The Elephant in the Room – part 1

Published by Jock on

Supercoach strategy with Mick

Hello Community, it’s been a little over a month since I last dropped you a line but I can assure you I haven’t forgotten about you, and I certainly haven’t stopped thinking about my 2014 Supercaoch team either.

I have been back to the homeland for Christmas and doing a little travelling around Europe while I’m this side of the world.

I’ve just gone through a few of the photos and can’t help but notice a troubled look across my face in each and every one of them. You see community, something has been distressing me, playing on my mind and I just can’t shake it. There is an Elephant in the room and nobody wants to address it. What are we going to do about the vast majority of elite and super elite midfielders having the round 8 bye?


Now before I go any further there is a very simple answer. Just ignore it. If you are a player who is only going after a league win, then that’s a very simple solution. Pick the best team you can and if your team happens to be loaded with round 8 bye players, then so be it.

At worst you’ll take the loss over round 8 and back yourself in to get enough wins to finish high enough up the ladder to have a good crack come finals. Best case you’ll meet someone else in round 8 with the same mentality and sneak a win with a really low round 8 total. Happy Days! That’s all well and good if you’re just a league player who doesn’t really care about overall rankings, and if that’s the case this article isn’t for you.

However if you’re like me, and concentrate on overall ranking in the hope you’ll put yourself into a position to take out the top price, then round 8 presents a very real problem. Loading up on players with the round 8 bye will cause a significant dent in your overall score and result in a drop off in the rankings after round 8. In may very well put you too far behind the leading pack for you to play catch up over the second half of the year. That’s why I feel we all have to be very conscious when picking our teams that we don’t overload with too many round 8 players, especially round 8 midfielders. That in itself is no easy feat and presents itself with some intriguing, if not problematic selection dilemmas. In case you are not aware there are a lot of very good midfielders sharing the round 8 bye. If I was selecting a team with no consideration for the byes I might very well select 6 or 7 of my 10 midfielders from this bunch.


I’ve highlighted the players I personally have a keen interest in by making them in bold. Giving no consideration to the round 8 bye I could easily see myself selecting both Ablett and Pendlebury from the Super Elite section. They were the only two players who finished with Super Elite Status in 2013 and you’d think there won’t be too many players, if any above them come the end of 2014 either.

Dangerfield is locked away in everyone’s forward line, so there’s another player you will be missing in round 8. Joel Selwood had a superb second half in 2013 and recorder the third highest average last season, and one who I’d like to have in my team in 2014. Both Trent Cotchin and Dayne Beams offer great value for money and two players I would expect to finish 2014 with Elite status so it would be very hard to pass them up.
I always like to fit in one or two breakout contenders in my team too and there are so many to choose from in the midprice range. I see North having a big year with a big chance that someone like a Ziebell or a Cunnington breaking out, and I wouldn’t rule out Nick Dal Santo getting back to elite level either. Then there are a whole host of Gold Coast Suns midfielders ready to explode.

Prestia and Bennell are superstars and represent real value. Likewise Geelong has some holes to fill in their midfield and have two very promising players who seem to have plenty of upside in the form of Christensen and Duncan. Then to round it all out you have a rookie, all be it a very expensive one, in the form of Jack Martin. The talk is big on this kid and even if he averages 10pts a game less than O’Meara in 2013, he’ll still have a great year.

Supercoach team

The above example is a very strong midfield in my opinion and one I would be very happy with only for the fact that 7 players will be out during the round 8 bye week. I think we can all agree that this is just too many if you want to have consistent scores through the bye rounds, and be in a position to contend for the top prize when you come through the three week bye period.

So if six or seven round 8 bye midfielders are too many, then what is the ideal number we should be looking to put in our teams?

There is no right or wrong answer to this question but in my opinion I think the ideal numbers you should be looking at is 3-3-4. That is three players from the round 8 bye, three players from the round 9 bye and four players from the round 10 bye. This formation is ideal for the sole reason that it will allow you to maximise your premium’s output, and maximise your trades over the three week bye period. You will only be missing 3 players during the round 8 bye, meaning you have seven on field players in your midfield. If you then make use of your 3 trades for round 9, you should be able to turn 1 or 2 of your round 9 starting players into premiums that had their bye in round 8, thus meaning you’ll have at least 7 players to choose from in round 9. Apply the same principle to round 10 and by using your trades correctly you should be able to add another premium or two that had their bye in rounds 8 or 9, and give you as many as 8 players to select from in your round 10 midfield.

Confused? The best way to explain this might very well be through diagram.


Now the above is a best case scenario but it effectively proves that you can maximize your team’s midfield output and have a full premium midfield as early as round 10 if you start the year with the correct bye and trading strategy. The above example incorporates a 3-4-3 format perfectly. However with the abundance of midfield talent in round 8 there could be a strong argument for going with a 4-3-3 format, with 4 players with the round 8 bye, and three from both the round 9 and 10 bye rounds. This would ensure you’re not missing out on too many points over the first 7 rounds. However anything more than 4 round 8 bye players and you really are going to be in trouble. You’ll be hurt badly in round 8 and will also struggle to make best use of your trades during the byes. I can foresee that those that plan through this bye period correctly will be the ones who will enter the leading contenders for the top prize when all the byes are over.

The next big question we should all be asking is which three or four players should we be picking that have the round 8 bye. Or maybe the more important question is which players do we leave out? I’ll be addressing those questions in part 2 of this article later on in the week.

Final Word: Just when you thought you had your team looking pretty solid. I know right!

Mick the Mad Irishman

27th in Supercoach 2013


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Very interesting point you raise Mick. Jock Higgo & Crouching came to the pub for my birthdays drinks last night. Wish I’d invited you as well. Jeez it was a big one!


'twas a lovely evening for a shandy.
Happy to report that I maintained hydrated and sober. The drive home, however, proved difficult. I had to put up with a drunken and affectionate Jock in one seat and a punchy Crouching in the other.

Happy Birthday Pieman!


Crouching came back to the pub & we kicked on. Woke up this morning in the local park, phone in one hand & wearing nothing but me undies. I urge the community please keep an eye out for my shorts, tee shirt, wallet, keys & my favorite black thongs. I can’t get hold of Crouching either. Hope he ok


Ahh Pieman, Did Jock bang on about Narelle or the Saints, When it's about Narelle you know you are getting P1ssed and when it's about Saint Kilda you what to get P1ssed…… Happy B'day for the day Oh and keyboard and Next G device thanks you for the invite…..Hahha


PS found Crouching one at the back of Punt oval clutching a pair of thongs fast asleep and every now and then he would say " Why you no love me…Slipper… WTF" So bundled him in a cab sent cab to Edithvale just enough time for me to forget ah Carlton Draught is there nothing you can't do…OMFG Tiger don't live there ahh Carlton draught!


Glad to hear Crouching is ok. Next bash you’ll be getting an invite dools. We need some community outings.


definitely an issue Mick, as a general rule I am trying not to have more than 4 of one bye group on any given line.

which is exactly why Marc Murphy and Daisy are looking very likely starters.

would look at scooter selwood and watson as very valid alternatives in the (probably) elite category.

dont forget Matt Crouch, Bock, Kersten, KK and Mcdonald….all popular rookie picks with the dreaded round 8 curse.


Which sydney mid is the one to have this year? jack or hannebry?


That's a tricky one hazzy. I intend to start with Kizza Jack and JPK myself as PODs. Really loving the Swans draw this season and the immense competition for spots in their 22 with all their returning injured stars from 2013. Also have handy Rd10 byes.

Hanners has had a terrific pre-season too by all reports so could very well break out to ultra premium status this year. Though we'll just have to see there.

Would be surprised if either 3 guys were in more than 5% of starting sides based on the 'Show us your Team' thread (and elsewhere on this site and others) where those names are scarcely mentioned. So either are great picks in my biased yet humble red and white opinion. 🙂


Kennedy was the first player I selected this year. He is LOCKED.
I’m thinking tippet will be a POD this year. Priced same as buddy, I may even look at putting both in, throw in Rohan and I have 4 swans


Attended alot of Swans games last year, had JPK in my team in the second half and he was very disappointing(compared to 2012). He had alot of clangers, most of his kicks were just clearances, however he was a machine with his handballs.
He went big in the first half of the season, but second was lowly. He's definitely going to go big this year with a big preseason.

Same deal with Hanners, he looked to run out of steam in the second half, but he is no doubt a gun, this season he should average 110. Jack might struggle again with the tag, he did struggle big time last year with them, especially Crowley in the Prelim. With that, JPK and Hanners should be great PODs and well rewarding

Think I just talked myself into JPK!


Sorry all a little problem with the article – the bottom half has been chopped off – Jock might have been a little hung over from that party last night – will be fixed soon


Oh profffffffffffessional, LOL


Hello, just wondering if someone could take a look at my team and give me some pointers.
Thanks, Billy.

Mitchell, Sam (MID) $562,000
McVeigh, Jarrad (MID) $572,500
Bartel, Jimmy (MID) $572,500
Hanley, Pearce (MID) $516,200
Laidler, Jeremy $161,800
Fuller, Matthew $117,300
Litherland, Angus $123,900
Cutler, Tom $117,300

Ablett, Gary $695,000
Selwood, Joel $638,700
Murphy, Marc $498,300
Beams, Dayne $497,200
Thomas, Dale $341,800
Savage, Shane $341,600
Martin, Jack $222,300
Dunstan, Luke $132,300
Sheed, Dom $167,300
Morabito, Anthony $123,900

Lobbe, Matthew $464,400
Sandilands, Aaron $310,700
Brown, Ben (FWD) $117,300
Nankervis, Toby $117,300

Dangerfield, Patrick (MID) $609,000
Martin, Dustin (MID) $549,200
Franklin, Lance $487,700
Zorko, Dayne (MID) $447,200
Taylor, Lewis (MID) $117,300
Garlett, Dayle (MID) $117,300
Impey, Jarman $117,300
Honeychurch, Mitch (MID) $117,300


Fwds and defs look like they will be the same as most people’s – maybe upgrade/downgrade a rookie/premium into a mid priced POD but not a bad start. Well balanced mids and rucks though, and I like how you’ve chosen M. Lobbe, I think a breakout could be on the cards.





Some good choices there mate!

I would only take 1 of Mitchell/Bartel/McVeigh as I can't see more than 2 and probably only 1 being top 10 DEF come year end. Probably better value to be found a little lower down, just the case of where to find it? Some names to look into for you; Hurn/Swallow/Hibberd/Enright/Suckling/Henderson.

That midfield… talk about all your eggs in one basket! It won't take much for your whole season to be over (if you are going for overall rankings) if you don't pull off 3 of these mid price guys. 3 is not unrealistic, but if Daisy is injured (again!) or perhaps monitored and played on and off throughout the season plus Savage doesn't score any more with full games as people are hoping it will hurt bad. Probably if both Savage and Daisy fail you won't be able to recover, then if Murphy also can't go back to his previous best… well you get the idea, big risk there especially with Sandi and Zorko further down who could also hurt you! On the flip side if you pull off all those mid price options, well you'll be laughing!

Zorko – I have a line through this guy after last night, he was woeful in my opinion. Needs to do something magical to get him back onto my consider list.

Rest of the team looks fine to me though Morabito is meant to be coming back through the WAFL so probably a no go, other rookies are wait and see. Garlett very little chance of playing round 1 I would imagine.

Good luck with it mate!


I really don't think there's too much wrong there Billy.

Perhaps that is too many rookies in your forward line there so as Pieman suggested I would probably downgrade one of those top 3 defenders to say a Kolo or McDonald.

You could then spend some of those savings upgrading one or two of those forward rookies to players who are more proven at senior level and probably more assured of games such as a Lamb, Bock or Caddy.


Personally I think you are wasting money by taking too many of the top defenders. The last few years defense is probably the hardest position to predict consistency in supercoach. Almost every single one of them will drop below $500,000 at some point in the year. Also, not sure why you would pick Bartel over Enright. You don't need the DPP if you are going to take Hanley, McVeigh & Mitchell as well. If I were you I'd take one of Mitchell/McVeigh and get someone in the 450-500 range. Then drop Bartel down to Enright. Making those two moves would probably give you $160K or so to spend elsewhere.


– That is a lot of firepower upfront for the Team
– Could do much better with the lower priced defenders, i.e bringing in players that have been scouted as potential players throughout the season e.g Tom Clurey, Will Langford etc.
– Laidler is risky, from his first hit out he has been pretty under average so i would be staying clear
– I really like your midfield, not many witnessable flaws.
– Jack Martin didnt really fire but many rookies did, if you want you could downgrade him but thats up to you.
– Really nice ruck pair, Sandi is a risky option but could pay dividence
– Really nice forward line, just again look at your rookies and they might not get many games and there could be some cash cwos e.g Gazza Rohan you could place in the forward line. Honestly I would be looking else where with the Zork

All over Good team


Does anyone have a suggestion of a forward who is under 400k and also a cheap r4 that isn’t nankervis and will play?




I would say Bourke from Brisbane after his performance last night. Jury still out for me on any other FWD rookies. Unless of course you mean not a rookie and a mid pricer in which case I would say maybe Caddy?

As for a ruc, you are in the same position as everyone else. Let's hope the Bombers play Thurlow with TBC down and he does well enough to get some extra games when TBC comes back. Otherwise maybe Currie from North depending on how he goes tomorrow… he sat there all last season on so many benches doing nothing, maybe he'll do it again?! The rookie rucks are not looking good at the moment, just have to watch the NAB and see which big fellas rear their heads.


I think Jesse White has to be seriously looked at especially if he snares another bag in NAB 2. Tomahawk is another to keep in mind assuming those flaming back issues don't arise in the next month of footy. For he's more than capable of premium output if fit and firing.

Obviously Tex and Clark should be on everyone's radar for considerably less, although admittedly both look very doubtful Rd 1 starters at this stage. So will likely be downgrade targets instead.




G’day Billy. Not sure you can have Mitchell, Bartel & Mcveigh. They will drop in price at some point of the season. So look to pick them up then. Morabito won’t play early. He’s coming back through the WAFL. Might be a good downgrade target. If you want Sandilands you need cover. He’s not playing every week.. Lewis Taylor had surgery last week so don’t expect him to play early. I’d peel some coin back from your defensive premiums to spend elsewhere. Keep working away & good luck.


Thanks any idea how I should fix my defence?


Have a look at players like Mckenzie, Henderson, suckling, L McDonald. Angus Litherland is interesting. I don’t know anything about it. What can you tell us


I don't know a whole lot about him but he performed really well last night


Thumbs UP – Rich

Thumbs DOWN – Shuey

Rich possibly in SC friendly position across half-back. Shuey to struggle with tags as per previous years?????


Thumbs down from me. The Eagles have a ridiculously soft draw for a top 8 contender and we'll probably never see Shuey this cheap again to start a season, maybe for the rest of the decade.

If it wasn't for Beams and Smurf priced the same I would very likely pick him but these other two out trump him in my view. No reason you couldn't pick all 3 lads of course but that doesn't fit within my own preferred team structure.


Yeah, that's my struggle with Shuey. Can't see him delivering better than Beams and Smurf. And not much less.

In fact, other than NicNat, have a hard time justifying other Eagles. Scooter I'd love to have in my team but rather pay more for JPK or Cotchin. Hurn but Adcock, Houli or Birchall are stronger picks. JJK or Darling, same thing. Thing is, with their easy draw I can feel that there will be SC gold in that team. Just can't bring myself to slot any of them in. May a couple NAB games will change that, SCaddict.


Yes I agree absolutely Throttle.

I really want to slot some Eagles in there as I expect them to have a much improved season but when you get down to the nitty gritty of actually selecting individuals I'm finding it tough to make the room to squeeze anyone in.

Hurn, Darling, JJK, Sheed and Ellis are all hovering around the periphery of my team. Like you NicNat is my most likely Eagles starter but even there I'm still very much weighing up the pros and cons.

But hopefully after a couple of their NAB games I'll be more comfortable in saying a definitive yes or no to these guys. We need to get a good look at their game plan under Simmo and how all these parts fit together.


With so many coaching changes, Simmo slipped my mind. He should be good for them. New coach, see if it invigorates them or struggle a bit during launch.

NicNat seems like an unlikely R1. Everything I've read gives encouraging yet a tinge of "not at full strength".

Hurn I'm considering the most of the lot. Interested in Sheed but he and Ellis are NAB watchlisters. Darling is being considered given his price. Shows me something during NAB, may slot him in.


Well summed up SCAdd and TF!


Hurn is going to be slotted into the Midfield – whatch this space!


NicNat is a worry. If he doesn’t play then Cox points double.
I want to have some WCE cover but who?


No love for lecras


He's a great player scooter but I'd personally prefer JJK or Darling at this point.

And if you pick him he'd likely be a strong POD for you as I'm not sure I've seen his name mentioned much so far this year, until now.

Though as I said we really need to see what roles these players get and how they fit into the Eagles structure under their new coach.

So perhaps Lecca will put his hand up in the NAB and announce his fantasy relevancy for more coaches in 2014. I'm looking forward to the Eagles Freo practice match next week to hopefully begin to answer some of these questions I have.


Hey fellas. Just wondering about a problem that i have come across recently. There are a lot of FWD/DEF players with MID elegibility, but not a lot of decent midfield rookies that can be switched to DEF/FWD. Thoughts?


Hey Jordan. Yeah, off the top of my head only Curran comes to mind (bench burn man last year). Not a lot in general. Only Lachie, Watts and Reid come to mind. Probably a couple more. Definitely one that only has a couple options. Think it just means saving trades, if possible.


Can I please have some opinions on my team! I’m still not confident about some of the rookies I have chosen, like Sheed, Robertson and Honeychurch, but I will have a better idea about the rookies after the NAB is finished.






Hey Mark. Regarding your rooks. Those will play out over the course of NAB. You'll get a better sense of them than you will your prems. Only 3 games so hard to give a true insight.

Here's what we know: J. Kennedy-Harris will be a bench forward at very least. Robertson need to see another game but he could be a very nice bench mid. Georgiou looked surprisingly good yet need to see another game and HOPE he makes R1 selects. At $102K, he's the anti-Kolo. Aish showed class but needs another look. The rest we'll see.

Think the core of your team is tight. Other than Roughy, Lobbe and Shaw, I think you have a strong yet popular lineup.

Don't know if that helps. Hope it does.


Spot on with the rookies TF. JKH looks a lock, and Robertson looked solid as did Aish.

Hard to tell this early, but I reckon we may be spoilt for choice with Rookies and Mid pricers this year. That's good though, I think there will be a lot more variety in teams this season. Last season most teams that did their research had very similar line-ups. Good for SC


Nice work Mick. Reckon it's still important if you're only gunning for league victories. My research and planning last year gave me the leg up come bye time, and it paid off on the ladder.

Great research, it will be interesting to see how people tackle the problem.


Hey guys can I have some thoughts on my team.







21,600 left in the bank.

Should I downgrade in FWD line (e.g. Caddy) and spend elsewhere?
Should I keep jack martin

All criticism welcome


im thinking everyone has basically generic teams so POD's are crucial cause if everyone has basically the same team than the majority could be in trouble early if things dont go according to plan!!!!!


would really appreicate any bodys thoughts! 🙂




Kennedy harris


I found this spreadsheet.
It shows the draw for the year for each team, but it is colour coded depending on the ranking of the team from 2013. Makes it very easy to see who has the easy and hard draws.


Wish I had seen this earlier. Spent much too much time making up my own spreadsheet for this, and the one you've linked to is better.

Thanks. Will use this one now.


a little irrelevant I think given WC ranked 13-18 but expect to be top 8 minimum, same with ADL ranked 9-12 who I think are top 8 material. Also expect the gap to be closer overall, GWS & MEL should improve. On top of that I don't really correlate high individual SC scores with perceived "weaker" sides as a rule. Unless someone has stats to prove otherwise?

The Wander

Please don't take this the wrong way, but I think its "albeit" not "all be it".

albeit: conjunction: although; even if: