G’day all and welcome to a long overdue edition of the Bruyn Manoeuvre. Righto, here we are smack bang in bye season. Aside from the preseason I reckon this is just about the most exciting part of the SuperCoach year.
The reason being of course is that this is the time when you can finally start finishing your team without worrying about the byes. Nice!
Perhaps you still rue the day you left Bachar Houli out of your initial defense line. Maybe you even chose to whack Tom “Bloody” Bellchambers in as your R2 instead of Stefan Martin.
Thankfully, you can now redeem those decisions because both players have just had their byes. Bang! Bang!
It gets said over and over how your initial team selections only get you a small part of the way to SuperCoach glory – it’s clever trading that secures you the title.
For me personally, this year has reminded me just how true that is. Unfortunately however, for all the wrong reasons!
If you happened to read some of my earlier season ramblings you’d know I’m a big believer in early, aggressive trading. This year was no different – except for the fact the blokes I brought in turned out to be the wrong ones!
Sure, I set myself back a peg by entrusting half my ruck line to Tom Bellchambers but the fact is my early season choices to either correct, or upgrade, into Brodie Smith, Rory Sloane, Jordan Lewis, Grant Birchall, Tom Rockliff (not much we could do there) and finally this week James Kelly have set my team back…a loooong way! (I could also tell you how I’ve brought in Joel Selwood and the underwhelming JPK – but hey I ain’t the only one am I?)
Now, this article isn’t about me justifying a disappointing season thus far (although it might seem that way at the moment!). Where I wanted to get to is this…
If your Supercoach season hasn’t gone to script thus far don’t despair, because the byes are where the ship starts to turn.
Hrmmmmm……that’s what I thought too until I had a shocker last weekend!
20 or more ready to go players on Wednesday, soon became 15 after Thursday night. 3 trades later, Sheed and Dumont in the green and new recruit James Kelly hobbling off the ground on Friday meant I was lucky to score 1800 for the weekend.
This wasn’t how it was meant to go!
At this stage, any hope I might’ve had to crack into the top 1000 or so has faded fast. But that’s OK, I have had my fair share of luck in years gone by!
For me, my goal prior to the byes was to see just how much I could improve my ranking via disciplined trading. 30 trades and several high scoring rookies means that we should all be able to reach completed teams by rounds 14 or 15 (the better performed players might even get there next week).
If you’re like me and feeling like a bit of a plodder this year – where to from here?
Well, you know what? There’s actually still a bloody long way to go in the season! More than half in fact. Make the most of it!
Why not show yourself exactly how much ground you are able to make up by not throwing it in after a tough start.
Who knows where you may be ranked this time next year? Practicing a bit of discipline now might just come in handy.
So what exactly do I think discipline is at this point?
Well, with the first raft of premiums now having had their byes I want to caution you on rush trading.
I can guarantee that ever since Supercoach opened on Sunday night you’ve been fiddling around with trading combos that takes one of your lines to full premo. And how good does it it look!?
But wait a second.
Half the season is still to come. With all the injuries we’ve had, and for those still to come, I want you to really weigh up if the blokes you are considering bringing in this week are the guys you really want to carry from here out.
So, if you’ve found yourself looking at a Luke Hodge or Brett Deledio this week and thinking…
“Gee whiz, they’re pretty pricey aren’t they? Buuuut if I bring in Rob Murphy and Dayne Zorko instead I might be able bring in Marc Murphy as well!”
… I think your rush trading.
Discipline in this next couple weeks is about resisting the urge to go cheap.
Yes yes I know, trading is all about value.
I’m not saying ignore an obvious value trade or don’t have a crack and picking a form turn around – just don’t go trading in a guy who’s had his bye just because it ‘finishes your team’.
Be patient and wait a week if need be and only bring in the guys that are clearly going to finish top 8-10 in their lines.
Earlier in the year I chose not to trade in Marcus Bontempelli because I didn’t want him to fill F5 or F6. I wanted a Bartel or Deledio sort instead. If you also made a choice like that, see it through!
But while you’re doing all this, don’t forget about your bench. When you do complete your team in the next week or few, and eventually use your last trade, injuries will still strike!
Make sure you don’t end the year with Joel Hamling and Dan McKenzie (or worse a floating donut) as your defense cover! If you started Bellchambers don’t punish yourself twice. Keep him at R3 (assuming Hirdy brings him back). In short, don’t be too quick to trade out players like Saad, Oxley or Bellchambers this week – you might regret it.
Finally, make sure that in the rush to complete your side you don’t forego the importance of DPPs. Establishing links across your lines, using viable players (ie guys scoring reasonably), will protect you from injuries and allow extensive loopholing towards the pointy end of the season. In a year where so many trades have been spent on injuries this will be crucial.