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Are we the slowest side?


Cranky Franky

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JJ started the year in very good form, yes, his reluctant slow plays were frustrating but:

1. He replaced Brayshaw, let’s not pretend they were looking for Robbie Flower out of him. 

2. We lost our CHF with McDonald down. Without a lead up target it’s hard to pull the trigger on quick kicks to smalls

3. The backline lost a lot of bounce with Salo out/down on form and Lever not intercepting at his best

4. He copped a pretty nasty injury and then lost a bit of zip/change of direction (neither were his strong suit to begin with) 

Three of those issues should be fixed and he has all summer to work on moving the ball on faster. From what I saw of one training session he was doing just that and looking good doing it. 

He’s had an elite tank for a couple of years now but his frame has been that of a strong kid more than a man. He’s only just turned 22, he’s only entering the age and game range where he can use more power and acceleration 

I’d still back him to retain his spot wing and Hunter will get used in versatile roles. 

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4 minutes ago, DeeSpencer said:

JJ started the year in very good form, yes, his reluctant slow plays were frustrating but:

1. He replaced Brayshaw, let’s not pretend they were looking for Robbie Flower out of him. 

2. We lost our CHF with McDonald down. Without a lead up target it’s hard to pull the trigger on quick kicks to smalls

3. The backline lost a lot of bounce with Salo out/down on form and Lever not intercepting at his best

4. He copped a pretty nasty injury and then lost a bit of zip/change of direction (neither were his strong suit to begin with) 

Three of those issues should be fixed and he has all summer to work on moving the ball on faster. From what I saw of one training session he was doing just that and looking good doing it. 

He’s had an elite tank for a couple of years now but his frame has been that of a strong kid more than a man. He’s only just turned 22, he’s only entering the age and game range where he can use more power and acceleration 

I’d still back him to retain his spot wing and Hunter will get used in versatile roles. 

You had me until the last line 

Jordon will be Mr. Fix it, Hunter a lock for the wing 

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On 12/24/2022 at 10:48 PM, 4_Kent_Watts said:

Get Chandler and Bowey back in the team, playing in the forward line. Reckon they can make a big difference. 

I'm definitely keen on Bowey being back in the side regularly, Chandler will be an interesting one - With Bedford gone and the talk of Kozzy playing some midfield then the opportunity should be there for him.

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I've always said that JJ's best spot has always been as an inside mid. Some of his best games for the club were in the first half of 2021 where he was rotating as an inside mid.

His hands, toughness and cleaness around the footy was what stood out the most at AFL.

Ironically i thought when he's playing as an inside mid he reminded me a lot of James McDonald with that no fuss attitude. 

If I had to pick between Sparrow and Jordon as a first midfield options it's Jordon for me, by a fair bit.

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2 hours ago, dazzledavey36 said:

If I had to pick between Sparrow and Jordon as a first midfield options it's Jordon for me, by a fair bit.

I like JJ, and he's almost a victim of being too versatile, but the one thing he doesn't have is a burst, and when you look at Goody's midfield mix with Clarry, Trac, Viney, Sparrow, then over to players like ANB, Harmes and even Kozzy, they all have that burst from the pack when needed. Even Gus has a way of being able to make space off a few steps despite not being quick. I can't see JJ breaking into that group until he adds some kind of ability to 'step away' into his game.

Have felt the same with the comparison to Junior, just doesn't quite have Junior's legs yet, but he's had more than his fair share of bad luck across his development so he's probably go a lot of improvement still in him.

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3 hours ago, Demonstone said:

Maybe we should poach Ben Cousins from his recently appointed role at Perth? (See @Rodney (Balls) Grinter thread)

He could assist the slow players to inject some speed and show the whole team how to ice a game.

You might be onto something here Demonstone.  Despite all the chemical imbalance Cousins certainly knew a thing or two about how to move the ball and take on the game.  Perhaps if there's something we could learn from him is to be a bit more aggressive with the ball against lower teams and put them away early rather than let them hang on so long like we seem to do. 

I actually think that's the next evolution in our step to becoming a great team.  We should have notched up big wins in those games against West Coast, North and several others last year, instead they turned into close run slogs for big parts of the game, which I don't think really helps the workload from week to week.

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41 minutes ago, Diamond_Jim said:

The Eagles run and handball game with Cousins at its centre was a joy to watch.

I can recall Armstrong in that GF. His job was to run with stars take the handpass and give it off. A limited role but he played it well.

Would it work today? I'm not sure.

I'm sure it would.  I think that 1:30 of brilliance with the bang bang bang was evidence of that.  Part of it is clean skills, but I actually think most AFL players have that, it's more about confidence, being able to execute under pressure, having a willingness to take the game on, but probably also about being able to create mismatches, holes in the opposition's defence, when to go and when to hold back and defend.  Back end of 2021 we had that worked out well.

It probably also requires brilliant athletes and Cosuins and Co were certainly that, but we also have plenty on our list.  I guess it's also a pretty exhausting game style to play and perhaps we need to work out how to have more rotation of players into and out of the side on a week to week basis, while still maintaining stability of system.  In 2021 and first half of 2022 we certainly worked out how to create good system within the playing group through good system and stability, but like the Hawthorn 3 peat sides, perhaps the next step in our evolution is to get truely proficient with cycling different players through the side over the season.

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We seemed to have plenty of players with leg injuries in 2022 that didn’t help speed.

The other thing as premier, was teams smashed into the Demons, North and Eagles were good examples, they were both hopeless the week before playing the Demons, but really lifted and absolutely hit the Demons very hard when tackling. Hopefully Cats cop the same in 2023!

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I think you could make the case that we are one of, if not the slowest team on paper.

Probably in the bottom 3 for kicking too, particularly our midfield group having no elite users.

All of this does limit our options in changing our gameplan dramatically.

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18 hours ago, Buzzy said:

I think you could make the case that we are one of, if not the slowest team on paper.

Probably in the bottom 3 for kicking too, particularly our midfield group having no elite users.

All of this does limit our options in changing our gameplan dramatically.

All this yet we have one if the best (If not the best) midfields in the competition.  The way most footy is played, particularly these days, it's more about power, speed off the mark and agility.  That's where guys like Trac, Viney, Harmes and Sparrow have the physical advantage.  Clayton Oliver isn't super fast either, but again gives us the advantage through first use of the footy and elite clean hands.

Aussie Rules isn't a game for pure athletes otherwise guys like Baker and Bedford would have been the first picked for the MFC every week.

We'd be nothing like bottom 3 for kicking skills.

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When we look at the list we have 22 of the 23 that played in the 2021 GF and we won not because of leg speed but ball speed where the forward entries came fast from the centre and kicked to players who were in the best position.

Additions of Grundy and Hunter adds class to the team with younger players like JVR and Chandler wanting a slice of the GF cake.

By the way Clayton has great acceleration over the first 5 metres and has speed of football skills watch the goal before 3/4 time.

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The other thing that I feel comes into this is does our players getting tackled with ball in hand give the impression that we are slow?

While it would depend on the circumstances sometimes players getting takled and disposesed with the ball is a good sign as it means they are taking the time to seek out and deliver to the right option with steadied delivery. 

When it's done right, it's to the team's benifit, but you can't get away with it all the time and getting tackled in possession 5%-10% is I think the price you have to accept sometimes.  Doesn't mean the player is slow and or too slow to dispose of the ball by nature.  I remember a bull of a midfield playing coach of mine often emphasising this point and stating that the best players would rather take the risk of getting tackled and "Wear one for the team" than to feed the ball out in a way that put a team mate under imeediate pressure.

Edited by Rodney (Balls) Grinter
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1 hour ago, Rodney (Balls) Grinter said:

The other thing that I feel comes into this is does our players getting tackled with ball in hand give the impression that we are slow?

While it would depend on the circumstances sometimes players getting takled and disposesed with the ball is a good sign as it means they are taking the time to seek out and deliver to the right option with steadied delivery. 

When it's done right, it's to the team's benifit, but you can't get away with it all the time and getting tackled in possession 5%-10% is I think the price you have to accept sometimes.  Doesn't mean the player is slow and or too slow to dispose of the ball by nature.  I remember a bull of a midfield playing coach of mine often emphasising this point and stating that the best players would rather take the risk of getting tackled and "Wear one for the team" than to feed the ball out in a way that put a team mate under imeediate pressure.

I reckon this is where ANB gets a raw deal from some on Demonland personally. IMO, almost every time he gets caught with the ball he's just received it from a teammate under pressure. It would be amazing if he had hands like Clarry, but how rare is that?! I think this is one of the reasons he keeps getting selected (along with his running ability and pressure) - in that he will genuinely do what is best for the team even if it earns him the ire of supporters who don't see the big picture.

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