Young Padawan has returned to fight once again, which side will he favour in 2017?
by Billy Friend
The fallen premium, returning from the dark side of an erratic 2015 will be keen to prove his worth after a year in the stands. This could be the year where he truly sees the light.
A plethora of qualities are required for SuperCoach success, but an open mind is one thing that separates the good from the great. I think back to when past winner and our dear friend John Bruyn of the Dimma Witts started with Travis Cloke, banked his mammoth 195 in round 4 and ran with it, trading him out just as swarms of coaches looked to add the big oaf into their forward lines. That required an open mind.
Highlight of Paddy Ryder’s day was cake.
“We had some cake to welcome me back. I asked for some cake and there was one.”
— Theo Doropoulos (@TheoDrop) September 14, 2016
Last year’s winner started without the best player in the whole bloody competition. It seemed like suicide to go without the teen wolf, but Fremantle were awful and his injury history caught up with him. That required an open mind.
Fast forward to this year, and we are presented with a straight forward ruck strategy that we shouldn’t have to think twice about. Two rucking behemoths, Goldy and Gawn, it’s that simple right?
Wrong. We must assess ALL options with a fine tuned microscope if we are to be successful, and Paddy Ryder has emerged from the darkness to challenge for a spot in our ruck. Oh, and if you can’t stay away from the uber premium ruck duo or are keen on old Sandiballs or Grundy, there is a part two to the discussion on Ryder, that’s fine because he’s a forward too! And a cheap one at that.
Ryder has an impressive resume of SuperCoach scoring under his belt. At the Bombers he’s averaged over 100 for two seasons and over 90 for two years rotating as a forward and a ruckman. The role of Ryder is key to his SuperCoach scoring output. If Port Adelaide were up and about circa 2014 I would say he could get away with playing key forward and averaging around the 100 mark, but they have sold their soul to China and their main tactic is for Koshi to swoop in and talk his way into our hearts by regaling us with tales of the heritage and history of the ‘this proud football club.’
So, Ryder’s scores will follow too much of a yo-yo pattern if playing as a forward and pinch hitting in the ruck, he needs to be Port’s go to big man! At the Bombers, Ryder displayed a huge propensity for effective hitouts and disposals around the ground and he really is an exciting player to own. He loves getting involved and isn’t a ruckman that just gallops around the ground not even watching where the ball is. I’m looking at you Lobbe you big lump.
There is no way Kenny can run with Lobbe as Port’s starting ruck this year, he’s just too awful. In fact, Ken was so keen not to have to stare down the pale complexion of Matthew in his team huddles that he played Jackson Trengove in the ruck for much of the season instead. That’s insulting for Lobbe, but the big saucy monster will get over it. He might even get a few touches in the SANFL to make up for it. I really envision Ryder being the man that Ken wants to grab the solo ruckman role by its kahunas and never look back.
|2017 Supercoach Price:||$418,100 SC|
|2017 Est. Position:||RUCK/FWD|
|Games in 2016:||0|
|Average in 2015:||86|
|100+ games in 2015:||5|
|Sub 80 games in 2015:||6|
|Price range in 2016:||NA|
This is where it gets juicy. Paddy is not without significant risk and doubt. His durability is certainly a potential concern. In three of the last four seasons, he’s failed to play more than 20 games and has a tendency to pick up soft tissue injuries. He did put together 107 of a possible 110 games earlier in his career so there is light at the end of the tunnel there.
After a year of no football, we don’t know how hard he’s been training or how fit is he going into preseason. If he’s undercooked, he could wreck havoc on our teams. He has no injury concerns to speak of currently and has been reunited with his teammates on the track, so promising signs BUT it is a big unknown.
His role in the team as that number one ruckman isn’t nailed down and we could see him spending large chunks down forward relying on goals for his scores. If Port don’t improve on last year, we will see traditional key forward type scoring from Ryder, which isn’t what we are after. An injury to Charlie Dixon or one of Port’s other key posts might see the versatile Ryder become the go to man inside forward fifty, which may reduce his SuperCoach output.
- A proven SuperCoach scorer and prior premium forward, therefore we know what he can produce.
- Pretty cheap! Owning Ryder will allow us to spend more coin in the mids on proven jets.
- He’s the sort of man to rally this year to show the world what he’s got. Think back to when he was thrown into the ruck due to injury and won the ANZAC medal as a young padawan.
- He can go big and has posted 18 120+ scores over his career (interestingly none playing as mainly a key forward in his first year at Port)
- Precious FWD eligibility in a year where they are thin on the ground
- Is an injury risk
- Has an unknown role
- If he doesn’t pay off will be a mid priced turd that we will have to waste a trade on
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— Jock Reynolds (@jock_reynolds) November 2, 2016
The majority of people will select Paddy as a mid priced forward, and I think this is wise. He may not quite have the scoring power to compete with Gawn and Goldy or even the returning Sandilands but surely has potential to be a premium forward.
YES (Pending his role in the NAB)
If I see this athletic beast leap around the park in the NAB as a solo ruck or hear Kenny’s plans for Paddy in a conclusive manner, I’m on board. He offers huge value, too good to ignore for mine.
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|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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