TEAM REVEAL: Patch
The end is nigh, community – and I’m not talking about coronavirus. I’m talking about the end of preseason, the end of hours of calculations and changes and tinkering.
I have a side I’m happy with. Three weeks ago, I didn’t think it would be possible, but it’s a mixture of scoring potential, flashy premiums and oh so much structural risk. Oh so much!
Way back in November, I made the call the backline was where the rookies would be and that’s where we should go skinny. Three months on, I didn’t realise how right I would be, and to help build the tension towards how skinny I’m going, I’ll be naming my side the way they do west of Broken Hill – with forwards at the top.
#BrayshawBreakout is on – for now. Damo’s been in my ear – and the ear of anyone who’s listened to more than 60 seconds of a Jock Reynolds podcast – and I’ve heard enough. Am I picking Brayshaw to shut him up? Maybe. But he also has a point, and if when it goes belly-up, 90k will send him to Christian Petracca, or I flick him to Steven.
Lachie Whitfield will be the highest-scoring forward for the year, even if he is slightly overpriced, but I’m starting him. Genuine captaincy option, too. MacPherson showed enough to make me think he’s not a preseason hero and Smith will average 90 to fit into the top eight for the year. I still want Petracca, but can’t quite fit him in.
I sat Ben Long at F5 for a long time last week, but he becomes more of a risk than I’d like to take – as you’ll see in a second – and with Taylor, Rankine, Budarick and King all due to play, I’ll take my chances with them – and potentially Xerri if he’s named.
Points! POINTS! Points everywhere. Macrae, Neale and Oliver are all points machines and need no introduction. I’ve missed the Josh Dunkley bandwagon two years in a row and I’m not missing out again.
Josh Kelly will a full preseason under his belt is a train I don’t want to miss out on, and everyone else in my midfield has good injury history – historically they don’t tend to miss. Kelly may miss, but I’m hoping finally he gets a 22 game season under his belt.
McLuggage has been spoken about a lot and I’m onboard. With a 105-110 average I’m more than happy for him to be an M8 by season’s end.
I’ve loaded up on a few players who’ll miss in the final bye week, but if you’ve got players missing any weeks, that’s the week you want.
Set. And. Forget. If your ruck line doesn’t look like this, do not @ me. I’ll permit a different R3. Maybe.
Aaaaaaaaaand here it is. Here’s how he’s afforded to go six deep in the midfield, and pick both Whitfield and Gawn. Here is where my side could – and will – very quickly go belly-up.
John Noble is my D2. Second defender. Yep, yes, I know. Why am I going so, so skinny down back? Because I want all these other things. I want McLuggage. I want Gawn. I want Whitfield, and because there are simply no rookies worth trusting anywhere else on the park – at this stage.
Am I confident in them? Gosh no. Golly gosh no. I’m missing potential value in Docherty and Houston – although the latter’s bye puts me off him – and I’m missing points from a Ryan or Sicily. But – BUT – I’m strong elsewhere.
Noble should be picked if you can fit him in, Zerk-Thatcher is a lock for a 65 average, and I’m bullish on Young should he come in for Hill. Brander will play and score, if Williams is named he’ll be good bench cover. Gould should play. Lachie Ash should also play, and I reckon Williams will knock Cumming out of the side.
I’ve never been someone who’s loved keeping cash in the bank, but this year I’ve got 90k worth of ‘break glass in case of emergency’ money.
If it all falls apart, Darcy MacPherson becomes the sacrificial lamb – he gets cut, Brander swings forward and Docherty or Ryan comes in. If Ash is dropped for Williams, he’s flicked and Robertson comes in. Bailey Williams can come in. Young can become Robbo. It might even result in Cameron swinging forward and Luke Jackson coming in at R3.
There’s agility and flexibility, meaning this team – obviously – could shift depending on the backline rookies.
However, this is the team I want to select. I want to be bold, be daring and push the envelope. It’s not a safe side. It might not come off. And that’s the way I like it – if you’re not risking the potential of it all crashing down around your ears, you’re not having fun.
What do you reckon? Have I gone too far?