180+ taps in 3 VFL Finals tells me he is progressing very nicely! He may even be the missing pice of the puzzle. He will be more than adequte as No 2. ruck next season. Sammy is a keeper !
It’s an enormous amount to out on him have to step up in Belly’s place in the event of a serious injury.
In the (don’t even think about it) case the Bellchambers was to cop a long term early in the year I reckon we’d play Daniher and McKernan swapping ruck with Brown permanent forward. Very risky to try and play Draper as #1 for 25 weeks. Could his body even handle it yet?
I agree with this.
I know some are saying he’s not ready and I only see limited amounts of VFL (and almost all on TV).
But, looking at his last 6 weeks of VFL, are there really going to be any better ruckmen around the state leagues or second string rucks at other clubs available?
Of his last 6 weeks (3 finals and the last 3 rounds), he thrashed his opponents in taps most weeks and at worst still won the hitouts. Obviously that’s his big strength. But in terms of other stats he appears to have roughly broken even at worst (maybe a couple of slight losses), and had a couple of wins so it seems he’s not completely hopeless around the ground.
He also kicked 4 goals over those 6 games.
No doubt he’s not ready to be the number 1 ruck, but I’d argue he was already ready to be the second ruck ahead of Looney even if Looney had stayed on…or at least he would be ready to take over from Looney by the end of this off-season.
Looking at that info about his most recent form and the likelihood of him improving over the offseason, I reckon we’ll be hard pressed to find any ruckman who will start next season in 2nd spot behind TBEll, and ahead of Draper.
So the big question for me is do we look for:
(a) a bloke who can compete with Draper to push him along and fill a gap at AFL level if TBell goes down and Draper is injured or out of form
(b) do we just go straight for a developing youngster now to throw behind Draper and back McKernan to be that 3rd ruck on the list if necessary?
I’m not sure of the best answer. It will be interesting to see what the club does.
I admire your confidence re 25 weeks.
I reckon finding a state leaguer who is going to offer that much more than Sammy isn’t going to be that easy. Based on how he finished the season I’m comfortable with him coming in if required with support from Smack or JD. And given that you’d expect him to improve after another preseason, I’d expect he’d acquit himself very well.
Aren’t the AFL bringin in a mid-season rookie draft next year?
Maybe try it with Draper, and draft a state league ruckman if it doesn’t work out.
What about the Mummy
Pretty sure he said he only wants to play for GWS.
Has he put a line through the other clubs?
I think so. It’s GWS or stays in retirement.
Edit: I’m slow. I didn’t get the joke.
He did…but then it disappeared for some unknown reason.
Keeping his powder dry.
We’d have to get in a line as I think GWS are his preference
Snorts of derision from me.
He’ll blow off the other clubs.
I say run with Belcho, Sammy as the back up, and Smack as the emergency.
JD can ruck as well.
We are fine
jd can’t even run, he aint rucking.