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

  1. #1
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    2018 trading, drafting and list management: players and personnel

    So, time to kick off the thread about who we draft, trade, contract, delist over the next 12 months.

    The most significant recruiting decision will be the choice of who will replace Tom Harley as GM of Football when Harley steps up to replace Andrew Ireland as CEO at the end of 2018. Presumably the club is already advanced in its thinking on this topic. Could the club announce something before the pre-season ends? More likely the announcement will come much later because, presumably, that will be better for the incomer’s current employment situation.

    Otherwise, in the coaching department we had some timely renewal in 2017 (with the departure of Dew, Francou, Playfair and Taubert and arrival of Cox, Johnson, Kennelly and Laidler) and hopefully our choices prove successful and we stick with them and give their new plans time to bear fruit. I don’t think further change will be necessary (apart from the addition of Macca when he stops playing) in the year ahead.

    On to the players. Who to recontract, de-list, trade and draft (including are there any free agents we want to bring in)?

    Here is a list of the players whose contracts will expire in 2018:

    Aliir Aliir
    Jordan Foote
    Heath Grundy
    Jake Lloyd
    Jack Maibaum
    Harry Marsh
    Jarrad McVeigh
    Sam Naismith
    Nic Newman
    Daniel Robinson
    James Rose
    Nick Smith
    Dean Towers
    Joel Amartey (Cat A Rookie - 1st Year)
    James Bell (Cat B Rookie - 1st Year)
    Jake Brown (Cat B Rookie - 1st Year)
    Robbie Fox (Cat A Rookie - 2nd Year)
    Alex Johnson (Cat A Rookie - 1st Year)
    Toby Pink (Cat A Rookie - 2nd Year)
    Ben Ronke (Cat A Rookie - 2nd Year)
    Angus Styles (Cat A Rookie - 1st Year)

    With the rookies I feel it is just too hard to predict. It will really depend on their seasons next year and whether they can continue their development. Chances are at least a couple won’t be with us in 12 months’ time. I hope AJ and Pink make the grade. I hope they all do.

    Jake Lloyd is probably our highest priority re-signing and I expect he will re-signed before the H&A season begins.

    Provided he has a strong pre-season, Aliir should be a priority re-signing too. If so, he may be re-signed sooner rather than later. But he’s under pressure to rediscover his 2016 form.

    Reg’s extension will depend on how his body holds up. I’m optimistic he’ll be with us a little while longer but he probably won’t be extended until later in the season. Ditto Smooch except that he’s younger (turns 30 next year) and hasn’t had any injury issues to date that I can think of so he might get a multi-year extension and sooner than Reg.

    Newman and Naismith have also done enough to feel assured that they will be recontracted beyond 2018, although the arrival of Ling, Stoddart and Styles is going to apply a fair bit of pressure to Newman going forward. He certainly won’t be resting easy this off-season.

    James Rose, Harry Marsh, Jordan Foote and Dan Robinson however will be feeling the acid, I think. Of these I consider that Marsh and Robinson are the most versatile and perhaps slightly advantaged for that reason (but by no means safe). Rose is talented and may deserve another go, only not with the Swans, mostly because of the recruitment of Papley, Hayward, Florent since we drafted Rose, all of whom have overtaken him. The latest draftees will be putting more pressure on. Foote’s hopes are boosted a little by the fact we haven’t drafted any other inside mids this year. His chances may depend not just on his own form but on how Ronke develops and how Fox performs in 2018. I can see Foote moving on to a good career with the Students if he isn’t extended with us. I think at least two of these four guys will be cut after next year.

    You’d have to think 2018 is Macca’s final season given that he has been struggling with keeping his body in shape for a while now and the lack of pressure he applies on the field. However his game vision, on-field coaching, mental toughness and disposal remain excellent.

    Unlike Hayward, Cameron and Florent, Maibaum of our 2016 draftees hasn’t yet had his contract extended. This suggests the club is waiting for him to show a bit more. So he had best get out there and show it. He’s a young KPP and experience shows they take a little longer to develop.

    Which leaves us with Towers. Deano had his best season yet in 2017 and has shown he is worthy of playing seniors. He’s also very versatile, especially if you consider he can pinch hit in the ruck. However, given our depth and the developing youth (Florent, Dawson, Ling etc) he may be overtaken and find himself on the fringes with the Swans. For this reason, I think we should see what we might get for him by way of trade. He was a late first round pick but probably hasn’t lived up to our hopes and isn’t young so if we could get a late 2nd round pick in the 2018 draft, I’d take it. Depending on how much game time he sees in 2018, I’d also consider a 3rd round pick. On the other hand, if he has no suitors, he is a worthy depth player and we keep him.

    Free agents

    Afl.com.au maintains a list of free agents here: Free Agency - AFL.com.au. Unfortunately it is not currently up to date but at some stage I suppose they’ll update it.

    Given the approach we took over this off-season it seems we have confidence in the list we have and provided at least one of Maibaum/AJ/Aliir break out (or back out in the case of AJ and AA), I don’t think we will have any pressing needs. I also can’t see us pursuing a really top-line free agent like Tom Lynch, mostly due to the fact that I suspect we have less salary cap freedom than our competitors.

    Trade

    Yes, it would be great if we could trade Tippett. But, given he is contracted, he has to agree and he clearly doesn’t want to go anywhere so I can’t see this happening unless he is languishing in the reserves and gets sick of it. In that case it will still be hard to trade him because who will want him? So, hopefully he just recovers his best form and blitzes it as our premiere ruckman in which case we can possibly trade Sinclair instead.

    The money we have tied up in our ruck stocks is a headache for us given the trend towards playing only one genuine ruckman. We are well equipped for the scenario where you play two rucks because we have four solid options. But this is not a great set-up for the scenario we actually face where you only play one ruckman because none of our rucks are really elite. What’s the solution?

    Draft

    2018 is tipped to be a bumper draft. The good news for us is

    (a) we have an extra 2nd round pick (Collingwood’s); and

    (b) we will probably have first dibs on the first round prospect, Nick Blakey, because he is an Academy player (and his dad is on club staff).

    Should we try and trade for a pick in the first round ahead of where we think Blakey will be taken to thereby get two first round picks? Will Blakey’s connection with North and Brisbane make it more likely they will bid on him, even if the Swans are going to get first dibs on him?

    Here’s an article about the most promising prospects looking at the 2018 draft a year out: Clubs shift focus to 2018 'super' draft - AFL.com.au.

    And here’s are write ups from afl.com.au about our most promising Academy prospects, most of whom were draft eligible this year:

    Sam Wicks
    Forward/midfielder
    Played some really good footy for the Swans reserves and after earning himself a NEAFL Rising Star nomination, was a member of their losing Grand Final side. A small forward who can play as an outside midfielder, Wicks has speed and endurance and is ultra competitive.

    Nick Blakey
    Forward
    A key forward with the versatility to play as a midfielder, Blakey's key attribute is his overhead marking. Inherited his father's running ability and is sure to have all three clubs (Brisbane Lions, North Melbourne and Sydney) waiting by the phone next year.

    Michael Carroll
    Defender
    A raw prospect that is developing quickly and really came on in 2017. Has good closing speed and is excellent one-on-one, is aggressive, sure footed, and is a good size for a key defender. Was about best on ground for Pennant Hills in their Grand Final win this year.

    Conor Flanagan
    Defender/midfielder
    Reads the play extremely well and a standout in the Swans academy in terms of his professionalism towards his footy. A very handy role player because of his competitiveness and elite endurance.

    Jack Hardman
    Forward
    A powerful small forward with a big vertical leap and speed, but needs to work on his endurance and skills over the next 12 months. Has the ingredients to attract plenty of recruiters.


    A few pundits thought we might need a KPD in this year’s draft but we didn't. Will that assist Carroll’s prospects? (BTW, any relation to Dennis?) I would think we will also be wanting to draft prospects to work in our engine room onball down the track.

    Whaddya reckon?

  2. #2
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    A great and popular thread this one, as evidenced by the 3000+ posts in the 2017 equivalent. I learned more about all this stuff in regard to our club from this years 'trading and drafting' thread than any other resource. It will be great to see how 2018's prospects develop in the build up to the supposed 'super draft'. BTW, great opening post bloodspirit!

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    Very good opening post Bloodspirit but I am disappointed you are a day late with the thread this year, and it's not a leap year so no excuses!

    Whilst early December the year before seems early to start these discussions, the club is planning long term so why shouldn't we do our bit?

  4. #4
    I think that's a great post Bloodspirit. There are plenty of signs that Aliir will be back next year, I think everyone on RWO wants him to be. Like this: Longmire backs young defenders - sydneyswans.com.au

    "Sydney coach John Longmire wants his emerging AFL key defenders Lewis Melican and Aliir Aliir to take the load of their more experienced colleagues next season... "Melican, Aliir, these guys really need to take over that defence and help our experienced players and help lighten the load for them," Longmire said on Monday.

    Longmire was confident Aliir could recapture the form he showed in his first season... "We're confident that he will be able to get himself.right. He showed the year before that he's an important player to our team."

    etc

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Billericay View Post
    I think that's a great post Bloodspirit. There are plenty of signs that Aliir will be back next year, I think everyone on RWO wants him to be. Like this: Longmire backs young defenders - sydneyswans.com.au

    "Sydney coach John Longmire wants his emerging AFL key defenders Lewis Melican and Aliir Aliir to take the load of their more experienced colleagues next season... "Melican, Aliir, these guys really need to take over that defence and help our experienced players and help lighten the load for them," Longmire said on Monday.

    Longmire was confident Aliir could recapture the form he showed in his first season... "We're confident that he will be able to get himself.right. He showed the year before that he's an important player to our team."

    etc
    Excellent, detailed post, Bloodspirit. All good except the part about Tippett possibly coming good. Wishful thinking I'm afraid.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blood Fever View Post
    Excellent, detailed post, Bloodspirit. All good except the part about Tippett possibly coming good. Wishful thinking I'm afraid.
    Thanks for the love!

    The Tippett bit is wishful but I think it's more realistic to dream of him regaining form than it is to dream of trading him. C'mon big guy! Channel the force!

  7. #7
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    This article is promising as regards Nick Blakey choosing to make himself available to the Swans as a priority Academy pick: Which Academy prospects are training at your club? - M.afl.com.au

    It seems he has chosen to train exclusively with the Swans and not to split his time between us and North or Brisbane. And why wouldn't he?!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    This article is promising as regards Nick Blakey choosing to make himself available to the Swans as a priority Academy pick: Which Academy prospects are training at your club? - M.afl.com.au

    It seems he has chosen to train exclusively with the Swans and not to split his time between us and North or Brisbane. And why wouldn't he?!
    I don't think what you've written is necessarily (or even probably) true. All AFL academy members spend this or next week training with a club but they are generally allocated to that club, and normally on the basis of location. So it is natural that Blakey would be allocated to the Swans.

    In past years players have spent a second week training with a different club later in the season. I don't know if that will happen again this year. On at least one occasion (possibly Heeney), the second club he was sent to was GWS, suggesting geography was the main consideration. If Blakey does train with another side later in the year, that could yet be North (or could be GWS, for convenience, or could be Brisbane, as the other club he may choose).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by liz View Post
    I don't think what you've written is necessarily (or even probably) true. All AFL academy members spend this or next week training with a club but they are generally allocated to that club, and normally on the basis of location. So it is natural that Blakey would be allocated to the Swans.

    In past years players have spent a second week training with a different club later in the season. I don't know if that will happen again this year. On at least one occasion (possibly Heeney), the second club he was sent to was GWS, suggesting geography was the main consideration. If Blakey does train with another side later in the year, that could yet be North (or could be GWS, for convenience, or could be Brisbane, as the other club he may choose).
    You're kind of right. The article makes it clear this is a standard program for AFL (not Swans) Academy members. It also says that geography is the prime determinant of where the player goes , so e.g. Lukosius (from SA) is at Port.

    However the article particularly notes that Bailey Scott, who, like Blakey, is available to two clubs as father-son (Cats and Roos) as well as a club academy (Suns), will split his training among each of those 3 clubs but in Blakey's case it says only that he will train with the Swans. So what I'm saying is that that is a small but positive omen for our prospects of drafting him.

    Personally I think it's a great idea for Blakey to go and train at another club. That's what I'd do. And, if he does, I'll still be very optimistic he'll come to us anyway.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    Thanks for the love!

    The Tippett bit is wishful but I think it's more realistic to dream of him regaining form than it is to dream of trading him. C'mon big guy! Channel the force!
    OK- will try and send some positive energy to Kurt. Hope it heals his body!

  11. #11
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    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.

  12. #12
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    I will add the chorus of praise for the excellent OP by bloodspirit. Well done. I can't much fault in the analysis, so it must be wrong.

    I'm glad to see Newman make the senior side, but he still needs to improve to be assured of a spot next year and beyond.

    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.

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