List build - where are we going in the next 10,000 posts?

Continuing the discussion from List build - where are we? Where are we going next (Part 1) - #10072 by Henry_s_Angry_Pills.

Previous discussions:

System, you naughty minx.

@Lindsay from the last thread.

Yeah that is certainly why he was delisted and I am not arguing that he would be best 22. But he would considerably make out vfl team better, and therefore help the development of everyone else.

But say if Stringer went down, Constable would be a solid replacement for him I’d reckon as he’d complement McGrath, Parish and Merrett who have the speed

When Stringer was out we had McMerrish and we’re lauding it. Then McGrath was injured and Langford went in. And that was all without Shiel or Caldwell around.

I think there is an argument to keep Clarke one year as depth and to mentor Perkins, Hird, pick #11 in our system in the VFL. But I really don’t think we need any more one-dimensional slow clearance players. We’re already effectively adding Shiel and Caldwell to the 2021 team. At least Clarke knows the system, is a rookie, is liked, and is willing to play other roles.


New thread may need a new best 22 to really see where we are and what we need…

whispers @ivan

at this point i’d be picking this side with one spot up for grabs IMO. obviously things might change over preseason

stewart lav kelly
hind ridley hepp

cox parish langford
draper merret stringer (caldwell)

shield jones caldwell(stringer)
tippa wright smith

redman, mcgrath, snelling, _________? (perkins, durham the front runners atm, maybe another medium fwd)


Rachele will play in the pocket from round 1, you can bank on it.

Quick question which im sure has already been asked, how many list spots to we currently have available?

4 main. Rookies TBC.

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A few posts on the current list by position.

Firstly, to give some context. The 40th best average goals per game tally for the league was 1.5, 1.4, 1.1 and 1.6 (2021 to 2018), and the tallies for the 20th best player were 1.8, 1.7, 1.4 and 1.9. Adjusting 2020 for shorter games, that puts the averages at 1.5 and 1.8, and for an uninjured player means 32 and 39 goals a year makes you roughly the 40th or 20th best goal kicker in the league. In my view being a top 40 goal scorer probably means you’ll get into most if not every club’s forward line. So when people say they want someone, especially someone unproven, to score 40 goals next year, just be aware that you’re really saying you want them to be amongst the very best forwards in the league. On average, most teams will have one player with a 40 goal season and one more with a 30-40 goal season. A handful of teams (probably the best ones) will have a 3rd or even 4th player that good.

In that context, it is important to note that from round 7 both Wright and Jones averaged 1.7 goals per game each. Putting them solidly in the top 40 scorers. And we’d obviously expect Jones improves on that and hope Wright might do so. Walla has been top 40 every year for the last four years (or right on it), and Stringer averaged 2.2 (third year running he’s been in the league’s top 20). Hooker is a loss, as he was also in the top 40 (1.8).

Therefore, going forward its credible to say we’ve already got a good forward nucleus. Four players we can reasonably expect to be top 40 in the league as goal scorers. Snelling who is a good pressure player. So I really do think the calls that Wright isn’t good enough, or that we don’t have enough goal kickers are a bit overstated. Just one of Francis, Baldwin, Reid, McBride, Eyre or Bryan stepping up as a third dangerous tall would make our talls as good as pretty much anyone. For example, for Melbourne their 4 tall/medium forwards had 1.4 gpg (McDonald), 1.9 (Brown), 2.5 (Fritsch), 0.7 (Jackson), equals 6.5. Wright, Jones, Stringer gets you to 5.6 with one less player.

So for me the talls are set, Wright and Jones as the centre pieces with us needing to find one more from a host of young options already on the list. Stringer and Walla provide more goals, Snelling and Smith pressure. That’s your six right there. Waterman is then a wild card; 1.2 goals a game with no preseason, but not huge possessions or pressure. Will he be much better with a full preseason or will he even make it? I scratch my head at him.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much depth behind those smalls and mid-sized forwards. Hird? Guelfi? Clarke??? So small and medium forward depth is a must at the draft. Both as depth and to eventually replace Walla.

That said, we obviously get the Daveys next year as well, and probably Wanganeen. So even without further drafting/tradie, we’ll be adding some depth. Midfielders can also play through the forward line.

Just on Francis, I noted that in the last thread that if you ignore his first game against Sydney, he was elite for score involvements. Write him off at your peril.

But what if he doesn’t improve? Do people remember Schoenmakers? Pretty much always depth, averaged 0.4 goals a game, bounced around a little between defence and forward line early, didn’t achieve what Hawthorn would have wanted from a #16 pick. He’s also a premiership player with 121 games, and was very important to Hawthorn’s depth. He ended up playing 16 games in 2015, including every final.

I think Francis will get better than he is right now. But you know what? If he isn’t, he can still be our Schoenmakers. A guy who can fill a role back or forward, has the talent to cause the opposition headaches, and doesn’t do too much wrong in a game, but is outside the best 22. And I’m ok with that.


We were ranked 3rd in the league for centre clearance differential, 10th for stoppage clearances and 8th for contested possessions. We were 4th for DE% differential. So, it would be very hard to improve our centre work, but we do need to improve our stoppage work. However, we spent most of the year without Caldwell or Shiel, and McGrath and Langford missed chunks of their seasons. Arguably, as Ratten said in an interview, we can improve on this from the players we already have.

In my view, the core midfield is pretty much done. A starting six of Merret, Parish, McGrath, Shiel, Langford and Caldwell, with Stringer also spending time there. If you’re playing 8-9 mids, that’s almost it. And we’ve got some promising prospects in Cox, Durham and Perkins.

The issue is what comes next. Caldwell has major injury concerns, we usually have other injuries, and beyond those three youngsters the depth consists of players who have little scope to be more than depth (Guelfi, Clarke), are longshots (Ham, Hird), or are forwards rotating through (Smith, Snelling). And of course, Cox, Perkins and Durham might not keep progressing (it does happen).

In my view a priority over the next few drafts is to keep bringing in young mids. We’re aiming for people who if they work can push those top 6 (or replace them when they’re injured), but might only be depth in 2024-2026. Which is ok as we’ll certainly need some (depth). Although I think outside is more important than inside (due to our current mix), the reality is we need a spread of types. Probably outside our top 20 picks, its best available when taking mids.

Other clubs would be drooling over our ruck options. So enough said there.

Again, I wanted to put in focus a blitz target. Everyone can argue whether he was worth the trade price or salary cost. But that’s a sunk cost. This is an AA midfielder who can win clearances, has some burst speed, seems to be a good role model to the kids, and works hard. Yes, his disposal isn’t flash. Yes, he could work harder backwards. And yes, he massacred the ball in the recent EF.

I think Blitzers either put EFC players on a pedestal, or nitpick their issues. Shiel has issues. You know what, so does every team’s 4th to 6th best midfielder. Melbourne just won a grand final with a starting five that is fantastic (including the 2 wings), and their next best is …. Harmes. Then a combination of Neal-Bullen, Spargo, Bowey and Sparrow. Bulldogs are stronger (Dunkley, Treloar are outside that starting group), most other sides are weaker. The other preliminary finalists had Menegola/Holmes/Miers and Amon/Butters. Shiel rates well against all of those guys; having him as our 4th to 6th best midfielder is a fantastic position to be in. We should be laughing with joy at it. Instead, because he’s got a few flaws, some Blitzers want him gone. For a mystery box.

I bet if you lined up every other team’s 6th best midfielder, and the offer was to trade Shiel for one of them, suddenly Blitzers would be much happier with him staying.


I’ve actually become a semi convert to Guelfi the fwd. Had 3 or 4 really useful games up there in the tail end of the year.


What were these games with just McMerrish that were worth lauding other than when we smashed a historically bad North team? We even lost clearances and inside 50s that game

Our inside midfield only really motored after the bye when Stringer upped his output

Not just stringer, it was draper’s return as well


Good point


well you know i don’t need convincing. if he’d find a bit more of the pill when he rotates on the wing he’d probably lock away the spot.

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Would have been super interesting if we had have actually traded in Hill.

Would we have continued our approach to focusing on development and played Hill over Smith?

i doubt it.

I’m not sure if we can say just because Wright had a decent second half of the year the tall forward line is ‘set.’ While I certainly hope he has turned it around I think we probably need 12 more months to see if the issues in his game have been ironed out.

Which is obviously fine, because we can then decide whether to have a crack at King.

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Don’t think he’s much chop as a wing. To play that defensive wing role well, you need someone prepared to be bored. He’s a ball hunter.

I wish they’d try him in proper midfield. He’s at his best at the contest.


I don’t disagree that we need to see more, but I would add the proviso that it’s not really “second half of the year” but more “when he stopped being the primary ruck”.

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He played, what, 3 weeks of primary ruck? Had 27 hit outs against the Lions in round 4 and then didn’t go above 11 for the rest of the year - from memory Phillips, Bryan or Draper was in the side.

The criticism of Litre has always been that he drifts out of games, and the reality is that he still does that a bit. He kicked 13 goals in his last 6 games which is a good average, but he was also goalless in 3. And he kicks 7 against the Dogs and then 3 weeks later doesn’t have a kick against the same team.

I like Wright and I think he has a role, but I’m not convinced he can be the full on centre piece of the forward line going forward. That was all I meant about considering him as ‘set’ in our best team.

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