The 2018 Benfti "in absentia" Hype thread


I didn’t see enough u18 footy this year to have a firm opinion on specific players, but in general, I firmly believe there is no such thing as ‘best available’ once you get towards picks 50. ‘Best available’ only has real meaning at the top end of the draft order - once you get to the late third round it’s all about balancing which downsides you can accept and recruiting for needs and structure. Hell, even Dodoro last year said that 3rd round picks or later are for filling list gaps.

Our situation MIGHT have been a little different this year given 48 was our first pick. Maybe we genuinely rated Houlahan in the top 15 and so thought he WAS best available. Though if we did, I’d have expected Dodoro and Worsfold to have actually said so in their interviews, rather than sounding about as enthusiastic as schoolkids coming out of an exam that they knew they failed, so I find this very hard to believe


He really needs to have a big preseason and hopefully perform well enough in the preseason games to put himself into the equation.

We have a lot of depth all over the ground now so competition for spots is hot.


Good for fluffy photos, that’s about it


Not a whole lot to be honest, it’s deep West Arnham which actually tells us a lot in the sense that this kid must be good because it’s hard to get attention when your from that area unless there is something pretty special about him


As some others have said, there seems to be an overall club policy of socially profiling our recruits, and, other than Eades, the Aboriginal recruits we have picked up have got very stable social backgrounds which indicate they are likely to be able to deal with being away from home (if they are leaving their state) and their families are socially stable.

Walla is incredible in that he sought out the help of the McDonald’s and got himself both a stable and local family and showed the work ethic, both for personal and professional development, on top of his undoubted talent. As @RedSashOnBlack said, he did all the work and demanded his own recruitment and showed the club up for the degree they underestimated him. Making him wait 4 years to make him a rookie only for him not to play a single VFL game since he was recruited with our 2nd rookie pick in 2015.

For a club which sells itself as a force for social change and Aboriginal reconciliation, we are being far too conservative with list spots and we are failing our reputation as a club that helped break down the door for Aboriginal players entering the VFL/AFL.

While this is embarrassing enough, I find it unfathomable that we haven’t been using our category B zone picks to develop some players from the Tiwi islands or elsewhere. Now while we have Luke Lavender and Ben McNiece in category B, we have only one rookie B space left, as well as a regular rookie spot*. Hopefully we can add 2 more Aboriginal players which would be a more reasonable representation. Albeit failing to take the “best available” in the main draft.

*PS not sure how the EFC draft night clip with Dodoro says there is only 1 rookie place left, with Eades and Long going off our rookie A list in different directions.


Long’s defining characteristic IS taking too much on and getting dacked.


Yeah, hard to disagree with any of that.

I think everyone agrees that lots of indigenous kids have unstable family lives and that indigenous kids disproportionately live in tiny remote communities where top-level coaching and mentoring is hard to get. And I think everyone agrees that this disadvantages them when it comes to being drafted.

I just think that the club should be saying to more of these kids “we’ll give you an opportunity and help you overcome your disadvantage” rather than “overcome your disadvantage, then we’ll give you an opportunity” which seems to be the current philosophy.


Not to mention, didn’t they ask for extra time before picking him? Can’t have rated him that highly.


Hopefully the new academy achieves the objective of developing these kids and drafting them. I really hope we’re ahead of the curve with these academies as it presents an opportunity to gain a competitive advantage over most of the other clubs (obviously not the likes of GWS).
We’ll know in the next 2 years I’d say.


If/when we are able to develop players in the Tiwi Islands and West Arnham and give young people here genuine pathways for developing themselves, their football and creating structures which will support them to thrive away from home, then hopefully this will start to actually happen and developing Aboriginal footballers will rely on more than just their own resources and resourcefulness.

I think Walla has demonstrated clearly what it takes to go from being a kid who could easily lose his way in his own community, to completely turning his life around.

While Walla’s was a personal journey that he chose to undertake with no one there to show him the way, it would be better to have a pathway which allowed young people to take a similar journey with more support. They would still need their own spark, but to not to have to take the journey alone would make it more possible for many.


Patmore, would not have even blinked. Not that I think anything bad about Houlahan, he looks good, a nice livewire. But he is a mid forward and I don’t rate him radically above Begs, Redman, Lav. Patmore is an explosive half back, which sure we have Saad now, and Connor must be honoured. However we have very little depth is line breaking defenders after that, plus Bags has 2 years left at best.

Patmore also has exposed midfield development potential, with several above 40 possession games. Houlahan I think only cracked 15 touches twice this year. So is clearly more at home forward.

I know he is your boy ace, and if we had another pick directly after our first pick I may have taken Houlahan too. He has a lot of upside . But Patmore was the better pick on a number of fronts, but balance being the top of the list.


I actually wanted Garner first with Patmore second. Both ended up at Fark Port :rage:


Thats rubbish, we asked for extra time before picking zerrett.


Agree with everything you are saying SCarey.

Here is my stark issue with what’s going on these last 7-8 years, I love the info coming from the club about the increased efforts in the NGA area, it’s great. No doubt will yield positive results both on and off the field in the future.

But it doesn’t address what people are talking about here. HM said it perfectly. We seem to have an expectation that these kids need to overcome their disadvantages before we would consider them, the NGA is a step forward in this regard but how does that help indigenous kids become bombers in the other 99.9% of the country?

A couple of years of passing over potential players could be passed over as circumstantial, but 10 years of lack of engagement in an area the club spruiks as part of our “culture and heritage” is clearly a directive. Whether it’s conscious or not depends on how it’s resolved.

We have gone from top of the pack to the bottom in that time. Yet we proport to be the champions in that area. I said it two years ago, when it comes to this and things like Dreamtime round, we hang our hat on a stand that others built and we no longer own. Frankly it’s condescending and it’s starting to ■■■■ me off. Fine, don’t draft indigenous players but don’t call champion when you are losing quite badly.



this will forever be my blitz legacy. the new filled but not to capacity.


I like Garner more than Patmore, but I saw Jake filing our list demo better long term.


port recruiting 101.

step 1: log in to blitz
step 2: look for benfti specials list
step 3: ???
step 4: Draft Day.


They have adopted the Hawthorn philosophy from a few years earlier.


Don’t take this the wrong way but it’s all fine and great having these indigenous lads playing at the one club but they have to have better education and people in place to care for them better. In the last 2 years Port has had quite a long list of indiscretions from their indigenous players and the club was getting quite concerned. Hopefully they have got better environment now to look after these kids better and ensure football is their main focus


They can’t be to concerned, and their academy is excellent