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Thread: 2018 trading, drafting and list management: players and personnel

  1. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post

    Naismith is one who really needs to step up if he wants to be with the club beyond next year. I wouldn't be offering him a new contract just yet. Naismith needs to become a more versatile player and stay off the injury list as well. We have so much depth in our ruck stocks that no one is a certainty to be with the club beyond 2018. We need to shed a couple of players, but with Tippett and perhaps Sinclair (not confirmed) contracted until 2020, Naismith would have to be vulnerable to trade or delisting.
    I think the coaches' assessment of Naismith is very different to yours. He's clearly been the preferred choice in the ruck for the last season and a bit - when fit, and sometimes even when not fully fit. Midway through the season he was being played as the sole ruckman, even though both Sinclair and Tippett were available for selection (and playing in the NEAFL).

    It's worth bearing in mind that Naismith had close to no pre-season coming into season 2017. As late as the New Year (while the Sydney test was on and hence there was no access to Bus Stop Oval) I saw him running on his own, very slowly, in the park on Lang Road. He did well to get himself right to play by the start of the season but clearly didn't have an ideal fitness base. I look forward to a year when he gets a chance to put in a solid pre-season and hence elevate his fitness to a level where he can contribute more around the ground. I've seen him do so at NEAFL level and believe he is capable of doing so at senior level.

  2. #14
    Veterans List Ludwig's Avatar
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    I don't think we can apply last year's view on how we play the ruck to the upcoming season. We were the last contender playing 2 ruckmen. I would think the disastrous performance of Sinclair in the Semi Final will seal the fate of that antiquated structure.

    Perhaps persistent injuries are the greatest impediment to Naismith solidifying his spot as the clear #1 ruckman. But after 5 years it's time for Sam to stay fit and develop an all around game. He is our best tap ruckman, but it may not be enough. It really depends on the alternatives. Tippett probably wins the job on talent, but it's not looking good from a fitness standpoint. Sinclair is improving and provides a more balanced game than Naismith, but is it good enough to be top dog? And then there's Darcy Cameron, who has shown strength in both the ruck and up forward at lower levels. Can he do it in the AFL?

    I'm suggesting that there may not be a spot for Naismith in 2019 unless he can nail down the 1st ruckman spot because we simply have too many ruckmen and he's the one out of contract. There's only so many we can rotate between the NEAFL and the Injury List.

  3. #15
    I suspect there a few make shift stop gap players in our 22 last 2 seasons also

    Marsh, Newman are players are under pressure as players with more versatility in roles surge forward

  4. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by joemoore12 View Post
    I can almost guarantee that N. Blakey will be a Swan. There is no need for worry here and a fine addition he will be. It's as sure as Heeney & Mills were.
    I hope your right. I've been given the info from a few insiders that he's a near certainty to choose us. I'd be really pee'd off if he didn't come to us given our financial investment in him so far. Got my fingers crossed. It'd also be a bonus if he was bid on after our first pick at 18 ???? .

  5. #17
    Both Sinclair and nainsmith will improve next year. Tippet won't. I think he is a depth player going forward.

  6. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
    I don't think we can apply last year's view on how we play the ruck to the upcoming season. We were the last contender playing 2 ruckmen. I would think the disastrous performance of Sinclair in the Semi Final will seal the fate of that antiquated structure.
    Oh come on! Playing a lone ruckman is hardly a "new" tactic. Coaches have mixed-and-matched the rucking role since Australian Football was invented: one ruck, two rucks, tall rucks, mobile rucks, ruck/forwards etc etc. "One ruckman" is the current fad because the two most successful teams have only got one good ruckman. If Sydney regularly pick Naismith and Tippett and win the 2018 flag, the following year most teams will play two ruckmen.

    In 1996 we started the season with two really crappy defeats. Eade switched to a one ruck team, and we made the Grand Final. The following year, he stuck with the lone ruck strategy, and we made the Qualifying Final. In 1998, Eade changed again, sometimes playing one ruck, sometimes two; we made the Semi-finals.

    No coach worth his salt would have a fixed strategy regarding rucking (or any other role); any tactic is subject to the players that are available. If a coach considers that playing five ruckmen would give the team an edge, then he'll play five ruckmen. It's worth noting that we beat both Richmond and Adelaide last season playing two rucks to their one.

    All indications are that Naismith is considered the number one ruck in the squad by the people that count, and whether he is supported by a second ruck will depend on the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition. The idea that one man can be the sole ruck for a whole season is fanciful, in my opinion. The modern game is too fast, and the ruck role too pivotal, to expect a single player to bear that burden. The modern ruck is expected to win 30-50 hitouts from 60-80 contests a game, whereas historically the ruckman would only face 20 to 30 contests each week. Just getting to that many contests requires an amazing fitness level, without adding the constant crash and bash that rucks also face.

  7. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post
    I don't think we can apply last year's view on how we play the ruck to the upcoming season. We were the last contender playing 2 ruckmen. I would think the disastrous performance of Sinclair in the Semi Final will seal the fate of that antiquated structure.

    Perhaps persistent injuries are the greatest impediment to Naismith solidifying his spot as the clear #1 ruckman. But after 5 years it's time for Sam to stay fit and develop an all around game. He is our best tap ruckman, but it may not be enough. It really depends on the alternatives. Tippett probably wins the job on talent, but it's not looking good from a fitness standpoint. Sinclair is improving and provides a more balanced game than Naismith, but is it good enough to be top dog? And then there's Darcy Cameron, who has shown strength in both the ruck and up forward at lower levels. Can he do it in the AFL?

    I'm suggesting that there may not be a spot for Naismith in 2019 unless he can nail down the 1st ruckman spot because we simply have too many ruckmen and he's the one out of contract. There's only so many we can rotate between the NEAFL and the Injury List.
    In the final against us Cats actually played two ruckmen to exploit our lack of height. We fell for it too by not playing Aliir. Apparently Melican was not fit to play. The killed us not only in the ruck but their ruckmen got plenty both around the ground and in the forward 50. I can remember a situation that had Mills against Smith. mills was never going to win that one.

  8. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auntie.Gerald View Post
    I suspect there a few make shift stop gap players in our 22 last 2 seasons also

    Marsh, Newman are players are under pressure as players with more versatility in roles surge forward
    Add Cunningham to that list. Only bothered the stats man a few times in the semi.

  9. #21
    Veterans List Ludwig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chammond View Post
    The idea that one man can be the sole ruck for a whole season is fanciful, in my opinion.
    Fanciful, yet everyone is doing it. Sam Jacobs, Ben McEvoy, Paddy Ryder, Toby Nankervis (and we can stop there). Teams played 1 ruckman around 75% of the time in 2017. The exceptions consisted mainly of us and teams outside the 8 experimenting with different structures and trying to decide which of their ruckmen was best. It's a question of whether we want to play with an extra runner or an extra dinosaur.

    Change is in the air. You can tell by the drafting we've done the past 2 years that we want to be a quicker team.

  10. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Ludwig View Post

    Change is in the air. You can tell by the drafting we've done the past 2 years that we want to be a quicker team.
    And yet we have 5 ruckmen in the squad?

  11. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by chammond View Post
    And yet we have 5 ruckmen in the squad?
    Down from 6 a few years ago. Progress is slow but heading in the right direction. Planning now for the post 2020 era. It's hard to erase some of the mistakes of the past.

  12. #24
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    I don't think the recruiting has shifted significantly towards speed in the last two drafts. I think the Swans have consistently been on the look-out for players with pace for a decade or more. However, many of the very quickest players the club has drafted have been deficient in key areas and haven't sustained a career at the top flight - like Jack, Hiscox, Leonardis to give just recent examples.

    Our first round drafting has been a little distorted in several more recent drafts because we had a player of slow to medium pace available who was a no-brainer selection given where our first selection was - Mitchell, Heeney, Mills. But our other recent first selections have come with a major attribute being "pace" - Jones, Towers, Rohan/Jetta. I believe even Jed Lamb was described as quick when he was drafted but he never got fit enough at the Swans to display it. Vezspremi was also pretty quick but was never fit enough.

    I also dispute the oft-attributed (by media commentators) description of the Swans as "slow". I think that perception comes from the three core midfielders all being somewhat challenged for pace, and the ease with which the Swans relinquished Mitchell suggests they realise this was a weakness. But elsewhere, I think the side is as quick as most other sides and quicker than many. Or, at least, we have as many regular senior players with good pace as most other teams.

    Rohan is one of the absolute quickest in the league. Jones, Towers, Jack, Cunningham, Hayward are all quick to very quick. Lloyd and Florent are above average. Buddy is one of the fastest tall men in the competition and Reid's pace is above average for a 196cm player. At the other end of the ground, Grundy and Smith aren't quick but Rampe is above average and Melican/Aliir promise to add some pace. Of course, we've been robbed for five seasons of the pace of AJ and will probably not see it again.

    We have lacked that very quick player in the back half since Shaw (and before him, Kennelly) retired. Jones has provided a bit of it but I think he'll settle into the midfield, where his pace around the contests will be more valuable. I think the Swans have tried to find quicker players to play off a half-back flank before this recent draft but, for various reasons, they haven't come on. Or in the case of Towers, have settled into a different part of the ground.

    I also don't think the best teams have always been that quick. The Hawthorn three-peat side had a couple of quick players but also plenty of pretty slow ones dominating their on-ball brigade (Mitchell, Lewis, Sewell). The Geelong triple-premiership side changed a bit over the journey but its best onballers were no quicker than ours (Selwood, Corey, Bartel, for example).

    Every club would love a true inside midfielder with explosive pace - a Dangerfield, Martin, or Judd - but they are thin on the ground. Jack has been the one to provide some pace to our midfield over the last few years - in which the team has been consistently one of the best in the competition - and Jones is probably our best bet to pick up that mantle, but neither has the size and bullocking strength of a Danger, Martin or Judd. Our best hope is to maybe uncover one of these through the academy over the next few seasons, because they're pretty hard to come by if you don't have access to picks in the top handful of a draft (and I hope we continue to have no access to those picks for many seasons to come).

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