(The following is to be read in your best David Attenborough voice)

General SorenessAs the young male leaves the protection of his nest and begins the pilgrimage across the country he is hopeful and unassured of his future. The destination of this annual pilgrimage is the Gold Coast. His hope – to become accepted by a senior group of males and become an AFL footballer, before embarking on a series of mating rituals at schoolies.

The timing and location of these two annual pilgrimages culminating in the same location with one drawing a vast array of the opposite sex with a natural attraction to the fit, young AFL hopeful, cannot be coincidental.

The lure of AFL stardom sees this gruelling annual pilgrimage being undertaken by more and more young men each year trying to fill the few lucrative spots available at the AFL watering hole. Those that survive are then enveloped by a new pack of older males whom have taken the pilgrimage before them, those that fail are forced back to their nests to either try again or attempt to dominate weaker packs of males hoping to draw the attention of the AFL packs.

In their early years in the AFL packs, many struggle for relevance against their bigger, stronger counterparts within the pack. However there will always be a small number that force their way into the primary hunting pack. This hunting pack will then pit their skills against other AFL packs from across the country. It is within these battles for glory we see a small number of these young males stand out, and every few years one stands out as being capable of supremacy.

In 2014 that young male is Marcus Bontempelli! (End David Attenborough type intro)

There is no doubt that the awfully nicknamed “the Bont”, (which if was a reference to the character Mr. James Bont from the Simpsons would be acceptable but its not), went bang when he arrived at Whitten Oval in a rather impressive first season he played 16 games at an average of 78.6 with a high 139. He ranked in the top ten for every stat amongst the rising star nominees including:

1st – Supercoach score per game, Total inside 50’s, Inside 50’s per game
2nd – Contested possessions per game
3rd – Total contested possessions, Total contested marks, Total clearances
4th – Goals

2015 Price: $422,300
2015 Position: MID/FWD
Games last season: 16
Average last season: 78.6
100+ games last season: 4
Sub 80 games last season: 8 (only 1 sub affected)
Price range last season: $202K – $443K
Missed games last season: 0 through injury
Significant history: Runner Up 2014 AFL Rising Star
Chris Grant award for best first year player
Nick Dal Santo’s cousin
79% DE at U18 level
Pick 4, 2013 National Draft

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Taking out his only sub affected scores and the Bont went at 82.8 from 15. Other recent notable first year jets Dyson Heppell went at 83.5 from 22 and Hannebury 46.1 from 9 in first year followed by 83.4 from 19 in his second year. Comparatively his supercoach scoring is solid, why? The obvious, he is a contested beast, who knows how to get the pill and use it and loves a cuddle when he doesn’t have the pill. All supercoach gold traits!

The kid can seriously play but as like many a first year player doesn’t do it nearly enough. In his draft year the Bont drew comparisons to Pendlebury due to his height, agility and awareness. Those that are not certain about this just check out his game which included a goal of the year contender against Melbourne. Notably Pendlebury in his first year went at 56.8 from 9 games, followed up by an 88.6 from 20 the following year. Pendlebury is a tough opponent which has a lot to do with his height, agility and awareness I can see the Bont being as equally as tough to play on, time will tell if he is as good as Dependlebury.

RISK FACTOR

There are so many risks here, second year blues risk, Sub risk, inconsistency, unknown upside all guaranteed to make you sweat buckets on a weekly basis. Sub risk is low, only subbed once in 2014 and his all round game is likely to see him moved around the ground rather than pulled from it.

SELECTION PURPOSE

The Bont kicked 15 goals from his 16 games which I expect is likely to go some way to him obtaining DPP status as a MID/FWD  (confirmed position MID/FWD) which makes him a very awkwardly priced speculative option in the FWD line. As a DPP he is a fantastic POD option in the FWD line for those wanting to test their intestinal fortitude. With the expectation that he will get more mid time it is likely his supercoach scoring will increase accordingly. As a pure MID grab your 10 foot pole and start prodding.

Those madmen considering a 7/3 Mid structure or similar may find themselves having to find value in mid pricers, the Bont is a solid but speculative selection.

THE GOOD

  • Will likely play every game barring injury
  • Is likely to get more mid time in 2015
  • Given his build, endurance, agility he will rest forward or will play forward when unable to get into games maximising his scoring potential.

THE DOWNSIDE

  • Inconsistent first year = unknown second year output
  • Potential for second year blues
  • That Price for a second year player and unknown quantity is significant

THE VERDICT

I am not about to start Bontificating, but I expect that the Bont is unlikely to suffer the second year blues that regularly afflict many a young gun. I have nothing concrete to provide to my fellow supercoachers, other than it is a gut feel that this kid has something a little bit special. Will he break out this year, pimples yes, AFL supercoach gun – maybe. Picking break out players is the hardest thing to do in supercoach. So should you roll the dice? Yes if your structure and salary cap allows. However for the most of us, the unknowns are just a little too great to lock him into your supercoach side, but add him to your burgeoning watchlist he deserves some serious Bontemplation, if his preseason excites do not dismiss this kid as you normally would other second year players.

NONTEMPELLI AT THIS STAGE

What’s your call on the Bont in 2015?

General Soreness

Twitter: @GenSorenessSC

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AFL Supercoach Legend Jock ReynoldsThis 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.


35 Comments

Itchy Nuts Pieman · 27/11/2014 at 06:48

Serious man love for this young man. The depenlebury comparisons are justifiable. Already a match winner. Awesome write up general. Can’t see him as an option for 2015. Awkward price & not a keeper for mine. But if the improvement continues he will be hard to go past. I can see a very high ceiling with this guy.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 09:55

    I hear ya INP, this kid just seems to have something more that will hopefully make him great. By 2017 barring any injury I expect he will be SC LOCK, probably still picked second behind Ablett who will be kicking 10 from forward pockets with half an arm.

      Itchy Nuts Pieman · 27/11/2014 at 15:28

      Can’t underestimate the experience the doggies have lost. Griffen, cooney, gia, Higgins etc. Great list of kids that will be relevant in years to come. Can’t see myself picking anything but a basement priced rookie. Those picks in the 20’s must be carefully inspected tonight. Bring on the draft tonight!

throttlefinger · 27/11/2014 at 07:06

Killer review, General. Completely agree with you. Someone to watch this year, someone to consider for next season. Like the Pieman said, very high ceiling with The Bont.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 10:53

    Cheers Throtts, I was at first a little surprised his stats were not better as watching him play seemed to suggest they were. I only took comfort after comparing to other gun first year players and their output.

      throttlefinger · 27/11/2014 at 11:02

      Also with a new coach who knows how that's gonna work out for him. Surprised a bit too by the less than impressive stats, General. See what the changes in Doggietown does for his stats.

John van Noorden · 27/11/2014 at 07:36

Couldn’t, shouldn’t and wouldn’t consider a second year player over 300k, and even then I’d be really pushing it.

At that price if MID/FWD should compete with Tom Mitchell, Chad Wingard, Michael Walters, all who have shown they are more capable and potentially ready to crack the ton mark next year.

Will give Bont a look if he has proven himself at 22. Nothing to suggest he will be a scratch on the great Dependlebury at this stage. Simply not Dependle.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 10:55

    Agree JVN, very hard to bring a second year player in at the price, given not a cash cow or keeper.

    Seaford Scouse · 02/12/2014 at 20:32

    Very good point there John although Walters is injury prone, Mitchell no certainty to even get a gig and as for the Chad, don’t get me started on how he burnt me up last year. An interesting one for me in the DPP mid/fwd role is Dusty, but will he be worth the cash? Hmm very tempting to start with him that’s for sure.

rosco_peco · 27/11/2014 at 10:06

Great review General, absolutely loving these articles.

I rate Bont quite highly and although it's a big call with the Dependlebury comparison, the claims aren't unfounded. Bont played approximately 77%TOG so even if his stats don't improve in his second year but see's more game time his average is likely to hit the low 80's. The kid is definitely capable of a 20 disposal average (averaged 16 in 2014 with a few 20+ games) and 4 tackles/game. these along with an increase of contested possessions (8/game 2014 up to 9/game in 2015) should see him safely increase his 2015 average to the low-mid 90's. Especially with the departures of Griffin and Cooney, and Boyd getting on, there is definitely an opportunity for him to break out in his second year.

Is he a cash cow? No. Will he be a keeper? Probably not (not in the mid anyway). Will he be a future star? Absolutely. A lot to consider if he's named mid/fwd dpp though. Definite POD, high ceiling, and I doubt his scoring will go backwards.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 10:57

    Lovely work there Rosco, plenty of upside for this kid, I agree that he will not go backwards, the question is, how high will he go. If risk allows I would take him over Walters.

      rosco_peco · 27/11/2014 at 12:19

      Agreed, I see less risk with a fit, bulked up 19 year old under a new coach with more midfield opportunity.

@TG_Footy_Tragic · 27/11/2014 at 10:38

Excellent piece General! (Loved the intro)

Not considering Bont, as stated above, The Chad, Titch and Walters all better options for that price.

Will be a star, but not in 2015.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 10:58

    Cheers Dex, If my team allowed for greater risk I would take him over Walters, possibly the Chad but not Titch, I doubt he will drop off in scoring so there is only upside.

      Mob · 27/11/2014 at 11:35

      That's the best thing about this game, we all have different opinions about how a given player will perform.

      A big reason players have '2nd year blues' is that the best of last years draftees have been hyped, and the opposition pay more attention. There is more game tape on the player. They know which way they turn, what side of a pack they will take, a lot of info that goes a very long way to stopping that player from running a muck.

      At that price, and assuming he gets FWD/MID DPP you would want him to be averaging 90+, and even then he wouldn't be a keeper or a cash cow. I'm very risk adverse kind of coach, so I probably wouldn't look at either Bont or Walters. Best of luck to anyone who does look at him though. I like being right, but I love it when a player proves me wrong.

        General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 12:33

        Spot on Mob, the difference of opinion is what makes supercoach and this community especially because here it is always expressed in a positive way. I also agree that there is nothing better than seeing a player reach his potential.

WombatsFC · 27/11/2014 at 11:27

Nice work General.
I agree that this kid could be a legend at the kennel and I also reckon his 2015 will be very similar to Ollies 2014 from an SC perspective and, nobody is 100% sure on which dog should be collared now that griff has gone. The doggies have so many young guns they need a Bon Jovi soundtrack

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 12:36

    Cheers Wombats, would be very happy to see him belt out a 2015 like Ollies even if he doesnt make my side. Love the idea of the soundtrack, Keep the Faith should make the list.

lostlarrikin · 27/11/2014 at 13:10

Top notch GS and interactive to boot.
I tried my best impersonation but it just came out sounding like the mutant love child of Prince Charles and Dame Edna.
Perhaps we could find a better impersonator in the community and get them to do a sound bite for the next monthly podcast.
Reckon Higgo make a good fist of it, with a couple of strategically placed chestnuts in his hole.

On Bonte, reckon he played more games this yr than many expected and his output was way above expectations. The sub risk should be fairly low with the departure of Griff and Coon dog. Though to be worthy of selection we would be banking on DPP and a 90 – 100 point output. No from me, but for the doggies sake I hope he has a blinder next yr.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 14:51

    Hahahaha, Prince Charles and Dame Edna i'm picturing a really dull delivery of hello possums.

Dools · 27/11/2014 at 16:43

Once again General , you delivered in spades funny and informative. I read it at 0600 h this morning and Mr Attenborough voice has rang in my head all day and I laughed out loud and giggled to my self most of the day as I took on the speech and pathos of Sir David.
A Doggie legend in the making
Not for me this season but of course I will watch the preseason ATM I'm 1/99 no

On a totally different theme . Sport lost a young 25 year old today. I am saddened for the family's loss, the cricket community loss and my thoughts and prayers are with all whom are affected . Phillip Hughes you where a ripper mate. RIP

    Itchy Nuts Pieman · 27/11/2014 at 17:17

    Shattering day for the nation Dools. Taken way to soon. At least he got to live his dream & represent his country & wear the baggy green. RIP Phil.

      Dools · 27/11/2014 at 17:27

      Man. I'm still tearing up….

        Itchy Nuts Pieman · 27/11/2014 at 18:00

        Likewise Dools. Thousands round the world will join us.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 20:33

    Thanks for kind words.

    No words to describe the loss of Hughes and feel for Abbott must be gutted.

Barwick's Soilders · 27/11/2014 at 18:14

Great article General, not for me this year at that price, but will be a star in a couple of years. On another note, I would like to say my thoughts are with the entire Hughes family, a sad day for Australia and the entire cricket community

    Itchy Nuts Pieman · 27/11/2014 at 18:56

    Agree on Bonts for 2015. Not yet but not far I feel. as mentioned in previous comments 2017 looks the year for serious consideration. Good man for your tribute. One of the darkest days in our countries history. Youngest man ever to score test match centuries in both innings. And now he no longer with us. Shattering to the family & nation.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 20:35

    Cheers BS, price is the problem with him but probably last year he isn’t a must have.

    Loss of Hughes is devastating thoughts with his family and poor Abbott.

jockreynolds · 27/11/2014 at 22:01

Hey lads – you should here my David Attenborough impression!! She's a bloody ripper haahaaa. I might have to do part of this Sunday's podcast in it. Corker of a write up General. He wont start in JR Brumby FC this season but I see him rising as a fantasy force over the coming years.

    General Soreness · 27/11/2014 at 22:58

    Cheers Jock, looking forward to the next podcast.

    AFL Draft night was significant the agility of the 2metre Peter in the highlight reel was something to behold. Im tipping your pretty stoked with McCartin. Laverde at 20 for my Bombers one of the steals of the night imho.

    lostlarrikin · 27/11/2014 at 23:42

    Noice. Can't wait for the cast Jock.

Segue · 28/11/2014 at 14:33

Back end of last season I was 80-90% on Bont being in my 2015 team, only have to look at guys like Ollie Wines and Jacks Macrae last year to see how second year players can kick on. I am now less concerned about the price and more worried about him copping the hard tag with Griffen gone.

MASO · 29/11/2014 at 09:25

Absolute rippin write up mate but his a firm NO as a starter but will be watching him through the season for sure

DognutZ · 07/01/2015 at 11:21

I'm rolling the dice on the "BONT", 10 Tackles + 2 goals against the cats last year had me pencil his name in the little black "SC" book. Gets up for the odd hitout too which boosts his score. I'd expect more of Libbas handballs will be aimed at the BONT this year so his K/H ratio will improve. All speculative of course but he's got a spot in my FWD for now.

Sabsy · 09/02/2015 at 23:31

I rate him and reckon he'll be one of the break-outs in 2015 — but $422k is just too much to risk on a gut feeling. Maybe that's the dodgy Chinese I just ate talking…

Anyway, I'll pencil him in as a potential corrective if Swan doesn't fire by round 3.

Comments are closed.