Will his return be a BANG or a BUST?
Will it be three times a charm? 2015 sees Mitch Clark to his third AFL club in his 9 year career. At 200cm and 100+kgs – He’s a big unit. So big, he has been trialed as a ruck (more on that soon) as well as a key position forward (KPF). They do say “the bigger they are; the harder they fall” – and “fall” he did.
Clark’s career has been dogged by injury and illness. From Meningococcal in his draft year, to soft-tissue injuries in the following years, his lisfranc injury (foot) in 2012-14, and more recently his much publicized Mental Health issues; cumulating together to lead to his premature retirement in early 2014.
In the 2014 pre-season; his recovery from his troublesome foot was progressing really well – with reports he would be pushing for a round 1 berth. In the late pre-season, however, Clark injured his hamstring and was again on the injury list. In March of 2014, Melbourne announced that he was granted personal leave on an indefinite basis. The reasons were revealed to be his long-term injury battles, coupled with his high player income – resulting in clinical depression, and his subsequent retirement.
By June; he was well on the road to recovery, both mentally and physically – admitting “I still miss footy”. By September, he was officially “back” but medical advice provided to him in his recovery, advised him not to return to Melbourne; but a more successful club and less spotlight. So here we are; Mitch Clarke is a Geelong player.
|2015 Price:||$155,200 (injury discounted)|
|Games last season:||0 (4 in 2013)|
|Average last season:||0 (57.8 in 2013)|
|100+ games last season:||0 (0 in 2013)|
|Sub 80 games last season:||0 (4 in 2013)|
|Price range last season:||$250k – DID NOT PLAY IN 2014|
|Missed games last season:||ALL (injuries/Retirement) – 18 in 2013 (Foot)|
|Significant history:||Averaged 57.8 in 2013 (injury ravaged)
Averaged 84.1 in 2012 (Injury ravaged)
Averaged 77.4 in 2011 (17 games)
Drafted at pick 9 in the 2005 National draft.
Rising Star nominee 2007
Mitch Clark will play in 2015 as 2nd forward behind Tom Hawkins, and in front of Rhys Stanley. When you look at the Height Geelong now possess; who plays where? Geelong have; Dawson Simpson, Hamish McIntosh, Harry Taylor, Tom Lonergan, Mark Blicavs, Rhys Stanley, Mitch Clark & Tom Hawkins. Providing all are fit – I see Simpson and McIntosh fight over the #1 ruck spot, Taylor and Lonergan filling Key back spots, Blicavs playing a half-back running role (if still in best 22), Tom Hawkins fills the KPF1 role and Clark & Stanley fight over KPF2/Backup-ruck role.
I’ll have a stab and say that providing Clark is fit – he gets the gig over Stanley. But I wouldn’t put it past the cats to play them both. I’m thinking that Clark will play an 80-20 forward role. 80% forward, 20% ruck.
Looking back over his career since 2009 (excluding finals); Mitch has played 32 games as a KPF, 22 games sharing ruck duties with KPF, and 19 games as a solo ruckman. In this time, he has scored as follows:
Mitch Clark 2009 – 2013 (Excluding Finals)
100+ SC < 80 SC Games SC AVG HIGH LOW
Solo ruck: 12 3 19 101.3 142 36
KPF: 4 20 32 77.3 151 34
Shared: 2 15 22 69.2 120 35
Bask in those majestic solo ruck numbers! If some horrible thing happens and Simpson and McIntosh go down – LOCK HIM IN EDDIE! Mitch Clark thrives on solo ruck duties; he doesn’t seem to fare as well as a KPF or shared duties. But also keep in mind these numbers are from his time in Melbourne and a declining Brisbane Lions outfit. Geelong is a better team than either in that time, and delivery will be of a higher quality; not to mention Hawkins will take the #1 gorilla off him.
I’m predicting; if fit and Geelong plays him as a KPF – his average will sit somewhere in the 75-85 zone. Considering his price should fall in the 215-230K range; that’s a bargain in anyone’s book!
Returning from Mental Illness
If you were considering starting Clark; Use his low buying price as a cash generation tool – hoping his growth continues until around bye time.
- Cheap – Wookie cash cow option.
- The no #1 key back won’t (shouldn’t) sit on him.
- Playing in a better team. Better Delivery. Less focus on him.
- Priced to average 40 odd. Value for $.
- Injury prone.
- 38 of his last 73 games have been sub 80, with a low of 34
If he is fit and a 217K buy (confirmed price $155,200) – Mitch Clark is a lock as a wookie. He is guaranteed games, a hulking KPF, #1 key defender should sit on Hawkins. Not to mention, if the unfortunate should happen to his ruckman team mates; his JS and ruck duties should increase, and he THRIVES on solo ruck duties.
1) My calculation of price is right (~217K)
2) Preseason indicates he is #2 KPF – ahead of Stanley OR Key ruckmen go down
3) Clark isn’t injured or considering retirement again
LOCK! LOCK! LOCK.
Clark is a high injury risk, but the ability to extract high scores and there being less spotlight on the man mountain – equals a bloody good investment for your Supercoach team. Welcome to SoapOnARope Mitch Clark.
This article has been penned by an elite Supercoach analyst hand picked from the talent pool of the Jock Reynolds Fantasy Footy Community. He has stood up within our community as a man of fantasy substance, and has displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.