Darcy Moore will star in defence

Sam Bunn Roar Rookie

By Sam Bunn, Sam Bunn is a Roar Rookie

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107 Have your say

    Make no mistakes about it, Darcy Moore will star playing as a key defender.

    The rumours surrounding a potential move to the backline have been around ever since the end of another disappointing Collingwood season, where Moore played as the number one target inside forward 50, initially struggling before improving his performances as a forward/ruckman in the middle stages of the year.

    Moore’s inability to dominate games as a tall forward should be expected at a young age, but what the 201cm athlete possesses is an unquestionable aerial ability and superstar potential.

    At the Collingwood Member’s Forum earlier this week, Nathan Buckley confirmed that Moore would spend more time in the backline in 2018, a move that in my opinion will benefit Darcy immensely.

    Playing behind the ball allows you to see the play unfold in front of you and gives high-marking players like Darcy the opportunity to fully utilise their greatest asset.

    As a TAC Cup jet for the Oakleigh Chargers, Moore played either end of the ground, with most scouting reports suggesting he looked more comfortable running straight at the footy as a defender.

    Intercept marking is a vital component in today’s game and an asset the best teams generally excel at, and a Magpie backline with Jeremy Howe, Darcy Moore and possibly Ben Reid would be in the elite bracket of the competition in this regard.

    Darcy Moore Collingwood Magpies AFL

    (AAP Image/David Crosling)

    Reid’s career is a perfect example for young Moore in fact, as he was drafted at pick 8 in the 2006 draft (one higher than Moore in 2014) as a key forward.

    After a few seasons struggling to make a strong impact in the forward half, the Pies shifted Reid to defence, where he used his elite ability to read the play and pick off opposition kicks, ultimately being named in the 2011 All-Australian side.

    Moore’s career may follow a similar path, and with the competition opting for smaller forward lines in recent times, his loss up front may not be as big of a hit as it seems.

    Another recurring theme in Moore’s scouting reports coming out of his junior football was his leadership credentials, captaining the Oakleigh Chargers to a TAC Cup premiership.

    It’s a trait we’re yet to fully witness from an external viewpoint, but one that could be fully realised when moved into the backline, where Moore can feel more comfortable and become a leader of a developing young defensive unit featuring the likes of Brayden Maynard, Tom Langdon and Matt Scharenberg.

    With Moore playing as a key defender, the Collingwood backline could look something like this:

    B: Tyson Goldsack, Ben Reid, Jeremy Howe
    HB: Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Jack Crisp
    (Others include Tom Langdon, Matt Scharenberg, Josh Smith, Lynden Dunn)

    If Bucks does indeed solidify the son of a gun in the backline in 2018, Moore should model his game on Jake Lever, a similar age, frame and skill set who is one of the most impactful key-position players in the AFL, a target not beyond the talented young Pie.

    And who knows, a year or two gaining confidence behind the footy could be the springboard Darcy needs to make it as an elite key forward in years to come.

    Sometimes you have to go back to move forward.

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    The Crowd Says (107)

    • December 8th 2017 @ 7:37am
      Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 7:37am | ! Report

      Thanks for the article Sam, a good read. I found the comparison to Jake Lever really interesting as hadn’t thought of the similarities, but see what you mean now. Do you believe the Pies defence can carry two intercept marking defenders? (Howe and Moore) or will they get in each others way?
      My question is if the back line is as you have above what is our forward line going to be?

      • Roar Rookie

        December 8th 2017 @ 10:54am
        Sam Bunn said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        Thanks Peter, yes I believe two intercepts markers can work for the the Pies given Howe’s versatility to play on multiple types of forwards, I reckon it could be a real weapon in slingshotting attacks.

      • Roar Rookie

        December 8th 2017 @ 10:56am
        Sam Bunn said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        And with the forward line, I think we’ll go with a small forward line with players like Elliot, Fasolo and Sidebottom being threats inside 50. Seems Cox will play as a key forward and back up ruck judging by the comments coming out of the club, though I have my doubts on his ability to play forward. Will be interesting to see how it plays out

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 11:11am
        JamesH said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:11am | ! Report

        That’s the problem. Moore will probably do well in defence, but he is still the best bet the Pies have as a key forward and will keep improving if left in that role. Playing him in the backline means a promising defender like Scharenberg could get squeezed out. I don’t see how that is a good thing.

        Daniher had to learn to cope with being the main target at a young age and that’s now working out pretty well for Essendon. The Pies should be backing Darcy in to do the same.

        • Roar Rookie

          December 9th 2017 @ 1:24am
          Sam Bunn said | December 9th 2017 @ 1:24am | ! Report

          That’s a fair point, I too hope Darcy can be a gun forward but reckon he’ll benefit greatly from spending time down back

    • December 8th 2017 @ 8:56am
      Ditto said | December 8th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      I don’t nessarily think it’s a bad move, he actually reminds me a lot ,in the way he plays and moves, of Chris Grant.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 9:19am
      Liam said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:19am | ! Report

      If this does eventuate, I have a question; in Moore’s absence, who’s going to kick the goals?

      Elliot? Is too small, regardless of his aerial ability, to play as a key forward. Mason Cox? Is servicable, but how would he deal with being triple teamed?

      I find it interesting that this article enthuses about intercept marking being the way of the future, yet they seem to fail to grasp that, without Moore forward, they are left in the situation where they have no single real marking threat forward of the ball other than Elliot; fodder for a good intercept marking team.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 9:31am
        Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        Liam – that is my biggest question as well, I am confident Moore could be a good defender but that leaves the pies devoid of any real tall marking threat.

        To me the issue with Moore up forward is that he didn’t have enough assistance and therefore was double teamed and kept out of the contest and unable to use his leap. The pies should be looking to give him more support up forward rather than weaken their forward line further.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:19am
          Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          Macca, it is also generally recognised that key forwards take time to develop. He is only 21, probably won’t peak until 25-26. It is interesting to hear Buckley say he will spend more time in defence but lets see what eventuates. Howe was recruited as a forward and ended up nearly making the All Australian team as a defender. Our pick 6, Stephenson actually reminds me more of Peter Moore than Darcy does. Darcy will be a really good player as he develops in coming years. He has shouldered too much load for such a young man.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 10:24am
            Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

            Peter – my comment isn’t so much about Moore, I think he could be a very good player at either end, but more about the Collingwood list.

            He has no help up forward, no player to draw the extra defender away or even to give him a block and if the pies shift him to defence your forward line will be thread bare.

            The fact that he is even being talked about as a key defender shows you have some holes back their that also need to be filled.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 10:48am
              Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:48am | ! Report

              Hence my question to Sam the author Macca. If Sam is right about that defence line he quotes my question to him is what would our forward line be?

              For me I could see the following forward line up in 2018.

              HF: De Goey, Moore/Howe, Hoskin-Elliott
              FF: Jamie Elliott, Cox/Grundy (rotating) , Fasolo

              Pendlebury and Greenwood will also spend some time forward in rotations and the new pick 6 Stephenson will be given a crack. If Moore is played back, Howe might play forward. I would like them to have another crack with Howe as a forward standing on heads. He is a better player now than when Melbourne tried him there and if Moore is doing well in an intercept role down back it frees Howe to go forward.

              Reid should play back.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 12:02pm
                Paul D said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

                I thought Hoskin-Elliott played mainly as a defender last year?

                I saw lots of Leppa playing kids all over the ground to try and expose them to a lot of different footy between 2014-2016 and I don’t think I need to tell you how it worked out.

                Taking intercept marks in the backline is a lot different to taking them in the forward line. I’ll be astonished if Howe was able to maintain his marking form up front.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 12:53pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                If they don’t put Mayne in that forward line, they are handicapping themselves. If Moore goes back, there’s a good chance Dunn goes forward to add a bit a grunt.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 1:40pm
                Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

                Don, I would love to see Mayne giving a chance and I think he will but Dunn forward? I like him as an aggressive clearing kick defender but can’t see him forward.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:54pm
                Don Freo said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Played there plenty at Melbourne. After all, Sam didn’t name him in his backline.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 12:36pm
              Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

              Paul, Hoskin actually played wing a lot and forward latter part of the year. Your old mate Jack Crisp moved down back. I actually don’t know about the merit in moving Howe forward yet either Paul as it could be robbing Peter to pay Paul (haha). However, I’d like to see it tried perhaps in the practice matches or whatever that terrible pre-season comp is called nowadays.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 1:43pm
                Paul D said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

                Ah Cripsy – the bluntest of steak knives thrown in with that Beams deal. Shame Champion Data doesn’t record marks taken by Collingwood fans in the stands, would improve his disposal percentage immeasurably.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:03pm
                Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                Ah, poor Crispy Paul…he is doing ok and the move down back eases precise target challenges a little.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 9th 2017 @ 1:27am
                Sam Bunn said | December 9th 2017 @ 1:27am | ! Report

                I’m not a believer in moving Howe forward, he’s an incredible asset in defence

              • December 9th 2017 @ 9:50am
                Bretto said | December 9th 2017 @ 9:50am | ! Report

                Crisp shouldn’t be allowed into the ground.
                Does anyone in the league butcher the ball as much. Especially when the whole team is running off, he hands it straight back to the opposition and everyone is out of position.
                The absolute king of the handover.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 12:54pm
        Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        Liam Cox can actually take a grab and also kicks pretty straight. Jamie Elliott is quite small at around 5ft 9- 10 but plays taller and can mark…Fasolo can also take a grab, Greenwood and De Goey can play as solid bodied pocket/half forward/mids. Look out for our pick 6 Stephenson too, he will get a chance in the forward line in 2018.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 1:41pm
          Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

          Peter – Stephenson is 189cm, Greenwood is 181cm, De Goey is 191cm, Elliott is 178cm and Fasolo is 181cm – yes they can take a grab but you don’t want them being a marking target.

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 1:43pm
            Paul D said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

            A cavalcade of the old Collingwood six footers right there

            • December 8th 2017 @ 1:52pm
              Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

              Indeed – although given Carlton’s “Big Nick” was smaller than Patrick Cripps the scale may have shifted.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 11:09am
                reality check said | December 9th 2017 @ 11:09am | ! Report

                At 6 feet two and a bit inches John Nicholls was never a towering ruckman even back in the day, but his ‘Big Nick’ moniker was fully justified, on the basis of his powerful 105kg frame and tree trunk like legs; making him very difficult to out position during ruck duels.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 2:12pm
              Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

              Hey tell that to the Premiers Paul!

              Dan Butler 181 cm
              Jason Castagna 181cm
              Daniel Rioli 179cm
              Josh Caddy 186cm
              Kane Lambert 178cm

              • December 8th 2017 @ 2:50pm
                Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

                The Tigers also had Riewoldt who managed 54 goals and has averaged 48 a year over his 11 year career – not sure you will get that from Mason Cox.

              • Roar Guru

                December 8th 2017 @ 2:54pm
                Paul D said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

                Every one of those players is fleeter of foot than any of the Collingwood players mentioned. And they’re also all excellent defenders and chasers.

                A forward line with Fasolo, Elliott, Cox, Grundy, Varcoe is going to have almost no defensive pressure at all, with them moving with all the urgency of continental drift – one assumes that’s why Mayne was recruited, at least he can chase and lay a tackle.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                PaulD – I would also say that none of the Tigers players are constantly trying to take mark of the year or kick goal of the year – they just play the team role.

              • Roar Rookie

                December 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm
                Murphster888 said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

                That’s true Peter but they are also pressure forwards which is something Collingwoods smalls are not known for.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:44pm
                Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:44pm | ! Report

                Yeah Macca right now we don’t have a Jack. Can Cox kick 50+ in 2018? Well, wouldn’t that be a story for an American new to the game.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 4:57pm
                Slane said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

                It would be a story alright. Straight out of the fiction section.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 5:51pm
                Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 5:51pm | ! Report

                Lol at “continental drift” .

              • Roar Rookie

                December 9th 2017 @ 1:30am
                Sam Bunn said | December 9th 2017 @ 1:30am | ! Report

                I agree that the smaller forward line can work but Paul makes a fair comment in saying that the Pies small forwards pressure isn’t good enough (Elliot and Fasolo for example aren’t good pressure players)

          • December 8th 2017 @ 2:06pm
            Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

            the half forwards are more a leading target Macca rather than a kick to a contest and hope the big bloke takes it like a Cox or Grundy or Moore. Elliott plays way taller than he is too.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm
              Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

              “the half forwards are more a leading target Macca rather than a kick to a contest and hope” Thats the point, you need at least one big bloke like that and if Moore goes back you are hanging your hat on Cox being that player which doesn’t fill me with confidence, especially as the lack of an alternative target means he will be double teamed.

              Also gong with a small forward line means you entries into 50 have to be done with a lot more precision which isn’t exactly something that I associate with the Pies either.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 3:50pm
                Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                Macca, my point is there are viable big marking targets in Cox/Grundy (mainly ruck) /Moore/Howe/Reid… as to which one of those will be the key forward and who will go back I don’t know what the coaching staff plan is, they may not know until preseason trials. At this stage it is pure conjecture but we do have options.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 4:38pm
                Macca said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

                Peter the article suggests this would be your backline

                B: Tyson Goldsack, Ben Reid, Jeremy Howe
                HB: Brayden Maynard, Darcy Moore, Jack Crisp

                So your tall forward is Cox and Grundy who are swapping in the ruck – last year Grundy kicked 4 goals from 20 games and cox kicked 10 from 9 – can you see why I am worried?

                By contrast Carlton had Casboult (34 goals from 22 games) and Kreuzer (12 from 21) rotating between the ruck and forward roles.

              • December 8th 2017 @ 6:00pm
                Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

                Hey Macca, the Pies only tried Grundy with any decent time forward in the final round, give the bloke a chance to kick some goals. The backline in the article is just Sam’s take on it, if it’s not working I’m sure Sam would agree they will shuffle the decks.

              • December 9th 2017 @ 8:08am
                Macca said | December 9th 2017 @ 8:08am | ! Report

                The point is Peter these players can only be in one spot at a time, ifGrundy goes forward he can’t be in the ruck, if Howe goes forward he can’t play in the backline – plugging one hole donkey creates another.

        • December 8th 2017 @ 10:11pm
          Liam said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:11pm | ! Report

          Others have said more or less what I would say in response.

          I will say, though, that I follow the draft a bit, and while Jaidyn Stephenson’s highlight reel is bloody impressive his disposal – as long as he’s not shooting at goal – is ordinary to say the least. He’s got a bit of pace, though, which you guys need a lot, but he needs someone to kick to. If it’s Mason Cox, you’re in trouble; Richmond’s forward line worked because Riewoldt was there to draw the ball to dangerous spots and to get it to ground if he couldn’t mark it, or to smash it into open space for the smalls to pounce, all due to his ability to read the game.

          Cox doesn’t have that, or if he does he hasn’t shown it yet. I know Elliot is quality, but it’s not every coach that’ll let Elliot do his own thing, and if you’re relying on consistency from Fasolo you’re barking up the wrong tree. If Moore spends no time forward, I can’t see how you’re going to kick a winning score.

          Of course, I’ll eat my words come next year no doubt, when you guys find someone unknown to kick 9 and belt the blues.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 10:13am
      Birdman said | December 8th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

      the Pies defence will be busier than a one-legged man in an @rse kicking contest in 2018 esp. if they can’t keep the footy in their forward 50 for any period of time. So yes, I agree Moore will be pretty useful down back.

    • December 8th 2017 @ 11:10am
      Hungry Jack said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

      Seems the Collingwood ‘rebuild’ starts now! Shoring up a leaky backline to stem the flow of opposition scoring. Can’t kick a score themselves so best to stop the onslaught. Gonna be some dour footy played in Pies games!

      • Roar Guru

        December 8th 2017 @ 12:43pm
        Cat said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

        You are a Swans fan if I recall, and you are complaining about dour football?!?

        • December 8th 2017 @ 1:14pm
          Hungry Jack said | December 8th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

          We regularly kick scores Collingwood are incapable of. We have our share of brilliance too, to compliment our workhorses. We have options. Called tempo football. What options will the Pies have? Particularly up forward. Can’t keep swinging Moore and Reid forward and back. Waste Sidebottom as a permanent forward?! More logic to our game plan than I’m seeing here!

          • Roar Guru

            December 8th 2017 @ 3:58pm
            Cat said | December 8th 2017 @ 3:58pm | ! Report

            Now a days sure, but your side invented the damn flood and dour football.

            • December 8th 2017 @ 4:39pm
              Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

              Yep…was it Eade or Roos who tarnished our game with the flood?

        • December 8th 2017 @ 6:15pm
          gus said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

          Hey Cat, if “Dour” Footy as you say, gets us to Grand Finals with the odd premeirship
          I guess thats “Dour”. Go easy cobba.

          • December 8th 2017 @ 6:27pm
            gus said | December 8th 2017 @ 6:27pm | ! Report

            Terry Wallace got “The Flood” going first. Check your facts mate.

            • December 9th 2017 @ 11:06am
              Hungry Jack said | December 9th 2017 @ 11:06am | ! Report

              And combine that with Sheedy’s go backwards and switch of play and what do you get? Cat? Scribe? A game plan ALL teams have aspired to. It’s just that some do it better!

    • December 8th 2017 @ 11:27am
      Peter the Scribe said | December 8th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

      Leaky backline Hungry? well in 2017 we were 9th for points against, about the same as Melbourne. Onslaught huh? so you would say the same about Melbourne, who many predict to threaten top 4 in 2018? Did you just hear the “leaky backline” comment and regurgitate it or actually have a look at the stats for yourself?
      Our average losing margin of 18.8 points per loss was the lowest average losing margin in the league showing a team with potential to transform some of those losses into wins with just about 3-4 goals more in differential.

      • December 8th 2017 @ 12:23pm
        Hungry Jack said | December 8th 2017 @ 12:23pm | ! Report

        Well done Constable Scribe. Fact is Collingwood can’t kick enough goals to win a game of footy so, like many similar teams with the same problem, they have to limit the damage going the other way. A la Carlton! Your suggested forward set up won’t bother many teams I would think so yeah, logically work on defending! Your reliance on stats and ‘proof’ is in your mind, I think stats are too heavily relied on. As a footy watcher for umpteen years my opinion doesn’t always require misleading stats so heavily used by many who just don’t get this game of football.

      • December 9th 2017 @ 11:59am
        reality check said | December 9th 2017 @ 11:59am | ! Report

        Three or four additional goals would certainly have made a big difference for Collingwood during numerous Grand Final disappointments including; 1964, 1966, 1970, 1977 [1st], 1979, 1981 and 2002. The reality however, is that the Pies failed then and are firmly on track for yet another poor season during 2018.

        • December 16th 2017 @ 7:46am
          Chris said | December 16th 2017 @ 7:46am | ! Report

          How can you forget the sale of Doug Searle to Fitzroy? We were without a Centre Half Forward or back-up key back for another twenty five years. Poor Billy Picken and Ted Potter had to shoulder all the workload. The only real Centre Half Forward we have had since the days of Murray Weidemann has been Craig Starcevich and he was in and out of form from time to time. Now, can you please tell me why are we obsessed with Collingwood six-footers? Because the fans want flash rather than substance. Tuddenham, Daicos, Didak,Greening just to name a few. Now the other thing that has cost us flags is the lack of a real rover. The last real rover we had was Lou Richards. We have not had the Kevin Bartlett type who is fast and a goal sneak. I think the closest we got to it were the two Croweaters: Tony Francis and Scott Russell. The spine of any football team wins the big ones and without a Centre Half Forward and/or Rover you can’t win anything! Thanks folks…..

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