Midfield Woes: Instant fix

You’d think the group of Merrett, Parish, Watson, Zaharakis, Goddard and Heppell would be able to beat some teams in the middle. What is going wrong and how can we fix it? I know there is a few threads based off recruiting, but this is more for what are our options are in the midfield/changes we can make to improve at the present moment or come the end of the year in draft/trade period. It is clear that our lack of two way running and ability to win clearances is a weakness atm,


We’ve had a ■■■■ midfield for 17 years despite numerous attempts to fix it. Just get used to the fact that it’s always going to suck.


We had a good midfield a few years ago. Then the saga happened and the game has since changed




I see our pressure around stoppages and our inability to disrupt what the opposition want to do if they win first use as our big Achilles heal atm. Our midfield is also just generally slow to transition into defense though I do feel that this may be more a product of trying to move the ball very aggressively and then getting caught out of position because of a fumble or unforced error leading to a quick turnover.

That said, in general when we win it I think we are using it better than we have in previous years though we are still prone to a few too many fumbles and unforced errors.

If we reduce the number of errors in our game we will reduce the number of high speed transitions against us.

though I feel luey and the mids aren’t quite on the same page often enough we actually did split the clearances against the crows.

It will be interesting to see how we stand up to collingwoods pressure around the stoppage which will be a real focus for them this week. I fear it is likely we will concede a lot of field position to them but if we can get our quick transition going (which we couldn’t against Carlton) we can hurt them going the other way.

What we can’t allow is free runners through the back of the stoppage putting our defence under huge pressure


watson, goddard, zaharakis and heppell are not lightning quick. 2 generally can’t catch up to breaking away midfielders on the other team. one seems to prefer coralling when tackling is better and bj is getting old so won’t be around for many more years.

Then we’re left with parish and zach. 2 players that have played < 5 years are carrying out midfield, stunning. Whats really required is the other young-younger players to step up to ease the pressure. We cannot have watson zaka, goddard and heppell in the same midfield (in terms of a single centre bounce set up). then you introduce further slow players like myers, hocking, howlett, bird and we’re not in a good place with where the current incarnation of the game is at.

If we get another top 10 pick (likely) I think we need to use it on another prime midfielder, one with pace and ball winning ability. I like parish, so don’t take this the wrong way anyone, but melbourne saw a clear hole in their midfield and acted to get oliver to fill that void, i’d like to see us do something similar. I’m not that big on trading in a young jet, i’d prefer to get someone as a FA to tide over the team while the new young midfield has time to gel.

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Parish is quick but Zaka isn’t?

Parish thinks fast enough to cover his deficiencies.

Yes but that doesn’t make him any quicker when chasing tail


thats fair, i reckon parish wins the ball more than zaka so his tracking back matters less.


Parish has an intensity around the contest and opposition though which makes him seem quick. He also moves from contest to contest and is always involved. Leg speed wise they might be about the same, but i don’t classify parish as slow at all because of his energy.


The problem is in the Ruck and Clean first use. If anyone watched Stefan Martin on the weekend, you’d agree. Rockcliff wasn’t far off getting the Sherrin removed from his throat at hospital later that night, that’s how good Martins tap work was. Ziebell the same with Goldy. Fyfe also from Sandilands.
Old mate Luey is 3rd highest in the league for hitouts. ■■■■ knows where his palming it.


And taking out our last years draftees (clarke/mutch), we’ve got no one in the midfield developing in VFL. It’s Bird/Hocking/Myers and youngsters are majority flankers/kpp.

couldnt agree more. its extremely frustrating seeing leuey get tap and instantly have the ball scooped up by an opposition player. its been happening way too much this season and its absolutely killing us at stoppages. we would have to be one of the worst ranked teams in this regard.


Its obvious that our midfield is in transition. Heppel, Zerrett, Parish, Colyer and Zaha are a good base. I would expect (and hope) for Fantasia, McGrath and Langford to transition in. And we took Begley, Mitch and Clarke last year.

I think we need to spend our 2017 1st rounder on a mid, and hopefully grab a FA mid. With some older players as transitioning out depth, we’re probably fine.

Hopefully McKenna might also step in, and we might ‘steal’ a young mid from up north like a few others teams have.

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14th for clearances, 11th for hitouts.

Incidently - 12th for tackles and 17th for tackles inside 50


.[quote=“wezza, post:13, topic:10289, full:true”]

And taking out our last years draftees (clarke/mutch), we’ve got no one in the midfield developing in VFL. It’s Bird/Hocking/Myers and youngsters are majority flankers/kpp.
McGrath will move into the midfield, as will some of Laverde, Long, Begley, Redman, Morgan, even Francis and Ridley.

Parish, Langford and Zerrett are all young and playing midfield in the seniors.

While we do need to keep recruiting midfielders in the upcoming drafts (of course there’s rarely, if ever a time when you don’t) it’s a bit much to say we have no young midfielders coming through. Hopefully there’s some good ones available at our early picks this year.

gotta get it inside 50 to lay a tackle in there… that’s been a problem the last couple of weeks.

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Those stats don’t read at all well. We dominate uncontested numbers, so those pressure stats being down and high uncontested numbers equate to the fact that maybe we are trying to play that way? We saw how damaging we can be when given time and space, as we were against the Hawks and also against Brissy, particularly the 2nd quarter, which save for the last few minutes was some breathtaking footy in terms of ball movement. But we have to earn the right to play that way, which includes the tough stuff. 17th in F50 tackles is damning, it means we aren’t locking the ball in the front half, and also not applying enough pressure to opposition rebounds. Is there a stat for opposition R50 turning into scores?

It’s clear the boys need to do the blue-collar stuff, and Anzac Day is a perfect time to recapture that…

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just from watching to date I’d say we do well enough at locking it in there, getting in there has been a real problem though. 3rd qtr against Adelaide was a great example. We had it locked up our end most of the qtr, at one stage I50’s were something like 12-3. Trouble was it barely went in there in the 1st half.