Welcome to the last preseason edition of the Bruyn Manoeuvre.
Only days until lockout and by now your team should hopefully be starting to settle.
If not, don’t despair – you have (some) time. Whatever you do at this point however, stay clam and back yourself in.
If your reading this then chances are you’ve been working on a team for a couple of months. What ever you do try not to stress out during these last few days, chopping and changing your side.
I know – it’s bloody easy with the various ‘team reveal’ articles going up on this great site to start second guessing your team but trust me – just don’t do it.
Instead, take heed. I had a bunch of mistakes in my 2013 starting squad and things turned out pretty well for me.
With all that said there’s still a few questions I’m asking of my team.
Ablett or no Ablett?
Ablett. The orange cap is off (what colors do other clubs have?) and that’s good enough for me. One week out is cutting it close, bloody close, so I understand those leaving him out. I won’t be though. Massive call.
Rockliff or no Rockliff
No Rockliff. Just don’t have the cash once Ablett comes back in. Will be an intriguing POD for some. May even end up being a more influential decision than the one required on Gaz
Can we stick a rookie at D5?
It’s tempting isn’t it? My take is that both Saad and Macintosh MIGHT score well enough early to take an on-field slot but come round 3-4 their scoring could stall. I’m nervous about being stuck playing one and being left with little bench cover. One on-field for mine.
NicNat or no NicNat?
A few people are a bit nervous starting the big fella after an apparent lackluster showing against Freo. I’m not concerned. The guy averaged 90 on busted groins, he’s value.
If your structures suit – Agreed.
Are TBC and Leuy still options?
It’s hard to start big Bellchambers without seeing a preseason game but if he lines up as the no 1 for the bombers I think he is still a very viable selection. Leuy is far less attractive given his ceiling will be lowered by Stef Martin’s presence. It’s interesting to me though that a Leuy TBC combo will be massively unique (and very cheap). Risk reward?
How many keepers should I have?
There is no real rule to rely on here but I think you’d want to be able to count 12 as a minimum in your starting squad. Any less and you’re probably rocking a few too many midpricers – they offer value but do require a trade. This season I think veteran coaches will be aiming for 14 keepers and that’s not including TBC and maybe even Swannie.
How many Premo mids?
For a long time I’ve been trying to get a 6 premo mid structure to work for me but it is proving difficult. As such I think 5 looks like the magic number. 4 seems a little light, particularly considering the green vest appears to be a threat to many of the popular mid rookies.
Newton v NVB v Cripps v Sheed.
In order – Cripps, Sheed, Newton, NVB.
Which mid rookies on-field?
Ellis-Yolmen, Cripps, Sheed, Newton, NVB, Heeney, Anderson, Vandenburg, Miller, Lambert…subject to change (massively!)
Is he really a lock?
Swan – May be safer following the crowd on this one but not a lock for mine. Call me crazy but if you think he will go at 95-100 (like me) I think its possible he can be left out.
Pendlebury – Lock
Griffen – Lock
Newnes – Hype player of the preseason by far! A lock? I can’t see it. Not because he is a bad pick but simply because I don’t think he’ll be a top 5 defender. Isn’t cheap at all and plays for a poor side. Will feature in heaps of teams (mine included I’d say) but he isn’t David Swallow.
Higgins – not a lock by far. A solid option though down back. Handy Def/Fwd eligibility which will come into its own late in the season.
Gray – Lock
Martin – Lock (backflip alert!)
Maric – too much risk to miss games to be a lock. The third most attractive ruck in my book still.
Bennel – not a lock for me. I’m tipping a 5 point increase. A top 6-12 forward to me which isn’t enough to start him. Same for Ziebell.
Bontempelli – Heard it straight from Pendles mouth, “will get sat on”. Good enough for me. Pass.
Tom Mitchell – just doesn’t look like he’ll get enough time in the guts. If a first choice Sydney mid goes down get him in ASAP
Rich and Wells – I don’t like either pick. Reason being is that it is likely 1-2 mid rookies will reach 80 pt averages which is enough (considering their cheaper prices) to fill your M6-M8 spots. Maybe you squeeze one at M5 but I’d rather go a premo there.
Deledio – I don’t like the balance of starting him and Martin so gets a no from me here.
This season is shaping as a real beauty due to the huge variety of sides we are seeing across the board. Embrace this fact!
How much more satisfying will it be backing your unique selection and seeing them perform then to watch on as the guy ‘you were going to pick’ smashes it out of the park?
It’s an easy answer I reckon.