Why dont our players develop like Sydney's?

Watching last night Haw v Sydney, I couldn’t help lamenting (not for the first time) how “ready” Sydney’s young players look almost as soon as they start playing at AFL level.
Why is it that we are still hoping for gradual development out of the likes of Langford, Redman, Lav (yes, I know, he has had injuries), Clarke, Mutch, and over the years have waited patiently for seemingly dozens more (Kav, NOB, Hams etc) to be ready?
Sydney seem to be able to bring in players who were not necessarily high draft picks, and have them perform in the same disciplined, hard nosed, hard tackling, strong bodied, no mistakes fashion that the whole team has been known for over the past 14 years.
Last night we had not just Ronke, but McCartin was good for a first gamer, and Haywood just gets better every time I watch him. Papley is another.
Fair enough that Mills, Heeney and Florent were high draft picks, but there has been a fair influx of new players in recent years without a blip in terms of pressure, style and output.
It puts our player development to shame.


Twelve rookie listed players ran on for the Swans last night. Twelve! Whatever they’re doing is working.

1 Like

I reckon Breust was on their rookie list too, so you can make that 13

Who’s their reserves/development coach? Is he gettable?

Was thinking this last night when I looked at the scores and stats.
We need a serious look at our development strategies as we are fallinf behind in a big way!

Our shithouse development is our biggest problem right now


It was a great game last night - a class above. Pressure from both sides was immense, great skills. One of the few games worth watching this season. I would fly down from Darwin each week to watch my team play like that!


So we get Tadhg Kennelly as a development coach and as a bonus he can translate Conor’s interviews.


And Mitchell now at Hawthorn.

We must be doing a lot not right. Perhaps more outside interests than inside ones.

That’s a coaching list of hard and/or skillful modern AFL players.


That give them a lot of games in their best positions, and back them in

They all look physically ready for AFL football. Look at the midfield, they are all very solid units.

The have good strong leaders, who can teach and help the young guys develop

So pretty much the exact opposite of everything that we do


Hawthorn, Swans and now Richmond… all teams that have stuck with long term cultural rebuilds brought in by a first time senior coach - in the Swans case two first time senior coaches in Roos and Horse. You hear stories of how professional, team first and high expectation they’re training and prep is. Us? Couldn’t even keep a proper drug registry. They’re execs also put football first, before their ‘brand’ and other commercial opportunities.

Even Cwood look like their starting to cash-in on sticking with Buckley. Us? Chopped and changed between game styles, coaches and a ‘brand’ that only really exists in some marketing department.

Yep, yep, and yep

I personally think it has a lot to do with the ‘buy in’ for the team ethos.

A lot of Swans players come in with flaws but they find a role for them and all they need to do is concentrate on their strengths and perform the team role.

We focus to much on making players complete which ultimately has them playing in roles they shouldn’t in the hope that they can adapt.

We have more than enough talent on our list but we consistently make the same mistakes year on year.

Success breeds success. Sides like Hawthorn and Sydney can offer players opportunities to be part of something successful and let’s be honest, money is great but we are all competitive animals and strive to succeed.

We need to build that culture again.


And that probably comes from a positive culture through their administration.

1 Like

Yep, they are a footy team first and foremost.

We have that ‘corporation’ feel about us unfortunately.

They have a brand of footy and they recruit, develop, train, coach and align everything towards that brand.

We sack our people. Change our brand of footy and confuse our players.

I don’t want to get into another fight with you about coaches, so I’ll start by saying I absolutely agree that richmond and collingwood have stuck by their coaches in situations we would have happily kicked them to the curb. However Roos and Longmire both had almost immediate success. Roos went missed the 8, won a final, won a final, won the flag. Longmire went won a final, won the flag. Even as impatient as Essendon fans are, we probably would have stuck by those coaches long enough to get the benefits.

What’s really depressing is that blitz has been talking “review the club up and down” for about a month now and the club is still acting like we’re a finals chance.