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AFL Moneyball: Delisted players worth another chance

Roar Pro
30th October, 2015
16
2619 Reads

With the deadline passing for first list lodgement clubs are now preparing their lists for the 2016 season. While a number of players have already been traded or acquired via free agency there are still a number of players available for teams looking for depth.

De-listed players offer clubs the opportunity to fill holes in their lists with role players deigned to give a team maximum bang for a cheap price.

Below is a team of de-listed players who could just find their way onto a club’s list if only someone would give them another chance.

Defenders

Ariel Steinberg, 23 years
Never quite made it as a defender at the Bombers and with a string of tall defenders ahead of him he could never really crack it for a regular game. Could be a third tall or depth player option for a club short on tall defenders.

Mitch Brown, 25 years, former #15 draft pick
While technically not a de-listed player in 2015, having been delisted in 2014 after six seasons with the Cats, Brown showed his potential as a top-up player for the Bombers during the NAB Challenge and throughout the year in the VFL. He would be an ideal player for a club looking for a mature body to use while younger key position prospects develop – Brisbane or Carlton.

Jed Adcock, 29 years, 206 games, former captain
Unlucky to be dumped by the Brisbane Lions and his final few games suggested that he still has plenty to offer. Adcock could appeal to clubs seeking experience and leadership such as the Gold Coast Suns.

Farren Ray, 29 years, 200-plus games
A former number three draft pick who was a regular fixture in the St Kilda Saints’ grand final teams in 2009 and 2010. Ray had an interrupted season in 2015 with a major hamstring injury but could add depth and experience for a team like Essendon or Carlton.

Matthew Watson, 23 years, 23 games, former first round draft pick
Watson was an early draft pick with has the ability to play forward or back. He openly admitted he didn’t work hard enough in his time at Carlton but could be worth a rookie list spot for a team short on tall options, such as Fremantle or Melbourne.

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Matthew Dea, 24 years, 31 games, 2015 reserves best and fairest
Dea won the Tigers’ reserves best and fairest in 2015 but couldn’t break into the first side. He could add value and depth for a team looking for a quality ball user off half-back. The Swans could do worse than consider him for a rookie spot

Midfielders

Anthony Morabito, 24 years, #4 draft pick in 2009
Morabito has a promising career cut short by a series of knee injuries. Fremantle are keen to draft him back as a rookie, as would a number of other clubs.

Jonathan Simpkin, 28 years, 33 games, 2013 premiership player, 2015 Box Hill best and fairest
Simpkin played in a Hawthorn premiership in 2013 and despite dominating at VFL level, including winning Box Hill’s best and fairest this year, he could not break into the Hawks’ strong midfield in 2015.

With former Hawks assistant Brendan Bolton at the Blues – who would be crying out for midfield depth – Simpkin would appeal as a solid clubman and role model for a team looking to re-build.

Elliott Kavanagh, 22 years, 12 games, pick 19 in 2011
A talented ball user as a junior who failed to live up to his early draft status and establish himself in the Bombers team. A fresh start in a new environment could appeal for clubs looking to add depth to their midfield. At 22, Kavanagh would fit the age profile for clubs looking to re-build

Forwards

Matthew Wright, 25 years, 94 games
Played close to 100 games for the Adelaide Crows and was a clever half-forward who could also pinch hit in the midfield. Teams such as the Bombers, Swans and Suns who lack clever small forwards capable of kicking goals could be in the market to offer Wright another chance.

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Majak Daw, 24 years, 16 games
With athleticism to burn it would be hard to imagine he doesn’t end up on a rookie list somewhere. North Melbourne are keen to retain him as a rookie and may do so as other clubs may be wary of signing him with a pending court case in November looming.

Alex Woodward, 22 years
A promising on baller at the Hawks who has been cruelled by a succession of injuries. Woodward shows enough promise for the Hawks to be keen to keep him on as a rookie, however may also appeal for clubs looking for a cheap option. Would be worth a chance for clubs on the re-build such as Carlton or the Saints.

Jarrad Grant, aged 26, pick five in 2007, 81 games
Grant was a top five draft pick who, despite playing regularly this season for the Dogs, found himself without a contract. He has failed to live up to the billing of a top five pick but is a smart forward with good skills who could provide an x-factor for a team looking for something different up forward. The Suns are reportedly interested.

Sam Grimley, 24 years, two-time leading goal kicker in VFL
Has failed to break into the Hawks team and with Ryan Schoenmakers’ development as a tall forward was de-listed by the club. He has been linked to Carlton and teams such as Melbourne or Fremantle would also be recommended to consider.

Kieran Harper, 23 years, 37 matches
A promising youngster when he played his first couple of seasons, injuries have seen his form and momentum drop off. Still young and with previous experience and promise could appeal for a team looking to gain a small forward for greater depth.

On-ballers

Mark Jamar, 32 years, 155 games, 2010 All-Australian
With a lot of movement between clubs for ruckmen at the end of the season it is unknown if any clubs are likely to take an interest in the 32-year-old. Could be a handy back-up for teams who really heavily on one ruckman – such as North Melbourne or Richmond.

Zac O’Brien, 25 years, 13 games, Lions reserves best and fairest
Had an up-and-down year in 2015 after he was involved in an early altercation with Lions coach Justin Leppitsch. Racked up 52 possessions in an NEAFL game and easily won the Lions reserves best and fairest. Has great endurance and could be a handy rookie for teams looking for hard midfielders.

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Andrew Moore, 24 years, 55 games
De-listed by Port Adelaide despite being a top 10 draft pick and only 24 years old. Is likely to find another home, with Richmond showing interest and St Kilda in the frame too thanks to links with Moore’s former coaching director Alan Richardson. Could be a nice fit for a team looking to regenerate an ageing midfield, such as the Hawks.

Interchange

Dan Gorringe, 23, pick #10 in 2010 draft
A high draft pick who has never quite been able to find the consistency to get a regular run in the senior side. Only appeared in the Suns’ NEAFL best players in three games this year which isn’t a massive endorsement for someone hoping to impress a new club. Gorringe does have strong aerobic capacity and the interchange tweaks could make him a worthy risk for a rookie spot.

Brodie Martin, 26 years, 38 games
A well liked midfielder who struggled to get a regular game this season. Adds depth and a strong work ethic for a team willing to take a chance. Martin would be a good role model for a young team on the re-build.

Josh Saunders, 21 years, 22 games
A promising half-forward or wingman with a turn of speed. St Kilda have indicated that they will re-draft Saunders as a rookie if he is still available.

Sam Dwyer, 29 years, played 39 matches
Had a strong debut season for the Pies as a mature-aged rookie but has fallen down the pecking order for game time. Adds depth and a hard body for teams looking to add to their midfield rotations

Jacob Ballard, 21 years, two games, Peel best and fairest winner 2015
A tall and strong midfielder who had limited prospects in a Fremantle team with mids such as Nat Fyfe, Michael Barlow and David Mundy all with similar attributes and stature. Averaged 26 disposals in the WAFL on his way to being awarded Peel’s best and fairest. Would suit a team on the lookout for a tall midfielder with the Saints in need of such a player