Howdy there folks, it’s the Barron here with Part 3 of our Super Coach scouting report. Today we’ll be taking a gander at the Carlton Blues in 2014.
They had a rough 2013 under new coach Mick Malthouse, but still managed to play finals, thanks to Essendon, where they had a terrific win against Richmond in the Elimination Final, before falling to Sydney in the Semis. The Blues will be looking to earn their way into the finals next year, they’ve added a few interesting SC prospects to their team, while also having a few under performing players from 2013 that will be looking to rebound in 2014.
CARLTON BLUES SUPERCOACH 2014 SCOUTING REPORT
2013 Record: 11 wins, 11 losses
Sam Docherty (Traded from Brisbane)
Andrejs Everitt (Traded from Sydney)
Dale Thomas (Free Agent)
Tom Bell (Promoted Rookie)
Ed Curnow (Promoted Rookie)
Patrick Cripps (Pick #13, National Draft)
Cameron Giles (Pick #39, National Draft)
Luke Reynolds (Pick #12, Rookie Draft)
Cameron Wood (Pick #28, Rookie Draft)
Blaine Johnson (Pick #43, Rookie Draft)
Ciaran Sheehan (Pick #60, Rookie Draft)
Ciaran Byrne (Pick #64, Rookie Draft)
Eddie Betts, (Signed with Adelaide as Free Agent)
Shaun Hampson (Traded to Richmond)
Marcus Davies (Delisted)
Aaron Joseph (Delisted)
Jeremy Laidler (Delisted)
Patrick McCarthy (Delisted)
Luke Mitchell (Delisted)
2014 Team Preview
2014 Bye Round: 9
Final 4: Gold Coast Suns, Geelong Cats, Port Adelaide Power, Essendon Bombers
An interesting off-season for Carlton which saw them let Eddie Betts leave for Adelaide in Free Agency. That move however freed up enough space for them to bring Malthouse favourite Dale Thomas into the fold. He’s played his best football with Mick as his coach and the Blues will be hoping he’s over his ankle problems and will be fit and firing for them in 2014. An excellent addition if that is the case. They’ve also looked to boost their defence a tad with the additions of young Sam Docherty and Andrejs Everitt. They haven’t addressed what the Barron thinks was their biggest need, a KPF, but they aren’t exactly easy to come by and Carlton look like going into 2014 with a rotation of bigmen like Waite, Henderson, Casboult, and Rowe manning the forward 50 line at times.
The Blues have an excellent first half of the year, playing their first 10 games at the MCG or Etihad Stadium. Only have to leave Melbourne 5 times for the year, with two of those trips being to Sydney, they also have the advantage of having to play one top 4 side twice. They have to play Port Adelaide, Essendon, Collingwood, Geelong and St Kilda twice in 2014, the St. Kilda games should be gimmies, the rest are tougher matchups for the Blues, with them suffering losses to all those sides bar Port Adelaide last year, but even with that, the Power will still be a tough matchup for the Blues in 2014.
2014 Projected Wins/Losses: 13 wins, 9 losses
2012 SC Average: 79.1
2013 SC Average: 106.1
Starting Price: 572.5K
Walker was one of the biggest bolters in 2013, improving his SC average by a whopping 27 points a game. Previously used as more of a midsized forward in 2011, he excelled in that role kicking 56 goals for the year. Even with that terrific tally, it didn’t equal SC success, seeing him average 82.8 for the year. Spent a bit more time in the midfield in 2012, but still didn’t find enough of the pill to leap up as a SC relevant player, averaging 79.1 (or 84.5 if you remove the score of 4 he received against North that saw him subbed out due to injury in the 1st quarter).
Like a lot of players who record scoring increases in SC, there’s no real secret to how they accomplished it, they simply started getting more of the ball, and that’s what exactly happened with Walker in 2013. Playing for the first time as a loose man across half back, Walker often led the attack from Carlton’s back half and recorded a career high in disposals (23 per game) while still having his 2nd highest effective disposal % of his career at 76.9. He also ranked 4th in Total Kicks, 3rd in Kicks per game, 2nd in Total Rebound 50’s, 3rd in Rebound 50’s per game, 5th in Total Bounces, 8th in Bounce per game and 17th in Total Supercoach Points.
Recently Micky Malthouse has been talking about playing guys like Andrejs Everritt down back to release Walker into the forward line
“Andrew Walker the same, as good as he is for us off the backline. And Simon White is a young player in terms of games who we think can play well up forward. Everitt, (Andrew) McInnes and (Josh) Bootsma can play back.”
How that will come into play in 2014 is yet to be seen, but it is something to consider. If Walker is moved forward it means more goal scoring oppurtunities, but it also means he’ll get less possessions floating around half back.
Last year you’d have paid 432K for Walker if you picked him up from the start. Unfortunately we’ll be paying a premium price for him this year. 2014 will see his position change to defence, one that will be a great addition for us. I don’t see Walker dropping off too much in 2014, so he should be good for a repeat performance of his 2013 scores and a place in your SC side.
2014 SC Projection: 102-107
2012 SC Average: 112.7
2013 SC Average: 92.4
Starting Price: 498.3K
Ignore Murphy’s 2013. Just put it out of your head completely. Now go and look at his 4 previous seasons. We’re looking at 4 seasons of averaging 110+ SC points, with a high of 118 in 2011. Suffered various injuries through the year, the worst being a fractured cheekbone he suffered in Rd 12 against Hawthorn. Impressively, he was back out there 3 weeks later, but the injury did have some long term effects, seeing him lose 3KGs of muscle mass due to being unable to eat solid foods and unable to perform any workouts.
You can’t keep a good man down and Murphy is too talented, and more importantly to us, too cheap to overlook here. Will see his starting price decrease by over 100K due to his poor year, I don’t think there will be another chance this year to get a potential premium level midfielder at that sort of price. He’ll be vastly improved as a leader for the Blues and I don’t think the Captaincy should be weighing on his shoulders at all in 2014.
As Mad Mick stated in his recent Dale Thomas column, he’s been recruited to help Murphy, who was suffering from Tagitis for most of last year. With Thomas on the park, it’ll hopefully open up things a bit more for Murphy in 2014, and hopefully he can get back to premium type scores for us.
2014 SC Projection: 100-106
2012 SC Average: 92.4
2013 SC Average: 97.9
Starting Price: 527.9K
Yet to average 100+ points in SC, the big Kreuz showed us what he’s capable of last year between rounds 9-18 where he averaged an impressive 116.33 per game. Ranked 12th in Total Hitouts and 14th in Hitouts per Game, Kreuzer is also capable of going forward and kicking a few goals also.
It’s been said that bigmen take longer to develop than the small guys, Kreuzer will be 24 heading into 2014, a prime age for him to breakout. Out of the all ruckmen in 2014, I think Kreuzer has the biggest breakout potential. I like his potential scoring output for 2014, with Dean Cox no looking like a lock in the rucks, I think Kruezer is an excellent option to consider for your side if you don’t want to spend the 600K plus to get a Goldstein and Minson into your side.
2014 SC Projection: 100-107
2012 SC Average: 66.4
2013 SC Average: 83.4
Starting Price: 449.4K
Came over to the Blues in 2010 in the Brendon Fevola trade, Henderson hadn’t exactly set the world on fire until his first year under Mick Malthouse. Found a spot down back, he ranked 9th in Total Marks, 3rd in Total Contested Marks and 7th in Contested Marks per game. Like Kreuzer, he’ll be 24 next year, so he’s in the prime space for a breakout year and again like Kreuzer, he also has shown the ability to go forward, recording tallies of 3 or more goals 5 times.
Harry Taylor looked good in 2013 playing a similar role swinging between defence and the forward line; I think he’s got the potential to score like Taylor did this year and could be a guy to look at for a D3-D4 role in your side. May not have terrific upside to jump up to a 100+ point scorer, but will still be a solid addition none the less and contested marks are a terrific source of SC points.
2014 SC Projection: 88-95
2012 SC Average: 96.4
2013 SC Average: 79.2
Starting Price: 341.8K
The big recruit for the Blues, Dale Thomas is set to be reunited with Mick Malthouse in 2014. Battled through ankle injuries in 2013, there were plenty of rumours doing the rounds that his ankle was completely buggered and he wouldn’t even be able to pass a physical. Picking Dale Thomas is dependant on him being healthy and receiving a good discount from his approximate price. He did show what he’s capable of in 2 games last year which saw him post scores of 150 and 105, so he’s still got the goods to put up big scores, we just need him to be fully fit.
Even with only a short sample to look at, Thomas’s averages were near identical to 2012. Only had small drop-offs in marks, tackles and goals, while scoring a career high 75.2% in disposal efficiency. Up until this year he’s been fairly consistent in games played, having 6 years of 20 plus games played. Understandably a few are worried about his ankle and that should be taken into consideration, but if he’s fit and firing in Rd 1 he should be a definite consideration for our midfield.
He’s also received an injury discount, which will make him all the more appealing as it will greatly enhance his cash generation which will make a potential upgrade later in the year that much easier. Many may be turned off from Thomas because of his injury history and the fact he didn’t retain his FWD eligibility as projected, but he looks like a good stepping stone towards a premium player. Will hopefully score well in the beginning of the year and generate some $ that we can then use to trade up for a premium player. There will be plenty of opportunities for him in the Carlton midfield, so hopefully he can stay healthy and take advantage of them.
2014 SC Projection: 94-102
2012 SC Average: N/A
2013 SC Average: 52.8
Starting Price: 285K
Essentially traded into the side for Shaun Hampson, Docherty had a confusing 2013 for many SCers. Couldn’t get a consistent run of games, it wasn’t until Rd 17 that he was given a run of more than 3 games, playing 6 games and averaging 61 SC points, with a high of 102 in Rd 21. Played 13 games, 6 of which were sub affected, take games out where he was sub or subbed off and his average jumps up to 74, which is a much more decent return.
Selecting Docherty depends on how Malthouse see’s him fitting into the Blues best 22. If he’s given a consistent run of games and not subbed, then he could be a decent D6 who’ll make you a bit of cash.
2014 SC Projection: 65-72
2012 SC Average: 104.4
2013 SC Average: 99.1
Starting Price: 534.6K
Chris Judd is absolutely one of the best players The Barron has ever had the privilege of watching out on the footy field. Don’t let his place on this section of the scouting report fool you; Judd is still capable of taking over a game and dragging his side over the finish line. The problem is, like with Scott Thompson in the Adelaide preview, age is beginning to catch up to the Judster. We’ve seen a steady decrease in his SC averages, from 118.5 in 2010, all the way to last year where he finally slipped below the 100 point mark.
He’ll go into 2014 having that 100 point starting price, but I don’t see him managing to maintain that sort of play through the year. He’ll still have his games of brilliance where he looks like the best player out on the field, but the best years of Judd have unfortunately passed us by.
2014 SC Projection: 90-97
2012 SC Average: 95.3
2013 SC Average: 95.4
Starting Price: 514.7K
Many were expecting big things from Gibbs with the addition of Malthouse as coach in 2013 and a potential midfield role looking likely. He got us all excited with his Rd 1 effort of 150, but it was all downhill after that, with Gibbs cracking a ton only 5 more times for the year. Saw his disposal count increase slightly, his contested possession numbers actually increased from 5.9 in 2012 to 9.3 in 2013, as well as recording more inside 50’s, a career high 4.1, which was almost double his 2012 average of 2.2, as well as a clearance average of 3.4, up from his 1.4 average of 2012. Changes like that would make you think he’d be scoring better than the previous year, unfortunately for Gibbs he regressed in a number of other categories. He posted lower numbers in both marks and tackles as well as his lowest recorded number of effective disposals, and a recorded low in effective disposal % at 68.4%, down from 76.1% in 2012. Overall, Gibbs has been on a steady decline in Super Coach from his highs of 2009 that saw him average 107 SC points, down to his two worst years in 2012 and 2013.
Now we’ve gotten even more bad news, with the fact that Gibbs is to be a midfielder only in 2014, a move which will surely hurt his ownership % next year. We may point it out multiple times during these Scout Reports, but there will be better options available to us than these defenders who’ve been swapped to midfield only status. A potential average of 98-105 is nothing to sneeze at, but we want elite mids in our side, but if we’re looking for a score like that, we want to only spend the minimum amount so we get some cash generation out of the proposition, not just to stay even on the whole deal. So for that reason we’ll be looking to skip Gibbs in 2014.
2014 SC Projection: 98-105
2012 SC Average: 96.8
2013 SC Average: 66.1
Starting Price: 356.5K
Carrazzo was a quality pick in 2012 when he had dual DEF/MID eligibility. He averaged a score of 96.8, a respectable return for a defender. He came into 2013 having lost his DEF eligibility and also priced out at an expensive 517K. The injury bug also struck again for Carrots, playing a career low 10 games, while also seeing his disposal count drop from 24.6 in 2012 to 18 in 2013. Looking at his last 3 years, it would be hard to trust the 29 year old heading into next year. He’s becoming more and more injury prone, having played 18, 14 and 10 games in the last 3 years. His lack of DEF eligibility also means we have many more options to pick from in the midfield, which usually has the deepest pool of talent to select from. Say no to Carrots in 2014, there will be better mid-priced options on the market for you to look at.
2014 SC Projection: 75-80
2012 SC Average: 97.2
2013 SC Average: 75.3
Starting Price: 406.3K
“Waite” is exactly what you should be doing if you’re thinking about picking Jarrad in your 2014 SC side. On his day, he’s capable of putting up good scores, and even has a few years’ 95+ averages in his career. He even has some quality stats to hang his name on, 6th in Total Marks Inside 50 and 4th in Contested Marks per game in 2013. The biggest problem Waite has faced is he just can’t get out onto the park on a consistent basis. Since 2009 he has only managed between 9 to 16 games a year, with his last 3 years playing 12, 11 and 16 games. Not only does he have his injury issues, he’s prone to stupidly giving a guy a high hit or this year with a silly head-butt which sees the MRP rub him out. Also due to his previous suspensions, he’ll usually cop the full whack from the MRP, which means instead of getting a 1-2 match suspension; he’ll be given the full 3-4 load.
He is probably one of the most important players Carlton can have on the field as he gives them a legitimate target up forward to kick too, but all too often his issues prevent him living up to his potential. There will be better and safer choices for us to look at in 2014 and he’s not cheap enough to warrant us taking a risk on him.
2014 SC Projection: 70-78
Quick list of lower ranked players to keep your eyes on during pre-season
Patrick Cripps - MID – 157.3K
Cameron Giles - DEF – 117.3K
Cameron Wood – RUCK – 162.6K
So community, who do you have your eyes on for the Blues in 2014? Let us know in the comments below or do a flyby on Twitter @BarronVonCrow and we’ll chat about Carlton’s chances for 2014.