This is the next of our submitted Club Dream Team Previews. Thanks to Tony Connors for sending this one in! You will receive a stubby holder and if your article is one of the two that gets the most Facebook “Likes’ (just above this blurb), you’ll get yourself an AFL Prospectus! Read on!
Few clubs have given as many cash cow to keeper stories over the last few years as the Dockers. The names of these guys are well known and now revered by all who worship at the feet of the DT Gods. With a string of nice surprises, many might think that the days of Docker Delights (DD’s) are gone for the moment.
Well if you’re thinking that, I’d like you to stick with that thought because you’re wrong. Wronger than a porno starring Warnie and Bronwyn Bishop. And if you’re that wrong then you’ll be down the bottom of the ladder. As you can see below, there may be a couple more DD’s for you to enjoy this year.
The Freo gameplan lends itself to decent DT scoring. It’s not the Thompson Cats “everyone gets a touch before we kick a goal” game plan, but it’s good enough. The other reason to cast a solid eye over the Dockers list is because Harvey loves playing the kids. If you’re on the list, you’ve got a pair of boots and some cement in your nut sack then you’ll get a go. The obvious bonus here is that this leads to cash cows.
So, who’s worth a look this year at Freo?
Greg Broughton – will likely spend some decent time in the midfield this year. Hayden’s injury might impact this early but I’m betting this guy will see plenty of the middle. With GB you know what you’ll get and you’ll like it.
Paul Duffield – solid scorer without lighting it up like the real big guns. He won’t let you down. No mystery about his role at all. What you saw last year, is what you’ll get this year.
Mid Range Bargains
Dylan Roberton – hard running, long, lanky kid with all the tools of your Sam Gilbert type. I don’t think he’s a good pick yet but he could well break out at some point throughout the year. Watchlist him.
Garrick Ibbotson is worth putting on your watchlist as well. He will have an expanded role this year. Other than these 2, you’ll find better mid-range options at other clubs.
Nick Lower – DD ALERT!!!! He’s mature, he’s got some runs on the board and he is an accumulator with sound skills. As they say in the racing form books, do not discount. Expect him to be elevated for Mora near the beginning of the season.
Peter Faulks – He hasn’t been bought in to stash in the WAFL. Like Silvagni last year he’s been bought in to play. Also like Silvagni he probably won’t score big for you but he’s worth a look for some solid coin/coverage.
Mikey Barlow – Not the first, but definitely the best DD. Don’t start the year with him, but he’ll be a potential upgrade target later on. They’re expecting him back at about Rd 3-5 and he should come in a little slowly before bouncing all the way back closer to the middle of the year.
Mid Range Bargains
Rhys Palmer – sceptics abound with Rhys but make no mistake, he will do every bit as well as Luke Ball did for people last year, possibly better. I’m lucky enough to be in Freo a lot and have seen plenty of training and he has KILLED it so far. Not having him in your team is understandable, rejecting him without consideration is dumber than a drunken Fev. Roy suggested that Brock McLean is worth a look, this nearly turned Deck of DT in to Dick of DT. I guarantee you that RP will slaughter BMcL in scoring this year. If I’m wrong the next time we’re in the same city Roy can boot me in the arse. (Trust me, he’s lining you up already)
Garrick Ibbotson – as mentioned he is worth watching but I think there are better options than Garrick.
Stephen Hill – I don’t think DT is his go just yet. He’ll pound out an increasing number of good scores but he won’t be your consistent high scorer just yet. Better options exist at his price or below.
Jesse Crichton – if FF is right then he’s priced very nicely for someone who is highly likely to play the majority of games. He’s no Micky B but he could give you a Bastinac/Howlett type return. Give him a look in the NAB. He’s nippy, has good skills, loves a tackle and follows the ball around like a Border Collie on crack.
Aaron Sandilands – He is almost a sure thing to lead your rucks for the entire year. His time in the ruck is likely to diminish this year, but I don’t believe this will greatly affect his scoring as he’ll rest up forward and it will likely reduce any silly little durability concerns. If you don’t think about putting him in, you’re not thinking at all.
Matty Pav – will be considered by everyone this year as always. My concern with Pav is I think his huge scoring days are gone but his low scoring days will always be there, as they are with anyone. This is linked with his role and Freo’s desire to become less predictable and harder to contain. Too much reliance on Pav will hurt the team and the game plan reflects that. Less reliance will mean less massive days.
Mid Range Bargains
Hayden Ballantyne – yeah, you hate him. But he’s no Stevie Milne. He’s also no Alan Didak so he won’t pump out a 90+ average. He is likely to be nicely priced, he will play every game (when he’s fit) and he will get you some very nice scores. With Frodo it’ll all be in the timing of the trade. Wait to see if he’s fit in the NAB first though. If not then there are much better options.
Nat Fyfe – Avatar is my pick for the “Player Most Likely” this year. His running program indicates they want him near the ball this year. He’s handling the extra km’s as easily as I handle the last donut in the office. He’s got skills, guts and he’s proven he can score. Barring injury I don’t think those that pick him will get rid of him this year.
John Anthony – not my cup of tea but again, if FF is close then he is worth a look at that price. Few guys are guaranteed to play all games in that price range but JA is and he may make some decent coin for those who take a punt.
Michael Johnson – I mention him to warn you off. I think he is the perfect sub guy for this team and that means DT trouble. I may be proven wrong, and I think he’ll be handy as buggery for Freo in that role, but he’s a Red Alert for DT coaches in my view.
Tendai Mzungu – DD ALERT!!!!! Muzz could be a keeper with his skills and his tank. He played the Luke Hodge HBF role for the Demons in the WAFL and racked them up. Obviously he’s not in that class and is not going to score that high (probably) but he will play and he will score. The key for this guy is that he has very good foot skills and can run all day. That means plenty of DT action.
Josh Mellington – I don’t see where he fits in but he is training very well and has impressed more than just the casual observers. Keep an eye on him as a potential downgrade because I think he’s got everything that Harvey likes and is likely to play at some stage.
Casey Sibosado – Another potential downgrade target. I don’t think he’ll play early or often but he may be a nice downgrade later in the year. If he does crack a game it’ll be down back.