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KFC SuperCoach 2020: The Phantom’s ultimate rookie guide
The Phantom, The Advertiser - March 10, 2020

Struggling to find the right KFC SuperCoach rookies? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The Phantom’s ultimate guide is here to help you select the best cash cows in every position.

DEFENDERS

1. Jarrod Brander (WC) - $133,000, Fwd-Def

Marsh series scores: 46, 76

Brander has posted scores of 25, 36 and 36 in his three career games playing as a forward, but the versatile 20-year-old, who stands at 195cm, can play in almost any position on the ground.

And over the pre-season, he’s impressed on a wing, in a role which is likely to be more SuperCoach-friendly.

Brander, who is still rookie-price – and dual-position – heading into his third year, saved his best performance for the final Marsh Series clash, finishing with 17 disposals – at 88 per cent efficiency – and five marks against the Dockers.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: SuperCoaches have lost faith in a number of rookie-price options over the past two weeks but Brander’s stocks have only risen in this time and he now appears one of the safe bets in his new role.


2. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Ess) - $189,300 Def

Marsh series scores: 61, 104

The current Essendon injury list means the 21-year-old, who was the No. 1 player for intercept possessions in the VFL over the past two seasons, will see more senior action in 2020.

And Zerk-Thatcher showed enough in the Marsh Series, averaging 10.5 intercepts and 14.5 effective disposals per game, to suggest he’ll make SuperCoaches plenty of early cash this year, despite the $180k price-tag.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: A top-price key-defender at No. 2? Yep, that’s what sort of year it might be, SuperCoaches. Zerk-Thatcher appears to have more scoring avenues than your average key-backman, though.


3. John Noble (Coll) - $215,400, Def

Marsh series scores: 79, 73

The mid-season draftee averaged 20 disposals in his three home-and-away matches last season before recording tallies of 19 and 16 in Collingwood’s two finals. Noble can find the ball and he proved it again in the Marsh Series.

Noble tallied a combined 46 disposals, hitting the target with 39 of them, working up and down the ground in his two pre-season matches, as the Magpies played high-possession football.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: $215k is a lot to ask but Noble’s job security and scoring potential may be as high as any on the list. And, this year, that list is an unconvincing one.


4. Lachie Ash (GWS) - $193,800 Def-Mid

Marsh series scores: 88, 62

The Giants’ top pick from last year’s draft – No. 4 overall – averaged 22 disposals and 102 for Vic Country at the national carnival and 129 points per game in the NAB League.

Ash’s junior numbers are matched by his standout ability to break the game open from halfback.

After two impressive Marsh Series performances in defence – and the uncertainty surrounding Zac Williams’ achilles – Ash’s chances of a Round 1 start are now very strong, despite the standout summer of fellow running defender Isaac Cumming.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: It appears we may have no choice but to fork out for the high-end rookie options this year and Ash’s pre-season scores justify the top-price tag.


5. Tobe Watson (Freo) - $123.000, Def

Marsh series scores: 62, 42

After averaging 17 disposals in the WAFL during his first year on the Dockers’ list – and rating elite for marks and above-average for intercept possessions, intercept marks, spoils and score involvements – the 190cm defender has put himself in the Round 1 mix after an impressive summer. The mature-age recruit finished disposal tallies of 13 and 14 and is the only $123k defender to have played both his club’s Marsh Series matches.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: If you don’t know, now you know. Watson is one of only a few bottom-price rookies likely to see early-season action, making him a great SuperCoach bench option.


6. Will Gould (Syd) - $117,300, Def

Marsh Series Score s: 68, DNP

The ready-made defender, who played an important role in Glenelg’s drought-breaking grand final win, could play 22 games this 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 made a big impression since arriving in Sydney and could feature in the Swans’ defence in 2020 – and even take some of Jake Lloyd’s kick-in duties.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Cleaned up Giant Matt de Boer with a big, but fair, bump in the first 10 minutes of his career and, while he doesn’t appear to be the lock he once was after being left out of the club’s final Marsh Series match, Gould is still in the Round 1 mix at the Swans. Shoots straight to the top of this list if he’s picked.


7. Fischer McAsey (Adel) - $184,800 Def

Marsh series scores: DNP, 47

Adelaide’s top pick from last year’s draft was the No. 1 key-defender at the 2018 national under-18 carnival, leading all in his position for disposals, intercept marks, intercept possessions and marks.

The skilful, 195cm McAsey was already closing in on a Round 1 debut but, after the Tom Doedee setback, it’s now all but sealed, with the 18-year-old set to partner Daniel Talia in defence against the Swans.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: With Doedee out of the side and McAsey playing in the Crows’ final Marsh Series clash ahead of Kyle Hartigan and Jordon Butts, he might not play the floating third-tall role SuperCoaches were hoping for. But McAsey’s job security is as strong as any.


8. Brandon Starcevich (Bris) - $147,700, Def-Mid

Marsh series scores: 40, 61

Starcevich, who was drafted as a forward in 2017, played the final four matches of 2018 and then featured in last year’s pre-season competition for the Lions.

But a serious hamstring injury in a practice match against the Demons halted any momentum he was building, with the strong, skilful right-footer adding just one game to his career tally in 2019.

After a standout summer on the track, however, Starcevich was tipped to help fill the void left by the retirement of Luke Hodge at halfback in 2020.

But, while he’s been in defence at times, the 20-year-old played majority of the final Marsh Series match against the Blues at half-forward.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: If you can afford the extra $40k, I’d spend it. But, otherwise, if he’s picked, Starcevich’s traits should see him score well in either role.


9. Bailey Williams (WC) - $123,900, Def-Ruck

Marsh Series Scores: 70, DNP

The 19-year-old, taken at pick No. 35 in the 2018 draft, was a standout against the Bombers in the Eagles’ Marsh Series opening and is now right in the mix for a Round 1 spot. Williams, who averaged 73 points per game in the WAFL last year, finished with 12 disposals, six contested possessions and six score involvements playing a back-up ruck-forward role, before missing the summer derby with hamstring tightness.

The athletic big man, who has impressed with his hands in the air and at ground level, could force his way in ahead of Nathan Vardy if he can do enough in Friday’s intra-club hitout.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: A playing bottom-price option in defence? We’ll take it for the bench. Fingers crossed.


10. Hayden Young (Freo) - $180,300 Def

Marsh series scores: DNP

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 and fits new coach Justin Longmuir’s want for an increase in skill level at the Dockers.

But a recent injury setback has put his Round 1 debut in doubt, with the 18-year-old unsighted in the Marsh Series.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: We haven’t heard much on Young’s progress after he joined the rehab group prior to the start of the Marsh Series. But that doesn’t mean rule him out of Round 1 just yet, especially with the injury to Stephen Hill. He’s another who will bolt to the top of the rankings if the Dockers spring a surprise next week.
 
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WATCHLIST

Stephen Hill (Freo $190,600, Fwd-Def)

Marsh Series scores: DNP, 32

The 29-year-old has played just 16 games in the past two seasons but he averaged 86, 96, 96, 90 and 80 in the five years before that. Last week, a fit Hill was The Phantom’s fourth-best rookie option on any line. But after hurting his troublesome quad against the Eagles, the alarms bells are ringing.

Jacob Kennerley (Geel, $123,900 Def-Mid)

Marsh series scores: 34, 11

The dominant runner of the 2018 draft class returned to Geelong training in outstanding condition in December, pushing some of the club’s best athletes, Mark Blicavs included, over summer. And the 19-year-old outside-midfielder, who averaged 133 points at SANFL under-18 level, will be close to an early-season debut after an impressive first year in the VFL and game-time in both the Cats’ Marsh Series matches. Coach Chris Scott isn’t afraid to give young runners who can use the ball well senior opportunity.


Damon Greaves (Haw $123,900, Def)

Marsh Series scores: 77, 3

The 19-year-old, who went at 74 per cent by foot in 18 VFL games last year, finished with 19 disposals and a team-high eight rebound 50s in the Hawks’ first Marsh Series appearance but only played the final minutes of the second-round clash with the Demons, despite the injury to defender Blake Hardwick.


Trent Rivers (Melb $117,300, Def-Mid)

Marsh Series scores: DNP

The West Australian starred at last year’s national under-18 championships, averaging 22 disposals – at 77 per cent efficiency – and 94 points per game. His ball-use and speed from halfback was a highlight, as it was at WAFL Colts level, where he averaged 149 points across nine matches. And the 18-year-old’s traits appear to address the needs of a Melbourne side looking to bounce back.


Tom Williamson (Carl $146,300, Def)

Marsh Series scores: 52, DNP

The injury-plagued defender, who has made just two senior appearances since his impressive debut season of 2017, is fit and featured across halfback in the first week of the official pre-season competition. Carlton like the 21-year-old so, if his body stays sound, expect him to get an opportunity.


Trent Bianco (Coll $117,300, Def-Mid)

Marsh Series scores: 14, DNP

The ball-magnet tallied 22 disposals or more in 10 of his 11 NAB League matches last season and, more importantly, made most of them count. Bianco, who captain Oakleigh Chargers in 2019, is smart with ball in hand and uses it well on both sides of his body, averaging 119 SuperCoach points per game as a result. The potential downgrade target doesn’t win a lot of football in a contest but makes up for it with his efficiency.
 
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MIDFIELDERS

1. Marlion Pickett (Rich)
- $123,900, Mid

Marsh Series Scores: 61, 61

The mature-age sensation finished third in the Norm Smith Medal voting last year after tallying 22 disposals, eight contested possessions, one goal and 96 SuperCoach points on debut in the grand final.

A week earlier, Pickett won the Norm Goss Medal as the best player on-the-ground in the VFL grand final after 20 disposals and 123 points.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: The guy was almost the best player on the ground in the biggest game last year. And Pickett, who featured in Richmond’s first-choice on-ball rotation in the Marsh Series, is available at rookie-price. What more do you need?


2. Matt Rowell (GC) - $207,300, Mid

Marsh Series Scores: 100, 36

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.

And in his first official hitout for the Suns, Rowell tallied a game-high 15 contested possessions and the first – of many – SuperCoach ton of his career against the Cats.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT:Justifying the hype in every way and only sits behind Pickett given the starting price. But you should be picking them both.


3. Tom Green (GWS) - $166,800, Mid

Marsh series scores: 106, 72

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.

And, while there was early doubt over his Round 1 chances in a star-studded GWS midfield, Green might have played his into Leon Cameron’s side – which is now missing Tim Taranto – over the past two weeks.

In a commanding performance against the Swans, the 188cm Green finished with a game-high 15 contested possessions, while also booting two goals and playing a direct hand in two others to highlight his ability as a forward. A week later, Green had 16 disposals, one goal and another two assists.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Has the game and body to be a great SuperCoach scorer from the outset and, now, he looks to have the opportunity.


4. Deven Robertson (Bris) - $117,300, Mid

Marsh series scores: DNP, 63

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, is 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.

And, while he was a slider last November, Robertson, who didn’t play in the first round of pre-season action, has been a March bolter in SuperCoach after an impressive showing through the midfield in the Lions’ Marsh Series clash with the Blues.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Hallelujah. If the draftee holds his place for Round 1, lock him in.


5. Dylan Stephens (Syd) - $189,300, Mid

Marsh Series scores: 38, 50

Despite his slight frame, the hard-running left-footer showed he can mix it with the big bodies, averaging 18 disposals and 82 SuperCoach points at senior level in the SANFL last year.

The 18-year-old did his best work at junior level on the outside, but he’s shown he’s clean and creative on the inside.

And he’s been turning heads – on the back of his endurance and damaging left-foot – during his first pre-season at Sydney.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Despite a quiet Marsh Series opener,Stephens is doing all the right things to be there in Round 1, as coach John Longmire confirmed recently, and his scoring should improve as he settles.


6. Jeremy Sharp (GC) - $117,300, Mid

Marsh Series scores: 16, 42

The outsider midfielder is an elite runner with terrific skills who made six senior WAFL appearances last year and averaged 68 SuperCoach points per game against the bigger bodies.

The 18-year-old had nine disposals in the second-half against the Cats in the opening round of the Marsh Series and the teenager made the most of his limited opportunity against Adelaide, tallying 14 disposals and seven marks after coming on in the third-term.

Has he done enough to force his way past a number of other skilful runners at the Suns?

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: A great SuperCoach bench option if he has.


7. Ned McHenry (Adel) - $123,900, Mid

Marsh series scores: 37, DNP

In his draft year, McHenry applied five more tackles than any other player at the 2018 under-18 championships and averaged 115 SuperCoach points per game in the TAC Cup.

The running machine’s impressive form continued in the SANFL last year, with McHenry averaging 21 disposals, six marks and five tackles per game in his first five games for the Crows’ reserves.

Then, in his second game after returning from a long-term back injury, McHenry finished with 17 disposals, four goals and 123 points in the semi-final.

After recovering from a minor abdominal injury, McHenry finished with six disposals and five tackles in a half of footy in the opening weekend of the Marsh Series and is still in the Round 1 frame at West Lakes, despite a back-related hamstring issue forcing him off the ground at halftime of the under-23 Showdown.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: A lock for your bench if he’s picked. And he’s still an outside chance as new coach Matthew Nicks works out his best 22.


8. Mitch Hibberd (Ess) - $114,000 Mid

Marsh series scores: DNP

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.

Pre-season knee surgery ruined Hibberd’s preparation but he’s back training and is still a chance for an early-season Bombers debut.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: With the lack of starting options, less than two weeks out from Round 1, stashing Hibberd on your bench is worth some thought.


9. Tyler Brown (Coll) - $123,000 Mid

Marsh Series scores: 80, 35

The 20-year-old won 57 per cent of his possession in a contest in the VFL last year and is pushing hard for a senior debut in his third season.

Brown’s 65-point performance in the Magpies’ first official pre-season match, on the back of 16 disposals at 88 per cent efficiency in a different role on a wing, did his chances no harm.

As a number of stars returned, however, Brown was only on the ground for 39 per cent of the second Marsh Series match against the Saints. But he still finished with an impressive nine disposals and 35 points.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Another SuperCoaches should have their fingers crossed for. But if it’s not Round 1, it’s unlikely to be long after.


10. Noah Anderson (GC) – $202,800 Mid

Marsh series scores: 59, 13

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.

He’s a star-in-the-making, no doubt, but will he get midfield minutes of best-mate Rowell to justify his $202k price tag in his first season?

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Initially, I said no. But, now, amid the rookie crisis, should we just be thankful he’s playing? Anderson, who tallied 14 disposals in week one of the Marsh Series before playing a half against the Crows, is one I’m tipping will just get better and better as the year goes on.
 
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WATCHLIST

Jackson Mead (Port, $117,300 Mid)

Marsh series scores: DNP

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 senior selection frame in his debut season.

The strong-bodied Mead has impressed at Alberton over summer and, while a pre-season hamstring injury has all-but ended his chances of a Round 1 debut, he’s back training and should still feature early in 2020.


Caleb Serong (Freo, $175,800 Mid)

Marsh series scores: 60, 16

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. And a standout performance in Fremantle’s recent intra-club match and a strong showing against the Magpies in week one of the Marsh Series – after halftime in particular – has him in the mix for a Round 1 debut, despite limited game-time in the Dockers’ final hitout.


Jye Caldwell (GWS, $190,100 Mid)

Marsh series scores: 42, DNP

The classy midfielder battled injury in his first season at the Giants, just as he did in the final two years of his junior career. But, after impressive form in the NEAFL mid-year, Caldwell earnt a late call-up to the senior side in Round 21. And it was an impressive debut, too, with the 19-year-old finishing with 13 disposals, six contested possession, six tackles, five marks and 73 points. Caldwell featured in the Giants’ Marsh Series opener but was squeezed out with the return of a number of star teammates for the clash with the Tigers. But he’s around the mark.


Justin McInerney (Syd $123,000, Mid)

Marsh Series scores: 80, 3

The young speedster, who made one senior appearance in his debut season last year, rated above-average in the NEAFL for SuperCoach points, disposals, uncontested possessions, marks and inside-50s. And most of his traits were on show in the first week of the Marsh Series, as the 19-year-old tallied 19 disposals and 80 points against the Giants. Dampening the hopes of his SuperCoach prospects, however was the five minutes of game-time he played in the final round.


Luke Valente (Freo, $123,900 Mid)

Marsh series scores: DNP

The 187cm, 81kg Valente is great by foot – on both sides of his body – and averaged 22 disposals and 118 SuperCoach points per game as South Australia’s under-18 captain in 2018.

Injury restricted the 19-year-old, who averaged 159 points at SANFL under-18 level in his draft year, to just seven WAFL league games last year but if his body stay sounds, Valente could get his first taste of senior action in 2020.


Jack Bytel (StK, $123,900 Mid)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Back surgery wiped out the 189cm midfielder’s debut season but he’s fit and looks ready to make his mark at the Saints this year. The No. 41 pick from the 2018 draft is a strong tackler, who can win the ball at the contest and away from it – three key contributors to SuperCoach scoring.


Riley Collier-Dawkins (Rich, $123,900 Mid)

Marsh series scores: 30, DNP

Richmond’s top pick from the 2018 draft – No. 20 overall – failed to break into the senior side last year but he impressed in 20 VFL matches. None more so than the grand final.

The 190cm midfielder, who boasts terrific speed away from the contested, was one of Richmond’s best, finishing with 15 disposals, nine contested possessions, six tackles and two goals in the win over Williamstown. And the 19-year-old has been turning heads at Tigers training over summer, putting on seven kilograms and putting himself in contention for an early-season debut.


Harry Schoenberg (Adel, $117,300 Mid)

Marsh series scores: DNP

It will be a new-look Crows in 2020 and SA’s under-18 MVP, who averaged 27 disposals, five marks, five tackles and 122 SuperCoach points at the national carnival, will be a chance for senior action in his debut season. His hands are brilliant at the contest – as he showed in the under-23 practice match against the Power – and Schoenberg, who averaged 128 points at SANFL under-18 level, also wins plenty of football on the spread.


Chad Warner (Syd, $117,300 Mid)

Marsh series scores: -2, DNP

The midfielder with a huge appetite for the contest, who averaged a huge 156 SuperCoach points per game at WAFL Colts level in 2019, might surprise in his debut season. Keep him on the watchlist for later in the year.


Finn Maginness (Haw, $117,300 Mid)

Marsh series scores: -2, DNP

The father-son recruit knocked off Isaac Smith in last month’s 2km time trial, ending the 31-year-old’s five-year reign as the Hawks’ best runner. But he’s not just an endurance athlete, Maginness, who averaged 21 disposals, five tackles and 113 points in the NAB League last year, has the body to step straight into senior footy in 2020.


Cooper Stephens (Geel, $139,800 Mid)

Marsh series scores: 21, DNP

The strong-bodied midfielder spent the second-half of 2018 working his way back to full fitness after breaking his leg in April. And the 18-year-old was in terrific condition when he arrived at pre-season training, earning himself a start in the Cats’ Marsh Series opener against the Suns. Stephens, a 188cm inside midfielder, averaged 100 SuperCoach points per game in the NAB League in 2018 and will be ready to step up if there’s an opening at Geelong. Big scoring potential but it’s a tough midfield to break into, especially when you haven’t played a competitive game since April last year.
 
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RUCKMEN

1. Darcy Cameron (Coll)
- $123,900, Ruck-Fwd

Marsh series scores: 127, DNP

The 24-year-old played made just one senior appearance in his time at the Swans, despite being one of the NEAFL’s dominant ruckmen for the best part of three years.

But Cameron, who averaged 154 SuperCoach points per game in a standout 2018 for the Swans’ reserves side, has also shown his ability as a strong-marking forward.

In 2016, prior to being drafted as a mature-ager from the WAFL, the 205cm big man took 43 contested marks – the most in the competition – and booted 36 goals for Claremont.

And both traits were on show in an imposing performance in the Marsh Series clash with the Tigers. Cameron tallied 12 disposals, 11 hit-outs-to-advantage, two goals and a game-high 127 points, proving he may be able to offer more as Brodie Grundy’s back-up than Mason Cox.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Cameron was then left out of the Magpies side a week later so he’s a hard one to read. But he’s the best option if you’re looking for cover on your forward bench or at R3.


2. Luke Jackson (Melb) - $198,300, Ruck

Marsh series scores: 22, 71

Some say this kid will be the next Brodie Grundy – and it’s not hard to see why.

The athletic big man, who can play forward, has plenty of tricks and his elite tap-work is matched by an ability to follow up when the ball is on the ground.

Jackson’s junior numbers are also on the Grundy-end of the SuperCoach scale, with the 18-year-old averaging 162 points per game at WAFL Colts level and 110 for WA at the national under-18 carnival.

And he’s only been dedicated to footy for less than two years.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: It will take some time before he even comes close to Grundy, but the young big man might see some early action in Melbourne’s forward-line in 2020. And maybe even as a back-up ruckman after an impressive pre-season, which ended with a 71-point half against the Hawks.


3. Tristan Xerri (NM) - $123,900, Ruck

Marsh series scores: 98, 37

Goldstein’s understudy, Xerri, a developing, third-year big man, has impressed enough over summer to suggest he’s a chance to see senior action at some stage in 2020.

Xerri finished with 11 disposals, six contested possessions, five tackles, two goals and 98 points in week one of the Marsh Series before a quiet game against the Swans.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Does Xerri get a chance while Ben Brown remains on the sidelines?


AND THE LOOPHOLE


Charlie Comben (NM, $117,300, Ruck-Fwd)

If you are throwing the R3 position for loophole purposes, Gold Coast’s Matthew Conroy is the only ruckman priced at $102k.

But if you’ve got the cash and, unless the young draftee develops quicker than expect, Comben is your man.

The Kangaroos play 12 games on Sunday, two more than St Kilda, Fremantle and Melbourne.
 
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FORWARDS

1. Izak Rankine (GC)
- $123,900, Fwd

Marsh series scores: DNP

Teammate Touk Miller believes there’s a big year ahead for the 19-year-old if he can stay fit in 2020.

But those who saw Rankine make his SANFL league debut at 16 already knew that.

The excitement machine, whose first year at the Suns was interrupted by injury, then tallied more goals, assists and score involvements than any other player and averaged 120 SuperCoach points per game at the 2018 Under-18 championships.

A shoulder knock kept him out of the Marsh Series match but coach Stuart Dew, following the win over the Crows, said Rankine should be fit by Round 1. And there’s still a good chance he’ll be picked.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: I’m not writing him off until his name is missing from the Round 1 team sheet, though, and I’ll still pick him without any pre-season match.


2. Curtis Taylor (NM) - $123,900, Fwd-Mid

Marsh series scores: 33, 95

The second-year forward, who booted the second-most goals of any North Melbourne player in the VFL last year, was a standout against the Swans on the final weekend of Marsh Series action, tallying 21 disposals, a team-high eight score involvements, two goals and 95 SuperCoach points.

And that was after a quick-fire 33 points, on the back of eight disposals and a goal, in just 42 per cent game-time in the first week.

Is Taylor, 19, the rookie saviour we’ve been waiting for?

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: We all bloody hope so. And the signs are good, maybe even for an on-field spot, depending on Rankine’s selection.


3. Connor Budarick (GC) - $106,900, Mid

Marsh series scores: 74, 37

In the NAB League last season, only Matt Rowell and Tom Green averaged more SuperCoach points than the Gold Coast Academy gun.

But his price is far more appealing after the AFL’s assistance package allowed the Suns to take the 18-year-old, who played eight NEAFL games – and averaged 18 disposals – in his draft year, in the rookie draft.

He finished with 14 disposals and 74 points in a composed display in week one of the Marsh Series, before playing just a half against the Crows. What does that mean for his Round 1 chances?

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: I wish I knew but he’s ready to go and a SuperCoach must-have if he’s picked the opening-round clash with the Power.


4. Aiden Bonar (NM) - $202,800, Fwd-Mid

Marsh series scores: 76, 14

There’s been no harder engine room to crack than the Giants’ in recent seasons and Bonar has felt the squeeze first-hand.

The highly-rated 20-year-old, who was drafted at pick No. 11 in 2017 despite two previous knee reconstructions, played just six games in his two years at GWS, spending most of his time forward.

Bonar showed his wares as a big-bodied midfielder in the NEAFL, however, and it’s a role which he is set to play at the top-level at his new club this season after an impressive Marsh Series opener saw him attend the fourth-most centre bounces in just 61 per cent game-time.

There’s opportunity for him at North and he could be worth the elevated price, depending on your structure, in a shallow rookie-price pool this year.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Hamstring tightness from the practice match against the Demons saw Bonar only play a half against the Swans on Monday. Has he done enough work over summer to earn a Round 1 start? It’s hard to be sure but he remains this high on the list for now.


5. Max King (StK) - $123,900, Fwd

Marsh series scores: 46, 29

St Kilda fans are excited and SuperCoaches should be, too.

In the only TAC Cup game of his draft year, which was ruined by an ACL injury, King tallied 19 disposals, nine marks, 8.5 and 179 SuperCoach points.

The 19-year-old’s debut season at the Saints was ruined too, but not before he could boot 11 goals in five impressive VFL appearances.

King finished with one goal from six disposals and four marks in a less-than-convincing performance against the Hawks in week one and it was a similar story in the Saints’ final Marsh Series clash, despite a very lively start against the Magpies.

His scoring might inconsistent but King’s job security as a rookie-price player will be as strong as it gets in 2020.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: A safe options for your bench.


6. Jack Mahony (NM) - $117,300, Mid-Fwd

Marsh series scores: 30, 53

Mahony averaged 106 SuperCoach points at the national under-18 carnival after leading the competition for score involvements and score assists.

The 176cm small forward, who averaged 114 points in the NAB League, was so impressive last year that Champion Data rated him the 14th-best player in the draft.

With pressure forward Kayne Turner sidelined, Mahony is a chance to face the Saints next weekend after eight disposals, six contested possessions and a goal against the Swans.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Another terrific bench option, who looks set for early action. Pick him in the midfield, given the lack of bottom-price rookies there.


7. Lachie Schultz (Freo) - $208,800, Fwd

Marsh series scores: 107, 59

In the two seasons before being drafted at pick No. 57 in 2018, the mature-age recruit who booted 55 goals in the VFL.

And in the second half of his final year at Williamstown, the 177cm forward showed his ability to impact the game away from goal, averaging 95 SuperCoach points per game.

The 22-year-old failed to have a big impact in seven games in his debut season at the Dockers but he’s just capped off a standout pre-season with an influential Marsh Series, which saw him lead the Dockers for scoreboard impact and rank equal-first for score involvements.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Expensive but with the scoring potential to match. Might rise up the rankings, depending on Bonar’s selection.


8. Mitch Georgiades (Port) - $130,800, Fwd

Marsh series scores: 30, 43

Port Adelaide footy boss Chris Davies described the Power’s top four draftees as “physically capable of competing” and more ready than last year’s trio.

Remember what Connor Rozee, Xavier Duursma and Zak Butters did in their first year?

Days later, senior assistant Michael Voss declared Georgiades, Port’s second pick in last year’s draft, “very much so in the mix for round one”, saying “if we sat down tomorrow, he’d probably be in it.”

And then the 192cm forward, who missed the entire 2019 season with a thigh injury, put on an impressive showing during Port’s intra-club and played in both of the Power’s Marsh Series matches, ensuring his Round 1 debut.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: His scoring might not be through the roof but he’ll be there.


9. Ben Davis (Adel) - $123,900, Fwd

Marsh series scores: 55, 43

The 22-year-old struggled in his only senior appearance against Geelong at the Cattery last year but he’s not the only player to have ever done so down there.

But going by his pre-season and SANFL form, Davis could have an impact in a new-look Crows forward line in 2020.

The strong-marking 187cm forward, who tallied 11 disposals, six score involvements and four inside-50s against the Suns, is lively in the air and at ground level and isn’t afraid to take his opponent on as he showed in the Marsh Series.

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: Davis got his name on the scoresheet in both of Adelaide’s pre-season fixtures and looms as a likely Round 1 starter.


10. Kysaiah Pickett (Melb) - $157,800, Fwd

Marsh series scores: 43, DNP

The Tough, aggressive excitement machine, who averaged 92 points per game at SANFL reserves level last year, is set to be unleashed in Round 1 and the Demons’ top pick doesn’t need many touches to have an impact.

But price pushes him down the SuperCoach pecking order in a small-forward role

PHANTOM’S MARCH VERDICT: He’ll be exciting to watch and he might surprise in SuperCoach.
 
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7 Jul 2012
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West Coast
WATCHLIST

Sam Sturt (Freo, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 39, 29

Fremantle’s top three picks from last year’s draft have impressed over summer but so has the pick No. 17 from the 2018 draft, who battled concussion during his first year at the club. The athletic forward, who booted three goals in his final WAFL match of 2019, was a late bolter in his draft year, booting 11 goals and averaging 100 SuperCoach points in the final six TAC Cup games of the season. And the rapid development has continued with the 19-year-old adding significant muscle to his slight frame over the pre-season.


Brad Close (Geel, $109,900 Mid-Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 51, DNP

The Cats are the mature-age kings so don’t be surprised to see the 21-year-old, who starred for Glenelg in the SANFL last year, in Chris Scott’s Round 1 side.


Lachlan Hosie (NM, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 30, DNP

The 189cm forward, who was plucked from the SANFL half way through last season, is the other player who has caught the eye of his more-experienced teammate. The 22-year-old booted 20 goals in 10 VFL games last year and was named as a senior emergency in each of the final four rounds. And at the time of the mid-season draft, Hosie led the SANFL’s goalkicking with 21.


Tom Sparrow (Melb, $182,500 Fwd)

Marsh Series scores: 77, Dnp

The strong-bodied midfielder, who played two senior games in his debut season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the VFL, might surprise in 2020 after an impressive midfield display in week one of the Marsh Series. Sparrow, at the top-end of the rookie-price bracket, was strong and composed, tallying 17 disposals, eight contested possessions, seven tackles, six clearances and 77 points in 60 per cent game-time. If he gets a chance this year, Sparrow has game style perfectly suited to SuperCoach.


Ben Cavarra (WB, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Cavarra captained the Eastern Ranges and won the Morrish Medal as a midfielder in the TAC Cup in 2013. But in the two seasons before he was drafted in 2018, he booted 65 goals in the two seasons playing for Williamstown in the VFL and averaged an impressive 97 SuperCoach points per game. And, despite a number of injury issues last season, the 24-year-old continued his impressive VFL form for Footscray, booting 19 goals from 12 matches and winning more of the ball. He’ll have an immediate impact when he gets the opportunity. But when will it come?


Miles Bergman, (Port $148,800, Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Throughout his junior career, Bergman, who suits Port Adelaide’s want for more speed and versatility, was never a big ball-winner and that’s unlikely to change this year, given his possible high half-forward role but he’ll have an impact. And SuperCoaches know the importance of that.


Tobin Cox, (Port, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas declared the 20-year-old a pre-season smoky after the small-forward booted 31 goals, from 14 matches, in the SANFL last year. The 181cm Cox is terrific above his head and clean at ground-level and will be eyeing a forward line spot at the Power in 2020, despite just one – disappointing – Marsh Series appearance




Ely Smith (Bris, $123,900 Fwd-Mid)


Marsh series scores: 18, DNP

The contested beast, who also possesses a brilliant vertical leap, signed a contract extension at the end of last year, despite failing to make a senior appearance in his debut season. But, at 187cm and 86kg, the 19-year-old, who averaged 114 points SuperCoach points per game in the TAC Cup in 2018, is ready to go. Could pop as an idea downgrade target mid-year – here’s hoping anyway.


Cody Weightman (WB, $144,300 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

“He is a little pocket rocket. He has always got plenty of energy. He has surprised me with his ability and quickness and ability to jump. He can jump so high. He has the chance to take a mark of the year in his career. The club looks after the first-year boys but he’s doing the bulk of the work and he performed well in match simulation.”

That’s what Western Bulldogs defender Jason Johannisen had to say about his new teammate, Weightman, who was the leading goalkicker at the under-18 championships last year. Despite an impressive national carnival, the 18-year-old only averaged 80 points per game. But the opportunity might come at some stage in 2020.


Sam Skinner (Bris, $111,400 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Since 2015, the year he was drafted, Skinner has undergone three knee reconstructions and the horrible run of injury has restricted the 22-year-old to just one senior appearance in his four years at the Lions. But the 198cm skinner played 19 NEAFL games last year and booted 3.2 – and took a number of contested marks – in Brisbane’s recent intra-club hitout.


Jake Riccardi (GWS, $117,300 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

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. And the Giants didn’t go after the mature-age forward to fill their NEAFL team.


Billy Frampton (Adel, $165,400 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 54, DNP

Playing for Port Adelaide in the SANFL this year, Frampton posted SuperCoach scores of 175, 167, 145 and 141. Impressive numbers in anyone’s book.

The 23-year-old may have only played three AFL games during his five-year stint at Alberton but he showed enough to suggest he can slot into an Adelaide side which will be without Josh Jenkins and Jacobs this year.
 
Joined
9 Aug 2012
Messages
8,729
Likes
19,517
AFL Club
Carlton
AFL could front-load 2020 fixture to prepare for coronavirus impact

The AFL has briefed clubs on a radical plan to change the 2020 fixture in a bid to salvage a full season. Rule changes are also on the cards as the league prepares for the coronavirus threat.

Sam Landsberger and Glenn McFarlane, Sunday Herald Sun

Subscriber only

|

March 14, 2020 7:21pm

FOXSPORTS2:39

AFL's COVID-19 plan explained

AFL: The AFL might start next Thursday, but fans won't be permitted to attend the opening rounds due to the threat of coronavirus.

Clubs could be forced to play as many as five games in three weeks before the COVID-19 disaster forces a total shutdown period as the AFL looks to protect its $2.5 billion broadcast agreement.

The radical plan was discussed as the AFL staged separate phone conferences with chief executives and presidents today.

Clubs were told they would be able to sign top-up players to help navigate the exhausting period.

Drastic rule changes to limit fatigue – such as unwinding the cap on interchange rotations and allowing more than four players on the bench – were also considered.

Matches could also be shortened with league powerbrokers prioritising ensuring all 198 home-and-away games plus finals get played at some stage.

The small turnaround between games would see AFL venues across the country host midweek games which will be played in front of no spectators.

The AFL has two bye rounds to play with, plus the possibility of playing into October, which has been canvassed with the MCC.

It was made clear on Saturday that every option was on the table, and nothing had been set in stone.

With fears of a severe disruption when the virus pandemic is expected to peak in April-May, the league is keen to bank as many games as possible at the start of the season.

FROM OUR PARTNERS

Basketball is back on Foxtel with the NBA and NBL Foxtel Now 10 day free trial*

Clubs were told they will need to be “extremely flexible” with their squads and understand it is inevitable there will be a postponement of games at some stage this year.

The option of a mini-draft where affected clubs could recruit supplementary playershas been canvassed, with the WAFL aware it could possibly lose players as a result.

Essendon had to call on 10 “top-up” players just prior to the start of the 2016 season after 12 of its senior-listed footballers were suspended for a year due to doping bans.

Watch every match of every round of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE & On-Demand with KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Essendon’s 10 top-up players who featured during the 2016 season. Picture: Rob Leeson.

Thursday night’s Richmond-Carlton blockbuster – which would normally draw a crowd of almost 90,000 fans – will take place before an empty MCG stadium.

That will lead to an extraordinary contrast for one-game flag hero Marlion Pickett.

Pickett played in front of a Grand Final crowd of 100,014 last September but will have no fans cheering him on in his second game.

The latest developments come as North Melbourne’s Jamie Macmillan was placed in isolation last week as a precautionary measure because his wife’s boss was showing symptoms of the infection.

But when Olivia Macmillan’s colleague’s coronavirus test came back negative, the defender was permitted to return to Arden St.

A player from a different Melbourne club also tested negative to COVID-19 last week.

Champion Data staff are likely to start working from home tomorrow while the AFL has shut down its Docklands headquarters from the public.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said a range of options were being canvassed, but said no one knew what would happen when peak infections hit Australia within the next month.

MORE AFL NEWS:

KFC SuperCoach: 40 most-important players of 2020

AFL’s radical draft solution to coronavirus crisis

Star pair can make Eagles a force

Will AFL fans get Round 1 refund?

AFL to lock out fans for Round 1

“The peak infection rate is forecast to hit around April-May,” Gale said on radio.

“How long (will we be playing in front of empty stadiums) for? We don’t know. We have not had that indication from the AFL.”
 
Joined
21 Jan 2016
Messages
3,097
Likes
6,155
AFL Club
Collingwood
AFL could front-load 2020 fixture to prepare for coronavirus impact

The AFL has briefed clubs on a radical plan to change the 2020 fixture in a bid to salvage a full season. Rule changes are also on the cards as the league prepares for the coronavirus threat.

Sam Landsberger and Glenn McFarlane, Sunday Herald Sun

Subscriber only

|

March 14, 2020 7:21pm

FOXSPORTS2:39

AFL's COVID-19 plan explained

AFL: The AFL might start next Thursday, but fans won't be permitted to attend the opening rounds due to the threat of coronavirus.

Clubs could be forced to play as many as five games in three weeks before the COVID-19 disaster forces a total shutdown period as the AFL looks to protect its $2.5 billion broadcast agreement.

The radical plan was discussed as the AFL staged separate phone conferences with chief executives and presidents today.

Clubs were told they would be able to sign top-up players to help navigate the exhausting period.

Drastic rule changes to limit fatigue – such as unwinding the cap on interchange rotations and allowing more than four players on the bench – were also considered.

Matches could also be shortened with league powerbrokers prioritising ensuring all 198 home-and-away games plus finals get played at some stage.

The small turnaround between games would see AFL venues across the country host midweek games which will be played in front of no spectators.

The AFL has two bye rounds to play with, plus the possibility of playing into October, which has been canvassed with the MCC.

It was made clear on Saturday that every option was on the table, and nothing had been set in stone.

With fears of a severe disruption when the virus pandemic is expected to peak in April-May, the league is keen to bank as many games as possible at the start of the season.

FROM OUR PARTNERS

Basketball is back on Foxtel with the NBA and NBL Foxtel Now 10 day free trial*

Clubs were told they will need to be “extremely flexible” with their squads and understand it is inevitable there will be a postponement of games at some stage this year.

The option of a mini-draft where affected clubs could recruit supplementary playershas been canvassed, with the WAFL aware it could possibly lose players as a result.

Essendon had to call on 10 “top-up” players just prior to the start of the 2016 season after 12 of its senior-listed footballers were suspended for a year due to doping bans.

Watch every match of every round of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE & On-Demand with KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Essendon’s 10 top-up players who featured during the 2016 season. Picture: Rob Leeson.

Thursday night’s Richmond-Carlton blockbuster – which would normally draw a crowd of almost 90,000 fans – will take place before an empty MCG stadium.

That will lead to an extraordinary contrast for one-game flag hero Marlion Pickett.

Pickett played in front of a Grand Final crowd of 100,014 last September but will have no fans cheering him on in his second game.

The latest developments come as North Melbourne’s Jamie Macmillan was placed in isolation last week as a precautionary measure because his wife’s boss was showing symptoms of the infection.

But when Olivia Macmillan’s colleague’s coronavirus test came back negative, the defender was permitted to return to Arden St.

A player from a different Melbourne club also tested negative to COVID-19 last week.

Champion Data staff are likely to start working from home tomorrow while the AFL has shut down its Docklands headquarters from the public.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said a range of options were being canvassed, but said no one knew what would happen when peak infections hit Australia within the next month.

MORE AFL NEWS:

KFC SuperCoach: 40 most-important players of 2020

AFL’s radical draft solution to coronavirus crisis

Star pair can make Eagles a force

Will AFL fans get Round 1 refund?

AFL to lock out fans for Round 1

“The peak infection rate is forecast to hit around April-May,” Gale said on radio.

“How long (will we be playing in front of empty stadiums) for? We don’t know. We have not had that indication from the AFL.”
How do we plan our strategy for Supercoach this year when we don't know what to plan for, hmmm.
 

Bomber18

Leadership Group
Joined
11 Nov 2012
Messages
16,186
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14,638
AFL Club
Essendon
AFL could front-load 2020 fixture to prepare for coronavirus impact

The AFL has briefed clubs on a radical plan to change the 2020 fixture in a bid to salvage a full season. Rule changes are also on the cards as the league prepares for the coronavirus threat.

Sam Landsberger and Glenn McFarlane, Sunday Herald Sun

Subscriber only

|

March 14, 2020 7:21pm

FOXSPORTS2:39

AFL's COVID-19 plan explained

AFL: The AFL might start next Thursday, but fans won't be permitted to attend the opening rounds due to the threat of coronavirus.

Clubs could be forced to play as many as five games in three weeks before the COVID-19 disaster forces a total shutdown period as the AFL looks to protect its $2.5 billion broadcast agreement.

The radical plan was discussed as the AFL staged separate phone conferences with chief executives and presidents today.

Clubs were told they would be able to sign top-up players to help navigate the exhausting period.

Drastic rule changes to limit fatigue – such as unwinding the cap on interchange rotations and allowing more than four players on the bench – were also considered.

Matches could also be shortened with league powerbrokers prioritising ensuring all 198 home-and-away games plus finals get played at some stage.

The small turnaround between games would see AFL venues across the country host midweek games which will be played in front of no spectators.

The AFL has two bye rounds to play with, plus the possibility of playing into October, which has been canvassed with the MCC.

It was made clear on Saturday that every option was on the table, and nothing had been set in stone.

With fears of a severe disruption when the virus pandemic is expected to peak in April-May, the league is keen to bank as many games as possible at the start of the season.

FROM OUR PARTNERS

Basketball is back on Foxtel with the NBA and NBL Foxtel Now 10 day free trial*

Clubs were told they will need to be “extremely flexible” with their squads and understand it is inevitable there will be a postponement of games at some stage this year.

The option of a mini-draft where affected clubs could recruit supplementary playershas been canvassed, with the WAFL aware it could possibly lose players as a result.

Essendon had to call on 10 “top-up” players just prior to the start of the 2016 season after 12 of its senior-listed footballers were suspended for a year due to doping bans.

Watch every match of every round of the 2020 Toyota AFL Premiership Season LIVE & On-Demand with KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >

Essendon’s 10 top-up players who featured during the 2016 season. Picture: Rob Leeson.

Thursday night’s Richmond-Carlton blockbuster – which would normally draw a crowd of almost 90,000 fans – will take place before an empty MCG stadium.

That will lead to an extraordinary contrast for one-game flag hero Marlion Pickett.

Pickett played in front of a Grand Final crowd of 100,014 last September but will have no fans cheering him on in his second game.

The latest developments come as North Melbourne’s Jamie Macmillan was placed in isolation last week as a precautionary measure because his wife’s boss was showing symptoms of the infection.

But when Olivia Macmillan’s colleague’s coronavirus test came back negative, the defender was permitted to return to Arden St.

A player from a different Melbourne club also tested negative to COVID-19 last week.

Champion Data staff are likely to start working from home tomorrow while the AFL has shut down its Docklands headquarters from the public.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said a range of options were being canvassed, but said no one knew what would happen when peak infections hit Australia within the next month.

MORE AFL NEWS:

KFC SuperCoach: 40 most-important players of 2020

AFL’s radical draft solution to coronavirus crisis

Star pair can make Eagles a force

Will AFL fans get Round 1 refund?

AFL to lock out fans for Round 1

“The peak infection rate is forecast to hit around April-May,” Gale said on radio.

“How long (will we be playing in front of empty stadiums) for? We don’t know. We have not had that indication from the AFL.”
It seems like the AFL is more concerned with fulfilling its contractual obligations and desperately securing profits than it is with player welfare. 5 games in 3 weeks sounds like a very silly move.

They should play without crowds as long as they can. If rounds are suspended later so be it, but preemptively “banking” games to fulfil the contractual obligations of delivering a 198 game season is solely profit driven, shortening the season is obviously the better move if player welfare is the primary focus.
 
Joined
6 Jul 2013
Messages
35
Likes
43
WATCHLIST

Sam Sturt (Freo, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 39, 29

Fremantle’s top three picks from last year’s draft have impressed over summer but so has the pick No. 17 from the 2018 draft, who battled concussion during his first year at the club. The athletic forward, who booted three goals in his final WAFL match of 2019, was a late bolter in his draft year, booting 11 goals and averaging 100 SuperCoach points in the final six TAC Cup games of the season. And the rapid development has continued with the 19-year-old adding significant muscle to his slight frame over the pre-season.


Brad Close (Geel, $109,900 Mid-Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 51, DNP

The Cats are the mature-age kings so don’t be surprised to see the 21-year-old, who starred for Glenelg in the SANFL last year, in Chris Scott’s Round 1 side.


Lachlan Hosie (NM, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 30, DNP

The 189cm forward, who was plucked from the SANFL half way through last season, is the other player who has caught the eye of his more-experienced teammate. The 22-year-old booted 20 goals in 10 VFL games last year and was named as a senior emergency in each of the final four rounds. And at the time of the mid-season draft, Hosie led the SANFL’s goalkicking with 21.


Tom Sparrow (Melb, $182,500 Fwd)

Marsh Series scores: 77, Dnp

The strong-bodied midfielder, who played two senior games in his debut season before suffering a season-ending knee injury in the VFL, might surprise in 2020 after an impressive midfield display in week one of the Marsh Series. Sparrow, at the top-end of the rookie-price bracket, was strong and composed, tallying 17 disposals, eight contested possessions, seven tackles, six clearances and 77 points in 60 per cent game-time. If he gets a chance this year, Sparrow has game style perfectly suited to SuperCoach.


Ben Cavarra (WB, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Cavarra captained the Eastern Ranges and won the Morrish Medal as a midfielder in the TAC Cup in 2013. But in the two seasons before he was drafted in 2018, he booted 65 goals in the two seasons playing for Williamstown in the VFL and averaged an impressive 97 SuperCoach points per game. And, despite a number of injury issues last season, the 24-year-old continued his impressive VFL form for Footscray, booting 19 goals from 12 matches and winning more of the ball. He’ll have an immediate impact when he gets the opportunity. But when will it come?


Miles Bergman, (Port $148,800, Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Throughout his junior career, Bergman, who suits Port Adelaide’s want for more speed and versatility, was never a big ball-winner and that’s unlikely to change this year, given his possible high half-forward role but he’ll have an impact. And SuperCoaches know the importance of that.


Tobin Cox, (Port, $123,900 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Port Adelaide captain Tom Jonas declared the 20-year-old a pre-season smoky after the small-forward booted 31 goals, from 14 matches, in the SANFL last year. The 181cm Cox is terrific above his head and clean at ground-level and will be eyeing a forward line spot at the Power in 2020, despite just one – disappointing – Marsh Series appearance




Ely Smith (Bris, $123,900 Fwd-Mid)


Marsh series scores: 18, DNP

The contested beast, who also possesses a brilliant vertical leap, signed a contract extension at the end of last year, despite failing to make a senior appearance in his debut season. But, at 187cm and 86kg, the 19-year-old, who averaged 114 points SuperCoach points per game in the TAC Cup in 2018, is ready to go. Could pop as an idea downgrade target mid-year – here’s hoping anyway.


Cody Weightman (WB, $144,300 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

“He is a little pocket rocket. He has always got plenty of energy. He has surprised me with his ability and quickness and ability to jump. He can jump so high. He has the chance to take a mark of the year in his career. The club looks after the first-year boys but he’s doing the bulk of the work and he performed well in match simulation.”

That’s what Western Bulldogs defender Jason Johannisen had to say about his new teammate, Weightman, who was the leading goalkicker at the under-18 championships last year. Despite an impressive national carnival, the 18-year-old only averaged 80 points per game. But the opportunity might come at some stage in 2020.


Sam Skinner (Bris, $111,400 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

Since 2015, the year he was drafted, Skinner has undergone three knee reconstructions and the horrible run of injury has restricted the 22-year-old to just one senior appearance in his four years at the Lions. But the 198cm skinner played 19 NEAFL games last year and booted 3.2 – and took a number of contested marks – in Brisbane’s recent intra-club hitout.


Jake Riccardi (GWS, $117,300 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: DNP

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. And the Giants didn’t go after the mature-age forward to fill their NEAFL team.


Billy Frampton (Adel, $165,400 Fwd)

Marsh series scores: 54, DNP

Playing for Port Adelaide in the SANFL this year, Frampton posted SuperCoach scores of 175, 167, 145 and 141. Impressive numbers in anyone’s book.

The 23-year-old may have only played three AFL games during his five-year stint at Alberton but he showed enough to suggest he can slot into an Adelaide side which will be without Josh Jenkins and Jacobs this year.
Thank you Lost In The Sky, for doing all those posts - it is very much appreciated!
 
Joined
7 Jul 2012
Messages
6,392
Likes
8,893
AFL Club
West Coast
AFL could front-load 2020 fixture to prepare for coronavirus impact

The AFL has briefed clubs on a radical plan to change the 2020 fixture in a bid to salvage a full season. Rule changes are also on the cards as the league prepares for the coronavirus threat.

Sam Landsberger and Glenn McFarlane, Sunday Herald Sun

Subscriber only

|

March 14, 2020 7:21pm

FOXSPORTS2:39

AFL's COVID-19 plan explained

AFL: The AFL might start next Thursday, but fans won't be permitted to attend the opening rounds due to the threat of coronavirus.

Clubs could be forced to play as many as five games in three weeks before the COVID-19 disaster forces a total shutdown period as the AFL looks to protect its $2.5 billion broadcast agreement.

The radical plan was discussed as the AFL staged separate phone conferences with chief executives and presidents today.

Clubs were told they would be able to sign top-up players to help navigate the exhausting period.

Drastic rule changes to limit fatigue – such as unwinding the cap on interchange rotations and allowing more than four players on the bench – were also considered.

Matches could also be shortened with league powerbrokers prioritising ensuring all 198 home-and-away games plus finals get played at some stage.

The small turnaround between games would see AFL venues across the country host midweek games which will be played in front of no spectators.

The AFL has two bye rounds to play with, plus the possibility of playing into October, which has been canvassed with the MCC.

It was made clear on Saturday that every option was on the table, and nothing had been set in stone.

With fears of a severe disruption when the virus pandemic is expected to peak in April-May, the league is keen to bank as many games as possible at the start of the season.

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Clubs were told they will need to be “extremely flexible” with their squads and understand it is inevitable there will be a postponement of games at some stage this year.

The option of a mini-draft where affected clubs could recruit supplementary playershas been canvassed, with the WAFL aware it could possibly lose players as a result.

Essendon had to call on 10 “top-up” players just prior to the start of the 2016 season after 12 of its senior-listed footballers were suspended for a year due to doping bans.

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Essendon’s 10 top-up players who featured during the 2016 season. Picture: Rob Leeson.

Thursday night’s Richmond-Carlton blockbuster – which would normally draw a crowd of almost 90,000 fans – will take place before an empty MCG stadium.

That will lead to an extraordinary contrast for one-game flag hero Marlion Pickett.

Pickett played in front of a Grand Final crowd of 100,014 last September but will have no fans cheering him on in his second game.

The latest developments come as North Melbourne’s Jamie Macmillan was placed in isolation last week as a precautionary measure because his wife’s boss was showing symptoms of the infection.

But when Olivia Macmillan’s colleague’s coronavirus test came back negative, the defender was permitted to return to Arden St.

A player from a different Melbourne club also tested negative to COVID-19 last week.

Champion Data staff are likely to start working from home tomorrow while the AFL has shut down its Docklands headquarters from the public.

Richmond chief executive Brendon Gale said a range of options were being canvassed, but said no one knew what would happen when peak infections hit Australia within the next month.

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“The peak infection rate is forecast to hit around April-May,” Gale said on radio.

“How long (will we be playing in front of empty stadiums) for? We don’t know. We have not had that indication from the AFL.”
Not a fan of this line in that article... "Matches could also be shortened with league powerbrokers prioritising ensuring all 198 home-and-away games plus finals get played at some stage."


By all means shorten the season if need be, but don't go messing around with actual game lengths where you'd have some game at the start of the season that are a certain length and other games later in the season when hopefully things are better, being played at a different game length.
 

Bomber18

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Not a fan of this line in that article... "Matches could also be shortened with league powerbrokers prioritising ensuring all 198 home-and-away games plus finals get played at some stage."


By all means shorten the season if need be, but don't go messing around with actual game lengths where you'd have some game at the start of the season that are a certain length and other games later in the season when hopefully things are better, being played at a different game length.
Completely agree. It seems like this would be done so that the AFL could "bank" games and say have 5 games in 3 weeks before rounds are potentially required to be cancelled.

I don't think there is a league in the world that is considering something as silly as this just to make sure that they can still fit in all of the games promised to be delievered under their TV contracts.

Cancelling rounds is a very reasonable option and say awarding 2 points each where rounds are cancelled. But completely messing around with games in rounds that can be played with no crowds seems utterly ridiculous.
 
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Not a fan of this line in that article... "Matches could also be shortened with league powerbrokers prioritising ensuring all 198 home-and-away games plus finals get played at some stage."


By all means shorten the season if need be, but don't go messing around with actual game lengths where you'd have some game at the start of the season that are a certain length and other games later in the season when hopefully things are better, being played at a different game length.
I agree.
Do we know if this messaging is direct from the AFL or just someone's thought bubble?
The AFL's apparent attachment to the television rights feels wrong to me. There are many people who will lose hours and money and possibly even their jobs from this virus. I love the footy and supercoach but it's seriously not a priority. The more games they can play the happier I will be but squeezing games in or shortening them just seems like greed.
 

Bomber18

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I agree.
Do we know if this messaging is direct from the AFL or just someone's thought bubble?
The AFL's apparent attachment to the television rights feels wrong to me. There are many people who will lose hours and money and possibly even their jobs from this virus. I love the footy and supercoach but it's seriously not a priority. The more games they can play the happier I will be but squeezing games in or shortening them just seems like greed.
I think this messaging is direct from the AFL. The concern of having games with no crowds and suspended games without replacement is economically driven.



As clubs forecast multimillion-dollar deficits following the loss of ticket sales and related game-day revenue, the AFL is desperate to complete as many matches as possible to secure funds from the billion-dollar broadcast deals with Channel 7 and Fox Sports.

 
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