Coach – Simon Goodwin
Points For – 1st
Points Against – 9th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Max Gawn
- Clayton Oliver
- James Harmes
- Nathan Jones
- Tom McDonald
2018 Rising Star Noms
Ins – Kade Kolodjashnij, Steven May, Braydon Preuss, Tom Sparrow, James Jordon, Aaron Nietschke, Marty ■■■■, Toby Bedford, Kade Chandler
Outs – Harley Balic, Tom Bugg, Lochie Filipovic, Jesse Hogan, Dion Johnstone, Dean Kent, Mitch King, Pat McKenna, Cameron Pederson, Dom Tyson, Bernie Vince
Melbourne has made the decision that now is the time to go. They have traded hard and given away talent to get talent. Years of tanking for picks and bad decisions have led them to a place where their lists looks chock full of talent and they have bulked that up over the trade period to make sure they have quality across most lines. They haven’t been scared to pay a high price for talent. This year they will be expecting it to start paying off.
Their backline didn’t work last year. They have invested heavily in bringing May into the side and he is a great pick up, he will make them much more secure down back and I would expect him to raise his game to another level with some solid support players around him. Salem and Hibberd give them run off half back and Kolodjashnij was a fair pair of steak knives and if he gets back to his best will be in their best 22. Trading Hogan removed the flexibility to bring Tom McDonald back but his brother and Lever should be enough support for May.
The midfield missed Viney last year. They have Oliver who is a beast but with his partner Viney at the coal face, it makes them a lot harder to stop. Brayshaw managed to keep his brain from getting rattled and played some amazing footy last year as well. I wonder about the absolute depth of midfield talent on their list and it will be interesting to see what happens if a couple of injuries happen to starters.
The forward line will be watched closely this year. Maybe Weideman is a super talent ready to replicate what he showed at the end of last year, they will be hoping so as they have bet the farm on it. They traded Hogan after watching their forward line perform well for 2 months without him. Tom McDonald and Weideman got the job done, again they look a little thin for depth but their best team gets the job done. Petracca showed signs last year that he is ready to get to another level and I think they need him to. They have small forwards but very few in the competition can rip a game apart like him.
The rucks are sorted. They have the best ruckman in the game and have gone and found him a backup in the form of Preuss. Again, they don’t want injuries in this area as Gawn in their most important player. The coach still has a few questions marks on him but answered most of questions last year, that being said they need a premiership soon and nothing less.
I like the way Melbourne have built their list but I am still not sold on trading Hogan away. I know at some stage he was likely to go but I still don’t feel they won that trade. That being said, they have gold on every line and talent across the field, they don’t bat deep but if they keep their best players playing, they will go ok. I think they are a top four list and should finish in the 3-4 range this year.