Matty’s Mid Season Player Review

Jun 7th, 2010 | By | Category: AFL Match Report, Lead Article


I thought with the halfway mark of the home and away season here, it was time for a review of each player. I have not marked them out of 10 like I have in the past, instead I have just shown their average possessions and a comment on each player after those stats.
The comments are merely what I have noticed over the term of the season so far.
Also included are the Rookie listed players, and Tom Young, the soon to be NSW rookie who has impressed so many.
Enjoy, critique, respond and think.


John Anthony (4 senior games; Avg per game = 4.5 kicks, 4.5 Handballs, 3.3 Marks, 3.5 Tackles. Season score = 5 goals, 2 behinds)
A very strange first half of the year for Jack, where he has really failed to live up to the big expectations of him given his finish to 2009. Has struggled to get any number of possessions in one game, and has even struggled in the VFL at times. Needs to regain form quickly, or risk being left behind by the likes of Dawes, Leigh Brown, Medhurst and Fraser up forward.

Luke Ball (11 games. Avg per game = 10 kicks, 12.5 handballs, 4.3 marks, 6.2 tackles. Score = 4 goals, 3 behinds)
Probably above even the loftiest of “real” expectations, as he has just performed the role we want him to week in, week out. Has some obvious limitations, but has been a revelation as our number 1 extractor in the seniors. Simply put he has made us a better side.

Jaxson Barham (0 senior games)
Jaxson had a poor start to the season in the VFL, but his last few games have been brilliant at that level. He seems to be improving both is decision making and his disposal efficiency, and is moving in the right direction in gaining senior selection. Works hard, has pace and the ability to restrict an opposition midfielder, which is rare on our list. Has a future, just needs to improve a little more in some areas.

Dayne Beams (10 senior games. Avg = 10.3 kicks, 9.4 handballs, 3.9 marks, 3 tackles. Score = 11 goals, 13 behinds)
The stats don’t tell the whole story, but to average over 20 possessions in a top 4 side in your second year is amazing. He has continued to develop upon his very impressive first year, and has become a permanent fixture of our team. Is playing more of a half forward role then he was at times last year, but is playing that role well. Huge talent, with an ever bigger future.

Jarrad Blight
Injuries have set the promising Blight back this year, but was he has showed in a few VFL games is enough to have those that saw him believing in his future. A “rangy” half back, his standout skill is his foot skill, most notably the distance and accuracy of his leg.

Leigh Brown (5 games. Avg = 4.8 kicks, 5.8 handballs, 3.2 marks, 3.2 tackles. Score = 2 goals, 2 behinds)
The “Mr fix it” of the list. When we need a replacement for an injured or struggling key position player, Leigh comes in and just does the job as asked. Is a vital part of the success of our list, as he gives us depth that other sides around us seem to be missing. Will play several more games, and may play his part come September, at any end of the ground.

Nathan Brown (5 games. Avg = 2.8 kicks, 5.8 handballs, 2.4 marks, 2.4 tackles)
Presti’s long term replacement, and is just starting to come into his own. Has been and still is being groomed as a pure full back, and maybe should have played a few more senior games against some of the monsters of the league. Has a huge future, and will be given plenty of opportunity over the next few years.

Simon Buckley
Started the pre season so well, only for a slight injury setback to “send him off the rails”. This lead on to the off field incident for which he is still serving his suspension. He looks promising at times, and was close to a game before he got in trouble. May play senior football later in the year if he can prove to the club he is committed.

Travis Cloke (11 games. Avg = 11.4 kicks, 3.5 handballs, 6.8 marks, 1.6 tackles. Score = 17 goals, 13 behinds)
Our focal point up forward, who plays a demanding role at CHF each week. Has performed above average in some games, and had a few quite games, but he continues to present and take plenty of marks. In an unorthodox forward line, which is forever rotating, he is the one constant.

Ryan Cook
Our VFL leader just continues to rack up the possessions at VFL level, but it doesn’t seem like there is much of an AFL future at Collingwood for Cook.

Anthony Corrie
Injuries have ruined his season so far, to the point where he has barely been spotted, even at VFL level. When he does play, like Cook, he is a standout at that level, and continues to shine in the lower grades. Whether that’s good enough to earn another year or two is debatable.

Leon Davis (10 games. Avg = 8.9 kicks, 3.8 handballs, 2.3 marks, 4,1 tackles. Score = 14 goals, 14 behinds)
Still much maligned by so many, but he has played as a permanent forward pocket for most of this season. All Australian form of last year hasn’t been repeated, but he is still a vital member of our team. Has been brilliant at times, and just hard working at others. Lead the league in inside 50 tackles before a calf complain finally got to him. Great comeback against the Dogs, plenty of Magic left in Leon yet.

Chris Dawes (6 games. Avg = 6.7 kicks, 6.8 handballs, 5.5 marks, 3 tackles. Score = 9 goals, 6 behinds)
Dawesy has had a great start to the season, tearing the VFL games apart, and gaining a consistent run in the seniors for the first time in his career. Had some standout games, but has struggled a little bit over the past few weeks. Still a vital part of our forward line going forward, and will play plenty of games this year.

Brad Dick (0 games)
The most disappointing story of 2010 so far, with the promise he showed last year, being cut down so cruelly by a shoulder reco, yet is returning to some form in the VFL. Will play the next 2 games at least in the VFL, and may be considered for a return against the Swans after the break. A large part of our team, who will release the likes of Davis, Beams and Sidebottom up the ground.

Alan Didak (11 games. Avg = 14.3 kicks, 9.3 handballs, 3.4 marks, 3.3 tackles. Score = 20 goals, 11 behinds)
Our leading goalscorer, despite spending plenty of time in the middle of the ground, and has performed very well in just about every game this year. Has come on in leaps and bounds in terms of consistency over the past few years, and has taken that to another level this year. Simply a star.

Josh Fraser (7 games. Avg = 6.1 kicks, 4.9 handballs, 3 marks, 8.4 hitouts. Score = 5 goals, 4 behinds)
It has become even more obvious that Josh can not play with injury, especially in his last few years at the club. The coaching staff have tried to use him more as a forward and the second ruck, but he has struggled to turn his work into scoring opportunities. At a crossroads of his career, although he still has a few years left in him yet.

Tyson Goldsack
Very disjointing year so far for “Goldy”. Had viral meningitis pre season, and hasn’t seemed to be able to shrug off the full effects of it, or has sustained other injuries because of the lack of a pre season. If he can put 3-4 games together at VFL level, he will push for senior selection no doubt.

Ben Johnson (10 games. Avg = 12.8 kicks, 8.8 handballs, 2 marks, 4 tackles. Score = 3.1.)
BJ started the season on fire, and has stayed at a consistently high level throughout. His run is cery important to our structure, although his kicking is still, well Ben Johnson like. He has had some shut down roles on some of the biggest names in football, and performed well. An integral part of our team going towards the finals.

Darren Jolly (11 games. Avg = 5.8 kicks, 5.8 handballs, 4.3 marks, 222 hitouts (avg 20.2). Score = 7.1.)
Some have questioned his output this year, but the stats do not lie. It has been a long time since a Collingwood player has averaged 20 hitouts a game, and he is building towards kicking more goals and getting more of the ball around the ground. Has improved as the season has gone on, and so far has been well worth the price paid for him.

Tarkyn Lockyer (4 games. Avg = 9.8 kicks, 5.8 handballs, 4.5 marks, 3.3 tackles. Score = 2.2)
Has struggled to find a role at senior level this year, but is a very handy player to have in reserve in case of injuries or form slumps to our small forwards. Tarks is restricted to being a small forward these days at senior level, as he was exposed at half back against the Saints. Still has a role to play.

Brent Macaffer (9 games. Avg = 6.7 kicks, 8.3 handballs, 2.8 marks, 4 tackles. Score = 2.5.)
Has got plenty of experience into his body over the first 11 games, and has developed a role within the team. One of the very few real “shutdown” players MM likes to play, and plays a role each week. Will come under pressure from the likes of Goldsack later in the year, but at the moment is playing a vital role for the side.

Nick Maxwell ( 11 games. Avg = 7.4 kicks, 9 handballs, 6.3 marks, 3.1 tackles.)
Our captain, who leads by example in the backline, week in, week out. Plays the third man in role to perfection, helping some of our young defenders develop while not being thrashed each week. Great leader on and off the field, and an integral part of our current success.

John McCarthy (1 game. 7 kicks, 4 hadballs, 3 marks, 5 tackles. Score = 0.2)
Has once again had an injury interrupted season, which hamstring troubles his major concern. Only played the one game, again up against a top 4 side. Has a huge amount of natural talent, but hasn’t really had the opportunity to display it at senior level. We just have to hope he can find a bit of luck in the injury department soon.

Paul Medhurst (8 games. Avg = 7.1 kicks, 3.9 handballs, 3.3 marks, 3.4 tackles. Score = 12.4.)
Has also had an injury interrupted season, with his foot problems returning once again. Seems to be over the worst of it, but will have to be nursed through to the finals. Is the glue that holds our forward line together, with his scoring assists definitely his greatest value. We will need him fit come September.

Shane O’Bree (6 games. Avg = 7 kicks, 9.7 handballs, 2.8 marks, 4 tackles. Score = 3.2.)
Shane is starting to struggle at AFL level, but has still had the odd game where the old Cheesy has shone through. His performance against Freo was a standout, but there doesn’t seem to be the drive in him there used to be. 3 games off 250, so we all should hope he makes that.

Heritier O’Brien (11 games. Avg = 10.6 kicks, 7 handballs, 3.4 marks, 2.6 tackles. Score = 3.2.)
Has improved again on his past performances, and is an integral part of our backline. Rarely gets beat one on one, and gives us great drive out of the backline. His 3 goals have all been memorable “bombs” from outside 50 metres, at vital stages of games. We simply need Harry in the finals.

Scott Pendlebury (11 games. Avg = 12.1 kicks, 13.5 handballs, 4.1 marks, 5.3 tackles. Score = 9.6)
Pendles started the season a little slow, due to the delayed pre season, but his last few weeks have been outstanding. The fact he has managed to play every game, while improving and returning to his best is great for the team. One of our most important players, as shown by his injury in the finals.

Simon Prestigiacomo (5 games. Avg = 2.2 kicks, 3.6 handballs, 1.8 marks, 2 tackles)
The great Presti has been “rested” at times, it seems to give the likes of Brown and Reid more time to develop in the senior team, which is great to see. Presti is still the man for the monsters of the comp, playing well on the likes of Brown and Hall. Still an integral part of our team, and must have come September.

Ben Reid (8 games. Avg = 8.1 kicks, 5.1 handballs, 3.8 marks, 2 tackles.)
Has found a place for his future as a rebounding key position defender, and the more time we get into him at senior level in that position, the better. Looks more at home each time he plays at senior level, and is progressing well.

Luke Rounds
In his second year at the club, Rounds has developed into a very handy and very reliable small forward who just doesn’t seem to miss when given the opportunity. Because he was a bottom aged player when drafted, he was always going to take longer to develop, but with Davis, Lockyer, O’Bree and Medhurst getting no younger there is a future for a small forward at Collingwood.

Sean Rusling
Same old story for Rusling. Injuries and more injuries. Hasn’t been able to put more then 2 VFL games in a row together, and hopefully when he returns from his latest setback he can show some form and get some luck. Most would also like to see him moved up forward for spells.

Heath Shaw (10 games. Avg = 15.1 kicks, 7.4 handballs, 5.7 marks, 1.6 tackles. Score = 1.2.)
One of the standouts of 2010 for us so far, and just so important to us in regards to movement of the ball off half back. The side just doesn’t seem the same when Shaw is missing or restricted during games, and is simply one of, if not our most important player going forward.

Steele Sidebottom (11 games. Avg = 9.7 kicks, 8.5 handballs, 3.8 marks, 3.9 tackles. Score = 12.7)
Has played alongside Beams at half forward for most of the year, and has excelled in some games, and struggled in others, much to the expectations of a youngster. Is developing at a rapid rate, and will be a large part of our midfield for years to come.

Ben Sinclair
A delayed VFL starter, Ben has proven why the club rated him so highly at the draft, with his pace and skill in the past few games. While size may be a factor, he is tenacious, obviously possesses both skill and speed, and is a promising player for the future.

Dane Swan (11 games. Avg = 16.4 kicks, 13.4 handballs, 5.2 marks, 5.2 tackles. Score = 8.9.)
Our prolific ball winning, back to back Copeland Trophy star hasn’t missed too many beats in 2010, just continuing to be the Swan we all know and love. Once again would be either leading or be in the top 3 of the Copeland, which surprises no one. A true star of the competition, who is now expected to perform higher then others each week. We are simply going nowhere without Dane Swan in our midfield in September.

Dale Thomas (11 games. Avg = 14.9 kicks, 9.5 handballs, 5.5 marks, 3.5 tackles. Score = 8.6)
Daisy has taken the next level we have all been waiting him to. Now in the elite category of players at the club, who are granted both attention and applaud each week, but still manage to perform on a weekly basis. The year as a defensive half forward in 2009 has made him the player he is today, as he is both accountable and damaging, a rare breed indeed in terms of AFL mids. Simply put, he has become a star.

Josh Thomas
I’ve loved the look of this kid since he came to the club, and his first few VFL games didn’t let any one down. Similar player to Sinclair, but has a real burst of speed and power off the mark that very few athletes, let alone AFL footballers posses. Another very promising young player.

Alan Toovey ( 11 games. Avg = 7 kicks, 6.2 handballs, 2.5 marks, 5.5 tackles. Score = 2.2)
Tooves has become a fixture at half back, stopping attack after attack, and he rarely gets beat one on one. Has passed the 50 game mark, so expectations are now higher then that of a “kid”, and most weeks he meets or surpasses these. Still has areas of his game to improve on, but is a player who just does his job week in, week out, which is a theme in a MM coached side.

Sharrod Wellingham ( 9 games. Avg = 11.6 kicks, 10.4 handballs, 3.8 marks, 3.6 tackles. Score = 8.7)
Sharrod has also taken the next step, from a battler to a consistent midfielder, who at times has looked elite. His injury setback slowed him down a bit, but he seems to have returned to his tough, hard, quick, skilful self. An integral part of our midfield, Sharrod is a very important player over the next few months.

Cameron Wood ( 4 games. Avg = 3.8 kicks, 5 handballs, 2 marks, 42 hitouts (10.2 avg). Score = 3.1)
Still hasn’t developed into the player we want him to, as he seems to struggle at AFL level. Doesn’t get enough of the ball around the ground, although his ruck work has improved slightly. Still young in terms of ruckman, but has to develop further if he is to play a consistent role for the seniors.


Jarryd Blair
Got selected in his first state game for the Victorian team, and excelled at that level, collecting over 20 disposals to be one of the best players on the field. For the Collingwood VFL side he has been “Mr Reliable”, racking up the possessions as his in and under style continues to amaze. Still has some aspects of his game to work on, but he might even be on the senior list very soon.

Jack Carter
In the few games he has played, the West Adelaide boy has shown his size (193cm) and strength might just take him far enough to be an AFL player. Definitely a long term player, but first signs have been very promising.

Tristan Francis
Sean Rusling’s recovery partner once again unfortunately, with several injury setbacks ruining his year so far. When he has played, he has shown his talent, but he has been so unlucky once again, we really haven’t had the chance to see the best of him.

Tom Hunter
Along with Carter, has been “surprisingly” good since making his VFL debut. Runs hard, is very courageous and knows how to get his hands on the ball. Another long term player, but his first signs have also been positive.

Lachlan Keefe
Has played predominately in the backline, which may seem a little strange for a 204cm player, but has been one of our most effective defenders at VFL level. Can also play in the ruck, and has done so when Wood has been promoted to the seniors. Coming along fine, still needs more time to develop though.

Seamus Mcnamara
Ah, the experiment. Many wondered what we were getting with Seamus, but as soon as you saw him at training or at a game, the word “athlete” sprung to mind. Gave us the highlight of the day in the return to Victoria Park game, baulking a player and rolling a goal through on his wrong foot. Has been promising in the ruck, but is still adjusting to the skills of the game and obviously how to read the play. May be a chance for promotion as early as next season.

Scott Reed
For me, the success story of the NSW scholarship program so far. He is a good size (192cm) and has speed to match. He has looked very good up forward in the VFL, and has regular kicked multiple goals in several matches. Has really impressed the last few weeks, and if he continues that form, may find himself a senior spot sooner rather then later. In a similar vein to Rounds also, there is a future for forwards at this club.


Tom Young
The standout of the NSW rookies this year, has shown he is more then able to play at VFL level.
Quick, skilful, tough and a redhead, what else do you want. I could see him playing senior AFL football as early as next year. Tom in technically not part of the NSW rookie list yet, as he was too young to be rookied, but he will be a NSW rookie next year for sure.

Special mentions to our VFL LISTED PLAYERS, who have helped us maintain a 5 game winning streak and have made our return to Victoria Park all the more enjoyable.

The standout VFL listed player has been Kris Pendlebury, and he was rewarded for his efforts with a place in the state game next to Jarryd Blair, and both acquitted themselves very well.

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