The game of Australian Rules Football is a tough sport on many fronts and injuries have claimed their fair share of greats and potential greats.

General SorenessIt is also a bloody cruel mistress for those that love the game as the injuries can strike at the most inopportune times.

There are not too many guys running around at the moment that are more familiar with the cruelty of their mistress than Brendan “Swiss” Whitecross. In the 2012 Qualifying Final against Collingwood, Swiss ruptured his ACL in his right knee. In 2013 in an Elimination Final against Geelong he went all Brittany Spears and did it again.

He did not return at all in 2014 Hawthorn taking a very risk free approach.

So this means that poor old Brendan Whitecross (probably should have been named more aptly Red Cross) has missed all three consecutive grand finals the Hawks have played in.

Poor bastard.

So what is 2015 going to bring?

Supercoach-wise here are the hard numbers.

2015 Price: $198,700 (significant discount from 2014 open price)
2015 Position: DEF
Games last season: Zip, Zilch, Nada
Average last season: 0
100+ Games last season: 0
Sub 80 games last season: 0
Price range last season: $332K
Missed games last season: Every single one after rupturing the anterior cruciate in his right knee for the second time in the preliminary final against Geelong.
Significant history: Averaged 84.7 in 2012, 69.2 in 2011

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So we have an unlucky bastard who hasn’t played since September 2013, returning from his second ACL in as many years into the back to back premiership side but is priced at a significant supercoach discount price to average 36.6.

It is so mouth wateringly tantalising you feel compelled to pick him in your starting side, yes?

DON’T! NOT YET.

The lure here is the potential value. And don’t get me wrong there is plenty of value, subject to two very big IF’S, if he plays weekly as part of the Hawks best 22 and if he stays injury free.

I’m more confident he is likely to avoid injury than hold a spot in the Hawks best 22. There is plenty of underlying talent at the Hawks; Anderson, Woodward, Langford, the introduction of Truffle Frawley and the resistance of Showyourknackers, to name but a few of the issues facing Swiss.

Given his height and weight I can see Swiss playing stop gap roles as a forward against undersized defensive sides and as a defender where they have a large number of taller options. Likely to see him go in and out of the side and have his scores fluctuate accordingly, the only way we will know for sure is to pay close attention pre season.

RISK FACTOR

Swiss was originally his nickname due to the Whitecross, after two ACL’s it probably is more apt describing his knees. Massive injury risk along with selection risk. However the selection risk can be discounted as it would be less than a first year rookie in many sides, therefore injury risk is the largest concern.

SELECTION PURPOSE

Simple, he is value. Priced to average 36.6. In his last two seasons he’s gone 69.2 and 84.7. If he’s playing each week he could be a significant cash cow, or better a keeper, 84.7 might be a solid D6 this year. He has never averaged that low, his lowest was 49.8 in his second season.

THE GOOD

  • Kicks over handballing
  • Has(d) a devastatingly good kick
  • Value
  • Defender
  • High of 139

THE DOWNSIDE

  • Two knee reconstructions in two years
  • May not be in the best 22
  • When he stinks it up he does it big time lots of sub 30’s
  • The high of 139 was round 18 of the 2012 season
  • Rarely goes over 100 (10 in 84 games, 5 of those in 2012)

THE VERDICT

Value of this sort is very hard to ignore, however there is no value if he isn’t in the Hawks best 22. I have no doubt if he gets onto the park he will pump out SC value. I do have doubts that he will remain injury free or stay in the side as part of the best 22. May turn out to be Jed Bews frustrating. Therefore it is crucial to treat him like the rookie he is priced at and watch preseason to determine if he is seen as a best 22 performer and is providing value. He is not a lock by any means, as a $123K rook may prove mid to high 60’s and get the same price rise. Currently he has not made one of my 735 teams I have drafted since the Higginator was bestowed upon the community.

WATCH CLOSELY – I’M LEANING TOWARD NO!

What’s your call on Brendan Whitecross 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.

 


46 Comments

Dools · 12/01/2015 at 01:11

Great work General,
I think he will trap quite a few unwary souls General who are wooed by his price and then invent a base line score to justify a bad decision
ATS he is a watch but he better pull a miracle or Hawthorne lose 2/3 def in front of him ATM. 05/95
…. Great article mate, well delivered and fair.

    General Soreness · 12/01/2015 at 15:02

    Cheers Dools, there will be plenty wooed I'm sure and if he goes well in NAB and looks set in the 22, I will probably be one of them. But as stated, I am not confident that he is best 22. Time will tell. Although if the masses go with him and there is a cheaper available rook, I still might avoid him being a POD in itself.

WombatsFC · 12/01/2015 at 01:28

Brilliant General. Very funny
Brittany Whitecross will be my D6 if he shines in NAB and he's named round 1.
If he doesn't I hope somebody cheaper does, otherwise I'm stuffed.

    General Soreness · 12/01/2015 at 15:03

    I hear ya, wombats, we need this years Langdon to rear his head early in NAB and hold form, otherwise many a strategy will be thrown into Chaos.

      WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 15:32

      Hi General, How's Kavanagh going?

        General Soreness · 13/01/2015 at 16:00

        Same as everyone mate, training the house down, feeling the best he has in years etc etc. The reality mate, is he is on my watchlist former first round pick with a light body which has been building up slowly, has elite running capacity. Got a fair dinkum wake up call when he dipped his toe into the trade waters and no one was interested, that may be the spark to get him going, again NAB cup will reveal more. But ssshhhh, otherwise people might find out about him at $145,100.

          WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 16:36

          I remember Bombers being very excited when they drafted him I think he was going to be the next big thing? 3 Knee recos, a shoulder, hammy and a repaired achilles later and he still hasn't beefed up.Anyway it's a shame the poor bloke can't get up this year maybe 2016 or 2017

          WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 16:37

          trying to put some dust on the tracks general we don't want everybody having him.

          Phil · 13/01/2015 at 17:18

          The problem is nobody has left Essendon (besides Ryder but Bellchambers and/or Giles will replace him) and it was hard for youngsters to crack into the 22 last year. Now Cooney and Gwilt have been added. It's gonna be a hard 22 to break into. For the same reason I'm not too confident on Laverde or Langford too, at least for Round 1

            taylorwoof · 13/01/2015 at 18:54

            Surely Gwilt is there as 'insurance only'. Essendon are taking the pi$$ if he's in their B22.

            Unless they think they're close to a premiership or something….. Chappy, Cooney, Giles, Gwilt.

              Phil · 14/01/2015 at 08:49

              Yeah fair call. Probably back up for Fletcher who will play 15 games max you would think

throttlefinger · 12/01/2015 at 08:16

Hilarious piece, my friend. Not really considered him because Hawks not the easiest side to break (and stay) in. As the Dean of the Defenders Wombats says if he shines preseason and makes the field R1, he may be a must. Lot of waiting. Like all things preseason, hope cheaper and more secure options present themselves. Another rock solid review, General. Big salute.

    jockreynolds · 12/01/2015 at 08:57

    The Dean of Defence. Maybe we could nickname Wombats "The Secretary" lads.

    Bewdiful as always General. It's bloody hard to see him get a crack at Hawthorn unless there's a bit of a role change. Maybe like you said mate he'll be a bit of a stop gap down back… maybe even have a crack up fwd. No from me unless he pulls some solid form out of his pip and is named rd 1

      throttlefinger · 12/01/2015 at 11:14

      "The Secretary". Think that fits ol' Wombat to a T.

        Wombatsfc · 12/01/2015 at 13:35

        Each cut, each scar, each burn, a different mood or time.

        General Soreness · 12/01/2015 at 14:58

        I presume this is more a reference to the Secretary of Defence as opposed to the melodramatic show starring Tea Leoni, Madame Secretary.

          WombatsFC · 12/01/2015 at 16:10

          Some bloke called David Duchovny once told me I looked a bit like his wife but my quote was from the 2002 Movie that inspired 50 shades of grey.

          I only just got that secretary of defense bit, duuurrh

            Dools · 12/01/2015 at 18:22

            James Spader Classic !!!!

              WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 14:35

              Hey Dools, you've been noticeably absent from discussions compared to your usual efforts, what's going on? I need your input to win the cash this year.

                Dools · 13/01/2015 at 19:15

                I apologise for my absence Wombats, I have had a lot going on .
                I had my 11 yo son here for a week or so he was a great distraction and unfortunately he left yesterday I was very lonely again.
                I would not be using my advice to win the $50 K mate I'm not all here and I'm definitely not "All There" either.
                I'm between the outer edges with my thinking now
                I'm currently going with thinking a solid forward Ruc and midfield avoiding the bye clashes and going hyper weak in the Back still generating your Prime but it's all up in the air mate .
                I'm just not grounded, I feel bad, sad and empty of clear concise insights.

                  WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 19:24

                  Ahh kids who would've thought it would be more fun caring for em than it was making em. I know how you feel my 16yo daughter is in hospital atmo getting treatment for a years long illness. I hammer this place to help deal with it.Often the value of an individual thought is magnified by its distance from the the centre.  

    WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 21:30

    Is Jeansch the futurists Enright

      throttlefinger · 13/01/2015 at 22:05

      Think his SD needs to come down a touch for his to be spoken with Mr. S.D.

        WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 22:14

        Yeah I remember the good old days when Corey was surrounded by a team of experienced champions.

        WombatsFC · 13/01/2015 at 22:16

        But this year I think that are many more efficient measures for 80 p/slot than old man corey.

          throttlefinger · 13/01/2015 at 22:19

          You may be right. The torch will probably be passed.

      taylorwoof · 14/01/2015 at 00:05

      Geeze i hated Jaensch in 2014.

      Every bloody time my opponent had him, he'd kill it. Would be headed for a 70-75 then flourish late for 90 > and me reeling off numerous profanities!!

I N Pieman · 12/01/2015 at 11:44

Ripper General. He’d kind of be a last resort if the rookies don’t present. My extensive rookie research has me little concerned about the defensive rookies. And if they don’t show up in round 1 & Swiss does then he’s a chance for my side. Great job my friend.

    General Soreness · 12/01/2015 at 15:04

    The defensive rooks are looking a little thin, at this stage I have Goddard, Somewhere, J Kolo, Fuller.

      crackman · 13/01/2015 at 17:50

      as a bulldog supporter Fuller will not get a game. still in rehab after a shoulder opp and his form last year was less than impressive

        General Soreness · 13/01/2015 at 18:05

        Thanks for the heads up crackman, i knew his form wasnt flash but form can be fixed enough for rookies cash, but did not know he was still in rehab.

        taylorwoof · 13/01/2015 at 18:56

        Agree with GS, cheers for the heads up Crackman!!!

        Any idea how Jordan Kelly is travelling? Ex-Hawk, that didn't get much opportunity and was in Box Hill flag side.

taylorwoof · 12/01/2015 at 13:44

Good work GS!

Being a Hawks man, this interests me greatly.

Add Billy Hartung to the list of underlying talent too.

I think Whitecross can play mostly between the arcs – wing, mid, or half back/fwd. Can't see him playing close to goals with the likes of Breust, Puopolo and Rioli up there. Maybe a possibility to take a spot down back as small def (replacing Duryea)…..but would prefer to see him on the flanks or through the middle.

There's always been a number of changes to Hawthorns Grand Final sides the past three years. Thought i'd have a quick look. Very interesting results;

Hawks made GF's in 2012,2013,2014

From 2012 GF side to 2013 it was:
OUT – Ellis (form), Savage (form), Shoenmakers (form), Suckling (inj), Young (traded).
IN – Bailey, Guerra, Hill, Lake, Simpkin.

2013 side to 2014;
OUT – Bailey (retired), Franklin (free agency), Guerra (retired), Sewell (form), Simpkin (form).
IN – Duryea, Langford, McEvoy, Spangher, Suckling.

Exactly five changes each year. If the trends continue, then Whitecross has every chance to force his way back into the side if sound.

My gut says if he's sound, and hasn't lost any touch then he's in the 22. Easily takes Duryea's spot.

Post NAB if those rookies/wookies are still looking paper thin, and Whitecross has played NAB and looks solid then he has to go in.

    General Soreness · 12/01/2015 at 14:52

    Lovely work Twoof, always love to get more knowledge from those that watch the teams more than I do, definitely Hartung should be added to the list and I left out O'Rourke deliberately as a more pure mid. It will be interesting to see where he sits in the Hawks scheme of things, no doubt there is love for him at the club, but Clarko is not an emotional beast and will make the fiercest of calls on any player just ask on the list of outs. Still not convinced he is best 22 could see him taking Spangher's spot before anyone else's. I'm sure if he plays NAB looks fit and in best 22 there will be plenty picking him, including me probably, but still think there are plenty of IF's there including IF there are better cheaper rooks.

    Wombatsfc · 12/01/2015 at 16:12

    Thanks Twoof that strengthens my belief in him 10fold.

    Glorin · 13/01/2015 at 22:54

    Agree twoof. When Swiss went down first time around he started played a role similar to Langford this year, spending time in midfield with loose tagging roles with odd hard tag, hence variable numbers. Remember the suprise at the quick return to side after injury which supported my idea that he is a Clarko favorite. He was earmarked to be our next f/t mid during 2012 to take over and fill the potential void that could have been here now in 2015. His injury and the resurgence of hodge/ burgoyne in last 2 years means his development has not been required or been replaced by Langford / Sheils freed up to play the role.
    Long story short, I have been a long term critic, but I know Clarko loves him and saw a role for him which considering he was fit but held back at end of last year suggests the plan has been postponed, not halted. If he can show something pre season, he will be playing round 1.

vcloophole · 12/01/2015 at 14:25

Lovely, work General.

Love your summation of where he sits at the Hawks twoof. Nutting out the pecking orders on the better lists is an underrated skillset that saves wasted early 'fix up' trades I reckon.
If he doesn't get a round 1 start, I've got no doubt his chance will come *somewhere* in 2015, we all just have to be ready to pounce when he's on the bubble.

    General Soreness · 12/01/2015 at 14:53

    Thanks VC, definitely an artform getting the rooks right. I have no doubt his chance will come I am just not certain he will hold down a spot, NAB form will go a long way to either confirming or alleviating those concerns.

Phil · 12/01/2015 at 17:01

Every year the reigning premiers usually always get hit hard by injuries the following year I find. If this is the case expect Whitecross to be best 22 if fit, not necessary replacing Duryea or player B but more so just replacing whoever is injured.

I just suspect Hawthorn to be super safe with him and he won't feature till about Round 4. Could be similar to Fasolo in 2015

    General Soreness · 13/01/2015 at 15:05

    If he is similar to Fasolo he is definitely not worthy of selection!

      Phil · 13/01/2015 at 17:22

      Fasolo pumped out some good scores and made a little cash just injured too much and was on the bubble at an awkward stage of the season when we weren't ready to downgrade. I could see Swiss being similar this year.

Seaford Scouse · 12/01/2015 at 19:28

Great review General and you have to feel for him and his lack of luck especially when compared to that of one Brian Lake, talk about polar opposites.

I hope Swiss finally gets a bit of luck with his injuries bit like Phil, I can’t see him being throw in straight away, carefully managed through VFL before the 1’s and depth at the Hawks allows them to do this with ease.

No for me to start but potential downgrade target if things get desperate when he’s ready to show which given the puddle of defensive rookies we’ve been offered up this year could be sooner rather than later.

    General Soreness · 13/01/2015 at 15:04

    Cheers SS, the opposite of Lake is spot on, maybe Swiss needs to change his name.

      Seaford Scouse · 13/01/2015 at 19:05

      Absolutely, best bet would be to go for McCartney and opt for a move to the Bulldogs where he could then pick himself before realising his luck really has run out the door!

crackman · 13/01/2015 at 14:47

I may put him in as a downgrade mid season if he gets a game and looks good. He is not a round one option

Dan · 13/01/2015 at 19:51

If he looks to get early games based on some good preseason form, I may get him as a quick upgrade to an early premo def who's price drops, a'la Malceski maybe.

Comments are closed.