Why we haven't been able to stop transition

Figured that this topic needed it’s own thread since it’s been 20 years and we haven’t figured out how to stop the opposition transitioning the ball from end to end.

As they say, a picture is better than a thousand words.

One team hunting the ball in packs and the other guarding grass in case the ball goes via the corridor. We place so much emphasis on structure that we forget that there is an opponent and a ball to win.


Well you’ve answered it then. Close thread


Our run and carry gameplan and attack from defense leaves us very vulnerable after turnover.

It’s very Matty Knights.


knightas offence would be more potent, this is tepid knighta with woosha defence


I have more.

Easy handball over the top

No defensive cover. Swans run in wave.

Forwards running into space behind Essendon defenders. Basically Pagans paddock. Now Laverde saves us here, but we simply can’t allow opposition players to be goal side. How farking hard is it?


the solution for normal teams would be to switch to man on man defencive setup, i fear our players are unable to win man on man contests because our midfield is such a small brigade with ■■■■ all aerial ability apart from archie.


We need to build a gameplan that results in games where we concede 60 points and score 50, do that for a year or 2 and build attacking layers later. It will suck to watch but we need to go all in on ugly dour defense and learn.

We have never tried to develop defense, they say they do but I never see it.


I’m beginning to think it’s a selection issue.

We’ve got a massive boner for tall blokes, have had since the sheedy days. That ‘they don’t get any shorter as everyone else gets tired’ mantra gets rolled out.

The reality is that the game has changed. You can nullify a big forward with two smaller more agile blokes who can cover ground.

I don’t think you can play 5 200cm+ blokes any more unless most of them can move like Darcy Moore.

Drapes and Cox are relatively nimble for their size but McKay, Wright and Goldy are lumbering types. Add in Laverde, Heppell and Setterfield who will give you kms but not pace, plus Stringer and Perkins (quick, but not necessarily that fired up about defense), and you’ve got a team that can get exposed.

Last week we had Reid and Jones as well. We looked really top heavy.

I thought the intent was pretty good on Saturday, but we faded towards the end of quarters and we were overrun by a fitter, faster outfit.


Durham is a very good contested mark for his size. Setterfield could hold his own as well. There was also a one on one between Merrett and Blakey in the fourth quarter which Merrett nudged Blakey out of the ball brilliantly and picked up the ball and ran into space.

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but in general, are oyu trusting hobbs, parish, tsatas, merrett, setters to take a mark over 2/3s of sydneys midfield?

if youre gonna draft those sized players youd be goin a bruhn, who while not tall, can actually jump up and take a mark, its simple but theres literally no cost for bad disposal from other teams when they cut through our midfield. a slightly short kick? not going to be contested. slightly over hit handball? not going to make a difference.

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See, this is where I disagree. We are actually good in the contest, it shows in the center bounces. We just aren’t setup to make the most of our clearances. Or the opposition is setup properly and prepared for it.

The biggest issue we have other than structure is lack of fundamental skills. We don’t have forwards that are good marks, we don’t have many mids that are good by foot and we don’t have any really dangerous small forwards that can crumb a goal


I don’t think it’s about guarding space per se.

Defensively we are the laziest and silliest football club defending ball carriers. We often have multiple people attempting to man the mark, for what I assume is an attempt at getting a breather or because they can’t be arsed running defensively.

Ground ball contests are what really ■■■■■■ me off though. If we lose the ball at the contest, we will often have 3+ players attempt to close down the winner of the contest and leave outside runners free. Maybe this is because we have fallen behind in tackling skills and simply don’t have good enough 1v1 tacklers.

But when there is no one to check the run on the outside, once that overlap occurs, we’re simply farked. This exposes the zone defence by having defenders 10+m from opponents with time and too much space to close down.


marking contests/ open footy are not structured contests. we excel at structured contests because parish is a freak.

I reckon drone vision from directly above the game would have the answers.

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A smaller midfield’s lack of contested marking and transition defending are two completely different issues.


no i think they’re hand in hand. if a player cant move to intercept because they know they wont win the contest, maens they’re peeling back, and offering up space for further forward movement from the opposition.

Id argue we usually overcommit to the ball and leave space behind us which allows them an easy exit.

Often we have 3 players going for the same ground ball, and it spills out and then they have the numbers to overlap handball away.

On the weekend there was less of this but we then got caught in no mans land where we gavr them too much space.


I think we are left wing and have nothing against anyone transitioning. It’s their choice.


A picture is worth 1000 words, but the conclusion I’m not sure about.

Structure is critically important in my opinion. 5 guys in a 50m by 10m rectangle doesn’t seem like good structure to me. That’s 13 guys to cover 4 other 70m by 70m areas by my rough estimates. It seems like the structure as a whole collapsed laterally and then they were able to take advantage of the space outside of that. What we need to know is why it collapsed laterally.


How many teams play a man on man strategy these days though?

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