This is the next of our submitted Club Dream Team Previews. Thanks to Sylvinator 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!
The majority of the top DTers in the AFL come from teams that win consistently. While Melbourne may have languished down the bottom of the ladder the last 3-4 years, if you believe that Melbourne will be a big improver this season, then it might be time to jump on a couple of demons. Melbourne also has a multi-round bye, which is really good if you’re going for a league win. Melbourne is a team on the rise, and there are a few really terrific DT options.
First I’ll only focus on the potential premium demons worth considering
Jack Grimes: Grimes averaged 82 in 2010, which was his 3rd season of AFL (down on 89 in 2009). There are many reasons to consider Grimes. Firstly, he’s been training with the defenders this pre-season. While this may sound like a bad thing, it definitely isn’t. Last season Bruce played the loose roaming half-back role. With Bruce gone and Grimes the only demon backman with quality disposal, that position is his to own. At his best, Grimes will have 10+ marks every game (most of them chips in the backline) and a very high kick to handball ratio. He has had injury troubles, but in an interview with 3AW last week he said his back and hamstring were feeling great and that he had trained the entire summer unhindered. Touch wood, hopefully that means he is over his injury troubles. In my opinion, if Grimes plays a full season there is absolutely no doubt he will average 90+. To put that in perspective, last season only 7 defenders averaged above 90 (Goddard, Hodge, Lake, Gilbert, Scotland, Enright and Kelly). My prediction is that Grimes will finish in the top 5 overall defenders. Therefore, he should be in your team by the end of the year!
There is no one from Melbourne that you should be seriously considering as a premium midfielder. Tom Scully (79 average) and Jack Trengove (76 average) will improve, but are too awkwardly priced. None of Moloney, Davey, Jones or McKenzie are what you should be looking for. Morton is a potential guy, if he has a break out season he could average 85+, but still not worth looking at.
Colin Sylvia: Sylvia is now probably Melbourne’s best DTer. He has averaged 95 and 96 in the past 2 seasons, and is only getting better. He is in the peak of his career, he tackles, marks, kicks goals. There is really no down side in picking him. He has proven in the last 2 seasons that he scores well even when the demons are losing consistently, and it is fair to assume that as the team improves, it will only make it easier for him to score. Another plus is that Davey always gets the number 1 tag. Sylvia is essentially a goal kicking midfielder, and the fact he’s listed as a forward is something that should definitely be taken advantage of. I think he will average 100 this year easily. Last season, only 1 forward (Chapman) averaged 100+. Only 10 other players averaged 90+. He will finish the season with the second best average of the forwards and therefore is a must have.
Brad Green: Green is a gun player and is not slowing down at 29. He averaged 98.5 in 2010, and will probably average about the same in 2011. He kicks goals and assuming the demons win more games, this should help his average. He also goes into the midfield if he has been out of the play for a while, so it is rare for him to have a real stinker. Will be in the top 10 forwards by season’s end so worth considering.
Ricky Petterd: I actually would advise strongly against Petterd. He is a really exciting player, but has never been a natural DTer. He doesn’t have a high possession game, and you will get frustrated when you see he’s kicked 4 goals from 8 disposals. He will be priced around 65, and won’t average above 80 in my opinion. There are much better options out there.
Mark Jamar: not worth looking at. All Australian in 2010 with an average of 73. Won’t improve on that average.
ROOKIE PRICED PLAYERS
I wouldn’t be looking at any 2010 draftees. 4 Key position players, doubtful they will play early on and wouldn’t be point getters either.
The two players I’m looking at as rookies are Luke Tapscott and Sam Blease. Both will play plenty of senior games if fit. Both didn’t play their first couple of seasons due to injury. Both first round picks very highly rated by the club. Tapscott will average 75 if he plays- ready-made afl body.