(The following is to be read in your best David Attenborough voice)
As 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
|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
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
- Inconsistent first year = unknown second year output
- Potential for second year blues
- That Price for a second year player and unknown quantity is significant
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?
|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.|