My 2017 players to watch in review: Port Adelaide Power to St Kilda Saints

Anna Pavlou Roar Rookie

By Anna Pavlou, Anna Pavlou is a Roar Rookie

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    In the 2017 pre-season I picked three players per club to preview for the upcoming season – now I’m looking back at how they did, and grading their performance. Today I’m looking at the Port Adelaide Power, Richmond Tigers and St Kilda Saints.

    Port Adelaide Power

    What I said: Ollie Wines has already built a reputation as a leading midfielder at his young age. Regarded as one of the best young leaders in the AFL, it will be no surprise if Wines steps up yet again and takes his game to the next level. In 2017, he is expected to improve his disposal efficiency to become elite.

    How he really performed: Wines lived up to the expectations, averaging a career-high 27.3 disposals. Further, Wines added a defensive element to his game, where he averaged five tackles a game.

    His clearance game was strong, proving his worth in the congestion of the middle. Wines highlighted his pure brutality and strength by throwing himself into every contest and winning much of the footy in 2017.

    Rating: A

    Ollie Wines Port Adelaide Power AFL 2017

    (Photo by Daniel Kalisz/Getty Images)

    What I said: Hamish Hartlett needs to step up in 2017 in the tough Port defence. Hartlett is in the leadership group and is expected to improve his disposal average.

    At his best, Hartlett uses the ball well and will run and carry out of defence. After a tough off season, he needs to work harder and re-establish himself at Port this coming season.

    How he really performed: Averaging 17 disposals in 2017, Hartlett put his body on the line and proved his worth in the backline.

    He was known for reading the play well during the season, adding to his defensive pressure. He averaged two tackles a game and led his team from the front.

    Rating: B+

    What I said: Angus Monfries is finally returning after his ASADA ban over 2016. Monfries will be desperate for the season to start, and will hopefully be back in blistering form in the forward line.

    He is a dynamic forward who has the ability to kick bags of goals on a regular basis. He is confident with his kicking, has good hands and will be looking to slip right into the Power team once again.

    How he really performed: Monfries played only one game in 2017, due to shoulder surgery and hamstring issues throughout the year. He was heavily managed through the season but unfortunately was deemed unfit on numerous occasions, and retired at the end of the year.

    Rating: N/A

    Richmond Tigers

    What I said: Taylor Hunt, a true competitor at heart, has cemented his spot in the Richmonmd team. The small defender/midfielder adds pace and vision to the backline.

    After coming from Geelong, Hunt is now a vital part of the run and carry off half back. A confident tagger, Hunt should be expected to play his shutdown role yet again in 2017.

    How he really performed: Unfortunately, Hunt only played two games in 2017, missing out on becoming a part of the Tigers’ premiership backline.

    The small defender has now been delisted from the sid. Has signed with Collegians in the VAFA (Victorian Amateurs) after playing 105 matches at AFL level.

    Rating: E

    What I said: Brandon Ellis. A durable midfielder who is an established outside runner who has fantastic vision through traffic.

    With clean hands, Ellis can make his way through contests and possibly hurt teams on the scoreboard. In 2017, he aims to work hard to build an inside element to his game.

    How he really performed: Ellis’ 2017 saw him step out of his comfort zone to become a vital defender and midfielder in the Richmond premiership team.

    Averaging 22.3 disposals, Ellis was noted to have worked hard to improve his pivoting, twisting and ground ball work, evidently improving his run-and-carry.

    His 2017 has allowed Ellis to flourish not only as a footballer, but as a club leader too.

    Rating: A

    What I said: Now at his third AFL club, Josh Caddy is at the cross roads of his career. Starved of on-ball opportunities at Geelong, Caddy finds himself as an experienced player in a club under immense pressure. A great talent who needs to be consistent in 2017.

    How he really performed: Caddy found his feet at his new club, now a premiership player and a vital part of the Richmond midfield and forward line.

    Kicking 21 goals and averaging 17.3 disposals, Caddy proved his versatility wherever he was put on field.

    He played 22 games, maximising his leadership potential, as well as strength and fitness for the future.

    Rating: A+

    Josh Caddy Richmond Tigers 2017 AFL tall

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    St Kilda Saints

    What we said: Maverick Weller. The forward is a value to his young St Kilda team. An aggressive player who applies pressure and tackles hard, he may look to spend more time in the midfield this season He has good skills and can also mark extremely well overhead adding a great variety to the Saints forward line.

    How he really performed: An unfortunate overall drop in performance saw Weller struggle throughout 2017. Held back due to accuracy issues, he kicked only 11 goals, as compared to his 24 in 2016.

    The strong half-forward was dropped later in the season, finishing him with 18 games. Although he did not quite live up to expectations, Weller is working hard this summer to reinvent himself into the dominant half-forward the Saints need.

    Rating: C

    What we said: Jarryn Geary. The defender took a massive leap in 2016 earning him the captaincy in 2017. Reliable on small forwards, Geary is an fast, attacking defender and a confident play reader who can spoil and run. 2017 will be a real test for the man who will not only lead the backline, but the whole club.

    How he really performed: Captain Geary stepped up to the plate in 2017, securing his spot as a vital small defender for the Saints.

    His defensive pressure was immense, seeing him average nearly three spoils a game, as well as laying an average of 2.6 tackles.

    Overall, Geary was judged as elite and will continue strongly on the right path with his young Saints behind him.

    Rating: A

    What we said: Tim Membrey had a breakout 2016 and has established himself as a vital part of St Kilda’s attack. Membrey has the footy smarts and strong mark that makes him a dangerous player up forward.

    A smooth and straight kick, he can be trusted with ball in hand. Membrey works hard and travels up the ground allowing movement behind him in the forward line. Membrey should be able to become even more effective in 2017.

    How he really performed: Membrey kicked 38 goals in 2017, the most for the Saints. He continue his stellar 2016 form, becoming more consistent as the season played out.

    He took some time to settle in, but finished his season strongly. Membrey kicked multiple goals on 13 occasions, his best being five goals against Richmond.

    Rating: B

    Tim Membrey of the Saints

    (AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy)

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    The Crowd Says (1)

    • December 16th 2017 @ 11:21am
      Gfox said | December 16th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

      Disappointing year/end for Monfries

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