How do we improve it?
Feels like we’ve been asking ourselves this question for well over a decade which is an indictment on recruiting and player development.
We lack the toughness, size and even footskills of the better midfield units in the comp.
A ruckman who the on-ballers can remotely rely upon to win a tap occasionally would be a nice start. Hopefully Draper is our man there but that will take a couple of years.
Of our current crop, who can you build around to form the right nucleus?
Merrett, Hepp & Shiel can be good mids but they need help on the inside as this is not their natural strength. Langford has the body but not the nous or willingness, Stringer will find it hard to have the tank to transition into a predominant midfielder if he hasn’t already after 7 or 8 years in the system. The rest are ankle biters. Despite his stature, Dev Smith is the one who tackles with most intent on our list and at least gives us some presence in there. So he will be a welcome addition.
What type of players from other clubs do we need to add to give us the extra grunt and better footskills?