Sunday, September 4, 2016

Rating Hawthorn's List ( Home & Away version )

To finish the season with 17 wins and 5 loses with arguably your best player in Jarryd Roughead not playing a game was mighty impressive.

Let us run the rule over the individual performances with a look to the Finals and beyond

2. Jarryd Roughead- 11/10


The spread of Cancer cast his life under threat.His response was selfless and brave leaving us all in awe.

Looking Forward- It is unlikely he will play again but it is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is this fine young man wins this battle and gets to live a long and happy life

3. Jordan Lewis- 6/10 

The great midfielders season has been a bit of a facade with his possessions still there but no longer his characteristic effectiveness. He has gone from an intimidating bull to looking frustrated by the upping in pace in the game exposing his loss of a step

Looking forward- Lewis has become a bit of an elephant in the room in the Hawks midfield. I think it would be wise to change his role in the final by assigning him a role as a tagger. 
After the finals, if not for a contract being in place the club might push him out the door like they did with Brad Sewell

4. Billy Hartung- 6/10 

Interesting player, with his breathtaking pace and line breaking ability adding so much to our line up in support of incumbent jets in Isaac Smith and Brad Hill. His downside is his softness and lack of defensive side, seen in missing tackles throughout the season and getting hit off the ball too easily in clinches.

Looking forward- I am torn over whether Hartung can stand up in finals. His explosiveness makes him worth taking a risk but the downside is he could be exposed as a very exploitable weakness.

5. Sam Mitchell- 10/10 

If not for Sam carrying our midfield, I have no doubt we would have missed the 8 this year. Which is a damning fact pointing to our unhealthy reliance on him.

Looking forward- Teams going retro in the finals by assigning mauling taggers that scrag and bite at Mitchell at every opportunity.

6. Josh Gibson- 7/10

Gibson is a huge key to Clarko's game plan with the role he plays  marshalling the defence and facilitating the rebound as the defensive zone off man. When he is allowed to play this role he is in the most damaging players in the AFL. The flipside is when teams make him accountable they expose him from a defensive standpoint with it apparent he has lost a step.

Looking forward- As with Mitchell, teams in the finals will target Gibson and make him accountable. It will be interesting how Clarko tactically, and Gibson on the field adapts to the increased attention shown to him.

7. Ben McEvoy- 6.5/10

The big ruck has been quite good both as a follower and in kicking 11 goals while resting forward. The thing with McEvoy is you always think there is more in him and in a sense he teases a tad rather than fully pleasing.

Looking forward- McEvoy has always lifted in the finals and with Ceglar going down look for him to be a colossus

8. Taylor Duryea- 4/10

After being stellar in the finals last year it was reasonable to expect Duryea to take a step forward in 2016 with a move to the midfield looking logical. Instead, he has disappointed by taking a step back and looking very suspect in his defensive role to the point where he was likely to be dropped.

Looking forward- One that needs to lift- the question is can he?

I think he can, and I would love Clarko to eyeball him and throw him in the guts in the finals

9. Shaun Burgoyne- 7/10 

Business as usual with him assured in defence and defining when moved into the midfield

Looking forward- Always stands out in finals for he is so cool in the crisis and always makes the right decisions. 

10.Brad Hill - 5/10 

Been down in 2016 culminating in him asking to be traded back to WA.

In the games he has played well he has shown how much he means to us and why we should fight tooth and nail to keep him. His game against Sydney was breathtakingly good

Looking forward- I can see Hill being huge in finals

11. Brendan Whitecross- 8/10 

I really didn't expect WhiteX to get back but since he has he has reminded me of the fine footballer he is. One with real guts and footy smarts allowing him to play on any line and in various roles.

Looking forward- I expect him to be a surprise packet in the finals 

12. James Frawley- 8.5/10

An absolute rock in a defence that has often been under siege and unlucky not to get in the All-Australian squad.

Looking forward- Will make Hawkins his bitch in the first final and be every key forwards nightmare throughout the finals.

13. Jono O'Rourke- 3/10 

Hugely disappointing.

He should be firmly entrenched in our best 18 but has flattered to deceive most of the season.

Looking forward- Needs to lift in 2017 or it might be bbye birdie

14. Grant Birchall- 7/10

The evergreen Birchall is like the reincarnation of Chris Mew- 'BP-The quiet achiever'

Looking forward- Will do what he always does in finals by being definitive

15. Luke Hodge-8/10

Hodge is Hodge- do we need to say more?

Looking forward- A Norm Smith off half back in 2008

A Norm Smith in 2014 in midfield

Completing the trifecta by kicking a bag as a forward in 2016 in the Roughead role 

16. Isaac Smith- 7/10 

Smith is vastly underrated as a huge key in this Hawks dynasty. His outside run devastates and creates so much space for Clarko's game plan to thrive in.

Looking forward- He has been very good this season without ever slipping into overdrive. I fully expect him to go up a few gears when the finals start.

17. Angus Litherland- 3/10

It was obvious that Clarko went into 2016 wanting greater rebound in the defence and looked to Litherland to play as an undersized key back. After playing the first 4 games it became obvious that he isn't strong enough overhead and in contested duals to play the role. And while he is very able marking small forwards, his skills by foot aren't good enough to assume the role

Looking forward- Trade bait

18. Jonathon Ceglar - 7/10

The big ruck doing his knee after he was establishing himself as a valuable part of our 22 was a bitter blow to both him as an individual and the team as a whole.

Looking forward- Will miss much of 2017 but be back in 2018

19. Jack Gunston- 8/10 

Gunston has felt Roughead's absence more than anyone with him now. getting the best defender.

Rather than be exposed he has lifted pointing to his right to be viewed amongst the best forwards in the game. In fact, he was unlucky not to be in the All-Australian squad.

Looking forward- He is a huge key to our chances and in the biggest games he always delivers

20. Dallas Willsmore- 6/10

 I am shocked Willsmore didn't get a game in 2016. Particularly with him burning it up at Box Hill in the early parts of the season and being a like for like replacement for Matt Suckling with his lethal kicking.

Looking forward- Hill's desire to leave might save him, otherwise, I can see him floated in trade discussions or delisted. I think if the club lets him go it will be a mistake for the kid can play.

21. James Sicily- 6/10 

Most of the Hawk faithful see Sicily as the next big thing. His great marking skills give every reason for this enthusiasm coupled with his love for the big moments. The flip side is he seems to lack other tricks. And while his marking is top shelf it will be muted by being manned by bigger and stronger opponents than him.

Looking forward- I think he has been found out and will be a non event in the finals.

2017 and beyond, I think he will struggle and would even float him as trade bait this year when the hype attached to him would yield a great return. 

22. Luke Bruest- 7/10 

Bruest is Bruest, he will frustrate you when he gets pinned for holding the ball by bringing out his 'fend' but then kicking a goal that defies all logic in a key moment.

Looking forward- Needs to lift in the final and it would not surprise to see him spend more time in the mids.

23. Tim O'Brien- 3/10

I am O'Brien's hugest fan but the fact that he has had a perfect opportunity to seal a spot in our best 22 and failed to do so has been very disappointing. He has all the tricks to be a very effective tall forward but seems to lack the belief to turn potential into performance.

Looking forward- I can see the club running out of patience and floating him as trade bait. I cringe at this thought for i think he could be very good

24. Ben Stratton- 8/10 

Small, mid sized or tall, Stratton blankets all types of forwards

Looking forward- Business as usual for Stratts in the finals 

25. Ryan Shoenmakers- 2/10 

Big hearted player, but limited. He is a perfect foil in a star-studded forward line where the opposition treats him as an afterthought as seen in last seasons finals. Pay greater attention to him and man him with a backman that has a pulse and he is road kill.

Looking forward- It would be a HUGE mistake to play him in the finals where he will not only get beaten but also exploited to the detriment of the other forwards. I cringe thinking how much of a thorn Harry Taylor will become if he plays on Shoey this week.

After the season, one can see him traded

26. Liam Shiels- 6.5/10 

The barometer of our midfield, and while he has been serviceable, he has failed to have the effect that he should be having.

Looking forward- Will likely tag Dangerfield this week, how he goes in controlling him could define our chances in 2016.

27.Matt Spangher- 0/10

Love Spangher, but the fact he is still on the list is damning for us

Looking forward- Delisted and a vibrant career in the Media awaits, or on the Public speaking circus alongside the likes of 'Jacko

28. Paul Puopolo- 8/10

Arguably the most improved player in the AFL since 2012. He has gone from being a high-grade defensive forward to adding a killer attacking threat.

Looking forward- It will be interesting to see how Clarko uses him in the finals. He will play forward but it wouldn't surprise to see him assist in defensive roles in the mids. Even helping Shiels in putting some work into Dangerfield.

29. Will Langford- 2/10

Gone from GF hero in 2014 to be a turnover king in 2016. The team desperately needs him to return to being the contested wrecking ball he was but playing him represents a huge risk due to his killer turnovers.

Looking forward- Will Clarko role the dice on him in the finals with the needs in the midfield in mind?

I can see him doing so, but I think it would be a mistake.

After the season it would not surprise to see him in a different jumper in 2017

30. Kaiden Brand- 7/10 

I was stunned when Brand was dropped. He not only gives the defence structure but also offers protection to Gibson allowing him to play in his preferred role.

Looking forward- I would play him against Geelong and throughout the finals, but I doubt Clarko shares my view 

31. Zac Webster- 6/10 

If not for injury early in the year this explosive midfielder would have played seniors. He has a real x-factor about him and expect him to be a bolt from the blue from 2017 onwards.

Looking forward- Fitness allowing, this kid will be a fine player for the club in years to come

32. Jack Fitzpatrick- 7/10 

Hopefully, Fitzpatrick will emulate Brent Renouf from 2008. Entering the team on the eve of the finals and going on to play in a flag.

Looking forward- An interesting player that plays with real heart. I just get a feeling he might surprise in the finals.

33. Cyril Rioli- 9/10

Must be a chance for our Best & Fairest with him being superlative throughout 2016

Looking forward- Dominating in the midfield and forward throughout September

34. Kurt Heatherley- 7/10

I like this kid with him being very able in contested duals with his desperation standing out. Once his foot skills improve I can see him developing into a very able rebounding half back with his line breaking pace

Looking forward- Ascending to our best 22 in 2017 and beyond

35. Ryan Burton- 8/10

' Our best draftee since Cyril Rioli....' ( David Perkins )

Agree wholeheartedly, and can see this kid being a star

Looking forward- Even in this early stage of his career I can see him being a factor in this years finals.

36. Kieran Lovell- 7/10 

Getting Lovell was a steal for the Hawks with him being a natural footballer that knows where to go to get the ball. Add in his pace and appetite for a goal and he looks a treat going forward.

Looking forward- Had a taste in 2016 and will challenge for a permanent place in 2017

37. Blake Hardwick- 6/10

Had fans calling for a place in the seniors after a fine preseason with him finally making his debut in round 19 as a small leading forward.

Looking forward- Tough as teak with brilliant foot skills with it likely to see him groomed as a rebounding flanker graduating to the midfield. 

40. Kade Stewart- 7/10 

Made a shock debut after being elevated off the rookie list. Stood out for his desperation and kamikaze efforts in contested situations.

Looking forward- Another one challenging for a small forward with bursts in the mids in 2017

41. Daniel Howe- 7/10

Unlucky to get injured and lose his role to Brendan Whitecross. In all his games he has shown an assured maturity with his skills and decision making a standout.

Looking forward- It would not surprise to see him selected against the Cats, or throughout the finals. His versatility is of real appeal and one that will see him have a long career for the club.

42. Teia Miles- 7/10

If not for season-ending injury, Miles would have played in 2016. He was mainly employed forward for Box Hill, but there was an opportunity for him to assume a small backman role at Hawthorn. Either replacing the underperforming Duryea or allowing him to play in the mids.

Looking forward- Re-signed through 2018 by the club and will cement his place in Hawthorn's best 22 from 2017 onwards

43. Marc Pittonet- 7/10 

Very green and likely to need more grooming at Box Hill. This said, his tapping skills are sublime and when he adds meat to his frame he has every chance to be a high grade ruckman.

Looking forward- Further development in 2017 with a few games in the 1's


  1. Hi Tim. Great analysis especial re Langford and Lewis!. Fully fit and another pre-season under his belt, could Alex Woodward help fix some of the midfield issue. He seemed to rack up the possessions in his return games fro Box Hill.

    1. Thank you for the kind words

      As for Woody, you want to back him but after so many knees it will be mighty tough. I think Lovell will be a gem and I hope we get O'Meara.

      also, love us to have a crack at Hartlett from Port