Daniel McKenzie: Another ripper Daniel

PiemanI do apologise community in this piece being a little later than expected. Some would blame Tinder, & if you did you’re absolutely right. I have had the recent pleasure of liaising with a participant who (not to my initial knowledge) had a tattoo that runs the length of her spine. One day I asked her what it was all about.

It was the Latin phrase “I will find a way or make one”. My god. Has there ever been a more appropriate backline statement. She even got a Tatt. What a lass.

Jock’s new year’s resolution was less woman & more supercoach. Maybe I should follow suit. But if they are delivering wisdom tatts like that, then maybe not.

Sometimes in times of crisis you need to call on a brother. This backline dilemma isn’t getting any easier to solve.

Some of you may be surprised to learn that I’m not the first famous Pie to grace this wonderful planet. Indeed, I have some ancient brothers from the past that made a name for themselves to.

Most recently a brother from the past had a role in Kill Bill 2, Piemai. He’s the brother you call on when you need someone taken care of. He’s a bit like Jock with a hangover, a grumpy bastard. He’s also the owner of the now legendary 5 point palm exploding heart technique. Last bloke you’d ever want to piss off. At a time of supercoach crisis he’s not the bro to call on.

My other long lost brother is known for some good theories, Piethagoras. He was pretty good at his maths & working out problems. Surely he’s my go to brother in this time of need.

One evening I grabbed my Ouija board & a cup of mushrooms. It’s time for a chat with my brother.

Here’s the highlights of the conversation:
Pieman: Brother I really need your help.
Piethagorus: What do you want, you one eyed tinder junkie.
Pieman: I’m really not sure what to do about my supercoach backline in 2015.
Piethagoras: WTF is that.
Pieman: it’s a game we play that involves mathematics & strategy.
Piethagoras: Keep going Pieman you have my interest.
Pieman: The idea of this game is to buy people at a reasonable price & gain as many points as possible
Piethagoras: Right make me a martini while I research this supercoach business .
Pieman: Wombat has a theory Piethagoras what do you think of it
Piethagoras: You, wombat & dools are drunks.
Pieman: can’t argue.
Piethagoras: it seems these backline players are fickle.
Pieman: They suck
Piethagoras: You must spend as little as possible on this line Pieman to achieve a satisfactory outcome.
Pieman: what is the secret.
Piethagoras: Rookies Pieman Rookies.
Pieman: Yes Piethagoras YES find some more rookies.
Piethagoras: And don’t go spending over 500k on any defender.
Pieman: I promise I won’t great Pie
Piethagoras: Don’t be afraid of some mid-price madness, certainly consider a Ibbotsson & Waters.
Pieman: But they are inconsistent & injury prone
Piethagoras: All defenders are fickle Pieman Piethagoras: You must find 6 defenders that will start your season with an aggregate of 80 points each, & you must try to spend less than 2 million dollars on the 6 of them combined, find the Rookies Pieman, find the rookies.

I might go back & consult with Piethagoras about the Ruck situation.

What Piethagoras is alluding to is simple. Wombats number of 478 in defence would have kept you in the hunt last year providing you nailed your other lines. If you could have spent an average of 333k instead of the 400k normally required for an 80 average on players then you would be in a great place. For that to take place decent rookies will be needed. Is there a Tom Langdon in 2015?

From the research I’ve done so far into the rookies I don’t think we will have any trouble filling Mid & Fwd positions. But it appears that’s not going to be the case with Def & Rucks. Which may mean I need to abandon Piethagoras theorem & have a Waters at D5 or D6. Which would suck. I’d hate to have to spend up on Defenders who may or may not be any good. From the garbage we’ve been dealt picking the top 6 or top 10 is impossible. All the good ones from last year are only Mids. Pfft.

I don’t generally agree with wombat. He’s a fury fruit loop who can’t even touch his own Wang. But his quest to the desert needs to be acknowledged. The hidden message is spend is as little as possible for the decent outcome on the defensive line. If indeed we can get that opportunity when round 1 comes around. But absolutely plan for a backline with & without rookies.

White men can’t jump? Daniel McKenzie can.

As far as rookies go & if history is anything to go by the Defensive & Ruck ones are the hardest to find.

Picking a defender at 500K or over is painful at the best of times. The only one I’d really love to have in my team is Malcheski. But he’s priced out of the park & moving from the Sydney defence to the much younger GC defence will surely have him a marked man. At 566k it’s absolutely not an option. You’re paying for his ceiling.

The following morning I noticed an article about the Saints time trials. Daniel McKenzie’s name appeared in the top 10. Hmmm isn’t that the guy the Saints just picked at 22. He’s only been there 2 months. If that. Indeed it was. Cracking the top 10 in his first preseason…movement. Further research Mid/Def at 117k. Laptop rising. 89% DE at the championships….goodness time to put the washing on.

The Doggies wasn’t the only team I was really interested in who they drafted. The Saints & Dees were the others. The Saints strategy was purely identifying & solving needs. A quality key forward McCartin, Tick. A quality Key Position Swingman Goddard, Tick. A quality small forward Lonie, Tick. And a quality running Half back/Mid McKenzie, Tick. A very nice hall by the Saints.

Straight after the Saints nabbed Hugh Goddard (DEF/FWD), they grabbed another DPP Daniel McKenzie (MID/DEF). He comes at a very tasty price of 117k. What I find of particular interest like the other Daniel sun of the Caleb variety is that both have elite endurance & DE (disposal efficiency). And they both know how to find the pill.

Whilst he only played one game for Vic Metro at the Nationals his stats were excellent. 18 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles & 89% DE. He was also instrumental in the Oakleigh Chargers winning the flag.

One thing I really took note of was Alan Richardson’s comment that “I don’t care about birth certificates”. Meaning if you’re in the best 22, you’ll be playing.

Daniel McKenzie’s draft combine results were outstanding. He finished in the top 7 of the 3km time trial, agility test, repeat sprints & the running vertical jump. Like Nugget he’s a rare breed of a footballer that is also a gifted athlete. Given Richardson’s statement about birth certificates & the fact that this bloke has got a tank, some size & skill, he’s a huge chance for game time in 2015.


2015 Price: $117,000
2015 Position: MID/DEF
Height: 183 cm
Weight: 77 kgs
AFL Team: Saint Kilda
Former Team: Oakleigh Chargers
Championship DE: 89%
Listing: In the best 22
Significant history: Round 2 pick 1 (22 overall). 6th place in the All-time list of running vertical jump 94cms. 4 top 7 finishes at the combine. BOG for the Oakleigh Chargers in the premiership decider. Big game player.


With a running vertical leap of the very top echelon it doesn’t come of great surprise that McKenzie is noted for his marking ability. Because of his leap & agility he also has the ability to play as small or tall defender. He can also move up through the ground & hit targets from either side of his body.

“At the next level, a club that is fortunate enough to call him theirs will have flexibility and versatility in abundance with McKenzie. As a defender, he uses his body positioning quite well, often playing in front and gets good location on his opponent, sticking close and using his strong core to back himself in a one-on-one contest, where his first instinct is to spoil or manoeuvre his opponent under the ball.

Although McKenzie doesn’t have a penetrating kick that’s reliable over 50 metres, he’s precise over 40 metres, and in particular has a habit of making bullet-like passes on a wing, or cutting inboard from defence.

His marking however, arguably defines him. He reads the kick off an opposition boot well, moves fluently into space, reading the ball in flight before taking the mark in defence and using the ball truly by foot.

His ability to take intercept marks, go back with the flight of the ball with incoming contact, and take contested marks, sets him apart from other midfielders”

Source: Paige Cardona

I like the sound of that. An intercept marking midfielder YES PLEASE!

Risk factor

At his rock bottom price there isn’t much. Playing 2 games & heading back to the two’s would be about it.

Selection purpose

Rookie priced cash cow Mid/def. Given he has that DPP in Def that’s gold. In fact he would actually be handier as a downgrade option down the track. Starting with swingsets isn’t really that important. Finishing with them certainly is.

The Good

  • Elite Endurance
  • Intercept marking ability
  • Skilled either side of the body
  • DPP
  • Tackling
  • Defensive pressure
  • Speed

The Bad

  • Doesn’t hit the scoreboard
  • Can go missing

Final Verdict

It wasn’t an easy decision for the saints to move Rhys Stanley on. But they knew that with consecutive picks in the early 20’s they would be to pick off some talented players. And they most certainly did. Both Goddard are McKenzie were tipped by many to go as first round picks. What the Saints have done for us is given us 2 bargain priced DPP defenders that will likely see game time in 2015. When remains to be seen. And both should be at the pointy end of your watchlist.

As I previously stated if he doesn’t get picked early I wouldn’t be disappointed. If he came in later, that would be fantastic. Later in the season is where DPP players become oh so important. I didn’t complete my mid/def swingset last season & it was costly. Completing that swingset is firmly at the top of my to do list for the 2015 season. Given the 3 mid bench positions it will be easier.

Whenever he pops up in 2015 I’m certain he will be in my team. Elite endurance athletes with speed, agility, incredible leap & know how to use the footy don’t grow on trees. I’m sure Jock will be wrapt to have him.
Round 1: Chuck the keys out.

Later in the season: That would be GOLD!


Twitter: @paulmaltman



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.



I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 19:58

Well that’s it from me community for the pre preseason of 2015. Hope you have enjoyed & gained some wisdom & an edge from my pieces. If you haven’t read all the articles from all the boys over the last few months I’d suggest its best you do. You will have an edge on those that haven’t.

For what it’s worth here is a list of the boys I think are a chance for Round 1 in defence.

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 19:59

Prospect 1: Jake Lever Adelaide Crows
Height: 194cm
Weight: 85kgs
Price $157,300
Possible Role: Key Rebounding Defender
As far as bargains of the draft go at this point I think the Crows have done a Bradbury. The crow’s first pick at 14 in the 2014 National Draft was picked for a reason. With the loss of Ben Rutten Daniel Talia can’t cover all the gorillas. Given the need for a Key Defender he could be a walk up start. Lever missed the 2014 season with an ACL. His recovery has been excellent. All reports are he is training very well. He slid from a top 3 prospect out to 14 because of the ACL. He averaged 98 in underage TAC cup year & 18 disposals a game. The Crows have already handed him number 6. So they must like what they see. They also passed on local favourite Sam Durdin who can play the same sort of role. This guy is a GUN!

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 19:59

Prospect 2: Harrison Wigg Adelaide Crows
Height: 179cm
Weight: 75kgs
Price $117,300
Possible Role: Rebounding Defender
Wiggy is a local product. He was an All Australian 18 & named the most valuable player for SA in their championship winning team. The young fella is noted for his deadly left peg & is another who is likened to The Suckling Pig. My concern is there might be a few bigger bodies ahead for the type of role he plays. Nonetheless don’t rule him out for an early game or 2. If he has an impressive Nab cup you never know.
So those are the 2 Crow eaters that are an early chance. We will be asking the Baron & Sarah to keep an eye on them for us. During my last conversation with Sarah we had Lever as a better chance for Round 1.

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:00

Prospect 3: Dillon Viojo-Rainbow Carlton Blues
Height: 185cm
Weight: 82kgs
Price $117,300
Possible Role: Rebounding Defender
Similar type player to Wiggy. Both have Suckling type deadly left pegs. I have written a more extensive article on him which is in Jock’s preseason index. He’s got a bit more size about him to Wiggy which I suspect was why he was picked earlier. I like his chances of a round 1 birth ahead of Wiggy. If he’s named in round 1 he’s in my team.

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:01

Prospect 4: Hugh Goddard St Kilda Saints
Height: 196cm
Weight: 93kgs
DPP: Yes Def/Fwd
Price $122,300
Possible Role: Key Defender Swingman
General Soreness has already delivered an article on Brendon’s not so little cousin. Once again if you haven’t read it it’s in the preseason index. This is effectively the guy they swapped Rhys Stanley for. When the dust settles on that deal down the track it could prove to be very significant for St Kilda Fc. Big chance for game time next season. Don’t see him as being a great scorer. I’ll be looking for better options but they might not be there.

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:01

Prospect 5: Nicholas Newman Sydney Swans
Height: 187cm
Weight: 81kgs
Price $102,400
Possible Role: Rebounding Defender
He’s a smokey at pick 35 from the rookie draft. But he isn’t. Last season in the VFL he won the equivalent of the rising star award. Both recruiting manager Tom Harley & Horse Longmire have both talked about him as a player who could fill the Eski role. If he comes off the rookie list lick your lips. He’s in my team at the moment.

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:02

Prospect 6: Daniel Mckenzie St Kilda Saint See above

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:02

Prospect 7: Shaun Edwards ASADA Bombers
Height: 189cm
Weight: 81cm
Price: $123,900
Mature age. Wasn't getting a run at GWS. Bombers & Crows were keen for his services. Mature age now you'd have to think he's a chance for a game. If ASADA suspends players he’s playing unless injured.

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:03

Prospect 8: Matthew Fuller Western Bulldoggies

Height: 180 cm

Weight: 85Kgs


Price: $123,900

A lot of us expected that given the Doggies had recruited a mature aged Defender we would see him in action last year. But it didn’t happen. You would think given the experience & big bodies lost to the Doggies he has to be a chance for a game. He’s a product from the SANFL Norwood Premiership player. As a rebounding defender could he take the Higgins role? Surely he must be a chance. They didn’t get rid of him, but they got rid of plenty of others

I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:06

Also have a look at: Sam Durdin, Jake Thumper Kolodjashnij, Darcy Moore, Brayden Maynard, Oscar McDonald, Zaine Cordy & Ed Vickers Willis.
In Case of emergency:
Nathan Brown & Caleb Marchbank

Good luck to you all in 2015.

General Soreness · 18/01/2015 at 20:16

Very fine work INP, arguably your finest in terms of enjoyment to read. McKenzie high on the radar as a defensive rookie, of the others suggested Wigg also very high on the list.

    I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:26

    Cheers General. I like Wigg as well. Not sure the Crows will be comfortable about adding 2 rookies to the defence for round 1. But who knows. I hope he becomes an option at some point. Pleasure working with you my friend.

      General Soreness · 19/01/2015 at 09:14

      It has been an absolute pleasure INP been loving the articles and the following banter. Did some more work on Wigg last night, solid candidate for the Riddler Suit.

      Seaford Scouse · 19/01/2015 at 09:49

      Phil Walsh is going to be ruthless INP, defensive rookies are certain to get a gig there and I reckon it will be sooner rather than later but I’d wait to see if they deliver because he’ll yank them off into the wilderness quicker than you can say “Tex who”!

        I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 10:03

        Good point Seaford. I'd be a little nervous starting with Wiggy. He could spud it up & be dismissed to the 2's.

@BenjoDT · 18/01/2015 at 20:21

Good article Pieman!
Who do you think is most likely to get a game out of the backline rookies? Looking at Maynard, Wigg and Rainman.
Also, will Jaksch get a game for Carlton? Cheers

    I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 20:45

    Gday Benjo. Raiman for mine. Maynard doesn't have a tank. Wigg probably has a few more experinced in front on him, but that will change as he developes. Jaksch to get a game. No doubt about it. He was a need they went after. GWS wanted pick 7 back as a bargaining chip & it back fired. They wanted to couple it up with 4 to get whover they wanted at pick 1 & then they offered it for Steve Johnson. Didn't pan out but they got Marchbank. And he's more than handy. The Blues got the better of the deal. Jansch will play but no SC relevance for mine.

      @BenjoDT · 18/01/2015 at 20:50

      Cheers Pieman! Rain man on the field for me. And Jaksch on the pine

        I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 21:13

        264k on the pine. You cant do that Benjo. Look at some other rookie options. See above. But there will be more after NAB cup. I've only named some possible options. Hopefully there will be more. Prey for it.

WombatsFC · 18/01/2015 at 20:30

Thanks heaps itchy it's mighty generous of you handing out all those backline rookie tips.
Piethagoras hahaha

    I N Pieman · 18/01/2015 at 21:03

    They are just tips. Others will pop up wombat. Well hopefully. Happy to share my findings. Even if we started with the same teams we wouldn't finish with them. So i don't care about sharing my reaseach with this awesome bunch of people.

      Rayza Ray · 18/01/2015 at 23:56

      That why we love ya Pieman! Cheers for your efforts been a fantastic read champ.

        I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 10:05

        No worries Razor. Look forward to chatting with ya during the year.

Chicko · 18/01/2015 at 21:46

Absolutely brilliant Pieman! From the very top of too shelves! I like the sound of Dan Mack but as you say, a mid season debut would be ideal! Thanks for all the entertaining articles – absolute supercoach gun is you.

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 06:33

    Been a pleasure working with ya Chicko. Can't see too many other Mid/Def options. If he did pop up later it would be very handy. Even the premos suck for DPP.

      Seaford Scouse · 19/01/2015 at 09:52

      Indeed mate, Hodge and Burgoyne only ones I’m considering atm and that’s as upgrades.

throttlefinger · 18/01/2015 at 22:06

Brilliant INP, top of page to bottom. Love the extra DEF insights at the end. Will out in a blaze of glory. This page will definitely be bookmarked when NAB approaches. Excellent work all off-season, my friend.

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 06:36

    Also been a pleasure working with ya our resident foreign correspondent. Out with a bang why not. Hopefully some of those mature age boys get a run & make us some coin down back.

Leighroy · 18/01/2015 at 22:58

Thanks pie man awesome read. I think st kilda rookies will be important as richo will want to get games into them. With our rookies that is the main thing for our teams the rookies getting enough games so we are able to cull during the bye rounds. I think the options listed above are all great. I really like lever and Goddard as I think their job security is the best of the lot based on the teams needs. I’m going very mid priced and rookies in the back which is a little worrying but hopefully it all pans out for the best.

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 06:40

    Gday Leighroy. I'm looking to go lean in defence if I can. I like Jakey Lever. Think he's a big chance for round 1. Not idealy priced, but not ridiculous either. Goddard is another. I'd rather pick one of the mature age boys over him, but if they are not playing & he is he's in.

jockreynolds · 18/01/2015 at 23:06

Pieman – on behalf of all of us mate thank you for your contributions – not only in your ball tearing articles you've delivered all off season – but in the many comments helping and discussing the game we love with the community we love. Top class all the way.

Tell Piethagoras he can stuff his theroms up his dark aged pip as well when you see him. Tell him Higg knows more about tri angles than any ancient fairy with an abacus. Higgthagoras.

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 06:44

    Higgthagoras love it. Piethag never came up with a Higginator so he can get stuffed. Thoroughly enjoyed all the acticles & the banter. Looking forward to the rest of the gold the regular boys will deliver for the remainder of the preseason. Glad to be of service.

    Tman · 19/01/2015 at 11:43

    Hahahaha good one Jock. 😀 Cant stop laughing still.

Kev · 19/01/2015 at 08:52

Out with a bang, INP! Loved it. Always sat up and took notice of your articles. Massive thank you for taking the time to put your Tinder conquests to one side and do these write ups.

Agree with Leighroy above, saints don't have much of an option other than to play their kids so I'm front and centre of the DMac bandwagon for 2015.

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 10:00

    No worries at all Kev. It's been fun. Not as fun as Tinder but awesome nonetheless. Completely agree with you & Leighroy. They don't have a choice. I'm hoping he's there for round 1. I'd say he's got a better tank than the other draftees & will come into calculations immediately baring injury of course.

Seaford Scouse · 19/01/2015 at 09:59

Another awesome review to finish up with Pieman, but I was hoping D-Mac would fly under the radar to be honest. Doing great things down at Seaford by all accounts and definitely an early look-in if showing at Nab. He’s locked on my bench atm, think you’re unfortunately right about no on-field rookies in defense though I have tinkered and tinkered and Waters still my D6, with rainman the other rookie on the pine.

Thanks for all the insights over ps have loved your reviews and this was one of, if not the best, of them.

Roll on NAB! (As an aside AFL fantasy opens tomorrow, excitement levels starting to rise!!!)

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 11:57

    Cheers Seaford. I am hoping 2 of the mature age boys Edwards Fuller or Newman for D 5-6 get a run & Rainman & DMac for the pine. Hope it pans out that way. But I will certainly be planning for if its doesnt. I'd really hate to have to spend up in defence & prune back my glorious looking midfield at the moment.

      Seaford Scouse · 19/01/2015 at 18:00

      Know what you mean mate I’ve done a version which I reckon hits wombats magic number but the sacrifice in midfield, whilst not game-ending, still has me in tears. But I’m trying to stay positive and convince myself that’s where the money’s to be made after all 🙂 I’m still bitter about Biggs not being DPP though, ah well at least we’re all served the same tripe at the supercoach cafe.

Tman · 19/01/2015 at 11:45

Thanks pieman stupendous work…and one that was badly needed.

Im starting to see the light an the end of this pitch black tunnel.

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 12:29

    No worries Tman. All I am asking for is 4 cheap rookie defenders. Is it too much to ask? Hopefully 4 of those 8 get a run round 1.

@TG_Footy_Tragic · 19/01/2015 at 13:50

Brilliant Pie, just Brilliant.

Love your work mate.
Keen to start the banter come season kickoff!

    I N Pieman · 19/01/2015 at 16:01

    Cheers Dex. It’s been fun. Can’t wait for the season banter

vcloophole · 19/01/2015 at 16:21

Wow, finished with a real gem there Pieman. awesome stuff!
Loved reading yours, and all the other writeups on these blokes. Ripping information!

@WombatsFC · 19/01/2015 at 20:44

Genuine and sincere thanks for your efforts itchy. The research done by you and the others in the tent beside the bungalow has been terrific and, it's saved thousands of people a combined hundreds of thousands of hours.
Every Supercoach who has the time to get smashed, laid or otherwise entertained between now and the first bounce owes all you guys a beer.

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