I watched at least part of the game against Norf. Clarke doesn’t seem to go on the bench. He goes to almost every stoppage, and is quite clearly not an impact player, but has the tank to rack up numbers over probably 90+% game time.
A lot of mids cannot run in the midfield for 90+% TOG, Players like Mitchell can. They get that extra 20% of disposals every game partly because of this. Mitchell turns a 30 disposal game of some other mids into a 36 disposal game .
Clarke is not short ( 187cm ?) but has a long body and short legs, so he finds it easier to pick up the ground ball than say a Langford. The short legs also allow a lot of lower body leverage, so he blocks and holds off opponents very well, at least at VFL level, arguably better than Langford in that regard. The ability to get in front of an opponent and hold them back or to one side is crucial, as it the understanding with the ruckman.
Its something I saw numerous times in the stoppages in that game and he seemed to have a range of opponents.
Clarke is also quite a fierce tackler and scrapper. Thats something we lack on the inside at AFL level right now.
Our current strategy is to run many players through the midfield, so that it confuses the opposition ( lol), and provides a constant flow of fresh legs in there. But do we train these players as inside extractors ?
These other players like Fanta, Green, Laverde, even Mc Grath are just not suited to that type of play and just don’t spend enough time doing it under game conditions to become good at it.
Finally there was comment about what Bartel said about his assessment of the list.
Yes, well we have Myers, he is getting a respectable number of clearances but he can only do 70% TOG.
Agree with Bartel, we need more extraction power at the coal face, Clarke is one, and he has the tank to keep going and keep us competitive when we run out of true inside options because they are resting on the pine.