Karmichael Hunt becoming a gun AFL player

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    Karmichael Hunt of the Suns in action during the AFL Round 07 match between the Gold Coast Suns and the Brisbane Lions at the Gabba, Brisbane.

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    If the AFL had a most improved player award, Karmichael Hunt would be a clear front-runner. Hunt is rapidly developing into a competitive footballer this season.

    His move into the midfield has really revitalised his playing style.

    Here is a guy who grew up tackling and getting hardball gets playing rugby, and who is growing more accustomed to the Aussie Rules game play with each round.

    Hunt has the toughness and tenacity halfway between Jonathan Brown and Joel Selwood: relentless on the ball and brutal when tackling.

    The move onto the ball is genius in design; you have a strong fit player with developing skills smashing into packs and giving the ball out to the best player in the game, Gary Ablett.

    Hunt is fast developing his own tough, scrappy type of football that will earn plenty of respect within the AFL. Anyone who has seen some of his tackles will agree with that.

    Hunt’s stats from last season to this season back up his perceived rise in form.

    2011 – 16 games
    2012 – 5 games

    Kicks – 51
    Kicks – 23

    Handballs – 81
    Handballs – 51

    Disposals – 132
    Disposals – 74

    Marks – 29
    Marks – 11

    Clearances – 9
    Clearances – 14

    Tackles – 27
    Tackles – 17

    Goals – 1
    Goals – 0

    After five games in 2012, the statistics clearly show a marked improvement. Hunt is now working well in the middle of the ground, racking up respectable possessions, and if he performs well when Gold Coast do break the drought, you could see him taking home a vote or two at the Brownlow medal.

    The real positives are his clearance work, which is up, along with high tackle rates and handballs. He is on course now to have a brilliant season compared to 2011.

    Brad Scott, a player known for his tough style of play, was quoted on goldcoast.com.au as saying, “Anyone who has criticised Karmichael Hunt over the journey should be eating their words and should be apologising to him because, on that performance, he’s a bona fide AFL midfielder.”

    This from a player many thought could not survive in AFL, or who at best could be a moderately good forward or defender where his vulnerability to 360-degree play might be reduced.

    Instead, he has gone headlong into one of the most demanding positions on the field, and is doing it with aplomb.

    Hopefully he continues this good form and develops into a well rounded AFL player.

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    The Crowd Says (107)

    • May 1st 2012 @ 9:10am
      Tony said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      As a kiwi who took up Footy as a 16 year old and played in and around Melborne
      Until I was 42… I’m rap’t Karmicheal and Izzy are playing the best game in the world!!!!
      Those who play or have played Aussie Rule’s will tell you how hard but rewarding it is to
      play the game.

      I can’t wait to see if many more Pacific Islander’s take up this game because, once you
      Get how to play ,it becomes a passion…I thought the price the A.F.L paid to these boys
      was excessive,but the interest from Rugby League and Rugby players and supporters is
      priceless….

      By the way I’m an avid Rugby League follower of the Brisbane Bronco’s, so to lose those two to A.F.L….I’m rap’t…..”GO BLUE’S”!!!

      • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:04pm
        Frank Lee Kennedy said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:04pm | ! Report

        There are 3 major reasons why AFL will have problems in the future. Just to cut it short, I do not go into the details too deeply.
        1 – Oval grounds. Other than the (Cricket) test playing nations, no other country builds oval grounds, suitable for their game. AFL did try to sell its game to all Test playing nations without success so far. Not likely to change.
        2 – 25 players to start a game (18+7) per team. Soccer (football) is struggling to find 11 good players (2-3 subs) worldwide. Young people have many career choices in sophisticated countries so no desire to bend their backs like their parents did in the past.
        3 – Immigration into Australia dramatically changed in the past 60 years. Countries in Europe became wealthy, no need to seek new life in remote parts of the world. The major source of Immigration to OZ in not tall Europeans any more, but a lot shorter Asians, Middle Easterners and Pacific Islanders (except Fiji, who are taller than the rest, they are muscular and short/big fellows). Neither of these really suited for AFL.
        That’s why they try to pay big dollars for Hunt and Folau to entice Islanders. Question, will money be enough if talent/desire is not there?

        • Roar Guru

          May 3rd 2012 @ 8:26am
          Redb said | May 3rd 2012 @ 8:26am | ! Report

          You’ve re-posted your opinion from elsewhere.

          Do you watch the game? Heard of David Rodan from Port Adelaide, short stocky, low centre of gravity (stays on his feet) an inside midfielder who can burst through congestion and find an option. Hunt is doing the same.

          Key position players are generally tall, not midfielders. Midfielders need to win the ball amongst a group of players and deliver out to KPPs. Most AFL clubs are bulking up their midfielders not trimming them down, this is the modern trend which directly counters your beliefs.

          • May 3rd 2012 @ 10:01am
            Frank Lee Kennedy said | May 3rd 2012 @ 10:01am | ! Report

            Unless AFL eliminates some of the problems I mentioned yesterday, their sport will never grow thru this country boundary.
            I am not Nostradamus, but have few thoughts how this can be achieved.
            1 – When America decided to have a Union, they went slowly. They did not go to expand in to the middle of enemy territory, but by neighbour to neighbour. That strategy worked. AFL shall expand thru their state boundaries, pushing slowly in to other states, deeper and deeper. Tassy and Albury/Woodonga would be the next frontier, the locals would pay dearly for teams. Broken Hill and Wagga Wagga next, etc.
            Putting 100 million each into the QLD and NSW economies, reduces the value of their 1.25 TV bill contract to 1.05 to their existing teams. AFL pays the money, rather than to ask the locals to contribute.
            2 – Adapt and conquer policy to the fore. It is okay to play AFL on rectangular grounds with say 12 (plus 3 subs) players with reduced times, similar to T20 cricket. Players have to watch the sidelines, but every other sport does it. Try and judge. It would be suitable to lots of small country towns in OZ initially who cannot field a monster, 25 person team.
            3 – Swallow the pride and change the name of the sport. They do not play English Cricket in India, Canadian Ice Hockey in the US or Australian Rugby League in New Zealand. When you introduce the sport in foreign countries, you do not want to take away the pride of those nations, AFL has to adapt to their cultures.

            • May 3rd 2012 @ 11:12am
              Australian Rules said | May 3rd 2012 @ 11:12am | ! Report

              Are you just posting identical comments on AFL threads..?

              • May 3rd 2012 @ 6:04pm
                Frank Lee Kennedy said | May 3rd 2012 @ 6:04pm | ! Report

                Perhaps I do miss the point (Indeed, I did not write about the AFL Stars game or Hunt).
                On the other hand you get an Independent opinion about the State of Play in AFL.
                I do think strongly, that both sports are vitally important parts of the Australian Society as a whole and both shall stay forever.
                Both suited to different type of people (both physical and skills way) and with few changes in some rules in the future they will be the 2 dominant sports in OZ.
                Obviously one does not always agree with the facts and figures about the others, but it is just like politics. Someone always Governs and there is an Opposition as well.

              • May 4th 2012 @ 1:23pm
                Australian Rules said | May 4th 2012 @ 1:23pm | ! Report

                I’m not questioning your right to post Frank – comments from a broad spectrum is a great thing.

                I’m questioning you posting the identical comment under 3 different stories.

              • May 7th 2012 @ 6:30am
                ManInBlack said | May 7th 2012 @ 6:30am | ! Report

                FLK –
                you make Aust Footy sound like basketball. It’s not wholey dependent upon attracting 6’8″ + giants.

                Although, so long as the game of basketball at the top level is a mess in this country, then the AFL will continue to be able to attract people of such proportions. But, they still need suitable talent.

                re Aust Footy around the world. The limitation of ovals is only for the full 18 a side (on the field) version of the game – as too your issue around 18 + 7?? (generally it’s 18 + 4 I/C = 22, but, gee, we played for many years with 18 + 2, and the old VFA was 16 + 2).
                Anyway, in many of the places around the world where the game has grown at grass roots level (in the main without any AFL HQ involvement, at very least in the early days) – the locals play modified footy. AFL 9’s has been very much driven from overseas and is now appearing in Australia. 9’s or 12’s or whatever is generally the localised version of the game – on a soccer/rugby pitch – and what often happens is the localised version (within a given city) will see 2 or 3 teams play local games and then form up a city team for the ‘premier’ competitions which may be on the far less available larger fields and may be 18 aside.

                As an example – in Europe, the main regular Euro tournament was the Euro9s. However, in the last couple of years with the formation of the European Australian Football Association (note, founded by 15 nations….that’s more than founded FIFA!!) there’s now an annual 18 aside European Championship.

                You just never know – – perhaps one day there’ll be grass laid over the running track at Yokohama, or Berlin Olympic stadium or the new London Olympic stadium……….

                (re the islanders – yes, the AFL is trying to make itself available to Pacific region peoples – both those in Australia and those playing the game already in places like Fiji, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and PNG, oh, & NZ. There’s a valid talent pathway established now, and we just see what might be produced. It was cool to see East Timor debut at last years International Cup in Melbourne, along with Fiji and Tonga.)

    • May 1st 2012 @ 9:31am
      Jay said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      Im a league fan, but saw him in the suns bombers clash and you could tell he was having a dig. he’s also resigned with the suns and thus far, you would expect him to retain his spot if his improvement continues.

      as for rugby league fans, he’s clearly a forgotten player along with izzy. it would be nice if either or both came back, but i don’t think the broncs are missing either players.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 9:49am
      Pot Stirrer said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:49am | ! Report

      Il say onething for Hunt. He is smashing them in tackles, If they all tackled like that it would be a much better game.

      • Roar Guru

        May 1st 2012 @ 1:35pm
        Redb said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:35pm | ! Report

        Hang on, are you not the poster who said elsewhere he does not care about AFL? Well your opinion is treated similarily.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 1:57pm
          P.Hansen said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

          Yes i am, Just like anything you comment about league, it is treated as irrellevant. But just fyi, i was experimenting by saying something positive about hunt and predictably blokes like you then come out and bag him. When if id have said what i really thought you would have defended his ability in the game. Blokes like you are just so predictable. Yes im going back to the nrl section.

          • May 1st 2012 @ 2:06pm
            Pot Stirrer said | May 1st 2012 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

            Whoops i meant to change my handle back. The P.Hansen was just a joke in relation to a comment on another thread.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 3:34pm
              Australian Rules said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

              There’s a guy out there called JVGO who would be very, very displeased with you.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 12:11am
                JVGO said | May 2nd 2012 @ 12:11am | ! Report

                Thanks Clipper.

          • May 1st 2012 @ 4:01pm
            Nathan of Perth said | May 1st 2012 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

            I’m sure you thought that was a terribly clever thought experiment but … well, I hope you had fun doing it.

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 12:50pm
              Pot Stirrer said | May 2nd 2012 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

              yes

          • Roar Guru

            May 1st 2012 @ 4:08pm
            Redb said | May 1st 2012 @ 4:08pm | ! Report

            Off the mark again, I said this.

            “Hunt is developing well, very well. He is reading the play, using short bursts to get through traffic and protecting team-mates with mostly legit tackles. Due to the press, the game has evolved to suit a player like Hunt. Kudos to him”

            Please dont embarass yourself further.

      • May 1st 2012 @ 1:39pm
        Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

        He laid a whole 4 of them for the game, that 1 about every 28 minutes.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 9:34pm
          ManInBlack said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:34pm | ! Report

          The actual count of ‘4’ tackles is barely indicative in most cases of tackles laid, the reality though is that only a handful get tallied as ‘effective’ tackles. Other tackles will be ‘less’ effective but will probably be effective physical pressure if you wanted to look at it that way.

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:16am
            Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:16am | ! Report

            Everyone gets judged the same ManInBlack.

            They do keep a pressure act stat tp though so if you wanted to provide that you could help your point.

    • May 1st 2012 @ 9:54am
      Cameron said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:54am | ! Report

      There have been quite a few similar articles lately, getting a bit tiresome now.

      Yes Hunt is improving, but I dont think he would get too many games if he was’nt at the Suns (or GWS).
      As for the most improved player in the afl, I think the likes of Josh Kennedy and Luke Parker of the Swans are ahead of him.

      • May 1st 2012 @ 11:01am
        Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        Completely agree with you Cameron, you could probably look at a few of the North on ballers throw in Shaun Hampson from the blues, I dare say there is a couple of Adelaide players as well given their improvement (although I haven’t seen them much this year), Harley Bennell might get a mention the list goes on.

        If this bloke was Joe Blogs we wouldn’t get half the rubbish written that we currently are, I think the AFL has a mandate that every week there need to be at least 3 positive stories written about the expansion teams no matter what.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 1:08pm
          ManInBlack said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

          this was part of the reasoning why the prophets of doom who predicted wide spread ‘poaching’ of Rugby (L or U) talent were way off the mark.

          ONLY at a club like Giants or Suns could they afford the SPEND in both time and money.

          Hunt now is earning his spot in MORE ways than he was last year – and he is developing to a degree where any other club might think seriously about the value he could provide. That’s a big credit to Karmichael and the Suns coaching staff – and also the leadership and example of Gary Ablett I’d suspect might deserve some credit too.

          re the Most improved – the article isn’t wrong if we take it that Hunt would be certainly mentioned in despatches. Actually to win a most improved – well, that’s a moot point.

          • May 1st 2012 @ 1:17pm
            Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

            MAnInBlack – I also questionthe opportunity cost associated with the Hunt experiment, yes he is progressing after being given games he didn’t earn and intesnsive training but who is the kid on the gold coast list who is missing the same game time who would probably grow faster or at least bigger in the end. Or what if the had of picked up a Duigan or Magner or Barlow instead and let them flourish after being given access to the best facilities.

            After all Hunt is 26 at the end of this season, he does not have that much time left at his physical peak and the array of young talent at the SUns will go past him before they become competitive.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 8:44pm
              Ian Whitchurch said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:44pm | ! Report

              Macca,

              I just want to see how deep your pathological loathing of Karmichael Hunt is.

              Hit reply, then type ‘Karmichael Hunt wouldnt get a start for my team, the Melbourne Demons’, and then hit enter.

              Go on. Lie to us.

            • Roar Guru

              May 1st 2012 @ 8:51pm
              Redb said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

              Macca, you miss the point entirely & keep setting the bar higher. Soon he’ll have to win a Brownlow 😉

            • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:00am
              Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:00am | ! Report

              I don’t loath Hunt nor do I barrack for the demons, in fact I am a blues man. In fact he probably would get a game for the demons, but would probably only play 30-50% of the year.

              Redb – The point seems to be that Hunt need to be judged on different standards because he used to play NRL, I see it that there are a lot of other players who haven’t had the “traditional pathway” who don’t get the same leniency. They get judged by how they perform as AFL footballers.

              And as I have said numerous times Hunt is improving but is he a gun? No. Would he get a game in 75% of the other teams in the league, No. Would he have been given as much game time to this point in his career if he was anyone else? No. Would there be as much written baout how great he is if he was any other number 45 draft pick? No.

              • Roar Guru

                May 3rd 2012 @ 8:37am
                Redb said | May 3rd 2012 @ 8:37am | ! Report

                Macca,

                No he is not a gun but if you’ve read a few comments above you would know the editors inserted the title.

                Regardless, Hunt should be judged by different standards becuase he came from a very different path to the game. The talent scouts were right he is suited as an AFL level player.

                I honestly think those who doubted him have egg all over their face now and are moving the goal posts to suit. By any objective analysis he has arrived and by end of season he will be one of the player development success stories of 2012.

              • May 4th 2012 @ 9:27am
                Macca said | May 4th 2012 @ 9:27am | ! Report

                Redb – He hasn’t come from that different a path, there are plenty of Irishmen and others who came to the game late from other sports who get judged solely on their ability to play the game and have had to earn their spot through the 2’s.

                And it isn’t just his article I am talking about, there is a constant stream of them and we have poeple like Ian Whitchurch claiming he will change the way the game is played or others who say he should be given extra credit for all the unseen stuff he does like he is the only AFL player who does them.

                If Hunt does keep progressing and becomes even an average midfielder than I will be more than happy to congratulate him but at this point he hasn’t achieved this, he is just better than he was last year which considering they train everyday of the week 10 months a year isn’t really surprising.

              • Roar Guru

                May 4th 2012 @ 10:59am
                Redb said | May 4th 2012 @ 10:59am | ! Report

                Macca,

                Your wrong, in the media an emerging player from a different background always get more coverage. That Hunt gets more than most is testament to the uniqueness of his switch and his value to the Suns brand going forward.

                You seem to have a problem with him and or Folau specificially. Get over it.

                Dont read or comment on the articles, ignore them.

              • May 4th 2012 @ 1:11pm
                Macca said | May 4th 2012 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

                It’s not a testament to his uniqueness, it’s a testament to the AFL’s desire to market him and their battle for supremacy with the NRL.

                Folau isn’t earing his moring on the filed either and I am sure we will hear planty of things about him being fantastic as soon as he kicks 2 goals in a game but I can at least see the sense in him becasue of his age, the GWS can afford to plough 4-6 years of development into him and end up with a player in the prime age range, Hunt on the other hand will be getting too old by the time he develops.

              • May 7th 2012 @ 6:40am
                ManInBlack said | May 7th 2012 @ 6:40am | ! Report

                And so, as the Suns battled bravely against the Dockers, went down by 7 pts without Ablett, Harbrow and Rischitelli and with Bock out of action from early in the game,

                and one K.Hunt got in the top 5 votes in the Sunday Herald Sun with 22 effective disposals, 3 marks, 4 tackles, 1 goal 1 bh – – and it seems clear that his decision making with the ball is pretty well spot on.

                He’s getting consistently now about the 15-20+ disposals. But, also being very influential in a positive way.

                He’s trending everything in the right direction.

                and – despite getting in the votes – I didn’t see his name mentioned in the actual article about the game – – so, he’s at the point now of no longer being a novelty side show act.

                That – I reckon, is akin to the soccer fraternities desire years ago to be regarded as ‘mainstream’ – – well, K.Hunt is on the verge of being ‘AFL mainstream’. Did anyone see his goal highlighted anywhere on the weekend?

              • Roar Guru

                May 7th 2012 @ 8:39am
                Redb said | May 7th 2012 @ 8:39am | ! Report

                Hunt’s diving mark near the top of the 50 was more impressive than his goal. He is reading the play and positioning himself.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 3:10pm
          Toa said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

          Macca along with other traditionalist continue to campaign against Hunt their crusades are targeted towards the unconventional pathway that’s been provided to him by the AFL.

          What they fail to realise is the AFL is growing with them or without them. As a business model they needed a personality who has the strength to repel criticisms at the same time deliver a product both on & off the field.

          Make no mistake the day Karmichael signed his reputation was continually raped by these so called traditionalist. It angers them witnessing his hard work & leadership qualities that should only be reserved for players who were born with a sherrin

          The kid is both learning & improving its only fair that he deserve some positive feedback from the abuse he’s cop {He probably doesn’t listen to it anyway}. Karmichael has done some great things up there Harley Bennell improvements can be credited to living with k who taught Harley to understand & deal with the ruthlessness of professional football

          A friend of mind mention if want to get a gauge on how respected “k” is grab the footage of karmiche’sl hit on Simon Black. The look on Blackie face before he could turn around was if to say who the ***k was that, it was more so after the game that you will notice well wishers from opposition players that know he’s fair dinkum.

          • May 1st 2012 @ 3:24pm
            Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

            Toa – What a load of absolute rubbish. This is nothing to do with his unconventional pathway which is no different really to Kieran Jack, any of the Irish players, Myke Pyke, Dean Brogan or any of the numerous other players who have come to the game late after excelling in another sport. The difference is that none of these other players a) get $1m a year and b) get rapturous applause for managing to get a possession. He gets treated differently because the AFL want him to be a positive story.

            “The Kid” is coming up 26, he really doesn’t have that much more time left in the game.

            I am sure Simon Blakc has been hit just as hard many times in his 300 game career and I have no doubt the pther players wish him well, whether the fear him or spend any time strategising around his ability his very doubtful.

            And as for the “business model” and the need for a “personality” that is just AFL BS, they need quality players to win games, if you win games you get support. And I am sure Harley could of been helped by any number of the experienced players and coaches on the Suns list on how to deal with life in the AFL.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 3:38pm
              Toa said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:38pm | ! Report

              No disrespect to those players mention but are they known in the south of france, north of england, New Zealand or the Pacific Islands? Like I said the AFL are growing with or without you…..you might want to start building a bridge….

              • May 1st 2012 @ 3:52pm
                Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 3:52pm | ! Report

                Myke Pyke would be known pretty well in Canada and as he played Rugby Union for his country possibly in the other countries you mention, the irish players would be known in Ireland and possibly England or France but what the hell does that matter. Do you really think the AFL suddenly has a foothold in those countries because of Hunt? Is the AFL going to have teams playing out of those countries within the next 30 years? Will Hunt play any role in this expansion if it ever happens? The answer is no, no & no.

                I admit I can’t see the reason for bringing in these 2 expansion teams (especailly GWS) but if they had of said Tassie instead I could see some sense in it, but the reason I criticise Hunt isn’t because I am against expansion it is because I am sick of everyone treating Hunt and the expansion teams in general like superstars for managing to barely do the basics.

                For God sake Ian Whtichurch was saying that Hunt will revolutionise the game, it’s time people started looking at these performances objectively not through the “Gee isn’t it just swell he is trying” glasses that you seem to have on.

              • May 1st 2012 @ 4:02pm
                Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

                Hunt Career Averages (21 Games) – Disposals 9.8, Marks 1.9, Tackles 2.1, Goals 0

                Touhy Career Averages (16 Games)- Disposals 12.4, Marks 2.8, Tackles 1.6, Goals 0.3

                Gee on those stats how are the blues going to keep Touhy under the salary cap!!! Especially as Touhy doesn’t play on ball!

                I look forward to the articles being written about Touhy in this website in the next couple of days!!

              • May 1st 2012 @ 5:03pm
                Toa said | May 1st 2012 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

                When Touhy stats equal Hunts achievements since turning pro at the age of 17 then will talk…..Nobody’s talking Hunt up if anything the consensus are acknowledging his attitude commitment he’s shown in the short space of time…..you need objectively look at it as if Hunt was given to you as a project…then again it doesn’t seem like you have any patience & time for anybody……ahh the traditionalist you can’t change them forever bitter to the very end.

              • May 1st 2012 @ 9:49pm
                ManInBlack said | May 1st 2012 @ 9:49pm | ! Report

                Macca –

                some of us have celebrated all of these players.

                I loved Mike Pyke rucking the Swans into the finals in Rnd 22 2010, alas, just as he seemed to show he was grasping forward player last season he got injured.

                Hanley and Tuohy in particular look pretty good for round ball converts – perhaps illustrating improved coaching? or that some are more natural than others?

                K.Hunt and I.Folau have both done and continue to do an awful lot of regional and domestic promotion that the Irish and others just don’t have the social currency to do.

                I don’t know if you realise that there is a nice little evolution of footy in the South Pacific region, and presently we have a PNG-Nauru combine playing in the QLD U16s championships, which will provide players to a South Pacific squad that will for the 3rd year take on the Aust NAB U16 championships. There’s a serious pathway being developed. Hunt and Izzie, and people like David Rodan(Fiji), Naitanui (Fiji), Aaron Edwards (in Samoa) are giving the AFL some promotional leverage in these nations.

                Hunt and Izzie also provide promotional leverage in Australia – in RL states (NSW/QLD). Now, the expansion logic into NSW and QLD is both expansion and consolidation. To not – would probably be turning the back on the Swans and Lions in a perverse way.
                The key here is something I saw someone write somewhere else – it’s too easy to overestimate what we can achieve in the short term and to underestimate what we can achieve in the long term. The 4 teams in NSW/QLD is a long term investment. Izzie and K.Hunt are very important in accessing the minds of a generation of 8 year olds in those states. The pay off comes much later.
                For Tassie – they’ll get their team. Although – in some respects, I still think they’re better without one. The TSL is moving along nicely now – and with Aurora and Blundstone both improving both the North and South have showpiece venues (relatively speaking).

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:13am
                Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                Toa – So now we should be giving Hunt Credit for what he did pre his AFL career.

                And as for time and patience, as I said he is coming up 26, most AFL players peak around 27-28 and with the Suns list maturing all the time how much time does he actually have?

              • May 6th 2012 @ 9:57pm
                Toa said | May 6th 2012 @ 9:57pm | ! Report

                Macca –

                “I am sure Simon Blakc has been hit just as hard many times in his 300 game career and I have no doubt the pther players wish him well, whether the fear him or spend any time strategising around his ability his very doubtful”

                Macca please explain why Ross sent instructions to start tagging Hunt? i.e.: Pavlich

                “And I am sure Harley could of been helped by any number of the experienced players and coaches on the Suns list on how to deal with life in the AFL”

                Macca don’t read the article below if your NOT SURE of “K’s” ability to provide guidance for his young team mate.
                http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/sport/a/-/afl/13607086/hunt-backs-in-rising-sun-bennell/

              • May 7th 2012 @ 9:29am
                Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 9:29am | ! Report

                I didn’t see the game but if you are saying that Lyon used Pavlich to “tag” hunt you do not know the meaning of the word tag.

                I am sure Lyon would of been more worried about Bennell, Prestia and Illes.

                Bu yes Hunt did have a reasonable game

              • May 7th 2012 @ 12:50pm
                Toa said | May 7th 2012 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

                Macca,
                if you want to understand watch the game, assessing one stats and claiming the assumption lyons was more worried about the Suns disposal leaders stinks of arrogance. The suns as whole performed well and any coaching staff will mention team care factor outweighs individuals performances. I guarantee Harley, Illes, Prestia, Horsely & Hunt if given the opportunity would swap their numbers if it meant a win against the dockers or anybody else.

                note your comment ” I criticise Hunt isn’t because I am against expansion it is because I am sick of everyone treating Hunt and the expansion teams in general like superstars for managing to barely do the basics.”

                Once again watch the game your claims of barely doing the basics leads me to think you don’t have the time or patience to watch this young outfit grow.

              • May 7th 2012 @ 1:26pm
                Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

                Toa – You seem to be ranting. Of course they would swap individual stats for a win, who said the wouldn’t.

                And this week both the suns and Hunt did more than the basics but that doesn’t change the past where below par performances got rave reviews. In fact I have seen less media coverage of the suns 7 point loss and Hunts 22 possessions than I have of the previous weeks efforts.

                And as a gerneal rule coaches don’t use their best player to “tag” someone, they don’t “tag” inside players like hunt as much as they would an outside player and if they are going to tag a player getting 37 possessions would be up higher on the list than someone getting 22 but yes they are all general assumptions.

                As for watching the game, as the blues are on free to air nearly every week I really don’t see the point in shelling out my hard earned to watch the Suns and GWS get beat.

              • May 7th 2012 @ 3:35pm
                Toa said | May 7th 2012 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

                Ranting!!! I’ve merely responded by cutting pasting comments from the abysmal tripe you’ve try to feed us. The fact of the matter is you have base your assessment on reading stats rather than watching a single suns/gws game.
                note – “As for watching the game, as the blues are on free to air nearly every week I really don’t see the point in shelling out my hard earned to watch the Suns and GWS get beat.” It reinforces my comment you lack time & patience….hard earned….its free to air!!!!!

              • May 7th 2012 @ 3:47pm
                Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

                TOa – NOw you seem to have lost your grip on what you actually said, you cut and paste one quote from me and surrounded in with waffle about players trading possessions for wins which both makes no sense and was not being contested.

                I have watched Suns games by the way, just not the past couple and just because my observations are based on stats, reports and others analysis deosn’t make them wrong.

                For example this article praises Karmichael Hunt for a 16 possession game, this week Ian Whitchurch says Ellard from the blues is a downhill skier for a 19 possession and 10 tackle game. The observation that Hunt is treated differently to others and that his possession tallies wouldn’t guarantee him games in most other siides and especially a Suns side with mature top draft picks is hardly outrageous!

              • May 7th 2012 @ 5:15pm
                Toa said | May 7th 2012 @ 5:15pm | ! Report

                Macca the possession trade off comment was residue from your obsessions of gauging players base on their possessions rate.
                lost my grip!!! your words – ” As for watching the game, as the blues are on free to air nearly every week I really don’t see the point in shelling out my hard earned to watch the Suns and GWS get beat”.
                your counter comment –
                “I have watched Suns games by the way, just not the past couple”…that would take us back to the all the games prior the Norths fixture now be careful how you answer this one!!

                “I admit I can’t see the reason for bringing in these 2 expansion teams (especially GWS) but if they had of said Tassie instead I could see some sense in it”…..Well you openly have an agenda & it would make sense if you honestly admit any positive or negative press encompassing both Suns/GWS is sure to be refuted forever the day forward.

                Your right stats don’t lie although relying on them without viewing actual matches clearly gives an false representations of real time effort/non effort.

              • May 7th 2012 @ 5:33pm
                Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

                Your comment regarding the possession may have been in response to me pointing out that 4 players got more than 30 possession for the suns on the weekend but that doesn’t shange the fact that it doesn’t make any sense. Are you trying to say that Bennell, Prestia and co would not be selected before Hunt in years to come? Are you saying that Hunt is will not be struggling for selsction against the player I listed plus new recruits.

                And just because I don’t agree with the AFL’s desire to expand into those areas doesn’t exclude me from rational thought.

                And yes I agree there are some things stats & expert opinion don’t reflect but that is why I ensure I state that I haven’t seen the game, so people can judge my opinion on that basis (it’s also why I asked for extra data in my original post), but in my example of Hunt V Ellard what “exxtra’ is hunt doing that Ellard isn’t?

                You and others are always decrying my supposed bias for questioning Hunt and the expansion teams but it is clear that there is also a fair amount of bias the other way.

                You also seem adept at ignoring my main points and focusing on the triviality.

        • Roar Guru

          May 2nd 2012 @ 6:45am
          The_Wookie said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:45am | ! Report

          You lost me as soon as you said Hampson. The guy has been a machine this year, and anyone that paid any attention to him last year could see it coming. He got injured and then came back in the reserves in the same form. Started the NAB cup where he left off last year.

          Hunt is definitely improving – hes actually turning into quite the decent player. You can be tired of it all you like, but he is looking the goods and the positive press now is still way behind the negative press when he was recruited.

          If any bloke was Joe Bloggs they wouldnt get a mention. I think you have a mandate to have fixed number of negative comments on any number of afl threads at times.

          • May 2nd 2012 @ 9:08am
            Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 9:08am | ! Report

            The wookie, I love Hampson and yes you could see the steps being taken a long time ago, but that is my point, he came from a non AFL back ground and has gone from the blues 3rd ruck last year to possibly their No 1. And I am not the only person to suggest Hampson is the most improved player in the AFL this year.

            And again I am not saying hew isn’t improving but he is still averaging 15 possessions as a midfielder, hardly superstar status.

            If I have a mandate to have any number of negative comments on threads it is only because their seems to be a mandate to have a number of threads talking of how great the new franchises are.

    • Roar Rookie

      May 1st 2012 @ 11:45am
      Davyn said | May 1st 2012 @ 11:45am | ! Report

      Cameron and Macca take a look at the Stats and then understand this guy has been playing football for 3 years, pretty much every other player in the afl has grown up with the game. This is the reason for high interest, the expectation or him to fail was high and now that he is performing well why not enjoy it? The game will only benifit from development and improvement.

      • May 1st 2012 @ 1:05pm
        Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

        Davyn – Hampson didn’t have an AFL background either!

        And the statement that he is “performing well” is an overstatement, he is playing as a midfielder and averaging less than 15 possessions a game and they have hardly played the cream of the crop this year. Yes it is better than he did as a defender last year but it isn’t exactly brilliant.

        • May 1st 2012 @ 1:14pm
          ManInBlack said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          re performing well – his is performing far better than last year, and has been seen to becoming influential when the Suns are playing well.

          His second quarter vs Essendon was very good, about 8 or 9 disposals – and GOOD disposals, i.e. from hard ball gets and given off to good advantage – plus tackles and other physical pressure. Obviously Brad Scott regarded him well on the weekend.

          Just whether he’s going to be able to continue trending and go from now nudging 20 disposals a game (16, 21 and 16 in last 3 games) – if he can start getting 20-25 on a regular basis then he’s pretty well there for the type of player he is.

          And – he’s looking good. He’s certainly not looking lost. It looks to have ‘clicked’. Good on him – I’d expect as his stamina increases that he’ll continue trended up from here.

          • May 1st 2012 @ 1:26pm
            Macca said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

            Yeah he has improved but any other second year player being given that sort of time in the midfield at any other club would probably get a spell in the 2’s if they were only averaging 15 possessions. Their papers wouldn’t be stamped by any stretch but they would be told, you have improved a lot and you have had a taste and these are the areas you need to improve go back to the 2’s and work you arse off and you will probably come back up in a month or so.

            They wouldn’t have the endless drivel and be labelled “a gun” we have had about Hunt.

            As for the type of player he is, he isn’t a shut down or even a run with player and he isn’t an outside player so that only leaves an inside midfielder and they need to get much more than 15 possession, look at brock mclean, everytime he comes up he can only get mid teen possessions and gets dropped because the likes of curnow get more of the ball and do the inside work.

            • May 1st 2012 @ 7:21pm
              Crawf said | May 1st 2012 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

              All of this criticism of the attention Hunt is receiving seems really narrow minded. Look at he big picture here, it’s not about Karmichael Hunt the individual. It’s about promoting the game with two story lines:

              1. At a $1 million a year, the spectator interest and marketing opportunities players like Folau and Hunt offer for ’emerging’ markets is paid back exponentially. Journalists are writing about it, reporters are talking about it, hell we are posting online about it. Or are we all performing monkey’s for the AFL?

              2. It’s also about the AFL saying to youngsters, if you are tough, physically gifted, and athletically gifted, then it doesn’t matter if you come from a Pacific Island and have never played footy, you can still have a crack. Why promote to those already drinking the AFL kool-aid?

              As for Karmichael the individual, for sure he’s been given more opportunities than most, and more money than most, but hey, with the investment the Suns and AFL are putting into this project, why not? And let’s be fair, no-one can say he’s mailing it in. This guy has had to work really hard. He was dropped to the 2’s last year, and could have easily walked away a rich man. Doesn’t seem to be his character to give up. Oh and the stats, possession counts etc, watch a game and see what he’s doing away from the play. He’s not afraid to do the team things, and keep his head over the ball (with the number of youngsters in the Suns, bodies not developed, he’s setting a fine example and a presence).

              Come the end of the season the bakery’s will need to stock up on humble pie.

              • May 1st 2012 @ 7:58pm
                Stan said | May 1st 2012 @ 7:58pm | ! Report

                Brilliantly said

              • Roar Guru

                May 1st 2012 @ 8:55pm
                Redb said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:55pm | ! Report

                All good points Crawf. Most AFL fans are seeing the benefits.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 10:09am
                Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 10:09am | ! Report

                SO basically as I have said he is being given games not because of his performance but because he is a marketing tool?

                And again what happens in a year or 2 when the Suns youngsters bodies have developed?

                And is he the only player on the list who “isn’t afraid to do the teams things”?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 2nd 2012 @ 3:32pm
                Davyn said | May 2nd 2012 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

                Could not agree more Crawf. Hunt is a hard worker and is developing into a well-rounded team player

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 3:44pm
                micka said | May 2nd 2012 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

                Macca said | May 2nd 2012
                “And again what happens in a year or 2 when the Suns youngsters bodies have developed?”

                What happens if Hunt progresses at the current rate and is getting 20-25 touches per game?

                “SO basically as I have said he is being given games not because of his performance but because he is a marketing tool?”
                You left out the part were he is a prime example to his younger team mates of effort, development spirit and the ability to grow and develop despite naysaying by uninformed members of the public.

                He gets more attention than Hampson etc because he is a bigger name with a more interesting and controversial story. Live with it.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:02pm
                Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:02pm | ! Report

                Micka – The young blokes are already more talented, they just have to develop their bodies, and they will improve at least as fast as Hunt so 20-25 touches a game (which is a big assumption by the way) will not necessarily be enough to keep him in the side, especially given his age compared to his competitors and that delisting are compulsory. Look at O’hailpin Carlton didn’t really want to get rid of him but they had to get rid of someone and his age hurt him.

                “You left out the part were he is a prime example to his younger team mates of effort, development spirit and the ability to grow and develop” Is he the only one with those qualities on the list? Last I looked they had a number of players with AFL experience including plenty getting a second chance who could engender their teammates with those qualities.

                And your last point just proves what I have been saying, it isn’t his ability or performance that get’s him all these accolades, it is his profile.

                I would also point out that all those arguing aginst me keep pointing to Hunt’s other qualities to prove his worth which is really proving my point, he is not being judged objectively on his football performance like every other player.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 4:25pm
                Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:25pm | ! Report

                Just to demonstrate my point about if 20-25 possessions is good enough here are the blues on ballers averages
                Murphy 31.6
                Scotland 27.6 (playing mailny as a defender)
                Judd 27.2
                Simpson 27.2
                Gibbs 23.2 (playing mainly as a defender)
                Carrazzo 22.75 (30.33 if you adjust for the fact he really only played 3 games and he is their stopper)
                Robinson 21.40
                Curnow 18.80 (has been the sub or subbed in numerous games)

                So given the Suns number of top draft picks 20-25 possessions is clearly going to have him fighting for s spot and at 28 that make him vulnerable.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 5:43pm
                BigAl said | May 2nd 2012 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

                As a matter of interest, how ‘effective’ are Hunt’s posessions ?

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 6:52pm
                Crawf said | May 2nd 2012 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

                @Macca: Not sure who I am quoting, but let’s say someone smarter than me: “Statistics can be used to support or undercut almost any argument.”

                Okay I am back for one more bite, and will use one of the Carlton players you threw up as justification. Let’s compare Hunt to Gibbs, and do a bit more of a breakdown of these stats:

                It’s true, Gibbs averages 23.2 disposals to Hunt’s 14.8 (with plenty of upside). Gibbs averages double the uncontested possessions 16 to 8. Hunt averages 6.6 contested possessions to Gibbs’ 5.4. Forty-five percent of Hunt’s possessions are contested, compared to 23% of Gibb’s. Macca it sounds like you’ve played a bit yourself, for guys in the engine room (actually anywhere), what value do you put on the contested ball stats? I only wish I was that sort of player with total disregard for self preservation, couldabeen a champion 😉 Make no mistake; every coach is looking for the guys who don’t blink under pressure (you can’t coach this). Not saying you don’t need receivers, but you absolutely need the in and under players, not to mention players willing to clear a path off the ball. The Suns more than most.

                What’s my point? Trying to show stats are just a small piece, and can be manipulated too easily to suit your bias. For me, they’ll receive a cursory glance, at least until they keep records for the one percenters:

                a. The number of times a player causes their opposition to hesitate.
                b. The number of times a player runs a decoy, without a possession.
                c. The number of times a player holds his running line.
                d. The number of times a player gets to contest he had no right to.
                e. The number of times his team mates get a lift when they see his courage (every team hopes they have one)
                f. The number times he gets pole-axed and gets back to his feet.

                Macca go and watch a game live and look for this stuff, forget the stats. Better still if you ever get a chance, sit in a coach’s box, then you’ll get it.

              • May 2nd 2012 @ 7:05pm
                Crawf said | May 2nd 2012 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

                @Big Al: He’s at 78% effective disposal, considering many of these are under pressure and league average is usually around 72%, it’s not bad.

              • May 4th 2012 @ 9:17am
                Macca said | May 4th 2012 @ 9:17am | ! Report

                Hunt averages 1.2 more contested possessions a game, that hardly make him a contested ball knig while Gibbs is a receiver, it just means Gibbs fins space, runs harder for longer to get the uncontested possessions.

                Also as I said Gibbs has been playing as a defender.

                And how many times has Hutn done this? How much more than Gibbs? Given Gibbs gets a lot more uncontested ball you would have to say he is doing a lot more hard running than Hunt.

              • May 6th 2012 @ 10:41am
                micka said | May 6th 2012 @ 10:41am | ! Report

                Macca said | May 2nd 2012 @ 4:02pm | Report comment

                “Micka – The young blokes are already more talented, they just have to develop their bodies, and they will improve at least as fast as Hunt so 20-25 touches a game (which is a big assumption by the way)”

                The 22 possies on the weekend might say otherwise Macca… Hate to say it, told ya so. We don’t even have to wait a year or two to see it. Just admit that he is an AFL footballer. If opposition coaches can say it, surely you and republican can come down from th high horse and chop him out the credit that is due…

                So is Karmichael better than mitch robinson?

              • May 7th 2012 @ 9:14am
                Macca said | May 7th 2012 @ 9:14am | ! Report

                Micka – Bennell had 37 touches and 3 goals, Prestia 32, Illes 32, and Horlesy 30 plus, add in Swallow then Ablett & Rischitelli and Hunt becomes the 7th or 8th best midfielder. Then factor in another draft or 2 plus some more natural progression and his spot is very vulnerable.

                So yes as I have said Hunt is improving and yes by the stats his game on the weekend was a good one (although I didn’t see it) but he has a long way to go given the quality of the list.

                The comparison to RObinon actually proves my point, Robinosn had a very good year last year (much much better than Hunt) but his form hasn’t been as good so far this year and he has significant pressure coming from the likes of McLean, Ellard, Robinson et el. Once Carrazzo Laidler, Judd, Yarran & Waite come back into yesterday’s team who knows who will have to make way.

    • Roar Guru

      May 1st 2012 @ 12:15pm
      Redb said | May 1st 2012 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

      Please refrain from using the word ‘gun’ for an emerging player. Next thing you know bloody Dwayne Russel will call him a superstar or ‘crazy good’ and I’ll be forced to nuke Foxtel’s South Melbourne’s headquarters.

      Ablett, Judd, Brown, Swan, etc are guns.

      Hunt is developing well, very well. He is reading the play, using short bursts to get through traffic and protecting team-mates with mostly legit tackles. Due to the press, the game has evolved to suit a player like Hunt. Kudos to him.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 1st 2012 @ 12:22pm
        Davyn said | May 1st 2012 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

        Gun was not my term, was edited in. I prefer improving player over gun.

        • Roar Guru

          May 1st 2012 @ 1:33pm
          Redb said | May 1st 2012 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

          yes mate I can see that in the URL. Roar editors be damned!

        • May 1st 2012 @ 8:48pm
          Ian Whitchurch said | May 1st 2012 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

          Davyn

          The Roar’s subeditors need to be fired. This site has some great contributors, but their subeditors simply need to be find other employment.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 2nd 2012 @ 3:34pm
            Davyn said | May 2nd 2012 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            Oh i woudn’t say that, they turn my horrible dribble into some form of readable sense. Bit devo about the word choice, Gun is not a word that should be lightly chucked around, same as ‘superstar’ and ‘legend’. I’m sure they are doing a good job.

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 5:45pm
          BigAl said | May 2nd 2012 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

          May be better to describe Hunt as . . . loading up ?

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