TOM BELLCHAMBERS – 2018 Supercoach Spotlight

Published by Jock on

By Damien

There was a story Dermott Brereton told on League Teams about Tommy Bellchambers being a well built unit, and if his injury history wasn’t so glaring, the “well built” mightn’t be so hard to argue. When Bellchambers is playing, he does alright, his hitouts to advantage, his average time on ground, disposals, disposal efficiency, are all around the mark of a top SuperCoach ruckmen. He just needs to stay on the field, fit and raring to go.

This year the ruck department in SuperCoach is not so cut and dry, there is no dual position relevancy, there is no Luke Strnadica to keep our Captains hat warm, and there is not a lot of ruckmen who aren’t going to be sharing duties with their rookie counterparts.

2018 Facts $504,500 RUC
2017 Games 13 (14 including finals)
2017 Average 91.8
2017 100+ Scores 4
2017 Sub-80 scores 5
2017 Highs & Lows High of 150, low of 45 (in the final)


John Worsfold rarely uses his ruckmen as resting forwards, he loves them in the middle as a big bodied extra midfielder. Don’t get me wrong, he will use them as a resting forward sometimes, but he likes the big body in the centre. We saw some of it last year too, Essendon starting stringing things together when the big lamp post was in the middle of the ground pushing and shoving his way through contests. In 2017, Bellchambers averaged 32.9 hitouts, and has recorded the 5th most hitouts to advantage percentage since 2015. With Heppell, Merrett, Goddard and new recruits Stringer and Smith to hit to, that statistic could rise.

In my eyes, the number one ruck position is Bellchambers to lose, and Matthew Leuenberger is unlikely to play as second fiddle with Joe Daniher in the forward line.


Bellchambers averaged 10.2 disposals and 2.7 tackles a game last year, so doesn’t pick up most of his points from his work around the ground. If he has an off day in the tapping department, or comes up against a monster, he could be in for a rough score. His rough scores last year came against the Swans in the final (45), Matthew Kreuzer’s Blues (48), the Bulldogs (58) and a 57 against Stefan Martin in round round 15.

Essendon do line up against every one of the competition’s top rucks aside from Goldstein before the bye, too.



He’s injured, like all the time. He’s never played more than 18 games in a season for one reason or another. So, it would be hard to put trust in him to be a set and forget ruck prospect.

He had knee issues which hampered his pre-season last year, and came in for a single game in round six before being dropped. He came back in for Luenberger in round 10 and held his spot for the rest of the season, but that he was dropped last year isn’t a good sign.


So why consider Bellchambers?

Well for one, you could always just use him to keep Ryder’s seat warm until round 11. He’s the type of player who could hold onto that 505k price tag allowing you to jump onto Ryder fairly easily. You could also consider Bellchambers as he is unlikely to be affected by sharing ruck duties with anyone, unlike most the other top ruckmen.

Luenhameneggenburger isn’t likely to take his place as he’s useless around the ground, and the Dons’ backup includes some young developing rucks and *checks notes* Shaun McKernan. The guy who let Goldstein score 220-odd that one time. 

Goldstein has Preuss to worry about, Grundy and Cox, Martin and Smith. Who does Bellchambers have? Nobody, really. You can make the argument that Joe Daniher partners up with him, but Daniher is about as useful in the ruck as wet towel. Not taking too much away from Bellchambers, in other words.

I’m not sold on Naitanui, with all the conflicting news surrounding his return from injury. Then we have all these questions about ruck partners for Goldstein, Grundy, Martin, etc.

S  in terms of solo rucks, it’s left us with Jacobs, who struggles to get an advantageous knock, injury prone Bellchambers, the 150K more expensive Kreuzer, or taking Ryder and his inconvenient round 10 bye and Max Gawn, who everyone has.

I can’t write Bellchambers off that short list just yet, but he’s not in my team at the moment. 

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Thanks Damo, no thanks Damo. <img draggable="false" class="emoji" alt="👍" src=""&gt;


Fair enough. I figured that would be the response from most. Something different to consider though, for sure.


Yeah was a bit surprised by his average last year Damo, still just can't trust him, I'd rather start with Paddy and cop his bye, I reckon he'd score more points overall by round 11?
Cheers bud.


Many people have been looking for ideas to cope with Ryder's inconvenient bye, and this is just one of the many options out there. As I said, I can't write Bellchambers off yet, but I also haven't got the balls to put him in my side either.


Yep, you'd need massive nuts.
I'm looking at taking Kreuz and if he breaks down should be able to get whoever is showing some form and have change left over.

Big G

After 2015, never, never, never, never, never…


Yep still wake up screaming for who the bell tolls


Interesting post thanks Damien,
I think that most Essendon fans would be hoping that Sam Draper takes a huge leap forward this year and surpasses TBC as soon as possible. He has looked very good at training and in the VFL. Unfortunately for Tom, as you rightly point out, he is made of cardboard and breaks in half when it rains. A no for me.


Draper probably a year or two away from AFL footy in mind. Not sure they'll throw him to wolves until they have to.

In a few years we might see Draper take the #1 ruck role though.


Love the left-field thinking, Damo.

Got me thinking about him to keep a seat warm for Ryder, but others ahead of him for the moment.


If Goldy is going as well as reported he's locked in my side.


Not for me! Gawn with Nank until after Ryder’s bye!


So left it may be right


Same reason.
He only has to last until rd 11 then upgrade to Ryder?
So crazy it may just work?


I don't think those massive strings will last 5 rounds Trig.


The thing about Sandilands is, Ross Lyon has been quite public about the fact that he wants to reduce the load on Sandilands, allowing someone like Sean Darcy or Lloyd Meek to play in the same side. Mind you, Matt Taberner, Brennan Cox and Alex Pearce, all in the best 25, if not 22, can do part time ruck work.


I could see Sandi resting in the goal square and snagging a few, but bloody Ross Lyon….


In an interview the other day he said he wanted to play every game in his final year. Lmao.
However he is playing on the weekend first time for a long time he has.lined up in JLT 1
And he can score 👍

The Ranger

Thanks for the write up Damo, the rucks are wide open again this year eh?
There will be a few that are prepared to go for a leftfield option like BC but he's not for me.


JLT will tell us plenty next 2 weeks. TBC a No for me. Ryder/Gawn combo as Nic Nat presents too much risk for now. Will have to navigate the Round 10 bye but safe picks when Ruck options are thin.


Anyone else looking at Smith?
Hitting to the likes of Ablett, Danger and Selwood could be a good year!


Don't think he gets enough hit outs to advantage.


Hey BB, I invited Lekdog into your league hope that's OK. Still a few spots open, I deleted the code after he jumped in. Cheers.
Smith is a bit hit and miss for me Mayniac..


All well and good Hedski! I did invite Lek via twitter!

Smith is funny to watch! Love when he gets the ball and goes for his little run.


Yeah he is a gangly bugger, bit giraffeish..
Looking like a good league mate, be sweet if B von Crow jumps in too, couple of spots there still, INPieman and the Ranger and more regulars would pad it out nicely.


Yes if you can get Pieman and Ranger in somehow I'd appreciate it!


Ha ha you've doubled up again.
Yeah he is a gangly bastard.
Looking like a good league, would be good if B von Crow jumped in too, IN Pieman and a few others would round it out nicely.


Thoughts of Jake Lloyd as a defender? Considering a 3 premo and Lloyd defence with rookies



Depends on the rest of the team, and where Lloyd plays. Not the worst option, but his scores suffer when he plays on the wing for Sydney.


Working hard on my cognitive bias. 2015. No no no TBC never. Yep not working. He score over 90. No no no no. I'm not good at this thing.