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Professor

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Doctor’s Orders: Players who can win you a SuperCoach premiership
The trades you make this week can be the difference between heartache and euphoria. The experts at Doctor SuperCoach name the players who will set up your Grand Final team for premiership glory.
Doctor SuperCoach, Herald Sun
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August 20, 2019 1:12pm
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After 22 rounds of blood, sweat and tears, it has all come down to this round.
SuperCoach grand final weekend is finally here and the trades you make this round could be the difference between heartache or euphoria.
This week in Doctor’s Orders, the expert team at Doctor SuperCoach take a look at four left-field options to give you the upper hand on the grandest stage of them all.
JOSH KELLY ($578,900 MID) AVG: 116.9
Kelly has been building a name for himself as one the perennial burn men of the league. His fragile body always seems to let him down and is the only reason why he sits in just 7 per cent of teams. Kelly made his return from his latest calf setback against the Dogs and was relatively disappointing, scoring 82 in a bad loss for GWS.
So why should you risk bringing him in? Kelly is the No.1 point of difference at this point of the game, with no exceptions. When fit and firing, there is only a select few players that can match his scoring prowess — despite his injury problems, he is the seventh-ranked player in terms of average points per game. The icing on the cake is his match-up against Gold Coast, a team he averages 130 points against in his past four encounters. Few players are capable of scoring 200-plus in matches, and Josh Kelly is definitely one of them.
With the Giants desperate to bounce back and playing against the Suns, Kelly could be the key to winning your league.
Josh Kelly of the GWS Giants.DUSTIN MARTIN ($524,100 MID) AVG: 99.6
Dusty is a shadow of the Supercoach player he once was, and his inconsistency has lowered his average to below 100 for the first time since 2014. There’s no denying he got off to a poor start this season for SuperCoach purposes, but his form and large ceiling can be a gamechanger in finals. In his past two games, Dusty has eclipsed 130 twice, averaging 34 disposals, three tackles and one goal per game.
TACTICS: FIVE WAYS TO WIN YOUR GRAND FINAL
TRADES: THE CASE FOR DROPPING CRIPPS


FANTASY FREAKO: BEST AND WORST PICKS OF 2019
Richmond has a tough match-up this week against Brisbane, but historically Dusty loves to play against the Lions, averaging 108 across his career. Add to the fact Richmond desperately needs to win to secure a position in the top four, and this should spur Martin on to a massive score, carrying the Tigers on his back.
His cheap price tag and obvious upside make him a tantalising option this week. For just $200 you can upgrade to him from Matt Crouch.
Live stream the 2019 Toyota AFL Premiership Season on KAYO SPORTS. Every match of every round. Live & anytime on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14 day free trial >
Dustin Martin is hitting form at the right time.DAN HOUSTON ($460,500 DEF) AVG: 87.9
After being a reliable defender for most of his career, Houston has transformed into one of the most promising midfielders in the competition. The classy 22-year-old has averaged 103 in his past four games as a pure midfielder and is reaping the rewards. During this time, he has averaged 26 disposals, five tackles, six marks and just under a goal a game, cementing his place in the rotation.
The Power are still fighting for a spot in the finals, while this week’s opponent Fremantle has essentially been knocked out of the race with little to play for in Round 23. They also have a horrible track record when it comes to leaking points in midfield, with the likes of Jack Macrae (152), Marcus Bontempelli (132), Josh Kelly (114), Seb Ross (129), Dan Hannebery (122) and Dylan Shiel (116) dominating them across their past four encounters.
Although he is a raw prospect in terms of SuperCoach, Houston could prove to be a handy addition for a team with a lower budget, looking for a high reward. Expect Port to come out firing, which can only help Dan Houston.
Jack Darling could have a day out against Hawthorn.JACK DARLING ($503,900 FWD) AVG: 84.9
Darling is yet another player who started the year off poorly but is coming home like a house on fire. Before the bye it seemed like Darling’s status as a premium forward was all but gone, but in his past eight games he has averaged 105 SuperCoach points. It’s clear he has overtaken Josh Kennedy as the Eagles’ No.1 forward and he sits fifth in the Coleman Medal race with 50 goals this season.
What makes Darling a huge threat in the SuperCoach Grand Final is his large ceiling. Across the past two seasons he has surpassed 120 points in 10 games, which is a massive 25 per cent strike rate. When you combine his recent consistency, along with his scoring prowess, you get a man capable of winning you a flag. The Eagles play a bottom-10 side in the Hawks this week and they’ll be desperate to win and earn a home final.
Darling could either flop or dominate this week — there’s definitely risk involved with this selection, but the potential upside could get you over the line.
 

Professor

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The Phantom’s Round Trade Talk: Scoring history against Round 23 opponent and at the venue the key to making the final move
To help you make the final, premiership-winning — or $50k-winning — move, The Phantom looks at the scoring history of this weekend’s fixture, as well as at the venues.
The Phantom, The Advertiser
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August 19, 2019 4:35pm
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With one round left in SuperCoach for 2019, it doesn’t matter what your team has scored to this point, all that counts is what your 22 players score in Round 23.
For some, it will be in a grand final. Others will be just trying to improve their overall ranking one last time.
And for the best SuperCoaches of the year, it’s all about the $50k with only 266 points separating the top-10 in the world.
REVIEW THE PHANTOM’S ADVICE IN THE COMMENTS BELOW
So, if you do have a trade or two left, it’s all about picking the best option for this week, even if it means ignoring the leading scorers for the year.
Recent form is vital but so is scoring history against this week’s opponent and recent scores at the Round 23 venue.
And Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury tops the list against recent opponents, averaging 142 points in his past three matches against the Bombers.
Collingwood skipper Scott Pendlebury loves playing against the Bombers.
Pendlebury has posted scores of 138 and 163 in most-recent meetings with Essendon, tallying 38 disposals on ANZAC Day this season and 34 in Round 18 last year.
The classy left-footer only managed 89 points, despite finishing the game with 34 disposals, against the Crows last week.


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But Pendlebury tallied 24 uncontested possessions and 10 marks in more of an outside role which has developed in 2019.
Another interesting Round 23 trade-in option is Giant star Josh Kelly, who returned from a five-week injury layoff against the Bulldogs last week.
Kelly didn’t set the game alight, finishing with 25 disposals and 82 points from 75 per cent game-time but the Giants travel to Metricon Stadium to take on Gold Coast this week, a team Kelly has posted scores of 138, 146, 120 and 119 in his past four matches against.
Will Giant Josh Kelly keep up his impressive recent form against the Suns?
There’s the threat of defensive Gold Coast midfielder Touk Miller, who blanketed Brisbane’s Lachie Neale in Round 21.
But coach Stuart Dew led Hawks James Worpel and Chad Wingard run riot in the middle last week.
Todd Goldstein’s 122-point three-round average against the Demons confirms his status as the No. 1 replacement option for Max Gawn, if he fails to overcome hamstring tightness.
PAST 3 V ROUND 23 OPPONENT
Scott Pendlebury (Coll) 142
Brodie Grundy (Coll) Ruck135
Josh Kelly (GWS) 135
Max Gawn (Melb) 134
Lachie Neale (Bris) 133
Patrick Dangerfield (Geel) 123
Todd Goldstein (NM) 122
Clayton Oliver (Melb) 112
Zach Merrett (Ess) 112
Nat Fyfe (Frem) 107
And what about the top-scorers in the past three matches played at the Round 23 venues this season.
MCG
A.Treloar (Coll) 142.9
D.Martin (Rich) 124.6
P.Cripps (Carl) 123.8
D.Prestia (Rich) 122.4
B.Houli (Rich) 120.3
OPTUS STADIUM
M.Walters (Frem) 130.9
J.Darling (WC) 126.9
N.Fyfe (Frem) 122.5
D.Sheed (WC) 117.5
E.Yeo (WC) 115.2
Tom Rockliff, left, leads a Power running group at training.ADELAIDE OVAL
B.Smith (Adel) 101.5
R.Laird (Adel) 100.2
B.Crouch (Adel) 98.3
T.Rockliff (PA) 97.3
D.Byrne-Jones (PA) 93
GMHBA
P.Dangerfield (Geel) 127.4
T.Kelly (Geel) 106.9
M.Duncan (Geel) 102.0
G.Miers (Geel) 98.0
M.Blicavs (Geel) 97.3
BLUNDSTONE ARENA
T.Goldstein (NM) 119.1
J.Ziebell (NM) 116.8
J.Macmillan (NM) 112.0
J.Anderson (NM) 98.1
B.Cunnington (NM) 91.8
Swan Josh Kennedy has scored well at the SCG this season.SCG
J.Kennedy (Syd) 114.5
G.Hewett (Syd) 106.4
J.Dawson (Syd) 100.0
I.Heeney (Syd) 97.3
D.Rampe (Syd) 96.8
METRICON STADIUM
J.Witts (GC) 118.8
T.Miller (GC) 96.5
D.Swallow (GC) 93.4
A.Miles (GC) 92.3
C.Burgess (GC) 87.9
L.Weller (GC) 83.6
Bulldogs star Josh Dunkley had a field day at Mars Stadium in Ballarat earlier this year.MARS (TOTAL SCORE FROM 1 GAME)
J.Dunkley (WB) 136
J.Macrae (WB)135
J.Trengove (WB) 124
S.Lloyd (WB) 123
L.Hunter (WB) 113
 

Lost In The Sky

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SuperCoach 2019 winner Dwayne Delmenico reveals how he hung on with no trades left

Al Paton, Herald Sun
September 4, 2019 8:32am

A Melbourne property analyst and Collingwood fan has ridden his luck, a “ticking time bomb” of trades and an anxiety-inducing final round to be crowned the 2019 SuperCoach champion.

Dwayne Delmenico is $50,000 richer after claiming the title of Australia’s top fantasy footy coach.

His team Rexwells Crumbers entered the final round 82 points behind the No.1 ranked side, and Delmenico attended the Pies v Bombers clash on Friday night but hardly noticed Collingwood’s come-from-behind win.

“The actual score of the game barely registered, I was just watching (Adam) Treloar and (Zach) Merrett who one of the other guys had,” he says.

Both had quiet matches, giving him a shot at the title, but after a rollercoaster weekend it all came down to Port Adelaide playing for pride against the Dockers in the final game of the home-and-away season. It was a dead rubber for most fans, but Delmenico was hanging on every kick and handball.

“Watching (Scott) Lycett dominate was pretty awesome, but when Justin Westhoff took it out of the ruck and gave it to (Travis) Boak for a goal I thought it ended me.

“It was pretty tough viewing. After that game finished I was sure I’d lost.

“When the result came out I was genuinely speechless.”

It turned out Delmenico got lucky when one of his rivals left Westhoff on the bench, but his bigger break came from Lycett — although that’s not what he was thinking when the Power big man was dropped in Round 20 after a string of big scores.

“The week I brought him in he went on a huge run, he was my poster boy. Then when (Ken) Hinkley dropped him I almost fell of my chair,” Delmenico says.

Unfortunately — or so it seemed at the time — he had no trades left so had to keep Lycett, playing Isaac Heeney instead and bringing the former Eagle back for his grand final cameo.

“It felt like a ticking time bomb that was going to blow up at any moment,” he said of using his last trade to replace injured Docker Luke Ryan with four rounds to go.

“I was on a tightrope and if anyone was out I would have had doughnuts everywhere. Miraculously I got through.”

Delmenico says having an extra forward on the bench who could score well was a key part of his SuperCoach strategy, but he couldn’t credit his win to long-term planning.

“I wrote down a list of rules in the notes on my phone at the start of the year and I didn’t stick to them at all.

“One was no injury-prone players but I had Tom Rockliff and Josh Kelly at different stages. I also had ‘no second-to-fourth-year players’ and something about a ‘fifth-year goldmine’. The last one is ‘stick to the rules’, which I clearly didn’t.”

He says much of his windfall will go towards his wedding early next year, but “I’ll splurge a bit on something”.

His best advice for other players is to not lose hope.

“I was ranked about 20,000th last year and 40,00th overall after five rounds. I didn’t even win all my league grand finals.”
 

Matt

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Supercoach 2019 Awards

The SuperCoach season has been and gone so, in the tradition of all footy clubs, it’s time for an awards night.
Melbourne property analyst Dwayne Delmenico claimed the coveted No.1 ranking, but any player finishing in the top 100 — of more than 200,000 entries — deserves recognition.

And while most of us didn’t reach those heights, there were countless other SuperCoach awards taken out by coaches across the country.

Any guesses which team’s supporters reigned supreme over the rest? Which state averaged the most SuperCoach points?

And don’t forget the most prestigious prize of all – the highest averaging postcode.

Check out the SuperCoach awards you missed:

TOP 10 LEAGUES
1. SCSBestoftheBest

2. Back to Back III

3. DRSC COMM 9


4. DR SC Admin League

5. The Big Dogs

6. Draft Gods of SC

7. FFEIxamChallengers

8. BigFooty Pies Div1

9. BF Div 4

10. AFLOS Div 1

The SuperCoach Scores forum’s ‘Best of the Best’ league has taken out the top gong in this category.

On average, each player in the league scored 2259 points per round throughout the season.

They knocked off Doctor SuperCoach, who managed two of the top five leagues.

BEST COACH IN EACH STATE
Victoria: Rexwell Crumbers, Dwayne
NSW: Carlton Rebuild’s, Brady
ACT: Blue Stompers, Keith
Queensland: GoodForNothing, Jack
South Australia: DEZ, Derek
Northern Territory: Struggling Grunts, Luke
Western Australia: TimberEagles, Christopher
Tasmania: Dudley II, Luke
Other/international: t_mitchell_3_votes, Trevor

WINNING STATE
1.Western Australia

This will be a sweet sight for those across the Nullarbor.
WA coaches posted the highest average points per round, narrowly beating Tasmania and South Australia.
Victoria had by far the most entries but finishing fourth in this bracket.

CLUB SUPPORTER RANKINGS
1. West Coast

While they couldn’t snare a top-four spot on the field, the Eagles’ supporters won bragging rights as the best in the land.
As for Carlton fans, they can’t catch a break, ranking ninth.
Their arch-rivals won it all, with SuperCoach victor Dwayne Delmenico’s – the coach of ‘Rexwell Crumbers’ – supporting the Pies.


TOP SUPERCOACH POSTCODES
1. 3030 (Cocoroc, Derrimut, Point Cook, Quandong, Werribee and Werribee South)
2. 3136 (Croydon, Croydon Hills, Croydon North, Croydon South)
3. 3977 (Bannons Creek, Botanic Ridge, Cranbourne, Devon Meadows, Skye, Junction Village, Sandhurst)
4. 3037 (Red Hills South, Red Hill)
5. 3156 (Ferntree Gully, Lysterfield, Mountain Gate)

TOP 100 RANKINGS
1. Dwayne Delmenico, Rexwells Crumbers — 53679 (Prize: $50,000)
2. Chris Jones, Jonesy Jets — 53665 ($5000)
3. Robert Fowler, Sledbomber Stars — 53659 ($1000)
4. Alex Sanford, Froff — 53506 ($1000)
5. Brady Wauchope, Carlton Rebuild’s — 53505 ($1000)
6. Harry Ramage, Like a Rockystar — 53460 ($1000)
7. Sam Shattock, Late Balta — 53458 ($1000)
8. Daniel Johnstone, The Losers Club — 53423 ($1000)
9. Julian Ayres, Blues Steel — 53420 ($1000)
10. Luke Thompson, Struggling Grunts — 53392 ($1000)
11. Jamie Eccles, Eccman tigers — 53327
12. Derek Ratschat, DEZ — 53320
13. Mary Naumovski, Mary’s Men — 53318
13. Marty Rodowsky, The A-Team — 53318
15. Jaimes Adkins, Addo’s Amateurs — 53307
16. Peter Garriga, Rock Coaches — 53293
17. David Kerr, St Parkers — 53289
18. Liam George, 50shades of Robbie — 53284
19. Hunter Ross, Hunter’s Heroes — 53262
20. Jeremy Oliver, Wedonotforgive@SCT — 53248
21. Christopher Phelps, TimberEagles — 53245
22. Rohan Anand, BoomBoomAfridi — 53215
23. Stephen Noblett, Leaping Angels — 53192
24. Kyle O’Sullivan, Team Kos — 53167
25. Tony Pountney, DVDA Cats — 53162
26. Josh Skelton, UDL 2 give U the L — 53157
27. Alan W, DeeLevers — 53147
28. Josh Mulford, Corbusier’s Crouch — 53145
29. Robert Dipierdomenico, Guava Kreuzer — 53142
30. Sanjeev Anand, Pat’s Delight — 53139
31. Michael Gervasi, Jaegers bombs — 53135
32. Damien Evans, DAMOnation — 53130
33. Jamie Irving, Bigfellashawks — 53127
34. Marcus Roberts, Lynchpin — 53106
35. Luke Blyth, Dudley II — 53092
36. Damien Cowper, The Super Teds — 53090
37. Andrew Brush, Brushy’s Badlands — 53088
38. Elton Kha, Jake Stringer’sU18 — 53074
39. Darren Kenney, Norwegian Vikings — 53065
40. Fuat Abazi, Fuus Filths — 53064
41. Jake Hunt, Insert Team Name — 53053
42. Arman Bilimoria, Arman’s Army — 53050
43. Craig Byrnes, Budda’s Battlers — 53042
43. Jordan Batis, Mr. Dependlebury — 53042
45. Rebecca Anderson, Team Loki — 53040
45. Ryan Martin, Moo’s Cows — 53040
47. Dale Flanagan, DON FLANO — 53036
48. Matthew Crees, Matts Machines — 53033
49. Graeme Catterall, Kick_It_Ur_Hot — 53029
50. Kangli Hub, p.jennie.fan — 53028
51. Seb Siwek, GeordieDemolition — 53027
52. Sam Abley, Hold the Fort — 53025
53. Nick Scanlan, Nicko’s Champs — 53023
53. Trevor Mitchell, t_mitchell_3_votes — 53023
55. Brayden Hayes, Wet Bandits — 53018
55. Sho Alam, Jibrangers — 53018
57. Dale Irwin, Head ‘n Shins — 53013
58. Andrew Renton, Smithy FC — 53009
59. Justin Sculley, Fearthebeard — 53008
60. Ian Shattock, The Woodenspooners — 53007
61. David Booth, Hodgey_15 — 53006
62. Jayden Harberger, Green Swans — 53002
63. Brady Millman, Madmangmilk — 53001
64. David Todaro, Chieftons — 52991
65. Jack Clayton, GoodForNothing — 52989
66. Sam Lowry, Treloar and order — 52987
67. Adam Williams, Ryder2Gray — 52986
67. Corey Grech, The Flappy Boys — 52986
69. Daniel Sokol, Band of brothers — 52985
69. Nick Paget, OMG — 52985
71. Julian Growcott, Rosewood squids — 52984
72. Justin MacDonald, Juzzomac FC — 52982
73. Adrian Manariti, DreamTeam — 52981
74. Michael Mustica, Neckdeep — 52970
75. Will Tucker, Tucker’s Troops — 52968
75. Steven Mylas, Get There — 52968
77. Zac Rockettza, cattack@SCT — 52966
78. Tom Mcintyre, T-Mc’s Hunters — 52964
79. Jared Dixon, Hypnotoads — 52962
80. Nick Dionyssiou, Fat Preuss — 52961
81. Stephen Kennedy, KD 2 KNICKS — 52959
82. Thomas Rudolf, Uncle Jaensch — 52957
83. Aiden seamark, Cox4brownlow — 52952
83. Todd Baird, No Second Prizes — 52952
85. Kara O’Sullivan, Catdogs — 52944
86. Louis Smithers, Smithdogs Deez — 52943
87. Hugh Gordon, Gordonators — 52942
88. Daniel Tucker, Get Tucked — 52939
88. Phil Torney, Lucky Phil — 52939
90. Josh Martin, Wheres my Bootsmas — 52936
91. Noah Ross, Superoos — 52935
92. Jai Mcdougall, Legs Troops — 52929
93. Hugh Griffin, The Chucking Famps — 52927
94. Hayden Darbyshire, Another One — 52926
95. Charlie Wandby, Wanners Warriors — 52925
95. Samvir Singh, TheSCMessiah — 52925
95. The J, Jaeger Bombs — 52925
98. Chris Diamantis, Status:Elite — 52923
99. Jason Holman, Holzman’s Heroes — 52921
100. Sam HalsallSam’s, Sheitkickers — 52920
 

randomcliche

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There was a website which use to work for reading heraldsun articles which pulled all the adds out and just displayed the text. Anyone remember what it was?
 

Bermi

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There was a website which use to work for reading heraldsun articles which pulled all the adds out and just displayed the text. Anyone remember what it was?
It used to work, but looks like HS made some adjustments, hmmm. I keep getting messages like below.

--------------------------------------------------
Not Supported

We're sorry, but this URL is not supported by Outline
 

randomcliche

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It used to work, but looks like HS made some adjustments, hmmm. I keep getting messages like below.

--------------------------------------------------
Not Supported

We're sorry, but this URL is not supported by Outline
thanks Bermi

Oh, I might try this work around
https://www.reddit.com/r/Piracy/comments/b45cvd
EDIT: It worked for weeklytimes article I wanted.
 

Spots

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Champion Data’s top 30 prospects for the 2019 national draft
Chris Cavanagh, Herald Sun
November 15, 2019 4:12pm
Subscriber only
In less than two weeks AFL clubs will make calls that will shape their future when they pick the best junior talent in the 2019 national draft.
Those choices will be the result of exhaustive research including watching them play live, interviews and occasionally bizarre psychological testing.
But if it comes down to raw numbers, these are the players that will be read out first on November 27 and 28.
Scroll down to see who Champion Data ranks as the best 30 young talents in this year’s draft pool.

1. MATTHEW ROWELL (OAKLEIGH CHARGERS)
Height: 178cm, Weight: 74kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Rowell is the clear standout in 2019, like Sam Walsh in 2018, so we can compare the two seasons. At the under-18 championships Rowell averaged 15.5 rating points, 25 disposals and 12 contested possessions, slightly under Walsh’s 16.2 rating points, 30 disposals and 14 contested possessions. In the NAB League, however, Rowell averaged 171 ranking points, 32 disposals and 17 contested possessions, compared to Walsh’s 158 ranking points, 32 disposals and 13 contested possessions. Hard to split.
CHRIS SAYS: The keen gardener might find his flowers grow quicker in the more tropical conditions of the Gold Coast than Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Touted at the No.1 pick for most of the year, he’s all but certain to be headed for the Suns.
Plays like: Lachie Neale

2. TOM GREEN (GWS ACADEMY/MARIST)
H: 188cm, W: 85kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Green is the best contested ball winning junior ever recorded by Champion Data. He broke the record with 16.2 contested possessions at the 2019 under-18 championships, surpassing his own mark of 13.7 set at the 2018 championships.
CHRIS SAYS: A midfield bull whose grandfather Michael Green played in four premierships for Richmond. Shapes as an intriguing story on night one of the draft. GWS will be hoping he slips to at least pick 6, but clubs expect a bid before that with Melbourne (pick 3), Adelaide (pick 4) and Sydney (pick 5) all expressing interest.
P lays like: Patrick Cripps

3. NOAH ANDERSON (OAKLEIGH CHARGERS)
H: 188cm, W: 86kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Anderson separated himself from other midfielders through his ability to regularly impact the scoreboard from the midfield. He joined Jack Higgins, Hugh McCluggage and Devon Smith as players to average 25 disposals and two goals in the NAB League.
CHRIS SAYS: The son of two-time Hawthorn premiership player turned St Kilda star Dean Anderson, but not eligible for father-son status at either club. Best mates with Rowell, the classy outside onballer looks Gold Coast-bound at pick 2.
Plays like: Stephen Coniglio

4. LUKE JACKSON (EAST FREMANTLE)
H: 198cm, W: 94kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Jackson was the standout ruckman from the 2019 draft class, ranking fourth at the under-18 championships for AFL player rating points. His 13.8 rating points per match were the second-most recorded at the championships by a ruckman across the past five seasons.
CHRIS SAYS: A former Australian junior basketballer who is considered the best young ruckman and key forward in this year’s draft. Melbourne (pick 3) has been urged to take a gamble on him given his upside is as big as his frame.
Plays like: Brodie Grundy

5. HAYDEN YOUNG (DANDENONG STINGRAYS)
H: 188cm, W: 82kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: The prototypical modern interceptor, Young averaged the most intercept possessions at the under-18 championships and the second-most intercept marks. He was one of the best ball movers, ranking second for metres gained while recording an above average kicking efficiency.
CHRIS SAYS: One of the standouts at last month’s draft combine, ranking first in the agility test. An excellent decision maker with elite execution. Another player in the mix to be taken by Melbourne at pick 3.
Plays like: Nick Haynes

6. CALEB SERONG (GIPPSLAND POWER)
H: 178cm, W: 83kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Serong was the second-highest rated player at the under-18 championships behind only Matthew Rowell. He won the fifth-most disposals and applied the third-most pressure of any player for the carnival. Despite his size he was one of the best stoppage players in the NAB League, ranking fourth for clearances and fifth for contested possessions.
CHRIS SAYS: Co-captained Vic Country as part of an ultra-consistent season and has been picking Cameron Ling’s brain all year. But appears to have been a slight slider from a top-five prospect earlier in the season. Has been linked to Carlton at pick 9.
Plays like: Tim Kelly

7. SAM FLANDERS (GIPPSLAND POWER)
H: 182cm, W: 79kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Primarily a forward in his underage season, Flanders showed he can also play through the midfield in 2019. He increased his NAB League disposal average from 16.0 to 22.4 while still managing to kick more than one goal per match.
CHRIS SAYS: A powerful player with plenty of potential for further growth if he can improve his tank, which has been a key focus. Looks certain to be a top-10 selection, potentially even top-five.
Plays like: Christian Petracca

8. LACHLAN ASH (MURRAY BUSHRANGERS)
H: 186cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: The best outside line-breaker in his draft class, Ash led all comers for metres gained at the 2019 under-18 championships with 502 per match. He also ranked second for uncontested possessions and fifth for score involvements.
CHRIS SAYS: Could come into the frame as early as Adelaide’s pick 4. A gut runner who ranked equal-seventh in the yo-yo test at the draft combine. Co-captained Vic Country at the national championships and earnt All-Australian honours.
Plays Like: Lachie Whitfield

9. DEVEN ROBERTSON (PERTH)
H: 182cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: As Western Australia’s captain, Robertson won the Larke Medal as the best performed player at the 2019 under-18 championships. He broke Sam Walsh’s record for the most disposals at the championships, averaging 30 per match.
CHRIS SAYS: A tough ball-winner who oozes leadership and is the nephew of former West Coast captain Darren Glass. Fremantle (picks 7 and 10) seemingly in the box seat, but Melbourne (pick 8) also interested.
Plays like: Joel Selwood

10. WILL GOULD (GLENELG)
H: 191cm, W: 98kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Gould played a key role in Glenelg’s SANFL premiership, playing 15 matches as an intercepting defender. Playing against senior opposition he rated elite for intercept possessions as a general defender and above average for disposals and kicking efficiency.
CHRIS SAYS: Statistically ranked a little higher than he is expected to be selected, with a late first-round or early-second round pick-up likely. Could be a good Scott Thompson replacement for North Melbourne (picks 26 and 27) if he slips that far.
Plays like: Tom Stewart
 

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11. LIAM HENRY (CLAREMONT)
H: 179cm, W: 67kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Henry ranked in the top three mid-forwards for uncontested possessions, metres gained, score involvements, assists and goals at the under-18 championships. In his four matches in the WAFL Colts he was the No.1 mid-forward for disposals, uncontested possessions and assists, while sitting second for score involvements and goals.
CHRIS SAYS: Has been labelled the best small forward in this year’s draft and it’s no wonder with comparisons to Michael Walters and Derek and Dale Kickett in the family tree. A Fremantle Academy member, Henry seems destined for the Dockers.
Plays like: Michael Walters

12. DYLAN STEPHENS (NORWOOD)
H: 183cm, W: 69kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: At the 2019 under-18 championships he was the leading uncontested possession winner, while ranking in the top 10 midfielders for groundball gets, metres gained and pressure applied. A running machine, he placed third in the 2km time-trial at the combine.
CHRIS SAYS: Grew up in Melbourne and Mildura before winning a school scholarship in South Australia. Was among the best on ground playing against men in the SANFL reserves grand final for Norwood, gathering 26 disposals. Still lightly framed but can win the ball on the outside.
Plays like: Jared Polec

13. FISCHER MCASEY (SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS)
H: 195cm, W: 86kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Primarily a defender, McAsey showed that he could play at either end of the field in 2019. At the under-18 titles he played as a defender and was the No.1 rated key-position player. He led all key defenders for disposals, marks, intercept possessions and intercept marks.
CHRIS SAYS: Considered an Aaron Naughton clone, standing the same height as the Western Bulldogs star and with similar attributes. Dad Chris played one game for St Kilda in 1983. Geelong (pick 14) has expressed interest if he slips that far or the Cats can trade up.
Plays like: Cale Hooker

14. JACK MAHONY (SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS)
H: 176cm, W: 70kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Mahony was third-highest rated player at the under-18 championships, leading the competition for both score involvements and score assists. When delivering the ball inside 50 he had the second-best retention rate of the top 20 players for kicks at the Championships and he ranked in top 20 per cent of the competition for this metric in his three NAB League matches.
CHRIS SAYS: A small forward and midfielder who is considered a good decision maker and has speed and leadership capabilities, but is expected to find more love in the second round than the first.
Plays like: Jade Gresham

15. FINN MAGINNESS (SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS)
H: 187cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: At the under-18 championships he had the second-highest contested possession rate of any player to average at least 18 disposals. His elite running power was on display at the draft combine, placing second in the 2km time-trial by just one second.
CHRIS SAYS: A Hawthorn father-son prospect, with dad Scott having played 131 games for the Hawks including two premierships. Hawks are keen but will be hoping a bid does not come for him before their pick 11.
Plays like: Josh P Kennedy

16. COOPER STEPHENS (GEELONG FALCONS)
H: 188cm, W: 83kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Stephens was the 13th-highest rated underage player at the 2018 under-18 championships and averaged 19 disposals and 100 ranking points in the NAB League that year. He won 32 disposals, 16 contested possessions, eight clearances and kicked a goal in Round 2 of the 2019 NAB League then suffered a season-ending leg injury.
CHRIS SAYS: A strong contested-ball midfielder, Stephens broke his leg in the third match of the season after an impressive start to the year. Bounced back to finish equal-first in the yo-yo test at the draft combine, putting his athleticism on show.
Plays like: Matthew Kennedy

17. HARRY SCHOENBERG (WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS)
H: 180cm, W: 78kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Schoenberg was only outpaced at the 2019 under-18 championships for disposals by likely No.1 pick Matthew Rowell. As an inside midfielder he also ranked in the top five across the carnival for contested possessions and score involvements.
CHRIS SAYS: Good in traffic and creative by hand, the onballer has lifted his draft prospects significantly this year. Missed the initial South Australian squad of 30 but went on to win the team’s MVP at the national championships.
Plays like: Jacob Hopper

18. SAM PHILP (NORTHERN KNIGHTS)
H: 185cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Philp was the best player not to be selected for the 2019 under-18 championships. He averaged 126 ranking points per match in the NAB League, rating at least above average in all key indicators for a midfielder. He also ranked in the top 10 players for both contested possessions and clearances.
CHRIS SAYS: Another player to be left out of his state’s initial squad for national championships who has become a draft bolter across the year. Clocked the quickest time in the 20m sprint at the draft combine and finished equal-fifth in the yo-yo test.
Plays like: Rory Sloane

19. TRENT RIVERS (EAST FREMANTLE)
H: 188cm, W: 85kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Rivers was one of the best performed general defenders at the under-18 championships, ranking in the top three players for disposals, uncontested possessions, marks and intercept possessions. He was the No.1 ranked defender in the WAFL Colts, collecting at least 100 ranking points in all nine of his games.
CHRIS SAYS: A dashing defender with a long kick who works hard and won All-Australian honours after a strong national championships for WA. The West Coast fan finished fourth in the agility test at the draft combine.
Plays like: Shaun Burgoyne

20. CONNOR BUDARICK (GOLD COAST SUNS ACADEMY)
H: 175cm, W: 72kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Budarick was the third-highest ranked player in the NAB League, behind only Matthew Rowell and Tom Green. He ranked in the top 10 players for disposals and top five for score involvements and tackles. At the championships he found less of the ball led the competition for pressure applied.
CHRIS SAYS: The skipper of the Suns’ academy, Budarick is a small defender or midfielder who has speed and endurance. The Suns can pre-sign him without going through the usual bidding process with other clubs as part of their AFL assistant package.
Plays like: Devon Smith
 

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21. BRODIE KEMP (BENDIGO PIONEERS)
H: 192cm, W: 82kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Kemp made the rare transition from a key defender to a midfielder in 2019. His last two games at the championships before his season ended due to an ACL injury were his best of 2019, averaging 22 disposals, 13 contested possessions, four clearances and 1.5 goals.
CHRIS SAYS: Felt his draft dream was over after doing an ACL while playing for Geelong Grammar in July, but is still very much a top prospect who could yet find himself taken in the top 10.
Plays like: Kyle Langford

22. JOSHUA WORRELL (SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS)
H: 195cm, W: 75kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Worrell might be the most versatile player in the 2019 draft, spending time as a defender, wingman and forward at times throughout the year. His best match came as a defender where he won 23 disposals and 14 intercept possessions in Round 3 of the NAB League.
CHRIS SAYS: A versatile player who can play a range of roles but has primarily featured as a tall defender. Season ended early due to a shoulder injury but has been linked to Geelong which hold picks 14 and 17.
Plays like: Jake Carlisle

23. JACKSON MEAD (WOODVILLE-WEST TORRENS)
H: 184cm, W: 83kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: At the under-18 championships Mead was the fifth-highest rated player, averaging 21 disposals and one goal per match. In the SANFL reserves he rated elite for inside-50s, score assists and score involvements among midfielders.
CHRIS SAYS: Has established himself as one of the standout midfield/forward options in the draft. Eligible to be taken as a father-son by Port Adelaide, with his father Darren having played 122 AFL games for the club. The Power holds a strong draft hand to get it done with picks 12, 18 and 29.
Plays like: Angus Brayshaw

24. RYAN BYRNES (SANDRINGHAM DRAGONS)
H: 181cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Byrnes was one of the most consistent ball winners in the NAB League, collecting more than 20 disposals in 14 of his 15 matches. He finished fifth among midfielders for disposals and when he attended a centre bounce Sandringham had a +31 clearance differential – the fourth-best differential of any player.
CHRIS SAYS: The Sandringham captain was ultra-consistent in the NAB League this year, registering less than 21 disposals just once from 15 games. Also had a strong national championships for Vic Metro but missed All-Australian selection.
Plays like: Taylor Adams

25. JEREMY SHARP (EAST FREMANTLE)
H: 187cm, W: 79kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Sharp is the most outside midfielder likely to be taken early in the draft, with a contested possession rate of just 23 per cent across his 30 matches covered by Champion Data. At the 2019 under-18 championships he won the fourth-most uncontested possessions and ranked second among midfielders for metres gained.
CHRIS SAYS: A medium midfielder who has pace and a penetrating kick. Named on the bench of the All-Australian team after a strong national championships for Western Australia and tested highly in the 20m sprint, yo-yo test and 2km time-trial at the draft combine.
Plays like: Andrew Gaff

26. TRENT BIANCO (OAKLEIGH CHARGERS)
H: 178cm, W: 70kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Roaming across half-back, Bianco accumulated the most disposals of any player to appear in more than 10 matches in the NAB League in 2019. He won at least 22 disposals in all but one match, however he had a contested possession rate of just 28 per cent, winning 10 contested possessions just once for the season.
CHRIS SAYS: A hard-running half-back or wingman who plays smart football and captained a star-studded Oakleigh to the NAB League premiership this year. Trained with Collingwood last summer but should be selected well before their first pick at 35.
Plays like: Lachie Weller

27. JAY RANTALL (GWV REBELS)
h: 184cm, W: 82kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Rantall was consistently able to hit the scoreboard from the midfield this year, rating elite for goals and score involvements. His tackle numbers exploded late in the year, laying 45 tackles from his final four matches. He also broke the 2km time-trial record at the 2019 combine.
CHRIS SAYS: Not only beat the time-trial record at the draft combine but smashed it by 14 seconds with a time of 5min 50 sec. Made big leaps forward this year after switching to AFL after representing Australia in basketball at the 2018 World Cup in Argentina.
Plays like: Jy Simpkin

28. CAMERON TAHENY (NORWOOD)
H: 185cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Taheny started with a bang in his SANFL League matches, kicking 15 goals from his first four matches, but then was held goalless in his final three games. Despite his form dropping off he still rated elite for both goals and forward 50 marks for a general forward.
CHRIS SAYS: Clubs constantly asked in interviews what happened to Taheny in the second half of the year after such a good start. A few niggling injuries played a part but the mid-sized forward says he has learned a lot about himself and plenty of clubs are still interested, with 15 having interviewed him.
Plays like: Sam Lloyd

29. WILL DAY (WEST ADELAIDE)
H: 187cm, W: 70kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: In his four matches in the under-18s he averaged 26 disposals, three intercept marks and eight intercept possessions across half-back. At the 2019 under-18 championships he was second only to Hayden Young for intercept possessions.
CHRIS SAYS: Grandfather Robert Day played in Hawthorn’s 1971 premiership and cousin Sam Day is at the Gold Coast Suns. A former state-level baseballer, the half-back is be a late first-round or early second-round pick.
Plays like: Jarryn Geary

30. CODY WEIGHTMAN (DANDENONG STINGRAYS)
H: 177cm, W: 73kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Weightman was the leading goalkicker at the under-18 championships, booting nine goals from four matches. He plays taller than his 178cm height suggests, rating elite for both forward 50 marks and contested marks among general forwards in the NAB League.
CHRIS SAYS: A self-proclaimed footy head who is shaping as a first-round selection, having been invited to the opening night of the draft. Ranked well in the vertical jump and running vertical jump at the draft combine. A strong overhead mark with good goal sense who earnt All-Australian honours after the national championships.
Plays like: Jamie Elliott
 
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Champion Data’s top 30 prospects for the 2019 national draft
Chris Cavanagh, Herald Sun
November 15, 2019 4:12pm
Subscriber only
In less than two weeks AFL clubs will make calls that will shape their future when they pick the best junior talent in the 2019 national draft.
Those choices will be the result of exhaustive research including watching them play live, interviews and occasionally bizarre psychological testing.
But if it comes down to raw numbers, these are the players that will be read out first on November 27 and 28.
Scroll down to see who Champion Data ranks as the best 30 young talents in this year’s draft pool.

1. MATTHEW ROWELL (OAKLEIGH CHARGERS)
Height: 178cm, Weight: 74kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Rowell is the clear standout in 2019, like Sam Walsh in 2018, so we can compare the two seasons. At the under-18 championships Rowell averaged 15.5 rating points, 25 disposals and 12 contested possessions, slightly under Walsh’s 16.2 rating points, 30 disposals and 14 contested possessions. In the NAB League, however, Rowell averaged 171 ranking points, 32 disposals and 17 contested possessions, compared to Walsh’s 158 ranking points, 32 disposals and 13 contested possessions. Hard to split.
CHRIS SAYS: The keen gardener might find his flowers grow quicker in the more tropical conditions of the Gold Coast than Melbourne’s eastern suburbs. Touted at the No.1 pick for most of the year, he’s all but certain to be headed for the Suns.
Plays like: Lachie Neale

2. TOM GREEN (GWS ACADEMY/MARIST)
H: 188cm, W: 85kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Green is the best contested ball winning junior ever recorded by Champion Data. He broke the record with 16.2 contested possessions at the 2019 under-18 championships, surpassing his own mark of 13.7 set at the 2018 championships.
CHRIS SAYS: A midfield bull whose grandfather Michael Green played in four premierships for Richmond. Shapes as an intriguing story on night one of the draft. GWS will be hoping he slips to at least pick 6, but clubs expect a bid before that with Melbourne (pick 3), Adelaide (pick 4) and Sydney (pick 5) all expressing interest.
P lays like: Patrick Cripps

3. NOAH ANDERSON (OAKLEIGH CHARGERS)
H: 188cm, W: 86kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Anderson separated himself from other midfielders through his ability to regularly impact the scoreboard from the midfield. He joined Jack Higgins, Hugh McCluggage and Devon Smith as players to average 25 disposals and two goals in the NAB League.
CHRIS SAYS: The son of two-time Hawthorn premiership player turned St Kilda star Dean Anderson, but not eligible for father-son status at either club. Best mates with Rowell, the classy outside onballer looks Gold Coast-bound at pick 2.
Plays like: Stephen Coniglio

4. LUKE JACKSON (EAST FREMANTLE)
H: 198cm, W: 94kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Jackson was the standout ruckman from the 2019 draft class, ranking fourth at the under-18 championships for AFL player rating points. His 13.8 rating points per match were the second-most recorded at the championships by a ruckman across the past five seasons.
CHRIS SAYS: A former Australian junior basketballer who is considered the best young ruckman and key forward in this year’s draft. Melbourne (pick 3) has been urged to take a gamble on him given his upside is as big as his frame.
Plays like: Brodie Grundy

5. HAYDEN YOUNG (DANDENONG STINGRAYS)
H: 188cm, W: 82kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: The prototypical modern interceptor, Young averaged the most intercept possessions at the under-18 championships and the second-most intercept marks. He was one of the best ball movers, ranking second for metres gained while recording an above average kicking efficiency.
CHRIS SAYS: One of the standouts at last month’s draft combine, ranking first in the agility test. An excellent decision maker with elite execution. Another player in the mix to be taken by Melbourne at pick 3.
Plays like: Nick Haynes

6. CALEB SERONG (GIPPSLAND POWER)
H: 178cm, W: 83kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Serong was the second-highest rated player at the under-18 championships behind only Matthew Rowell. He won the fifth-most disposals and applied the third-most pressure of any player for the carnival. Despite his size he was one of the best stoppage players in the NAB League, ranking fourth for clearances and fifth for contested possessions.
CHRIS SAYS: Co-captained Vic Country as part of an ultra-consistent season and has been picking Cameron Ling’s brain all year. But appears to have been a slight slider from a top-five prospect earlier in the season. Has been linked to Carlton at pick 9.
Plays like: Tim Kelly

7. SAM FLANDERS (GIPPSLAND POWER)
H: 182cm, W: 79kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Primarily a forward in his underage season, Flanders showed he can also play through the midfield in 2019. He increased his NAB League disposal average from 16.0 to 22.4 while still managing to kick more than one goal per match.
CHRIS SAYS: A powerful player with plenty of potential for further growth if he can improve his tank, which has been a key focus. Looks certain to be a top-10 selection, potentially even top-five.
Plays like: Christian Petracca

8. LACHLAN ASH (MURRAY BUSHRANGERS)
H: 186cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: The best outside line-breaker in his draft class, Ash led all comers for metres gained at the 2019 under-18 championships with 502 per match. He also ranked second for uncontested possessions and fifth for score involvements.
CHRIS SAYS: Could come into the frame as early as Adelaide’s pick 4. A gut runner who ranked equal-seventh in the yo-yo test at the draft combine. Co-captained Vic Country at the national championships and earnt All-Australian honours.
Plays Like: Lachie Whitfield

9. DEVEN ROBERTSON (PERTH)
H: 182cm, W: 80kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: As Western Australia’s captain, Robertson won the Larke Medal as the best performed player at the 2019 under-18 championships. He broke Sam Walsh’s record for the most disposals at the championships, averaging 30 per match.
CHRIS SAYS: A tough ball-winner who oozes leadership and is the nephew of former West Coast captain Darren Glass. Fremantle (picks 7 and 10) seemingly in the box seat, but Melbourne (pick 8) also interested.
Plays like: Joel Selwood

10. WILL GOULD (GLENELG)
H: 191cm, W: 98kg
CHAMPION DATA SAYS: Gould played a key role in Glenelg’s SANFL premiership, playing 15 matches as an intercepting defender. Playing against senior opposition he rated elite for intercept possessions as a general defender and above average for disposals and kicking efficiency.
CHRIS SAYS: Statistically ranked a little higher than he is expected to be selected, with a late first-round or early-second round pick-up likely. Could be a good Scott Thompson replacement for North Melbourne (picks 26 and 27) if he slips that far.
Plays like: Tom Stewart
Cheers - these articles are always worth looking back nearing keeper league draft time and as a cross reference to the stats summary in the AFL prospectus.
 
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Richmond superstar Alex Rance has been whisked in for more surgery on the right knee that cost him premiership glory this season.
Rance, 30, went under the knife this month and the procedure will keep him off his legs for a week or two.

But fear not, Tiger fans – the arthroscopic clean-up was minor and the five-time All-Australian should barely miss a beat this pre-season.

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Rance’s season was ruined by a knee injury against Carlton in Round 1. Picture: AFL Photos/Getty Images
In fact, the reigning premiers – who are still on holidays, with dual Norm Smith medallist Dustin Martin living it up with Serena Williams in the Maldives – are humming along beautifully.

We didn’t know it, but this time last year Melbourne’s season was silently being sabotaged by a spate of surgeries.

Seventeen Demons were operated on and faced heavily restricted pre-seasons.

It was reported this year that 25 Dees completed a total of 22 pre-season sessions each, a significant drop from the 39 players who sweated through 33 summer workouts the previous year.

But a Herald Sun report into the health of all 18 clubs makes for scary reading for rivals hoping to catch the Tigers — who won their final 12 games of 2019 — in 2020.



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Jack Graham and premiership half-forward Shai Bolton have both had shoulders operated on, although they’ll be fine for contact work come January and fit to play games by February.

Jack Higgins underwent more brain surgery in September on a non-football injury while Toby Nankervis had groin surgery after the Grand Final triumph.

Nankervis, 25, looms as the biggest worry and Essendon’s Joe Daniher might sympathise with a player suffering repeat groin problems.

But given the late-season emergence of young ruckman Ivan Soldo – who graduated from understudy to just about the main man – Nankervis’s availability isn’t as crucial as it once was.

And then there is Rance, who shapes as the recruit of the year. Forget Tim Kelly and Bradley Hill, this bloke is the backbone of Richmond’s backline and the defence will grow a leg when he runs out in Round 1 against Carlton.

As you’d expect, most clubs are in good nick.

At Whitten Oval it is Aaron Naughton, Tom Liberatore (both knee) and Alex Keath (ankle) who won’t be right until January while Lachie Hunter’s shoulder reconstruction will have him on light duties for a while.

Down at Tullamarine there are still concerns over Daniher (groin), Orazio Fantasia’s hip will keep him out of full training until January while captain Dyson Heppell (foot) and Michael Hurley (shoulder) are also on the mend.

The Tigers are hunting back-to-back flags for the first time in 46 years.

Questions regarding their hunger for more success might surface, but from a fitness perspective they are set to start that quest strongly.
 

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AFL off-season barometer: Who’s injured and who’s flying in pre-season at every club

How is your club placed as it embarks on pre-season training for 2020? Our reporters around the country have compiled the latest on AFL every team, from off-season surgeries to who’s flying on the track.

Staff writers, Sunday Herald Sun

Subscriber only

November 17, 2019 7:00am

Western Bulldogs will manage the return of several frontline players this off-season, with key trio Aaron Naughton, Lachie Hunter and Tom Liberatore unlikely to join full training until after Christmas.

Hunter underwent a shoulder reconstruction, while Liberatore and Naughton will be managed due to knee injuries.

Many star players have joined their younger teammates in early preparations for 2020, with Lance Franklin, Tom Mitchell and Eddie Betts back on the track at their respective clubs.

Our journalists around the country have compiled the latest surgery, pre-season and injury news from every AFL club.

ADELAIDE

New coach Matthew Nicks takes over a very healthy squad buoyed by the return from long-term injury of 2018 AFL Rising Star runner-up TOM DOEDEE. Doedee suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Round 1 against Hawthorn last season and was ruled out for the year. He returned ahead of schedule to join his younger teammates (two-to-four-year players) at their first fitness session on Thursday. The fifth-year key backman wasn’t due back until Monday when the full Crows squad returns. “He’s looking fit and raring to go,’’ Nicks said. Other senior players to return to training early included veterans BRYCE GIBBS, who Nicks revealed would likely start at halfback next season after a tough 2019 campaign in the midfield, TOM LYNCH, BRODIE SMITH and LUKE BROWN. WAYNE MILERA and RILEY KNIGHT, who was courted by Sydney in the trade period, also joined their younger teammates at the West Lakes session. Apart from Doedee, the Crows say they will start their pre-season campaign with only three other players on modified programs — youngsters NED McHENRY (back) and ANDREW McPHERSON (hamstrings) and untried forward SHANE McADAM (calf/hamstrings).

— Andrew Capel

BRISBANE LIONS

In a terrific sign for the resurgent Brisbane Lions, every player on their list is expected to hit the ground running when pre-season training starts. The Lions’ first-to-fourth year players return to the paddock on Monday with older players expected to gradually return over the following two weeks before the full squad reports for duty on December 2. The only Brisbane player to have off-season surgery was defender MARCUS ADAMS who had a clean-out on his knee. He is expected to make a strong recovery. Star forward CHARLIE CAMERON injured his elbow in the finals but medical staff said the issue did not require surgery and he will return with the rest of the playing group.



— Greg Davis

CARLTON

Returning Carlton fan favourite EDDIE BETTS has made some appearances at Ikon Park over the past two weeks, despite not being due back at training until Monday. The Blues hope CHARLIE CURNOWwill be up and running by Christmas after right knee surgery early last month following a basketball mishap. Hawthorn recruit MARC PITTONET is among other senior players who have returned to the track early, along with PATRICK CRIPPS, KADE SIMPSON, LIAM JONES and MITCH McGOVERN. Co-captain SAM DOCHERTY aims to return to full training in mid-January and be ready for Round 1. A leaner Docherty had a week in the United States this month to help build strength in his legs following back-to-back anterior cruciate ligament tears. JOSH DELUCA, who the Blues delisted after picking him in the mid-season draft this year, is training with the club as he bids to earn a spot back on the list, along with delisted Western Bulldogs midfielder LUKAS WEBB, who did not manage an AFL game this year.

— Chris Cavanagh

COLLINGWOOD

DARCY CAMERON — the 204cm recruit from Sydney — will run out on Monday when the Magpies’ first-to-fourth-year players hit the track, alongside the likes of JAIDYN STEPHENSON and ISAAC QUAYNOR. The Magpies boast a relatively healthy list. LEVI GREENWOOD had his ACL repaired in preliminary final week while TIM BROOMHEAD went under the knife to have the rod in his healed leg removed late in the season. MASON COX— who had surgery in August after tearing the retina in his left eye — was cleared by a specialist to fly home to the US and begin light contact work in September. JORDAN DE GOEYspent a chunk of September in Germany to accelerate the repair of his torn hamstring, but he shouldn’t miss a beat given he would’ve been right for the Grand Final if the Magpies made it. As for All-Australian BRODIE GRUNDY, he spent the break scaling Machu Picchu in Peru and is poised to ink a seven-year contract.

— Sam Landsberger

ESSENDON

Developing young ruckman SAM DRAPER had his first run on Thursday since he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament tear in May. But he will remain on a modified program and is expected to be a late starter next season. Forward ORAZIO FANTASIA is the main concern on the injury front, not set to join main training until January following post-season hip surgery. Recruits TOM CUTLER and ANDREW PHILLIPS have been among the early birds to join training with the Bombers’ first-to-fourth-year players. Senior players aren’t officially due back on the track until November 25. Forward JOE DANIHER is said to be “fully committed” to getting back on the field after two injury-ravaged years and a failed trade bid to Sydney. He, along with JAMES STEWART, completed a strong training program during a recent trip to Ireland with a club physio. Other senior players who have returned early include CALE HOOKER, MICHAEL HURLEY, ZACH MERRETT, DEVON SMITH and ANTHONY McDONALD-TIPUNGWUTI.

— Chris Cavanagh
 

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Hawthorn
FREMANTLE

The Dockers’ senior players will return for pre-season training this week as life under new coach Justin Longmuir ramps up. Dual Brownlow medallist NAT FYFE (shoulder), JESSE HOGAN (foot) and ALEX PEARCE (ankle) will be on modified training programs following their operations. Fyfe, who has been picking coffee beans in Colombia and training with good friend Matt de Boer during his overseas holiday, will be kept out of contract drills before Christmas. Hogan and Pearce are a chance to play in Freo’s season-opener against Essendon at Marvel Stadium. Key forward Matt Taberner (foot) cut an imposing upper-body figure, despite being restricted to the rehab group. Recruits BLAKE ACRES (St Kilda), JAMES AISH (Collingwood) and All-Australian MICHAEL WALTERS have hit the track earlier than required. Aish was greeted by the club’s general manager of football Peter Bell when he arrived in Perth this week.

— Jordan McArdle

GEELONG

The preliminary finalists are still enjoying some time off, with players due return to the club for meetings and screenings on Monday before the start of training for first-to-fourth-year players on Tuesday. Trade acquisitions JACK STEVEN and JOSH JENKINS will return early with those younger players, along with injury-prone forward NAKIA COCKATOO who has played just two AFL games in two years. MITCH DUNCAN, who missed Geelong’s last two finals with a minor, but untimely, knee injury, will be another on the track before he needs to be. Duncan expects to miss a week in December with a baby on the way. The rest of the Cats’ senior players are expected back on December 2 for a two-and-a-half week block before the Christmas break. GARY ABLETT has been showing off his skateboarding skills on Instagram this week, while TOM HAWKINS enjoyed some time at the Spring Racing Carnival and MARK BLICAVS holidayed in the United States.

— Chris Cavanagh

GOLD COAST

SAM COLLINShas been putting in the hard yards to try to clear his body of the hip and femur troubles that ended his 2019 season. MITCH RIORDAN is also back on track and one of the Suns’ best runners after he struggled through the back end of the year with a calf complaint. RORY THOMPSON has shown good signs as he returns from an ACL injury sustained in early March. He has been training with the first-to-fourth-year players while WIL POWELL is another standout returning from injury. He’s still on a modified program to monitor his knee but has stepped up his conditioning and appears on track for a full return to health. BEN AINSWORTH, JACK BOWES and DARCY McPHERSON have all come back in career-best condition along with rookie JACOB DAWSON and new recruit CONNOR BUDARICK, both of whom impressed in the first 2km time-trial.

— Lachlan Grey

GWS GIANTS

The bulk of the 2019 Grand Finalist’s squad won’t report back for duty until December 2, but the club’s year one-to-four-year players will hit the track on Monday at the club’s WestConnex Centre HQ. They will be joined by new ruckman SAM JACOBS as he looks to get an early start after switching from the Crows. Young AFL regulars including TIM TARANTO, JACOB HOPPER and HARRY HIMMELBERG will report back on November 25 to start their 2020 preparations. STEPHEN CONIGLIO (knee) and CALLAN WARD (ACL reconstruction) both missed large chunks of 2019 through injury. Coniglio just fell short in his bid to make the Grand Final while Ward resumed running as the 2019 season drew to a close. The club’s co-captain recently spent time with renowned reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles in the United States. Both are due back with the main group on December 2. Young ruckman MATT FLYNN ruptured his ACL in a NEAFL game in July but is already back at the club, doing gym work and running on the Alter G treadmill.

— Jon Ritson
 

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Hawthorn
HAWTHORN

Recruits JONATHON PATTON and SAM FROSTstarted pre-season training earlier than when they were due back, which was November 18. After missing the entire 2019 season with a broken leg, 2018 Brownlow medallistTOM MITCHELL has been a regular visitor at Waverley Park throughout the off-season as he bids to return to full fitness, but by his own admission there are “no guarantees” he will be ready for Round 1. Entering his 14th season, new father JAMES FRAWLEY was another to hit to the track early, along with fellow defender JAMES SICILY. Other senior players to make early appearances include CHAD WINGARD, TIM O’BRIEN, DAN HOWE and JONATHON CEGLAR. Delisted forward DARREN MINCHINGTON is training with the Hawks in the hope of winning back a spot on the playing list for 2020 after an injury-interrupted past two years. Some other senior players including JACK GUNSTON and ISAAC SMITH are yet to join official training but have been completing sessions at the gym owned by teammate LIAM SHIELS.

— Chris Cavanagh
MELBOURNE

Former Gold Coast and Fremantle midfielder HARLEY BENNELL plans to join the Demons’ training from December 3 as he looks to revive an injury-ravaged career. The 27-year-old has not appeared at AFL level since he played in the last two rounds of 2017. Ruckman BRAYDON PREUSS has dropped 9kg to improve his chances of more game-time in what could be a formidable two-pronged combination with MAX GAWN, who maintained a disciplined training regimen throughout overseas holidays. After a difficult season which ended early due to injury, TOM McDONALD was one of the senior players to return to training early. Fellow key forward SAM WEIDEMAN will have a delayed start to training after having a hip clean-out. DefenderSTEVEN MAYalso started training early and is doing pilates and extra yoga sessions as part of a new-look program he hopes will return him to full fitness in 2020.

—Chris Cavanagh

NORTH MELBOURNE

BEN JACOBS – who has missed 69 out of the past 82 games with a mystery illness – will be put on a modified pre-season program although he appears to be tracking OK. Kids WILL WALKER (knee) and KYRON HAYDEN (Achilles) are the other early concerns. Walker will join Jacobs on a restricted program while Hayden is a long way off and will miss the first chunk of the 2020 season after rupturing his Achilles on debut in Round 15. LUKE McDONALD (broken leg) will be good to go when the senior players return to Arden St tomorrow (NOV 18) while new dad MAJAK DAW has cut his holidays short to get on the track. Daw and SAM DURDIN will help fill the Scott Thompson void at fullback. As for the other youngsters it’s been JY SIMPKIN and LUKE DAVIES-UNIACKE who have turned heads by returning in splendid condition. The Roos will be eager to impress an dramatically overhauled coaching panel as senior man Rhyce Shaw and footy boss Brady Rawlings put their stamp on the club.

— Sam Landsberger

PORT ADELAIDE

Former Demon JACK WATTS is one of the Power’s pre-season good news stories after recovering from a shocking broken leg and dislocated ankle suffered in Round 2 last season. He has returned to training ahead of schedule — joining his younger teammates — and is on track to play in Round 1 next season. Port had six players undergo post-season operations — former skipper TRAVIS BOAK, ex-Lion TOM ROCKLIFF and impressive first-year player ZAK BUTTERS (shoulders) and vice-captain HAMISH HARTLETT, former Cat STEVEN MOTLOP and wingman KARL AMON(knees). Rockliff is the most serious. He underwent a third left shoulder reconstruction — a complex procedure called Latarjet-Bristow where a piece of bone was taken from one part of his shoulder and attached to the front of his shoulder socket – and will be kept in cotton wool until the new year. “These shoulder injuries have become pretty debilitating at times but hopefully this surgery will do the job,’’ Rockliff said. Hartlett’s arthroscopy is expected to stop him training properly until just before Christmas. The other surgeries were just minor clean-ups. Port’s second-to-fourth year players started training on November 4, with the full squad returning on Monday.

— Andrew Capel
 
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