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The Roar

Earl Chi

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Joined September 2019

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It’s clearly not so simple to assess if well-funded, professional organisations have evaluted the injury risk of Scully and Patton differently. If teams are to retire any ‘injury-prone’ player as you suggest, they’d need to consider what exactly that means in terms of games missed, impact on performance when the player does play, versatility of the player to see if they cannot add value in a less taxing role, with all this indexed to the type and severity of injury that was sustained which might not have a huge amount of data to support an informed decision. The talent pool available to the AFL is very small relative to list spots available, removing a proven performer from the list is a big decision.

A clear view of the Hawks in 2020

There is the counterargument that Birchall’s time out from the game will prolong his career, though I have no idea if this has any statistical or medical basis. I just don’t see how you definitely rule it out.

A clear view of the Hawks in 2020

I don’t know much about injury susceptibility nor have I ever tried to compile any statistics. I would have thought its a very difficult thing to make definitive statements about given it is a science that is constantly progressing.

A clear view of the Hawks in 2020

Not necessarily the most crucial need in terms of best 22 performance but there is (or at least was) next to no ready coverage for Frawley and no valid succession plan for his retirement which is not too far off. Yes Hawthorn played ok in Frawley’s occasional absence, but if forced to play without a KPD for an extended period there is a high chance this is eventually exploited by opposition – which we saw plenty of in Clarkson’s early years. Luckily this never happened. There were other weak components to last year’s list, but nothing so vulnerable as this. Certainly, Hawks fans would be disappointed to see Schoenmakers in the best 22 again, but injury-free he could still have been use-able insurance in the VFL- but ultimately there are now enough better options in this space that he was released.

A clear view of the Hawks in 2020

Definitely they’re a team that needs to be settled to perform, and clearly losing Mitchell took a while to get over. Frost, Patton and Hartley might not be high-profile players but they are structurally significant and their recruitment might signal further tweaking of game style. There may well be delay again this season until we see the Hawks at their best.

A clear view of the Hawks in 2020

Thanks Presti, the article is intended to discuss changes to the roster specifically rather than potential improvements from within the 2019 group moving into 2020- be that the return of Mitchell or improvement from younger players. That could be an article unto itself.
Sure, Clarkson has a systems-based approach but he does need talent to do this. What talent actually means in this context is where Hawthorn departs from many other clubs, I feel that moreso than other clubs Clarkson judges players on their baseline efforts rather than what their best might be, we see this in the way he translates Box Hill form to senior selection/debuts; he never rewards single big games at VFL level with senior selection. Players that consistently don’t do the wrong thing are rewarded more so than those that do exceptional things. Clarkson’s ‘long apprenticeships’ are a bit of a myth given that certain draftees do play seniors very early, his aversion to playing draftees early comes from their typical inconsistency/low dependability which makes coaching to a system more difficult.

A clear view of the Hawks in 2020

haha, nice nitpick. My overall point was that he wasn’t a part of the sustained success, though your point is valid.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Thanks Dave. I’m not sure what the McEvoy move means for Hawthorn in future and whether it can work long-term, it certainly caught out WC on the night. I felt it may have been more a statement about Ceglar than it was about at McEvoy. Brian Lake was an amazing player, a lot of current-day marking defenders get called-out for playing the easier third man up role, but you can’t say that about Lake. His ability to out-mark key forwards in 50-50 contests was demoralising for the opposition. Your favourable view of Robert Campbell’s stint in defence is probably clouded by just how weak Hawthorn’s key position defenders were at the time – think Dawson vs Rocca. Campbell was still easily beaten but at least his strength meant fans didn’t have to deal with the poor aesthetic of their defenders getting rag-dolled. I like what I’ve seen from Kosi. If it makes any sense, I like the way he gets beaten- there’s no panic and no rag-dolling and he doesn’t seem to be phased by losing out sometimes like some defenders do. He seems very self-assured and that’s what the best fullbacks have in common.

Why Hawthorn need to axe more of their ageing stars

I’d estimate there were 30-40 in the 2019 season? The point is, can this be improved and in a league where elite talent is now spread very thin, getting an extra few years out of your A-graders could make a significant difference. Maybe you’re right and 32 is a general physiological limit that will shift only minimally even as player management improves, but I’d hope teams are investing in research in this area.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Agreed, more sophisticated ways of determining when a player is in decline (as opposed to just referencing the player being ‘over thirty’) are surely a priority for AFL-focussed sports scientists. It has the potential to be the next big list management advantage to whichever club works it out, similar to the way Hawthorn profited from undervaluation of high draft picks in the early 2000s.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Yeah definitely interesting to see what they do in terms of tall forwards. Ceglar and McEvoy are only effective in very small spurts. When they spend too long forward they’re easily coached out of the game. Lewis, Nash and O’Brien together was most effective in 2019, and I suspect the Patton talks started before these three started to click. The potential up-side of Patton makes the risk still worthwhile, even if he’s structurally less significant now. If all four players hit their straps at once its an issue, but this rarely happens.

Why Hawthorn need to axe more of their ageing stars

Good points, but Jed Anderson and Ryan Burton probably only saw Hawthorn break even in re-sale value. They are interesting cases because they both looked very promising early. I suspect there are subtle issues in their games that Hawthorn felt would be difficult to change, so they cashed out early. One thing I don’t like about Burton is his slow, winding kicking style that comes unstuck when under pressure. When given space, his kicking is elite though.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

I feel that Hodge and Mitchell were moved on largely because they were too big characters at Hawthorn to play supportive roles, making it hard for the next generation to become on-field leaders. They obviously did it elsewhere, but the context is different coming into a new club where you haven’t once been the big dog and you’re there simply to be a mentor. In the least critical sense of the word, ego is a factor. Burgoyne strikes me as that perfect blend of being able to be a quiet role player and listen to the official leaders, but has the presence to be able to take over when things aren’t going well. This is exactly what you want from veteran players. Roughed, I can’t agree on. His time was up, but the boldness of Hawthorn to move on it early was commendable.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Just to clarify, there’s a bit about 87 players being selected and only Suckling being a success. An edit there didn’t work. What I said was he is the only player that wasn’t at least top performing in the VFL by his second season yet still went on to have a reasonable career. The point being, that is a reasonable cut-off point for delisting. Hawthorn held on too many players much longer than this that never made it.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Sorry, I’ve edited my previous comment because I realised you’re talking about 2016. The final part of my article is about good late pick-ups during and after the threepeat being cause for optimism. You’re being thrown by the title that this website put to my article, the content is only mildly critical and fairly optimistic.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Hawks are old, no doubt, but again there’s more to the story. I think Hawks fans are a little tired of analysis that just reels-off ages. I also don’t think people acknowledge that Clarkson phases players out of team responsibility, well before they are phased out of the starting 22. Its no coincidence that the Hawks seem to cope well with veteran players coming out of the side on gameday.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

You may well be proven correct, but there’s a more interesting and textured story in Hawthorn’s current state and that’s what I’d like to discuss with other fans.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Yeah, you’re right, there’s other contributors and some might even overrule Clarkson for some things- I have no idea, just a fan. I just use Clarkson because he is the figurehead, and when it comes to Hawthorn’s new rebuild, its more common to hear about fans’ ‘faith in Clarkson’, than it is to hear ‘faith in Hawthorn’.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

yes it was, though whatever this new system is meant to be, its not what it was then.

Think Clarko's a draft genius? Think again

Thanks Marty. No, I didn’t choose it. Its interesting because they’ve gone with a populist title that may get more general interest, but a review of no-name VFL youngsters is mostly interesting only to diehard hawks supporters who might actually be put-off by the title which gives the impression of another derogatory piece on Hawthorn’s age profile.

Why Hawthorn need to axe more of their ageing stars

Hey all, thanks for commenting. On its own this was just a player review, but there is a second article that pulled this together with more overarching ideas on Hawthorn’s 2004 and up-coming rebuilds. My profile says that article is ‘scheduled’- this being my first time I’m not sure if that’s code for rejected or it is exactly what it says it is.

Why Hawthorn need to axe more of their ageing stars