Super DreamTeam Coach – 2011: Defence

by Josh Barnstable

The countdown has started.

In two weeks time, all Supercoaches and Dream Teamers will get their first look at the 2011 version of the fantasy side of AFL. People will pick mock squads; people will make their team during the first hour, making minor adjustments up until the eve of Round One.

Of course, as you may have heard, a new side up in Queensland will be the 17th team in the AFL in 2011, the Gold Coast Suns. With this addition brings an uneven amount of teams in the league, which creates a bye each week and byes to several teams on a couple of occasions during the year. The brains trust at Supercoach have figured out a solution to this:

-Private head-to-head leagues will start in Round 1, instead of Round 4.

-Finals will be between Rounds 21 and 24.

-During a round in which more than one team has a bye (Rounds 4, 5, 6, 16, 19),

-Private head-to-head leagues will play 15 rounds; have five general byes and four rounds of finals.

-The number of players available in the squad has been increased from 30 to 33, with an additional emergency in the backline, midfield and forward line, but not in the ruck.

-With an additional three players allowed in a squad, the salary cap won’t rise, but player prices will drop.

-Each Supercoach will have an extra four trades, 24 for the season, with the ‘two per round’ rule still standing.

Once you take all that in, it doesn’t seem too complicated at all, not as much as it would’ve seemed with the addition of byes in Season 2011.

But what’s not simple, no matter what the rules say, is picking your backline. Usually the first part of your squad you pick, and, in my case, I generally splurge a lot in this area, and realise I need to cut back to allow some heavy scorers in other parts of the field. So, with 10 players to pick for the backline, let’s take a look at some possibilities:

Lock them in

Brendon Goddard (STK)

Averaged a massive 130.2 points in his 21 matches last year, making him the most valuable player for 2010, in Supercoach terms. One of the biggest price tags in the league. Definitely worth it, and a safe captain choice.

2010 SC Average: 130.2

Highest Score: 188

Lowest Score: 94

100’s: 18/21

Luke Hodge (HAW)

Was terrific early in 2010 when the Hawks were getting beaten, and put in a few soft games as their form improved in the second half of the season. That could’ve had something to do with injury taking its toll on him though. A ripper pre-season, and with many talking up Hawthorn’s chances for 2011, Hodge may take it to the next level.

2010 SC Average: 116.5

Highest Score: 156

Lowest Score: 62

100’s: 16/21

Buy with caution

Brian Lake (WBD)

Took his Supercoach capacity to a new level in 2010, but is getting on in age and that troublesome hip of his is telling. Accumulated some huge scores last season, and the loss of Jarrod Harbrow may see him play even more as a rebounding defender than a stopper. Once again, take into account his age and injury niggles which can hamper his game.

2010 SC Average: 104.5

Highest Score: 179

Lowest Score: 38

100’s: 13/22

Josh Drummond (BRIS)

Very injury-prone, but one of Brisbane’s most important players. Played 7 games in 2010, averaging 91.6, although that was hurt with his final two weeks of his season, where he scored lowly. If not for that, he would’ve averaged in the 100’s.

2010 SC Average: 91.6

Highest Score: 111

Lowest Score: 43

100’s: 4/7

Campbell Brown (GC)

A change of clubs may help Brown recapture some of his best form. Will be one of the oldest members of the Gold Coast SUNS lineup, and should slot straight into his back pocket position which he made his own in the 2008 season. Has the ability to pull off some big scores, and expect to see the ball in defence for the Gold Coast a lot next year. Brown will thrive on the challenge of being part of a new team to the AFL.

2010 SC Average: 70.9

Highest Score: 110

Lowest Score: 19

100’s: 2/16

Brad Symes (ADEL)

Hasn’t played a full season of football in his AFL career, so is a huge risk, but can be a big scorer. Didn’t miss a game from Round 12 last year, and posted some high scores, and is in the Crows best 22.

2010 SC Average: 86.6

Highest Score: 130

Lowest Score: 34

100’s: 3/11

Don’t think twice

Heath Grundy (SYD)

This no-frills defender has the ability to notch up some big scores, and with an added year of pre-season training, will want to impress under his new coach John Longmire. He’ll be sure to impress many of his fantasy coaches in 2011 as well.

2010 SC Average: 89.3

Highest Score: 137

Lowest Score: 30

100’s: 8/22

Nathan Bock (GC)

The SUNS first uncontracted signing from the Crows struggled with injury and consistency last season, but still shows why he was an All-Australian every now and then. Will be the anchor of the Gold Coast defence in their first year, and will get plenty of opportunities.

2010 SC Average: 83.2

Highest Score: 140

Lowest Score: 54

100’s: 4/13

Jarrod Harbrow (GC)

Another uncontracted signing by the SUNS, an effective rebounding defender who can score high on his day. Will be apart of an inexperienced mob, so will get plenty of chances. Starred in a top 4 side last year, so should really hit his straps at the new club.

2010 SC Average: 85.5

Highest Score: 120

Lowest Score: 42

100’s: 5/19

Greg Broughton (F)

Played the same amount of games as his debut season in 2009, and averaged exactly the same score. Mature-age draftee from a couple of years ago, gave the Fremantle defence some much needed drive, and is a high-possession winner. Goddard, Hodge and Broughton in your squad may be a bit too much.

2010 SC Average: 98.6

Highest Score: 144

Lowest Score: 53

100’s: 6/15

Value picks

Jack Grimes (M)

Future leader of the Demons, was struck down by injury in his third year. Big possession-accumulator and tackles well, will be close to a breakout year.

2010 SC Average: 88

Highest Score: 129

Lowest Score: 39

100’s: 4/14

Cameron Richardson (NM)

Traded to North Melbourne after being picked up by the Gold Coast, won the Roos’ time trial before Christmas, is a mature age draftee tipped to make a similar splash to what Michael Barlow did last year.

Josh Toy (GC)

If not pre-listed by the SUNS in 2009, would’ve gone in the top three in the draft that year. Has core strength, and likened to Brendon Goddard. Effectively a top three draft pick coming into his second season, should be ready to burst onto the scene.

Taylor Hunt (G)

Made his debut in the second half of the season last year, and played the final three games before being dropped for September. Knows how to break the lines and hit a target. Geelong will be looking to play the younger kids next season.

2010 SC Average: 54.4

Highest Score: 76

Lowest Score: 23

That should give you a good idea of who to pick for your defence in this year’s Supercoach. Of course, I didn’t name all the players I had in mind, I like to keep some of my secrets to myself.

Stay tuned for the midfield article!

About Josh Barnstable

21 year old North Melbourne supporter from country Victoria. Currently living in Melbourne studying a Bachelor of Sports Media. Dreams of becoming a sports journalist and broadcaster.


  1. hodge is not going to be a defender this season in SC
    and dont make an article if your not going to give away all your secrets
    ill give away mine instead for the readers who are also pissed off that you decide to create an article and not tell about everything you know:

    Adcock – has been injury prone, but is looking the goods now. Is capable of averaging 90+
    Otten – with the departure of Bock, retirements of goodwin and mcleod, there is a few spots open and plenty of game time to be had.
    Paul Puopolo – Mature aged rookie who ripped it up in the SANFL, is set to take Campbell Brown’s spot in the Hawthorn backline.
    Matthew Watson – Carlton’s first draft pick who is set to slot straight into the starting line up.
    Dyson Heppell – Same as Watson, but for Essedon.


  2. Don’t release my secrets!

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