#36 Michael Hartley


It’s such an odd argument. Most key forwards are very good at what they do. Backs are said to have a win if they manage to halve the contest. I reckon Harts has been solid this year and the team looks a lot better with him in it.

You simply can’t keep great forwards goalless all the time. Weitering is said to be a champion in the making yet Hooker gave him a bath. Should have kicked 6-7.

If it were up to me I’d play Harts on Tex this week. That’s how much I rate his year.


Its not an odd argument at all. The ball is usually kicked to the fwd’s advantage so the backman needs to fight, to out position the fwd or at least be able to punch it. I have played a lot of footy both fwd and back. Both are quiet different to play.

The very best backman read the ball off the boot as quick of not quicker then the fwd, get into position and intercept mark. Hurley is a classic example of this and plays loose on his man. He then rely’s on his ability to read the ball quicker then his man to intercept.


That works. Tigers win the flag this year so every team copies them by playin a forward line with no one above 190cm.


No ideally I’d like to find someone over 194 but IMO that’s our best choice going forward (going on the assumption Francis plays to what we think he is capable of)

Granted there is plenty of time for Hartley to improve too

Like I also mentioned it will ideally come down to matchups


This bloke could be so much more. Would love him to get a bit of mongrel in him, has the physical attributes and skills to absolutely monster his opponent


I think physically he is not as strong as his body type suggests

That is something that can definitely be improved on over the next 2~3 years


I think it’s a confidence thing, he plays like a guy who feels lucky to be there. I think if he was more concerned confident in his spot in the team you would see more of that.


It sucks to be a full back.


Spot on, Harts still questions his own spot in the side - will I get dropped when Ambo comes back or Brown etc etc etc
Last year he was much more decisive because they could all fit in the same side and he was pretty much completely safe to play his game.
If and when he gets back to that confidence level he will become more dominant more often, I personally rate him very highly


I reckon his biggest problem is concentration. Last year he had the footy coming down non stop but this year there are long periods without it in the back half and he seems to get lost. Seems to lack a yard of pace which doesn’t help either.

I’d love to see him kick more often. I’m surprised he doesnt take the kick outs. He is a beautiful long kick


I think we need to draft one more big (197cm+), highly mobile key forward for our list…If he comes on, he eventually replaces Hooker at FF… If he fails, we dumb his job down to the key defensive role, in place of Hartley. This imaginary player is an upgrade, because he has better agility that Hartley and an ability to take more marks.

This development strategy will still take at least 3 years to be fully tested.


Guys played 34 games or something


pretty much it.

Firstly it all depends on the pressure up the ground too and if they turn the ball over.
people forget hooker, hurley even Fletch were made to look very ordinary at times when the those 2 things were off.
Just like all our backs in general, the second there’s a turnover, which is alot with this team, they are out of position and so easily can be burnt. Honesly probably all of them do damn well not to concede 20 goals a game.

Secondly in general IMO he seems to at least draw even more often than not in general.

He plays on the no.1 main target which most games means that player gets the ball delivered in their direction 20 odd times.

I think he’s doing damn well considering. but again any backman is reliant on up the field pressure. With our midfield he’s not getting ahell of alot of help in that area, so I imagine if that gets fixed, watch out.


Not convinced he’ll be a superstar, but the reality is he’s played 30 odd games at full back, often playing on the no.1 forward with zero help from midfield pressure. All things considered he’s doing a very good job.


Considering where we got him draft pick wise and how he performed given the circumstances last year I was probably a little harsh on him earlier

He is still probably a 2~3 years and 50+ games off hitting his peak


Hartley is vital to our success. To suggest otherwise is to indulge in bullshit.


Exactly, less than two seasons and playing on the opposition best player.
I remember the constant criticism Ambrose copped from all directions on every aspect of his game, didn’t mark, too slow, can’t kick, shoelaces the wrong colour. Fletcher was regarded as the best backman around but he had a lot of goals kicked on him, Hartley doesn’t.


To say he’s a second season player isn’t quite accurate, he’s 24 and has been on a senior list previously and has spent many seasons at a seasoned VFL player and was a mature age pickup. So he’s judged a bit more harsher than a true second season player, he’s expected to perform at a higher level quicker than just any second year player. I think he’s been sold overall this year, he’s performed his job, badly beaten by Hipwood and a few others but like against Casbolt battled hard to break even. I think he doesn’t quite back himself in his marking ability and he needs to be able to provide something offensively to worry his opponent because Hurley can’t be expected to do everything and you need more strings to your bow. That’s not asking for him to have 30 possessions, it’s just wanting him to back himself in more and go for his marks and know when to zone off his man. There’s been more than a few times when his opponent has flown for a mark and instead of going hard for the ground ball he’s just stood back and watched his man. I think we can carry Ambrose being the main defensive back but would like Hartley to stick his marks more. Right now he’s a good average full-back who over the next few years I’m hoping will develop further his all-round game. If I’m picking my team form ext year he slots in easily, that’s not saying he doesn’t have work to do. I foresee Ridley competing for a spot in the next year or so.


He played no senior footy at Collingwood and was injured most of the time playing few reserves games.

No matter how you look at it he is a second year player of 34 games, and while he may be more mature than the 20 year old player in the same situation, it is about experience not how old you are.

He is a big guy still learning and he needs the same patience given, as we did to Hooker and Hurley. We should expect improvement for the next 4 years.


I know most view the AFL ratings as complete BS. Maybe this proves it or maybe the stats algorithm has some shortcomings, or maybe, Hartley, in spite of giving up a bag every now and then, is actually improving.