Post-draft Best 22


Yeah he did play well but I feel he is a liability due to his size and build down back, and that he isn’t exactly fast… He doesn’t have the speed to play on smaller forwards like Betts and he doesn’t have the size to take on big/medium forwards like Rohan in one on one contest! He is a great intercept mark though… But were not short on intercept defenders! I just believe Francis is a talent with a higher ceiling that needs a solid opportunity down back, will become a great rebound defender in the mould of Hurley! I rate Gleeson alot more than Ambrose though!!

Langford was fit, Myers was fit only had a finger injury, Laverde missed half the season in a moonboot id say he was the only slightly unfit one




■■■■■■ hell. I liked @Ants post and completely forgot McGrath as well.


Hartley is a weakness. Put hooker back, and our weakness becomes our strength. We then lose hookers role as a second forward 40 goals a season. Hopefully that can be remedied with Stringer and more goals from Stewart next season compared to 2017.

Bags hooker godard
Irish hurls saad
McGrath zerrett parish
Tippa Stewart stringer
Raz JD smith
tbell Heppell zaka

Bench - Myers, begley, Francis, Langford


Here is my effort based on what I consider are our best 22 with a bias towards pace.

B: Adam Saad, Michael Hurley, Martin Gleeson
HB: Conor McKenna, Cale Hooker, Brendon Goddard

C: David Zaharakis, Darcy Parish, Andrew McGrath
R: Tom Bellchambers, Dyson Heppell, Zach Merrett

HF: Jake Stringer, Joe Daniher, Josh Green
F: Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti, James Stewart, Orazio Fantasia

INT: Devon Smith, Kyle Langford, Josh Begley, Travis Colyer

Emerg: Laverde, Ambrose, Mutch

I found it really helpful to make the below list putting the players into groups:

Lock Defenders

  1. Hurley
  2. Saad
  3. McKenna
  4. Goddard (utillity)
  5. Hooker (or forward)

Lock Midfielders

  1. McGrath
  2. Heppell
  3. Zaharakis
  4. Zerrett
  5. Parish
  6. Bellchambers

Lock Forwards (mid rotations = MR)

  1. Smith (MR who could start in the guts)
  2. Daniher
  3. Fantasia (MR)
  4. Walla (MR)
  5. Stringer (MR)

Current best 22 players who could be challenged.

  1. Gleeson - 3rd tall Defender/Utility
  2. Stewart - FF or 3rd tall forward

Borderline best 22 players whose form will define their fate more quickly than the above.

  1. Langford MR - 3rd Tall
  2. Begley MR - could play tall or small forward.
  3. Green - Small defensive forward
  4. Colyer - MR could play role forward or back (including run with role).

Players who could find their way into the best 22 when in form, and are obvious depth at the moment

  1. Laverde - competing with Begley and Langfod
  2. Ambrose - Competing with Gleeson
  3. Hartley - Competing with Hooker/Gleeson depending on match ups.
  4. Baguley- If Saad can’t lock down a small forward.
  5. Myers - if we are getting pushed aside …
  6. Francis - Hoping he finds some form and fitness as a third tall back or forward.
  7. Brown - Hoping he can do well and so could share forward and back rotations with Francis.
  8. Mutch - Is the type of player we need more of in high quality, thinking will come on this pre-season
  9. Leuenberger - Good for TBC to have quality back up.

Useful depth players who would have to do a bit more than shown so far to be best 22.

  1. Dea - perhaps a little unfair on Dea, but just wasn’t looking best 22 in 2017.
  2. Ridley - should be out of this group sooner rather than later.
  3. Bird - As Jobe’s replacement in the absence of Jobe. he may be needed, but I think we are stronger than we realise.
  4. McKernan - Still good back up for the back up.
  5. McNeice - was looking like maybe taking small defender role, but a serious neck injury set him back, hoping he recovers well.
  6. Draper - has already surprised, has dominated at VFL level, what is he going to be like with a full pre-season!
  7. Howlett - could be one of our minimum of 2 delistees - I like Benny, he is a solid player who might stay without the mandatory delisting requirements to make way for 3 draftees /upgrades. Unfortunately there is more potential upside in other players.

Players who could be called upon for depth if they make solid developmental progress, or devastating injuries take place.

  1. Clarke - flying under the radar, hopefully he emerges more this year.
  2. Redman - mainly needs physical development - then there will be no-arguing.
  3. Morgan (I think his pace and late season form keep his place)
  4. Long (On thin ice, last chance 1 year contract at best)
  5. Jerrett (The ice is cracking)

No expectation / free hit

  1. Lavender - If all our rucks are fit then we could have Leuey, Draper, Smack and Lavender in the VFL side. Give our new Lav is raw and hasn’t played senior football or elite junior football, he might start a grade down from VFL.


Baguley Ambrose Gleeson
Saad Hurley McKenna

Zaka hep Merrett
Bellchambers Stringer Parish

Smith Joey Fantasia
Tippa Hooker Stewart

McGrath Goddard - 2 of Francis Begley Langford Laverde Brown Colyer


B:, Hurley, Hartley, Gleeson
HB: Francis, Ambrose, Saad
C: McKenna, Heppell, Zaharakis
HF: Begley, Daniher, Fantasia
F: Stewart, Hooker, Walla
R: Bellchambers, Parish, Zerrett
IC:, McGrath, Stringer, Smith, Goddard

Emer: Ridley, Long, Mutch


Son of a ■■■■■. I took him out of the defence to put him in the midfield, and then didn’t do it. RATS!
Damn putting a team together and fitting in everyone deserving is tough.


Thought I’d post my best 22 with draft pick order as many seem to point to this as a guide to list quality.

RD = Rookie Draft
PD = Preseason Draft

B: Baguley (47 RD) Ambrose (26 RD) Saad (25 RD)
HB: Mckenna (62 RD) Hooker (54) Hurley (5)
C: McGrath (1) Heppell (8) Zaharakis (23)
HF: Stringer (5) Daniher (10) Tippa (22 RD)
F: Fantasia (55) Stewart (27) Smith (14)
Foll: Bellchambers (8 PD) Merrett (26) Parish (5)
Bench: Myers (6) Goddard (1) Gleeson (53) Colyer (26)

Emerg: Langford (17) Begley (31) Laverde (20) Hartley (68)

Of course, there is also A Francis (6)…
JD would’ve gone higher as well, if not a father son pick.

So in the side above we have 1, 1, 5, 5, 5, 6, 8, 10 as top 10 picks, some nice quality!


Gee, its difficult. The team is built around Hooker fwd or back, and I can see solid arguments for both scenario’s.

Hooker fwd
Never out marked, ball at worst comes to ground. Splits packs, Op really needs to play a very good player on him which free’s up Joe. When he missed games last year the fwd line didn’t function near as well. His goal kicking is pretty average.

If he moves back who takes his spot?
Stewart while been a best 22 player is really a 3rd tall, and not yet reliable in a contested mark situation.
Stringer also more a leading fwd rather then a tall contested marking beast.
Francis - possible but very unlikely at this stage.

Basically we have no like for like player and would have to completely change the way our fwd line functions. Does anyone want to mess with what was the strongest part of our game this year?

Hooker Back
All Australian, accountable, intercept marking beast, able to play on the leagues monsters, we have no one else who can reliably shut down the leagues best tall fwds. But he has not played here for 2.5 years, and there are question marks on his pace vs quick players.

We Really lack tall lock down defender.
Hartly was good at times but very ordinary at others. Hurley is to darn good to play as a lock down player, his attacking game sometime leaves him vulnerable so he needs support.
Ambro is a great lockdown player, but struggles on taller opponents.
Brown is another tall intercept player who lacks strength, to play on stronger opponents.
Francis, yet to be proven but is another intercept type player and at 193 is not all that tall. But he does hit packs hard.

Perhaps we can start Hooker fwd in quarters and stringer in the middle. Too keep that 3 talls 3 smalls setup. Then at times swing hooker back and stringer to full fwd, to change things up. Some interesting possibility’s to think about.


Don’t forget the Stringer and Smith effect, and how that tweaks things.


I was a big believer this season in Hooker forward as he was imperative to the way we set up and the way we played. JD’s year was a direct result of Cale playing the role he did. Once he wasn’t there we couldn’t adapt as in theory the only other way we could replicate with is if Tbell played forward or Mckernan. Against Sydney mid year McKernan couldn’t do much and then at year end when we played Begley and Lav they couldn’t compete the way Hooker did.

So what about 2018 where does he play? I think they will move him back and push JD into the goal square and let Stewart be the link player running between the arcs and Stringer floating around CHF. I think they will also play Orazio at times out of the square as a leading forward not crumber and keep changing the forward line up through more rotations. Langford and Laverde become key in making this happen however. In defence they will be more settled with Hooker back. Our style will need to change a bit from 2017 to accommodate not having a big gorilla in the square competing but I think JD is going to go another level and be even more dangerous closer to goal.


How do either of them effect Hooker? Stringer’s biggest problem was when “true” KPD’s went to him and Bulldogs still put it on his head. He can’t play the Hooker role. And Smith is a small. Even if they play forward, it would be Stewart, Green and Colyer who’d have to worry. None can do what Hooker does for us.


I said ‘tweak’, not ‘replace’.


I am guilty of putting Hooker to the backline in my side, but I do have to agree with you Hooker is the magic ingredient in our forward line.

I will have to reconsider by best 22 configuration. I remember what Jamar going forward did for our forward line back in 2016 and salivated at the prospect of Hooker doing it even better.

What lead to me considering Hooker back is that it may mean we have to take Stewart out of our forward line with Stringer coming in as third tall rotating with other midfielders like Langford, Lav and Begley, and keeping 3 fast mobile accountable players in the forward line (Raz, Walla and probably Green or maybe Colyer or other fast midfielders going forward).

Also we lack a bit of polish and dynamism without Hooker back, needing to rely on Ambrose and Hartley to take on strong forwards. My solution probably will be to include Brown or Francis if they can get the job done and also provide some more dynamic play compared to Ambrose and Hartley, but this is a work in progress and trial and error will be involved giving different combinations a go in 2018.

With Joe and Cale the magic works firstly is because it extends Joe’s range as a dangerous player and creates great options. Joe can either shoot for goal, or if out of range, kick it to Hooker, he can either mark and goal or get it to ground for our smaller mobile players. Also our fast mobile players can lead into space if Hooker is not free enough.

With better midfield delivery our forward line can go ballistic next year, not to mention the ball flying out of the backline with McKenna, Saad and Hurley’s prolific rebounding.

Hooker straightens us up enormously, providing a substantial focal point for our attack and our fast mobile forwards can clean up and lock it in.


It was interesting how despite Jamar being an absolutely useless forward, how much better the forward line worked when he was up there. Well, when we could get it in there anyway. It was part of the reason I was so insistent during the preseason we had to play Hooker forward.

Of course, it also helped that in 2016 Hartley and Ambrose as B1 and B2 KPDs in the backline worked pretty well. I really don’t know why Hartley went backwards in 2017, and its a bit concerning. One area I wasn’t so thrilled on the coaches was that he and Dea, who were both extremely solid in 2016, struggled in 2017. I am assuming that we can make the backline work with these guys, but plenty of coaches in the past have. Stephen Gilham and Zac Dawson spring to mind. If Clarkson and Lyons can make those two guys effective, we surely should be able to do the same out of Hartley/Ambrose and Brown.


I reckon there’s zero chance booker goes back after kicking 40+


I’ve noticed that negative defenders can sometimes look better in really bad teams. I think it’s because most of the time there’s someone way more open than the negative defenders’ opponent, so they tend to get targeted primarily when the only option is a long bomb or similar. In more even games, players will target their best forwards if nobody’s free, so a defender who was previously seeing mostly high balls finds themselves in more difficult contests.

I’d have to go back and watch some 2016 games to see if it applies to Hartley (especially given he was apparently also told to work on the attacking side of his game this year), and I really can’t bring myself to re-watch those losses.


I see what you did there. 100% correct.


If only we could put Ambrose and Brown through that teleportation device from The Fly…