#17 James Stewart


Our forward line depends on hooker being the drop it on the top of the square forward so Joe can monster the other team.

Stewart gets the scraps. If you can’t see it. You’re deluded. Stewart cannot do pack marks.


Not denying Stewie can’t take pack marks yet but for me he plays a similar role to Tom Lynch at the Crows who allows Tex and JJ to dominate.
I’m not saying he is the most important link in our forward line but he is a vital link nonetheless. The chemistry they currently have is fantastic and I wouldn’t be changing it ATM.
Would love to see Lav get a gig but in some other role


The big advantage of playing Stewart as the 3rd forward is matchups.

Generally most sides will have two tall kpds, plus one middle-sized bloke who can play tall or small depending on what matchups come along, and hopefully provide some rebound. Stewart really asks some tough questions of that guy. He’s a 196cm marking threat, so you need to be good in the air. He gets a lot of his goals crumbing, so your positioning needs to be on point. His athleticism means you need to be quick too, whether on the lead or in general play. And his lethal field kicking and ability to accumulate the ball up the ground mean that you have to keep an eye on him rather than sag off to present a rebound option or play 3rd man up to one of Joe’s marking contests.

Even though he’s not (yet) ripping games apart himself and kicking bags (not Bags - Bags should remain unkicked…), it’s a pretty unique combination of attributes. Someone like Laverde or Forward Line Langford are much more conventional third forwards, so a conventional 3rd defender might hope to play a more natural game and have a less awkward time of it.


My point was not that he’s not contributing. But that he’s not the linchpin. Our forward line mainly works because of hooker


Hooker and Daniher had 28 disposals between them on Friday. Stewart had 21, the 8th highest disposals in the team and led the team for goal assists. He also had 4 shots on goal, but couldn’t finish them off. I see that as contributing.

The other advantage of Stewart is it allows Hooker to float back or Daniher to ruck without destroying our forward structure. Without Stewart, if we move a tall out of the forward line, the remaining tall gets double teamed and our forward efficiency suffers. This happened a frustrating amount earlier in the year. With Stewart coming into the team, it keeps the second tall defender accountable and keeps Hooker or Daniher dangerous.


Aceman I am sure some are underrating Stewart’s role but like you I don’t think people should. His agility and size is a huge factor. I thought Friday was his most complete game without the goals. His size was too much for the Saints even if he is no physical.

As mentioned above and I think many people on Blitz and in the football media don’t understand Hooker is actually the key component to the forward line. He takes on the biggest defender and gives Daniher and Stewie more freedom. He is the ultimate team player is Cale.The balance of this forward line isn’t something we have seen since we had Lloyd Lucas Hird Mecuri and even then we didn’t really have two other permanent forwards. Everyone of the 6 on the forward line today plays their rile with Tippa and Fanta rotating through the midfield. Its a great problem to have. In the next two to three weeks we are going to have the same problem in defence - how do we fit in Paddy. I am hoping by the time we are playing Adelaide he is fit enough to play at AFL level which he should be if he return this week to the VFL, so what then?


Individuals, Individuals, Individuals, Individuals is all you see.

It’s a collective and Stewart is just as important as Hooker or any other forward for that matter.

It’s a structure and one that relies on each playing a role.

How people think that Lav can just be plugged in and expect that the forward line won’t miss a beat makes me scratch my head!


Finally playing the Role Kepler Bradley was meant to lol!!


I’m not advocating dropping Stewart, but there’s no reason another player can’t come in and do well. Look at Bird on Friday night; hasn’t played a game all year and yet looked completely familiar with his role in the team.

Laverde has been training in this role with these players since November. If his form is good, he’d be more than capable of filling that hole if need be.


Oh well done Sir :joy:


When Bradley played forward, he often did do well.

As a defender, he tongued major league nuts.

Half-forward or wing was where he should have played.


Not sure how you can compare the current forward line to one being worked on in November. I mean the whole side has evolved throughout the year and they have trialled different players and different structures to see what works all throughout the season.

I agree with you on the Bird assessment. Woosha has proven to be very strict on like for like replacements over the last few weeks which would reflect the importance of building familiarity within the team and an eye on making finals.

Comparing what Laverde is doing at VFL level and what Stewart is doing at AFL level is not only wrong, but also disrespectful to Stewart. Stewart is a tireless worker and also playing within a structure that is clearly blossoming. Laverde is playing a far more limited role but doing it very well. It’s like comparing chalk and cheese.

It’s beside the point anyway. My point was that Stewart is just as important as Hooker to the structure. It wasn’t so long ago that people were calling for Hookers head.

I’m happy that Laverde is doing well and I hope that he continues to work on his game. But if in three years time all we have is a third tall then I would be extremely disappointed. Laverde is only at the beginning of his education and still has lots to work on.


If you can’t compare afl to vfl in terms of positional value what’s the point of having a reserves?

Lav dominated yesterday. He needs fitness. But nothing you’ve said had disproved that he couldn’t slot into the role Stewart is performing.

Are you implying lav isn’t a tireless worker?


I’m implying that Stewart owns that role now and it’s not Lavs to take. It is Stewarts to lose.

Lav as I said above is on different path to Stewart and his aim should be to expand his game just like Langford has. It doesn’t necessarily mean that he has to play as permanent mid but it does mean that he’s going to have to play more mid.

Because of Stewarts skillset he is perfect for that role and has shown that not only can he play the role well, but also with continued development in his contested marking he can become more than just a role player down there. I think you undersell what Stewart is doing and on the back of a couple of good games in the VFL you are overvaluing what Laverde has done.

Its not that I don’t rate Laverde, it’s in fact the opposite. I see Laverde achieving far more than being just a role player. I would be shocked if he replaced Stewart and quite frankly I think it would actually be detrimental to his development.


Being s role player is fine in your first few handful of years. It gets you acclimatised to afl footy and then natural transition to your eventual role. The club loves shoe horning a player into that role too early see Langford. If he and lav played hffs then moved into more serious minutes in a progressive manner it’d be good. Instead you’ve got lang vilified by many for his lackluster midfield performances.


I think the development of our players since Woosha has arrived has been second to none. Cant fault it.

You can refer back longer all you like but this is a different club with a group of kids as talented as I have seen for twenty years.

Still doesn’t change the fact that its Stewarts position.


Don’t know why this was happening but couple of times saints double teamed Stewart when Joe was a bit further up but still playing forward -not ruck. TBH I think they were just leaving a spare back to try stop the guys coming through out the back - and JS happened to be closer to goal than JD so he got the extra man - but I did do a double take and note it to my son. Was right below us.

I think while he’s not a pack marker his combo of height and speed/agility plus field kick ( and usually shot) make him dangerous and REALLY hard to match up. I’d think hard before dropping him. He’s no buddy of course, but buddy is not a great high mark either.


Spot on. He has actually improved his contested work considerably since the start of the year and is only going to get better. He’s 23 and has a combination of athletic ability and footy smarts that is perfect for the modern game.


Lav cant. Lav is not 200cm tall for a start. There are plenty of 190cm backman with aggility that could match up on him. Those same 190cm backman are to short for Stewart. This is no knock on Lav either


Give it a couple more years and I have no doubt he will be able play CHF. Based on the rate he has improved his aggression this year, plus from all reports how hard he works. Couple more preseasons in the gym on top of this and we will have another extremely good tall key fwd.