Lol teams facing off against Hepp/Jobe/Zerrett
Oh good one of em's going off
*in steps Hocking
It's certainly nice to finally have some midfield depth that's for sure. I've felt that we've been comparatively poor in this area for over a decade. We have multiple options now to roll through there depending on the dynamic we're after. Also, we are better stocked than ever to be be able to cover an injury or two as there will be many capable AFL mids playing in the 2's this year to draw upon.
Putting aside the first year players, as well as Trav and Laverde who I consider more a high half forward and a hit up forward respectively at this stage, I thought I'd do a little rating of our midfield quality.
Trav could be considered more a wing and therefore a midfielder so I respect that view. Kelly I considered a half back for this exercise.
Based on where they are currently at in their careers I would go with:
1) Jobe Watson- Until I see evidence to the contrary, Jobe is still our premier midfielder + has had strong pre-season.
2) Zac Merrett- Complete package. Offensive threat, takes the corridor kick, defensive pressure elite, good around goal.
3) Dyson Heppell- Such a composed player. Good in heavy traffic, elite skills, decent overhead esp in back half. Skipper.
4) David Zaharakis- Maybe a little high but expect to benefit from the inside bulls returning. Run and carry goalkicker.
5) Heath Hocking- A little unheralded but his contribution whether as a tagger or as a general bullocker is imperative.
6) Brendon Goddard- Has the runs on the board and was still playing reasonable footy last year. Need footskills to hold up.
7) David Myers- If he finally gets a clear run at it we have seen he is a stoppage beast + booming kick breaks up zones.
8) Brent Stanton- Club champion, tireless runner who creates options, I expect a gradually diminishing output but still good.
9) Darcy Parish- Responsibility thrust on him in year 1 and held up superbly. Inside/Outside mid, lightning decision maker.
10) Kyle Langford- Got midfield time last year and had nice moments. Class is evident. Ready to blossom.
11) Ben Howlett- You get 100% effort and his tackling numbers are through the roof. Can hit scoreboard.
12) Craig Bird- Brave. Puts his head in harms way consistently. Good extractor at stoppages. Skills are average.
The exciting thing is, Parish and Langford are only going to climb this (admittedly highly subjective) ladder, probably even this season.