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Thread: 2021 trading, drafting and list management: players and personnel

  1. #1

    2021 trading, drafting and list management: players and personnel

    OK, kicking this thread off to a late start this season. I actually wrote something in the week before Christmas but I had to interrupt for a few hours and when I came back and finished it off and pressed "submit" it just disappeared into the ether. I haven't had the motivation to write it all again since and I think I'm going to just write something pretty brief to get the thread going.

    Players

    In terms of players, I guess one of the first questions is how big list sizes will be going forward. Will they shrink again? Will they return to pre-Covid levels? Will they remain the same? Makes a big difference for our list managers.

    Next, which are the players who will fall out of contract?

    We have a long list of players whose contracts will expire after this season. They are, in alphabetical order:

    Joel Amartey
    James Bell
    Kaiden Brand
    Malachy Carruthers (Cat A Rookie 1st Year)
    Ryan Clarke
    Jordan Dawson
    Robbie Fox(Cat A Rookie 1st Year)
    William Gould
    Sam Gray(Cat A Rookie 1st Year)
    George Hewett
    Josh Kennedy
    Matthew Ling
    Tom McCartin
    Hayden McLean(Cat A Rookie 3rd Year)
    Sam Naismith
    Barry O'Connor (Cat B Rookie - International)
    Colin O'Riordan
    Luke Parker
    Sam Reid
    Ben Ronke
    Marc Sheather (Cat B Rookie - 1st Year)
    Callum Sinclair
    Dylan Stephens
    Chad Warner
    Sam Wicks (Cat A Rookie - 1st Year)


    The key re-signings must be Parker, Dawson, McCartin and Hewett, followed by our talented youth like Stephens and Gould, hopefully Ling and Warner. JPK, Sinclair, Reid & Naismith are all retirement candidates. I assume JPK will continue and I hope he does assuming his body and form are holding up. However I don't think he will be pursued by other clubs so there is less pressure to re-sign him. Will Reid win an extension? I'd say probably, only because we are young and don't have much depth in KPFs. Naismith is longer odds - he will need to be playing and in form. Sinclair looks like his body is only just holding together and I wouldn't be surprised to see him retire at season's end. Gray is unlikely to be retained - he hasn't shone and we have plenty of depth in small mid/forward types: Papley, Taylor, Campbell, Gulden, Wicks, Ronke). Ronke is another who will be feeling the heat. I think if he doesn't play this year, and play well, then he's likely to be traded or delisted. Clarke and Bell are vulnerable. You never know what's going to happen with the rookies.

    That is a fair number of candidates who could be out the door at season's end (unlike last year where many of the candidates to be cut were contracted or only rookies and so harder to forecast). Plenty of room to bring in new players by trade and draft, at a time where me might be ready to play finals and looking to top up with space appearing in our salary cap.

    What are our list needs? For mine, the area of greatest need are KPFs and ruck. Who knows how many games Buddy is going to play in future? Assuming he does play again, it's highly unlikely that he will get another contract after next season. Reid is also at the end of his career and not someone we want to be pinning our KPF hopes on. Logan McDonald is the future - but he's only one KPF and at this stage he's a promising kid who's yet to prove himself at the level. Blakey is gravitating towards the midfield and McCartin to defence (where he looks like he will be a gun), which leaves only McLean and Amartey (I'm not prepared to count Heeney as a KPF even if he has to play that position). McLean to me looks like a Sinclair-lite who may grow into a Sinclair. He's got the same ticker but probably not quite got the tools to excel at AFL level (although talls develop slowly and he may keep improving) - he's not really a first choice ruck or forward. Judging by his time trial he seems to have improved his tank - but I doubt the same goes for his agility. The things that keep him in the mix are that he is young, has character, and our lack of depth in the positions he plays. Amartey looks more of a ruck than a forward but he is on the short side for a ruck (compensated for by his leap and athleticism) and doesn't have a good enough tank yet.

    Ruck stocks are thin. We've got Hickey, hopefully Sinclair, and then it's slim pickings. Naismith is great in those rare spells when he isn't injured. Beyond that there are the back-ups Amartey and McLean who do not inspire great confidence at this stage.

    With the move of McCartin to defence, along with Rampe, Melican and Brand and Fox, we seem to have adequate KPDs. We could grab another KPD as a shrewd trade or third round draft pick at some stage.

    Likewise we seem to have a reasonable supply of most other positions save that they are young and still gaining experience and it is unclear how many will succeed and how high their ceilings are. That said, you can never have too many good midfielders and utilities.

    Free agency

    Here is a list of 2021 free agents: AFL 2021, AFL free agents, free agency, list of free agents 2021, restricted, unrestricted, AFL out of contract 2021, players (foxsports.com.au). The only names that leap out at me are players who will almost certainly re-sign with their current clubs e.g. Bontempelli with the Dogs, Astbury, Grimes & Edwards with the Tigers.


    Trading

    After this season we will recover some of the Buddy salary cap. Next season he gets paid $600K less than next - but a lot of that money may already be spoken for in back-ended contracts for players that we have massaged around Buddy's salary. We will also be able to use the fact that we know we will get another $1M of cap space back 12 months later to offer substantial contracts to players we want to target. The main target I think we'll target at this stage is another ruck. Perhaps not if, against the odds, both Naismith and Sinclair go around again.

    Draft

    The 2021 draft promises to be a bumper crop. Partly because they have been touted for a while now and partly because they will bolstered by extras who missed out in 2020 but who will be competing for list spots. I reckon we might draft 4 players at the ND - hopefully including at least one KPP. We might also look for a project ruck, perhaps in the rookie draft.


    Personnel

    In terms of other positions I would think there might not be too much change given that we have had a lot of changing of the guard recently. Matt Cameron, Rob Spurrs and Dennis Carroll all gone replaced by Damien Raper, Innes and Brett Kirk. Likewise the coaching set-up should be given a chance to settle down - unless one of them is offered a better gig elsewhere (Pyke and Cox could both be candidates for senior coaching positions - but probably they are not too close to the front of the queue).

    Our recruiters seem to be doing fine, although they had an easy job in 2020 selecting McDonald, Campbell and Gulden. Hopefully we can hang on to them.

    *****

    I think that's enough to get the thread going. I'll add further thoughts as they come to mind. Over to all of you.
    All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated, and well supported in logic and argument than others. -Douglas Adams, author (11 Mar 1952-2001)

  2. #2
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    That was 'brief'?!

    I'm guessing you wear boxer shorts for undies.

    Seriously though, great post. I have nothing to add.

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    Did we give Squizzy Taylor three years? If so looks like a mistake.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by stevoswan View Post
    That was 'brief'?!

    I'm guessing you wear boxer shorts for undies.

    Seriously though, great post. I have nothing to add.
    Wound up being longer than I thought it was going to be but still a bit shorter than the pre-Christmas version or those in years gone by.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tick. Tick.
    All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated, and well supported in logic and argument than others. -Douglas Adams, author (11 Mar 1952-2001)

  5. #5
    Veterans List Ludwig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post

    What are our list needs? For mine, the area of greatest need are KPFs and ruck. Who knows how many games Buddy is going to play in future? Assuming he does play again, it's highly unlikely that he will get another contract after next season. Reid is also at the end of his career and not someone we want to be pinning our KPF hopes on. Logan McDonald is the future - but he's only one KPF and at this stage he's a promising kid who's yet to prove himself at the level. Blakey is gravitating towards the midfield and McCartin to defence (where he looks like he will be a gun), which leaves only McLean and Amartey (I'm not prepared to count Heeney as a KPF even if he has to play that position). McLean to me looks like a Sinclair-lite who may grow into a Sinclair. He's got the same ticker but probably not quite got the tools to excel at AFL level (although talls develop slowly and he may keep improving) - he's not really a first choice ruck or forward. Judging by his time trial he seems to have improved his tank - but I doubt the same goes for his agility. The things that keep him in the mix are that he is young, has character, and our lack of depth in the positions he plays. Amartey looks more of a ruck than a forward but he is on the short side for a ruck (compensated for by his leap and athleticism) and doesn't have a good enough tank yet.
    I agree that KPFs and ruck are the positions where we have the most need, although the picture is far from clear. It's mostly because we have good depth in other areas and few upcoming retirements.

    With Hickey on a 3 year contract, Sinclair a solid backup and Naismith's recovery uncertain, we will have to see how things play out at the end of the season. I don't think it's a good year to recruit another ruckman, but drafting a young ruckman with a later pick may be the way to go.

    The outlook is more positive with key forwards with the drafting of McDonald, but he still has to prove his worth. There have been so many key forward flops taken with high draft picks. Amartey and McLean are both borderline prospects. We should get a better idea on both by the end of the season. Chances are that they all won't make the grade and a KPF will be high on the draft target list this year.

    We might target a KPP in the in-season draft where we could pick up a quality 2020 'leftover' with our high draft position.

    I'm hoping we don't have another Covid affected season, which would have a serious impact on a young developing list.

  6. #6
    Aut vincere aut mori Thunder Shaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bloodspirit View Post
    Draft

    The 2021 draft promises to be a bumper crop. Partly because they have been touted for a while now and partly because they will bolstered by extras who missed out in 2020 but who will be competing for list spots. I reckon we might draft 4 players at the ND - hopefully including at least one KPP. We might also look for a project ruck, perhaps in the rookie draft.
    Draft picks:

    Our 2021 draft: 1st round, 2nd round, 4th round, 5th round etc.
    2021 picks traded in: None.
    2021 picks traded out: 3rd round to West Coast.

    Do we have any Academy prospects this year?
    "Unbelievable!" -- Nick Davis leaves his mark on the 2005 semi final

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rb4x View Post
    Did we give Squizzy Taylor three years? If so looks like a mistake.
    has he actually been training? I don't think i've seen him on any of the footage

  8. #8
    Lifer! Molly dooker's Avatar
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    Saw Squizzy sleeping on physio training table and being pranked/woken up by a couple o.o f the boys. This was on Insta.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly dooker View Post
    Saw Squizzy sleeping on physio training table and being pranked/woken up by a couple o.o f the boys. This was on Insta.
    Did he look trim or otherwise?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by stevoswan View Post
    Did he look trim or otherwise?
    My instinct tells me otherwise!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markwebbos View Post
    My instinct tells me otherwise!
    Oh dear!

  12. #12
    Lifer! Molly dooker's Avatar
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    He looked sleepy 🤪

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