Will his return be a BANG or a BUST?

TG Footy Tracgic - DexterWill 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)
2015 Position: FWD
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

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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:

Image 1

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!

RISK FACTORS

Injury history
Returning from Mental Illness
Key Forward

SELECTION PURPOSE

If you were considering starting Clark; Use his low buying price as a cash generation tool – hoping his growth continues until around bye time.

THE GOOD

  • 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 $.

THE DOWNSIDE

  • Injury prone.
  • 38 of his last 73 games have been sub 80, with a low of 34

THE VERDICT

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.

IF:
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

THEN:
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.

YES

Dexter

Twitter: @TG_Footy_Tragic

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AFL Supercoach Legend Jock Reynolds
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.


46 Comments

throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 02:38

Top notch, Dex. Ticks all the boxes on a wookie worthy of taking a chance on…crazy low price, team that usually serves a platter of good SC points and a position where he can do some damage given his skill set. Unless he craps the bed preseason, the Mitchie boy is a lock. Great review, my man.

    Itchy Nuts Pieman · 08/11/2014 at 08:09

    Could he be the Higgins of 2015 throts. Ride him to his peak then off with his head. Seems the crew are all bullish on a strong midfield. So Mitchy is pretty much a must have.

      throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 08:21

      Spot on, my friend. Higgins was one of my better moves last season. Think Clark checks the same boxes.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 08/11/2014 at 11:01

    Cheers throtts!
    I was pretty surprised to see just how good Clark's ruck stats are!

      throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 21:32

      Be interesting if he gets a shot given that one or both of Simpson and MacIntosh will go down at some point.

      Again, excellent write-up. 95/5 for me right now. Just need to see how he comes out in preseason.

Itchy Nuts Pieman · 08/11/2014 at 06:59

If I needed any further convincing you’ve got me over the line Dex. A value wookie. Gee some ruck time thrown would be steak knives in that deal. Let’s hope he at least pinch hits. Quality as always Dex

General Soreness · 08/11/2014 at 08:18

Superb Dex, solo ruck numbers significant stat. There are a lot of low scores there but appears to be worth the roll of the dice. Preseason form will confirm for me but at this stage he is 90/10 for me.

    throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 08:23

    Was pretty high for me but this article pushes him to 95/05. Only way that 5% could kick in is if he looks out of sorts preseason. As you and Pieman pointed out, the ruck services are the cherry on top.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 08/11/2014 at 11:02

    Cheers General!
    He was only 60-40 before the research began…

    Then the tenting started and he has locked himself in my team.

Dools · 08/11/2014 at 09:41

Great review Dex
This is a real "Buyer Beware" conundrum.
The Ledger : Positives; Tall, Athletic, Great Mark and Proven Goal kicker 97 goals from 97 games
Recruited from the Sharks (Played with H. Taylor) at pick 9, 2006 went to Brisvagas to ply his trade( Knows C. Scott from that association)
The Ledger : Negitives; 2011/12 Traded to Melbourne (Why??? He wanted to go home to East Freo!!!) ,Seen as a saviour of a financially struggling club, Mental health issues (Home sickness?), Financially well off but unable to play, Burden of expectation ( played 15 in 2 years 11 in 2012 and 4 in '13).
The Big Picture: For a cheap forward weighted to score in the 30's for $ 200K tick the box. Geelong take on the Hawks in round 1 at the 'G – Is that a pressure game? At his former home ground – Is that pressure?
With most people going for a 6/4 mid he is very attractive so you can go 7/3. Would Geelong ease him into a season ie vest stuff – no pressure? ($200K sitting on the pine!!! )
I'm not convinced he is a starter yet I want to believe, but I think this is a SC conundrum, placed in a puzzle wrapped in an enigma. So NO for now. Make me want you Clark, make me a believer!
"To the fridge"

    Itchy Nuts Pieman · 08/11/2014 at 09:59

    10-12 trips to the fridge today will make you a believer. I am still fridgeless Dools. So it’s “to the esky”! Looks like a glorious afternoon to relax in the backyard & knock a few over.

      Dools · 08/11/2014 at 10:50

      G'day INP,
      My Fridge is your fridge mate. You are always welcome in "The Temple"
      Keyboard, Next G and Silent Slipper are keen on the saving that could be made in buying the SC Enigma
      I'm not sold yet in fact I'm 1 /99 against at this time. "He could be a Ruc, He could be a Fwd, He could be a Def, He is a Dud. So now what has changed?
      If he were not cheap no one would buy him so because he is cheap, he becomes a means to an end. – To get that extra Prem ! Are we to buy a "Pig in a Poke!"
      Every year in SC He starts out low scores , AVG 63 over 5 years in 1st 4 games starting 2009 – '13
      I do not see this as a massive jump at starting price $200K he may increase 30K If he plays complete games -in the 1st 4 games of the season!
      I'm enjoying the sun and the Fridge is "Cocked, Locked and Ready for a work out!"
      I like your Esky call mate – When does the new fridge get to your place? I feel a session in the making

      Dools · 08/11/2014 at 18:25

      Hi INP
      I have made the required trips to the SC Alter (12 in all) and I'm still no nearer picking him!
      A cool change has hit Pt Cook so maybe its time for a Whiskey?? Maybe that might warm me to him…Lets see

    throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 10:23

    Will he be a Jessie White? Think that Clark can also cover ruck will maybe lean toward a yes. For the price, I don't see that many better alternatives. F5/6 lock, Doolsy. Fridge will approve.

    @TG_Footy_Tragic · 08/11/2014 at 11:09

    Hey Dools,
    Cheers.

    Your analysis has its merits also!
    I'm banking on him for that cheap wookie, not expecting him to average over 85, expecting a 70-75.

    at 200k, it's a steal and allows a bigger spend elsewhere.

    a risk I'm willing to take my friend!

    Love your comments though mate!

      Dools · 08/11/2014 at 11:23

      G'day Dex,
      I appreciate your reasons mate , I really do but I can't build a team around him just yet and your reasoning is sound it ticks lots of boxes but it all depends on SC Enigma getting onto the park for a start. And that's the crux of the matter you are willing to take the risk, I m not sold is all.
      Would you buy Jessie White? – Same Avg, Same roles, Simular age etc etc
      Great article mate – Makes for many trips to the SC Alter

        Itchy Nuts Pieman · 08/11/2014 at 11:46

        Gee wizz the esky & I are going to have a hell of an arvo taking all this in. Dools you make some great points. And I can’t disagree with Dex or throttle. I say Dools we get the fridge & the esky together on fine afternoon in summer & go to town on them!

          Dools · 08/11/2014 at 11:53

          Done my good man!

Dools · 08/11/2014 at 10:59

Hi TF
I have my hands full with Keyboard, Next G and Silent Slipper. Do not encourage the fridge mate.
I may pick him up by round 3-5 if he plays at all by then! But not to start at this stage….
I like the Jessie White analogy a bitsa , a gap filler when he plays.

    throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 11:05

    Can understand the logic, my friend. If he looks room temperature in preseason I may pass by, especially if there are juicer DPP players available (foreshadowing Sam Blease article).

      Dools · 08/11/2014 at 11:29

      Please assure me that Sam Blease is not the Sunday article LOL. I'm on a hiding to nothing this weekend
      Great Stuff TF,

        throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 21:27

        Rest assured it is the Monday article.

          Dools · 09/11/2014 at 12:33

          You Jest
          3 Geelong players in a row????
          Well one player and 2 others

            throttlefinger · 09/11/2014 at 22:03

            Hahaha. Yeah, I guess so. But that's Jocko's call. Me and the boys just write 'em.

Phil · 08/11/2014 at 12:30

Great review and great responses from both angles…..
Also when he averaged 101 as a ruckman it was back in the days when only Dean Cox used to go 100+ in that position! which makes it even better. I remember it quite well because I started him as a premium the following year, only to have Leuy come back from injury and take the no1 ruck and amazingly play 22 games. Only 20 trades back in those days, so had to ride Clark all the way.

Anyway it's a yes for me if 217k. I think he can average 85

Creeker · 08/11/2014 at 13:27

Yet another quality preview.
You've sold me. I usually steer clear of tall forwards but I think he's worth a punt.
Hoping he can stay on the paddock long enough to make us some good coin.

Barwick's Soilders · 08/11/2014 at 13:43

Great Preview mate, same situation as you a few boxes still need to be ticked but on my radar. Great to be back for the pre season and preparing for a huge 2015 season. Also quickly want to thank Jock and the community in helping me have my best season last year. (Finished 144) Great to be back.

    John K · 08/11/2014 at 13:44

    Good job mate on last year.

      Itchy Nuts Pieman · 08/11/2014 at 15:16

      Well done in your rank Barwick. Great effort

    Dools · 08/11/2014 at 15:21

    Well done Barwick! Great result

    throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 21:28

    NICE, Barwick. Hope some of your luck rubs off on my Yankee ass.

      WombatsFC · 08/11/2014 at 22:42

      Whoa there throttle, wait until the season starts or until Sydney Madi Gras before you ask people to rub your yankee arse.

        throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 22:54

        Do you just lurk in the shadows and wait to make an off-color joke, Womby? Batman had his bat signal, and you have your arse jokes.

        Whatever works to get you adding your value insights…consider me willing. (to a degree)

          WombatsFC · 08/11/2014 at 23:32

          I don't write the rules I just point them out to foriegners.
          Rule 1a: It doesn't matter who you are, there is to be no asking other people to rub your arse.

            throttlefinger · 08/11/2014 at 23:41

            For such an evolved man, you see things through arse-colored glasses. Not 'rub on' anyways. "Rub off on." Completely different meaning, my friend.

            By the way, what is a "foriegner"? Is that a platypus mating call?

Big_BenFC · 08/11/2014 at 17:13

Gee I am thinking about this lad, thanks for the write up Dex.

WombatsFC · 08/11/2014 at 22:33

Thanks Dexter I appreciate your efforts. If this bloke plays preseason and is named for round 1 he will have a wombat on the front of his jumper until the bye rounds at least.

jockreynolds · 09/11/2014 at 11:35

Thanks again Dex – and what sensational points of views from all contributors above. Welcome to Barwicks – well done on your 2014 mate a real feather in your cap. Welcome also to Creeker and Phil, great to see more beginning to apply the flint to the supercoach sword at the right time.

I'm onboard here – yes there is undeniable risk – but will be very hard to overlook him at this price. As per Pieman – ride Mitch till he's plump enough then off with his head. Even if he only reached $360 odd – still a worthwhile venture. Dont reckon he'll rekindle anything like that BRL form – but even if he is a regular contributor it'll be happy days

    Barwick's Soilders · 09/11/2014 at 12:01

    Cheers Jock

@BarronVonCrow · 09/11/2014 at 13:01

This sounds like it's going to be a decision that'll divide the Jock Reynolds Community. It'll either be those that picked him will be cheering while everyone else wonders why they were stupid enough to pass up such an obvious pick, or those that picked him will be cursing their foolishness in picking a guy with so many obvious red flags around him, while those that skipped will be thanking their cautious decision making.

And I…I don't know. I don't bloody know if i'm going to pick Mitch Clark. Dexter certainly has given me plenty of reasons to get aboard the last train to Clarksville (Heh, that's a Monkee's reference for all you cool kids out there), but i'm hesitant on the big fella. Will have to do some porcelain pondering on the decision I think.

    Dools · 09/11/2014 at 14:55

    G'day BVC,
    I'm not waving I'm drowning!
    Hmmm reminds me of the "B" side to Day Dream Believer ….Best Monkee song 'eva!
    "To the CD Case…"

taylorwoof · 09/11/2014 at 14:12

Excellent research Dexter.

If Clark is in that 200-220K zone he will be difficult to ignore, especially if we're given a lack of quality forward rookies and wookies like in 2014.

I have my doubts that he'll have any ruck duties in the first half of the season unless their big men in McIntosh, Simpson and/or Blicavs are struck down with a big man curse.

Coming off stress fractures at Melbourne, then 12 months plus off the scene can't see him with (A) Having the tank to be able to play forward and ruck, and (B) Geelong to risk aggravating past injuries with a heavy workload.

McIntosh a great example, he really appeared to struggle at times last year when in the ruck. He was coming off lengthy spells on the sidelines and a lack of match fitness. I think Geelong will learn from that with Mitch Clark.

My stab at the Geelong setup, with all big men healthy would be:

Hawkins, Clark and Vardy play forward. Vardy returning from injury, they rate him highly so probably gets nursed back into action and plays forward when returns.

Stanley to play the mobile ruck/forward role.

Blicavs to continue in that 'utility' role as per 2014.

McIntosh and Simpson sole ruck. Would think if all of the above are fit and healthy, one of these two gets the chop. Also whichever plays i'd expect them to be subbed out during the match and Stanley to ruck remainder of game.

I think he slides into our teams prior to pre season, then if he's not looking the goods then give his backside the big T out of your side.

lostlarrikin · 09/11/2014 at 17:27

Stellar analysis Dex!
Love the positional breakdown work.
As TW mentions, the return of Vardy throws up more Big Man conundrums.

That said, if Clark lines up come round one then its a LOCK for me.

Chicko · 10/11/2014 at 09:59

Dex, sorry I am late to the party here mate, outstanding write up. I'm with you, if he is anyqhere sub $220k, then I think the value will be too compelling to do anything but sign him up. Pre-season is going to tell us a lot about this fella. Great work!

Womens Health Forum · 25/11/2015 at 00:54

Time for Mitch to face reality…he wants to leave the Lions, and he wants to go to Perth. It's not realistic for a professional footy player, who is also an adult, to demand a trade back to his home town.
IT Works Skinny Body Wraps
IT Works Defining Gel

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