Crio’s Question- Team Depth

Depth, and how it is exposed, is looming as a major shaper of this year’s finals. Injuries before and during matches are having enormous implications as coaches seek not only to exert their own strengths, but to expose perceived weaknesses in others’.

All fans know the feeling…as Josh Hill was announced as a late replacement for the Dogs, we lamented that we were now in the shallow end. Pies supporters also had that sinking feeling when Reid’s injury hampered their match flexibility. That they overcame this perhaps indicates what a “level” playing group they have developed. Joc, Almanacker and devoted Saint, whilst stopping short of any direct criticism, acknowledged that it was likely to be the merits of each team’s “bottom five” that would decide September glory.

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  1. Podsiadly, Lonergan, Blake, Wojinski and Hawkins at GFC.

    Three of them have played in a flag; including one in two.

    You would have to go down to Abbotsford’s thirds to find the bottom five at Collingwood. By all recent expert accounts they have more depth than the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench.

  2. John Butler says

    I could run through Carlton’s, but there’s more than 5 in our “bottom 5” and we’re not really a contender anyway. :(

  3. Phantom,
    What about Byrnes, Mackie, Milburn and Stokes?

  4. Dave Latham says

    Pies bottom five in current team: Leroy, Toovey, Goldsack, Johnson, Sidebottom.

    I think it’s what is waiting in the wings which is more important.

    The bottom five are only as good as the five pushing for selection below them in the magoos.

    At Collingwood we have Medhurst, Nathan Brown, Anthony, Wood, Lockyer, Obree, Blair, Fraser, McCarthy, Buckley and a few others you don’t know about but have been close, eg Josh Thomas and Luke Rounds.

  5. You anly asked for five Crio.

    The way they played last week I could start with “From the backline……

  6. At Freo we’re up to our necks, deep in to our playing list with a cruel run of injuries to our first 22.

    From the weekend’s game, four of our bottom five would be first year players: Bollenhagen (2nd game), Crichton (3), Roberton (8) & Morabito (all 19). Fifth would be a raffle among a few other youngesters.

  7. There’s a theory that Lyon’s strategy involved giving everyone specific tasks and not exposing his weaker players but that other coaches are starting to find the cracks. Geary, McQualter, Ray…

  8. Dave Latham says

    I agree Crio that they might be working through more one dimensional players, but teams are now putting quick defensive forwards onto Gilbert and Fisher which is causing them problems, closing down time and space.

    I’ll say Collingwoods depth is good because they have trained them in multiple positions through their VFL team. I can’t speak highly enough for having a VFL team where you can experiment with, and develop, young players.

  9. Good point Dave.
    With the Dogs, if they can regain Ward, Higgins, Murphy and Harbrow they will bat very deep. But a couple more injuries and we are in to Hill, Stack and co!

  10. Dave Latham says

    The Dogs best 22 is very solid and even, not sure about the depth, but that’s only because I haven’t watched them enough this year.

    But those four you mention are very solid to have as depth, very handy.

  11. For the Hawks: Murphy, Skipper, Shiels, Suckling and Bailey … or Murphy, Ladson, Young, Gilham and Roughead. What the hell happened? One minute we were bound for glory (at least in our cosy little world), next minute we’re on the road to nowhere!

  12. No bottom five at Richmond.

    More a middle 15 behind Deledio, Newman, Riewoldt, Jackson and Martin.

  13. Pies supporters also had that sinking feeling when Reid’s injury hampered their match flexibility??
    hmm i didn’t feel like that at all.
    i still don’t see what everyone sees in Ben Reid.
    Plus, if he’s out for the upcomming game it gives Nathan Brown and Anthony another chance.
    i’m not complaining at all!

    i think our bottom 5 are-
    Goldsack, Toovey, Reid, Caffer and hmm, thats about it only four.

  14. Dave Latham says

    Reid has been fantastic Danni, has very good hands and a penetrating and accurate kick. Mick reckons 200 game player, and I tend to agree.

    Rambo is the future full back to replace the irrepressible Caravan.

  15. Sorry Dave i have to disagree.
    i cannot see the day when i will warm to Ben Reid in the backline.

  16. Richard Jones says

    PHANTOM has got ours from CatLand pretty well spot on, Crio.

    Wojak, Pods @ Nos. 18 and 19. Bottom three most definitely Hawkins, Lonergan and Blake stone motherless.

    Why we kept Blake and shunted Mummy Mumford to the Swanettes I have no idea. Blake a handy Magoos ruckman at best — can’t kick, can’t think and regularly handballs to an opposition forward who kicks a snag roll. So not much chop with the hands, either.

    Bloody hopeless is Blake !! And Phantom also mentioned you asked for five only. Not nine.

  17. So St Kilda’s top 3 (Roo, Hayes and Goddard) are exceptional and Geelong have an enviable top ten, is it Collingwood and the Dogs whose “last five” are worthiest? Pleasingly, Doggies fans are even starting to think Tommy Williams just might play a role. Collingwood seem to think that they bat down to the late twenties – I know that the Dogs don’t.

  18. I know the Roos aren’t a contender, but here’s our bottom five:

    Cunnington, Edwards, Harding, Campbell and Macmillan.

    Would like to see all of those still in the team by Round 22 though, with the exception of maybe Cunnington. Hasn’t impressed me so far this year.

  19. Josh, do you reckon the Roos are a bit light at the top (Boomer) and then have a lot of “good ordinary players” and have suffered with injury? Need all up and going.

  20. Crio,

    Harvey is easily our best player, but the likes of Leigh Adams, Sam Wright, Liam Anthony, Brady Rawlings and Daniel Pratt are a bit better than good oridnary players. Adams would most likely finish in the top three for our Best and Fairest, what a result for a player in just his fourth year (he only cemented his position in the side this year however), while Nathan Grima shut Matthew Pavlich down on the weekend, could a ‘good ordinary player’ do that? Watch for Grima’s effort on Nick Riewoldt this sunday night, should be a beauty of a contest.

    In summary, in a couple of years, the Roos will have an array of players to rival Harvey’s importance and skill.

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