Coach - Adam Simpson
Points For – 18th
Points Against – 18th
Top 5 Best and Fairest
- Tim Kelly
- Oscar Allen
- Liam Duggen
- Jayden Hunt
- Shannon Hurn
2023 Rising Star Noms
Reuben Gibney (Rnd 4)
Jai Culley (Rnd 6)
Elijah Hewett (Rnd 22)
Ins – Tyler Brockman, Matt Flynn, Clay Hall, Harvey Johnston, Coen Livingstone, Archer Reid, Harley Reid, Loch Rawlinson
Outs – Greg Clark, Luke Foley, Shannon Hurn, Nic Naitanui, Xavier O’Neill, Samo Petrevski-Seton, Luke Shuey, Connor West, Isiah Winder
This is ugly, the list is shot, they have brought themselves a number one draft pick who may or may not want to be there. If I am being honest, in my heart, I am loving every minute of it. It could only be more fun if it was Carlton. Jayden Hunt finished fourth in their best and fairest, a player who only hits targets by mistake was their fourth best player.
The backline was atrocious last year. They were so bad that only teams that played them twice had any chance to win the Coleman medal. Hurn steps away and they have nothing to replace him with. McGovern and Barrass are familiar names but they haven’t been reliable players since their premiership year. I expect Yeo will move down back and will work with Cole, Witherden (the most uncontested footballer in the AFL) and Duggan to try and give them some bounce off the half back line.
The midfield is one of those that reads ok on paper. I remember when Gaff was a useful footballer, I remember when Sheed kicked a goal that broke filthy Magpie hearts, I remember when Kelly was a very good midfielder albeit in different colours. Harley Reid is bound to get plenty of minutes in the middle this year and no doubt will be a good player if his body lets him. Ginbey looked good early next year and may give them some more. Culley was finding some form last year but injury will keep him out. It is not a good midfield.
The forward line has Oscar Allen and Jack Darling both of whom have talent and the ability to score if the ball finds its way down there. Liam Ryan is fun to watch and damaging. Noah Long showed some talent and they liken him to LeCras (probably wishful thinking but too early to know), I suspect Reid spends his time resting up forward outside of his stints in the middle. The forward line has the bones of something there that can perform but lack of ball coming from the middle will make that hard.
They have traded in Matt Flynn from GWS who looked a very good ruckman when his body eventually let him on the field. He will lead the ruck in the post NicNat era (which started years before he left). The coach would have been a dead man walking if not for the crazy contract which they don’t want to pay out. He looked out of ideas and energy. I don’t know if he sees the year out without some sort of miracle.
The list has memories of better times but the rebuild has only just started and they are years behind. It is hard to see them moving up the ladder this year. It is only the fact that North Melbourne existed that they had competition for the spoon last year. North have been propped up enough by the AFL that they no longer have competition. The surest Wooden Spoon since the AFL screwed the Bombers. They will finish last and it will be fun to watch.