he’d have been a star at AFL level because he’s such a reliable kick and presents so well, albeit without a great leap. 

Deakin Smith - age 20 - delist or re-rookie

He’s a very clean Nev Jetta-style defender who as yet hasn’t been able to justify his rise to the seniors. He probably needs to take the game on more to warrant the next step and I’d reckon the club will be watching closely how he copes with VFL finals pressure as they would be with Fraser Rosman before making a decision for next year.

Majak Daw - age 31- retired mid-season

A very handy VFL-level ruckman/forward and as with Mitch Brown, the chances just didn't eventuate at top level. 
 
Finally it’s important to note that VFL stars Luke Dunstan, Sam Weideman and Adam Tomlinson all have another year to run on their contracts and can again serve as valuable back-ups. That’s in addition to Van Rooyen who must be given plenty of AFL chances next season and Laurie who we need to see what he possesses at the next level, while Turner is another who is ready to challenge and would allow us to send Petty or May forward on occasions. And we should get a better idea on Howes and Woewodin’s capabilities next year.
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@Deespicable I think you make some really good points and i do agree with most.

But just to clarify, both Joel Smith and Deakyn Smith have signed new deals for next year so you can scrap them off the list.

The other thing, I will be extremely disappointed in our list management team if the first rounder we receive from Jackson goes immediately to Collingwood for Grundy. Simply, we don't win out of the deal at all.

 

Edited by dazzledavey36
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You lost me when you said that Young and a high pick is equitable to Jackson. If Young was out of contract, Vic clubs would be offering a salary package marginally less than what Freo are supposedly offering Jackson.

The fact that Young currently has a long term deal with Freo on less than extravagant money, it actually means that his trade value is equitable to Jackson, if not higher.

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You’ve put a lot of thought into that Dee. But as there is so much finals action to play out this season for both mens sides, I’d rather not think about delisting at this stage for 3 reasons:

- heroic actions over the finals could change players standings

- it’s a sad process to think about, and

- we’ve got 3 finals, for both afl and vfl, to be excited about and to be concentrating on.

So I’ll re-visit you after we collect 2 cups.

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5 minutes ago, mo64 said:

You lost me when you said that Young and a high pick is equitable to Jackson. If Young was out of contract, Vic clubs would be offering a salary package marginally less than what Freo are supposedly offering Jackson.

The fact that Young currently has a long term deal with Freo on less than extravagant money, it actually means that his trade value is equitable to Jackson, if not higher.

Agreed regarding Jackson and Young. Young recently signed a 5 year extension with the Dockers, so he's under contract and not homesick. Jackson is out of contract and supposedly homesick, meaning we lose leverage. Young was superb this year, had a big impact on games, and is a future All Aus half back flanker. If he were to be involved in the Jackson trade, there would be no first rounder involved with him. It would be a straight swap. I'd take that trade and think it's a decent result for us, but it won't happen unfortunately.
It's shaping that we'll get two first rounder in the teens, one this year and one next year, with one being on traded for Grundy. I'm not happy with that, but have to back the club in I guess!

I agree with most of the other assessments, though the ones @Deespicable has mentioned for trade would all be token trades, netting a 3rd rounder at best perhaps for Bedford, and peanuts 4th-5th rounder for Baker and Chandler to help them prolong their AFL careers at another club.

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1 hour ago, dazzledavey36 said:

@Deespicable I think you make some really good points and i do agree with most.

But just to clarify, both Joel Smith and Deakyn Smith have signed new deals for next year so you can scrap them off the list.

The other thing, I will be extremely disappointed in our list management team if the first rounder we receive from Jackson goes immediately to Collingwood for Grundy. Simply, we don't win out of the deal at all.

 

We'd have to understand their strategy if this were to eventuate. If they think Brody will keep us in contention for flags the next 2-3 years, then it kind of makes sense right? 

On the other hand, to your point, you'd hate to reflect it on it in 3 years with no more premierships to show for it. 

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Hoping LJ stays:

There is no way Melb will accept pick 14 & future first rounder. Jackson was pick 3 is a premiership playing ruck, rising star and proven he can do it in finals in the ruck. Not a pocket or flanker!

Lever costs us too firsts in higher positions  than what is suggested, with a knee injury in his past.

Jackson says I want to go home, get $xxx and go to Freo. 

Melb will be talking to both WC and Freo to keep Freo honest!
 

Demons have a record of equitable trading, Freo not, but our list managers will get something smart done!

 

Re delistings:

Daw gone.

Baker to go - just not quite good enough, close!

Hibberd - keep on cheaper one year deal - his best is still very good, smoked Charlie C, great record against Dusty, just a competitive beast. Also Godwin knows exactly what he brings and their Essendon history sees him getting another year!

Hunt - sign, speed, courage, break lines, disposal improved, defending is getting better each year.

 

Mitch Brown - delist but keep at Casey maybe forward coaching role.

Bedford - try keep but looks like he will go.

Thats 4 gone.

Melksham - thought was done but last 6 games has been really solid, lesser salary one more year!

If one more needs to go, would let the weakest of kids go!

 

Edited by D4Life
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Cannot understand why you'd suggest retiring Hibberd and Melksham, two top-22 players in a potential Grand Final team, whom to date have not shown the wear and tear you'd retire them for. Put both on 1 year rolling contracts and suggest the young kids knock them out of the team if they can.

Both could be top-22 for several years yet.

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Pretty good OP, some observations ...

The two Smiths are already recontracted.

We can't afford to lose both Bedford and Chandler. As posted above - one small forward injury and they're in. It will be hard to retain both.

We didn't take Kossie and Rivers ahead of Young. We took Jackson ahead of him.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, old55 said:

Pretty good OP, some observations ...

The two Smiths are already recontracted.

We can't afford to lose both Bedford and Chandler. As posted above - one small forward injury and they're in. It will be hard to retain both.

We didn't take Kossie and Rivers ahead of Young. We took Jackson ahead of him.

Nah, actually we had Jackson at 3 and then divided our second first round pick from the Roos, which was going to be about 8-9 (depending on bids for Tom Green and Liam Henry) and a pick which would have got us Young if we hadn't wanted for a downgrade to pick 12 (Kossie) and pick 32 (Rivers).  I am not complaining about this downgrade at all, we needed Kossie's pace and X-factor more than another defender, and Rivers has been good and still may become very good - just need the club to sort out if they want him to be a running defender or a defensive fourth tall lockdown defender. 

Edited by Deespicable
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5 minutes ago, Deespicable said:

Nah, actually we had Jackson at 3 and then divided our second first round pick from the Roos, which was going to be about 8-9 (depending on bids for Tom Green and Liam Henry) and a pick which would have got us Young if we had wanted for a downgrade to pick 12 (Kossie) and pick 32 (Rivers).  I am not complaining about this downgrade at all, we needed Kossie's pace and X-factor more than another defender, and Rivers has been good and still may become very good - just need the club to sort out if they want him to be a running defender or a defensive fourth tall lockdown defender. 

Young was taken at 7 so that North pick would not have got him.  We took Jackson with 3 ahead of Young at 7.

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Point of clarification also.

Apologies also to list manager Tim Lamb. I had him up higher in my spiel, but then when I re-edited it I forgot to reinstate him with Richo and Taylor as the three men of infuence in these dealings. Lamb is very much the man who will decide the strategy, Richo would rubber stamp and guide and Taylor would explain the draft ramifications of any dealings that Lamb may do.

My main concern is that I hope we are ready to go with trying to obtain something a little extra than just Freo's first rounder and next year's first rounder for Jackson. Apart from the depth and quality of their current defenders they have fringe players such as Darcy Tucker who if we felt added something could be part of the deal. If Grundy opted for Geelong (which I reckon he won't), we also could request that they throw in Josh Treacy or Lloyd Meek with the deal to give us some ruck/forward back-up.

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6 hours ago, old55 said:

Pretty good OP, some observations ...

The two Smiths are already recontracted.

We can't afford to lose both Bedford and Chandler. As posted above - one small forward injury and they're in. It will be hard to retain both.

We didn't take Kossie and Rivers ahead of Young. We took Jackson ahead of him.

whilst i agree losing both is bad. i think whoever stays -seemingly chandler will fall behind laurie as well next year. and AMW is definitely showing improvement in that small forward role too

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Freo got pick 6 plus a future 3rd round for Cerra. Luke Jackson is worth a  lot more than Cerra. Pick 6 plus a future 1st would still be a big win for Freo for Luke Jackson.

A pick 14 and a future pick 14 would be well below the value of pick 6 in terms of players available at those picks. Appears they may trade Logie to provide Cap space and some extra chips for the Jackson trade. They may throw in one of their 2nd tier rucks such as Meek. Doubt they will let Young go. Doubt they will get much for Lobb - mid 30's?

We need to be careful we do not trade for loads of crap. Quantity does not equal quality. Pick 14's are ok combined with a pick 1 to 6 but teen picks i do not like without coming with a very early pick.

A key in our game is 2 very good rucks and that is what Freo want. Make them pay.

 

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10 hours ago, Deespicable said:

It is always a tricky time of year for any club to determine whether to stick with players on the fringe or bring in fresh blood, or in our case (and many other clubs case) freeing up some room in the salary cap for potential trades by delisting mid-tier players.

Given that we are in the window, and have just signed up our key midfielders to long-term deals, finding salary room for possible acquisitions becomes problematic.

It could be argued that the only way you can keep your core 25-30 players happy with somewhat comparable wages and stay under the cap is to pay close to the bare minimum on the additional 10-15 players on your list - thereby creating a bit of a divide.

In the past two years we have minimised our delistings, because let's face it we have a very good list and our performance of fringe players at Casey is clearly the stuff of envy. Hopefully Casey finally gets the rewards of almost seven years of being highly competitive and wins the flag but I am sure the club is also hoping that some of our fringe players play so well in the VFL finals that other clubs come offering late-order picks for their services, along with taking their salary off our books. 

At present there are 10 unsigned players on our list for next year and below is my assessment on what we should do with them, but before I get there, it is also appropriate to factor in the impending departure of Luke Jackson to Freo which colours much of my thinking and doubtless yours. 

To me there’s two scenarios likely to be at play with Jacko’s move, which I think we all get is going to happen.
 
Firstly we have to get something productive back for him from Freo that lessens the loss. 
The Dockers doubtless will offer their first rounder (currently pick 14) and will try and throw in next year’s one as well (which based on this year’s form will also be in the 12-18 ballpark). But to me that’s not quite enough. 
If we took that offer, we would then have to offload pick 14 to Collingwood for Grundy and most likely try and include a sweetener - Tomlinson, Bedford and Weid have been mentioned as options -although after this year the Pies may just want another pick. But under this scenario we end up the losers because Jacko is 21 and our list needs that age group more than a 28yo who will be contracted for another five seasons and who uses up at least 750K of salary cap space and that assumes the Pies offer to pay $250K of it for at least a couple of years. In fact given that the Pies are desperate to get Taranto and keep deGoey, they will be even more inclined to say yes to our dealings if we reduce or even completely drop their financial contribution.
 
To me, there is a second option for us though and I just hope we are trying it. What we have to do is get Freo to combine their first rounder (or their future first rounder) with one of their young talented defenders for Jackson. I have always been a huge fan of Dandenong’s Hayden Young and was shocked when we didn’t get him that draft - preferring the Pickett/Rivers option, which certainly has been mega rewarding as well. But a Jacko for Young and a high pick would seem to be fairly equitable and keeps both clubs exchanging the same age demo and also returns both picks home. 
In our case Young, who is contracted, would be ideal as a replacement for Hibbo. Young’s form this year was superb, so the Dockers won’t give him up without a fight, but the Dockers have a plethora of good defenders - Ryan, Cox, Pearce, Chapman is a star, Walker a huge talent and Clark to name a few, so they may ultimately be persuaded into letting him go if that is the key to getting the deal done. Obviously after three years of great weather and shark-infested beaches, Young's desire to return may rule him out, but that’s where we may have to upgrade his five-year deal, which will add even more pressure on our salary cap. But he definitely would be worth it and his kicking is sublime.
 
But alas we could all go on for hours about potential trades and really only our Richo and Taylor have an inkling on what can and can’t be achieved. But gees it would be nice to get both Grundy and Young for next year.  
 
My final point on all this is that we need to hold off on re-signing some players at this stage, because we need to keep enough room in the salary cap available for Grundy and potentially a Hayden Young. Hunt, Smith, Hibberd and Melksham are all in the $250K-$400K a year bracket and in my view only Hunt is mega essential for next year and beyond. By not signing the other trio, at least until we get confirmation on Grundy and a young Freo defender, then we keep around $750K up our sleeve in case.
 
As to what I started out to do, here’s my prognosis on our out-of-contract set.

Jayden Hunt - age 27 - MUST SIGN

Heaps of Demonlanders have been critical of Hunt over the past few years but for two years now he's really made sure that he's looking at short and long kicking options and he has hit as many targets as any of our defenders. In the past two games he's been a major offensive factor with his run and the variety he provides in what has become quite a stagnant and stable defence. Hunt is the only one who regularly tries to break lines so his value can't and shouldn't be understated. Yes his one-on-one aerial skills sometimes are found lacking but his pace allows him to close down on opponents. His game on Shai Bolton was huge and it wasn't his fault that the club opted to play him on the last line of defence against Sydney (in Rd 12) and he was beaten on crucial plays by Papley and Heaney. Hunt did five weeks VFL penance for that game, I just hope the defensive coach who assigned him for the last line goalsquare role also had to do time of sorts. Since he's been back and further up the field off half-back he's been a point of difference that all sides need.

Joel Smith - age 26 - should sign, but wait for a bit

Ok, it's been another injury-decimated season for Joel, but I just hope the club hasn't forgotten the value down back he provided in our first seven games before injury hit and he was back running his usual red-vest laps at training. When fit, he now has a body that allows him to play on bigs and smalls and with his athleticism he also gives our backline pace and pressure which at times since his injury we have shown we don't have. He's been trialled as a forward at VFL level now because T-Mac got injured, but it's probably time to just send him down back again. I'd also argue that even with his penchant for accumulating injuries, that he's the ideal sub in the AFL this series because of his versatility. If Hibberd retires, then Joel is probably our only viable lock-down last line defender option (outside of May of course), so he’s worth holding on to, unless of course another club offered a second rounder for him.

Michael Hibberd - age 32- let him retire after the final series

Great bloke and just so adept at putting a timely bump on opponents, but I reckon it's time. I still love recalling his first few games for us and the run off half-back he provided - his dash and goal against Richmond on debut for us in 2017 was just huge and he deservedly got an AA gig that year, despite missing the first four or five games. But he's now unable to provide that dash off half-back and significantly now his best role is as a lockdown defender - how good was he on Charlie Cameron the other week. I reckon the club will probably sign him up again, because let's face he's still in our best 22, but like Melky, freeing up the salary cap space is a smarter move if we are to trying to lure a young Freo defender and keep our window open longer. Further to this, how many have noted that Geelong kept both Higgins and Dahlhaus on for another year after 2021 - do you reckon the club looks back and goes yeh, we should have made the hard call on them back then. Finishing up is not easy for player and club alike. Hibberd has been a great servant and his efforts on JJ in our GF win should not be forgotten. God, he was good in that first quarter when we were under seige.

Jake Melksham - age 31- let him retire after the final series

How good has it been to have Melky back in the side for a late-season cameo playing T-Mac's role, despite being four inches shorter than him. As with Hibberd, he uses his body just so well and that's why I hope the club finds a way to make both he and Hibbo assistants - sounds like we may need a few new ones with Yze and Chocco in demand anyway. Melky's best year was 2018 when he showed our squad that if you kick long and quickly, you create chaos for opponents. He's too slow to play half-forward or midfield now, but he's been so good as a tall forward the past few weeks. Does that mean we sign him up again? My view is no as we really need to play Van Rooyen next season, alongside Fritter and big Ben. The salary cap room his departure creates should allow us to nail a quality Freo defender in our trade for Jackson. But if we are less assertive at the trade table, Melky may agree to play on at a reduced rate. 

Oskar Baker - age 24 - delist, or if interest, trade 

He'll probably win our VFL best-and-fairest this year and has always been an everyready goer at VFL level with precious few chances at AFL level - 15 games in four seasons. This year he's played quite a bit in defence and there's no doubt in any other era, outside of our current successful one, he'd get games in the seniors, but alas it's probably time for the 24yo to move on. Gold Coast or Brisbane might rookie him, otherwise he'll be a great recruit for Southport.   

Toby Bedford - age 22 - trade

He's been our medical sub on several occasions and technically he's listed as having played 16 games this season, although he's probably only started in about four. He's shown a bit of toe in several games and kicked nine goals as well and a couple of rippers on the run. There's been talk of clubs such as the Giants, Bombers and Pies being interested in him and given our plethora of small forwards, he deserves another shot at making the big time. Hopefully we can do a deal for an exchange of late-order picks.

Fraser Rosman - age 20 - delist and re-rookie

Tubby Taylor took a bit of a punt on the Wesley boy with great athleticsm and a lovely left foot after missing out on another athlete - Max Holmes - who went way earlier than expected. The club was hoping Rosman would be our left-side wingman but he's been unable to really impact at VFL level and was even sent to defence to find more footy. So far it hasn't happened, although he did show a few promising signs for Casey against Sydney. Maybe the club might decide to delsit him and then re-rookie him. 

Rookies

Kade Chandler - age 22 - trade  

As with Toby, he's in the queue behind Kossie, Spargs and ANB and it's hard to realistically see that altering in 2023. Kade has quite a bit of poise with a lovely left foot so it would be interesting to see how he would go at a club that can give him a genuine shot. Given Adelaide will have Rankine along with Rachele, it might be wise for him to see if Port would be willing to swap a late pick for him.

Mitch Brown - age 32 - delist

What a talent. He’s just so smooth and reliable with his movements and has been a delightful back up for us, but unfortunately at 32 and after two seasons in the role, it’s time to move on and I suspect he’s probably got plenty of life after footy plans in place from being on the edge for about seven seasons. If he’d been a tad quicker he’d have been a star at AFL level because he’s such a reliable kick and presents so well, albeit without a great leap. 

Deakin Smith - age 20 - delist or re-rookie

He’s a very clean Nev Jetta-style defender who as yet hasn’t been able to justify his rise to the seniors. He probably needs to take the game on more to warrant the next step and I’d reckon the club will be watching closely how he copes with VFL finals pressure as they would be with Fraser Rosman before making a decision for next year.

Majak Daw - age 31- retired mid-season

A very handy VFL-level ruckman/forward and as with Mitch Brown, the chances just didn't eventuate at top level. 
 
Finally it’s important to note that VFL stars Luke Dunstan, Sam Weideman and Adam Tomlinson all have another year to run on their contracts and can again serve as valuable back-ups. That’s in addition to Van Rooyen who must be given plenty of AFL chances next season and Laurie who we need to see what he possesses at the next level, while Turner is another who is ready to challenge and would allow us to send Petty or May forward on occasions. And we should get a better idea on Howes and Woewodin’s capabilities next year.

Hibberb, Melksham, M Brown (R) and Baker should all go. Hiberd and Melks have played well but doubt they can be injury free going forward. and Mitch is an in between too good at VFL not good enough at AFL. Maybe delist Rosman and re-rookie if possible. Chandler is going to get promoted and I'd keep Bedford. Re-sign Hunt and as mentioned both Smiths have re-signed.

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1 hour ago, Turner said:

whilst i agree losing both is bad. i think whoever stays -seemingly chandler will fall behind laurie as well next year. and AMW is definitely showing improvement in that small forward role too

I really like Chandler but I'd prefer to retain Bedford of the two, because he has more X-factor like Kossie. Like you say, maybe Bailey Laurie can cover Kade's loss which would be good. AMW seems to have more X-factor like Toby but he needs another season of development to be ready for top level AFL which is where we are at.

Adelaide were keen on Kade last year but with Rachele and their other small forwards plus Rankine, they are fully stocked in that area. It will be interesting to see what other suitors come. He is contracted, while Toby is OOC and already has one offer from Essendon.

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On 8/31/2022 at 9:38 PM, old55 said:

I really like Chandler but I'd prefer to retain Bedford of the two, because he has more X-factor like Kossie. Like you say, maybe Bailey Laurie can cover Kade's loss which would be good. AMW seems to have more X-factor like Toby but he needs another season of development to be ready for top level AFL which is where we are at.

Adelaide were keen on Kade last year but with Rachele and their other small forwards plus Rankine, they are fully stocked in that area. It will be interesting to see what other suitors come. He is contracted, while Toby is OOC and already has one offer from Essendon.

agree with everything youve said o55

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