If you look at our stats from last year (primarily contested possessions, centre square clearances and stoppage clearances), it appears that we had 7 players rotating thru the midfield as inside mids – the top 5 were Hep, Jobe, Zerrett, Parish and Myers, with Zaka and Goddard being 6 & 7. Jobe and Hepp were the centre square specialists with 2.6 and 1.9 centre clearances per game (with the other 5 mids having between 0.9-1.5 each). Hepp and Zerrett dominated the around-the-ground clearances with 2.7 each per game (Parish and Jobe had 2.1-2.2 and the other 3 mids had 1.3-1.7).
Given Jobe has retired and Myers is probably no longer best 22, two inside midfield spots will open up. However, the club has said that Langford, Smith, McGrath and Stringer will all get midfield time, presumably with Stringer as a centre square specialist.
I’m not sure how 4 players fit into 2 spots. McGrath’s hands, decision making and acceleration make him a lock. Assuming Smith doesn’t have any knee issues, he also looks like a lock. But Stringer and Langers need to be given midfield time too.
Maybe we’ll rotate additional players through the midfield next year, although that would reduce others’ midfield time. Perhaps Goddard’s role will change opening up another spot? (His tackle numbers have never been great.)
How do you think the club will handle our inside mids next year, both at AFL level and VFL level (presumably Mutch, Clark, Hocking, Lav and Guelfi, plus Myers/Begley if they are not best 22/emergency?)