JACK GUNSTON – 2018 Supercoach Spotlight

Goodness gracious me, there’s no way to sugar coat it, is there? This year, the forward line is a burning dumpster. Only 11 players who are forward eligible in 2018 averaged more than 90 in 2017.

And only five of those that averaved more than 90 managed the feat over 20 or more games.

The forward line has been a major trouble for me in the past few years. For the last two years I’ve somehow convinced myself to start with two premiums and four on-field rookies. Unsurprisingly, that – to put it mildly – hasn’t gone well.

Burn me once, shame on you. Burn me twice, shame on me. If the forward line burns me a third time then… I… I’ll be extremely upset and owchied and burnied and… not happy at all.

So I’m exploring my options. Few of the top 10 forwards entice me – Isaac Heeney is an obvious choice, but beyond that I’m not sold. So I’ve jumped into the burning dumpster that is the forward to find some gems, because gems are forged in the fire? Something like that.


2018 facts $474,800 FWD
2017 games 22
2017 average 86.4
2017 100+ scores 5
2017 sub-80 scores 8
2017 highs and lows High of 146, low of 27


Jack Gunston burned a lot of people in 2017, including community stalwart Dex. He cracked the ton just once in the first 11 rounds of the season, and threw up scores of 43 and 27 during the same period.

The second half of the season was far prettier, averaging 96 from rounds 12 to 23 and then 102 in the final seven rounds of the season.

So what changed? In round 17, after struggling for months to find form in the forward line, Alistair Clarkson threw Gunston into the backline, running him off a flank and using his brilliant kicking – which for so long had been a textbook example of splitting the middle of the sticks – to split opposition zones.

And he flourished.

He picked up 23 or more touches in all but one game, including a massive 35 touches against the Dockers in round 18.

Three of his five tons and more importantly just one of his sub-80 scores came during this seven-week period, and the obvious drop in goals was matched by an increase in possessions.

As mentioned, Gunston’s kicking became a weapon and kicks made up over 70 per cent of his touches, and the bulk of his points.


Gunston is one of the most durable players in the competition. He hasn’t missed a game in three years, and has missed only four in five years. That’s impressive, and in a year where we’re looking at the likes of Robbie Gray, Josh J. Kennedy, The Chad Wingard and Toby ‘The Butcher of Blacktown’ Greene in the top group of players, consistency is going to be extremely important.

He is coming into his prime as a 26-year-old, and is due to play his 150th game in round one. He’s got a strong pair of hands, a good sense of the game and – I keep saying it but cannot stress this enough – can kick a football like Jock Himself in His prime.

With Hodge gone, they’ll need with a cool head on their shoulders, and Gunston is cooler than the refrigerator, chiller than an esky and as Not Hot as the Bee Sharps after they won that Grammy.


In the immortal words of Crouching Tiger, “he burn man”. There’s every likelihood Gunston returns to the forward line this year, or – worse – flits between attack and defence and messing with his scores.

Here’s Hawthorn assistant Adam Yze talking on the club website:

“It was probably a win-win for everyone, that he could try something different by going down back but then, in the end, I think we stumbled across a really good option for us to go down back with the ball use, run and marking ability that he provides off half-back.

“So, moving forward, it’ll just be a question of which end we need him most but it’s certainly a massive positive that he can do both.”

We don’t want both, Adam. We want him running off the half-back line scoring points.


It depends on where he plays. For his price of sub-500k, a consistent, accurate half-back flanker could average between 90 and 100, which would put him firmly in the top eight forwards for the season.

However, at 474k he isn’t classified as cheap in the same way Michael Barlow and Devon Smith are.

However, if he plays forward, he becomes less valuable. Obviously if Hawthorn have a fantastic year and their midfield pumps the ball in to him directly, he may score well as a forward.

However, on the back of last year, and on the back of a number of unknowns in the Hawk’s midfield, I won’t take that chance if he doesn’t look to be locked into defence.

With the return of Jonathon Ceglar in 2018, we may see Roughead, Shoenmakers and McEvoy/Ceglar taking the three pillars up forward, leaving Gunston to prance his way through the back line with his stablemate James Sicily.

But considering Shoenmakers is no Matthew Lloyd, and Ceglar may start in the reserves after Big Boy’s excellent year in the ruck, he might start forward. I really don’t know at this stage.

Jack Gunston is not currently in my side, but he is in very serious contention for a F2 or F3 slot.

What do you think, community? Is Gunston a yea or a nay?


Follow Patch on Twitter @PatchToTheMax

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Comments (120)

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  1. BrownlowBoy says:

    I had him last year and he burnt the pants off me before I rage traded him and then he came good.

  2. James Brown says:

    No offense guys but you lost me at the first paragraph. Typo followed by hard to follow phrasing and structure. I didn't make it far before losing interest. Normally a big fan but I suggest reading it back for a smooth flow and feel.

  3. Will says:

    Good article with good research, he's definitely worth looking at based on the back of his late season form. However, I'm pretty sure he's going to play forward as Ben Stratton said 6 days ago “I don’t think Gunston will be playing too much more down back, he’s a natural forward and I think he’s itching to get back down there,” to RSN. Although you can argue he's a tad underpriced based on previous scoring remember that Hawthorn's forwards scored big back when Hawthorn were the dominant side with a massively dominant attack, who very often won close games (inflating the scoring of players). Can't see Guston return to a 96 although I can see him hovering around a 90, which isn't that great at his price. I'd rather put my money in a Billings or Wingard for a tad more, or gamble on Curnow or Lobb or even Michael Walters if money prevents you from getting a premium.

    • @wheels_1987 says:

      hawks were trash last year. They will start him up forward and if the season goes downhill they will move him down back. I say wait for the initial price drop and upgrade a rookie to him

  4. The_Blacksheep says:

    Without knowing exactly where he will be playing 'Nay'.
    Good right up Patch!

  5. Ivan says:

    No video this man?

  6. hedski says:

    I'm with Will here Patch, I read the other day he has been training exclusively with the fwds again, says he prefers it, doesn't have a defensive bone in his body!
    Good to have you back, nice sneeky Simpsons reference.
    Podcast going up today? 👍

  7. Whitey says:

    Early team guys. Love to know your thoughts.

    Def: Laird, Hurley (not sold yet), Simpson, Rookie blah blah

    Mid: Danger, Mitchell, Kelly, Fyfe, Pendles, O'Meara, Rookies blah blah

    Ruck: Gawn, Goldy

    Fwd: Heeney, Greene, D.Smith, Rookie blah, blah

    Have 260k left, obvious thing to do is upgrade O'meara to a Rocklift or Conilio or Cripps, something like that or do I grab a midpricer at D4 or F4.

    Thanks in advance for any ideas community.

    Great to have this site back guys, full of wisdom and fun.

  8. SC_Kev7 says:

    Yeah, Will and hedski have this one covered. Sicily is Hawthorn guy to target as an interceptor. It’s up to Clarko now not to dick him around and leave him in that spot.

    R12 bye premo (can we call him a premo?) will be hell useful

  9. INPieman says:

    Role certainty doesn't exist. Clarko could spin the magnets & leave you in the foetal position with a moments notice. I'd entertain Sicily or Burton ahead of Gunstan in the risky price point range at the Hawks. Nice work Patch

  10. LuskinStar says:

    You are over thinking the fwds Patch. You said only 5 guys avg over 90 over the 20 games. They would be Franklin, Billings, Dahlhaus, higgins and Dixon. Billings and Dahl almost guaranteed mid time. There’s your F1 and F2. Add a mid priced and a few rookies. Job done.

  11. TommyC99 says:

    Smith or Tracca?

  12. Tyruddanaut says:

    Love how you respect Jock with the capital “His”

  13. TommyC99 says:

    Thoughts on Hanley as an D3 and Devon Smith/tracca/curnow at F2/3 to allow myself to have Cripps at M6?

  14. The Coach says:

    Nope. Gunston isn't worth it.

  15. Canny says:

    You're one magnificent specimen, Patch.
    Almost have me convinced on Gunston too… although I think I've got a few too many pods as it is.

  16. Dann says:

    Hawks have stated he’ll return to the forward line with Stratton & Frawley.

  17. STIRLSY says:

    Wont be a starter for me, but someone to monitor during the season as a chance to come in around the byes.
    Doing the opposite to you Patch im going 3 500k 1 spec pic over 400k and the 2 rookies up FWD to start but im a little thin down back, still a long way off plenty to unfold b4 we start.

  18. Russty_ says:

    Wasn't really considering him but could be an option, currently I have…
    Menegola, Billings, Petracca, Curnow, Higgins, Ryan
    Read billings was injured though…might have to re-consider him.

    Don't like the Crimson/ Burgundy colour on our names…what's up with that?

  19. Lazza says:

    Hey Lekdog,
    Any chance that Old Ockers spreadsheet will be available this pre-season?

  20. Dezzy says:

    My boy Cockadoodle-do is ready for a breakout year. Hammy has been tied to the bone and he will be pumped up fuller than a jumping castle at a Wiggles party being locker buddies with Jesus the little masters apprentice. At $289k he is a weird price but in a forward line full of numpty dumpties he’ll be my number 1 lock of the year. All hail the flying Cock!

  21. Russty_ says:

    No offence, but I thought you would've kicked off the new Season / New Era with an article a bit more important than Jack Gunston…who cares about him really?…he's never really been that relevant.
    Was hoping to hear about players who could be big game changers this year.
    It's getting very late into it and we need updates on how the potential big points scorers are travelling this year.

    • Russty_ says:

      How about a Fwd comparison of all the potential top 6 Fwds this year?…including Menegola.
      The Forward line will be very problematic for us all this season.

    • @wheels_1987 says:

      Russty …. relax mate. This is just super early banter to get the brain ticking. No point putting out the A material this early with no pre season evidence. What will we discuss before the dawn of the season if we do it ALL now?

      Instead of coming down on the boys so hard – why don't YOU add to the community??? to quote you

      "Gunston…who cares about him really?…he's never really been that relevant.
      Was hoping to hear about players who could be big game changers this year. "

      Why don't you go into more detail as to why Gunston "has never been relevant", then discuss YOUR big players that you would like to see?

      Would make for a good discussion in the comments. Refer to my comment below.

      • Neil Demons Delight says:

        Russty has done exactly that wheels .His in depth evaluation of all the top forwards with videos is a must see,. you can view it on fantasy supercoach.com There are heaps of reviews about all the top players and recruits with videos

      • Russty_ says:

        Hi Wheels, I wasn't meaning to 'come down hard on the boys', as you said, I was just pointing out in saying that, 'he's never been that relevant' meaning, he's never really been in many people's forward lines at the pointy end of the season, also, I've looked at 100's of posted teams / (what do you think of my Team?) posts on several different websites in the last several weeks, and not one single team had Gunston in their Forward line.
        Why do you suppose that is?
        Wasn't meaning to come down hard on anyone or knock Patch's writing at all, I enjoy his writing.
        My only query was on the subject matter.
        I just don't think many coaches will be thinking about him as part of their forward line.

    • @wheels_1987 says:

      Gunston HAS been relevant
      theres his season averages.

      2010 2 49.0
      2011 12 55.8
      2012 16 71.3
      2013 20 83.0
      2014 20 90.3
      2015 22 96.6
      2016 22 92.3
      2017 22 86.4

    • Notorious says:

      Your well entitled to do your own research and not be so reliant on others to do it for you

  22. @wheels_1987 says:

    Me personally, im going with Franklin, Greene, Dahlhaus and Christensen at this stage. Will add Gunston to the wishlist in the hopes he drops in price early

    Franklin coz he is a beast
    Dahlhaus because I think his input will increase as the doggies took 1 step backwards last year
    Greene coz he loves the biff
    Christensen because I believe he is undervalued. 2013-2015 he averaged 90pts. 16 he only avg 69.5. He will be back (I hope)

  23. CheekyNandos7 says:

    Hey lads, just thought I’d post the team and see what feedback I can get so here goes:

    DEF – R.Laird, M.Hibberd, H.Shaw, C.O’Shea, T.Doedee, D.Mirra (S.Murray, L.Keeffe)

    MID – P.Dangerfield, T.Mitchell, Z.Merrett, N.Fyfe, P.Cripps, S.Coniglio, LDU, T.Kelly (P.Ahern, J.Worpel, N.Holman)

    RUC – M.Gawn, N.Naitanui (J.Lavender)

    FWD – I.Heeney, J.Billings, L.Dahlhaus, R.Lobb, J.Higgins, L.Ryan (J.Garlett, C.Spargo)

    Got $68,600 left in the bank but not sold on Shaw. If I get in Simpson I’ll only have $10,400 but if I go for another (what I think is anyway) POD in Hanley I’d have a nice $98,700. If you guys could help me out that would be much appreciated, cheers.

  24. TRIGGA_HAPPY says:

    Patch ol mate congrats on the promotion.
    Hope u have a big year and keep us in stiches.

    As for gunston for me to quote the emoji movie he is a "meh"
    Young guns fwd line for me this year that hopefully will offer a bit more.

  25. sc tragic says:

    Midfield either/or's are pretty straight forward. As ever the challenges are thrown up in Def and For lines, should be present quite a few Pod's. All selections are risk/reward on first drafts.

  26. Neil Demons Delight says:

    Dahlhouse shouldn't be overlooked They all had shockers last year at WHITTEN oval.. Played a ripper game last hitout' Forwards are a nightmare this year No premium keepers for me maybe 3 midpricers/3 rookies

  27. BlueGreg says:

    Jack is always there or there abouts but he's the worst value in his price range. for a few bucks more you can get somebody who wont crap out a 27 and half a dozen 60's and 70's.
    I agree that it's not an obvious choice for your launch article and I understand your desire to appear more serious by picking somebody like Jack but, there's better gold than Jack hiding from your forward line.

    Grandpa Simpson being chased down by buddy as he trys to gather a loose ball, I've seen that.

  28. Neil Demons Delight says:

    Just read one of the best pieces about champion data 's scoring system LETS PLAY HARDBALL.by derek changed my view on midfielders and who to select It can be found on fantasy supercoach .com a credit to you Derek

  29. GloryDays90 says:

    Any feedback is welcome. 
    Still not sold on some players: 

    DEF: Laird, Rich, TMac, Naughton, Murray, Doedee (Mirra, Cumming) 

    MID: Danger, Mitchell, Fyfe, Pendles, Cripps, Rayner, LDU, Brodie (Holman, Dow, Kelly) 

    RK: Goldy, Gawn( Hayes) 

    FWD: Heeney, Billings, Dahlhaus, Sicily, Ahern, Ryan( Switkowski, Garlett) 

    156.1k left in bank

  30. James says:

    What’s the most amount of games you see Ablett playing

  31. Shake n bake says:

    Am l the only one considering Daniher?

  32. neil demons delight says:

    Still trying to absorb Dereks review on Champion Datas contested possessions and hard ball gets scoring process.Changed my mind on OLIVER now the no 1 lock Must be a good read LEKDOG read it calling it a masterpiece Cant deny that Lek IT IS find it on fantasysupercoach .com

  33. Jack says:

    He is playing forward lmao. We just got our 3 best backman back.

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