Herald Sun Articles


100 Games Club
1 Feb 2014
AFL Club
The Phantom’s Five: More opportunity means more output for the most SuperCoach-relevant players of the AFL Trade Period
Of all the players to find new homes in the AFL Trade Period, The Phantom looks at five who look set to have the biggest impact on SuperCoach in 2020

The Phantom, The Advertiser
Subscriber only
October 19, 2019 3:30pm

Out of all the players to find new homes in the AFL Trade Period, who is the most SuperCoach-relevant? The Phantom looks at the top-five.

Blake Acres (Fremantle)
Estimated 2020 Price: $390,000
2019 — Games: 19, Average: 71
Average 2015-2018: 48, 75, 75, 88
The 24-year-old wants to play in the midfield, new Fremantle coach Justin Longmuir wants him to play in the midfield and SuperCoaches, you guessed it, want him to play in the midfield.
During his six years and 75 games at the Saints, Acres struggled for consistency due to the lack of a defined role — along with injury — but he’s set lock down a spot in the Dockers’ midfield in 2020.
“I played a lot of roles for the saints and felt like I was able to settle in one position,” Acres said.
“Justin has made it clear what role I’ll play next year and in the future for the club. Around the ball, on the wing and a little bit of work inside.”
The Western Australian played as lead-up target and running half-forward for most of 2019 but there was a number of glimpses of what he can do in the midfield at the Saints, too.
In the first five rounds of 2018, the 191cm Acres averaged 24 disposals, 10 contested possessions, eight score involvements, four intercepts, four marks and 106 SuperCoach points per game, playing as a pure wingman. And there was a similar four-game stretch, which saw him average 24 disposals and 105 points in 2016.
But the best news is Acres is likely to be priced at an average of 71 and keep his dual-position status as a midfielder-forward.

Hugh Greenwood (Gold Coast)
Estimated 2020 Price: $465,000
2019 — Games: 14, Average: 85
Average 2016-2018: dnp, 85, 86
Some players are just built for SuperCoach. And the Gold Coast recruit is one of them.
In his 51 career matches, Greenwood, who spent four years on Adelaide’s list, has scored 80 points or more in 31 of them, passing the 100-point mark on 12 occasions. The impressive scoring record comes on the back of the 27-year-old’s elite ability at the contest.
Greenwood’s contested possession rate of 64.1 per cent was the highest of the 225 players in the competition to average 17 disposals or more in 2019.
Across his career, the 191cm midfielder also rates elite for groundball gets, clearances, tackles, pressure acts and contested marks, despite never being part of Adelaide’s first-choice on-ball rotation.
But Greenwood will have greater responsibility in the Suns’ midfield and, after spending plenty of time forward in his final season at West Lakes, is also a chance to gain dual-position status as a forward.
And that will be the key to his selection, given the size of the spike will depend on the left-footer’s ability to improve his fitness and win more ball away from the contest.

Aiden Bonar (North Melbourne)
Estimated 2020 Price: $160,000
2019 — Games: 2, Average: 41
Average 2018: 57
A physically-ready, rookie-price midfielder with two pre-seasons under his belt? Yes, please.
There’s been no harder engine room to crack than the Giants’ in recent seasons and Bonar has felt the squeeze first-hand.
The highly-rated 20-year-old, who was drafted at pick No. 11 in 2017 despite two previous knee reconstructions, played just six games in his two years at GWS, spending most of his time forward.
Bonar showed his wares as a big-bodied midfielder in the NEAFL, however, averaging 18 disposals, 10 contested possessions, six tackles and 94 points per game in 2019.
But with Kangaroos’ coach Rhyce Shaw declaring “there’ll definitely be opportunities for Aiden to play” SuperCoaches might start to see these numbers translate to the top-level.

Jack Steven (Geelong)
Estimated 2020 Price: $400,000
2019 — Games: 7, Average: 75
Average 2015-2018: 104, 104, 91, 95
Steven has played all 22 games in four of the past seven seasons and he’s averaged 100 SuperCoach points or more in three of them.
In 2013, thanks to three scores of 150 or more, the 29-year-old finished the year as the sixth-ranked player in the competition.
At his best, there’s no arguing a fit-and-firing Steven is a SuperCoach star.
But Steven played just seven games in 2019 after taking time away from the club to deal with mental health issues.
If he can return full health and fitness following a move home to Geelong — and the signs are positive — he’ll be at the top of the watchlist come 2020.
And his status in the SuperCoach world might grow even more if he’s added to a forward pool, which is likely to see many popular names — including Josh Dunkley, Tim Kelly and Rowan Marshall — lose their dual-position tag,

Billy Frampton (Adelaide)
Estimated 2020 Price: $180,000
2019 — Games: 2, Average: 43
Average 2018: 44
Playing for Port Adelaide in the SANFL this year, Frampton posted SuperCoach scores of 175, 167, 145 and 141. Impressive numbers in anyone’s book.
And in Round 9 this year, Frampton booted three goals and took three contested marks to finish with 64 points against the Suns in the first of his two senior appearances in 2019.
The 23-year-old may have only played three AFL games during his five-year stint at Alberton but he showed enough to suggest he can slot into an Adelaide side which will be without Josh Jenkins and Sam Jacobs next year.
The 200cm big man could go straight past young Crow Elliot Himmelberg as the pinch-hitting ruck-forward in 2020.

There’s a chance GWS veteran Shane Mumford plays purely as back-up to former Crow Sam Jacobs next year. If that’s the case, then the likely $390k price-tag for a player who boasts a career-best average of 108 and says he still has “plenty to offer” becomes hard to ignore.
On first look, Sam Frost’s move from Melbourne to Hawthorn isn’t at all relevant to SuperCoaches, given the defender has never averaged more than 65 points per game. But his addition to the Hawks’ defence will — hopefully — free intercept-king James Sicily from manning a key-post in 2020.


12 Apr 2014
AFL Club
Thanks @Presto, some interesting options there!

Early days obviously, but I’m currently most interested in Acres, Frampton and Bonar based on expected pricing and positions.

Greenwood could be a lock if forward eligible, although I’m not 100% sure he will be, and I don’t think GC have had many high scoring mids over the years (ex Gaz). Miles looks to have had some injury issues, but he only averaged 84 with 4 mainly small tons out of 17 games.


100 Games Club
1 Feb 2014
AFL Club
The Phantom’s Fixture analysis: Bulldogs set to soar, bye-round carnage and Kangaroos ruckman sent for a popularity boost

The 2020 AFL fixture is out and the SuperCoach pre-season is almost here. The Phantom looks at which players benefit most, the impact of the bye-rounds and the best teams for the captain’s loophole
The Phantom, The Advertiser
Subscriber only
October 31, 2019 5:45pm

There’s plenty of water to go under the bridge but The Phantom has an early look into what the 2020 AFL fixture might mean for SuperCoach in 2020.

Bulldogs stars Jack Macrae, Josh Dunkley and Marcus Bontempelli were regular captain options last year but with a SuperCoach-friendly fixture, they are set to become even more popular in 2020.
Luke Beveridge’s side, again, play 12 games at Marvel Stadium next season, a venue the trio starred at in 2019.
Macrae averaged 138 SuperCoach points per game, Dunkley 135 – 150 from Round 7 onwards – and Bontempelli 117.
But it’s the Bulldogs double-up games and five Friday night appearances which will excite SuperCoaches.
Last year’s semi-finalist, which has added key-pillars Alex Keath and Josh Bruce, play on Friday in three of the opening four rounds and only play one top-six side from last year, GWS, twice.
Port Adelaide, North Melbourne, Fremantle and Carlton will be the Bulldogs’ other double-up games. And the trio’s last performance against each side is as follows.
Port Adelaide: Macrae 142, Dunkley 111, Bontempelli 130
North: Macrae 108, Dunkley 130, Bontempelli 118
Fremantle: Macrae 153, Dunkley 118, Bontempelli 132
Carlton: Macrae 150, Dunkley 173, Bontempelli 112
Macrae, in particular, will enjoy facing the Power twice, posting scores of 147, 151 and 145 in his previous three matches against them.
Regular prime time – Thursday or Friday night – teams Collingwood (8), Richmond (8) and Geelong (6) dominate the early games, while West Coast, Hawthorn and Essendon will appear five times in the much-sought-after timeslot.

Round 12: Brisbane, Essendon, Geelong, Port Adelaide, St Kilda, West Coast
Round 13: Carlton, Collingwood, Fremantle, Melbourne, Richmond, Sydney
Round 14: Adelaide, Gold Coast, GWS, Hawthorn, North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs

Thursday, June 11. Mark the date in your calendar, SuperCoaches. It’s the start of the second of the three mid-season bye rounds. And it’s what SuperCoach nightmares are made of.
Again, the top-two ruckmen in the competition, Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn, who were the two highest-averaging players in 2019, will share the same week-off.
But that’s not all. Patrick Cripps, Adam Treloar, Nat Fyfe and Clayton Oliver, who were all ranked inside the top-10 midfielders by average last year, will be missing, as will two of the four top-ranked defenders Jake Lloyd and Bachar Houli.
And then there’s returning SuperCoach gun Sam Docherty to think about.
From a ruck point-of-view, it brings Saint Rowan Marshall, who is likely to be classified as ruckman-only in 2020, returning Eagle Nic Naitanui, Port Adelaide’s Scott Lycett, who won’t have Paddy Ryder to worry about, and up-and-coming Crow Reilly O’Brien, into the picture.
Or, like many did this season, given how dominant Gawn and Grundy, do we just plan for better coverage in Round 13?
And what about the popular names with the Round 14 bye? Josh Kelly, Lachie Whitfield, Stephen Conglio, Tim Taranto, Tom Mitchell, James Worpel, Macrae, Dunkley, Bontempelli, Matt and Brad Crouch, Rory Laird – and the list goes on.
Both will be big talking points over the pre-season, let’s save the worrying for then.

North Melbourne: 15 (12 on Sunday)
St Kilda: 15 (10 on Sunday)
Fremantle: 14 (10 on Sunday)
Melbourne: 11 (10 on Sunday + 1 Monday)
We might have more options following November’s draft but, if you plan to play a floating donut at the bench ruck position, North Melbourne dual-position rookie Tristian Xerri is your man. Unless, of course, the 20-year-old big man can push for senior selection in his third year.
The Kangaroos play 12 games on Sunday, two more than St Kilda, Fremantle and Melbourne.
St Kilda’s additional five games on Saturday night brings any potential ruck draftee from the Saints into the loophole frame.