Tom McDonald Supercoach 2017

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Tom McDonald supercoach 2017Key position demon or intercepting saviour?

by The Bont

After 10 rounds in 2015 the name on everyone’s defensive radar was Tom Mcdonald, he had 78 intercept possessions 25 of these coming from marks; Along with a very healthy average of 105.0.

Then as many KPP (Key Position Players) have done before him the rest of T-Macs season was a rollercoaster of highs and lows including four sub 65 scores. All said and done Tom still finished the season playing every game at a healthy average of 95.9.

After this display and only missing one game since 2014 a mere 4 percent of supercoachers jumped on the Mcdonald bandwagon… and they were disappointed. After a promising first round 110 the demon went on an underwhelming run of 67 55 76 83 58 and 43. The key position curse had appeared to hit young Tom, and hard. Looking at mid-season stats it was hard to see what had gone wrong with all significant stats seeming quite similar.

tom mcdonald 2016 statistics

2017 Price: $488,200
2017 Position: DEF
Games in 2016: 22
Average in 2016: 112.6
100+ games in 2016: 7 (5 scores in the 90s)
Sub 80 games in 2016: 8
Price range in 2016: $369K – $517k
Missed games last season:
  • 0
Significant history:
  • pick 53 2012 draft
  • 2012 rising star nomination



All hope seemed lost before T Mac turned a corner in round 8, registering a 25 disposal ten mark effort (99 sc) against the Bulldogs. From this moment on Mcdonald averaged 98.8, even more significant is the fact he stormed home averaging 108 in the last 8 rounds of 2016.

He became the intercepting beast that we had seen in 2015 punctuated by a 31 disposal, 10 mark, 144 point effort against Fremantle in round 16.

With the likes of Lynden Dunn , Colin Garland and Jack Grimes being on the outer in 2016 ( Dunn not playing after round 6) McDonald flourished, relishing the extra responsibility; intercepting/rebounding at will going at an impressive 84.02% Disposal Efficiency.


Inconsistency, it’s as simple as that. In Supercoach consistent scoring is paramount, we have all had a round ruined by one measly sub 50 score; and no matter how good your final round score is, that score will be the one you can’t take your eyes off.

Young Tom’s mighty durable and still young so injuries are not an issue, suspension is also no worries.

Jock Reynolds Supercoach Magazine 2017


Think Timing;

At the start of 2015 and the end of 2016 T Mac showed that once he starts scoring well he keeps it up for a couple of months, it’s all about jumping on (or off) at the right time.


  • Intercept possession – When he’s up and about there are few that are better at reading the footy; and with each intercept possie being worth 4.5 points on top of a intercept contested mark being worth 8 points, the ability to score is definitely there (Mcdonald averaged 6 intercept possessions a game in 2016) .
  • With Melbourne improving year by year both defensively and as a complete unit, confidence of all players will grow allowing defenders to float off and intercept (supercoach gold), and as said with the departure of Dunn and Grimes Mcdonald has been become the ‘senior head’, the man who will be most trusted in clearing the ball out of the danger zone. This became apparent in the latter parts of 2016 as Toms uncontested mark numbers and handball receives rose.
  • Apart from Alex Rance full backs are scarcely touched in Supercoach so Mcdonald will be a great Point Of Difference (POD)
  • Very durable as said has missed one game since 2014
  • A great age for developing his game further (only 24)


  • Are you ready for a 140 plus score to be followed by a 50? This is the cold reality of having a full back.
  • Is there a more awkward price than 485k? JJ, Howe, Houli, Rampe some of the names that will be a similar price
  • Will the likely return of Lumumba and Salem help or hinder T Mac
  • Will the departure of Paul Roos/ promotion of Simon Goodwin bring a new game plan to Melbourne, unsettling the defensive line?
  • The hardest question of all; Will he step up to premium status in defence?


It’s a NO for me (for now).

I just can’t ride the rollercoaster this year, consistency is key. And with the likes of JJ, Docherty and Shaw firing off half back along with the emergence of players like Callum Mils (really like this kid) T Mac won’t get a Guernsey this year.

The Bont

Some know his as Bontemwaldo, but he’s The Bont to his mates here in the community. 


Jock Reynolds Coach KingsThis article has been penned as part of the Jock Reynolds Community Series, where anyone from within our proud community can have their say in front of their peers. These men and women have displayed the spirit of togetherness, positivity and community that we value significantly.

Tom McDonald Community Poll:

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The Bont

Haha I've don't my job then .
Could be an alex rance type , lots of 1%ers, intercepts , marks , and kicks well .. Still so bloody awkward though


Oh and not to be "that guy" but you mention the return of lumumba. Who'll always be Harry O to me, he's retired because he's a peanut.

The Bont

Yeah gaveday Harry o was still contracted when I wrote it a couple of weeks ago

I N Pieman

There is just too many defensive options that would be more consistent than TMac. I agree with your verdict & the exact reasoning Bont. For every glorious score expect a turd to follow suit. Great job on this dissection Bont. Keep them coming

The Bont

Cheers pieman , defence is a tricky one this year .. A lot o interesting options

I N Pieman

There is indeed. Doch, Simmo, JJ, Laird, Pittard, Shaw, Zac Williams just to name a few. The only Key position player that is reasonably consistent is Buddy. The rest are up & down week to week


Agree will be more consistent options available. Whilst most coaches need Docherty, Simpson, Shaw by End of Season, I will only start one of them. Time will come during the season when their price will be below or around 500k. This means finding guys in the 450-500k range who will average 95+ for the season.

Nick Wealands

Keen to see his preseason leading in to 2017, I will definitely consider him at that price but be tough to get the nod over say a Laird who will be around 30-50k more but with the guarantee of consistency

Hot Shame

Best article so far (along with the Titchell article). The indepth analysis that we need for these players that we either havent put too much thought into, or we are 50/50 on. Great write up Bont. Def is 1 to consider, with the Demons on the up, he could very well find himself Top 8 defender by seasons end. Look forward to ur next article. Def on the radar now. Likelyhood of me starting with him is minimal, but he will be on the radar for an upgrade.

The Bont

Cheers hot shame live my stats , def one to keep an eye on for when he gets on a run

The Bont

Yeah true that nick lairdys a nice solid option


Averaged 112 last year? Yeah don't think so.

the Bont

89 from memory , that's what i had in my article anyway.. have noticed lahcie neales and treloars have both been wrong lately too


I'm with the majority here bont same as u.
too many other options who r more consistent scorers.

Though I would take him at that price if he avg 112 but think that may have been a typo. 🙂

The Bont

yeah I had 89 , 112 would be lock material haha


Awkward awkward awkward. We've actually got some bloody options down back for once. No need to get involved with these rollercoaster KPP's


Two interesting facts omitted in the write up – a) he's had early shoulder surgery to fix a year long problem and be right to go for pre-season '17; and b) the dees defence and his role only clicked towards the end of 16, right about when he hit his 100 Ave run at the end of the season. I for one will be locking him in as a Top 6 scorer for 2017.

The Bont

Oh I didn't see the surgery MJS , good pick up . You're definitely right about the def clicking as well as the rest of the team late in the year. Will be interesting to see if the team ( and T Mac) can step it up again next year. Cheers for the comments

I N Pieman

His last 8 games he averaged 108. If he could bring that AV for the entire 2017 he's 100k underpriced. But it's a big ask. Big call for top 6 MJS but there is some evidence it could happen. Risk reward pick

Butcher of the ball

Good right up, worth considering.


Exclusively smart post.