McGrath will add to that group
I think McGrath is going to stand out next season. I get the reluctance to think about it but he’s so composed and has beaten quality opposition in his first season. Seems to have all the tools for midfield.
Zerrett, Heppell, Zaharkis. There’s three knowns. McGrath will slot in nicely. Smith looks good. Stringer and Langford are also perhaps a little speculative. The last three are you’re “bedding down” candidates.
The lid, cos hooker’s a FWD
I’m really hoping smith turns into a very, very good midfielder. That will help massively. Add him to Parish and McGrath’s progression to our known quantities in zerrett, hep and Zaka, it starts to look okay. Stringer is the wildcard
It totally makes sense why we delisted guys like Hocking and howlett, they wouldn’t have got a look in. I suspect Myers will struggle for games next year, I can’t see him best 22 with the class and talent we have brought in
Like Hap says we need to bat deep. Parish, zerret, hepp with Goddard. Myers and stringer has a nice mix of cameo and workhorse and add zakka, mcg and smith to the wings and outside and you have some polish. The difference will be if any of Mutch, begs or the Lang come on.
Not worried, more hopeful.
I’m not worried either.
I just think the maturity and development of the midfield isn’t at the same point as the forward line or backline. Ergo it’s likely to be the weak point this year.
I completely agree Langford, begley and mutch are keys. If even one of them cements a spot for 18 games or so it’s gonna make a HUGE difference imo
I’d add laverde, i think if he can get through preseason and nab unscathed he’ll really emerge as a more than solid contributor and spring board his career.
I’ll be interested to see whether Lav trains with the midfield group this offseason or fwd line (I very much hope midfield)
Mmm, I’m more worried about the backline.
I might be wrong about our midfield, but I think it is just a matter of time before it comes together. There are some questions about it’s overall size, but I’m really looking forward to watching the faster more agile midfield that it appears we may put on the field.
Too many teams lacking Tippa as a starting midfielder.
I’m very comfortable with our first choice batch of mids and I’m confident that will see big improvement from langford, parish and mcgrath. I’m less certain on stringer as a mid, albeit as a rotation, but confident about Smith. If we get some cameos from Begley and Mutch that will be a bonus.
Hepp, Zerret, Zaha, parish, McGrath, Smith, Langford, stringer, Begley, tippa, Fanta, bj - I think that is likely to be the extended midfield group. It has more than enough of everything needed imo.
The issue for us is the drop off in midfield depth outside of our best 22. It’s basically Myers, Mutch and maybe Clarke. There just isn’t much there at all. More than one or two midfield injuries and we’ll be in trouble. Bj gives us some degree of flexibility to be able to juggle things but it’s pretty thin.
With that in mind it would not surprise to see us take a couple of mature age 22 to 24 year old second tier mids in the draft
Will BJ spend much time in the midfield? I’d reckon short stints while primarily taking over Kelly’s role marshalling the defence
Although that said his 2017 was pretty farken consistent when playing midfield
I really hope BJ doesnt play more midfield time. We need to develop players there, and BJ plays the HB general role better than anyone on our list currently. Highly doubt he’ll be seen in the midfield much at all TBH.
Colyer for depth?
I agree but he’ll probably still have a bit part to play now and then and will do the occasional role.
If Clarke rates a maybe for depth, Colyer and Jerrett deserve at least a mention as depth. Beyond that, I think most of our depth would come from pushing the part time midfielders into full time midfield roles if necessary and bringing in role players, for example bring in Green and push Smith into more midfield time, or Laverde and Stringer, or Ridley/Redman and Goddard. It’s not ideal, but we do have a bunch of “utilities” so hopefully they can be used as and where necessary. Whether that’s enough, or you want genuine plug and play (not as well as they person they’re replacing but reasonably) midfield replacement probably depends on what your expectations are next year.
Not a lot of love for BJ. He is slow, but an aerobic beast. and is capable of averaging a very respectable 6 clearances a game as a big body in the midfield. He could help the midfield at stoppages if we are not doing well. For the first 5 games this year when he played that role he was our best clearance player.
yeah he had good numbers playing through the midfield early on, but i thought his overall disposal and decision making took a major hit, and he is nowhere near quick enough to play mid on any permanent basis… until he moved to the half back line i thought he was basically cooked, just felt his mind and body was slowing down somewhat and that was really exposed when being played through midfield. Moving him to the backline again completely changed my, and I suspect the clubs, view on whether he should play on.
I agree, he could be used there in spits and spurts to lift the team if required, but his main role for me is definitely predominantly half back for mine.