Coach – Leon Cameron
Points For – 11th
Points Against – 6th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Lachie Whitfield
- Callan Ward
- Phil Davis
- Stephen Coniglio
- Nick Haynes
2018 Rising Star Noms
Sam Taylor (Rnd 17)
Ins – Jye Caldwell, Jackson Hately, Xavier O’Halloran, Ian Hill, Kieren Briggs, Connor Idun
Outs – Ryan Griffen, Rory Lobb, Tom Mohr, Tom Scully, Will Setterfield, Dylan Shiel, Lachlan Tiziani
The sheer consistency of me over rating where GWS will end up is stunning. Every year I look at their list, run through where they were at and predict them to smash the competition. Every year I am wrong. Last year they had excuses with injuries but there has to be more to it than that. At some stage they are going to have to start running both ways. They lack defensive hunger and I don’t know how the fix that.
The backline looks strong. They missed Williams for a lot of last year and they looked much better when he came back in despite being underdone. They are good for talls back there and as a backline I think they work well. They suffer due to the lack of pressure put on up the field by their mids which means the delivery into the opposition forwards is harder to defend against. I thought Shaw showed signed last year that his best is behind him and will be interesting to see if he holds his spot.
The midfield reads really well. Whitfield, Coniglio and Kelly are the best top three going around. They use the ball brilliantly and when given space and time, they will tear you to shreds. I know I am repeating myself but the issue for mine is how hard they chase and tackle. They back in their talent to beat you but when they lose, it looks ugly. Having a better ruck this year would certainly help them, they will also be looking for improvement from the likes of Taranto and Hopper to move to the next level.
The forward line underperformed last year. They need Greene to play a full year and they need Cameron to find his way. He looked good in patches last year but their structure never seemed to allow him space. Himmelberg needs to step up this year and own the full forward spot and they need Deledio to get his body right and as often as possible be the person who kicks the ball into their forward fifty. Patton may be back about half way through the season but then again he may not, he is feeling like this generations David Schwartz (without the gambling issues and probably without the same runs on the board). The forward line is capable but doesn’t inspire confidence.
I can totally see why they went back to Mumford. Lobb is gone and he never liked rucking anyway. They looked much better the year before when they had Mumford at least breaking even in the middle. I thought Simpson looked alright at times last year as well but he is a class below the best rucks. As far as the coach goes, I don’t know if he is under pressure, he should be. The game plan looks outdated seems to rely too often on the talent of the individuals in the team.
Last year was horrible for GWS. They had injuries everywhere and never really got a good run at it. When things looked like they were ok, the team looked a little one paced and only looked like they ran one way. It will be interesting to see how they play this year. They are still a top six team on talent alone, with the right style of play and a little luck they are a top four team. They are also a legitimate chance to miss the eight entirely. I think they are likely to finish between 6th and 9th.