Supercoach 2015 – Liam Duggan
Diamond Saw Liam Duggan
Being in Brooklyn USA has many disadvantages being a footy fan and SC coach. Mostly with time, as you could guess. Yet, probably my other main whinge is not being able to see future stars play before they hit the AFL.
I am a fanatic about college basketball and (American) football. And when I was younger (and didn’t have kids), I’d like to check out local high schooler games as well. See the raw talents and those one in a lifetime players dominating before they start gaining national attention and college highlight reels.
I’m from Akron, Ohio so I got to see LeBron play as a high school sophomore (i.e. 16 years old) when I went home for the holidays. (I was tipped by my dad who saw him as a freshman and said he would probably be the best player to come out of Ohio ever).
So for this piece about a rookie, I’m on much shakier ground. But I found a player who I think is very promising and worthy for our consideration, and gathered enough articles and videos to feel I can make a convincing case for that.
There’s a lot to like about Liam Duggan. Taken #11 in the draft by West Coast Eagles from his stellar time playing for the Western Jets, Duggan is a player that stands out when you see him play: aggressive yet not sloppy with the ball who has earned high marks for his excellent decision-making skills, poise under pressure and ability to affect the scoreboard.
Will he be one of the rookies we deem worthy of Round 1 inclusion in 2015? Whadda say we grab a bag of marbles, hit the Duggan playground and throw some data semi-bowlers around.
|Under 18 Team:||Western Jets|
|Draft Pick:||#11 West Coast Eagles|
|Price range last season:||N/A|
|Missed games last season:||N/A|
|Significant history:||Won the Ben Mitchell Medal in the NAB AFL Academy Level 2 squad
Registered 26/30 in kicking test at the NAB AFL Draft Combine
Rumour: Has a Pokemon tattoo on his ankle
Let’s take a look at some other stats that may whet your SC whistle a tad for young Duggan: averaged 15 disposals at 76 per cent efficiency, 8.6 kicks to 6.6 handballs and 2.8 marks in five games in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships. And he kicked three final-quarter goals against the Northern Knights earlier in the year in a come-from-behind win.
Footage that I watched (which admittedly was mostly highlights), what impressed me most about Duggan is that he’s a ball magnet that can put the ball on a string with either foot, whether hitting a KPF or sending one between the posts.
Here’s what Paige Cardona wrote about Duggan in her pre-draft evaluation:
“Duggan’s penetrating kick is his primary asset, but his ability to read the ball well in the air — along with both good vision and speed — suggests his best position will eventually be situated in the midfield with resting stints at half back.”
What is clear is that Duggan is a take charge player who doesn’t lack any confidence with the ball. Doesn’t shirk from contact or mixing it up, yet goes gazelle once the pill is in his hands. Man of action who seems naturally gifted to distributing the ball. Also, has a great paws. Extends arms well and if hands hit the ball the pill sticks.
Compared to other draftees, he comes equip with many ways to help your team, cutting up defenses for some SC jewels. That’s why with a nod to the WWF legend, I’m calling him Diamond Saw Liam Duggan. Cool precision who can turn nothing into a jewel for your squad.
Most importantly, I think the Eagles are a good match for him, especially with guys like Priddis and Scotty Selwood to help him along. As I said in my Priddis review, how the Eagles do is dependent on the health and form of the rest of their midfield. Duggan will be able to learn much from old warriors such as Priddis, Selwood and Masten AND if some of the others don’t perform to expectation (Gaff and Wellington in particular) it gives Diamond Saw Liam Duggan a chance to get some valuable experience.
And seems Duggan has a good enough head on his shoulders to realize the same:
“I am looking forward to getting stuck in and to win the respect of my teammates. I can’t wait to train alongside guys like Matt Priddis and Scott Selwood.”
Always a good sign when you have a willing student who’s eager to work with the game’s finest.
According to many write-ups, at the start of the year many wondered whether Duggan had the inside game to be an effective midfielder at AFL level. His play with the Jets this season washed those away. Concern would be at that price and the Eagles midfield, will he see that much time this season or be send to?
Naturally, it’s tricky making a call on these players before seeing them playing preseason with the big boys. What is working for him is that Diamond Saw Duggan is a well-rounded player, who is more comfy in the guts yet can play half back as well. That will help a team that has a history of injuries affecting their team.
- Can play mid and def (DPP possibility) (confirmed position MID only)
- Highly efficient with the ball, both hand and foot
- Can win his own ball and tackles strongly
- Natural leader who plays in control no matter the situation
- No blistering speed (he runs a 3.1-second 20-metre sprint)
- Eagles returning with packed midfield (can help in back?)
- 18 year old body may need seasoning
While all the draft experts had him listed as a half back, most of the highlights I saw Diamond Saw Duggan was in the guts. In fact, I think that’s where he sees himself and given his strong decision-making and passing skills, so do the Eagles.
While I haven’t researched the rest of the draft picks as comprehensively, I’m pretty sure you won’t find one that has the combo of talent, range of abilities, smarts and leadership skills as Diamond Saw Liam Duggan.
In other words, a rookie arousal curve is moving North, my friends. But I’m going to wait and see how Simpson uses Diamond Saw Duggan preseason and how much time he gets on the field. But anything under $190K that’s gonna get time on the field and possesses this level of promise, ol’ Throtts won’t hesitate to slot in as an D6/M8 or mid bench cover.
WAIT AND SEE
What do you think about Diamond Saw Liam Duggan, community?
|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.|