Ben Newton whacked on the Melbourne colours for the first time tonight. And if tonight was any indication his fifth season in the AFL system looks certain to be the one that gets his career up and running.
Ben Newton (MID $215,000) fluffed around on the fringes at Port Adelaide – but looks likely to slot straight into the Demon midfield. I must pay my respects here to General Soreness who identified the significance od Ben Newton as a selection option in November (click here for his analysis).
I’m not one to get carried away at this stage of the preseason, but based on his performance this evening I’m backing him to become a fixture in the guts at Melbourne. He’d had the pill 8 times by quarter time and finished with 13 touches before being subbed off early. I’d seen enough.
I wouldn’t worry about the fact Ben was subbed out late after a high knock. Remember – his uncle Sir Isaac Newton copped a high knock on the scone from an apple back in the day and went on to discover the theorems of the universe. Take comfort in his ability to bounce back given this pedigree.
Absent Best 22 Players:
Freo: Nat Fyfe, Ryan Crowley, Aaron Sandilands, Garrick Ibbotson, Danyle Pearce, Zac Dawson, Anthony Morabito, Colin “who ate all the pies” Sylvia.
Melb: Bernie Vince, Jeremy Howe, Dean Terlich, Jack Fitzpatrick, Jack Trengove, Jack Viney, Angus Brayshaw, Billy Stretch, Jake Spencer.
Other significant performances:
- Aaron Vandenberg (MID $127,900) started sub and came on after half time. He’d smacked one through the big sticks within minutes. If this kid gets the call up from the rookie list he could very well find himself in a hell of a lot of midfield. A ball magnet, mature aged player who forced his way into the AFL system with sheer ability to acquire the football at will. I’m aroused. I reckon a few aspiring Demon midfielders will be soiling themselves with this kid waiting in the wings.
- Spindle shanks Steven Hill (MID $516,600) played across half back with stints in the middle which was interesting. He was one of Fremantle’s best and had plenty of it tonight. May suck a few in – I’d suggest he’s one of Fremantle’s #1 lockdown targets. The effects of this we won’t see during the NAB.
- Higgo likes Clancee Pearce (DEF/MID $278,900) and I happen to know Ross Lyon does as well. Gotta say Higg – I liked what I saw mate.Was busy all night with 19 touches at 90% effectiveness. DEF eligibility. At this price we need to look at him.
- Michael Walters (FWD $383,000) is an extremely important player at Fremantle – and if he can stay fit will need to be considered. Looked very sharp and fit – had 13 important disposals, 5 tackles and a goal.
- Cam Sutcliffe (DEF $377,200) had 9 possessions to quarter time to finish with 13 kicks 4 handballs. Pains me to say it – but we could have another midpriced option to add to the watch list here. Would love to have seen his role if Ibbotson had have played (btw – Ibbotson still hasn’t participated in any competitive training). And I wonder how his role may be effected by Paul Duffield’s shoulder injury late in the game (which looked significant).
- The Prince The One Who Is Gifted And Will Have The Last Laugh – Heritier Lumumba (DEF/MID $417,000) was good. He gathered 19 touches – but we’ll never know the spiritual contribution that he made out there tonight. If spiritual hard ball gets were measured by champion data this bloke would reach Ablett proportions.
- Jesse Hogan (FWD $130,400) He’s a big bastard this kid! Started pretty ordinarily but had established himself by the end of the game. Should remain locked into our FWD lines although I had some concern up till half time.
- Jeff Garlett (FWD $259,200) worked into things as the game wore on without being overly impressive. Did a few good 1% team things which will be well looked upon by Sir Paul in terms of a round 1 berth.
- Very early days – but I was concerned by the performance of Christian Salem (FWD $185,000). He wasn’t great down back. Sloppy at times.. spilt marks.. fumbled.. had handballs intercepted.. kicked it out of bounds. I’ll forgive him this run and watch his next hitout very closely.
- Colin Sylvia (FRE FWD $206) did not play. Has been expelled by Ross Lyon to the WAFL for returning from the off season overweight. He is now rumoured to be seething after the MCG announced significant reductions to the price of hot chips and pies this week. Never has he rued his departure from the Melbourne Football Club more.
- Poor old Paul Duffield (FRE DEF $475k)
Over to you community – what significance did you extract from the game?