Around the Grounds – 2020 Preview Part 2
We’re on to Part 2 of our 2020 Supercoach preview this week and we’ll be covering off another three teams, this time we’ll be looking at Collingwood, Essendon and Fremantle. We just last week saw a few options fall off for 2020, Hugh Goddard made his debut for Carlton, as did Tyson Stengle for the Crows, with someone I was going to cover this week, John Noble, making his AFL debut for Collingwood after being picked up in the mid-year draft. That’s OK though, we will have plenty of other names we can look at, ones who will definitely have chances of helping us with our 2020 Supercoach season. So lets get cracking!
Tim Broomhead – Broomhead has been with the Pies for awhiles now, he was the #20 pick in the 2012 AFL Draft, before being delisted and re-drafted by the Pies onto their rookie list. He’s managed 36 career AFL games, but hasn’t added to that tally since Round 2 of the 2018 AFL season during which he horrifically broke his leg on the goal post. His stats in the VFL have really dived off a cliff though, from averaging 28 disposals in 2017, he’s fallen to 13 disposals, 3 marks with 9.6 from 13 VFL games this year. It’s debatable at this point whether the Pies will keep him, leg injuries such as the one he suffered are always hard to come back from, so there is a chance he might be given more time, but I wouldn’t have him high on my watch list for 2020.
Nathan Murphy –A medium sized forward, Murphy played 2 AFL games in 2018 with averages of 11.5 disposals, 2.5 marks and 4.5 rebound 50’s a game. He unfortunately has spent the year on the shelf for the Pies, with persistent injuries to his ankle, calf and back keeping him sidelined. One to watch over pre-season, but likely a later season chance at this stage if all goes well.
Tyler Brown – Pick #50 from the 2017 AFL Draft, Brown has spent the past two years developing in the VFL as a defender. He’s played 8 VFL games so far this year with averages of 13 disposals, 1 mark and 4 tackles. Not massively eye-popping numbers, which wouldn’t translate to big scores even if he did play.
Max Lynch – A 198cm ruckman, Max only been playing Aussie Rules Football for 4 years prior to being drafted, originally concentrating on soccer during his junior years. That’s helped him with his ground work a bit, though he is still developing his aerial and ruck skills. He’s played 11 VFL games with averages of 12 disposals, 3 marks and 26 hitouts a game. Shown significant improvement each year he’s been in the VFL, but look at who the ruckman ahead of him is…
Atu Bosenavulagi – A Rugby Union convert, Collingwood picked the Fijian born Atu as part of their Next Generation Academy. He’s small at only 180cm, but has some genuine pace about him. First year in the VFL and he’s averaged 8 disposals, 2 marks, 3 tackles and kicked 8.5 from 13 games. Pies would probably hope he develops like Charlie Cameron who came from a similar rugby background, but as good as CC is now, he didn’t provide great Supercoach scores in his first few years.
Will Kelly – The younger brother of Jake Kelly and son former Pie Craig Kelly, Will came into pre-season with an ankle injury from his U18 football, but made his Collingwood debut in the VFL in Round 4 against the Bombers. He only managed 4 VFL games before he ruptured his hamstring tendon, an injury which he is still listed as 2-3 weeks away from recovering from. During his 4 VFL games his had averages of 7 disposals, 2 marks and kicked 4.1. Might be a long-shot for 2020, but will need a big pre-season since he’s missed so much time in 2019.
Mark Keane – An Irish born Category B rookie, Keane is a 194cm defender. Keane finished second in the goal kicking test during the AFL Draft Combine and also finished 12th in the overall kick testing. He’s played 11 VFL games this year with averages of 9 disposals, 3 marks and 2 rebound 50’s. Will take time to develop.
Anton Tohill – Also an Irish born Category B rookie who was recruited at the same time as Keane, the Pies have said they see Tohill as a utility who can switch between forward, defense and even ruck (he is only 191cm though). He’s played 8 VFL games with averages of 5 disposals, 1 mark, 1 tackle, 3 hitouts and has kicked 3.1. Long way off at this stage.
Jake Long – The son of Essendon legend Michael Long, Jake had a two week stint in the AFL side last year around this time of year, but hasn’t been seen since. He’s played 12 VFL games this year with avearges of 15 disposals, 4 marks and 3 tackles. His numbers haven’t really improved over his few years in the VFL, sitting between 15-16 each year. He’s out of contract at the end of this season, he’s probably a 50/50 chance to be at the Bombers next year.
Kobe Mutch – Mutch just hasn’t had much (see what I did there!) luck this year on the injury front, he averaged 24 disposals in the VFL last year and earned an AFL game in Round 3, but tore his hamstring early in the first quarter and missed significant time from that. He’d been back in the VFL for the Bombers last 3 games but unfortunately fractured his kneecap last weekend, which probably puts him out for the rest of the year. He’s AFL quality, this year has just been a write-off due to injuries. A big pre-season could put him back on the map though.
Sam Draper – One of the best up and coming ruckman in the state leagues, Draper has been learning the ruck craft in the VFL for the last 3 years since being taken in the rookie draft back in 2016. Unfortunately he tore his ACL back in May, which will put him out until next year. We’ve all seen the St Kilda rumours, we’ve also seen this year how well a ruckman can impact a team after they’ve spent multiple years learning their craft in the state leagues with Reilly O’Brien. A watchlist candidate for sure.
Jordan Houlahan – A mid sized forward taken at #49 in the 2017 draft, Houlahan has slowly been developing his goal kicking in his two years in the VFL, kicking 14 goals from 17 games this year, he’s boosted that to 17 goals so far this year from 13 games. Also averaged 9 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles, the stats don’t jump out at you in any significant way.
Trent Mynott – An inside midfielder who can also push a bit further up the ground, Mynott has posted some decent numbers in the VFL this year, averaging 21 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 3 inside 50’s and has kicked 7.5 over his 11 games. Yet to make his AFL debut, but he’s still an almost 20 year old footballer. He’s also out of contract at the end of this year, so he’ll be a wait and see prospect at this stage, but I would imagine the Bombers keep him on the rookie list for another year at a minimum.
Brandon Zerk-Thatcher – A defender taken back at pick #66 in the 2017 AFL Draft, he’s into his second year at the Bombers in the VFL and has posted similar averages to his first, averaging 13 disposals and 5 marks over 12 games. Bombers are generally stocked well at the defender position at the moment, with back up guys like Mitch Brown, Michael Hartley and Aaron Francis able to come in, he likely is in another development year for 2020.
Thomas Jok – A late draftee at 22, he spent some time after missing out on his draft year playing through the Victorian Amateur Football Association before being picked up by Collingwoods VFL team in late 2018. He possesses good running skills, a nice size (190cm), but hasn’t nailed down a permanent position as of yet. He’s currently averaging 15 disposals, 4 marks, 4 tackles and 3 hitouts, but has played just 5 VFL games, but has missed some time this year through concussion and bone bruising in his knee.
Noah Gown – Taken with pick #60 in the 2018 AFL draft, he kicked 31 goals from his last 14 matches for the Gippsland Power last year in the TAC Cup. He’s slowed that down just a tad in his first VFL season, kicking 12.4 from 10 games, while also averaging 8 disposals, 4 marks and 2 tackles. The bigs can take their time, but encouraging signs from his first season.
Irving Mosquito – Became a cult favourite at the Bombers very quickly, he was taken with pick #38 in the 2018 AFL Draft. He hails from the small town of Halls Creek in WA, it’s a town gaining a reputation as the “Far North Footy Factory” having produced AFL listed played such as Sam Petrevski-Seton, Cedric Cox, Shane McAdam and Francis Watson over the last few years. He is currently suffering a hamstring injury, but has played 10 VFL games for averages of 11 disposals, 2 marks, 4 tackles and has kicked 6.7. Will unfortunately suffer from “small forward syndrome” in Supercoach, unless he kicks goals he likely won’t score well.
William Snelling – A former Port Adelaide Power player, Snelling started the year with West Adelaide in the SANFL, before he traded one red sash for another after being drafted in the mid-year draft by the Bombers. His VFL numbers have been outstanding so far, it’s probably just a matter of time before he gets a game this year, so he may not even be one we have available to us for 2020.
Harley Bennell – Ultra talented, he just hasn’t been able to get his body right with persistent calf injuries striking him. He might not be at the Dockers next year, but I could see another team taking a chance on him and potentially reaping the rewards if he can get his body right. Just a big question mark at this stage though.
Sam Sturt – The #17 pick in the 2018 AFL Draft, standing at 189cm he’s listed as a “general forward”, the 2019 pre-season was the first he’s ever completed thanks to off-season cricket commitments in previous years. He missed some time at the start of the year due to head knocks, but has now played 7 games in the WAFL for averages of 14 disposals, 4 marks, 3 tackles and has kicked 3.5. The first pre-season and concussions would have slowed him down a fair bit, a big 2020 off-season could see him primed to take a bigger role for the Dockers however.
Hugh Dixon – A young key forward taken with pick #44 in the 2017 Draft, he ended the 2018 WAFL season in strong form, booting 10 goals from his final 8 games which earned him a contract extension until the end of the 2020 season. He’s played 9 WAFL games so far this year with averages of 10 disposals, 3 marks, 2 tackles, 2 hitouts and has kicked 4.3. The Dockers already have an array of tall options such as Jesse Hogan, Rory Lobb and Cam McCarthy up forward, so he probably faces significant difficulties getting AFL games in the short term.
Lloyd Meek – Due to inherit the Earth at some point, he’s another developing ruckman the Dockers have. Taken with pick #69 in the 2017 AFL Draft and spent his 2018 WAFL season in both the seniors (12 games) and reserves (6 games). He played 7 WAFL games this year for averages of 13 disposals, 3 marks, 3 tackles and 21 hitouts. He fractured his foot a few weeks ago, in the midst of a 36 hitout, 20 disposals and 2 goal game and will now miss the rest of the season. Aaron Sandilands is closing out his career, which may put Meek in a battle with Sean Darcy for a #1 ruck spot.
Tom North – The #65 pick from the 2017 AFL Draft, he spent a portion of 2018 not playing football and just working on his fitness after shoulder and ankle issues and was then on restricted minutes when he did play. Had a bit of hype going about him during the pre-season but still hasn’t been able to break into the side and earn an AFL debut. Has played 13 WAFL games for averages of 21 disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, if he doesn’t debut this year then he certainly could have a shot in 2020.
Luke Valente – The U18 MVP and Vice-Captain of the All-Australian side, he was ranked second for kicking efficiency amongst midfielders, and rated “elite” for score assists and score involvements during the U18 Championships. He had some groin issues through the year, which has restricted him to just 6 WAFL games, he spent part of the pre-season working to modify the way he runs due to suffering groin issues after being drafted. He’s averaged 14 disposals, 2 marks and 6 tackles in his WAFL games, the Dockers obviously have high hopes for him after giving him the #29 guernsey.
Jason Carter – A Next Generation Academy product who signed with Fremantle as a Category B rookie (not quite sure how that works, but that’s the AFL for ya!). He’s played mostly as a half-back and running midfielder in his WAFL games, he’s currently averaged 16 disposals, 3 marks, 2 rebound 50’s and 3 tackles over 13 games. He was upgraded to the Dockers primary list just a week ago while signing a one year contract extension back in June. The Dockers sound impressed with how his game is growing, and being upgraded to the senior list, even in the event of it happening due to a LTI is always a positive sign.
Tobe Watson – The non-union Mexican equivalent of Jobe Watson, Tobe was Pick #22 in the most recent rookie draft. Drafted at 22 years of age, Tobe spent the previous 4 years playing for the Swan Districts in the WAFL where he was the Swans Best and Fairest at Colts level in 2016. He then spent most of the year in the reserves in 2017 with 4 league games and then the entire 2018 season in the Swan Districts league side. He averaged 20 disposals, 5 marks and 4 tackles in 17 WAFL games in 2018, with his numbers for the Peel Thunder moving to `7 disposals, 6 marks, 4 rebound 50’s and 2 tackles over 13 games.
Dillon O’Reilly – He fell 2 games short of qualifying for the Dockers as a F/S selection, he was overlooked in both the National and Rookie drafts in 2018, but was picked up by the Dockers in the mid-year draft after starting the WAFL season playing for East Fremantle. He had a couple of league games in 2017, but spent 2018 at Colts level where he kicked 19.2 from 10 games. He spent 2019 yo-yoing between league and reserves for East Fremantle and that has happened with the Peel Thunder also, spending 2 games each in both the league side and reserves side. Averaged 6 disposals, 4 marks and 0.5 goals in his 2 league matches with Peel, he probably has 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. Next week it will be time to cover off Gold Coast, Geelong and GWS, I hope to see you then.