John Worsfold - lucky to be playing against bad teams and bad umpires


The major reason we leaked out of the F50 last year was because our midfield gave their defence so many options to get it out of our F50 that it was easy to do so. We also got it down there so quickly that when we didn’t win the one on one, there was often space to get out. When you’ve taken 10 minutes to kick it into the defence and there are 30 players in your F50, keeping it locked in is relatively easier. Its just damn hard to score.

Last year we had one of the most efficient forward lines for conversion of entries. I still struggle to believe that we moved one of the key components of that out of the F50 so that we had a taller Matt Dea in the backline. For me its a no brainer to move him forward.

Yep, after 10 years of not being able to do it, he “just needs” to lift his output…


Designing a system that works under pressure and maximises your strengths while reducing the emphasis on your flaws isn’t a bandaid, its a good system. No side doesn’t have cracks, equalisation doesn’t allow it. Setting up a system that gets around that is the key.

Hooker forward allowed a structure that improved the potency of all the other 5 members of our F50, and gave our midfield an out when under pressure. That isn’t a bandaid, it should be the intention.


I thought others decided you couldn’t have an opinion.


Well … you know me …


You’ve changed mate. Is it a new haircut?


I’m perfectly happy for others to have an opinion different from mine…as long they’re happy to be wrong.


That’s a backward way of looking at it.

The better teams try to lock the ball in the front half by applying pressure there so that if by chance it does come out the midfielders have more time to set up and send it forward again.


it didn’t work under pressure though and it wasn’t used “as an out” it was used predominately as the main way to attack.

hence it is a bandaid, because they didnt’ learn not to use it as their no.1 attacking strategy and it has come back to bit them hard this year, cos instead of running with the ball, they just bomb it and it’s fallen off a cliff esp when the forwards push up to far.

Richmond tore us to shreds when they got the ball the other week, because more often than not players held onto the ball, worked their way through traffic, then released when they were out.


Take the Richmond game out of the equation and we have shown significant improvement defensively in the last month.

Cats (Home) 50 points against
GWS (Away) 60 points against
BRI (Away) 62 points against

Our attack has certainly suffered but that can be put down to personal as much as anything. The midfield is more than holding its own and the defence has stood up!

Something worth celebrating I think.



And even in the Richmond game the stats across the midfield and inside 50’s were still good.

We just butchered it around the ground and going forward.

We also should have smashed Bris in 3Q with 23 inside 50’s to 7.

Imagine we had Hooker and a fit JD fwd


If Hooker was forward then the defensive stats would be worse.


I don’t think anyone would question this. But I would question whether the stats would be materially worse.

I didn’t see the Carlton or Geelong games, so I fully admit I’ve missed some of his period back (I was on holiday). But across the GWS, Richmond and Lions games Hooker doesn’t look like he has provided anything more than a lock down and part of the kick to kick party across the back line. I don’t know where stats are for intercept marking, but he’s taken 1 contested mark in the last three games. By eyeball, I think that would be close to it also for intercept marks.

If he’s just locking someone down, there is no doubt he’s better at it than Hartley. But for purely shut-down, is he that much better? Because I can assure you he is hell of a lot better than McKernan or Brown as the main man, and I suspect Brown will be much better forward if he’s #2 to Hooker rather than either #1 or #2 to McKernan.



The net result of Hooker fwd when our midfield is firing is better than he might save back.

When defence is under pump, weight of numbers against a lesser defender will look always look worse. And early season our defence was seriously under the pump.

However in the Crows game Brown looked good vs Jenkins, and vs Port Hartley did a great job on Dixon


He is better than Hartley in every possible way bar kicking length.
No contest.


when the defence is under the pump, hooker can look ordinary, hurley does, hell even fletcher did.

hooker down back allows for roughly a 5 to20% drop off up the ground due to his ability to read the play.

his reading of the play down back is far more valuable.


Hooker was a brick wall against the Cats. Absolutely smashed Hawkins.


Our midfield was well on top. They did not allow Cats easy entries into fwd line and the high pressured ball played into Hooker’s hands.


So he smashed them in the role he was playing is what you are saying?


and no argument from me. My question was whether when he’s playing solely a lock down role how much he’s better, vs. how much he’s better than (say) McKernan forward.

And yet in the last three games he’s taken a single contested mark.


The trade off

Look like crap fwd and not capitalise on inside 50 dominance but Hooker stays back so we look more settled back there…

Or Hooker goes fwd and he wins that position himself and brings others into the game but we have Brown/ Hartley in defence and can seem shaky at times…

Again I think it’s all relative to how our midfield is travelling. Now that we have it firing and the team is applying pressure across the ground we can move Hooker fwd again.