This is the next of our submitted Club Dream Team Previews. Thanks to Luke 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!
Improving the young Eagles is going to be a tough gig for the coaching staff, but the bright side for finishing last in the season before is there is only room for improvement…or staying on the bottom of the ladder, improving the skills of the Eagles has been the major focus thus far and from Coaches Masten has been the standout, as he usually is. New coaches David Teague (backline) and Justin Longmuir (development) have fitted in well, with development coach Simon Eastaugh promoted to full-time. No injury blows for the Eagles just yet and all players are training besides Kerr, who is still only running laps and not with the main group. Anyway let’s get onto the player analysis, I have stated all the players that might get chosen in Coaches DTs, and hell there aren’t many so enjoy the read.
Beau Waters: Beau has returned back on to the AFL scene with a great season, the running backmen averaged 87.52 points last season with a massive score of 155 against Geelong. Though he did post up some lows of 49 and 52. Beau had 146 marks, which is the most marks one player had taken in the 2010 season at West Coast. Being a leader and possible future captain for the eagles we can expect Beau to improve his score and become a consistent DTer. Even though missing out on 2 years with shoulder injuries I believe Beau is over his woes and with another strong preseason will come out firing.
Shannon Hurn: His booming right foot is an asset for the eagles though Hurn is not so much the DTer as he is as a SCer. Hurn being a good defender doesn’t rack up the stats we want for some good scores, he averaged a meer 66.53. Hurn just isn’t a DTer so I would stay away.
Bradley Sheppard: pick no.7 for West Coast in the 2009 draft he had good debut year, though I can’t say the same DT wise, he debuted in round 7 and played all games until 20 where he got a shoulder injury. He averaged 57.21 points last season, so for now I’ll keep away, though still keep an eye on him for future seasons.
Blayne Wilson: The kid was All-Australian in 2009 and was expected to be a round 1 pick, but he had injured his groin and teams stayed away, so the eagles snagged him in the preseason draft. The best feature in Wilson’s game is his marking ability down in defence and is known to play like B.Lake, meaning great for DT. Though for now Eagles might’ve set in stone their starting defenders and I do not expect him to play all the games in 2011, though watch NAB and see what scores this kid can rack up, who knows he might start.
Adam Selwood: The oldest of the Selwood’s and he had flown under the radar in 2010. Adam averaged 92.06 from a disrupted season of 16 games. Though his first 5 games he averaged 103.8 and one of the scores was 130, nice Adam. Though do you see any upside in Adams game? Well I don’t, If you get him he is as unique as they get, though he has to be a keeper in your team because of that price tag he comes with, I’ll probably stay away.
Brad Ebert: Ebert has one of the ugliest kicks in the AFL, which is why he belongs at the Eagles, though Ebert knows how to earn the stats, meaning being pretty good at DT, he averaged 81.59 and being young he is still improving, though again Ebert hasn’t proven himself to be a keeper just yet, I’ll stay away.
Brad Dalziell: the big Dallas debuted at Brisbane in great action with an average of 94.7 from 7 games, but since his debut season his average has decreased to 80.2 in 2010. But after a season review Sumich said “We underestimated Bradd’s value to the side with his possessions and what he did do when he was playing,” Can Dalziell increase his DT average back up to 95? If he has a full preseason I say he will, and he is tearing up the track because of his elite stamina, which will be vital this season. Watch him preseason on how he goes, possible upgrade target.
Scott Selwood: The youngest of the Selwood’s had solidified his position in the Eagles starting 22 last season and averaged 70.1, yes it is a mediocre average though his last 5 games he averaged 94.2 and in these scores one of them was 131. 2011 could be his breakout year.
Luke Shuey: The shoe is the Eagles most highly rated youngster and hey the kid himself said he wants to be the best AFL footballer, that’s the determination we want. Shuey averaged 75 from 6 games, and he finished his last game with 102. He is coming into his 3rd year meaning a possible great improvement in his average, though he has only played 6 games in 2 seasons, and his first season he sat out injured. Does he even fit the requirements coming under the third year rule? If you get Shuey he will give you good scores and will be a good cash cow, though 2 years of injury plague scares him away from other coaches, are you willing to take the risk? We’ll wait and see until the preseason.
Andrew Gaff: pick no.4, wearing the no. 3 at the Eagles, could he be the next Judd? Gaffy averaged 113.3 at the TAC cup, yes those numbers are “delicious”. He is the ball magnet for this year’s draft and has massive potential. He is aiming for round 1 though it might be tough to crack being he has to compete with senior players that are another 15kg heavier than him. Yes Gaff is only 78 kg and at 6’0 he is very tiny. Though that is the only worry with Gaff, he is efficient with his disposals and has a massive engine, I would say a definite lock if he starts round 1.
Dean Cox: had an interrupted 2010 preseason though he played out all of 2010 which is what a DT coach wants. People say having Naitanui will lower Cox’s score though I must disagree, this will help Coxy become more durable through the season because he is sharing duties, and he will play more forward. Cox averaged 84.73 and scored the most DT points in the ruck position. Coxy should improve his average to 95 because of a great finish to the year with his last 3 games avergaing 95, and we know what Coxy can do. I believe choosing Cox over Sandilands is a wiser choice because of the fact of a back up ruckmen making Coxy more durable over Sandilands, for me he is a Lock.
Nic Naitanui: Nic Nat played out all of 2010 which is a plus for the future, exposure to AFL will only give Nic Nat more experience and make him a better AFL player. He averaged 61.9 in his second season, meaning 2011 is his 3rd and possible great improvement. Though I will assume that this will not happen being a ruckmen and still a little naive in the football world, he still need improving.
Mark LeCras: OO AHH Mark Lecras, the mighty Frenchmen is the probably the best player on the Eagles roster. Though being a pure forward means major inconsistent scores with a 176 in round 16 and a 41 in round 9. LeCras averaged 76.05 from 21 games, and the Eagles are still raving about putting him in the midfield this season which will improve his consistency and score, and having interchange rules changed he will more likely play some midfield. Though if you go with LeCras you will be stuck with him all season with the great and not so great.
Josh Kennedy: JK has proven himself for being a handy HF in the first halve of 2010 but his stats and amazing accuracy had decreased till seasons end. JK averaged 70.86 this seasons and I do not see much improvement until the Eagles midfield will improve, which will be awhile. I’ll pass on JK this season.
Callum Wilson: Wilson had doubts on his AFL career coming to his 3rd rookie season and not cracking a senior game. Then came the final 3 games of the season and boy he proved to be on the senior roster kicking 8 goals in those 3 games and averaging 75.67 and by doing so the Eagles promoted him to the senior list. Wilson is competing for FF against Lynchy and right now he is beating him, Wilson his surprisingly tearing it up this preseason on the rack with surprising stamina. If you choose Wilson I say wouldn’t let you down averaging 70 and being a great cash cow in the forward, I’ll keep an eye on him in the preseason.
Jack Darling: the infamous bad boy from WA, he too was in all Australian 2009 and was expected to be top 5, actually I think it was top 3, but some injury complaints restrained his 2010 season making him perform average, some say in 2009 he was the biggest and now the other teens had caught up in 2010 making him not perform as strongly as he did in 2009. He averaged 102.5 in Colts but in the WAFL he averaged 68.5. Darlings body and frame is definitely ready for AFL though he isn’t going to pump out big numbers yet, though Darling will be handy for the bench, he is also aiming for round 1 and I’m expecting him to meet those expectations, watch NAB for his form.