Around the Grounds – 2020 Preview
Hello everyone and welcome to Around the Grounds for this week. Now that we’ve started to hit the tail end of the AFL season and our teams are starting to look set it stone for the run home to Supercoach finals it’s time for something different this week. Now we’re less reliant on finding quality downgrade options to keep our team moving along we’re going to take a broader look at the Supercoach rookies who haven’t been playing yet this year and see if we can find anyone who may pique our interest for the rest of this year, or for 2020. We’ve done this in the past with individual players, this time we’re going to do entire teams. We’ll cover three teams each week for the rest of the year, today we’re going to start with Adelaide, Brisbane and Carlton.
Darcy Fogarty – Fogarty managed 10 AFL games in his debut year in 2018, but has been well out of the pack for AFL action this year. An early season injury to Tom Doedee saw him shifted to defense in the SANFL, a move that did not work all that well and he has been shifted back to the forward line for the last 5-6 weeks. Unfortunately hasn’t looked all that great as he’s often sent as a 3rd-4th forward due to the Crows needing to have a resting ruck at full-forward due to the 3 rucks they have in the seconds. Is currently averaging 12 disposals, 5 marks and 2 tackles and has kicked 5.4 over 12 SANFL games. Could be an option for next year, but a young key forward isn’t going to get you far in Supercoach.
Patrick Wilson – Has probably been the Crows best and most consistent midfielder in the SANFL this year, however his lack of speed has seen him not be able to break into a midfield whose biggest weakness is a lack of speed. Played just the one AFL game last year and didn’t look great, but it was a game at the MCG against the Hawks in which the Crows were well and truly beaten in. Averaging 29 disposals (with a DE of 80%), 7 marks and 7 tackles, 6 clearances and has booted 7.6 in 12 SANFL games. A classic case of might be too good for SANFL, but not good enough for AFL. Still questionable if he’s even on the Crows list next year, but he would be prime material for the mid-year draft if he wasn’t picked up by another side to start 2020.
Ned McHenry – The #16 pick in the 2018 National Draft, McHenry has missed the past 3 weeks with a back injury. He’s not the biggest player around at 178cm, but he’s tough on the inside of a contest and loves to tackle. He’s played 7 SANFL matches so far this year with averages of 19 disposals, 6 marks, 4 tackles and 3 inside 50’s a game, mostly playing on the wing. Crows usually debut their younger players in a pressure half-forward/small forward role, at least under Pyke, which McHenry could definitely do to start the year in 2020. On the watchlist, but wouldn’t expect HUGE numbers from him if he does play.
Ben Davis – Made his AFL debut against the Cats a few weeks ago and was shaky, but most debutees can be like that. Was immediately dropped back to the SANFL, but earned a 2 year contract extension the same week, so the Crows obviously have some faith in him getting back into the side. Was playing as a 3rd tall in previous years, he’s been developed as a Tom Lynch like “link up” player in the SANFL this year, which has resulted in less goals, but seen him increase his disposals from 10 to 17, his marks from 4 to 7 while still kicking 7.10 over 11 SANFL games. His one game might put him out of the rookie price range, but he’s 22 with multiple years in the system, so he’ll be a bit more advanced than a normal rookie selection.
Shane McAdam – Suffered a calf injury in the pre-season which set him back some, he’s mostly spent 2019 getting his fitness up to an acceptable AFL level. He’s played 8 SANFL games now with averages of 10 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles and has kicked 11.6. He’s the sort of high flying forward the Crows would love to play to replace McGovern in their forward line when he’s ready, but he won’t be a prolific scorer in games he doesn’t boot multiple goals in.
Andrew McPherson – Hasn’t had a good luck injury wise, all the way back to his junior days. He was the Crows 2nd round draft pick in the 2017 National Draft, though they talked him up as having first round talent if not for said injuries (though clubs do love to hype the bargains they get in later stages of the draft). He had more than a few hamstring injuries his first year and tweaked it again early in 2019, but has managed a solid block of games now playing across half back where he’s averaged 16 disposals, 6 marks and 3 rebound 50’s. The Crows are well stocked in that area of the ground, but it’s a SC friendly position, as we saw with guys like Marty Hore this year, so you’d have him on your watch list just for that.
Tyson Stengle – He played a few games with Richmond, but hasn’t made his debut yet at AFL level for the Crows. Has been the most dangerous forward for the Adelaide reserves side, he currently sits 4th on the Ken Farmer Medal count (the SANFL version of the Coleman) having booted 26.17 over 12 games with 15 disposals, 5 marks and 3 tackles. Eddie Betts is getting on in age and effectiveness, he could be one that gets plenty of time soon.
Kieran Strachan – A ruckman who currently lacks the required fitness to ruck, he’s mostly spending his time parked at full forward for the Crows. He’s a mature age player, but had more than a few injury issues in the past, he was originally playing for Essendon’s VFL side last year, but an abundance of rucks there saw him switch to Port Melbourne where he broke his ankle in his second game there. Currently averaging 7 disposals and 4 marks with 8.4 over 12 games, he’s not worth putting much time into at this point.
Will Hamill – Hamill has good height for a running half-back at 186cms, but still lacks the required bulk to play AFL level football. He was the Crows 2nd round pick in the 2018 National Draft and has already been given a two year extension after averaging 12 disposals and 3 marks in 12 SANFL games. Needs more development.
Lachlan Sholl – Much the same as Hamill, though taken later in the 2018 Draft at pick #64. He’s averaging 18 disposals, 6 marks and 3 rebound 50’s over his 12 SANFL games, looks the player, but again, a half back flanker in a team that is already well stocked in that area, so may be unlikely.
Jordon Butts – Has been playing as the second tall behind Andy Otten in the SANFL side and has looked solid, averaging 19 disposals, 6 marks and 3 rebound 50’s over 12 games. The Crows have 4 key talls in Talia, Keath, Hartigan and Otten, so he’d have a few to work through to get a spot, but an injury to one could see him get some gametime soon.
Paul Hunter – He’s been on the rookie list for 4 years and hasn’t looked close to getting a game. Averaging 12 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles and 22 hitouts in 12 SANFL games, he’s the clear #3 man behind O’Brien and Jacobs and probably isn’t on an AFL list next year.
Sam Skinner – An athletic tall who has played across multiple key positions and ruck spots in his short career, he’s played just the one AFL game with 0 appearances for the Lions in 2019. He has played 10 games in the NEAFL this year with averages of 13 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles, 4 hitouts and has kicked 11.10. He was drafted all the way back in 2015, but has suffered numerous ACL injuries which has pushed back his development a bit. Could always surprise us with another shot at AFL, but key position players rarely provide adequate or consistent points.
Cedric Cox – Has played a handfull of AFL games, 8 in his draft year of 2017 and then 4 in 2018, but hasn’t been spotted at AFL level in 2019. He was playing as a small running defender, but looks to have spent more time in the forward line this year, booting 7.8 from his 7 NEAFL games with 16 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles. He averaged 45.9 SCPoints in 2017 and 38.2 SCPoints in 2018, so doesn’t look like a player that’d have high upside if selected.
Connor Bellenden – A tall forward taken by the Lions from their Academy, he’s played just the 8 games this year for averages of 15 disposals, 6 marks, 4 hitouts and has kicked 5.3, but is currently out of the side with an ankle injury. Only 20 years old, but is entering that part of his career where you might want him to start potentially pushing for some AFL games.
Corey Lyons – The younger brother of teammate Jarryd Lyons, he’s become one of the more consistent midfielders for the Lions NEAFL side with averages of 26 disposals, 6 marks, 3 tackles and 9.6 over 11 games. Plays a similar style to his brother, not the quickest bloke around, but he can get the job done on the inside when needed. A watchlist candidate for sure.
Jack Payne – Another tall the Lions are developing in their NEAFL side, Payne was a member of the Lions Draft Academy before being taken in the 2017 draft. He missed all of the 2018 season with a shin issue, but has played 11 NEAFL games so far this year for averages of 12 disposals, 5 marks, 2 tackles and 2 rebound 50’s. The Lions have more than a few talls in their side, so he’s probably not on the radar yet.
Toby Wooller – Another pick for the Lions from the 2017 Draft, he’s not quite key position size at 195cms, he’s shown the ability to push further up the ground and currently has averages of 20 disposals, 8 marks, 2 tackles and has kicked 19.11 from 12 NEAFl games. Those averages look very appealing, though the NEAFL league is probably the weakest of the state leagues, but if he can win the ball as well as hit the scoreboard then he has some Supercoach potential in him.
Thomas Berry – The younger brother of teammate Jarrod Berry, he was the #36 pick in the 2018 National Draft. He’s had a decent start to his career playing in that high half forward/midfielder role with averages of 14 disposals, 3 marks, 5 tackles and 4 inside 50’s per game while also adding 5.8 to the scoreboard in 12 NEAFL games. Shows potential, his brother had a fairly good rookie season with an average of 61.7 SCPoints, but he looks like a wait and see at this point.
Tom Joyce – A 2018 draft pick for the Lions, he’s been playing in the midfield for the Lions NEAFL side with averages of 17 disposals, 4 marks and 3 tackles with 6.4 over 10 games. Will need a bit of work until he’s ready most likely and you’d probably have guys like Corey Lyons ahead of him at this stage, as well as the potential development of guys like Cam Rayner getting more midfield time as well.
Connor McFayden – Another 2018 draftee, McFayden is also another player that the Lions drafted from their AFL academy, of which he was a part of since he was 11 years old. He has good size at 190cm and has been developing in a half-forward/midfield role so far with averages of 11 disposals, 4 marks, 2 tackles and has kicked 10.5 over 11 NEAFL games. Let him simmer a bit longer.
Ely Smith – The Lions first pick from the 2018 National Draft after being selected with pick #21, he has some impressive athletic traits after finishing first in the standing vertical jump, reaching 77cm and scored highly in the vertical jump on both his left and right foot at the AFL Draft Combine. He’s also been developing his game a bit in the forward line and has stats of 17 d isposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles and has kicked 9.10 over 8 NEAFL games. Definitely looks to have the talent to be a potential pick for us in 2020, whether he gets games is another thing.
Thomas Fullarton – A Category B rookie who was playing for the Brisbane Bullets in the NBL, he also spent his junior career as part of the Lions AFL Academy. He’s spent his time in the ruck and up forward with averages of 12 disposals, 4 marks, 4 hitouts and 13.11 over 12 NEAFL games. He’s probably behind a long list of talls the Lions currently have in their arsenal.
James Madden – Another Category B rookie the Lions have on their list, Madden is a quickster, with a recorded 20 metre sprint of 2.69 seconds (I dunno if that’s good, but they mention it a lot, so it must be! Probably beats my time by 10 seconds). He’s from Ireland where he played for Dublin in both Gaelic football and Hurling, he has averages of 10 disposals, 3 marks and has kicked 6.3 from 11 NEAFL games.
Pat Kerr – A rookie pick all the way back in 2016, Kerr has managed 4 games across his AFL career, all of them in 2018 where he averaged 47.2 SCPoints. Has shown some nice contested marking ability, as well as being able to hit the scoreboard, he’s probably just a bit unlucky that the Blues are well stocked up forward with the likes of Harry McKay, Charlie Curnow and Mitch McGovern. Has kicked 19.13 over 10 VFL games with 10 disposals and 5 marks, he very well could get games again this year, which would probably write him off as a potential pick in 2020.
Tom De Koning – The #30 pick in the 2017 National Draft, De Koning is still a raw prospect as a ruckman/forward, but one who has been showing progress as the games tally ticks upwards. He has averages of 8 disposals, 3 marks and 10 hitouts , he unfortunately suffered a knee injury during the year which ruled him out for 10 weeks. You’d likely say Matthew Kruezer has the ruck spot on lockdown for the short term future, but after that De Koning could be a guy we look at.
Hugh Goddard – A rookie recruit after being delisted by the Saints, he’s been in the system awhile now, but has only managed 10 AFL games since 2015, with his best result coming in 2015 where he played 8 games for an average of 57.1 SCPoints. He’s been the most consistent defender for the Northern Blues in the VFL with averages of 16 disposals, 8 marks, 3 tackles and 4 rebound 50’s, the question will be do the Blues see him as a potential player past this year, or someone the old regime may have given a shot to that the new one has no interest in.
Josh Deluca – A mid-year draft pick by the Blues, he was originally drafted by the Fremantle Dockers at pick #68 in the 2014 National Draft. He’s split his season between the Peel Thunder where he played the first 6 weeks of his football where he averaged 26 disposals, 5 marks, and 5 tackles while recording a statline of 29 disposals, 6 marks, 7 tackles and 1.1 in the state WA vs SA game and has played 2 games for the Northern Blues since being drafted, with averages of 21 disposals, 3.5 marks and 4.5 tackles. You don’t think the Blues would have drafted him if they didn’t plan on potentially keeping him past this year and his state league numbers, particularly in the WAFL look solid.
Kym Lebois – Has kicked some amazing goals in his time at Northern Blues, but hasn’t really ever shown the ability to consistently impact a game with averages of 6 disposals, 2 marks, 2 tackles and 3.5 from 7 VFL games this year. VFL stats don’t look like anything appealing, imagine translating them to AFL level.
Angus Schumacher – A very late draft selection, being taken with pick #70 in the 2017 National Draft, he’s shown some genuine improvement through the year, highlighted by last weeks effort against Casey where he had 27 disposals, 5 marks and 13 rebound 50’s. He’s averaged 17 disposals, 4 marks and 6 rebound 50’s for the year, he’s another like Kerr who could get games before this year is out which potentially ruins his SC potential for 2020 onwards.
Finbar O’Dwyer – Sounds like a fake Irish name you’d give to the cops, Finbar is actually a 192cm forward who had a 10cm growth spurt prior to being drafted which put him on AFL radars. Very raw, he’s averaged just 6 disposals, 2 marks and 2 tackles with 3 goals over 7 VFL games. A prospect that will take time to develop, if he ever does.
Ben Silvagni – Another F/S selection from the Silvagni clan for the Blues, Ben has played 10 VFL games this year for averages of 9 disposals, 2 marks and 2 tackles with 3 rebound 50’s. Good size for a defender at 196cms, talls are generally a position the Blues are well stocked in at this stage.
Matthew Owies – Has had his name thrown about once Teague took over the senior coaching role, he’s an older rookie at 22 after spending his time in the US College system playing basketball for Hawaii and then Seattle before returning to Australia to pursue football. Has averaged 8 disposals, 3 marks and 2 tackles with 10.8 over 11 VFL games, the Blues have struggled to find quality small forwards recently, so he could get games for sure, but they are never the most Supercoach friendly positions.
Matthew Cottrell – A VFL recruit who was picked alongside Michael Gibbons as a rookie list replacement, he was playing for the Frankston Dolphins and working as a carpentry apprentice after not being selected in his draft year at the end of 2017. A ways behind the mature age Gibbons as he’s still only 19 years old, he’s averaged 12 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles over 8 VFL games. A ways to go yet.
And that’s it for me this week, as usual whack your comments in the selection below or hit me up on the Twitters @BarronVonCrow. We’ll be back with 3 more team previews next week and I hope to see you then.