I really really dislike the look of their list for 2017.
Backline - 4.5 : I'm not seeing much to get excited by here. Tarrant played the best year of his career and looks like a key down back but I just can't see where the support comes from. Scott Thompson does his job without fuss but he'll be 31 soon and looking over their list you can't see who the replacement is, even for Thompson who isn't that great. You can't tell me Hansen is a suitable replacement when he only played 5 games last year and he's 28 so they've been waiting his whole career to be a regular on the park. Otherwise I'm trying to work out who the KPP depth or replacements are, maybe there's a reason Firrito played over 200 games. Atley brings pace to the half-back line but not much more than that, basically a few good moments each game doesn't make you as a player, I think he needs to add a few more strings to his bow. Jamie McMillan was one of the very few who played well in the second half of the year for them and brings some solid rebound to the side although I'm not sure he keeps opposition coaches up at night. They'll need a lift from Luke McDonald, he had a tough year with hamstring issues but hasn't quite come on as they expected, nows the time with a lack of leadership they need players like him to help fill the void, I think he's certainly talented enough. Marley Williams is another who has the skill but is coming off a shocking 2016, I actually think he'll be one of their best players this year and will have basically free reign. Otherwise perhaps Mullet can do something this year but it's slim pickings down back outside their initial starting 6.
Midfield - 3.5 : Lacks class and pace, more so now that Wells & Harvey are gone. Ziebell is probably their best midfielder and good on him, but he doesn't have the outside skill to match his great inside work, or doesn't have any classy outside players to make effective use of his hard ball gets. Cunnington is as tough as nails and gives you reliable grunt but to me he's already reached his peak, a good average hard ball winner that doesn't quite have the skills to really hurt you, he excels in clearances and hard ball gets but is average otherwise. Reminds me a fair bit of Hocking. Andrew Swallow was once considered a Watson midfield clone but went backwards at a fast rate in the past few seasons. Injuries have hurt but you feel he's on last legs, he'll still be useful but you have to worry if you're relying on an injury prone, past his best 30 year old midfielder to lead your young team. Another in the same category is Sam Gibson. Clearly a player that can gather over 500 possessions in a year and not finish in the top 10 for their best and fairest clearly needs areas to improve on, just as he did in 2015. Last year wasn't much different, he can gather possessions but he just doesn't do enough with the ball and certainly not enough even if he does have a few standout games each year. To me this midfield is deeply worrying, Ziebell is their best player but he has no support, Cunnington is a good reliable hard player but nothing special, whilst Swallow and Gibson will be well over 30 by the end of the year and both in the way down. These are their best midfielders and two of them are on the way out and two have already peaked. Ryan Clarke probably represents their best youngster after their experienced core, his first few games were very promising and shows he should be getting plenty of games to further develop, with the same going for Dumont. He had some good games and Clarke and Dumont you could argue at least give them some hope and both should be pumped with games. Outside of these players they'll be relying on kids and perhaps some midfield time from McDonald, Atley and a few others to fill the breach. Ben Jacobs is a useful tagger but surely they have enough of his ilk in that midfield already. Honestly whilst this might be close to one of the worst midfields in the league it's certainly the worst looking for future prospects.
Ruckman - 7 : As long as Goldstein stays fit they have one of the best ruckman in the league but they don't really have many backup options should he go down with injury. Daw has had an injury interrupted pre-season but should be useful if he can return, I still don't know how a guy can be so good and so laughably bad at the same time.
Forwardline - 6.5 - Probably the best part of the side. Waite had a good 2015 but fell off a cliff last year with hip injuries and struggled to play a game in the second half of the year and at 33 is a huge concern. At his best he at least provides a good foil but I honestly can't see any use in keeping a player who is in surely his last year. Ben Brown is something to hold on hope for, a good mark, strong lead he gives them a good target up forward whom at times was the only player playing well in the second half of the year for them. But with Waite gone they need to start developing his support and soon. McKay is being groomed as that replacement, he's talented and can play at either end but hasn't got on the park yet, so there's no point discussing him for a few years yet. Higgins will be a good addition, missed most of the second half of the year but should provide a dangerous target up forward. Hrovat much the same, he can play across most the field and at least a good young player who should have plenty of time to develop. Thomas is one we all know, can kick goals but will have them pulling their hair out the next game, that's not going to change. Perhaps Daw can go forward and kick goals and I think he'll be needed to give support with Waite on his last legs, literally. I don't know what to say about Daw, he'll have a standout game or fall over his own feet the next, not sure what else they can do about that other than hope he does more of the good than bad. Wood looks pivital to their future, he looks very classy and I genuinely think he along with Brown can help lead them out of some upcoming dark times. Looking over this forwardline it looks dangerous on paper, but I can't see a weak midfield giving them enough chances.
Predicted Finish - 15th - Wooden Spoon : Losing Harvey was strange, he was their best player whilst Wells, Dal Santo and Firrito weaken an already weak team and there's no suitable replacements, although you could argue Petrie was well past it. Not to mention they'll lose Waite soon. I just can't see how they can escape the bottom four, their midfield lacks any spark or polish and they're stuck with honest triers Ziebell aside, their backline looks weak Tarrant aside and I don't see many good younger options coming through. Their forwardline still has class but they'll need something from their midfield to keep them away from the bottom end of the ladder, I see them in for another 3 years of pain and I don't think they'll truly bottom out until next year.