News Herald Sun SuperCoach Articles

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Sam Landsberger
Herald Sun
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June 1, 2020 7:58pm
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The AFL will save up to $2 million in match payments and player bonuses by denying coaches access to extra players on the interchange bench this season.
The financial component was one of football boss Steve Hocking’s considerations as the league prepares to formally lock in four bench players later this week.

Some coaches have been pushing for access to five or six bench players in 2020 to provide competitive minutes to more players, given they cannot participate in state leagues.


But with 16-minute quarters, 90 rotations and weekly games the AFL believes there is no need to increase bench sizes.

The league has vowed to remain flexible this year, however the idea of altering the playing conditions after Round 1 also counted against the change.

Coaches would’ve predominantly used emerging talents as their 23rd or 24th players, much like when they used the old substitute rule to blood debutants in 2011-2015.

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Richmond stars Dustin Martin and Trent Cotchin on the bench, which will remain at four players in 2020. Picture: Phil Hillyard
Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, first-year, second-year and rookie-listed players receive match payments of $4000-5000.

They also receive bonuses, ranging from $3000-12,000, depending on how many games they play for the season.


While all of those payments will be slashed by 50 per cent due to this year’s pay cuts, the extra payments for an interchange of six still would’ve still add up to a seven-figure sum.

Similarly, players fined by the match review officer this year will have their penalties cut in half.


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The AFL has taken on the expense of player payments during the COVID-19 period, although club distributions usually cover the $13 million salary cap anyway.

Increasing the interchange from four to six players would’ve seen an extra 36 players take to the field every weekend.

If they all received a match payment of $2500, that would equate to $90,000 per round, and $1.53 million for the remainder of the season.

Bonuses hit by more players would further top up that figure.

But the AFL is desperate to shed expenses and more than $50 million is set to be saved by shrinking this year’s soft cap.

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The NRL has guaranteed its $10 million salary cap won’t be reduced next season and the AFLPA is fighting hard, albeit against all odds, to win that same assurance.

While the season will restart in the traditional Thursday-Sunday format, some short breaks have been included.

Western Bulldogs must play three games in 12 days, which includes a trip to Sydney, from Rounds 2-4.


Extra players on the bench will mean extra match payments. Picture: AAP
But an increased interchange was not even discussed at last week’s AFL Competition Committee meeting.

However coaches are set for a win this week with the AFL set to inform clubs they have permission to stage mini scratch matches against each other.

They will be used to help gauge form and keep players outside of the best 22 stimulated.

The Dogs and Carlton discussed staging 14-a-side scratch match before their scheduled Round 2 clash in April. But the season was shut down after Round 1 with that fixture torn up.
 
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The AFL is in danger of restarting its season without a TV rights deal in a deepening drama for league boss Gillon McLachlan.

Failure to strike a revised agreement with broadcasters Channel 7 and Foxtel before next Thursday night’s Collingwood-Richmond MCG clash will leave the game’s finances in a precarious position.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty,” an insider told the Herald Sun on Thursday night.

The networks are pushing for a reduction of about $150 million on their 2020 payments because the season has been compromised by the COVID-19 crisis.

The size of the TV shortfall will be crucial in determining cash distributions to all 18 clubs, the extent of staffing culls across the industry and pay for players.

It can also be revealed discounted payments for 2021 and 2022 are being sought by both broadcast partners.

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AFL boss Gillon McLachlan is facing a deepening crisis. Picture: Getty Images

The prospect of a two-year extension for seasons 2023 and 2024 also remains unclear.

“The various parties are nowhere near a deal on that,” the insider said. “The game has changed in the media world and peak sports rights are five years ago, really.”

Reports on Monday that Seven and Foxtel had withheld payments to the AFL were incorrect.

The league received a full payment last December and again in mid-March, meaning broadcasters have forked out two instalments for a single round of football.

The next payment is due in July. An AFL commission subcommi, including McLachlan, former News Corp boss Kim Williams, Paul Bassat and Robyn Bishop, is leading the league’s negotiations.

Seven this week announced it was dumping its Monday night and Sunday morning footy review programs because of savage costs cuts, while Fox Footy and Kayo subscribers have been lost during the season shutdown.

Broadcasters are also concerned they have no clarity on the AFL fixture beyond Round 5, while a decision has not been made on what date or time of day the Grand Final will be played.

Rival code NRL, which relaunched its season last weekend, has already locked away an extended new TV rights deal.

Club chiefs are bracing for cuts in TV revenues of 15 to 20 per cent. Picture: Michael Klein

Before the coronavirus, the AFL pocketed an average of $417 million a year in TV rights as part of a six-year, $2.5 billion deal with Seven, Foxtel and Telstra that expires at the end of 2022.

Google, Facebook and Amazon are not considered serious players in the race for the AFL’s broadcast rights.

Club chiefs are bracing for cuts in TV revenues of 15 to 20 per cent.

Hawthorn president and ex-Seven board member Jeff Kennett said last night: “It’s essential that we get a good price because if there is a reduction, every dollar it is reduced by will impact on the code — not only this year but will have a flow on effect next year — because of the borrowings that the AFL will have to undertake.”

RMIT sports marketing expert Con Stavros last month said the league’s media rights would take a hit in the post-COVID world, declaring the free-to-air networks were “not the money-making machines they once were”. Broadcast money accounts for about 62 per cent of the AFL competition’s total revenues.

News Corp is a parent of Foxtel and the publisher of the Herald Sun.

CURRENT SIX-YEAR AFL TV RIGHTS DEAL

FOXTEL $1.3b

CHANNEL 7 $900m (includes $60m contra)

TELSTRA $300m

TOTAL $2.5b

AVERAGE ANNUAL PAYMENT

FOXTEL $217m

CHANNEL 7 $140m (plus $10m contra)

TELSTRA $50m

TOTAL $417m

REVISED 2020 DEAL

WORST CASE 50 per cent payment — $208.5m total, $108.5m from Fox, $70m (plus $5m contra) from Seven, $25m from Telstra

TOTAL LOSS $208.5m

BEST CASE 75 per cent payment — $313m total, $163m from Fox, $105m from Seven (plus $7.5m contra), Telstra $37.5m

TOTAL LOSS $104m
 
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What we learnt: Match Simulation

On Friday night the SUNS held a four-quarter match simulation in preparation for Round 2 against West Coast on June 13.

By Josh Cheadle - Just now

On Friday night the SUNS held a four-quarter match simulation in preparation for Round 2 against West Coast on June 13.

The squad was split into two teams, with the midfielders mixed evenly between both sides.

There were some interesting storylines to come from the hit-out which could hint towards a best 22.

Here’s what we learnt.

1. The wing dilemma: Is Wil Powell in line for a Round 2 call-up? The third-year SUN spent a significant amount of time out on the wing, while also rotating forward. Noah Anderson and Brayden Fiorini also spent stints on the wing while Lachie Weller and Brandon Ellis have played there in Round 1.

2. Rookie watch: Matt Rowell was busy early while Anderson complemented him well on the wing. A team-switch at halftime saw Sam Flanders switch with Sean Lemmens. Connor Budarick is a good chance to retain his place in the AFL side after performing well down back in a small defender role. Jeremy Sharp showed some promising signs on the wing opposing Anderson.

3. Battle of the big men: Defender Charlie Ballardplayed his in his first match back from a shoulder injury and looked right at home as part of the defensive unit. A handful of intercept marks were the highlight from his performance. Ballard and Jack Hombsch switched teams at ¾ time to provide a different look for both defensive ends. Peter Wright and Sam Day also switched teams at ¾ time as both showed signs in the key forward posts.

4. Veterans return: The pair both missed Round 1 but Pearce Hanley and Jarrod Harbrow both played tonight and offered plenty with their experience and composure.

5. Sexton a crucial cog in the forward line: Alex Sexton left a big hole in the SUNS forward line when he missed Round 1 with a hamstring injury. Since recovering, he’s been a standout on the training track and looks as fit as ever. He bounced back in a big way on Friday night kicking four goals to stamp his return in a dangerous forward line which now includes Ben Ainsworth, Darcy Macpherson and Ben King, who also kicked four.
 
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What we learnt: Match Simulation

On Friday night the SUNS held a four-quarter match simulation in preparation for Round 2 against West Coast on June 13.

By Josh Cheadle - Just now

On Friday night the SUNS held a four-quarter match simulation in preparation for Round 2 against West Coast on June 13.

The squad was split into two teams, with the midfielders mixed evenly between both sides.

There were some interesting storylines to come from the hit-out which could hint towards a best 22.

Here’s what we learnt.

1. The wing dilemma: Is Wil Powell in line for a Round 2 call-up? The third-year SUN spent a significant amount of time out on the wing, while also rotating forward. Noah Anderson and Brayden Fiorini also spent stints on the wing while Lachie Weller and Brandon Ellis have played there in Round 1.

2. Rookie watch: Matt Rowell was busy early while Anderson complemented him well on the wing. A team-switch at halftime saw Sam Flanders switch with Sean Lemmens. Connor Budarick is a good chance to retain his place in the AFL side after performing well down back in a small defender role. Jeremy Sharp showed some promising signs on the wing opposing Anderson.

3. Battle of the big men: Defender Charlie Ballardplayed his in his first match back from a shoulder injury and looked right at home as part of the defensive unit. A handful of intercept marks were the highlight from his performance. Ballard and Jack Hombsch switched teams at ¾ time to provide a different look for both defensive ends. Peter Wright and Sam Day also switched teams at ¾ time as both showed signs in the key forward posts.

4. Veterans return: The pair both missed Round 1 but Pearce Hanley and Jarrod Harbrow both played tonight and offered plenty with their experience and composure.

5. Sexton a crucial cog in the forward line: Alex Sexton left a big hole in the SUNS forward line when he missed Round 1 with a hamstring injury. Since recovering, he’s been a standout on the training track and looks as fit as ever. He bounced back in a big way on Friday night kicking four goals to stamp his return in a dangerous forward line which now includes Ben Ainsworth, Darcy Macpherson and Ben King, who also kicked four.
Sexton is an interesting forward option I had forgotten about. Priced at under 300K, scored 111 from 65% game time in one of the Marsh series matches. Might be another one I consider in that sub-300K range.
 
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Top 30 most popular KFC SuperCoach players

1. Marlion Pickett (Rich) $123,900 MID - 77.6%
2. Matthew Rowell (GC) $207,300 - 72.2%
3. Brodie Grundy (Coll) 4705,900 - 66.7%
4. Dustin Martin (Rich) $543,000 FWD/MID - 65.6%
5. Connor Budarick (GC) $106,900 MID/FWD - 69.1%
6. Jarrod Brander (WC) $133,000 DEF/FWD - 59.7%
7. Max King (StK) $123,900 FWD - 59.1%
8. Devon Smith (Ess) $335,900 FWD/MID - 59%
9. Lachie Whitfield (GWS) $604,100 FWD/MID - 58.2%
10. Tom Green (GWS) $166,800 MID - 57.8%

11. Sam Docherty (Carl) $436,100 DEF - 57.6%
12. Patrick Cripps (Carl) $635,900 MID - 54.2%
13. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Ess) $189,000 DEF - 46.1%
14. Brandon Starcevich (Bris) $147,700 DEF/MID - 44.2%
15. Lachie Neale (Bris) $658,500 MID - 41.3%
16. Dylan Roberton (StK) $260,400 DEF - 38.6%
17. Tyler Brown (Coll) $123,900 MID - 38.1%
18. Nat Fyfe (Frem) $651,600 MID - 37.3%
19. Curtis Taylor (NM) $123,900 FWD - 35.7%
20. Darcy Cmaeron $123,900 RUC/FWD - 34.3%

21. John Noble (Coll) $215,400 - 33.2%
22. Will Gould (Syd) $117,300 DEF - 32.9%
23. Justin McInerney (Syd) $123,900 MID - 30.8%
24. Dylan Roberton (BL) $117,300 MID - 30.4%
25. Dan Houston (Port) $484,800 DEF - 28.5%
26. Marcus Bontempelli (WB) $623,000 MID - 28%
27. Jack Macrae (WB) $668,900 MID - 26.9%
28. Ben Cavarra (WB) $123,900 FWD - 26%
29. Jake Lloyd (Syd) $591,400 DEF - 25.8%
30. Max Gawn (Melb) $697,100 RUCK - 24.1%
 
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Top 30 most popular KFC SuperCoach players

1. Marlion Pickett (Rich) $123,900 MID - 77.6%
2. Matthew Rowell (GC) $207,300 - 72.2%
3. Brodie Grundy (Coll) 4705,900 - 66.7%
4. Dustin Martin (Rich) $543,000 FWD/MID - 65.6%
5. Connor Budarick (GC) $106,900 MID/FWD - 69.1%
6. Jarrod Brander (WC) $133,000 DEF/FWD - 59.7%
7. Max King (StK) $123,900 FWD - 59.1%
8. Devon Smith (Ess) $335,900 FWD/MID - 59%
9. Lachie Whitfield (GWS) $604,100 FWD/MID - 58.2%
10. Tom Green (GWS) $166,800 MID - 57.8%

11. Sam Docherty (Carl) $436,100 DEF - 57.6%
12. Patrick Cripps (Carl) $635,900 MID - 54.2%
13. Brandon Zerk-Thatcher (Ess) $189,000 DEF - 46.1%
14. Brandon Starcevich (Bris) $147,700 DEF/MID - 44.2%
15. Lachie Neale (Bris) $658,500 MID - 41.3%
16. Dylan Roberton (StK) $260,400 DEF - 38.6%
17. Tyler Brown (Coll) $123,900 MID - 38.1%
18. Nat Fyfe (Frem) $651,600 MID - 37.3%
19. Curtis Taylor (NM) $123,900 FWD - 35.7%
20. Darcy Cmaeron $123,900 RUC/FWD - 34.3%

21. John Noble (Coll) $215,400 - 33.2%
22. Will Gould (Syd) $117,300 DEF - 32.9%
23. Justin McInerney (Syd) $123,900 MID - 30.8%
24. Dylan Roberton (BL) $117,300 MID - 30.4%
25. Dan Houston (Port) $484,800 DEF - 28.5%
26. Marcus Bontempelli (WB) $623,000 MID - 28%
27. Jack Macrae (WB) $668,900 MID - 26.9%
28. Ben Cavarra (WB) $123,900 FWD - 26%
29. Jake Lloyd (Syd) $591,400 DEF - 25.8%
30. Max Gawn (Melb) $697,100 RUCK - 24.1%
I've got 16 out of 30 😳
 
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Jack Steven could play in Geelong’s Round 2 clash against Hawthorn after stab wound

Jack Steven is back in full training as he prepares to make his long-awaited Geelong debut but will that be in Round 2 despite suffering a stab wound just weeks ago?

Jon Ralph, Herald Sun

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June 7, 2020 5:40pm

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Geelong will take a full-strength side into its home clash with Hawthorn, with Jack Steven officially available and still not ruled out of an incredible Cats debut.

Steven is back in full training and ready to move into match simulation but has only a week of sessions under his belt after being stabbed on June 17.

After a week in hospital and a week walking laps at Geelong coach Chris Scott hasn’t yet ruled him out and it would take something special on the training track to risk him off a short preparation.

Cats football boss Simon Lloyd told the Herald Sun last night Geelong had a large majority of their players fully fit.

He said Steven was back in full training with and “getting himself ready”.

A slashing performance at training on Tuesday would give the Cats match committee something to think about but Geelong was cautious with Steven’s program leading into Round 1 when it didn’t play him off a similarly limited preparation.

Nakia Cockatoo’s lingering issues will see him ruled out of selection but Jake Kolodjashnij (hip) is back in full training and Mitch Duncan and Joel Selwood are well progressed after only just making Round 1.

If he was given another week of training he would have an extra eight days before a GMHBA Stadium clash against Carlton on the Saturday night of Round 3.
 
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Same as me, 22. Think it was 9 of the first 10 and 8 of the second 10, before dropping away a bit.

Not sure whether a high or low number is necessarily a bad thing at this point, given how much has potentially changed.
Well I can tell you that having Just 17 in Round 1 was a bad thing! :rolleyes:

With nothing to lose I will hold some of the POD punts that failed for Round 2, close my eyes, and take a deep breath ...
 
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