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Professor

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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.
 

Presto

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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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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

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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RICHMOND

ALEX RANCE went under the knife again last week for an arthroscope on the right knee that ruined his 2019 season. That operation will keep Rance off his legs for about 10 days, although he won’t miss more than a few days of pre-season. Ruckman TOBY NANKERVIS had his groin fixed after the Grand Final and how his body responds in January will determine whether he is ready for the start of the 2020 season. Nankervis, 25, is the Tiger set for the slowest start with JACK GRAHAM and SHAI BOLTON – who have both had shoulders reconstructed – scheduled to join in contest work after the Christmas break. JACK HIGGINS is on track to be back to normal in 2020 after two bouts of brain surgery in what would provide a huge lift to an already jovial club. While there is no timeline pressure on a return to footy for Higgins, the Tigers are quietly bullish that he is every chance to be part of their push for back-to-back flags, which hasn’t been achieved at Punt Rd since 1973-74.

— Sam Landsberger

ST KILDA

DAN HANNEBERY’S stumble at his sister’s house in Perth last month will see him miss the first few weeks of pre-season with a broken foot. Youngster NICK COFFIELD has been told to avoid contest work until late December as he recovers from shoulder surgery in August, while PADDY McCARTIN (concussion) has been taken off the list. Elsewhere, the Saints are flying. JADE GRESHAM won’t ever be leading time-trials, but he did record his best skinfolds upon return while JAKE CARLISLE has been spotted in the Moorabbin gym over the past four weeks. Captain JARRYN GEARY – who suffered a broken leg in June and played just five games this year – is running at full speed while recruits DAN BUTLER and ZAK JONES have made strong impressions by moving into their lockers early. MATT PARKER has had finger and ankle problems sorted, while LOGAN AUSTIN basically started his 2020 pre-season late in the 2019 season while MAX KING and JACK BYTEL are humming. Get set for the top picks from the 2018 draft to make an impact next season. As for Fremantle recruit BRAD HILL, he’s road-tripping across the Nullarbor in a campervan as he prepares to begin life as a Saint.

—Sam Landsberger

SYDNEY

The Swans’ senior players will hit the club’s Lakeside Oval training track on November 18, joining the youngsters who have already got a fortnight’s work under their belts. Superstar forward LANCE FRANKLIN also reported for training two weeks early. Tomorrow will also be the official start of their Sydney journey for new boys LEWIS TAYLOR, SAM GRAY and KAIDEN BRAND, although all three have already been spotted getting some work under their belts with their new teammates. Some familiar faces will be missing. JARRAD McVEIGH (now embracing coaching duties with the Swans), KIEREN JACK, HEATH GRUNDY and NICK SMITH all called time on their careers in 2019. On the injury front, CALLUM SINCLAI R twice dislocated his shoulder during a July clash which ended his season. He has had a shoulder reconstruction. The off-season also saw SAM REID scheduled for a knee arthroscope and LUKE PARKER had a knee clean-up. All are expected back on Monday although it is expected they will be eased into training.

— Jon Ritson

WEST COAST

Prized recruit TIM KELLY will join his first-to-fourth-year teammates when the Eagles’ pre-season training kicks off this week. The South Fremantle product got his wish to return to Western Australia from Geelong for family reasons, signing a six-year deal worth about $5 million in a monster trade deal with the Cats. Premiership Eagle DAN VENABLES, who posted a video on Instagram of his boxing last week, will be another notable name on the training track after a serious concussion against Melbourne in Round 9 ended his season. Utility OSCAR ALLEN and defender JOSH ROTHAM were among a group of nine Eagles players who joined coach Adam Simpson on the club’s fifth trip to Cambodia, building homes for underprivileged families in a remote village.

— Jordan McArdle

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Senior players are not due back until next week although newlywed JOSH BRUCE and ALEX KEATH – the two big recruits – are set to make an early appearance on Monday. Keath has already been spotted completing his rehabilitation at Whitten Oval although the intercepting backman won’t be in full training until January, having undergone surgery on a stress fracture in his ankle that was diagnosed during his medical examination before trade period. Likewise, AARON NAUGHTON (knee) and TOM LIBERATORE (knee) won’t be in full training until after Christmas. MITCH WALLIS suffered a similar injury to Keath and will be on a modified program when his pre-season begins on November 25. LACHIE HUNTER enjoyed a kick with BAILEY DALE last week despite undergoing a post-season shoulder reconstruction. Hunter will be able to complete running and ball work but is unlikely to partake in any contact drills until January. WILL HAYES has stacked on 3kg of muscle while ruckman TIM ENGLISH was the star of this week’s circular beep test running. JACKSON TRENGOVE has also enjoyed a headstart on training.
 

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RICHMOND

ALEX RANCE went under the knife again last week for an arthroscope on the right knee that ruined his 2019 season. That operation will keep Rance off his legs for about 10 days, although he won’t miss more than a few days of pre-season. Ruckman TOBY NANKERVIS had his groin fixed after the Grand Final and how his body responds in January will determine whether he is ready for the start of the 2020 season. Nankervis, 25, is the Tiger set for the slowest start with JACK GRAHAM and SHAI BOLTON – who have both had shoulders reconstructed – scheduled to join in contest work after the Christmas break. JACK HIGGINS is on track to be back to normal in 2020 after two bouts of brain surgery in what would provide a huge lift to an already jovial club. While there is no timeline pressure on a return to footy for Higgins, the Tigers are quietly bullish that he is every chance to be part of their push for back-to-back flags, which hasn’t been achieved at Punt Rd since 1973-74.

— Sam Landsberger

ST KILDA

DAN HANNEBERY’S stumble at his sister’s house in Perth last month will see him miss the first few weeks of pre-season with a broken foot. Youngster NICK COFFIELD has been told to avoid contest work until late December as he recovers from shoulder surgery in August, while PADDY McCARTIN (concussion) has been taken off the list. Elsewhere, the Saints are flying. JADE GRESHAM won’t ever be leading time-trials, but he did record his best skinfolds upon return while JAKE CARLISLE has been spotted in the Moorabbin gym over the past four weeks. Captain JARRYN GEARY – who suffered a broken leg in June and played just five games this year – is running at full speed while recruits DAN BUTLER and ZAK JONES have made strong impressions by moving into their lockers early. MATT PARKER has had finger and ankle problems sorted, while LOGAN AUSTIN basically started his 2020 pre-season late in the 2019 season while MAX KING and JACK BYTEL are humming. Get set for the top picks from the 2018 draft to make an impact next season. As for Fremantle recruit BRAD HILL, he’s road-tripping across the Nullarbor in a campervan as he prepares to begin life as a Saint.

—Sam Landsberger

SYDNEY

The Swans’ senior players will hit the club’s Lakeside Oval training track on November 18, joining the youngsters who have already got a fortnight’s work under their belts. Superstar forward LANCE FRANKLIN also reported for training two weeks early. Tomorrow will also be the official start of their Sydney journey for new boys LEWIS TAYLOR, SAM GRAY and KAIDEN BRAND, although all three have already been spotted getting some work under their belts with their new teammates. Some familiar faces will be missing. JARRAD McVEIGH (now embracing coaching duties with the Swans), KIEREN JACK, HEATH GRUNDY and NICK SMITH all called time on their careers in 2019. On the injury front, CALLUM SINCLAI R twice dislocated his shoulder during a July clash which ended his season. He has had a shoulder reconstruction. The off-season also saw SAM REID scheduled for a knee arthroscope and LUKE PARKER had a knee clean-up. All are expected back on Monday although it is expected they will be eased into training.

— Jon Ritson

WEST COAST

Prized recruit TIM KELLY will join his first-to-fourth-year teammates when the Eagles’ pre-season training kicks off this week. The South Fremantle product got his wish to return to Western Australia from Geelong for family reasons, signing a six-year deal worth about $5 million in a monster trade deal with the Cats. Premiership Eagle DAN VENABLES, who posted a video on Instagram of his boxing last week, will be another notable name on the training track after a serious concussion against Melbourne in Round 9 ended his season. Utility OSCAR ALLEN and defender JOSH ROTHAM were among a group of nine Eagles players who joined coach Adam Simpson on the club’s fifth trip to Cambodia, building homes for underprivileged families in a remote village.

— Jordan McArdle

WESTERN BULLDOGS

Senior players are not due back until next week although newlywed JOSH BRUCE and ALEX KEATH – the two big recruits – are set to make an early appearance on Monday. Keath has already been spotted completing his rehabilitation at Whitten Oval although the intercepting backman won’t be in full training until January, having undergone surgery on a stress fracture in his ankle that was diagnosed during his medical examination before trade period. Likewise, AARON NAUGHTON (knee) and TOM LIBERATORE (knee) won’t be in full training until after Christmas. MITCH WALLIS suffered a similar injury to Keath and will be on a modified program when his pre-season begins on November 25. LACHIE HUNTER enjoyed a kick with BAILEY DALE last week despite undergoing a post-season shoulder reconstruction. Hunter will be able to complete running and ball work but is unlikely to partake in any contact drills until January. WILL HAYES has stacked on 3kg of muscle while ruckman TIM ENGLISH was the star of this week’s circular beep test running. JACKSON TRENGOVE has also enjoyed a headstart on training.
So Venables was the only injured eagles player.. wow
 

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The draftees who should be on your 2020 SuperCoach cash cow radar
The Phantom, The Advertiser
December 1, 2019 3:41pm

The Phantom takes an early look at the potential SuperCoach cash cows - and their numbers - from this year’s AFL draft.

No. 1 pick Matt Rowell with new teammates Jack Lukosius, left, and Izak Rankine. Picture: Michael Dodge/AAPLOCK THEM IN
MATT ROWELL
Gold Coast (Pick No. 1)
Likely price (approx): $210,000

Thought Sam Walsh had a good SuperCoach season in his first year?

The output of this kid might be even better.
Like Walsh, Rowell has enjoyed a near-perfect junior career, dominating at all levels.
The strong-bodied, well-balanced midfielder averaged 32 disposals, 17 contested possessions and 171 SuperCoach points in the NAB League last season and 133 points for Vic Metro at the under-18 national carnival.
All going to plan, he’ll be there for the Suns in Round 1 and with a big role to play.

Don’t even worry about the top rookie price tag.
WILL GOULD
Sydney (No. 26)
Likely price (approx): $117,300

The ready-made defender, who played an important role in Glenelg’s drought-breaking grand final win, could play 22 games next year without a problem.
Gould, 18, delivered with precision from the back-half and knocked around some of his more senior opponents in the SANFL, averaging 19 disposals and 89 SuperCoach points per game at the top-level in SA.
He’s worked hard to improve his fitness since the combine wake-up call and could slot straight into the Swans’ defence, allowing – potentially – for the long-awaited full-time midfield move of Callum Mills.
Of all the teenagers drafted, Gould, who stands at 191cm and 98kg, appears the most AFL-ready behind Rowell.

PENCIL THEM IN
JACKSON MEAD
Port Adelaide (No. 25)
Likely price (approx): $117,300

At 184cm and 83kg - and with terrific versatility in his game - the father-son prospect is a strong chance to see early action at the Power in 2020.
A smart and skilful midfielder, who wins the ball at the contest and away from it, Mead averaged 21 disposals and 106 SuperCoach points for South Australia and 20 disposals, eight marks and 101 points for the Eagles at reserves level in the SANFL.
But Mead is also strong overhead and it’s his ability as a forward which is likely to see him in the Round 1 conversation in the club’s 150th year.
Mitchell Hibberd in action for Williamstown in the VFL in 2019. Picture: Kelly Defina/GettyMITCH HIBBERD
Essendon (Rookie draft)
Likely price (approx): $150,000

The 23-year-old failed to make it playing predominantly as a defender for North Melbourne but after being delisted at the end of last year, Hibberd turned himself into tall, big-bodied running midfielder in the VFL in 2019.
Playing for Williamstown, the 191cm Tasmanian averaged 24 disposals, seven tackles and 128 SuperCoach points per game to be named on a wing in the VFL’s team of the year.
And he fills a need at the Bombers.
“Throughout this whole period we were looking for a ready-made inside midfielder and we believe we have found one in Mitch,” list boss Adrian Dodoro said following the rookie draft.
HAYDEN YOUNG
Fremantle (No. 7)
Likely price (approx): $180,000

Any kid who mentions playing kick-to-kick to get the SuperCoach points up – even if as a joke – in their first interview as an AFL player, becomes an instant favourite.
And, as is the case with Young, it’s even better if they’ve got the runs on the board at junior level.
The damaging left-footer, who ranked first for intercept possessions and second for metres gained, averaged 107 points at the national under-18 championships for Vic Country.
Young, regarded as the best kick in this year’s draft class, went even bigger in the NAB League, averaging 129 points per game.
Hayden Young with Fremantle Justin Longmuir at the draft. Picture: Michael Willson/AFL PhotosSAM FLANDERS
Gold Coast (No. 11)
Likely price (approx): $160,000

Next season, the Suns won’t be short on talented young midfielders and, with the inclusion of Hugh Greenwood, players who win the ball at the contest.
But Flanders’ ability as a strong-marking, explosive forward with great goal sense – in the mould of Demon Christian Petracca and Sydney’s Luke Parker in the early-part of his career – will see the 18-year-old jostling for a Round 1 debut.
Flanders has averaged 100 SuperCoach points or more at every level over the past two years, with the 121-point mark, on the back 23 disposals and 1.1 goals per game, for Gippsland in the NAB League the standout.
 

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WATCH CLOSELY
NOAH ANDERSON
Gold Coast (No. 2)
Likely price (approx): $200,000

With Rowell a lock, can SuperCoaches really afford to pick the two most-expensive rookies?
It’s not usually part of the plan but Anderson might convince us otherwise over the pre-season.
The 188cm midfielder averaged 25 disposals and two goals in the NAB League this year, joining Tiger Jack Higgins, Brisbane’s Hugh McCluggage and Bomber Devon Smith as the only players to achieve this feat in the junior competition.
It’s no surprise, Anderson finished with a 143-point SuperCoach average.
The very slight chance of forward-status is the key.
Brisbane swooped on draft slider Deven Robertson at pick No. 22. Picture: Michael KleinDEVEN ROBERTSON
Brisbane (No. 22)
Likely price (approx): $117,000

SuperCoaches – and Brisbane – will be happy the WA under-18 captain slid to No. 22 on draft night.
Instead of being priced at $150k or more as a top-10 selection, Robertson, who broke Sam Walsh’s disposal record at the national carnival, will be at the bottom-end of rookie-pricing. And the tough midfielder, who averaged 128 SuperCoach points for WA and 153 at WAFL Colts level, is ready.
A strong Lions midfield will be the only thing getting in his way.
MORE NEWS
Inside Port’s draft strategy: How the Power get their targets
Gary Bucknera rates your club’s draft haul
Day to cherish for new Hawk Will

HARRY SCHOENBERG
Adelaide (No. 24)
Likely price (approx): $117,000

It might be a similar story for Schoenberg at the Crows, especially with the likely emergence of Chayce Jones and Ned McHenry next year.
But, given a need for a refresh in the middle, the Croweater, who averaged 27 disposals, five marks, five tackles and 122 SuperCoach points at the national carnival, will be around the mark early.
His hands are brilliant at the contest and Schoenberg, who averaged 128 points at SANFL reserves level, also wins plenty of football on the spread.
CALEB SERONG
Fremantle (No. 8)
Likely price (approx): $175,000

Serong, who has drawn comparison to Port Adelaide’s Robbie Gray, ranked fourth for clearances and fifth for contested possessions in the NAB League, where he averaged 129 points per game.
He’ll be a popular SuperCoach name in the future, but can he break into the Fremantle midfield during his debut season?
Tom Green of the Allies fires out a handpass at the under-18 national championships in 2019. Picture: Dylan Burns/AFL PhotosTOM GREEN
GWS (No. 26)
Likely price (approx): $165,000

After averaging 16.2 contested possessions per game at the 2019 under-18 national carnival – the most ever-recorded by Champion Data – and 111 points, Green is a SuperCoach star in the making.
But can the 18-year-old, who could develop into a Patrick Cripps-like midfielder, break into the Giants line-up early in 2020?
MIGHT SURPRISE

DYLAN STEPHENS
Sydney (No. 5)
Likely price (approx): $190,000

Stephens won’t come cheap but, despite his slight frame, showed he can mix it with the big bodies, averaging 18 disposals and 82 SuperCoach points at senior level in the SANFL.
JAKE RICCARDI
GWS (No. 51)
Likely price (approx): $117,300

After booting 38 goals in 2019, the 195cm forward won the Fothergill-Round-Mitchell medal as the VFL’s best young player. Bayley Fritsch (Melb), Luke Ryan (Freo), Nic Newman (Carl), Kane Lambert (Rich), Michael Hibberd (Melb) and Michael Barlow are other players to win this award since 2009.
New Sydney midfielder Chad Warner during the 2km time trial at the draft combine in October. Picture: Michael Klein.CHAD WARNER
Sydney (No. 39)
Likely price (approx): $117,300

A strong-bodied midfielder, who averaged a huge 156 SuperCoach points per game at WAFL Colts level in 2019, might get a chance to push his case over summer.
BEN KEAYS
Adelaide (Rookie Draft)
Likely price (approx): $250,000

He was drafted as a midfielder but Keays played exclusively as a forward in the NEAFL in 2019, averaging 20 disposals, three tackles and 2.7 goals per game.
And Adelaide’s pressure inside 50 last season was poor.
 

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Champion Data releases SuperCoach AFL positions for 2020, new DPP players

Player positions for SuperCoach 2020 have dropped, and there is good news and bad news. One thing is certain, forward lines will look very different next year. SEE THE BIG MOVES

Al Paton, Herald Sun

Subscriber only

December 4, 2019 7:00am



The SuperCoach gods give, and the SuperCoach gods take away.

Champion Data has completed its player position allocations for 2020, and there are big ramifications for SuperCoach.

The bad news is the forward line has been decimated, with all of Patrick Dangerfield, Josh Dunkley, Travis Boak and Tim Kelly losing their forward status. They were all dual-position Fwd/Mid players in 2019 but can only picked in the midfield next season, while 2019 surprise packet Rowan Marshall has been designated as a ruckman.

That’s five of this year’s top six forwards unavailable when picking our 2020 attack.

But there is a silver lining.

Dustin Martin’s devastating stints in front of goal have earned him Mid/Fwd dual-position status for next season, news that will catapult him back to SuperCoach stardom. His average of 100 points a game this year ranked 30th among midfielders, but he is the third-highest scoring player available as a forward next year.

Ahead of him are Michael Walters (100.8) who will again be a Mid/Fwd, and the other big surprise from next year’s position calls — Lachie Whitfield.

Whitfield played all over the field this year and averaged 111.2 points a game, ranked 13th overall. After studying heat maps, Champion Data has listed him as a Fwd/Mid for 2020. That’s a huge Christmas present for SuperCoach players. The only reason not to pick him are concerns over his durability — he managed just 16 games last season.

Overall there are 119 dual-position players next season, one more than this year. Scroll down to see some of the biggest changes. Full positions and prices for next year will be released before Christmas.

Need your SuperCoach fix before then? Sign up now for SuperCoach BBL to take on Shane Warne and have a shot at $57,000 in prizes. Here’s everything you need to know to dominate:



SUPERCOACH AFL 2020 POSITIONS

GAINED DPP

Dustin Martin (Rich) Fwd/Mid

Lachie Whitfield (GWS) Fwd/Mid

Hugh Greenwood (GC) Fwd/Mid

Darcy Cameron (Coll) Ruck/Fwd

Brandan Parfitt (Geel) Fwd/Mid

Jack Steven (Geel) Fwd/Mid

Nathan Jones (Melb) Def/Mid

Levi Casboult (Carl) Def/Fwd

Sam Petrevski-Seton (Carl) Def/Mid

Bayley Fristch (Melb) Def/Fwd

Braydon Preuss (Melb) Ruck/Fwd

Jack Ziebell (NM) Fwd/Mid

Paul Ahern (NM) Def/Mid

Noah Balta (Rich) Ruck/Fwd

Jade Gresham (StK) Fwd/Mid

Paddy Ryder (StK) Ruck/Fwd

Jordan Dawson (Syd) Def/Fwd



LOST DPP

Patrick Dangerfield (Geel) Mid

Josh Dunkley (WB) Mid

Tim Kelly (Geel) Mid

Travis Boak (Port) Mid

Rowan Marshall (StK) Ruck

Scott Lycett (Port) Ruck

Jack Billings (StK) Mid

Mitch Robinson (Bris) Mid

Andrew McGrath (Ess) Mid

Will Setterfield (Carl) Mid

Darcy Moore (Coll) Def

David Mundy (Frem) Mid



Rory Lobb (Frem) Ruck

Sam Menegola (Geel) Mid

James Worpel (Haw) Mid



RETAINED DPP

Michael Walters (Frem) Fwd/Mid

Isaac Heeney (Syd) Fwd/Mid

Wayne Milera (Adel) Def/Mid

Devon Smith (Ess) Fwd/Mid

Chad Wingard (Haw) Fwd/Mid

Robbie Gray (Port) Fwd/Mid

Aiden Bonar (NM) Fwd/Mid



NEW FACES

Matthew Rowell (GC) Mid

Tom Green (GWS) Mid

Joshua Worrell (Adel) Def/Fwd

Deven Robertson (Bris) Mid

Brodie Kemp (Carl) Mid

Trent Bianco (Coll) Def/Mid

Mitch Hibberd (Ess) Mid

Finn Maginness (Haw) Mid

Kysaiah Pickett (Melb) Fwd

Will Gould (Syd) DEF



NEW POSITIONS

Michael Gibbons (Carl) Fwd (was Mid)

Liam Stocker (Carl) Def (was Mid)

Darcy Fort (Geel) Fwd (was Ruck)

Jeremy Finlayson (GWS) Fwd (was Def)

Justin Westhoff (Port) Fwd/Mid (was Ruck/Fwd)

Shane Edwards (Rich) Def/Mid (was Fwd/Mid)

Aaron Naughton (WB) Def (was Fwd)

Caleb Daniel (WB) Def (was Fwd)
 

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With a raft of new player positional changes, it inevitably means there will be impacts both positive and not so positive for SuperCoach Draft players in 2020. Rankings whether personal or consensus are purely a guide and, as we all know, anything can happen on Draft day.

Still, it is important to go in with a strategy as well as a back-up plan and deciphering through new positional updates is often the first cab off the rank.

Dustin Martin has obtained a MID / FWD flex and it’ll launch him into serious consideration for the No. 1 pick in many SuperCoach Drafts, however, the opposite can be said for a number of players who’ve lost their flex such as Andrew McGrath who’ll undoubtedly slide down rankings given he’s only able to be selected as a midfielder.

BIG FLEX

DUSTIN MARTIN | RICHMOND TIGERS | FWD / MID

If Dusty’s dual position doesn’t put him at the front of your draft rankings then you’re just not serious enough about SuperCoach Draft. It puts him in the frame as the No. 1 pick alongside the likes of Brodie Grundy and Max Gawn in SuperCoach Draft.

LACHIE WHITFIELD | GWS GIANTS | FWD / MID

Now, this is a Christmas gift come early. Arguably the best user of the footy and one of the most devastating yet balanced players in the game has lost his defender status he held in 2019 and instead launches to even more relevance as a FWD / MID option in 2020. In SuperCoach Draft, Whitfield is a legitimate top-five selection and will rocket up the rankings in his new role.

JACK ZIEBELL | NORTH MELBOURNE KANGAROOS | FWD / MID

Also gaining dual position status is Jack Ziebell who adds midfield eligibility to his already held forward line positioning. Consistency has always been the issue with the North captain but he’ll win plenty of admirers with dual position availability.

NATHAN JONES | MELBOURNE DEMONS | DEF / MID

This could be a real roll of the dice by a savvy coach looking to lock the Melbourne veteran into their backline in the fourth or fifth rounds in bigger leagues. Positions at either end of the ground in Draft fill up quick, and while Jones won’t necessarily be a Top 10 ranked player by defensive position he undoubtedly carries more relevancy now he can be chosen in the backline.

STEPHEN HILL | FREMANTLE | DEF / FWD

Will bump up in rankings after gaining forward status, the big question mark on Hill however is his durability. If he can get on let alone stay on the park, he is capable of consistent 85+ scores.

BAILEY FRITSCH | MELBOURNE DEMONS | DEF / FWD

Huge win for Draft players is the addition of defence to Bailey Fritsch’s position. The high-flying Melbourne utility is incredibly versatile and as such will be snapped up even higher in Drafts now that he can be taken as a valuable defensive or forward option.

SHANE EDWARDS | RICHMOND TIGERS | DEF / MID

Loses forward eligibility but importantly picks up defensive flex to go along with the midfield slot he already retains which is good for Draft rankings.

JOSH CADDY | RICHMOND TIGERS | MID / FWD

Another solid win for Draft players is the midfield status that Josh Caddy has obtained thanks to Champion Data heat maps. Draft players are always on the hunt for more flex which makes Caddy a viable Draft selection for those looking for flexibility between forward and midfield.

NO FLEX

PATRICK DANGERFIELD | GEELONG CATS | MID

We knew it wasn’t going to last forever and it didn’t, but Paddy Dangerfield has lost his dual position ability however he still remains every bit Draft relevant and will still be picked inside the top 10, if not top 5, in leagues.

JOSH DUNKLEY | WESTERN BULLDOGS | MID

While he’s lost his flex, I would still feel comfortable taking Dunkley in the first round given his monster scoring capacity. He’s elite across all areas and the 22-year-old is only getting stronger and so too are the Bulldogs.

MITCH ROBINSON | BRISBANE LIONS | MID
The Brisbane hardman has lost his forward flex which means his Draft ranking will drop with it. Robinson now is somebody that can be looked to fill up one of your last remaining midfield positions depending on league and squad sizes.

ANDREW MCGRATH | ESSENDON BOMBERS | MID

Ouch! Andrew McGrath’s lost his backline flex which will see his Draft ranking slide as a result. Given the breadth of midfielders available, McGrath will be jostling for position with a raft of others so where he is taken in Drafts will hinge on personal preference as well as preseason form. Still a handy player, but not one to spend early-round picks on.

DAVID MUNDY | FREMANTLE DOCKERS | MID

There’s sliding and then there’s falling off a cliff, and for SuperCoach veteran David Mundy it’s the latter. Mundy’s relevancy has remained because of his flex but in 2020 that’s going to change considerably. While in larger Drafts he’ll still be picked up, he won’t be up in the rankings as a MID-only player. In smaller Drafts, he could end up a free agent.

TOBY MCLEAN | WESTERN BULLDOGS | FWD

After a strong finish to the 2018 season, Toby McLean couldn’t quite emulate his figures in 2019 which was disappointing. As a result, he stayed inside 50 more often and has lost his flex. Still has loads of upside but we’d need to see that come to light in the preseason.

LUKE DAHLHAUS | GEELONG CATS | FWD

Became more of a stay at home forward in 2019 given the depth of the Cats midfield group but Dahlhaus was still called upon to play a high half-forward role in parts of 2019. He will drop off plenty of rankings as a result but his scoring hasn’t quite been around the mark as it was back in 2015 and 2016. He is still a solid pick-up is given what his ceiling is capable of.

TRADING PLACES

GARY ABLETT | GEELONG CATS | FWD

Gaz has lost his midfield position and has instead picked up forward eligibility which will make his Draft relevancy higher given the need for forwards. While Gaz might only have one more season left in him, he showed in 2019 he was still capable of producing decent scores. Oh, and take a look at Geelong’s fixture in the run home to the finals. Quite a few home games at Kardinia Park, too!

CALEB DANIEL | WESTERN BULLDOGS | DEF

This should come as no shock to anybody considering the big-time-small-man was a constant force streaming from the Bulldogs’ backline in 2019. Having made the permanent shift to defence, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Daniel picked up in second or third rounds in larger drafts given his ability to churn our triple digits.

JUSTIN WESTHOFF | PORT ADELAIDE POWER | FWD / MID

It’s finally happened, we now live in a world where Justin Westhoff is not available as a ruckman. Fortunately, you can pick up the super athletic big man as a midfielder or forward which will certainly add some variation to teams in 2020.

SHAUN BURGOYNE | HAWTHORN HAWKS | DEF

Picking up defensive only status in 2020 is evergreen Hawk Shaun Burgoyne who inhabited Hawthorn’s back six weekly in 2019. His move to DEF comes as no surprise but it also makes his relevancy higher given demand for the position. Burgoyne still has a habit of playing a high halfback role, so his rebounding and intercept possessions and his ability to get involved in chains of play will equate to nice scores for the Hawks playmaker.
 

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NEW CLUB; WHO DIS?

TIM KELLY | WEST COAST EAGLES | MID

Back home and in new colours, just how Tim Kelly hits the track at the Eagles remains to be seen but we’ll back his figures to remain similar to what they were at the Cats. The Eagles’ engine room is star-studded with Luke Shuey and Elliot Yeo two of the best midfielders in the comp, but Kelly is an out-and-out star who’ll be snapped up quickly regardless of the fact he’s lost his flex.

JACK STEVEN | GEELONG CATS | FWD / MID

Jack Steven is still a baller and, at the Cats, it could be the seachange he needs that gets him back close to his best. Steven didn’t see much action in 2019 and the Cats will be hoping he can help pick up some of the slack left by the departed Tim Kelly. He’s one with real upside.

DOUGAL HOWARD | ST. KILDA SAINTS | FWD / DEF

Knowing full well that the Saints recruited former Port Adelaide swingman Dougal Howard to play purely in defence to pick off opposition entries means if you can pick Howard up in Draft, you can whack him in your forward line if you’re short on options in that area given his flex. Now that’s a gift!

JAMES AISH | FREMANTLE DOCKERS | DEF

Mark his name down in your black book and, if you’re chuckling right now, you might be the one with egg on your face later! The Dockers have already earmarked the ex-Collingwood defender to make a switch to the wing, which as a junior was his natural role. Aish has been a victim of circumstances at both the Lions and Pies but should thrive at Fremantle in a natural running role.

DARCY CAMERON | COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES | RUC / FWD
While he’s not quite Draft relevant at the time of writing, after the preseason competition Darcy Cameron might be. The Pies won’t be utilising Cameron through the ruck with Brodie Grundy holding that role under lock and key but instead will play forward with a few cameos for relief. Cameron can be selected as a RUC / FWD which means if you’re streaming rucks in 2020, Cameron is one to stash on your bench and use as a swing option.

PADDY RYDER | ST KILDA | RUC / FWD

Gaining the all-important ruck-forward swing and now at his third club, Paddy Ryder should shoulder the load in the ruck for the Saints as Rowan Marshall continues to mature. It’s likely the duo will work in tandem but just how this impacts Marshall’s scoring remains to be seen. Worth selecting as a streamer.

DRAFT SLEEPERS

ADAM CERRA | FREMANTLE DOCKERS | DEF

On surface value alone this doesn’t feel like a big one but Cerra has the potential to really break out this year. He’s moved from MID to DEF which automatically puts him higher than he would’ve been on the rankings. A topline draftee who is a beautiful ball-user could come to the fore during the preseason. Keep tabs on him as a sleeper.

JOHN NOBLE | COLLINGWOOD MAGPIES | DEF

The Pies have shown faith in the mid-year rookie draftee by re-signing John Noble and it seems he’s firmly in their backline plans in 2020. Noble has lost his midfield position he started with but picks up a backline positional change which makes him more valuable in Draft. Keep your eyes on him.

ANDREW BRAYSHAW | FREMANTLE DOCKERS | FWD / MID

Gets Dual Position Player status and should hopefully really start to grease the wheels in terms of SuperCoach points next season. Fremantle are a young, emerging side and Brayshaw could be ready for lift-off. Keep him in your black book as teams begin to pad out later in the Draft.

JACK LUKOSIUS | GOLD COAST SUNS | FWD / DEF

While he’s still green, he looked very composed when moved into defence this year. Jack Lukosius’ sure hands meant he was chopping off opposition entries and his field kicking was a highlight in a poor year for the Suns. With a bit more support, he could be one to roll the dice on, particularly after picking up a defensive slot in his 2020 position status.

DANIEL HOWE | HAWTHORN HAWKS | DEF / MID

This kid is made of the right stuff and looked super comfortable in the backline in 2019 which is why he’s picked up defensive flex in 2020. He’s in the same wheelhouse as Jordan Dawson for me, and could really spike in scoring next season.

PAUL AHERN | NORTH MELBOURNE | DEF / MID

Showed serious glimpses of what he’s capable of and, with a move to halfback, Ahern showed composure and zip which new coach Rhyce Shaw is a fan of. Certainly, somebody to consider in the later rounds for the bigger leagues out there – particularly for backlines.

PETER LADHAMS | ADELAIDE CROWS | RUCK / FWD

Switching from Port Adelaide to the Crows and picking up swing flexibility with it, Peter Ladhams looms as a key target for ruck streamers. The Crows have lost Sam Jacobs but have a ready-made replacement in Reilly O’Brien, however Ladhams can provide relief through the ruck and can hold his own up forward.

LIAM BAKER | RICHMOND TIGERS | DEF / FWD

The young cub proved to be a revelation for the Tigers in 2019 and as such showed he was capable of playing at either end of the ground. He’s picked up a positional flex between DEF / FWD and is someone to pad your team out with in the later rounds for bigger leagues and roster sizes.

JORDAN DAWSON | SYDNEY SWANS | DEF / FWD

Sydney crowned him as their best young player in 2019 and the wicked left-footer had a breakout year to remember. Jordan Dawson has picked up a swing between defence and forward making him a really viable option on Draft day.
 

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SuperCoach positions: Martin, Whitfield the locks, but there’s plenty of other great dual-position additions for 2020

Dustin Martin and Lachie Whitfield will be dual-position players in SuperCoach next season. But the interesting conversation revolves around the less-popular names, including one Docker we haven’t revealed yet.

The Phantom, The Advertiser

Subscriber only

December 5, 2019 12:42pm



Dusty? Yep. Lachie Whitfield? No-brainer.

It’s been just over 24 hours since we revealed the new Champion Data player positions for SuperCoach in 202 0 and there are some near-certain selections already.

But, while the dual-position status of Dustin Martin, Whitfield and new Cat Jack Steven is great news, considering what the pool has lost – Patrick Dangerfield, Josh Dunkley and Tim Kelly, just to name a few – every SuperCoach will pick them.

Well, they should anyway.

The more interesting conversation, however, revolves around some of the less-popular names – for now, at least.

Andrew Brayshaw (Fremantle)

Forward/Midfielder

Likely price: $380,000

This might be the first time you have heard about this one but, trust me, it won’t be the last.

The No. 2 pick from the 2017 draft appears one of the top breakout candidates heading into his third year in the competition.

After stints through the middle in the past two seasons, the 20-year-old is eyeing a full-time midfield spot under new coach Justin Longmuir in 2020.

Brayshaw added 10 points to his SuperCoach average in 2019, after winning 20 disposals or more on eight occasions – a feat he achieved just three times in his debut season.

The well-balanced right-footer averaged 10 contested possessions in the final seven matches of the year, posting a score of 86 or more in four of them.

He’ll be placed in the awkward mid-price bracket, but the dual-position status brings Brayshaw right back into the picture.

Jordan Dawson (Sydney)

Defender/forward

Likely price: $460,000

After an early-season wake-up call, and after spending time in multiple positions during his first three-and-half years on the list, Dawson finally cemented his spot in the Swans’ side.

The long-kicking left-footer was stationed across half-back for the second-half of 2019 and he had a big influence.

Dawson, who last week won the first 2km time trial of the Swans’ pre-season, averaged 20 disposals, 11 effective kicks, six intercept possessions and 94 SuperCoach points per game in the final nine rounds of the year.

And this is the same player who averaged 130 points across 22 games in the NEAFL between 2017 an 2018.

Hugh Greenwood (Gold Coast)

Forward/Midfielder

Likely price: $465,000

Of all players in the competition to average 17 disposals or more in 2019 – and there were 225 of them – Greenwood’s contested possession rate of 64.1 per cent is the highest.

And across his 51-game career it’s higher, with 11.3 of the 27-year-old’s 16.9 possessions per game won in a contest.

The 191cm midfielder not only rates elite for contested possession but also groundball-gets, clearances, tackles, pressure acts and contested marks.

Put simply, there’s not many better at what Greenwood does and it’s resulted in 31 SuperCoach scores of 80 or more in his 51 AFL matches, despite not featuring in Adelaide’s first-choice on-ball rotation.

Even with the price-tag, as a dual-position forward Greenwood should be high on your pre-season radar with a big role in a young Gold Coast midfield looming.

Luke Davies-Uniacke (North Melbourne)

Forward/Midfielder

Likely price: $195,000

There was one glimpse – a 118-point performance in Round 2 last season – but the strong-bodied midfielder has so far failed to replicate his junior SuperCoach numbers at the top level.

But could this be the year for Davies-Uniacke, who is ready for a big summer after shoulder surgery prematurely ended his 2019?

Heading into his third season, the likely sub-$200k price tag and dual-position status might make it easier for you to dive in and find out for yourself.

Jon Patton (Hawthorn)

Forward/ruck

Likely price: $295,000

It feels like a new dual-position addition but it’s not, with Patton classified as a forward-ruckman in 2019.

But he was never in the SuperCoach conversation after recovering from a third knee reconstruction last year.

The strong-marking key-forward has been fit for some time, however, and that makes an injury-free Patton, who posted seven SuperCoach tons – two in excess of 150 – in 24 games between Round 22, 2016 and Round 3, 2018 one to watch over summer, especially at the price.
 
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