When Vince approached me in 2011 his life was in turmoil. He made a few bad decisions growing up. Then a few more. Mixed with the wrong crowd. Before long he was up to his neck in the seedy gangland underbelly of the south eastern suburbs .
Many still shudder at the memory of Teflon Gambino and his reign of terror which stretched from the hustle and bustle of Bentleigh all the way through to the sleepy seaside suburb of Mordialloc. The sight of some loose change being slipped into a pocket at the train station was like a red rag to a bull to our Vince in days past.
The best bloody thing Vince ever did was try it on old Jock one blustery Saturday morning. He put out his hand for some change. I put out my hand in friendship. He reached up his jumper for his cricket bat. I reached into my heart for some compassion. He fumbled and got the bat caught in the draw strings of his tracky dacks… that’s more than enough opportunity for this old bloke to deliver some martial art inspired discipline.
And so it was that Jock drew a busted up kid from the wrong side of the tracks under his wing and re introduced him to society. Stands to reason that anyone in my presence will generally learn a trick or two.. so it shouldn’t surprise us too much that Vince stands before us today as one of the finest Supercoach and AFL Fantasy Analysts in the country.
An so it is that I hand over to Vince “Teflon” Gambino for his debut article.
2013 rookies with Vince “Teflon” Gambino
Greetings my community friends.
While it is true that I have turned my back on being one of the baddest arses in Melbourne I want to tell you that I have kept some close.. shall we say… associates.. in the industry whom I.. enlist.. to get the inside word of all things in the beautiful game. Fantasy Footy.
Brad Crouch Adelaide MID ($115,900 SC)
The first name that I keep hearing about is a kid by the name of Brad Crouch. I like the look of this boy. In fact, he was so young that former mob boss himself – Andrew Demetriou – and his boys decided that Crouchy (no relation to The Crouching One) was too young to be eligible for senior selection in 2012. Instead he spent the year playing for West Adelaide in the SANFL where he enjoyed plenty of time in the midfield racking up possessions. My associates tell me he is a clearance king, which is always handy for collecting Supercoach points.
Now I hear what you’re telling me: “What about Jaeger O’Meara, Teflon?” Now don’t get me wrong, young Jägermeister (also $115,900) is going to be a super player. To be honest I’ll probably go for both of them in my team. But if I were to choose one of them, I’d go with Crouch. Unlike Crouch, O’Meara didn’t play a lot of footy last year. Prior to undergoing groin surgery in July; he’d only played in the NEAFL in GC Suns reserve team. In terms of competitiveness, the NEAFL just doesn’t stack up with the SANFL, which makes me think Jägermeister may not quite be ready for senior footy in 2013. Along with Jack Viney ($109,500) from Melbourne, these three players are the best rookie midfielders going around.
Viney reminds me a bit of myself: tough, gutsy and resilient. He will win a lot of contested footy which is very important for those who have him in their Supercoach and AFL Fantasy side.
Sam Colquhoun Port Adelaide DEF/MID ($109,500 SC)
Now this young man may not be attracting the hype of some other rookies in 2013, but I believe he can play an important role in your side. Despite being South Australia’s Most Valuable Player in the 2012 Under 18 Championships, he was overlooked in the 2012 National Draft before being picked up by Port Adelaide in Pre Season draft. Unfortunately for the young fella he grew up supporting Port Adelaide, so he was doomed from the start. My scouts down at Alberton Oval say he is tearing up the track during pre-season. Most importantly he can be selected in your team as either a defender or midfielder.
Sam Docherty Brisbane DEF ($115,900 SC)
Good old BrisVegas is one of my favourite holiday destinations. The Treasury Casino in Brisbane is now bankrupt after me and the boys swooped on the poker and roulette tables. I’ve managed to get in contact with a few of my mates up there about who’s looking good on the track for the Lions. The name on most of their lips was Sam Docherty. After missing most of 2012 through injury.
Docherty is set to explode this year and he’s a player I’d watch very closely. Fit and firing he should slot into the Lions defence very nicely.
Josh Simpson Fremantle MID/FWD ($119,500 SC)
The Freo boys from out west have picked up a little beauty in young Josh Simpson here. Unlike the big fat Cuban cigar I’m sucking on at the moment, you can pick Simpson up for peanuts. The kid is absolute lightning and also has exquisite foot skills. He topped the kicking test at Draft Camp – nailing 29 out of 30 targets. Ross Lyon has already stated that Simpson is a big chance to line up for the Dockers in Round 1. The young man is already a father, which makes me think he’s got a steady head on his shoulders. Must consider.
Troy Menzel Carlton MID/FWD ($149,500 SC). Troy had the potential to be drafted in the top 5 but his LARS surgery a few years ago scared most clubs off, and he eventually slid down to number 11. Now as you know, I love to take risks – and Troy Menzel is definitely worth taking a punt on.
Thankfully for Carlton they managed to retain their draft picks last year – unlike in 2002 when I gave my old friend John Elliot few tips on how to weave your way around the salary cap. We haven’t spoken much since. I’m still not sure why John declined my offer to have him apart of the cock fighting ring; something about a pig’s arse he said. Anyway, all fantasy footballers should seriously be considering Troy for their team. Menzel was bagging in goals for fun whilst playing for Central districts in the SANFL last year and can also be selected as a midfielder in your team. Menzel’s story reminds me a bit of Joel Selwood’s – a young, up and coming superstar who fell down a few places in the draft due to prior injuries. And we all know how everything turned out for Joel Selwood.
A similar player who’s been touted as a future gun is Jake Stringer ($179,500) from the Western Bulldogs. However I’d stay away from him for a couple of reasons. Firstly, although I like taking a punt on injury-prone players, Stringer’s body simply won’t be able to handle AFL rigours in 2013; and at $179,500 he’s also too expensive for a rookie. Here’s hoping the lad proves me wrong.
Brent Staker ($128,000) from Brisbane would be a better option in my opinion. Although he is returning from a knee reconstruction, Staker will consistently produce decent scores and his value will rise. He can be played as either a backman or forward.
Joe Daniher ($154,500) from Essendon deserved a look in to your team too. Although a bit pricey, the kid has footy in his bloodlines and is going to be a superstar. At 201cm I’m expecting him to monster opponents and hopefully slot a few goals in 2013.
Brett Goodes Western Bulldogs DEF/MID ($128,200 SC). Now your old friend Teflon Gambino isn’t one for cracking jokes – I’d rather crack heads open – but I’m expecting Brett to produce the Goodes for your side in 2013. The 28-year-old brother of Adam had a long road of frustration before
finally being drafted by the Western Bulldogs after impressing at VFL level in 2012 whilst earning a position in the state team of the year. Goodes’ primary attributes are his rebound from defence, compiled with excellent foot skills. I’d lock him in for a position in the backline.
Dean Terlich ($109,500) from Melbourne is a very similar player who would also fit into your team nicely. Terlich had a very good season in the SANFL and shouldn’t find it too difficult to get a game for the Dees.
Daniel Currie North Melbourne RUCK ($109,500 SC). Generally speaking, my unwritten rule on picking ruckmen is that they can’t be first-year players. In this instance, most ruckmen are way too raw in their first year and still need time to develop. The case is no difference for Daniel Currie. After being unable to crack into the senior team at Sydney for two years, Currie made the move to North Adelaide in the SANFL where he had a very promising 2012. With big Todd Goldstein seeing a dramatic dip in form towards the latter part of 2012, Currie will be applying a lot of pressure to his spot – alternatively they could both play in the same team. In my opinion he’s the pick of the rookie ruckmen.
Majak Daw ($115,900) also from North Melbourne seems to have attitude problems (I can always help him fix that),
Liam McBean ($109,500) from Richmond is too raw to seriously consider yet as is Brodie Grundy ($114,500) from Collingwood.
Another player who would be worth a look however is Jarrod Witts ($115,900) also from Collingwood. He has been looked after well by the club and now seems ready for AFL footy.
Over to youse blokes.. got any other rookie intel?