Swan Josh Kennedy – permanent super elite midfielder?
Last season was a truly special one for Josh Kennedy.
He excelled in a resurgent Swan’s outfit that went on to win the flag in a Grand Final against the very club that let him go only three years before. His consistently high level of performance had him as an early Brownlow favourite. And although he ended up coming eighth with 19 votes he did end up taking out Sydney’s Best and Fairest with a record total of 877 votes.
All this contributed to Josh having a break out year in Supercoach and Dreamteam and too, jumping up in average from the Strong Midprice level of 96.1 Supercoach points per round in 2011 to the Super Elite level of 120.2 points per round in 2012. This was a whopping 24.1 point per round increase that would have had the very few coaches who selected him in their initial teams in 2012 very happy indeed.
Looking at his stats he averaged 12.3 kicks, 16 handballs, 1.2 goals and 5 tackles a game. Although his disposal average isn’t anywhere near as high as other Super Elites like Gary Ablett and Dane Swan, it’s the specific type of disposal that has seen Kennedy shoot up the Supercoach ladder. He was ranked number one in Contested Possessions per game and number one in Clearances per game. Both Supercoach gold for points scoring. Add this to his high tackle count of 5 per game and his ability to kick goals from the midfield and you can quickly see where his point accumulation has come from and why he has finished with Super Elite status.
The one aspect of his game that did let him down was in the clanger department where he finished 7th overall in the competition. Although when you’re leading the competition in contested possessions you can expect a lot of possessions to be rushed while under pressure and the negative points are counter acted by the hard ball gets in the first place. So let’s have a quick recap of his scoring in 2012.
- You can see in the table that Josh was very reliable, only dropping below 100 points in 4 games with a lowest score of 86. On the other side of the scale he had 6 games where he scored above 130 with a top score of 173.
- His average in a winning and losing team was very similar at 119 and 121 respectably which just shows how consistent he was in 2012.
- The upside of Kennedy seems very good but yet I have noticed not too many Supercoach coaches are considering him in their sides for 2013. I can only assume that people are reluctant to pick Kennedy because he has only one year of elite output behind him. Some might assume that they are taking a big risk at his starting price of $643,000.
So was 2012 a flash in the pan or are we about to see another player join the cast of must have Super Elite players ? Well even though Josh had a massive average points increase from 2011 it isn’t all that dissimilar to the jumps experienced by the current crop of consistent Super Elite Players.
- Back in 2007 Gary Ablett had his break out year increasing his average by 22 Supercoach points. He then went on to break out again in 2008 increasing his average by a further 18 points.
- In 2009 Dane Swan had his break out year increasing his average by 21.18 points.
- And finally Scott Pendlebury entered the party in 2011 with his break out year increasing his average by 18.68 points.
However not all those who break into the Super Elite Level go on to post the consistent super elite numbers of the table above.
Back in 2007 Jimmy Bartel entered the Super Elite level only to drop off by 9.9 points in 2008. Leigh Montagna joined the ranks in 2009 only to drop off by 10.99 points the following year. And lastly we all remember the 130.24 average Goddard pulled off in 2010 only for him to drop off the following season by 22.38 points. I had clumps of my beautiful red locks all over the floor that year.
Well if you look at the table of the one year wonders you can see that both Jimmy Bartel and Leigh Montagna’s stats are very similar. Both were playing in teams at the height of their powers and their drop off in average coincided with a breakout by another teammate the following year, Gary Ablett at Geelong and Brendan Goddard at St Kilda. Both would have copped the heavy tag coming off their season’s best and both their averages dropped as a result. Goddard’s drop off is as simple as St Kilda peaked in 2010 and I’m sorry Jock their window for the flag closed along with a lot of their ageing squads Supercoach relevance. So which table do I expect to see Josh Kennedy in 2013??
- Kennedy is a contested ball winner and therefore will not be effected by a tag all that much. Opposition teams will know this too and I can see the first tag going to outside ball winners like Daniel Hannebery, leaving Kennedy to pick up a few cheapies along the way.
- He is 24 years of age in a reasonably young reigning Flag winning Swans team that arguably looks even stronger in 2013 and is definitely not in decline. Although there is some young talent coming through the Swans midfield in the form of Jack, Hannebery, and Jetta, the likes of Jude Bolton, Ryan O’Keefe and Adam Goodes are getting on and the Midfield is there for Kennedy to lead and dominate.
- He has scope to improve too and if he can improve even slightly on his clanger count we would see an increase to his average going forward. With his confidence and self belief at an all time high this is an area that may very well improve in 2013.
- He is a consistent scorer so I don’t see his price dropping too much below the $600,000 mark that makes him hard to upgrade too.
- Has a great “Durability Factor” and hasn’t missed a game since his move to the Swans, a stat I can see continuing in 2013.
I think we are about to see another name added to the must have Super Elite Table.
The Mad Irishman’s VerdictCurrent Status: Super Elite Starting price: $643,000 2012 Average: 120.2pts 2012 Games Played: 22 2013 Predicted Status: Elite/Super Elite 2013 Predicted Average: 119 to 123pts 2013 Predicted Games: 22 Value Rating: 5 (good)
If you are somebody who likes having a point of difference I’d say Kennedy is your man. Will easily finish in the top 8 midfielders for 2013 and is a very sound M2 or M3 in your initial team.
Stay tuned ….