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Deck of Dream Team

Toby Greene – Deck of Dream Team 2013

19 games, a total of 539 disposals, 63 tackles and a whopping 1828 Dream Team Points in his debut year – all at the age of 18. I am of course talking about the GWS ball-magnet Toby Greene. Read on to see why he is one of the few second-year players you must consider.

Name: Toby GreeneGreene
Club: Greater Western Sydney
Position: Midfield
Assistant Coach 2013 Price: $495,700
Bye Round: 11
2012 Average: 96.2
2012 Games Played: 19
Predicted Average: 103

Why should I pick him?

Before I go into anything, it must be said – Toby Greene is an absolute jet! 19 games, a total of 539 disposals, 63 tackles and a whopping 1828 Dream Team Points in his debut year – all at the age of 18! He is without a doubt (in my mind) one of the best bottom aged first year players (statistically) in a long time, racking up an average of 96.2 DT points per game in 2012 – including a premium-esque 110 from Rounds 15-23!

With a total of 8 x 100+ scores, including 4 of 120+ and a high of 146, his ability to score (and score well) has already been demonstrated. Sure he had a few scores under 80 (low of 50) however these were primarily in the first half of the year and were in games GWS were belted in (Scored 50 in their 81-point loss to West Coast, 54 in the 92-point thrashing by Brisbane and 72 when trounced by Geelong in R8). With general improvement and a lower chance of being thrashed in their second year, Greene’s lower scores should be fewer and farther between in 2013 as GWS look to improve on a debut season that brought them the wooden-spoon.

Now to something more positive – with all the talk coming from Ŝkoda Stadium that Toby is training the house down in an effort to better his first year, it’s easy to get excited about this pocket rocket from GWS. On a mission to get ‘stronger and fitter and faster’, Greene is improving his strength and endurance – exemplified by him winning the club’s opening 3km time trial. Sidenote: When a player is being pulled up by coaching staff to ‘pull back’ in the preseason, you know that they’re in for a special year. We could be witnessing the start of something amazing here.

Green keen to avoid second-year blues

Also, with higher profile teammates Ward, Scully, Coniglio, Shiel and Whitfield likely to cop most of the attention by their opposition, Greene should once again fly under the radar similar to the way Dayne Beams did in 2012 at Collingwood. Given Greene’s reasonably low disposal efficiency (65% with 4.3 clangers per game) compared to Ward (70 and 2.5), Scully, (71 and 3.1) and Treloar (74 and 2.5) – teams will be more likely to shut down one of the others, leaving Toby to throw himself under packs and rack of possessions until he’s black and blue (and trust me, he would if he could – the kid loves a challenge). And remember, this is DT, not SC – so those kinds of things simply do not matter!

Finally, whilst not overly relevant to his performance: Greene’s player number has now been upgraded from #35 to the previously Israel Folau-owned jumper #4. Aside from being my personal favourite number, this shows that he is very highly rated at the club and will be a fixture inside its best 21 for some time to come. So unlike many up-and-coming players on their list, Toby is a sure thing to be on the team sheet from round 1. Lock him in at M4 or 5 in your team and enjoy the ride!

Folau’s number up, so Greene takes over

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

Browsing his stats from his debut year, one thing I noticed was Greene had a pretty low kick:handball rating for a pure midfielder (1.02:1) – with many stars such as Swan (1.56), Dangerfield (1.35) and Ablett (1.41) recording elite numbers reflecting their DT dominance. Although this argument isn’t as compelling when you consider that the likes of Beams (1.05), Boyd (1.08) and Pendlebury (1.04) have recorded similar numbers to Greene whilst still managing premium averages in excess of 110. So long as he keeps racking up plenty of disposals, he’ll keep smashing out 100’s. To give it a bit more perspective, his teammates Devon Smith, Tomas Bugg and Taylor Adams had ratios of 1.21, 0.90 and 1.28 respectively – so for a first year player it wasn’t so bad. One of the reasons his handball numbers are so high are no doubt related to his penchant for getting first to the ball in the pack and dishing it out by hand. So as he plays more outside, this should naturally increase anyway.

The theory of the ‘second-year Blues’ cannot be underestimated. We see it every year – a promising rookie has a blinder first year with the expectation to come out in their second year to continue their improvement, only to be struck down with fatigue, injury, bad form and all the things that come with the expectation of being an established AFL player. If we use the Gold Coast Suns as an example – 2012 was the second year for many of their young stars, with the majority of their young players (aged 18-20) failing to make moderate improvement on their first years. Popular 2011 rookie options David Swallow (avg of 76 in 11’ down to 74 in 12’), Zac Smith (72 down to 58) and Trent McKenzie (73 down to 70) all failed to live up to the hype of their debut seasons, with injury and expectation weighing heavily on their shoulders.

The exception of this group was Harley Bennell (67 in 11’ up to 85 in 12’), who had a breakout year in the absence of his older, more experienced teammates. However statistics show that this is rarely the case. Which pile will Toby find himself in come post-season 2013? Only time will tell.

Deck of DT Rating

KING – There’s not many people who would’ve expected the year that Greene had after he was picked at #11 in the 2011 National Draft alongside a raft of higher-rated players. But he came out in 2012 and had one of the greatest debut seasons that we are likely to ever see. I (along with many others) strongly believe that Toby can go on and overcome any ‘second-year blues’ to indeed improve on his debut season. It’s not beyond this kid to go on to premium status in just his second year, and you’d be silly to rule him out on this premise alone.

I’ve no doubt that as he continues to grow as a player over the next year (and beyond), we’ll see Greene develop his outside game a bit more – leading to more kicks, marks and goals in the future. And what does that lead to? Valuable Dream Team points! Get on this kid now as he’s bucking all the trends and will be a superstar sooner than later – he’s already half way there.

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER: @McRathDT to say hey or share your thoughts on Dream Team 2013.

Who loves a number? McRath loves a number! Not only does he crunch the numbers for his own team, he is an integral member of the DT Talk team across the season providing heaps of great content! Follow him on Twitter: @McRathDT.



  1. Avatar


    January 28, 2013 at 8:30 am

    Good write up Matt. This kid is definitely a gun, but as you have stated the second year blues may kick in. As I have previously stated, I would prefer a mature aged Zorko with DPP at this price range.

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    January 28, 2013 at 8:43 am

    First picked this year. The kid is an absolute freak, and I think will push 110 this year… Welcome aboard Toby, you are locked. #thegrassisalwaystobygreener

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      January 28, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      Will you still be naming your team/first born after him?

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        January 29, 2013 at 12:11 pm

        Nah, it’s not quite serious enough to name my team after him. First born on the other hand…

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    January 28, 2013 at 8:56 am

    Been saying it all pre-season that this guy is amazing, and I am incredibly keen to have him in my side (not only because I think he’s a DT gun, but I love an underdog [young kid at bottom ranked side]).

    That said, At the moment have Murphy as M5 and Embley in M6, and think I will keep it that way for the start of the season, and use the first few weeks to gauge a few players and their form. He’ll be watched VERY closely (inc first-hand when I watch GWS in the NAB Cup).

    Thanks for the write up!

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    January 28, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Has been a lock for me since December. I’m backing him to be a top 8 mid this year.

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      deez go

      January 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

      Boyd, Pendlebury, Cotchin, Ablett, Swan, Stanton, Watson, Mitchell, Rockliff, Redden, Murphy, Judd- some tough competitors for the top 8 Mids!

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        Dream on!

        January 28, 2013 at 2:34 pm

        Beams and Lids may have a say in that as well.

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    January 28, 2013 at 9:08 am

    For me it’s not so much a question of whether Toby Greene is good (clearly he is) but whether, at 500k there are other better options. For 20k more, you could net Mark Murphy, a player that consistently averages 100-110 and, with a new coach, is likely to get a bounce in his stats this year (given Mick’s high-possession game plan – or at least the one he used at Collingwood). Personally I reckon Murph might be this years Jobe Watson (and no I’m not a Blues fan). By contrast, Greene is a second year rook in a team that is three years out from being competitive. Will be a gun in the future, but too young and unproven for me for 500k.

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      January 28, 2013 at 10:15 pm

      Aye, pretty much what i reckon. I’d rather save 40k and get Fyfe or spend 20k more and get Murph. With the way my midfield is looking i think that’s the spot Greene would be competing for, if he was even a blip on my radar this year.

      I’ve got no doubt he’ll be one of my first selected in future seasons though.

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    January 28, 2013 at 11:48 am

    I’ll be rolling with Fyfe instead.

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    January 28, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Awesome write up bud!
    It’s an awkward price range that will talk most people out of it. So much choice and value at that range for mids this year.
    No doubt he’s a gun though and hopefully he can smash his 2nd season!

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    Fraser Marshall

    January 28, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    So… so tempted… Not 100% sold, but a definite consideration.

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    January 28, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    Does anyone know when we’re actually able to make our teams on the toyota dreamteam site? Currently it’s still coming up with my old team. Thanks :)

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      January 28, 2013 at 6:29 pm

      Feb 1st 12:00am

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    January 31, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    Half a mil for a 2nd year player? No thanks. Needs a couple more years of consistent footy to start at that price.

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    March 21, 2013 at 1:17 am

    What a great pre-season, absolutely locked.

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