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A Retrospective – 2016 SuperCoach

Published by Higgo on

Peter HigginbothamA FORGIVING SEASON

You may be in celebratory mode, drinking excessively from the Cup of SuperCoach success. Or perhaps you have had a season to forget – a “horrible anus” as Jock would say. Whether you play for League or Rank, the season is not officially over until it has been carefully considered, documented and exploited as a tactical tool going forward.

“As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly”

Proverbs 26:11

I would like to present you with an analysis of my team for 2016 – behold Mathemagic FC;



As the title of this post suggests, I considered myself fortunate to rank within the top 1000 this year. As you will see, while a number of poor selections and trades were made across the journey, the game continued to forgive and ultimately gifted me with a somewhat respectable end of season rank.

Initial and Final Squad Comparison

This is an interesting exercise for all to undertake. At the beginning of the season we look over our teams and count season long team “keepers”. How many actual keepers did I start with? Like me, did you bank on 12 or 13 season long set-and-forget selections?

What an underwhelming starting lineup and yes, just 10 “keepers” (Rockliff was traded out and back in).

Adding to my starting squad misery is the fact that of these 10 keepers, I would consider 5 to be fail selections;

Jimmy Bartell – Started as a perceived bargain being the 19th most expensive Defender priced at $470,400. You get what you pay for as he ended as the 19th ranked defender on points, missing 2 games along the way. Semi-Fail

Brodie Smith – Another perceived pre-season bargain. He was a frustration all year ending up as the 35th ranked defender on points with a poultry average of just 75.4. Just two 100+ scores from his 21 games! Fail

Stefan Martin – Why did I pay $597k for Martin, the second most expensive ruck behind Goldstein? An obvious point of difference selection that failed with a staggering 8 sub 80 scores. Like Bartell and Smith, Stefan also missed games. Fail

Christian Petracca – Petracca didn’t play until Rd.6 and while he posted a few nice scores, I didn’t catch them. Obviously he did not generate any cash for my team. When I had to play him to cover Sloane in Rd.23 he delivered a 58. Fail

Darrean Wyatt  – The floating doughnut that went stale through lack of use. Collingwood had a lot of early round games in the back half of the season. However, he was just a $102K spend and he did enable me to utilse Rory Lobb as swing cover when Stefan Martin was absent. Minor-Fail

So, with just five moderately successful premium selections how did my team rank in the top 1000?

Trade Moves

It will come as no surprise to you to hear that true success in SuperCoach comes via smart trading. Was it my trading that enabled me to end with a reasonable rank? I’m not so sure.



Naked, exposed, vulnerable. My season on a plate. A dish served with many imperfections.

Trade Notes

FAIL – Shaun Higgins – Going into Round 6 Higgins had an ownership of just 1.2%. My success with Shaun over the 2015 year and long fantasy scoring history made for the perfect storm. Higgins had a 72 in Round 6 and did his knee in Round 7 where he was traded out for a net loss of $32,100. A disaster so early in the season.

SUCCESS – Tom Rockliff – 31.6% of coaches started with Rockliff. In Round 3 coaches were quick to jump off, like me, as his ownership plummeted to 6.3%. This was the right move as his brief return in Rd.5 – 7 produced an average of just 80ppg. Rockliff returned in Round 11 with a monster 204 against the Blues. At a $50k discount, Round 12 was the perfect time to trade back into Rockliff. I was particularly interested not due to his proven scoring history but more due to the fact that many coaches are, for reasons of pride I presume, extremely hesitant to trade any player back in that they have previously traded out. Suprisingly, from Round 12 Rockliff’s ownership rose from 12.5% to just 15.8%.

FAIL – Gary Ablett – After closely monitoring Ablett in each game I was quick to jump off when he missed a week with concussion in Round 9. His ownership fell from 51% to 40%. A rash decision, and in hindsight the wrong decision to make. I missed Ablett’s 143 in Round 10 and traded him back in for Round 11 at a discount of $600! I had no choice. To trade Ablett out again later in the season only added to my disappointment.

SUCCESS – Sam Kerridge was one of the most selected players this year peaking in ownership at 69.1%. After a 126 in Round 11 I made the bold move of trading him out. While he still appreciated a further $23k, this enabled me to bring Rockliff back in. Interestingly, over half of all coaches held Kerridge through his bye. He averaged just 65 from Round 11 onward. The Kerridge to Rockliff trade was arguably my best move for 2016.

SUCCESS – Daniel Wells & Zac Merrett – Timeing is everything. Wells to Merrett was the perfect trade to make for my team in Round 16. Up until that point in the season, both players made me anxious each time they played. I wanted Merrett in as much as I wanted Wells out. With Wells at peak price and injured, I traded in Merrett at $523,000 at an ownership of 21.7%. Coaches continued to buy into Merrett at a higher price, while others held a poorly performing Wells. Merrett finished with an ownership of  30.6% while 41.2% held onto Wells to seasons end. Their post Rd.15 score outputs – Merrett 978 points, Wells 645. A significant win.

FAIL – Brett Deledio – Wasted trade, wasted cash. Big Fail.

SUCCESS – Laird & Boyd – The unclassified reckless trade. Having watched Laird score heavily in his defensive role across the first six rounds he was high on my post bye upgrade shopping list. I saw $471,900 as a bargain and was thrilled with the first three scores he delivered my team; 91, 96 and 130. When he was a late out in Round 17 I made a rather spontaneous decision which I very much enjoyed at the time. Having already traded Ablett to Selwood and with only three trades left for the season, I forecasted that Boyd would outscore Laird on the run home. The most appealing aspect of this trade was that Boyd’s ownership was less. Boyd ended up missing a game in Round 19, however, he managed to outscore Laird by 68 points.

SUCCESS – Not starting with Nathan Fyfe – Close to 40% of all coaches lost $45k and a trade early in the season.

SUCCESS – Not buying into Aaron Hall – After four big rounds Hall went from 20.4% up to an ownership over 44%. Many coaches bought high and sold low, losing as much as $100K.


Final Notes

Of course, my final rank of 805 could have been better, however, it could have/should have been a lot worse. 30 is a very forgiving number of trades! Considering I started with a poor squad and went on to burn as many as 8 further trades on failed selections, I did not deserve my final rank.

While my starting squad was poor, most coaches this season would find that they have a similar poor keeper count given the attrition rate of the premium selections this year.

Through this analysis it has become apparent that it was my aggressive trading strategy that held me high in the ranks;

  • trading out players at peak price (Wells)
  • gaining an early mover advantage on players with low ownership percentages (Cripps)
  • generating fast cash (Lyons)
  • getting to full-premo early (Rd.14)

The above can only be achieved through assertive moves. While trades such as Ablett, Higgins and Deledio failed, they are important strategic plays that need to be made in order to succeed. Point of difference, or “Shark Moves” moves will not always come off, however, with 30 trades we are afforded the luxury to be bold in our game play.

And finally, I will be very careful when selecting any player with a history of injuries; Naitanui, Fyfe, Ablett, Deledio. And of course …. Shaun Bloody Higgins.

Please excuse my profanity.

Kind regards,




Peter J Higginbotham


What are your key learnings from season 2016?

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Higgo, I bloody love your mind mate. You've had a huge year and deserved to let your hair down for Mad Monday with the record spinning and a touch of brandy, but you've got straight back to work like the professional you are.

Not like some of us who bugger off to Queensland… *whistles nonchalantly*


How is it up there old mate! Trust you're already neck deep into your 2017 research


Flew back in last night refreshed and loosey doosey.

Research will be gearing up over the weekend to fill my weekly footy quota with the flabbergasting lack of games. Am getting excited, and a certain Crichton medallist will be the first one under the microscope.


Your brain will end up next to Phar Lap's hide at the Melbourne Museum Peter. I know I tell you this a lot, but I consider our friendship as one of the highlights of my life.

How BLOODY interesting is it to see just how many mistakes can be made in a season, and how with dedication and relentlessness you can still finish up near the top of the pile? Hats off.


Thanks Higgo for being so open. Some good, some questionable and the odd stroke of brilliance. The biggest pointer for me was that you were down to so few trades yet still traded out Laird.
In the end you had no trades, not great cover, but finished strong. Ballsy and successful. Could have gone the other way if there was late rounds carnage, but it didn't. Congrats on a good season.
I finished in the 29k range and was disappointed. Looking at this article has really cheered me up because it shows there can be a very fine line between success and failure in this game.
Thanks Higgo


A very fine line. You're spot on Keen.

One Touch Wonder

I love the SHARK MOVES.


Same mate. I reckon laying off Aaron Hall was close to the best of them!

I N Pieman

Don't be too hard on yourself Higgo. Just cast an eye over my Round 1 vs Round 23 side. Oh Boy what an ugly site. I did have 1 surviving round 1 defender, being Heath Shaw. Everyone else was traded. The story was worse in the Fwd line. Zero survivors! Every player traded. All up only 5 premos survived the season Shaw, Danger, Pendles, Goldy & selwood. Kerridge & D Wyatt were there as well. But 23 starting members were culled. Mainly due to injury. I'm not as disappointed with the 554th place rank now! Quite a miracle


A similar tale of woe Pieman. Only 5 premos were there all season long – Laird, Simmo, Danger, Hanners and Goldy, Rocky was also one of those out and then back in deals. I was also forced to keep Kedge on field all season simply because I ran out of trades which really stung when he went into full tagger mode and the Blues were getting belted. Very fortunate to finish the season strongly when I ran out of trades in Rd18.

But plenty of early season fiascoes, especially the real killer blow starting with Stef over Gawn, meant I missed out on all too many crucial league Ws in the first half of the season, in my tougher leagues, to make many finals series in the end.


Great Season Higgo. I have a agree with your analysis re: aggresive trading.. My problem in the past was that i didnt analyse ALL of my aggressive trades.

We, as the community need to promote well researched aggressive trading.

If theres not 100% reason and justification then dont trade at all

when you do trade, it MUST be painting the fence

Mid -Price players have no room in my team from now on..


The only midpricers I anticipate selecting are heavily discounted injured premos like Beams, Bennell, maybe Bob Murphy etc.

No more of these supposed breakout boys like Sheridan, Sutcliffe, Lonergan, De Goey, M.Crouch and others. 9/10 you just end up wasting trades upgrading them for little or no cash return. GnR with a sprinkling of returning injured premos for mine.


Just put together my matrix based on higgos table above.

Interesting exercise.

10 LTI's! That is a lot of pink.
Fyfe, Crouch, Rocky in the first 5 rounds.

Most of the rest were one down one up when not replacing a injured premium.

Only two trades which were not one of the above was barlow to parker rd 3 and Duncan to Sloane rd 19.

I said it once and I'll say it again – Lady luck she plays her part.

As for my comparison rd 1 team to rd 23 due to the LTI's I had 6 the same.

Danger, Laird, Gawn, Wells – tick
Sheil? Semi pass a bit underwhelming,
Wingard – huge fail.

Best trades – Barlow – parker Rd 3, Houli (injured) – Doc Rd 9 and Smith to Rocky Rd 12. (yep I too traded him back in)


It's official!
From the MFC website; Max Gawn is fashioning his beard after "The Great" Peter J Higginbotham!

Don't Blush Baby

'Exclusive Late Mail' – Any truth in Jock lining up for the Vics in the EJ Whitten game tomorrow night ?

Picked in the Forward Pocket collecting the crumbs from the big boppers, bang bang


He will do some serious gut running. Love to see the Jock dazzle the crowd with his exquisite ball skills and majestic high marking abilities, No doubt clubs will be salivating over him.


Rumour going around that Richmond are after him


Heard the same, they want him in as Captain / Coach and President.


Unable to make comment at this stage gentleman.


Jock, we understand your sponsor commitments, any comment on the Tigers call up?


Thanks you for understanding pod. I can confirm that I have discontinued talks with the Richmond Football Club. As it turned out they wanted to build their entire game plan around me up forward and you all know for me it's all about the kids. Wanted to be more of an on field mentor for the kids.


You are a living legend Peter, a marvel for the masses, the modern renaissance man. Thank you for your godly wisdom.


Fantastic write up, Higgo. I'll sit down over the weekend and do the same.

I mansged 9 season long keepers which I'm pretty chuffed with (Shaw, Laird, Danger, Cripps, Hanners, Priddis, Gawn, Goldy, Dusty) I also traded Wells round 23.


Hey viewers, any thoughts on the AA team??

Rampe instead of Boyd!? what's Rampe even doing there? ZMerrett WAY ahead of Greene, how can they get that wrong? absolute disgrace!!

I thought L.Neale deserved to a bench spot. Would of been nice to see some recognition for a stellar year in a spud team.

And, no back up Ruck! (T.Lynch?).


Agree on Greene, pod. Went missing far too much this year, along with his poor disposal by foot he shouldn't have been selected.

You could make a case for Rampe. Did his job without much fuss. Though you could easily replace him with the Carlton boys or Laird. Boyd made the bench.

Still dirty on Cripps not even making the initial 40


The selection criteria needs reviewing to reflect afl supporters/community views. What percentage SC's had Rampe in their team?

Cripps understandably missed due to a plethora of premo mids to select from, his mid season form the likely reason. I'm confident we'll see cornboy in many AA teams of future seasons, and no doubt he'll make Captain.

Boltons Blues

Its picked on names and your teams success, if it was picked on a proper criteria, you followers would be Gawn, Neale and Cripps.

Neale broke the record for most touches in a season
Cripps, #1 contested possession getter and #1 clearance player.
Greene must be sleeping with someone on the panel, Zerrett unlucky


Unbelievable Bolt, how did Cripps miss with those stats!!?


What I'd like to see in the legends game-
1. Dermie run through the opposition huddle with elbows out just for old times sake. Mullet optional.
2. Mick Martyn's head finally explode.
3. Matty Richardson sook about the delivery to him.
4. A totally unexpected ring in walk out for the last quarter. Eg Plugger or Gaz Snr.
5. Complete silence from Aker.
6. Brownie NOT involved in any head clashes which resemble a train wreck.

Any others?


I would absolutely cream the old dax if number 3 happened mate. Loved the old Richo sook.


you legend captain kaos – nailed all bar #2, but perhaps mickys head may explode in the 5th quarter…


Thanks Higgo, great article. Although please leave out the profanity next time, mother would be mortified!

AndRorat apk

Cool appreciated article thanks for sharing keep it up the work.