Coach – John Longmire
Points For – 7th
Points Against – 8th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
1 – Erroll Gulden
2 – Nick Blakey
3 – James Rowbottom
4 – Luke Parker
5 – Chad Warner
2023 Rising Star Noms
Angus Sheldrick (Rnd 15)
Ins – Taylor Adams, Caiden Cleary, Will Green, Brodie Grundy, Joel Hamling, James Jordon, Indhi Kirk, Patrick Snell
Outs – Ryan Clark, Will Gould, Hugo Hall-Kahan, Lance Franklin, Tom Hickey, Paddy McCartin, Cameron Owen, Lachlan Rankin, Marc Sheather, Dylan Stephens
Sydney stalled last year, they just never really got the momentum to make a real run and then scraped into the finals. They have a good young list and have traded in some experience and some class to try and make a real run at things this year.
The backline looked short last year with some injuries and a general lack of depth. Losing Paddy McCartin last year hurt and Francis came in but just isn’t tall enough to hold down a key position. They have brough in Hamling who will then partner with McCartin and Rampe to free up Blakey to become more attacking off half back. Lloyd and Cunningham will give them run. All in all it is a pretty good backline if it stays fit.
Taylor Adams comes in to give the midfield some grunt, outside of Parker the midfield is young and looks like it is building into something pretty special Gulden is a gun and Warner is a potential game winner. Jordon comes in and you look at Sheldrick and Florent. They have plenty of good users of the ball. They should improve this year and support a push up the ladder.
The forward line loses Buddy but he has been cooked for 18 months. Amartey has shown glimpses as has McDonald. Their smalls in Heeney and Papley will both see time in the middle but are among the most damaging smalls in the comp. The forward line though looks their major challenge this year and will be interesting to see how it works.
The ruck is an interesting one. Grundy hasn’t looked damaging for a while but I don’t think he has ever worked unless he has been rucking solo. His strength is his mobility and I think this year will see him start to return to playing quality football. I think he is a good pick up for this team. Longmire is a good coach, he isn’t an innovator but he is a quality manager of men who I think will take this team pretty close to the ultimate goal in the next few years.
I think last year was a blip, this year their list looks better and I think they would fancy their chances of mounting a challenge. I think they will go close to top four. I think if the forward line clicks and works, they may well actually make top 4. In all likelihood I think they will finish in the 5-7 range.