Published by Patch on

Well, well, well, here’s trouble. Look what the cat dragged in! That’s right – it’s my Supercoach team, left dead and twisted and toyed with right on the doormat. It’s a work of art, in a sense, and I’m impressed that a humble man such as myself is capable of making so many mistakes in such a small team. But alas, the time for tinkering is done and it’s time to shove this bad boy in the oven and char it until it no longer resembles anything known to humanity.

So let’s get stuck in, shall we? People keep saying the rookies are subject to change, and while mine kind of are, most of them also aren’t. We’ll delve into why exactly some of them are locked in stone once we actually get to the lines which have rookies on them, which will be in a little while.


Well HELLO, don’t you just look an absolute treat my darling. Lloyd. Ryan. Laird. Daniel. Short. None of them really need elaborating on individually – except maybe Luke Ryan, who I don’t have a huge amount of rationale behind aside from him not playing a key position role and that I really like him. But anyway – I want you to look at that backline, take it in. It looks like a luxury, yeah? The Supercoach equivalent of lying on a beach in the Pacific, hearing the waves lap at your feet. Newsflash – if you’re not going this deep in the backline, you’re gonna have a bad time this year.

LISTEN: Lek and Patch sit down for their final thoughts before season 2021

Panic. Shake yourself out of imagining what it would be like to be living this life and scramble to make it happen. The rookies aren’t coming to save us come round one. Not in the backline, sunshine. We’re on our own, and you either fork out of flounder. Lachie Jones won’t be consistently playing in that Port Adelaide side.

Jacob Wehr may as well not exist. Will Gould is a myth. Jacob Koschizkte will play, sure, but he’ll score 30 more often than he breaks the 70 barrier. Tom Highmore… should play? We think he’s in the 22 over Jake Carlisle? Maybe? Jordan Butts is in the best 22 at Adelaide with a plethora of other injuries butts we don’t know for sure (see what I did there?). WAKE UP. It’s a crisis down back and you’re gonna have to do something about it now. I’m looking at this now thinking it might not be deep enough. Panic.


Bam. Points. Right in the face. Someone’s been saying Lachie Neale’s had a rusty preseason, but he’s come out this week and said he’s feeling better than he ever has before. Lock. Clayton Oliver has scored below 80 four times in his last 96 games. Hasn’t left my side and probably won’t for the next 10 years.

Jack Macrae scores points for fun and Zach Merrett is definitely not in a contract year and definitely doesn’t have to play better than his normally exemplary level of football to attract a new suiter when Essendon isn’t rubbish and finishes 19th this year. Patrick Cripps is good and value.

Why five premiums? Because I like them all, and, truth be told, I don’t rate the midfield rookies as much as I’d like to do some scoring. Tanner Bruhn will play as a forward, as will Tom Powell. Errol Gulden might work his way into the system, and Connor Downie hasn’t set the world on fire from a scoring potential just yet. Thus five midfield premiums.

Now astute readers (namely, everyone who can add numbers together) will be starting to get confused at best and incredibly gravely concerned at worst about how cash-strapped the rest of my side is and to those people I say: don’t worry, it’s worse than you think.


Oh come off it, you knew this was coming. I spoke about it on the podcast and while I said I didn’t want to start without Grundy, I came to realise that no, we won’t have the rookies elsewhere. We may as well make use of two of Flynn, Meek and Hunter while we can to put 70s on the field instead of 40s from small forwards or – worse – donuts in defence. I’ve gone with these two rookies because I think they’ll play for longer than Hunter, with Flynn having job security for a few months with Preuss out.

It means I start without Grundy, sure. But it lets me bring in Macrae in the middle, make more cash than I would with a… McNeil? There aren’t rookies leaping out at me in the midfield. In the ruck line there are enough that I considered not starting Max Gawn for half a second before remembering he’ll average 160 in his first six games.

Max Gawn walking into work

I’ve seen and heard some very clever strategies about starting Ben McEvoy down back to swing into the ruckline in case of emergency which is all very good and well and is terribly smart until you remember that involves starting Ben McEvoy. What’s my break glass in case of emergency plan? How do I avoid making a million trades in the ruck? I don’t have one. You don’t need one, you absolute pelican. It’s like upgrading any other line and it’s not scary or difficult or hard and back in my day we did for years and years in a row and we were fine. Kids these days and their mollycoddled ways of ‘set and forget’. Way back when we’d tie an onion to our ruck’s belt, which was the style at the time….


I know I know I KNOW, OKAY. I KNOW. If anyone hops into the comments and @’s me a joke about “bUt YoU fOrGoT tHe FoRwArD lINe”, first: allegedly I’m an expert at this thing, second: I have a plan, third: I’m a big boy now mum shut upppppp and fourth: shut up I KNOW OKAY. THIS IS BAD.

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Patrick Dangerfield has an old man injury and an interrupted preseason and is playing for a club which has come out and actively said they’re going to rest players through 2021. He’s the only premium in this line. Jye Caldwell is playing for a club I hate (and love, sometimes) and something in my gut is saying he’ll be thoroughly whelming as a 350k option. But they’ll average 200 between them. And then it’s rookies all the way down, and oh boy is that a long way.

But you know what? It goes even longer. Braeden Campbell, Alec Waterman, Tom Fullarton and James Rowe will play, but if Miles Bergman and Chad Warner aren’t named, there are a bunch of other options. Harry Jones. Ollie Henry. Ely Smith is in line for a run with Rayner out. Josh Treacy will play at some stage regardless of if he’s suspended or not. If it does truly get desperate, Dangerfield becomes Dusty and Nik Cox or Archie Perkins come in. THIS IS WHERE THE ROOKIES ARE. That means this is where we have to pick the rookies.

Is this designed to make you have a last minute panic about your team’s structure? Do I want you to undo months and months of tinkering with your side? Goodness no. I’d never wish that on anyone. Do I think you should panic and scream and run about a bit wearing a saucepan on would head until you run into a wall anyway? Look, I don’t want to be dramatic but, yes I would Ken.

Alright you filthy animals. There it is. One mid-pricer in total, because I still think guns and rookies is the best way to play this game and you pick up your mid-pricers as you go.


Will it change between now and lockout? Probably. Will it change substantially? Not likely. Will I cave and bring in Grundy? It’s getting less and less likely with each hour. Will I renege on my doomsday prophesying about the backline? Not on your damn life, even if there are 12 of them named in round one. You’ll be prying Jayden Short at D5 from my cold, dead hands. So by round five.

Best of luck, community.

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Im panick trading already so need advice.

Which is better.

My original team of dunkley, merrett, brockman, ely smith and hunter
Or my panick trading of
Caldwell, jkelly, dow, impey and flynn??

I know panick trading is stupid but with dow named on the ball i think i want him over a brockman type.

Knock some sense into me or tell me these are good trades please???


Also forgot, would be able to afford rowell to cripps with option 2

Last edited 1 year ago by Jess

Liked the existing set up better Jess. You will be going down from 2 solid keepers to one keeper (with a injury risk profile) and a mid pricer who may become a keeper (and then probably F6 at best).


I like the first option more. People overhyped Dow’s first practice match and I don’t see him as a good option at all. Josh Kelly isn’t worth the risk considering his injury history for mine. If he starts the season well you can always bring him in as a keeper later. Caldwell and Impey are also far from sure things in terms of what to expect from point scoring. I would try to get flynn in over hunter though. Should have better job security.

The Jinx

What everyone has said before. Keep your existing set-up. As for Rowell to Cripps, personally if I have that extra cash I would pick Cripps over Rowell.

**Cripps is in my team**
Hopefully I’m not being bias as an owner. But all the facts and stats are there between the two. Worried Rowell will get heaps of attentions, he’ll be a target and how well has that shoulder healed.

The Ranger

Back yaself in Jess!


I love it Patch, I haven’t gone quite the same in the def and fwd lines, I went with 3 premos, 2 midpricers and I rookie in def and 3 premos, 1 midpricer and 2 rookies in the fwd line. I do however have the same ruck line. I could have gone one less premo up fwd and had one more in def, but I think Danger, Dunkley and Dusty should be in the top 6 at years end, so I just picked them.


Thanks Patch, it is really hard this year, working out the best structure, midpricers over rookies, getting the balance right. I’m taking a risk with a rookie at R2, but just trying to pick the best ones, no matter where they are. I deleted my team and picked the rookies that I thought would get a game first and then built the team around them.


Thanks for posting Patch.

Enjoyed the read, and appreciated the logic.

I did run a team that was 6 premo deep in defence. Jess made a point against another team reveal that nailing 5 off the bat was difficult. She is right. Nailing 6 was even more remote, even if defence will be a scoring frenzy. Jess also made the point that you will preclude yourself from picking up a bargain buy later. So, 5 seems right. But I am worried that your structure needs a rookie onfield. Even though there is a question over Clark’s job security, I think he’s worth the extra money, rather than having a rookie onfield.

To find it, you will probably need to take one of your 5 beautiful mid premos and look at a Rowell or Taranto (or Simpkin, but we won’t go there).

The other part is that you doubt the points generation of Bruhn in the mids. Do you like Cahill any better? If you do, then move Campbell up and put in Cahill. Doesn’t seem to be any love for Cahill, but he does seem to be looking at a SC friendly role.

Good luck for the season and appreciate your contribution to the site

The Jinx

So much like my team right now. Love it Patch. Lloyd worries me with interrupted pre-season, I’ll wait and see how he will go for a few games and hopefully I can pick him up cheaper. Cripps is that fallen premo we always talk about each year.

If JClark not name for Rnd1. Together with Caldwell will turn them in to Dunkley.

Can’t seem to shake Ziebell, he has so much value for his price. Dow hasn’t left my team JS is way better than high priced Rookie.

Ryan, Daniel, Stewart, Short, JClark, Koschitzke (Highmore, A.Fyfe)

Neale, Oliver, Macrae, Merrett, Laird, Cripps, Powell, Gulden (Jordon, Downie, Scott)

Gawn, Flynn (Meek)

Danger, Caldwell, Ziebell, Dow, Bergman, Rowe (Brockman, Waterman)

Last edited 1 year ago by The Jinx

My team as it stands

Thinking about using Dunkley in the midfield so I can use the swing to field different rookies if under performing.

Lloyd, laird, docherty (highmore)
Clark, Cox, Wehr (Koschitzke)

Neale, Oliver, Fyfe, Adams,
Cripps, Campbell, Powell, Downey
( cockatoo, gulden, Scott)

Gawn, Grundy (Flynn)

Dangerfield, Toby Greene, ziebell ( Warner)
Daniher, Rowe, Brockman (Henry)

Can pick up Dunkley in the mid and use for swing or I can downgrade Adams to Rowell and upgrade Greene to dusty


Dow 202k has been underwhelming at this stage of his career. Has some good flashes with his burst after gathering the footy and Carlton really rate him – starting on ball so he has to be picked. I am expecting he averages 70 or more. Is the extra 80k worth 20+ points each week over a rookie, this year yes.

The Jinx

Question is, are you willing to pay for a Rookie $180K to $200K. If you are, for extra 20k or equal price. Why not just pick Dow. For the same reason you said 70 points ave and JS.

Last edited 1 year ago by The Jinx

Don’t think I’ve ever been more unsure of my team setup than this year. Usually at this stage I’m just tossing up between the last few players but I have lost count of the number of times I have completely flipped things around. Not knowing rookies until the day before the game is making it even harder. Am looking forward to tomorrow night when the major decisions will have been made and I can sit back and enjoy the season. Good luck to everyone for Season 2021 and may the SC Gods smile on us all.

The Ranger

Fun times eh Kat? Best of luck.


Good luck Kat…ganbatte yo!

Last edited 1 year ago by Russty_

Hey guys,
Really need some assistance with the confusion i have with my current side. As it stands, i have Dunkley F2, Steele M1 (could be macrae) and TGreen M5. But if dunks becomes caldwell, it would allow me to go back to neale M1, and upgrade green to a rowell.
Now I am worried i’m bringing them back in for the sake of fomo. Neale has been in my side all pre season but rowell hasn’t once entered my side.
Can someone please talk me in/out of this move please!

Last edited 1 year ago by tommyc99
The Ranger

There seems to be a few people only starting one premium in the fwd line Tommy but it’s too much for me, I have Caldwell at F3. Tough to pick a starting team this year so we’re all making choices we wouldn’t normally have to. I normally start with a 3-5-2-3 premium structure but it’s looking like a 4-5-1-2 this year.


Hi Tommy, I would keep Steele over Macrae, Mac is a gun but Steele is captain this year and the Saints are serious contenders, dogs are all over the show with so many mids, not sure how Dunks ends up, so I would do the Dunks to Caldwell thing to get Neale back and Green to Rowell. You’ll want to own Rowell when he gets into full flight, he’s gonna be a star no doubt.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russty_
The Ranger

Jeez that fwd line is skinny! It’s madness Patch but it just might come off.


Love it Patch, this is very similar to the setup I’ve got except forwards I’ve gone ziebell and impey as my only 2 mid pricers

Which 2 are the best scoring options out of dusty, dunkley and taranto?


Well well well, three team reveals have gone set and forget in the ruck and three haven’t. Looks like it’s down to your mate Lekdog as to witch way I go with my team, what a scary thought.


LEK loves the gnr definitely GG


But you forgot the forward line… 😉

Last edited 1 year ago by Russty_

5 deep in defence is an over-reaction to the rookie crisis and the idea that defenders are the new midfielders

we had the same situation last year. I think there was Starcivik Beander and BZT as rookies

no one went 5 premiums last year. Sure we had Houston and Doch and Howe, but they were mid prices at best.

I have looked at 4 premiums, but it feels 3 is ok and have mid price and cheaper options to complete the line


I don’t see defenders being helped by the new rules.

the kick in rules will see it sailing over their heads and the man in mark rule will see the forwards take more marks against them


This is an unusual year, Derek. I have to say that most years my teams end up looking quite close to yours. This year we are a bit apart in our thinking. I am backing defenders to be the new midfielders. I think rucks will decline because the man on the mark rule will see more corridor kicks. Those down the line kicks were often to ruckmen, and often we would end up with a boundary throw in. I felt the ruck men were more able to get a hit out to advantage in a boundary throw in than a centre bounce. I am thinking that Lloyd is the new Gawn. He’s been a top scorer but not really a captain option previously. I am seeing him as almost perma captain this year and quite possibly number 1 in SC this year.

Of course I could be horribly wrong. Basing these season long decisions and strategy on one round of AAMI is risky. But I say basing our decisions and strategy on last year with shorter quarters, inflated scaling and more rotations is just as risky. We are all just guessing really.

Good luck with the season Derek. Look forward to playing against you in a few leagues. Be gentle if I am horribly wrong.


$656k for a defender! How times have changed.

There must be some value in defence? Especially if they are the new must haves. No love for Houston or Lukosious?


Houston is in my team at D5. Lukosius was certainly on my list going into preseason, but his move to a wing role has spooked me a bit.


Same here. If Lukosious was in defence he takes all the kick in. He was in my team early.

I had Houston all last year, was ok. Port will be very good this year. He will either do very well or won’t see much of the ball

Shake n bake

Houston will be a top 10 defender


Defence ✅
Midfield ✅
Ruck ✅
Forwards ❌ did you forget to do them?

Final piece to my jigsaw puzzle!
Option 1 : Neale & sharp

Option 2 : Walsh & H.clark

I still have MacRae Oliver Gawn Grundy as captain options. Neale with a niggle is worrying and hunter Clarke means I don’t have to field two rookies down back he’s got that midfield role I believe and looked good v Carlton. Do you rate him russty?

Rick Grimes

Clarke was convinced to stay at Cats with the promise of mid minutes. He’s a good player. I see him averaging 80 and making decent coin.


Hunter Clark Rick. Got Jordan well and truly locked in 🔒

Rick Grimes

Ahh sorry bro. Hunter might improve his average by 10, but he still won’t be a top 10 defender, imo.


Probably not but happy to be a last upgrade if it means not having too field two of kozi, Highmore and LJones . Very little JS and scoring potential with those blokes. Jones looks good but JS isn’t there.
I have hunter Clarke and Walsh combining for 200 and Neale and a kozi for 170 odd with shaky JS raising the risk in that.

The Ranger

I don’t mind the Hunter pick Mav, he was on my watchlist from last season.


Hi Mav, yeah I’m backing him in this year, there is an element of risk though but I like the way he plays, he has a very cool head and seems to have plenty of time. The risk is that he doesn’t improve his ave that much but very worst I’d say it’ll be 85-90 ish.
If he stays mostly mid this year I don’t think it’s out of the question for him to push towards a ton ave.


2nd best reveal a well thought out team plenty of points in the mids but maybe a clarke in def to raise coin for talented rooks oh Where’s the forwards missing in action Off to a flyer NDD

Shake n bake

The thing is the clarks Zeibell Dow Daniher types will play about 10 to 15 minutes more than rookies. More JS think about it


Rookies with one preseason will spend plenty of time in the bench


Rowell and Jordon clark
Tom Green and Hunter Clark

this is for M5 and D4!


Rowell and Clarke for sure




cheers guys, made it easy for me!


I have Green and H.Clark at M5 & D4, but I have Rowell at M4. When you look at those options you probably have to go with Rowell and J.Clark. However if you have J.Clark at D4, does that mean you have 2 rookies at D5 & D6 ?


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Macrae or Bont at M3