Wednesday, March 29, 2017

My Hawthorn Team for the Adelaide clash

Hawthorn's flaws were there for all to see during its disappointing 25-point, round 1 loss to Essendon: A defence that is very exploitable and lacking depth in the key posts outside of James Frawley; The lack of a quick and skilled rebound from defence; An absence of quality in the midfield with flawed skills and decision making standing out; Zero outside run combined with the absence of players running to position off the ball to facilitate it; The insistence on playing the proven players outside of their customary positions, accentuating other issues. The response at the selection table will be intriguing leading into a clash against an Adelaide Crows outfit that looks vastly improved and every bit a flag threat in 2017. This leads me to the 22 players I would select to play against the Crows: B: Josh Gibson, James Frawley, Ben Stratton HB: Grant Birchall, Kaiden Brand, Shaun Burgoyne C: Isaac Smith, Tom Mitchell, Kade Stewart HF: Luke Breust, Jarryd Roughead, Paul Puopolo F: Ty Vickery, Jack Gunston, Luke Hodge R: Ben McEvoy, Jaeger O’Meara, Cyril Rioli INT: Daniel Howe, Liam Shiels, Ricky Henderson, Ryan Burton In: Luke Hodge, Kaiden Brand, Daniel Howe, Ryan Burton, Kade Stewart Out: Ryan Schoenmakers, James Sicily, Will Langford, Billy Hartung, Taylor Duryea Inclusions/Role changes The only ‘Captain Obvious’ inclusion is Luke Hodge, but rather than have him sit in his customary role off half-back I would employ him in the forward line with time in the midfield. He has the ability to be similar to a quarterback in this role, organising a forward line that was shambolic in its structure and associated cohesion in round 1 as well as being deadly dangerous as a goal assist and as a goal kicker himself. The ploy of playing three big talls in the forward line needs to end with Ryan Schoenmakers going out leaving it a 2/2/2 set up around smalls/mids and talls. Point fucking blank, move Jack Gunston back to playing in the forward line and NOT on the wing!!! The other three moves revolve around the needs of our defence. Kaiden Brand needs to come in as the second key back, sparing Josh Gibson the role that he looked suspect in against Essendon. Gibson is becoming a real worry in defence. He used to make a devastating impact when allowed to play as a loose man in defence but teams are no longer affording him this role after marking him in the latter parts of 2016. Daniel Howe and Ryan Burton both offer versatility, capable on every line, both oozing class and composure. They would greatly add to the Hawks’ rebound out of defence with their high grade skills and good decision making. Kade Stewart should have been in for round 1 and comes in to add depth to the forward line and midfield. Outs The first change is to drop a tall from the forward line with the choice being between Ryan Schoenmakers and Tyrone Vickery. This is no contest, with Vickery playing the associated 2nd ruck role meaning Schoenmakers goes out. In touting this move, I anticipate Clarko seeing the tall forward structure failing but rather than dropping Schoenmakers, it is likely he will look to play him in defence on one of the Crows big talls rather than bringing in Kaiden Brand. James Sicily gets dropped with him showing his inability to play in defence. The other worry going forward with Sicily is embodied in this quote:
He's not a defender. Some of his efforts weren't good enough. If you're going to pick fights after the siren, make sure you put your nose over the footy in the next quarter.  
In Sicily’s defence, he arguably would be able as a forward but goes out because Ryan Burton can do everything Sicily can as a forward as well as being versed in other roles. Versatility in this age is king! Will Langford and Billy Hartung both going out is problematic. Both offer assistance to the team’s needs, Langford with his contested ball winning ability and Hartung with his pace and line-breaking ability. But they both compromise their potential value with their flaws, Langford with his putrid foot skills and Hartung with his lack of footy smarts and absence of any defensive element. Both will get exploited badly against a fine Crows Team. My patience has run out with Taylor Duryea. I was tempted to play him on a wing, but I view it as time to let him retool at Box Hill and give others a chance.

Sincerest thanks to Tahirih Twyford in Editing this article!


  1. 5 out,5 in ,justifiaed choices with expected change.

    1. thank you for the comment and thumbs up