Team Reveal: Patch
Before we start, I want everyone to take a deep breath. Breathe in, then out. In, then out. There’s no other way to approach a Patch team reveal, and for that I’m sorry. I’ve been doing team reveals for a large number of years now, and there’s always a line which gets thrown to the wolves. I like to live on the edge, you know? I rather pouring petrol on the bathroom rather than running from room-to-room with a fire extinguisher.
I’m amazed one man can make a team so bad. I’m even more amazed – proud? – that man can look at this hunk of junk, this mess of 200-300k selections and think: “you know what? I like this. This is good”. To be able to make these observations, and be aware of how bad it is and how terrible of an idea this is and proceed anyway? That’s showbusiness baby.
This year, yet again, that line is the forward line. It’s a bad line. Always has been, always will be. I went back to look at some old forward lines I’d put out in previous years. I had Jye Caldwell at F2 last year and rookies from F3 downwards. I had Darcy McPherson (440k) at F2 in 2020, with Andy Brayshaw (380k) and Dev Smith (340k) at F3 and F4. Back in 2018 I picked a 550k Nick Riewoldt at F1 alongside Luke Dahlhaus, Shaun Higgins, Toby Nankervis and Jarryd Roughead. An all-time terrible forward line, just like that year I brought Tex Walker in… I’m not very good at this, am I?
I realise I’m putting this off. How bad can it be, I mean honestly?
See? We’re fine. Nothing to worry about. Crisp, Ridley and Whitfield are good, cromulent picks and as much as I love Jayden Short and Dyson Heppell, you can’t start them all. George Hewett will play as a midfielder and is undervalued. Chapman will be this year’s Jiath, Damo has assured me. McCartin, Gibcus and O’Driscoll will play, apparently. Might go Gibcus to Hinge. Maybe. We’ll see.
My midfield has hardly changed all preseason. There’s been some rookie tinkering (see Davies, Naish), but it’s always been four premos (including three of Macrae, Miller, Oliver and Steele) and Horne-Francis, Daicos, Ward and rookies. It’s where the rookies are, albeit expensive ones. It feels warm and safe.
Speaking of warm and safe. I had NicNat instead of Gawn for some time, but when the Eagles’ midfield disappeared my trust in his hitouts to advantage plummeted. Welcome back, bearded one. And here is the last vestige of safety, security and sanity. For now we sally forth to the forward line.
Dunkley: Will play midfield. Will be good. Let’s pick him. Stephen Gonigliog: He bloody lock. Mitch McGovern: Interceptor in a team which will have a bunch of defensive 50 entries. Connor West: The Eagles have literally no-one else to play midfield. Will Brodie: Damo is currently poking me in the back with a revolver telling me if I don’t pick him he’ll get his people to come knock on my door or the next thing I know I’ll be pantsless in a gulag in the Pilbara, which means he’s a great pick. Lock him in. Tristan Xerri: Apparently the number one ruck at North? He’s a better, less-injured Brayden Pruess.
All of them on their own stack up in the twisted, depraved depths of my cursed mind. Cogs is a keeper, the rest are… not, they’re high-scoring* cash cows – Xerri at R3 potentially aside. (*citation needed).
Still plenty of water (read: tears) to go under the bridge on the rookie front, but I think… I think that’s the structure set. May god have mercy on us all.