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Resting Max in 2023


John Demonic
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All this talk of how Grundy and Max will both fit into the team positionally, might have clouded the one major benefit we can look upon next year, and that's giving Max 4 or so games of rest to keep him fresh.

He will be 31 next year and he's done as much heavy lifting as Selwood has done in the past decade.

If we look at the successful management of Selwood in Round 4, 8, 16 & 21 this year, it's a clear blueprint for how we can go about improving our fitness.

Edit:

We shouldn't be reliant on needing Max (And the injury he's carrying)  in the team to win a game of football, if we're bringing in Grundy on that contract. If we were reliant on Luke Jackson and a ruck/relief alone then perhaps that is too great a burden to bear on him for 4 games, But Grundy is a different story.

Edited by John Demonic
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5 minutes ago, John Demonic said:

All this talk of how Grundy and Max will both fit into the team positionally, might have clouded the one major benefit we can look upon next year, and that's giving Max 4 or so games of rest to keep him fresh.

He will be 31 next year and he's done as much heavy lifting as Selwood has done in the past decade.

If we look at the successful management of Selwood in Round 4, 8, 16 & 21 this year, it's a clear blueprint for how we can go about improving our fitness.

I probably wouldn’t rest him for 4 games but definitely 2. Maybe give him the week after the bye for an extended break. And then another about a Round 20.  
 

Is also look to rotate rests in our midfield core. We have plenty of midfield depth to give Trac, Oliver, Viney and Brayshaw a week off in the 2nd half of the year.

I think we’ll see the likes of Taj, Dunstan, Chandler feature a bit more prominently in the midfield this year. 

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Games off or reduced playing time? 

4 managed rest games, in addition to the bye, might be hard to swallow if it's perceived that resting a 6x AA player would have tipped the result in any game he's 'managed'.

1 'managed' game and lots of 50-60% game times (shared with Grundy) might be better.

 

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Fix his kicking and play him forward more surely is the right strategy.

I’m surprised there has been zero comment from Max/club about how he is going to fix his goal kicking technique in the off-season. It was beyond woeful this year.

Clubs appear to have pulled back investment in goal kicking coaches/mentors and I know for a fact that Max once independently (and quietly) sought help from a famous ex-forward and told him he was unclear why Melbourne didn’t help him more with structured coaching around this specific skill.

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6 hours ago, The Jackson FIX said:

Fix his kicking and play him forward more surely is the right strategy.

I’m surprised there has been zero comment from Max/club about how he is going to fix his goal kicking technique in the off-season. It was beyond woeful this year.

Clubs appear to have pulled back investment in goal kicking coaches/mentors and I know for a fact that Max once independently (and quietly) sought help from a famous ex-forward and told him he was unclear why Melbourne didn’t help him more with structured coaching around this specific skill.

We look better with Max behind the ball imo. We need to find a better solution to our f50 woes

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1 hour ago, Demon4Life said:

We look better with Max behind the ball imo. We need to find a better solution to our f50 woes

Exactly. Kick behind the play, assisting with intercept marks is Where Max can help us the most. 

 

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8 hours ago, The Jackson FIX said:

Fix his kicking and play him forward more surely is the right strategy.

I’m surprised there has been zero comment from Max/club about how he is going to fix his goal kicking technique in the off-season. It was beyond woeful this year.

Clubs appear to have pulled back investment in goal kicking coaches/mentors and I know for a fact that Max once independently (and quietly) sought help from a famous ex-forward and told him he was unclear why Melbourne didn’t help him more with structured coaching around this specific skill.

No chance we can fix the kicking of 30yo 7 foot bloke. 

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We should be having a serious review of player fitness and performance and looking at what the Cats did. Gawn had his worst year in a good while but was still good. AA even but more due to lack of contenders. 

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8 hours ago, The Jackson FIX said:

Fix his kicking and play him forward more surely is the right strategy.

I’m surprised there has been zero comment from Max/club about how he is going to fix his goal kicking technique in the off-season. It was beyond woeful this year.

Clubs appear to have pulled back investment in goal kicking coaches/mentors and I know for a fact that Max once independently (and quietly) sought help from a famous ex-forward and told him he was unclear why Melbourne didn’t help him more with structured coaching around this specific skill.

His shots on goal look horrible from time to time but he did kick 13 goals 14 behinds for the season.  So beyond woeful is a stretch.  Petracca on the other hand, went at 19 goals 31 behinds (and a substantial out on the full as well); Nibbler at 9 goals and 17 behinds and Charlie Spargo 10 goals and 12 behinds.  Interestingly, that is the first time in Charlie's career he's kicked more behinds than goals in a season. Luke Jackson kicked 11 goals 12 behinds.  I'd say Max's accuracy, whilst it could be improved upon , is certainly a damn site better than some of the blokes who are actually paid to kick them.

Edited by Swooper1987
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40 minutes ago, Swooper1987 said:

His shots on goal look horrible from time to time but he did kick 13 goals 14 behinds for the season.  So beyond woeful is a stretch.  Petracca on the other hand, went at 19 goals 31 behinds (and a substantial out on the full as well); Nibbler at 9 goals and 17 behinds and Charlie Spargo 10 goals and 12 behinds.  Interestingly, that is the first time in Charlie's career he's kicked more behinds than goals in a season. Luke Jackson kicked 11 goals 12 behinds.  I'd say Max's accuracy, whilst it could be improved upon , is certainly a damn site better than some of the blokes who are actually paid to kick them.

I don’t have the stats but my best guess (or at least my perception) is that his goal/behind stat line this yr was flattered by the fact that;

- goal/behind stats don’t account for complete misses - both out on full or not making the distance

- max gets a lot of his shots within a very easy range (small angle within 30) and therefore should be converting better than 50%

Not arguing the others weren’t poor also.

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1 hour ago, Swooper1987 said:

His shots on goal look horrible from time to time but he did kick 13 goals 14 behinds for the season.  So beyond woeful is a stretch.  Petracca on the other hand, went at 19 goals 31 behinds (and a substantial out on the full as well); Nibbler at 9 goals and 17 behinds and Charlie Spargo 10 goals and 12 behinds.  Interestingly, that is the first time in Charlie's career he's kicked more behinds than goals in a season. Luke Jackson kicked 11 goals 12 behinds.  I'd say Max's accuracy, whilst it could be improved upon , is certainly a damn site better than some of the blokes who are actually paid to kick them.

Swooper1987 those are interesting stats how many games and percentage did our poor conversion cost us in the long run and I will be amazed if the club does not put more time into goal kicking. Maybe Mark Williams should put more time in with the senior squad rather than focussing solely on the DNA squad. When you take into account our OOF and times we kicked it to their tallest defender  or their ruckman we have potential to improve our scoring by a huge amount. Another reason for a strong tough marking forward.😁😁

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I feel Max spending a vast amount of time forward only works if it's in place of BBB and we have JVR and/or TMAC in the side playing the mobile role. 

Max and BBB spending a bunch of time inside 50 together made us to immobile. Meaning teams escaped D50 too easy and/or Spargo/ANB/Kozzy/etc. had to run even harder than normal to lock them in. Might be another contributing factor to our second half fade outs  

Also, agree we need to better manage Max through the season. In fact the Cats managed their whole list well throughout the year (they've had time to learn though, several years with an aging list).

I'd argue we didn't manage our players at all. We could learn a lot from Geelong's 2022 season. 

 

 

 

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Melbourne and Geelong have been almost the polar opposite models. One is a system approach with minimal magnet moving, the other is versatile and flexible. One pushes players through the pain barrier with little rest and the other rests players and rotates with guys playing 70% of the time in the middle.

There is no right or wrong way to go about it, clearly because they have both worked. However I do think there is something there when it comes to trying to prolong Max's career. This is the crux of the idea to bring Grundy in and I do get it to an extent and running our guys into the ground did not help.

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Agree Layzie. A negative by product of running our guys into the ground also meant we didn't get a proper look at many of our depth players through the course of the season. Which in my view made a conservative coach and selection committee more conservative the closer we got to September. 

In hindsight, getting a few games into JVR, Chandler, Dunstan etc. through the course of the season, at the very least, would have informed views about their suitability for September. Without that we were forced to dig our fingernails into the dashboard and hold on for dear life with the tried and true, even when on one leg and supported by others played out of position or out of their depth (eg. Jake Melksham as a key forward and Spargo as a winger). 

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Everyone needs a rest. It just depends on how it is managed.

When White and Stynes played together White would start each quarter and play about two thirds and be relieved by Jimmy. Silly and rigid I know but it was Neale's plan (sadly it denied us the opportunity to play both on the ground at the same time to stretch opposition teams most evidently in the 1998 prelim final).

But it gives us a guide to how to manage Max and Grundy. Maybe not as rigid but, to adopt the head ducker's model, start Max on the bench each quarter, rotate him around third to half way and rotate him off near the end of each quarter so as to add the break time to his rest times. Max should just ruck, not play forward where gets in the way and interferes with BBB, TMac and Fritta.

Imagine a fresh, rested mobile ruck tag team combination for a whole game. Worth a try if Grundy arrives at the dees.

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We need to have a very serious look at using our entire 44 players to spread the load as much as possible in my opinion. Goodwin this year was really keen to build chemistry but the cats put on a masterclass of managing fatigue and getting players cherry ripe for finals. 

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The comparison of our player management versus Geelong’s player management is problematic for me, as Geelong have about 8 games a year that they know they can win at 80% of rat power thanks to playing mainly [censored] teams at welfare park 

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It appears managing injuries is not an exact science. Plenty of judgment involved. 

 I'm no expert but I can't remember a time when I didn't benefit from taking a rest. I don't think we should be relying on a 31 year ruck, who gets belted from pillar to post every game, to play through injury. We have a list for a reason. We should start using it better

 

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14 hours ago, spalding said:

The comparison of our player management versus Geelong’s player management is problematic for me, as Geelong have about 8 games a year that they know they can win at 80% of rat power thanks to playing mainly [censored] teams at welfare park 

That’s right. There is no point in resting players in the first part of the season – which was when we won 10 in a row – and after that, the only games we had that you could pretty much lock in were WCE and North Melbourne. We should have rested a couple of players then, but how many players can you rest in one match?

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Rotations will be back in the mix if the AFL decides to bin the emergency sub for a 5th interchange. Pending the cap number of course.

The need to move away from bashing our best 18 into the ground will have to be addressed. Not saying that someone like Clarry would be midfield 70% of the time, there's just no way but we do need a slight shift in mentality and this is one of the pluses with getting Grundy in. Interested to see how this evolves and hopefully whatever they bring in is done with more care than the emergency sub rule.

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