Who finishes higher in 2018? Collingwood, Fremantle, West Coast, Hawthorn

The Crowd Roar Guru

220 Have your say

    We love to banter and argue in pre-season, but when all is said and done, the question of “who’s going to be better?” is at the heart of every debate.

    This week, we’re dividing the AFL up into five groups of roughly equivalent teams and asking you that vital question for 2018 – who’s going to finish highest on the ladder of them?

    Yesterday our voters tipped that Carlton would finish higher than Brisbane, North Melbourne and Gold Coast, the Blues winning 38.3 per cent of the vote, with the Lions a close second.

    Vote in our poll and let us know in the comments who of these four teams you think is going to finish higher on the ladder in 2018, and why.



    Let me be honest: picking where Collingwood will finish is all but impossible. And trying to decide where they’ll finish in a group with Hawthorn and the two West Australian clubs is much, much harder.

    I’ll wager that most will say that their three competitors – with the exception of Freo – will probably better them, and that’s probably an appropriate bet.

    But, while Collingwood besting those three might seem unfathomable, I believe it will a combination of Collingwood’s improvement and the decreasing fortunes of the others.

    With the WA teams languishing in rebuilds and Hawthorn being a mystery to me, Collingwood’s backs-to-the-wall approach and classy midfield will see them rise just enough to be top of its group. Probably.

    Jaidyn Stephenson

    (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)


    Josh Barnstable

    After missing the finals for the first time since 2009, Hawthorn are set to rise back up the ladder in 2018 thanks to the new breed of Hawks coming through.

    With scoring power up forward in the form of skipper Jarryd Roughead and the returning Cyril Rioli, they won’t find it hard to pile on the points.

    West Coast are expected to slide down the table due to a mass exodus of veterans and no real youth coming through, while Collingwood and Fremantle both lack personnel up forward and down back.


    Josh Elliott

    The Dockers just haven’t been the sum of their parts over the last two seasons, but there’s no reason why that can’t change in 2018.

    For starters consider the good form Nat Fyfe ended the year in, and then displayed again in the International Rules Series. If it’s at all indicative of what we can expect from him in 2018, he may very well have another Brownlow come September.

    He’s surrounded in the middle by Brad and Stephen Hill, and Lachie Neale – a four-man midfield that doesn’t belong in the bottom section of the ladder.

    With Griffin Logue, Darcy Tucker, Connor Blakely and Cam McCarthy all ready to have an impact – and maybe Andrew Brayshaw and Adam Cerra too – the Dockers could do big things this year.

    Andrew Brayshaw Adam Cerra

    (AAP Image/Brendan Esposito)

    West Coast

    Johnathan Thompson

    Three reasons.

    Optus Stadium – a brand-new stadium brings a chance to create another fortress. With bigger crowds and coming off a semi-final appearance, the Eagles have the chance to cause other sides to fear visiting Optus Stadium.

    Josh Kennedy – the Eagles’ spearhead missed five games with a calf injury last season, but still managed to finish second in the Coleman medal race and if it wasn’t for Sydney’s Lance Franklin having a day out against Carlton, booting 10 goals, Kennedy would have won his third straight Coleman medal.

    With a cleaner run on the injury front, Kennedy can slot a few more majors and help the Eagles over the line more often.

    Nic Nat – the return of Nic Naitanui is huge. While Drew Petrie and Nathan Vardy provided excellent coverage last season, Nic Nat remains one of his side’s most important players and his return adds another string to Adam Simpson’s bow.

    Thanks for voting in our poll! Final results:
    1. Hawthorn Hawks 42.1 per cent
    2. West Coast Eagles 26.2 per cent
    3. Colllingwood Magpie 17.4 per cent
    4. Fremantle Dockers 14.3 per cent

    Rebuild announcement

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    The Crowd Says (220)

    • Roar Rookie

      February 6th 2018 @ 3:51am
      Chancho said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:51am | ! Report

      As a Hawks fan, I was impressed with the second half of the season and there is no reason to think they wont carry this forward into 2018 and that’s why I’m optimistic about us finishing above the other sides in this group. I’m hoping we get to see a lot more of O’Mera in 2018, and I think Roughead having a pre/season behind him will be all the better. Some really good young talent coming through so there’s a lot to look forward to.

      The only negative I see is across our back lines. Yes they came good in the second half of the season but I still don’t see them as the finished article by a long way and for me there is still the question mark over Frawley, and he’ll be the senior man down back.

      Of the other sides in this group my feeling is that they haven’t been able to show their potential because of injuries of the last couple of seasons, especially at Freo, so it’s hard to say where they really should be placed

      • February 6th 2018 @ 10:08am
        Harsh Truth Harry said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        Sorry Chancho but O’Meara has spent the best part of the last four seasons injured poor bloke and why should that change now? It was a big gamble by Clarkson desperate to cling on to the pointy end of seasons. Footy is cyclical though and you will now play the price of success and lack of recruiting with a long time out of contention. Still, you have those flags to remember so I’m sure a decade out of finals won’t hurt that much.

        • February 6th 2018 @ 10:17am
          Brian said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:17am | ! Report

          3 seasons yes but in 2014 he played 22 games out of 22.

          • Roar Guru

            February 6th 2018 @ 12:31pm
            Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

            O’Meara is probably one who could make the biggest difference between Hawks of ’17 to Hawks ’18. If he’s able to string together a good sized patch of games close to his best (with an assumption Mitchell will continue his rich vein of form) it’ll be a massive boost to the Hawks upward trajectory. I’m not sure it’s that great for their midfield to remain so Mitchell-centric.

            Roughead will be interesting. Will he have more improvement in him? If he stays fully fit he’d probably at least perform at very similar levels to last year, but age might be more likely to play a factor in his durability and output.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2018 @ 10:36am
        Penster said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        It’ll be interesting to see the team devoid of Luke Hodge’s commanding presence, more of a distraction than anything else last year. Shiels is the man for my money in the leadership group. Cyril’s hammies are a ticking time bomb, and playing the futures market with O’Meara’s knee is a gamble and pleased the Vickery clanger is behind us. Frawley the senior man down back, what about Birch? Neither played much last year and that’s a concern. Pencil Tom Mitchell in for the Brownlow & Crimmins again.
        I’ve got Freo and the Pies in the top 8, Hawks knocking on the door but a bit louder this year and WCE regrouping around 10-12th.

        • February 6th 2018 @ 12:16pm
          Birdman said | February 6th 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

          I really struggle to see Shiels’ value as the ‘man’ – thought he struggled last year as vice capt and thought Howe went past him as a run with mid which would be ok if Liam was getting more of the ball.

          He wasn’t the only one to struggle post Mitchell and Lewis but expecting a better performance from him in 2018.

          • Roar Guru

            February 6th 2018 @ 12:17pm
            Paul Dawson said | February 6th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            Pin all your hopes to Isaac Smiss birdy

            • Roar Guru

              February 6th 2018 @ 1:52pm
              Penster said | February 6th 2018 @ 1:52pm | ! Report

              But not your “kicking for goal after the siren to get a berth in the finals” hopes.

              • February 6th 2018 @ 2:25pm
                Birdman said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                yep – hopefully Izzy will get the chance to redeem himself one day

    • February 6th 2018 @ 6:01am
      mattyb said | February 6th 2018 @ 6:01am | ! Report

      This is a really interesting group and all four could easily finish anywhere from top 4 to bottom 4 to anywhere in between. If I was going to pick one that I’d fancy the most it would probably be Collingwood.

      Hawthorns biggest advantage would be they have the best coach in the league,who has a solid track record for innovation and being a step ahead of everyone else. Clarkson doesn’t copy anyone and generally speaking everyone copies him.

      Fremantles biggest advantage is they have the best player in the league,as well as the second best coach. I wouldn’t underestimate what effect a fully fit Fyfe might have on the squad.

      The Eagles biggest advantage is that now that they’ll be playing in the best stadium in the country,it will be even more intimidating for opposition clubs than even Subiaco ever was.
      How long it takes them to adjust to the new ground dimensions might be a factor but opposition teams will still need to travel across the entire country to get there. West Coast will pack out the new stadium every week and it’s going to be a very noisy and intimidating place. I wouldn’t be surprised if WC go undefeated at home this year which would go a long way to a finals berth.

      Collingwoods biggest advantage would be the depth of their list,with some solid standout players like Treloar,Sidebottom and Elliott.

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2018 @ 9:38am
        AdelaideDocker said | February 6th 2018 @ 9:38am | ! Report

        Morning Matty! Yeah, it is an especially interesting group. Tricky to definitively place, as well.

        Clarkson is a big factor in Hawthorn’s fortunes. It’ll depend on how he handles the breadth of youth that the Hawks’ have accumulated.

        That comment about the Eagles and the new stadium is also applicable to Freo. I’m very curious to see both the Eagles v Sydney and Freo v Essendon (the respective first games at the stadium) to see how the first games go – but obviously first games won’t tell us anything about how the teams will trend to perform at the stadium.

        And, yeah, I know a lot tend to criticise Collingwood – probably for good reason – but I’m optimistic. I really want to see what they do this year. I genuinely believe they can push close to finals.

        Lots of questions about these four!

        • February 6th 2018 @ 10:25am
          mattyb said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:25am | ! Report

          Yes,good morning AD.
          I do agree the new stadium should also be applicable to Freo. I’m not sure if the Dockers will regularly sell the stadium out though,while I have no doubt the Eagles will be playing in front of full houses every week.
          Wonderful for the people,of Perth and Adelaide also that they now get to watch the footy in the two best stadiums in the country.

          • Roar Guru

            February 6th 2018 @ 10:29am
            AdelaideDocker said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

            Yup, it’s fantastic. I’m still uber-happy about Adelaide Oval, I absolutely love going there. Hell, I love driving past it.

          • February 6th 2018 @ 12:10pm
            Reservoir Animal said | February 6th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

            “Wonderful for the people,of Perth and Adelaide also that they now get to watch the footy in the two best stadiums in the country.”

            That’s assuming anyone can get to or from the Perth stadium given the debacles surrounding its transport arrangements. The 80-minute wait for a departing bus is precisely why Grand Finals should never be held there.

            • February 6th 2018 @ 12:32pm
              Jon boy said | February 6th 2018 @ 12:32pm | ! Report

              You are obviously not aware the bridge is not complete ,which will release another 20,000 in a another direction, which will reduce your 80 minute wait I attended the cricket (full house ) was on a train after 25 mins.

            • Roar Guru

              February 6th 2018 @ 12:41pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 12:41pm | ! Report

              The location they plonked it in, on a peninsula sandwiched against the Packer Casino, is a dud (thanks Col), but the stadium itself is top shelf from a spectator point of view.

              It is very early days to expect seamless transport out of there though, see how they go after a few more big events, they promise it’ll exit vast numbers out of there quickly. I’m not sure the yet to be completed footbridge will make all that much difference once it’s in operation, but it may help a little too.

              • February 6th 2018 @ 7:10pm
                mattyb said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

                The footbridge will help somewhat but the biggest improvments will come from people understanding a little better what option works best for them.
                Big events are always going see people not getting home as quick as they might if they went to the local supermarket.
                It’s wrong for people outside Perth to pretend leaving any stadium is perfect.
                Leaving Docklands is a disaster with not much way around it. Leaving the MCG takes time with the majority of people parking in the city and then going on decent walks back to their car because that’s the best option,train stations get extremely crowded so getting to them takes time and not everyone can immediately fit on.
                Sydney stadiums take time to exit even for small crowds. Adelaide is apparently not bad and I have no idea about Brisbane to be honest.

                When Melbourne hosted the Foo Fighters concert it was a different crowd,with many of the spectators not having their own,learned habits for getting in and out,which caused total chaos. If the Foo Fighters played every week we’d see that problem being sorted out over time to,just like the issues at Perth stadium will be. I highly doubt it will be perfect,but neither was getting home from Subi.

              • February 7th 2018 @ 8:27am
                Reservoir Animal said | February 7th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

                MattyB, whatever your comparisons with other grounds, surely you’ll admit that an 80-minute wait for a bus is unforgiveable for a stadium claiming to be the country’s best. Especially given that the WA government opted for a small-capacity stadium, supposedly in the interests of spectator comfort. One wonders what that 80-minute wait would’ve been like had they built a proper, MCG-sized stadium allowing for 100,000 people.

                The WA government is doing what they always do- blaming the issue on the Federal Government and calling for secession. We’ll see how long it takes before the excuse wears thin.

      • February 6th 2018 @ 12:05pm
        Jon boy said | February 6th 2018 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

        mattyb-No way will WCE win all home games 8 maybe 9 most ,will not beat Freo twice, lucky if they win 2-3 away about ten wins Freo could win 9-10 home (12 in all) 3-4 away about twelve wins providing Ross does not play Ballantyne ,Sutcliffe and Sheridan,

    • February 6th 2018 @ 6:45am
      Slane said | February 6th 2018 @ 6:45am | ! Report

      I have all these teams above the ‘Aints and the Dees…

      • February 6th 2018 @ 10:08am
        Birdman said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        the Saints yes, the Dees no

      • Roar Guru

        February 6th 2018 @ 10:32am
        Paul Dawson said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

        Yeah I can’t get excited about the Saints, they’ve always been hopeless.

        Dees though will give top 4 a shake this year

        • February 6th 2018 @ 7:53pm
          Slane said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

          I know you have a very dear friend at the MCC so I’ll give you a little leeway. Jeeze the Dees keep being underwhelming. Everybody expects them to take the next step but they keep falling over. I refuse to entertain the thought of them in the 8 until they’ve done it two seasons running.

    • February 6th 2018 @ 7:47am
      Magpies army said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Well its between Fremantle Collingwood and Brisbane for the wooden spoon this year .

      Probably Freo gets the spoon though

      Can’t see either West Coast or hawthorn finishing above 12 th

      • February 6th 2018 @ 7:45pm
        Don Freo said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

        The other way…Hawthorn is definitely the least along to path to competitive. Unless they have 6 Burtons, they have no defense.

        Freo’s 8 – 12 injured returnees is enough for top 8 action. The top recruiting should put cream on the cake. The restump is done. Contending again.

        WC will be stronger than last year with NicNat, Kennedy and Lycett back and the VFL artefacts gone.

        Collingwood will do better than Hawthorn, Port, Carlton, Brissy and maybe NM and GC, way better than the Saints.

        Hawks, Port and Saints will be the big plungers.

        • February 13th 2018 @ 2:47pm
          Chuznut said | February 13th 2018 @ 2:47pm | ! Report

          Who were Freo’s 8-12 injured players? I remember Blakely, Walters, Sandilands and A Pearce all being out in the second half of the season. They’ll all be handy inclusions, but I can’t really think of anyone else of significance who was missing in the last few games?

          • February 13th 2018 @ 3:43pm
            Don Freo said | February 13th 2018 @ 3:43pm | ! Report

            Langdon, Balic, Bennell, Spurr, Apeness, Grey, Clarke..even Taberner, Hughes, Neale went off for early surgery at the end. And that’s just off the top of my head.

            Do you only remember Pearce missing half a year?

            • February 13th 2018 @ 6:53pm
              Chuznut said | February 13th 2018 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

              Obviously Pearce was out for the best part of 2 seasons, but given that you’re referring to people who are returning from injury, I’m only really thinking about who Freo were missing in the back half of last season.

              Langdon, Spurr, Apeness and Bennell did miss decent chunks (if not all) of the second half of last season.

              Given that Clarke was delisted and Balic was traded to Melbourne, I wouldn’t have high hopes for their impact for Freo in 2018.

              Grey missed the last 3 due to a hamstring, but most of the other few games that he missed during the year were because he was omitted from the team.

              Taberner only missed games due to omission, otherwise he played in the WAFL every other week.

              Hughes played 20 games last season, including the last 9. The only games he missed were due to omission.

              Neale missed the second last game of the season, but was back for the last game.

              So admittedly, that does give you 8 players returning from decent layoffs last year (not all of which will be guaranteed to make the top 22), but the other players didn’t miss enough (if any) games last season due to injury to consider them as players that will make a big impact on the team due to them being overly missed last season.

              If they can stay relatively injury free, I reckon Freo will surprise a few people this season, and improve on last year, but top 8 (let alone premiership contenders) seems a bit of a stretch this early in what was always said to be a 5 year rebuild.

              • February 13th 2018 @ 7:31pm
                Don Freo said | February 13th 2018 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

                What a strange piece of thinking. If you are going to discount someone like Baliic because he isn’t there this year, then Wilson? Brayshaw? Cerra? And others?

                Balic is a genuine article. 10 or 12 all year…plus Fyfe and McCarthy after a year off.

                You ask. You couldn’t think of them. I enlightened you.

                “That’s 8? No. That’s 10 to 12. If Clarke was fit, he’d do well. He ran out of knees. You dismiss him. He played always when he had knees. He didn’t have a replacement.

                These players are back or have been replaced. It makes a difference. 7 or 8 close results different. Freo lost so many by small margins. A full list and top 4.

                You did ask. No need to argue they weren’t missing. They were. Nothing parochial. They actually weren’t available.

              • February 13th 2018 @ 8:03pm
                DeanM said | February 13th 2018 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

                What you fail to understand is that Fremantle’s entire list take up 40 places in the AFL’s top 100 players list. So any outs of such high caliber are detrimental to their on field success.

              • February 13th 2018 @ 8:43pm
                Don Freo said | February 13th 2018 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

                Top 50.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 2:03am
                Chuznut said | February 14th 2018 @ 2:03am | ! Report

                It appears that because I’ve pointed out some flaws in your statement, you’re now trying to sway the spotlight back around on me, implying that I’m wrong for not realizing that your comments were about how well Freo would’ve performed in 2017 had the not had the injuries that they had? It’s a very Trump-esque way of debating.

                Given that the article is about how Freo will go in 2018, and your initial comment is about the 8-12 players who will be returning from injury this year (we’ve now established that the correct figure is 8), bringing up Balic and Clarke is completely irrelevant to this conversation, and clearly just a poor attempt at smoke and mirrors to swing the debate back in your favor.

                Adding the fact that Fyfe and McCarthy both had a disrupted 2016, is also irrelevant to any of your or my previous comments, as they couldn’t possibly be considered in the group 8-12 returning players, given that they played the majority of 2017. Granted, there is a good chance that they will improve on last year, having played a full season, but again, no one in their right mind would classify either of them as a returning player. It’s just clutching at straws really.

                You initially said that there are 8-12 returning injured players (again – the correct figure is 8) who will put Freo into the top 8, so I asked you to name them, not as an attack on you, but just out of curiosity, so that I could form my own opinion on the impact that they will likely have on their returns. All I did was fact-check the names that you put out there, and found some of them to be incorrect.

                There’s no shame in showing some humility occasionally when you’re wrong.

                Like I said – I think that Freo have the potential to improve in 2018. But to claim that the return of 2 players who are no longer at Freo, as well as several others who were never injured in the first place as a reason to catapult them 6+ places on the ladder, seems a little hard to believe.

              • February 14th 2018 @ 3:49am
                Don Freo said | February 14th 2018 @ 3:49am | ! Report

                Nup. You asked I told.

                Ridiculous argument you are running.;

                “What 10 or 12?”
                I tell you.
                “Pfff! Only 8 of those count”
                As if even 1 or 2 wouldn’t make a difference.

                Chuz…when you have less than 30 to choose from each week, it’s significant. You can reject that but I say you just don’t want to see. That’s your choice but, remember, you asked.

                I just told you and now you complain that I dared do so.

    • February 6th 2018 @ 7:48am
      Rob said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:48am | ! Report

      Im not so sure the new PERTH STADIUM will be an advantage to the eagles… the dimentions are not suited to their game plan… deep wings ironicly have been West Coast undoing particularly since the arrival of Adam Simpson.

      This coupled with the fact they are at best a mid range team that lost 1000 games of on field experience means they may have a pretty ordinary 2018.

      The advantages of playing the new stadium wont come till at least 2019. Remember the crows struggled at Adelaide Oval… and if a healthy one sided crowd is that much of an advantage wouldnt Collingwood and Richmond have won more flags in the past 20 years?

      • February 6th 2018 @ 10:13am
        spruce moose said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        Except, they aren’t deep wings at Optus.

        165 x 130. The width is only an extra 10 metres on Subiaco and still narrower than the MCG. It’s also narrower than the Gabba, SCG, Manuka, Metricon and Sydney Showground. It’s only 1 metre wider than Etihad.

        I don’t think West Coast have a game plan that suits them only on the Adelaide oval and Kardinia!

        • February 6th 2018 @ 10:19am
          Aligee said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          You need to see total playing surface rather than just 160×130 etc etc, that doesn’t actually tell you the deepness or narrowness of pockets, flanks etc.

          total playing surface or those measurements can be misleading to some extent.

          • February 6th 2018 @ 4:54pm
            spruce moose said | February 6th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

            I’m certain there isn’t a team out there that is known for it’s specific deep/shallow pocket play.

            • Roar Guru

              February 7th 2018 @ 12:34am
              Paul Dawson said | February 7th 2018 @ 12:34am | ! Report

              What about the Suns? They have shallow pockets and the AFL has deep pockets

    • February 6th 2018 @ 7:55am
      I ate pies said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:55am | ! Report

      Brisbane will finish above all of them. Freo has the least talent in the AFL outside Norf, West Coast has no midfield anymore, Hawthorn are well coached but have lost too much experience, and no Collingwood player could hit the side of a barn.

      • Roar Pro

        February 6th 2018 @ 1:04pm
        anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 1:04pm | ! Report

        I don’t think Fremantle lacks that much talent in the midfield.

        The problem is they have too many midfielders who are content and not pushed to win their own ball.

        Brad Hill, Stephen Hill, Michael Walter, Danyle Pearce — these are guys who don’t like to get their hands dirty. Don’t win the hard ball. They bludge on Fyfe.

        • Roar Guru

          February 6th 2018 @ 1:28pm
          TomC said | February 6th 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

          Brad Hill maybe, but I think that’s slightly unfair on Stephen Hill and Walters. Outside players primarily, but capable inside.

          I broadly agree that the Freo midfield is too slanted to the outside though, particularly if Mundy continues to play forward.

          • Roar Pro

            February 6th 2018 @ 1:41pm
            anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

            Brad Hill maybe, but I think that’s slightly unfair on Stephen Hill and Walters. Outside players primarily, but capable inside.

            I’ll actually take back what I said about Walters. For a midfielder that plays big parts of a game forward he does have respectable contested ball stats and does back himself to take a contested mark.

            The Hill brothers (Brad especially) and Danyle Pearce are guys that don’t get their hands dirty.

            I don’t think Brad Hill is good enough to think he deserves the Rolls Royce service from Fyfe.

            Losing Weller is probably some what of a blessing in disguise. Another pack skirter with a sense of entitlement.

            • February 6th 2018 @ 2:30pm
              Birdman said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:30pm | ! Report

              jeez – send Brad back to the Hawks – we’d have him back in a heartbeat – totally outside but elite in that role with genuine burst speed and precise disposal.

              IMO it’s too easy to write this kid off but Clarko knows how valuable he is – his departure to WA was another reason why the Hawks struggled last year

              • February 6th 2018 @ 2:53pm
                Jon boy said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

                Brad Hill is a brilliant gut running out side footballer Fairest and Best winner last year without him the dockers would have lost a lot more games,No one is suggesting getting rid of of him or he is not any good just read what the conversation was about !

            • Roar Guru

              February 6th 2018 @ 2:32pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:32pm | ! Report

              I take all of that is just written from what you feel, with little basis in anything else?

              Stephen Hill has become very much a player capable of getting his own ball and been more inside than outside over the past couple of seasons, just last year he was in the top 3 or 4 at Freo for average contested possessions.

              Danyle Pearce is really just there solely to add experience in and around the group at training and at Peel, this year and last. So unless there’s a catastrophic run of injuries he’s not likely to get any run of games in the seniors. Silly to include him in a serious consideration of Freo’s midfield.

              Brad Hill is the purest outside of the (relevant) ones you mention, but also generates a substantial number of opportunities from pure gut running that just wouldn’t be there without it. He doesn’t just sit on the outside and wait to be spoonfed.

            • February 6th 2018 @ 2:35pm
              Jon boy said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:35pm | ! Report

              Right again about Weller, Tom North,Mitch Crowden and Brayshaw all recruits who love to win the hard ball all strong ready to rock and roll . Ross needs to play them forget Ballantyne ,Pearce ,Sutcliffe ,Sheridan etc if he doesn’t he will be out of a job.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 2:59pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

                If you’d been watching closely you would’ve seen Weller was actually pretty fierce at the contest. His tackling probably dropped off a little last year as he had more role expectations as a running half-back. The previous year he had a reasonable average tackle count of the kids down at Freo as mostly a defensive half-forward type and on the wing (Blakely had about 3.6, while Weller’s was around 3.3).

                You play your role, and if your pace and kicking are more valuable to the team than being at the bottom of the pack, then that’s what you’d be wise to do. Still as I say, he wasn’t generally one to shirk the contest or lay the hard tackle if it was there.

              • February 6th 2018 @ 3:11pm
                Jon boy said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                A Hard tackle is that, it is not a hard ball get which the topic is,Chris Mayne was the best tackler in the comp,second to the ball where is he now ?

              • Roar Pro

                February 6th 2018 @ 3:04pm
                anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Weller averaged 4 contested possessions a game last year. Didn’t take a contested mark all year. Averaged less than 1 clearance per game.

                Good luck Gold Coast you’re going to need it.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 3:15pm
                Paul Dawson said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:15pm | ! Report

                How is Ross going to play Weller given he plays for the Suns?

              • February 6th 2018 @ 3:29pm
                Jon boy said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

                Paul Who said Ross is going to play Weller ?

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 3:50pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

                It’s also supposed to be about the midfield and given Weller’s only ever played a handful of games there it kind of makes comparing contested possession counts apples and oranges.

                anon basically called him a dishonest footballer, you agreed. What I’m saying is I’ve seen him consistently hit contests in a full blooded way, whether to win the ball or lay the tackle.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 3:55pm
                Paul Dawson said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:55pm | ! Report

                I missed your comma there Jon Boy.

                anon’s comments on footballers are just flat out nasty and simplistic

                Someone on here made a good point a while back that I’ve tried to adhere to where possible – say what you like about Don Freo, but he never personally slags off players or rips into them from the safety of his computer screen.

                The acknowledgment that even the worst player in the AFL is several orders of magnitude better than any of us is something that goes missing sometimes I feel.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 4:35pm
                Paul Dawson said | February 6th 2018 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

                Hey anon, It’s like Weller was the only inside midfielder that Freo had – did you even consider perhaps that Weller was playing his role, and perhaps the reason he didn’t have so many contested possessions was perhaps because Fyfe averaged 15 and Neale 13 last year?

                It’s why I don’t rate your arguments a pinch of owl dung, you just present a whole bunch of selective cherry picked rot & omit information that doesn’t agree with your foregone conclusion

            • February 6th 2018 @ 7:51pm
              Don Freo said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

              Stephen Hill is at his best inside. Mundy has always been an inside brute (although he will be forward more this year).

              Seems a few of you haven’t heard of Lachie Neale and Connor Blakely. The midfield machine is unmatched in number and class. No midfield is so deep with quality.

              I’ll watch, you can werp.

              • February 6th 2018 @ 9:35pm
                1der said | February 6th 2018 @ 9:35pm | ! Report

                That is a midfield that rated 10th for clearances/centre clearances and 12th at stoppages, plus roving to a top four rucking group for hit outs last year.

              • February 6th 2018 @ 10:47pm
                Don Freo said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:47pm | ! Report

                A top 4 rucking group that did not include Sandi.

                Funny, those stats. Did you know that Champion Data rates Shane Edwards and Jack Sinclair as elite but Joel Selwood isn’t?

                Don’t hope that quoting stats makes any point. Do you know how many games top Freo players missed last year?

                So…Darcy and Griffin were top 4 last year? Hmmmm!

              • February 6th 2018 @ 10:42pm
                Don Freo said | February 6th 2018 @ 10:42pm | ! Report

                Probably better that you weep. That’s a bit classier than werping.

              • February 6th 2018 @ 11:24pm
                1der said | February 6th 2018 @ 11:24pm | ! Report

                Sandilands played more games than both Griffin and Darcy!
                No need for any further comment.

              • February 6th 2018 @ 11:35pm
                Don Freo said | February 6th 2018 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

                There is need for further comment. The comment is, “Exactly!”

                How silly are stats when Freo comes 4th for rucking stats without ruckmen being available.

                It also highlights how weakened Freo was last year.

              • February 7th 2018 @ 2:02pm
                Harsh Truth Harry said | February 7th 2018 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                HaHaha Don freo putting all his faith in Sandilands, an injury prone 48 year old!

              • February 7th 2018 @ 2:52pm
                Don Freo said | February 7th 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

                When you try your hand at exaggerated sarcasm, you don’t need the, “HaHaHa”. That undermines your rhetoric.

                …unless you actually think Sandi is 48 years old. In that case, another one of your apologies is in order. Remember demanding that?

                BTW, where have I put ‘all (my) faith’ in Sandi. I’ll bet you can’t quote anything. You need to read my posts. Look who’s back! Sandi of course, Walters, Langdon, Apeness, Spurr, Alex Pearce, Harley Bennell (imagine what he will put on display when he gets back), Ballas (after half a season out), Fyfe (with fitness back in that leg) McCarthy (with a season under his belt)…Then there are all the draftees and recruits.

                When you look at that you might understand why you can never convince a Freo person to be anything but optimistic. We are all convinced you just mock and argue without ever looking. Each time you try, you parody yourself.

        • February 6th 2018 @ 2:16pm
          Jon boy said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

          anon-i am aware you are not very liked by a lot of Freo fans, and a lot of clowns on this site have accused me of being you but you make a interesting point about those 4 players Firstly Pearce handy player years ago should have been delisted 2-3 years a go,which you are right never a hard ball player. Hill brothers and Walters are brilliant footballers but you are right do not win enough of the hard ball which puts more pressure on Fyfe as you say. At their age it is unlikely to change.

          • February 6th 2018 @ 2:52pm
            Birdman said | February 6th 2018 @ 2:52pm | ! Report


            I smell a hydra…….hmmmm

            • Roar Guru

              February 6th 2018 @ 3:10pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:10pm | ! Report

              Certainly not the clearest nor incisive view on S.Hill and Son Son Walters I’ve ever read. S.Hill has transitioned his game of late to heavily draw on getting the ball on the inside. While Walters, for a guy who’s day job has been as a small forward, with (increasing) parts in the midfield, pulled in some very decent contested possession averages over the past year or two.

          • Roar Pro

            February 6th 2018 @ 3:02pm
            anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

            There’s no reason Brad Hill can’t win the hard ball.

            He just chooses not to. Limits him as a player.

            Stephen Hill is less of a sheep dog than his brother, but still has primarily sheep dog tendencies.

            Champion players go both way in and out.

            I can’t believe Fyfe was yet again snubbed by Freo for their best and fairest.

            Do people think Fyfe actually enjoys winning the hard ball and getting his body beaten up in a contest.

            No. He does those things because you need to do them to be successful.

            Brad Hill’s of the world think they’re above that kind of thing.

            • Roar Guru

              February 6th 2018 @ 4:57pm
              Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 4:57pm | ! Report

              Again empty rhetoric from you anon. Stephen Hill has both inside and outside to his game, that you aren’t aware of that doesn’t change it, but choosing to ignore it is not going to help your paper-thin credibility around these parts.

              And please, what are you on about with that over emotional twaddle with Fyfe? Beside the fact Fyfe would absolutely love getting stuck into contested situations and in fact it’d be near on impossible to restrain him from doing so, at his best no-one can come near him.

              Freo ’17 also have pretty reasonable contributors beyond Fyfe (14.90) in Neale (13.04 CP avg), Mundy (9.57 CP avg) and Blakely, Walters and S.Hill all holding their own averaging in the 8’s. Their spread of contested numbers at the top end compare pretty well to Richmond (Martin 14.52, Cotchin 11.76, Prestia 9.45, then down to Lambert at 7.96).

              • Roar Pro

                February 6th 2018 @ 5:03pm
                anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 5:03pm | ! Report

                Brad Hill averaged 4 contested possessions per game. For a guy around the ball so often he sure avoids winning it.

                Let’s see if he can add that facet to his game this season. That’s what good players do. They go in and out.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 5:18pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 5:18pm | ! Report

                No they do what their team wants/needs them to do. Isaac Smith averaged 5.32 last year, in a side that had an even thinner spread of top end contested possession winners than Freo.

                If that’s his role, that’s his role. Given he won the B&F it’d suggest he more than fulfilled his role to the expectations of those who count.

              • Roar Pro

                February 6th 2018 @ 5:29pm
                anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                I don’t think Hawthorn is a good example. Since early 2016 I was saying that the Hawks were finished with their soft uncontested game plan.

                Clarko doubled down saying he “didn’t give a stuff about contested ball”.

                Cost his team any chance of 4 in a row.l

                Fremantle need Brad Hill to add the contested ball dimension to his game. There’s no excuse for a ball magnet to not be an in and out player.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 7:38pm
                Dalgety Carrington said | February 6th 2018 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

                Aren’t you the Goldilocks? The low contested possession plans are too soft, while the higher contested game is too hard.

                I wouldn’t have thought Hawthorn comparison would be too off base, given they had 2957 CPs in total, while Freo had 2933 in 2017

                I’d also say Alistair Clarkson might know a thing or two about how to manage players within a successful framework. For example, not being rigidly bound in the way things should be and utilising a players strengths for maximum benefit to the team.

                The reason why B.Hill gets so much of the ball is because he runs so hard into space to provide an option. The km’s at speed he does is phenomenal and he gets to do more of what he does best because he doesn’t expend valuable energy trying to dig the ball out of packs.

          • February 6th 2018 @ 3:05pm
            I ate pies said | February 6th 2018 @ 3:05pm | ! Report

            Like I said, Freo doesn’t have a very good list. A few sheep dogs does certainly not make a good list.

            • Roar Pro

              February 6th 2018 @ 4:47pm
              anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

              I ate pies, do you think Rossy helps or hinders Fremantle improving?

              I believe he has promised a premiership by 2020.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 5:14pm
                Paul Dawson said | February 6th 2018 @ 5:14pm | ! Report

                He did not ‘promise’ a premiership. That would be stupid and irresponsible, as that’s not something he can guarantee.

                What he actually said

                “”Ultimately none of us are satisfied with where we’re at,” Lyon said.

                “We’re certainly aiming for a premiership and you don’t shy away from that.

                “Particularly by the end of this tenure, I’ll have no excuse to not have achieved that because we’re fully resourced, fully supported and I’ve certainly got a timeframe where I can make short-term and long-term decisions to get us where we want to be.”

                What he actually said was he’d have no excuses, and would take full responsibility if it didn’t eventuate.

              • Roar Pro

                February 6th 2018 @ 5:17pm
                anon said | February 6th 2018 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

                Particularly by the end of this tenure, I’ll have no excuse to not have achieved that because we’re fully resourced, fully supported and I’ve certainly got a timeframe where I can make short-term and long-term decisions to get us where we want to be.

                So he’s saying he’ll be a failure if he doesn’t win a premiership by 2020.

                I assume that he’s trying to avoid being a failure, so he’s effectively promising a premiership by 2020 otherwise his reputation will be in tatters.

              • Roar Guru

                February 6th 2018 @ 5:46pm
                Paul Dawson said | February 6th 2018 @ 5:46pm | ! Report

                No, you’re the one saying failure. Ross is just putting the responsibility on his shoulders.

                Besides, it’s only 2018 – he’s got another 3 years. You’re just going to have to be patient.

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