G’day again community,
Since I last touched based with you guys, SuperCoach for 2014 has finally opened and we are now under way.
This time of year presents both excitement and frustration for all coaches, as our wants tend to exceed our resources.
In this article, I’ll be taking a closer look at a young star that will cost dollars, but is ready to become an elite midfielder of the competition: Jack Steven.
2014 Price: $593,100
2014 Position: MID
2013 averages: 109.9 SC/98.2 DT
2012 averages: 89.8 SC/83.5 DT
2011 averages: 78.2 SC/79.7 DT
2010 averages: 62.5 SC/59.2 DT
Jack Steven arrived to the party in 2013, averaging a touch under 110 SC points and winning St Kilda’s Best and Fairest. Statistically, there was also a dramatic increase in Steven’s level of output. Averaging 20.2 touches in 2012, his numbers lifted to 26.8 disposals a game, ranking him 15th overall in the competition.
However, Jack wasn’t a prolific ball winner, with only 6 games with 30+ disposals and 10 games with a disposal count below 25+. So to justify the coin spent on Jack Steven, he’ll need to lift his ball winning ability to an elite level.
SuperCoach wise, Champion Data rated his end of the season much greater than his start. Scoring 8 tons in his last 9 games, Steven’s finish to the year suggests he has more than what it takes to be elite – notching up 36 touches in 100+ pt loss to Geelong and 35 touches in 59 pt loss to Sydney. He is bringing a very solid 2nd half to the year into this pre-season and for that, he must be seriously considered.
Looking ahead to season 2014, Jack Steven will become the main man in an evolving St Kilda midfield. With Nick Dal Santo gone, Lenny Hayes heading into his last season and Leigh Montagna on the wrong side of 30, it is time for Jack to shoulder the midfield workload.
He will also become number 1 target for opposition taggers, which means his selection must be treated with caution. Guys like Luke Dunstan, Jack Newnes, David Armitage and even a 34-year-old Lenny Hayes won’t pose too many headaches to opposition coaches. Temptation will be there to put their best taggers on Jack Steven or Leigh Montagna, especially now that Nick Dal Santo is no longer at the club.
2014 Predicted Status: Premium
Predicted Average 2014: 110-120 SC
Selection Status: In your calculations, but not automatic selection.
Jack has all the tools to make the leap from promising to elite. His end to the season, especially against quality opposition (ignoring Fremantle’s 2nds) should be taken seriously. If he can bring the 8 100s in 9 games form, he will more than justify the near $600k price tag. Only hesitation I have, given the price tag, is how he will handle being a marked man in a side going through a transition phase. Opposition taggers will go straight to Jack Steven this season, so how he is able to handle the extra attention will determine if he’s worth the money. Should be considered, not an automatic lock though.