It’s time to check out five more stocks worth looking at as we head into the final six weeks of the season.
In the AFL stock market there are three categories: buy, hold and sell. If you’re a keen follower of the game and are looking to invest your time wisely, look no further than the below and keep notes on what happens on a weekly basis.
Sell: New Zealand prediction-related cricket content
Nothing to do with footy to start with, but it wasn’t a pleasant finish to the World Cup. All future predictions will need to take into account the fact “winning” and “not losing” are not the same thing.
Buy: Oscar Clavarino
With Brett Ratten taking over the Saints until the end of the season, it’s time to see the club make some moves to give fans a glimpse of what to expect in the future.
With some winnable games against easier opposition on the run home, there is no better time to give a highly-rated young defender an opportunity than right now.
Clavarino was taken with the 35th pick in the 2017 National Draft, having once been seen as a first-round pick, and has put together 26 games in the VFL for the Saints.
Despite being 197 centimetres, Clavarino isn’t a big-bodied key defender. More of an interceptor in his junior days, now is a good time to introduce the 20-year-old to senior footy, given his importance to the future of St Kilda.
Jake Carlisle has had a few games back and is the experienced head that needs to take on a bigger defensive role, while Callum Wilkie has performed well in defensive roles this season, despite being both undersized and more of a rebounder himself.
Nathan Brown has been a good hand for the Saints but with nothing to come out of the season, getting Clavarino some valuable exposure to the highest level should be a key focus for the Saints.
A few weeks ago, Richmond were annihilated by Geelong at the MCG and we suggested holding all Tiger stock at the time, even suggesting the team will be a flag contender.
With other teams suffering from injuries, form or just a general lethargy, Richmond has quietly been able to bring in a host of key players to find both fitness and form at the senior level. After a comfortable victory over GWS, the Tigers enter the final six rounds of the season with all games at the MCG and an eye on the top four.
With Port Adelaide, Collingwood, Melbourne, Carlton, West Coast and Brisbane to come, Richmond should win at least four if not five of these final six games.
This mid-season resurgence has coincided with a drop-off in form for Dustin Martin, which has been covered by excellent midfield performances by Shai Bolton and Kane Lambert.
Perhaps the most unfairly scrutinised player in the AFL, Tom Lynch, has started to find some form as well, with 18 disposals and three goals against GWS. Lynch, who has only trained once a week for much of the season, has kicked 37.20 in 16 games to sit fifth in the Coleman Medal.
Richmond are arguably the most dangerous team in the competition and they’re hitting their strides at the right time. If Toby Nankervis can get a month of senior football before the end of the season and a top four finish becomes a reality, look out.
We can’t ignore the footage of Alex Rance ramping up his training either. Buy, buy, buy.
It’s getting ugly for GWS, seemingly losing a key player in almost every game. Stephen Coniglio is out for eight weeks after an injury early against Richmond, which followed Josh Kelly’s injury in the latter stages of the game against Brisbane the round before.
Losing A-grade players is far from ideal for a team that simply needs consistency to be a premiership threat, however it’s a reality that has been present for the Giants for much of 2019.
Despite losing four of their past five games and missing Coniglio and Kelly for a while, GWS must not be written off. This is a team that has had to deal with plenty of adversity over the past couple of seasons, and always seems to steady, putting themselves in positions to be successful.
The Giants will make the finals because they have the quality around the ground to stay competitive against the good teams in their run home. Lachie Whitfield’s inclusion is more than timely given who is missing, and we may go old-school and see Toby Greene play as a full-time midfielder for the rest of the season after his performance against the Tigers.
Experienced players will need to step up and take responsibility for GWS to earn a home final in 2019, and I’m backing in Phil Davis, Heath Shaw, Lachie Whitfield, Jeremy Cameron, Toby Greene and even Shane Mumford.
It all starts from a strong defence, and a mentality shift will be important for GWS heading into Round 18 against Collingwood. This will be the biggest test of the run home, and ensuring the defence stays tight and the tackling pressure is good is the first step to being successful.
Sell: Todd Goldstein to St Kilda
When a rumour has been circulated for over a month, it’s time to take a stand and put it to rest. With the club parting ways with their coach, there needs to be a shift in mentality to justify the upheaval that has come across St Kilda.
The first step may be to play Clavarino over Nathan Brown, but the next one should certainly be to publicly deny any interest in Todd Goldstein, laughing off the rumours as just those.
Rowan Marshall has become one of the best four ruckman in the competition in 2019 at just 23 years of age and has clearly found his spot as one of the team’s most reliable players.
The idea behind a potential signing of Goldstein is to maximise Marshall’s ability to play as a genuine utility for the club, both as a big key forward and a permanent kick-behind-the-ball player for a couple of seasons.
If the Saints want to capitalise on Marshall’s athleticism, however, overpaying for a ruckman with a year or two left at best is not the answer for fans, or for the club.
Whispers about signing Sam Draper make more sense, if the Saints truly believe Marshall will work better for them as a second ruckman, and the club should pursue the likes of Peter Ladhams, Darcy Cameron or Draper himself if this is the winning strategy going forward.
It’s a simple idea – grab a strong-performing state league ruckman who can’t break into their club’s senior team and see if they’ll fit into your best 22.
For right now, though, one of the Saints’ strengths is Rowan Marshall and it’s an insult to him and to the supporter base if the club opts to go down a path that ends up with signing Todd Goldstein.
Buy: Western Bulldogs
The Bulldogs are closer to winning a flag than more than half of the competition and only need to fill in a couple of gaps on the list for it to become more apparent. Despite just scraping past the disappointing Demons in Round 17, there is still a strange aura surrounding the Bulldogs – one that was present during the club’s historic rise in 2016.
This midfield group is arguably the best in the competition and if Josh Dunkley hasn’t proven himself as an A-grader this season, it won’t take much for him to do so.
This is a tough team that can win the ball on the inside, get the ball moving swiftly on the outside. Of course, the Bulldogs have their limitations, and another key forward and better run on the outside is on the list.
But strong midfield minutes for Dunkley, Bailey Smith and Patrick Lipinski has allowed Jack Macrae to spread from the contest without fear of hurting his own team’s clearance chances, which has created a more well-rounded approach to the centre.
Having the likes of Sam Lloyd and Tory Dickson kicking goals has released some pressure on Aaron Naughton and Josh Schache, and allowed the Bulldogs to get away with two young key forwards.
The coaching staff has found a better way to limit the negativity that can come from these areas, which has resulted in competitive football.
All that needs to happen in 2019 is for Jackson Trengove to average zero kicks a game – playing outstanding footy as the main key defender – and anything is possible for this team.
Even if they don’t make finals, it’s time to re-invest in your Bulldogs’ stocks – they’re on the way back up.