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  1. #1
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    Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival



    Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    THERE are a few versions of a quote from late, great Jack Dyer, but let’s just settle for this: “It’s no good being where the ball ain’t.”

    Jack left us before Jake Stringer arrived, but he couldn’t have summed up the Western Bulldogs forward better.

    Taking your eyes off the ball and solely studying a player’s every move is difficult to commit to when you are at the football, but to genuinely understand where a player is in relation to the ball and the capabilities of his teammates, and why, you have to sacrifice your view of the overall spectacle.

    I watched Stringer intently last Saturday. And, wow, the lad has some serious talent and his physical attributes are through the roof. But the downside is that unless his teammates put the ball in his area, he just can’t find it.

    The Herald Sun’s Jon Ralph last year described him as the modern day version of Gary Ablett Sr. After watching Stringer in isolation, I tend to agree with Ralphy more and more.

    The difference is Ablett Sr played in an era that totally suited him. Stringer does not.

    Ablett Sr was the most talented player ever, but in the football intellect department, the great Gazza was not blessed with the smarts of some others.

    As a winger or flanker he could tear an opposition apart on any given day. All that had to happen was that the ball had to play through him. On other days he might not touch the pill and end up going home cold as ice, because when the opposition played down the other wing, or his backline bypassed Gazza’s area, he wasn’t great at altering his game to find and intercept the ball.

    Gazza was instinctive, but not a great reader of the play.

    Malcolm Blight fixed that problem, though. He took the punt to play the 185cm but uber-talented Ablett at full-forward.

    The ground shape funnels to the key forward post and teammates looked for Ablett, or kicked at goal themselves. Gazza finally knew where the ball was going in every game from then on and his ability did the rest.

    The syndrome is the same for Stringer, except that the game has changed from the days when Ablett played. Whereas Ablett never had to leave the goal square except to make a lead, Stringer has to push up the ground to assist in the equalisation of numbers when the ball is in the Doggies’ backline.

    This becomes a problem on the way back to the forward line when his team is bringing the ball forward. Stringer just can’t read the play well enough to cut through the ball’s path and intercept it for a possession. His endurance doesn’t help, either.

    On those types of plays, Stringer has to be the sole target running into space inside forward 50m. Which, I might add, he is brilliantly equipped to do — but he is reliant on his teammates finding him, not him forcing them to kick to him by being in the right place.

    Stringer is fantastic when in the centre for a bounce. He is almost Judd-like with his explosive running power to get away from the congestion. Once again, he is also suited to that scenario because he is in the immediate vicinity of the ball. But when the ball exits the centre, as a midfielder in general play he just can’t find it.

    Like Jarryd Roughead did against Adelaide two weeks ago, Stringer should go into centre bounces, commit to winning the ball and then drift into the forward line straight away and let a genuine midfielder come into the play from the back of the square.

    Recruiters were a little concerned about Stringer’s endurance in his draft year, but he went at No.5 because of his raw talent. Quite obviously he is better now but, when you watch him in isolation, he isn’t anywhere near what you would call a gut-runner.

    Unlike Ablett Sr, Jake can’t stay in the forward line and look to always meet the ball. He has to exercise some endurance and press up.

    Stringer can fly for overhead marks, but for some reason he is very selective. When there is the slightest hint of him losing his balance while airborne, he tends to meet the ball with hard flat hands.

    And that means that the pill will nearly always bounce straight off and away. Think of Jeremy Howe — his hands are soft and cradled. There is virtually no sound when the ball hits Howe’s hands, but there is an audible whack when it hits Stringer’s.

    Howe will do anything, even contort his body through the fall, to make sure that both his hands remain on the ball. Stringer takes his hands off the ball so he can cushion his fall.

    For a star player, Stringer has so much more upside and so much more to give.

    Whoever gets to steer him as a project will have some amazing rewards. The young man has Ablett-like qualities. He just has to give himself the best chance of displaying them.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    That's actually not too bad from Dermott.

  4. #3
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    That's actually not too bad from Dermott.
    Wash your mouth out with soap.

    But I agree.

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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Quote Originally Posted by Mantis View Post
    Wash your mouth out with soap.

    But I agree.
    I happened to be standing unusually close to a large high definition TV on Friday evening whilst the Fox coverage of the Melbourne vs Swans game was on. Man Dermott's had some work done. His face is mesmerising.

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  7. #5
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    I happened to be standing unusually close to a large high definition TV on Friday evening whilst the Fox coverage of the Melbourne vs Swans game was on. Man Dermott's had some work done. His face is mesmerising.
    I think Dermott and Warnie share the same surgeon, they are starting to look alike!

  8. #6
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Quote Originally Posted by jeemak View Post
    I happened to be standing unusually close to a large high definition TV on Friday evening whilst the Fox coverage of the Melbourne vs Swans game was on. Man Dermott's had some work done. His face is mesmerising.
    It looks a bit like he passed out drunk somewhere and instead of his mates shaving his eyebrows or writing "I love fish and chips" on his unconscious face someone has found a Botox gun and thought "hmmm, Dermie's starting to age a bit..."
    AFL premiers 2016
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  10. #7
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Dermie is spot on here. He is a funny one Derm, when he is right, he is a genius. Other times...
    Footscray Bulldogs in the VFL

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  11. #8
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Dermie loves the sound of his own voice, but occasionally he says some real insightful things. I agree he's spot on with Stringer.
    We need to get the ball in his hands way more because he makes shit happen.
    They've done studies you know, 60% of the time, it works every time!
    Brian Fantana.

  12. #9
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Quote Originally Posted by ratsmac View Post
    Dermie loves the sound of his own voice, but occasionally he says some real insightful things. I agree he's spot on with Stringer.
    We need to get the ball in his hands way more because he makes shit happen.
    That's it. Dermie just says stuff to say stuff a lot of the time. When he is bang on, he is as insightful as it gets when it comes to footy.
    Footscray Bulldogs in the VFL

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  13. #10
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    Re: Jake Stringer is the full Package — Dermott Brereton reveals the keys to a much-needed form revival

    Dermiexmakes some good points and it's from a footy player who can call up insights from the game, when his coherent .When Jong played his first few games, he noticed how well Jong read the ball off the contest , it was instinctive and you don't teach that he said.

    Stringer is selective when he goes for a mark, and he does not bring the ball to the ground for the smalls to keep them in the contest
    Not sure if he has been instructed to keep down
    Last edited by macca; 08-07-2017 at 10:50 PM.

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