I’m filthy we didn’t seem to be into rockliff, would be a great addition that tides over the midfield until our new recruits are ready, whilst also adding a ■■■■ tonne of ball winning ability with a bit of defensive accountability, something that jobe, dyson, and myers were unable, or incapable of providing.
How about we wait and see the team play first? We have a different coach in charge, two new players who can theoretically go through the midfield, one of which in Stringer who, with the right attitude, could become that explosive inside player. The younger brigade will hopefully be getting the time in the middle, who in turn should be much better equiped to win stoppages and if not win them, apply actual defensive pressure to limit the effectiveness of the oppositions clearance. I’m not saying problem solved, but there is more reason to be positive than negative at this stage.
I agree with Lloyd in that the team needs to be more defensive this year. What happens when they don’t have the ball has been as much of any issue as failing to win the ball at clearances and stoppages. Whatever rolling zone we were using needs to be improved because teams (and not just the good ones) where finding it too easy to get through. It was really frustrating watching teams short pass from our forward 50 to theirs.
I would also like to see them increase their disposal efficiency. So many turnovers during the 2017 season that ended with opposition goals.
For me the greater issue this season was midfield pressure, clearances after that.
With our recruiting we’re going to have a lot more zip around the ball, and that will greatly enhance our ability to exert pressure. That’s issue one ticked off.
As for clearances, we should improve in that area too, though I think it’s been overstated as a deficiency.
We lose Watson, but as a collective we’ll have a midfield group that bats deeper, has more pace, and which adds in Stringer, who is a dynamic clearance player when on song. Add in Heppell, who is capable, and Parish, who was underused, as well as Langford, and potentially McGrath, Smith and possibly Mutch, etc, and it’s a capable group.
We’ll much better able to capitalise on our clearance wins because we now have the pace we were lacking to take the ball away from the contest (and dispose of more efficiently). And, just for the record, Hawthorn won flags despite being beaten for clearances - it’s not the be all and end all it was 5 years ago.