I guess it all depends on what the coaches are thinking but for the sake of my optimism I’m pretty excited about 2018
While it will be sad to see the likes of Watson, Hocking, Stanton, Kelly and potentially Goddard and Howlett go it opens up spots in our best 22 (as well as depth spots) for the likes of Francis, Mutch, Redman, Begley, LAV, Ridley and Langford and whoever else we get with our 2017 draft picks.
Our forward line is one of the best in comp. JOEDAN, Stewart, Orazioooo and Walla will only get better, the sky is the limit for Joe
Hooker has kicked 50 in his first year playing as a forward so no reason why he can’t improve or at least give a similar output and Green plays his role (most of the time).
Our backline although exposed in the last month has been generally good this year
Ambrose while offering nothing offensively just sits on his opponent all game and generally limits their impact
Hurley will do well with another pre season. Lacking the body strength which was saw dominate and get AA honours in 2015 im sure he will hit the gym hard over the new year
Hartley ditto. Not sure he is best 22 (especially if Francis cements his spot in the backline) but like pointed out to me in another thread is our only defender over 195cm. Still relatively young in terms of hitting his peak so fingers crossed he builds up the strength to match his body size
McGrath has been awesome and it’s only his first year. You would expect him to move into the midfield at some stage however
McKenna is another who you would expect more improvement from. Came on in leaps and bounds this year while Gleeson has been fairly good for most part.
Hopefully the hole left by Kelly and an aging Baggers can be filled by Redman and McNeice and we still have Dea and Brown as very handy back up.
Our midfield however needs a complete transformation. Hopefully the coaches realize you cant carry Watson, Heppell, Goddard, Myers and Howlett all in the same team. While Watson will be gone and maybe Howlett and Goddard, it still needs a lot of work
IMO though, Heppell, Parish, Merrett, Zaharakis with cameos from Orazio, Walla, McGrath and McKenna isn’t a bad start.
Id seriously look at Rockliff (Martin will stay IMO) and try and trade in Kelly or another gun with our picks this year. If that isn’t possible just use our first pick on the best available mid. I’m sure there will be a quality player there when our selection is up.
All in all, I dont expect everything I’ve written to just fall into place next year (be great if it did) and i have probably left some stuff out but anytime you introduce new talent it is exciting.
Look at Fark Carlton… their supporters are optimistic and they are heading for yet another spoon
So in finishing