While I am optimistic about 2018 I think we still have some weaknesses that worry me. The backline and midfield are areas of concern for me. The 3 players picked up will most certainly strengthen the side, but for us to be true contenders we need a big lift from our younger players who have been in the system long enough. Like Langford, Lav, and Harts
I think Langford or Lav need to become a solid inside mid that can consistently either win the ball or clear a path for our quick small mids. I hopeful but certainly not sold that either can turn into the player we need.
Parish, Zerret, MCG, Smith, all great players and can win inside ball but big bodies they are not.
Heppel is not an inside mid.
Myers is a fringe player.
Goddard - plays very well as an inside mid, but age means probably not very often anymore
Stringer - I have no doubt he can play cameos through the middle, but he is not a 70 percent mid yet, and has a lot of work to do to become this player.
As for the backline we are one key defender short. Harts needs to improve big time here. Ambros is good for Revolt types but not bigger taller players like your Ben Browns. etc.
Brown, Hurley, and Francis are all intercept players not true lock down types. (Hurley can be, but is far to valuable in the role he is playing to change)
Also I think our ruck department is serviceable without been great. Bellys best is great but he lacks consistency. Leuy doesn’t do much around the ground. Smack is Smack.
Last year we where lucky and had very few injury’s. This year we have improved the list no doubt but there are still some holes.
Its possible for us to make the top 4 with a good run of injuries, and if the likes of Langford, Lav and Harts have breakout seasons. If not we will finish from 5th to 9th. Just slightly better then middle of the road.