Premium mid – but can he take it to the next level?
By Ben Madden
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the Western Bulldogs ending their 62 year premiership drought this year. Bloody good stuff. And they couldn’t have done it without the man running their midfield, Marcus Bontempelli.
The question on everyone’s lips is this – will The Bont take it to the next level in 2017?
We’d all love to say yes, but Supercoach is won using logic and cold hard facts, not sentiment. Having said that, it’s hard not to see Bont being one of the first few names on your 2017 Supercoach Watchlist.
|2017 Supercoach Price:||$586,100|
|Games last season:||22|
|Average last season:||107.7|
|100+ games last season:||14|
|Sub 80 games last season:||4|
|Price range last season:||$462K – $591K|
|Missed games last season:||Nil|
The worry with Marcus Bontempelli is not that he’ll deliver premium output. It’s not every day that you see a 20 year old carry his team for large amounts of the year. The risk with the Bont is that he will stagnate, and you’re paying for a premium that won’t stack up to the Dangerfields and Fyfes (if he makes it back) of this world.
Bontempelli averaged 116 from rounds 7-22. Over a season, that would have put him as the 4th best player of the 2016 season. Obviously, the question is whether he can produce that sort of form over a whole season. Here’s why I think he will.
The Bulldogs, and Bont, are only going to get tougher, meaner, older, and bigger. He’ll be receiving support from the other cogs in the midfield more and more, and the Bulldogs will have a point to prove next year, having won the premiership from an unprecedented 7th. He plays a wonderful Supercoach game, averaging just over 10 contested possessions a game, and always popping up for a goal or 2 when you least expect it (one of the golden rules of supercoach – goal kicking midfielders basically write a blank cheque for themselves).
— Jacob Landsmeer (@jlandsme_93) October 5, 2016
You’re not selecting Marcus Bontempelli with an eye to trade him out. You want 22, rolled gold games from the young Dog. Picking Marcus Bontempelli is (hopefully) locking in a spot for him in your completed midfield, as you want him to be a player you can trust.
- At only 20 years old, another pre-season will do him a world of good
- Young team around him, vital cog of the midfield
- Can score a goal or 2
- Potential to get even more attention for the opposition
- Has he already peaked?
- The Dogs may fall back to the pack
Maybe next year is the year Marcus Bontempelli returns to Earth, having spent the 2016 playing like a man possessed. It could also be the year he wins a Brownlow. It’ll be a risk to start with Bontempelli, and he could very well prove to be a dud pick. But you might just find yourself kicking yourself if you don’t start him. I’ll be picking him, pending a horrible pre-season from the lad.
Reach out to Ben on Twitter: benmaddentweets
|This article has been penned as part of the Jock Reynolds Community Series, where anyone from within our proud community can have their say in front of their peers. These men and women have displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.|
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