Key position demon or intercepting saviour?
by The Bont
After 10 rounds in 2015 the name on everyone’s defensive radar was Tom Mcdonald, he had 78 intercept possessions 25 of these coming from marks; Along with a very healthy average of 105.0.
Then as many KPP (Key Position Players) have done before him the rest of T-Macs season was a rollercoaster of highs and lows including four sub 65 scores. All said and done Tom still finished the season playing every game at a healthy average of 95.9.
After this display and only missing one game since 2014 a mere 4 percent of supercoachers jumped on the Mcdonald bandwagon… and they were disappointed. After a promising first round 110 the demon went on an underwhelming run of 67 55 76 83 58 and 43. The key position curse had appeared to hit young Tom, and hard. Looking at mid-season stats it was hard to see what had gone wrong with all significant stats seeming quite similar.
|Games in 2016:||22|
|Average in 2016:||112.6|
|100+ games in 2016:||7 (5 scores in the 90s)|
|Sub 80 games in 2016:||8|
|Price range in 2016:||$369K – $517k|
|Missed games last season:||
All hope seemed lost before T Mac turned a corner in round 8, registering a 25 disposal ten mark effort (99 sc) against the Bulldogs. From this moment on Mcdonald averaged 98.8, even more significant is the fact he stormed home averaging 108 in the last 8 rounds of 2016.
He became the intercepting beast that we had seen in 2015 punctuated by a 31 disposal, 10 mark, 144 point effort against Fremantle in round 16.
With the likes of Lynden Dunn , Colin Garland and Jack Grimes being on the outer in 2016 ( Dunn not playing after round 6) McDonald flourished, relishing the extra responsibility; intercepting/rebounding at will going at an impressive 84.02% Disposal Efficiency.
Inconsistency, it’s as simple as that. In Supercoach consistent scoring is paramount, we have all had a round ruined by one measly sub 50 score; and no matter how good your final round score is, that score will be the one you can’t take your eyes off.
Young Tom’s mighty durable and still young so injuries are not an issue, suspension is also no worries.
At the start of 2015 and the end of 2016 T Mac showed that once he starts scoring well he keeps it up for a couple of months, it’s all about jumping on (or off) at the right time.
- Intercept possession – When he’s up and about there are few that are better at reading the footy; and with each intercept possie being worth 4.5 points on top of a intercept contested mark being worth 8 points, the ability to score is definitely there (Mcdonald averaged 6 intercept possessions a game in 2016) .
- With Melbourne improving year by year both defensively and as a complete unit, confidence of all players will grow allowing defenders to float off and intercept (supercoach gold), and as said with the departure of Dunn and Grimes Mcdonald has been become the ‘senior head’, the man who will be most trusted in clearing the ball out of the danger zone. This became apparent in the latter parts of 2016 as Toms uncontested mark numbers and handball receives rose.
- Apart from Alex Rance full backs are scarcely touched in Supercoach so Mcdonald will be a great Point Of Difference (POD)
- Very durable as said has missed one game since 2014
- A great age for developing his game further (only 24)
- Are you ready for a 140 plus score to be followed by a 50? This is the cold reality of having a full back.
- Is there a more awkward price than 485k? JJ, Howe, Houli, Rampe some of the names that will be a similar price
- Will the likely return of Lumumba and Salem help or hinder T Mac
- Will the departure of Paul Roos/ promotion of Simon Goodwin bring a new game plan to Melbourne, unsettling the defensive line?
- The hardest question of all; Will he step up to premium status in defence?
It’s a NO for me (for now).
I just can’t ride the rollercoaster this year, consistency is key. And with the likes of JJ, Docherty and Shaw firing off half back along with the emergence of players like Callum Mils (really like this kid) T Mac won’t get a Guernsey this year.
Some know his as Bontemwaldo, but he’s The Bont to his mates here in the community.
|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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