Hird & Bomber were under a lot of pressure and were eyeballing our players and demanding faith, loyalty and promising ourplayers if they gave their all and trusted each other we would be successful.
And we were! We were beating teams we had struggled against previously. We were winning the close matches and it's very hard to drop players in those situations just for rotation purposes.
I get there is a bit of a conundrum in that the best way to fast track development is to play them at the highest level but if you look at our side last year their was a hell of a lot of development happening in the side.
Hille was hardly played. Belly might have been the obvious choice but he was still sitting on around 30 games at the start of the year wasn't he?
Same with Carlisle, only 30 games under his belt and was relied upon to take the best defender most weeks (and was thrown forward too).
Heppel was only in his 3rd year with around 40 games to his name.
Merret (1) & Kommer (0) were fresh off the boat yet we developed them all year.
Hibberd only had 22 games prior to 2013.
Baguley started with 7 games and finished the year with 28.
And we still managed to get games into:
Colyer - 7
Daniher - 5
KAV - 3
Dalgliesh - 3
Hams - 2
NOB - 3
Fletcher - 13
So while I can see there's a few blokes struggling to get a game, there's been plenty of blokes outside of our best 22 get a crack. And Jetta was the clear standout at VFL level week after week.
And I know the question was more midfield related but there's only a certain amount of inexperienced players you can have on the field at once, and midfielders have to do their apprenticeships in the fwd or backline anyway (or as a sub).
Don't forget guys like Dempsey/Myers/Goddard/Winderlich are a fair way up the pecking order to play midfield also.
Anyway we have a new coach and some mature new players so I'm expecting there will be some big changes... like every year!