Yesterdays Heroes

I have worn a favourite pair of undies until my wife found them in the wash and remembered she bought them in 1996.  It is in our nature to hang on to things too long.

This time of year we seem to keep three things too long.  Our Christmas ham, (We paid $50 God dam it!) unwanted presents from our WAG’s, we are too gutless to admit we don’t like, and aging Dreamteam stars.

We get attached to a player that has been a mainstay of our Dreamteam for the past few years and we talk ourselves into giving him one more year.  We are as desperate to hang on to him as Sehwag is to hang onto his hair!

For those of us over 30, experience tells us that we can’t do the things we did when we were 20.  Ok, we still have the desire, the ability but somehow we seem to ‘pull things’ at the most inopportune time.  Hamstrings and calves are the most common ailments however some of us even seem prone to the odd strained heart muscle.

At first glance, 2012 looks to be a year for the younger stars to breakout and take up the mantle of premiums in most teams.  Taking a look at a lot of early teams there are many second, third and fourth year players that are in vogue.

Ruckman are maturing earlier with the advent of the Sub Rule in 2011 and Leuenberger, Goldstein, McEvoy, Mumford, Jacobs, Natanui and Kruezer are all replacing the likes of Cox, Sandilands, Jolly and Hille in many teams.

Except for illegal downloading, porn and social media sites, premium midfielders are a Dreamteam coach’s most prized possession.  These days young guns like Rockliff, Redden, (no not Port Adelaide’s ruckman), Shiels, Beams and Fyfe all sit comfortably amongst the top 20 priced midfielders.

The decision that you need to make is are you prepared to pay the premium prices for these young stars and their possible inconsistency or are you looking to consolidate your team with your tried and true veterans.

I want to look at 3 players who are not quite in the Dad’s Army but depending on opinion, may be either a unique aging pick or as popular as Justin Bieber is with Generation X.

Matthew Pavlich

Pav has been a permanent fixture of my Dreamteam for as long as I can remember.  He takes marks, has a high kick to handball ratio, kicks goals and seems to be able to smell opponents coming (gratuitous nose joke).  Pav is on the wrong side of 30 but has averaged 102, 99.92,92 and 94 over the past 5 years.  He is relatively injury free and had spent his time roaming between midfield and forward.  He is Fremantle’s version of James Hird, a ‘Mr Wherever we need you’.  I believe Pav will play as a permanent forward in 2012 which could see his numbers even improve.   Normally more midfield times equates to increased scoring however with Pav, more marks and more goals could play in his favour.  If Fremantle had a decent midfield over the past 10 years Pavlich could possibly been the dominant forward of the last decade.  An added advantage of selecting Pav is his DPP, however he shares his bye with many other forward locks in most teams.

Paul Chapman

Like Pav, Chappy is on the worst side of 30.  Unlike Pav, he has been troubled with soft tissue injuries for the last few years.  Chappy’s hamstrings have been a constant talking point in the Fantasy community however over the last 5 years he has played 19, 19, 20, 24 and 23 games.  Are these the numbers of an old man?  DPP has been maintained in 2012 and with only 2008 being the only year Chappy has averaged fewer than 100 he is surely a lock in any serious team for 2012.  Geelong has always been a great Dreamteam scoring team and I can see this continuing for the foreseeable future.  Just don’t whack anyone Chappy!

Heath Scotland

I would like to first state that I have never had Heath in my Dreamteam.  Secondly, if you haven’t realised yet, I have never won the car!  Scotland will be 32 during the 2012 season however his numbers over the past few years have been as steady as any veteran.  100, 90, 86, 93 and 100 are his last 5 year averages.  I love the fact that the Blues are still improving and he can play the classic DT slut role of unaccountable link man without a tagger worry in the world.  Scotland is almost the invisible Dreamteamer.  Bryce Gibbs has been the Blues player most coaches chose last year as along with Duigan as our rookie and the bye weeks, no-one except avid Carlton fans had Scotland in the picture.  I know I could’ve used a 100 average out of a defender last year.  There is no reason why Scotland’s numbers will decrease in 2012.

There are so many other aging stars that haven’t got a mention.  The likes of Corey Enright, Adam Goodes, Luke Ball, Ryan O’Keefe, Simon Black, Dean Cox, Brent Harvey and Nick Riewoldt might all again be worthwhile picks in 2012.  All of the aforementioned were members of my successful teams of 2009 and 2010.

This year, some hard decisions will need to be made.  My Dreamteam selection will be easy.

Throwing out that old pair of jocks, well, that is my issue to contend with.

Who are your favourite ‘Old timers’ that you will be going with in 2012?

10 Comments

  • Adam Goodes and Ryan O’Keefe I think have become the forgotten men of DT, which is strange because neither of them has missed a beat in ten years.

    I think the whole ‘over 30’ thing is a massive overstatement – players like Pavlich, Chapman, Enright and Hayes aren’t going to become peripheral players in their sides any time soon.

  • i wouldn’t say that scotland hasn’t got a tagger worry in the world.

    • Yeah, he copped the tag from a defensive forward a couple of times last year which lowered his output. Not often though.

  • Great article Big Stu.

    Being on the wrong side of 30 myself I can see how it must get harder for these blokes to get out of bed (especially if you’ve got a smokin hot missus like Pav does)!

    I’m rolling the dice with Hayes this year myself.

    • My Dream Teaming has gone downhill since I turned 30. Was in my prime at 27-28.

    • Lenny is one of my favorite players.

      He has guts beyond belief and is very tempting with his discounted price.

      I will be stoked if he returns and is the Hayes of old but I will just be watching as a fan, not as a coach.

  • Damn I was 16 when ‘Yesterdays Hero’s’ came out, most of you were not even a twinkle in the old mans eye. Luved the sharpie chicks, treads, staggers…I digress!

    All the guys that have been mentioned, and will be mentioned, can play and give out big scores, soft tissue and age do play a big part in such a contact sport as footy, but the young ones can just as easily get struck down.

    Agree with you Giant, Riewoldt, Brown, O’Keefe, Pavlich etc have much to offer our teams

  • things started to go downhill for me when i realised my afl idols were 10 years younger then me…it just dosent seem right!

  • Will N Riewoldt strike back or is he finished as a DT man?

    • Good question. I don’t think he’s a spent force. However, I don’t have him in my team at this point in time..