Monday, 28 March 2011

The Hit List Round 1

Just a quick list of some of the Dream Team players that caught my eye in round one.


Fyfe (Freo) 95 points - $282,900. All the Hype out of Freo seems to be on the mark, Fyfe is clean skilled has an awesome tank and hands that have earned him the nickname Avitar from his team mates. When he claps they stick.

Robbie Tarrant (NthM ) 104 points - $122,500. Could this be his year. Tarrant will be hoping to put his injury probs behind him and showed his body was in great shape in his 104 display against the Eagles on Sunday. He moved with ease and showed total class in taking 8 marks and making 6 tackles to go with his 21 disposals. He has no risk at all of loosing his place and could even end up as a 7th back keeper. At least pocket you some very handy coin.

Shaun McKernan (Adel) 83 points - $97,600. Like Tarrant this is not McKernan's first year in the system and he to was also a fairly high draft pick at 28, so he has plenty of class and is now developed into the ideal size for a big man. He showed his NAB form was no fluke with a quality display in the Crows win over the Hawks. He showed off his versatility with a decent stint in the ruck in which he amassed 13 hit outs. From what I have seen this support role to Maric should continue at the very least until the return from injury of Jacobs. In saying that Maric might be the one who will be looking over his houlder when the time comes. He is alos Dual Position as an added bonus. Get on!

Tapscott (Melb) 80 points - $97,600. Another 2nd year player at next to bottom dollar Tapscott has  a physique like a season campaigner showed just the class and talent that the Demon's faithful have been waiting for.

Darling (WC) 64 points - $92,500. The once touted first pick for the 2010 draft was an absolute steel at 26 with a  bad attitude sighted as one of the reason. Darling looks to be well on track and showed he could be an out and out gun for the eagles for years to come. I loved his tackling and he is a beautiful kick and mark. Eagles need all the youn talent they can get so he is another that is sure to play a lot of games in 2011,

WTF happened to my Dream Team!

If you are asking yourself this question you sure are not alone after a round full of ups and downs for most Dream Team coaches.  But DON'T PANIC! It's just round 1.

This is my 9th year of Dream Team and I like to think I go OK. So I thought I might pass on a few tips and mention some of the mistakes I have made over the years.

Until last season I had always thought you have to be right up there in the top 500 all season to have any kind of shot at the Toyota. Most years I have finished top 1000 and around the 300 mark was my past best. But things fell into place last season,  I dodged some injuries and managed to grab 7th overall. I was pretty stoked in the end. Close but no cigar. You've gotta feel for the dude(I think it was a guy from memory) who came 2nd overall that is harsh, not even a Toyota keyring :) But back to the point.

Last week I was looking over the weekly team print-out that work kindly fund and had a scan through my rankings over the season. At round 7 last year I was way back in the 5000s and wasn't even considering top 100. It goes to show just how much ground you can make once you get your side up and running. I think the thing I did right last year was trad hard early. I  made a couple of big errors. especially rucks ( Mitch Clarke and Seaby were the low points) but I got my team settled by about round 7-8 and sat on my trades. Trying to keep close to 1 trade in the bank for the amount of weeks left is a good guide. But the point is you just need to be patient and very selective when you do trade. By low sell high. Sounds obvious but it's the key to Dream Team, you've got to play the market. Also as a rule make sure your trade is going to either make you at least 100k for a down grade or the player you bring in will be a genuine keeper if not keep your trade in the bank cause you only get 24.

One of the biggest mistakes you can make and one I know I have done it in years gone by is Panic Trade after round 1 or 2. After hours researching your team, making a a number of tough calls between player a and player b, weighing up dual position, age, durability, consistency and so on. Or even if you just picked your favourite players you picked them for a reason so stick to your guns!

If you are like me you looked down your team sheet today identified the let downs, and there were a few, (Foley being the stand-out). thought about the regrets, the almost picks and the last minute trade outs that were a HUGE MISTAKE! You are probably a tad miffed and already thinking about who will be replaced be a cheaper,  higher scoring player that you think you really should have picked in the first place. STOP and think why you picked that player to start with. Was it numerous matches to finish last season or a pretty solid NAB cup? We have had one round, just one. All players have bad games. We have 33, they can't possibly kill it week in week out and that goes for round one as well. The biggest waste of Trades in Dream Team is burning a trade especially a keeper after 1 or 2 bad games to start the season.

I actually recommend not trading at all after round one unless you have to replace an injured player.

If you are super serious about your Dream Team and are gunning for the car or at least have an eye on it as long as you are confident with your original side a bad week one is no big deal.

Good luck in round 2 and hopefully this ramble makes some sense to someone :)

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

McKenna sheds some Light on Suns

This probably doesn't come as a huge surprise to most Dream Team coaches but and does make a lot of sense but Guy McKenna gives a pretty solid indication on his thinking in regards to mature age players at the suns in this recent Q&A

Have you got your best 22 settled?
"I don't think we're far off it. The eight uncontracted players pick themselves and then we'll assess Karmichael Hunt and Nathan Ablett and how they're travelling. Our mature-aged boys – Danny Stanley, Sam Iles, Daniel Harris and Michael Coad – aren't walk-up starts but with their experience and size of their bodies they're a better than average chance of getting in. Then it's really the kids that have shown enough in the pre-season, which is no different to other clubs. I would think there's at least eight to 10 of our young kids I would have no hesitation in picking for round two, so that's a good sign."
In my opinion from what I have seen and from reading between the lines, at worst McKenna will be starting with the mature bodied players and filtering in the talented kids when the time is right throughout the season.
So the for mentioned all should be pretty safe bets at least for the first half of the year. By then we will have traded them or be looking to turn them into guns.

Monday, 28 February 2011

Craig talks up Callinan

In a recent Neil Craig Q&A on the Crows website Neil talks highly of Callinan pushing his claims for a birth in my Dream Team for 2011. Is he on your radar?

The club has an opening on its senior list to play a nominated rookie as early as round one of the season proper. Rookies Ian Callinan and Matt Wright both played in the first round of the NAB Cup, but is it fair to say Callinan is leading that race?
"Ian has been very good in his preparation the whole pre-season and I thought his performance the other Friday night…the longer he played the more comfortable he looked and that was to be expected.
He certainly noticed the change in speed compared to the SANFL, but he adapted really well. Whether he can continue the improvement to warrant a position on the senior list and to fill that vacancy, I'm open minded about it. From what I've seen so far Ian should've been in the system four or five years ago. Senior coaches, recruiters and I owe him an apology. I had an opportunity to recruit him just as all the other clubs did five years ago, but we thought we were too smart."
Later in reference to Adelaide's forward line set up Craig also mentions McKernan as well as Callinan so both look to be in his plans.
"If we can keep Jason Porplyzia up there fit and healthy with Dangerfield, Ricky Henderson, Chris Knights, Taylor Walker, Shaun McKernan - because I thought he showed a bit last weekend - and maybe a Callinan… we've got those types of players who can go through the forward line, so we have some talent there. We've just got to make sure we don't just rely on Kurt to be able to take a strong contested mark. We need to share the workload."
As stated in my recent post Callinan comes in at the juicy Mature Rookie price of $80,400 (M/F)
McKernan in his 2nd year is also dual Pos. and is priced at $97,600 (F/B)

Monday, 7 February 2011

Mature Age Rookies on the Radar

Ian Callinan (FWD/MID, $80,400) ADEL
Won Jack Oatey Medal as best afield in this year's SANFL grand final and finds himself in career best form at the ripe age of 27. Touted as a possible goal scoring replacement for the Porpz, enabling him the freedom to move to the midfield. Callinan was taken at pick 64 in the rookie draft and after his impressive itra club match last week looks to have a foot in the door to a round one birth.

Paul Puopolo (DEF, $92,500) HAW
Recruited from Norwood and taken by Hawthorn at pick 66, 22yr old Puopolo looks to be the front runner to grab the hole left be the departure of Campbell Brown to the Suns. He was a stand out in Hawthorn's intra-club game in Tasmania. He is hard at the ball and is blessed with a nice turn of foot.

Nick Duigan (DEF, $92,500) CARL
Another Norwood recruit Duigan is 26 and comes to Carlton with pick 70 in the 2010 National Draft, Duigan showed talent as a youngster but injury set backs have severely hampered his career to date. He is known for his strong mark and rebound out of defence. Nick is another one to keep a close eye on in the NAB Cup.

Tendai Mzungu (FWD/MID, $92,500) FREO
MATURE-AGE Fremantle recruit Tendai Mzungu looks to be first in line to replace injured teammate Roger Hayden across half-back for Fremantle this season. The 24-year-old, has been a standout runner and looks well suited to the half-back role. Mzungu polled 20 Sandover Medal votes last year and won WAFL club Perth's best-and-fairest. Despite his Fwd/Mid classification Mzungu played more of a mid/back role for Perth in doing so amassing 28 possessions per match. Could be a more than handy Dream Teamer with DP as a bonus.

Wayde Twomey (Mid, $80,400) CARL
Made the switch from Werriby to Swan Districts in the WAFL at the end of 07 and is looking to have a similar impact to that of ex team mates Barlow and J-Pod. Wayde is 24 yrs old and is determind to prove himself in what may be his only crack at the big time. He had a run with the Western Bulldogs in 2006 and '07 after showing promise as a youngster with Werribee. Twomey is a mid come rebounding defender and was a shock pick at 51 in last year's AFL rookie draft.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

One for the Watchlist!

Bryce Gibbs

If Bryce's new B/C classification wasn't already enough to have him locked into your Dream Team the talk that he will be spending a lot more time in the midfield surely will.

Kane Lukas may also be worth consideration as talk of regular mid-field roll is also mentioned. He will also come in way under value after his 6 and 7 both scored when struck by injury. So look for massive improvement from the youngster if he can keep those hammies in good shape.