Old coot or Vintage crop?

Funny things start happening to a man when he turns 30… his hair begins to recede, his appeal to the ladies starts to lessen and with that comes a period of reflection. He starts to complain about the music of today and usually starts most sentences with the line “Back in my day….” Or “Remember the time when…..”

When it comes to footballers there is a stigma attached to players that have turned or are about to turn 30. Most DT’ers will start fazing them out for fear of injury or form drop but is it really warranted? Not everyone can be Dustin Fletcher or Craig Bradley but mere mortal elder statesmen can still serve a purpose. With everyone going on about a changing of the DT guard this year I thought I’d take a look at some of the fantasy relevant geriatrics* to see if there is any DT life left in them before they get shipped off to the old folk’s home.

*Geriatrics being players born in 1982 or earlier.

Jonathan Brown

After averaging 110 in 2006 Brown has since hovered around the 80-90 mark.  Probably doesn’t put him in the premium range but he does seem to have bursts where he will score a block of 100’s in a row, if you can time that he can be a winner. Priced at a 67 average he is surely cheap enough and has put in a strong pre-season but can the kamikaze Brown put together a solid year for DT coaches? Not for me.

Heath Scotland

Scotland has already shown he isn’t too old to go out at 2am and get in punch ons but how about matters on the field? Since averaging 104 in 2006 he has hovered around the high 80’s and 90’s ever since. Last year he came in at 99 which is elite for a defender. He is durable too, only missing a handful of games in the past 8 years and he plays a DT friendly game just mooching ball off half back, can he continue this year? I think so but will I buy him? Not for me, a few other options appeal more.

Matthew Pavlich

For so long he has been the talisman at Freo, dragging them into games and being a DT genius along the way. He has been very durable over the journey, missing 9 games in a decade and averaging 90’s each year along the way. Last year he started to show some signs of inconsistency with big differences between scores, one week 100 one week 60, this to me means he is finished as a fantasy prospect.  Big watch on what the new coach has in mind for him but In any case, not for me.

Aaron Sandilands

Big Sandi is a DT champ, for years on end he was first picked but for some reason this year people are going off and looking at younger ruckmen. This may even put Big Sandi in the ‘unique’ category. But why? Well I guess carrying that huge frame around has to be a strain on the lower joints and the turf toe incident is still fresh in the mind, added to this are rumours that the new coach may allow the old man a little rest by playing a second ruckman….. is this enough to scare you off? If so just remember he is 211cm tall and gets 1pt taps at will…… the choice is yours.

Paul Chapman

Once an angry little man Chappy has mellowed slightly in old age, and it seems his hammies have also become less highly strung over time too. For years Chappy has been THE risk reward pick for coaches, He would always smash out big scores but it was just a matter of when the soft tissue injury would strike. In the past 2 years he has clocked up 20 and 21 games so he does seem to be getting more reliable with age. Since 2006 he has consistently averaged in the 100-110s and even last year ended on 102. Chappy is the prime player that coaches are thinking of trading out for the younger models in your Martins, Beams and Zakas….. Will you stay on for the old man ride? Again he isn’t for me but he could be a winning pick for others.

Joel Corey

Once a part of the much vaunted ABC midfield Corey has lost currency in recent years. He had 3 years averaging in the 100s but then the knee injury kicked in and he followed up with 2 years in the 90s, ending last year at an average of 92. He is probably still too expensive to take a risk on but if he could get back to pre-injury form he would be a good unique buy.

Corey Enright

Another veteran cat that remains a viable option because he is a back. He has missed 4 games since 2006 so is a durable player and plays a DT friendly type of game. He has averaged around 90 for the past 6 years including last years 91.9. But for a player who makes some huge scores he also makes some smaller ones also and this makes me not fully trust him with a place in my team. I don’t think age will weary him this year; I’ll call it another 90 ave.

Sam Mitchell

Sam is just one out of the box; he is one of the rare players that continue to get better with age. He is a master around the clearances and loves a little mark, chip kick, handball receive, kick combo. Sam averaged 90’s for 4 years then kicked it up into the 100s for the next 2 years, following the loss of the captaincy he ramped it up to 112 last year and was close to must have. I don’t see him slowing up in a possession friendly hawk unit, there is not a lot of risk in this pick… old man or not he is a DT gun.

Brad Green

Since 2006 Green was a solid high 80’s to high 90’s average and was usually a solid unique pick however he was given the captaincy and really stunk it up last year with the weight of the world on his shoulders. This leaves him priced at a 77 average this year and we are all wondering if the loss of the captaincy can do for him what it did for Sam Mitchell. Big watch during the NAB for Green in an improving Melbourne team.

Brent Harvey

Boomer is another who has lost the captaincy and we wait with baited breath to see if it can improve his average in previous years. He has been an out and out gun over a long career, he averaged solid mid 90s most years but last year stated to show signs of age with an 88. He still had some big scores but they were mixed with far too many small ones as well. As with Pavlich the inconsistency is a worry and I reckon he is gone as a DT’er. Could be a unique pick for others with balls though!

Drew Petrie

Big Drew took the league by storm at times last year, he is a huge unit and he used it to full effect scoring ten 100’s and coming from a 50 average to an 87 average. With a full year under his belt can he back it up and boost the average up enough to justify a spot on your team? It’s a bit of a roller coaster with Drew, he will score huge or score nothing, if you’re a league player he may win you a few games off his own boot..(Or lose). Tough to have this year at full price.

Chris Newman

The tiger’s captain is a strange one; he hovers around the mark of being DT relevant but doesn’t quite get there. He generally averages high 70’s to low 80’s but I’m having a sneaky look at him this year for one reason. The tiges have drafted a couple of defenders and Newman has been seen training in the midfield group this pre-season. He has elite disposal and could be a go to man for the forward entry, if this happens I could see him having an old man spike in his scoring, from last year’s 77 to ?. That’s the big question I’m wrestling with.

Lenny Hayes

The heart and soul of the saint’s midfield Hayes has always been a solid pick that generates a lot of points via tackles. In a game that is stoppage heavy these days I reckon that will keep Hayes DT relevant for a few years to come. He had been averaging low 100’s for two years until last year’s knee reco stopped him at an average of 86. Is bargain priced if he can get back to the Lenny of old, can he do it?

Nick Riewoldt

Big Nick had a stinker last year in so many ways. Since 2006 he has averaged high 90’s with one year in the 100’s but he ended last year on 84 after a series of on and off field events that stopped any momentum he had been building. I think this guy is a pure professional and I fully expect him to come out this year and prove a lot of people wrong. He will be in my team.

Sam Fisher

Another of the ageing Saints who probably flatters to deceive in a DT sense. He has averaged mid 80’s for 5 years now and will probably continue to do so. He has a great disposal so gets used as a quarterback type; this can lead to him being often tagged out of games. But he generally plays a loose style of game which means old age shouldn’t stop him.

Adam Goodes

Another gun of the competition; Goodes may be old, but he certainly doesn’t play old. He is still the fastest player on the Swans list so while he keeps his pace, he will keep scoring points as he does the familiar burst away from a stoppage or spring at a mark. He has been averaging high 90’s for the past few years and he NEVER misses games.I think you can continue to pick him with confidence. Let all the people who worry about being 30 not pick him…it’s their loss.

Ryan O’keefe

To be honest I haven’t picked him for a few years because I’ve been expecting him to slow with age but he just keeps on keeping on. He averaged 93 last year and I missed out, I won’t pick him again this year and I hope it doesn’t burn me again, surely he can’t keep gong the same way can he?

Dean Cox

Cox is in the same bracket as Sandi, people seem to be overlooking him for a younger model but jeez! This guy IS the archetypical DT ruckman! He got the ball rolling for everything we want to see in a ruckman. He pumped out a 107av last year and has topped the 100 in three other season. Realistically there are only 2 reasons why you are not picking him. 1: He’s too expensive or 2: NicNat is coming.  Ignore Cox at your peril….he is experienced, he is a gun and he knows what it’s all about, you’ll be watching WCE games through the gaps in your fingers as he racks up cheap ball all over the vast wings at Subi. Do you really want that stress?

Matthew Boyd

Another veteran, another gun. Like Mitchell he has been a bit of a slow burning type whose average is getting higher every year. He backed up a 115av in 2010 with a 116 last year and who’s to say he can’t do it again? He is fairly unobtrusive, he just burrows away doing his job then at the end of the day you find out he has had a million touches. Pricey but worth it if he fits your structure.

Brian Lake

Our last old timer is Brian Lake…. Back in my day he was called Harris. Lake is coming off a horror year where he had issues with his body and the coach. He has slowly built up his average to a 99 in 2010 but ended last year on 51. He is dirt cheap so if you think he can bring his score back up to past averages take him, in reality the 99av in 2010 was one out of the box, His previous best before that was 81, and that’s probably about the best you can expect from him now. If that’s enough for you jump on, it’s still a fair whack for your money spent.

So there’s a few of our elder statesmen. Are you scared off by the magic 30 number? Are you going through a rebuilding year and bringing in the kids or are you sticking fat with the tried and true? How many veterans are you going in with?

 

59 Comments

  • I currently have 6 of these guys… I cant help it im old school and still find it hard to pass up a couple dt guns just cause there 30.

  • At this stage I have about 8 of these guys and will probably finish with at least another 3 of them barring injury.

  • Good write up. Goodes has been in and out of my team so many time already. Might put him back in now

  • I have 6 of them as well, all be it because 4 of them seem like value atm

  • Put me down for 5 (& Old McDonald.)

  • Excellent topic. People overlook these players because they’re ‘old’, like they’re at risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s or something. Almost all of them are genuine options. You’d be silly to discount them because of their age. It isn’t as if Pav or Sandi are about to get dropped in favour of a youth policy, is it?

  • Wow at all the people who have loads of these oldies. I have none- Brown and Scotland were in my team for a fairly long period earlier in the pre-season- but none for me at the moment. Too much risk for old players, while their younger counterparts can smash it with less risk.

  • Ahh my eyes. Some things can’t be unseen!

  • pav just smashed his pb for the 3km time trial by 20 seconds so obviously is as fit as he’s ever been. Am tossing up between him and nvoldt. What would you guys do? I could also go neither and just get buddy but I don’t honestly think he’ll top his 101 av from last year. thoughts?

  • Cox, Lake, Sandi, Brown, McDonald, Chapman and maybe Volt and will look to upgrade to Boyd throughout the year..

  • Great article Adzy !!

    Looking forward to all the Coxless coaches cringing!

    • I bet you took the photo and sent to Adzman. I frown on male nudity unless I can laugh at Riewoldt

  • Got 4 myself, maybe one or 2 more depending on nab cup…which is next weekend people!!!!!, can’t friggin wait :)

  • What’s Warnie doing in the far right?

  • got 5 of them so far…

    most of these guys have proven they can score! alot of these younger blokes we talk of havent proven them self for more than a season… i see picking up too many of these younger blokes that are meant to step it up this year another notch as a risky move.

    i reckon a good blend of the 2 is the shot… well thats what im planning on doing!
    i will have a goodes/brown in fwds, but i will also have martin and gray (at this stage i have gray anyway – may change)

    seen lots of teams with beams/martin/zaha and side arse in the one fwd line…
    this is not for me… need a buddy and goodes for stability…

    • thanks adzman, talked me into going with reiwoldt. hope i’m not cursing your name in 3 months…got lake and now i’ve got gilberts flash too!!

    • goodes early draw will be very tasty for those of us that have him :0) no 1st half season jitters this year from the champ

  • I’ve got only 1. Last year I picked Cameron Bruce who had a brilliant record of durability and consistancy, but then … enough said!

  • Thank you for this wake up call although I really did not need it that much cause I am a 40 year old coot and have 6 of these in my side anyway.

    Another premium article thank you Adzman thanks

  • Great article…. Looking at a few of these guys at the moment. While age is totally a relevant factor like you mentioned some of these guys don’t show any signs of stopping. Will be hard pressed not to take some of these proven stars over a few of the newer supposed guns.

  • Cox, Chappy, Hayes, Voldt and Brown for me. Cox is the only ruckman coming off a 100+ average, Chappy played injured last year (said he felt the team was “carrying” him) and was still the 2nd highest averaging forward, Hayes is good for at least a 95 average and a steal at his price, Voldt had a shocker last year and still managed to average 90, and Brown is doing one of his first full preseasons ever and is priced well below his capabilities. All absolute locks for me.

  • 773507

    join 4 spots left really strong league so far so join for a quality challenge!!

  • Got 4 of these guys atm (Brown, Voldt, Goodes, Sandi) and possibly Pav & Cox depending on NAB Cup.

  • Great article!
    Cant believe so many people have written off Scotland(will be in top 7 defenders), Cox, Pavlich, O’Keefe, Chapman, Riewoldt and Boyd. These guys have been DT Guns for years now and in the space of one off season theyve all been written off! Just crazy…

    • agreed – scottland in my backline since end of last season…
      i cant believe players arent considered even after having a ripper season last year (cox/goodes/ROK/Boyd etc)

      crazyness…

    • i wouldn’t put boyd into that category, people just can’t fit him into there midfields atm

    • At that price tho you’d want him to finish higher than top 7. I haven’t forked out $600k for swan to hopefully finish top 7….

  • Well, today’s music does suck…

  • Is Recce Conca a good pick for the backline?

  • Good read. Johnno and Coxey for me.

  • No consideration given to Johncock (adel). Hearing nothing negative to steer me away. He is underpriced….so why not?

    • Why is he underpriced? he is only that cheap because he is crap, old man who averaged 69 last year and is only getting older and worse, sure snap him up for a 65 average go for it!

  • Good article, got 5 of these all in positions where I’m looking for solid consistency throughout the season.

    …and the Bull says to the Steer:

    “No…, let’s ‘walk’ down there and do them all!”

  • What is everones plans for the bye’s???
    i see alot of talk about not picking certain ruckmen because of round 11 or something?
    whats going on here.
    Late pre season, im only 4 days into it. I think i have missed something

  • Goodes, Voldt, Brown, 211, Scotland. (Thompson, McDonald)
    Tempted with Hayes.. Hope for our sake he’s thrown into NAB games
    Maybe Lake just for lack of defenders exciting me.

  • Here is a S/coach league for anyone who wants to try and knock me off my perch…….:-)

    Name…. [Lets Dance] Code ….507986

  • Pav inconsistant? Are you serious? The bloke had 2 scores below 80 last year (excluding the 27 he got when he was injured) and you label him inconsistant, do some research before you write an article mate.

  • only got 3 here, and 2 ov em are fairly unique