#20 Jacob Townsend - donning the correct sash

The divisive Jacob Townsend

2019-12-05_11-24-27

Whether Hibberd or Townsend actually add to our team no one can be sure but bringing in a couple of mature options who can compete for that big inside mid was absolutely required. You can argue the list hole shouldn’t have been there in the first place but we have addressed it alongside some developing talls so in terms of list balance we have improved, list quality the jury is out. I’m heartened by the fact that Richmond supporters loved this guy perhaps he can be a Barnard or Young and play a role. Regardless, I’m so sick of being a soft side that I applaud any measure that may help change that. I predict he will become a Smack like fan-favourite…

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That’s not true. The crows won a final in 2012, but it wasn’t one of the 6 games McKernan played.

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We did grab 4 kids who we rated higher. And one rookie. One of those won’t play for 12 months so we got Townsend.

Not sure we could have rated him much, if any, than last list spot.

To apply the same logic, are we going to go backwards because we just sacked ZLarke who won 2 or 3 at Freo?

We never got to see what Z Clarke could do in a final…

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Are you purposely trying to ■■■■ me off?

Comparing the Townsend AFL stats to mids is somewhat misleading though because he was a tagger at GWS IIRC and then played as a medium fwd at Richmond

So his numbers aren’t going to be showing much possession wise

Do we have his VFL year stats when won the Liston?

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So…this guy might not be 100 game player for EFC, he might not win a Crichton Medal but what if, what if he has a similar purple patch for us?

Townsend is clearly the better player - has double the hitouts.

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As opposed to Hocking & Howlett?

I just want to check.

If Townsend ends up a bust, am I blaming Dodoro or Rutten/Caracella?

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With such a low price and low expectations, i don’t think it really matter does it?

A few points. Bear with me:

  1. People are making out as if we used a high draft pick for him. He is a rookie. Rookie picks are always speculative. They are always more likely to be a bust than a boom.

  2. Some context. Yes he has played for 2 clubs but he isn’t the discard people think he is. GWS offered him a 3yr deal which he rejected to go to the Tigers. Cameron has been reported on a few occasions that he didn’t want to let him go. In fact, GWS made some inquiries to get him back this off season.

  3. Townsend unwittingly became a forward when Josh Caddy got injured. Credit to him for impressing in that role but that is not his best position.

  4. But he is slow and not a great kick? Whilst I don’t fully accept the premise, inside mids are often slowish and with low kicking efficiency. It doesn’t mean that they can’t extract the ball and dish it off to better users.

  5. Townsend has been in a unique situation. He has been clearly the best player over the past 3yrs in easily the best VFL team of the same period. In fact, he has been in the best a staggering 28 out of his last 40 VFL games. This includes 14 from 18 games this year. Additionally, he has been deemed not good enough to play seniors for easily the best AFL team of the past 3 years. So, too good for the best VFL team but not quite good enough for the best AFL team and yet we are concerned he may be clogging a mid table list?

  6. Lets take his stats as a forward and compare them to a mid! Hmmm… not sure that works. Besides the fact they haven’t had the same role, it is important to note that Townsend did not get picked because of his stats - he got picked up because he is a team first player. We have an abundance of “see ball, get ball” players but next to no team first enforcers whose job it is to make his more talented teammates play better. In fact, Richmond claimed they recruited him specifically to add protection for Cotchin who was finding it difficult to break tags.

  7. I love statistics, but they are harder to interpret for defensively minded players. Compare Neville Jetta’s career statistics to Mcneice’s and you can trick yourself into believing they provide similar value.

  8. Every year it feels we do the same tired routine in selection. We do the Groundhog Day act of giving games to younger players who fail to progress and carry out their set role. Then we dump them in preference for Baguley or Myers types whose best days were behind them, before dumping them and reviving the same kid with patchy VFL form. Thank goodness we have brought in a player whose VFL form suggests he is both ready to play at the level and young enough to deliver for years ahead should he succeed.

I am often critical of the club, but I have found this off-season to be refreshing from a list management standpoint. In fact, I would argue it has been the most focused, targeted, perceptive list overhaul in decades.

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Well this just popped my Townsend enthusiasm bubble.

Geez, I’d kill for Benny and Buddha in their prime on the list now. Exactly what we need.

And we did away with the delist and then rookie them routine.

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You know what the funny thing is, although I’m totally nonplussed about both, at least it indicates that there’s clearly a vision for where we need to get to and a strategy for how we’re going to get there. I can’t remember that being the case ever before. Even Bomber and Hird coming in knew what they wanted to change, but their vision was just “go hard at cutting the ■■■■ players (and let’s get on the gear!).” As much as I as a nuffy supporter don’t totally get it and don’t like it, I’m actually happy that there’s something going on that I don’t 110% understand but something is actually being put together here that might look different than just making us a generically “good team.” It’s not “let’s pick up some more Shaun Edwards and Kurt Ayletts as a low cost, high upside recruitment that might end up inspired in a few years if they come on” (not that I’m necessarily saying they were silly moves at the time).

Edit - mainly talking Hibberd and Townsend but Cutler may apply too I spose.

I just find it funny that we are trying to add something to the team that we have been lacking, yet people are knocking it. Yet they talk up a guy that more often than not couldn’t get the job done

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He does a couple of things well. He tackles, he finishes well, and he hits the contest pretty hard.

I’m just cynical of the Blitz hype train.

Cos if we’re losing games mid year and we’ve got essentially a journeyman in the forward pocket every week having 10 touches, a handful of tackles and less than a goal a game, you can be certain the Blitzerati will turn on him.
Despite that being exactly what he’s always done.

In short I feel the expectations are being driven up very much out of sync with the reality. He’s a Baguley (2018 model, hopefully) replacement, not a key player.

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