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  1. #1
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    Our depth players

    I've had a look at a number of teams various WOOF members are offering up for round one of 2020 and their are a few players not being mentioned that I think could surprise

    Bailey Williams - I'm not sure why Williams fell down the pecking order in 2019 but I think there were a few reasons he struggled to hold a regular spot
    After training with the midfield group in the preseason he was played in the back line with limited results. He played rounds 1, 5 and 10 before being given a more regular spot but then was injured late in the year so 9 senior games was all he could muster which is a poor return over his previous two seasons. It was a haphazard season by his standards.
    The club wasn't quick at all in offering another contract either but that could be due to a combination of a few things including his form, an oversupply of mid sized defenders and potentially that he didn't adapt to the roles he was being asked to play and if I speculate further perhaps his focus wasn't quite where it needed to be. List spots were also in very short supply. He was certainly not given many chances to ride through any challenges around form so was the coach sending a strong message to lift his work rate?

    At his best, Williams is an AFL quality player and I remain very bullish about his 2020 season. I think Doc mentioned him as a potential option on the wing and that could suit both him and the club perfectly. He's played 41 senior games in his four seasons at the club and there is no reason why he can't continue to build on that. If he is just a depth player then it underlines just how deep our list runs.

    Williams is an intriguing player for us in 2020. Capable of a lot but perhaps coming from a long way back

    Next up...Billy Gowers
    Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.
    Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up ó if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
    And what started here will indeed have changed the world ó for the better.

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  3. #2
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    Re: Our depth players

    I wonder how good his endurance is and whether he's capable of playing a role on the wing? He seems best suited to burst speed roles, so I see him either playing as a running defender or an inside-out mid at this stage. He's got a booming kick, but needs to improve his accuracy.

    Big year for him.
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  5. #3
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    Re: Our depth players

    I am undecided on where Williams should be playing, given the depth we have with HBF. With Duryea coming into the team, it has limited Williams' opportunities. How do you fit in Duryea, Daniel, Suckling Crozier, Wood, JJ in the backline with the talls of Keath, Cordy, Young, Trengrove. Williams is going to have to either reinvent himself, or go for an inside mid role.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  6. #4
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    Re: Our depth players

    It's hard to imagine how our leading goal kicker from 2018 (26) in Billy Gowers slid back to the pack so much in 2019 but if you look at most of the best 22 teams being suggested by WOOF members Gowers will continue to struggle to get many games in 2020

    Sam Lloyd was an obvious inclusion that forced a rethink by the MC with Gowers but there were also 2 noticeable areas he struggled with and they are goal kicking accuracy (13 goals 14 behinds) and his tackle count of just 13 from 10 senior games.

    For a mid sized forward he clearly needs to be more accurate in front of goal and lift his defensive work rate

    He was an almost automatic selection in the first half of the season but finished with just 10 senior games for the season

    2020 is a contract year for Gowers so he needs to have a strong preseason and try and establish a spot in the best 22.
    I think it needs to be as a forward pocket but with Wallis returning to the team next season plus Lloyd, Dickson, Dale the resting midfielders Gowers will need more than a bit of good luck

    Is Gowers more than just a depth player? Can he establish himself back into the selection mix? I really don't know but it does show me how much depth we have for 2020

    Next up...Will Hayes
    Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.
    Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up ó if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
    And what started here will indeed have changed the world ó for the better.

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  8. #5
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    Re: Our depth players

    Billy when he's on can be a handy player but as past performances have show he can be also a liability.
    For ever one or two good things he does there are the one or two silly frees that he gives away.
    For example in 2018 frees for 11 frees against 27 and in 2019 FF 5 and FA 13.
    The silly frees the he gives away can sometimes stifle a bit of momentum that we have created and I think sometimes it must deflate the work done by players up field.
    Unless he can turn this part of his games around I think his head is on the chopping block and its just a matter of time when the blade falls.
    There are plenty of talented people in the world. As you already know, talent is not enough. Some of the athletes with the most potential never pan out. What separates the good from the great is determination and work ethic.

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  10. #6
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    Re: Our depth players

    Who do we see Billy competing against in our best 22? I see it as Dale, so if Dale doesn't kick goals, perhaps Billy will be given his spot. However, at best he is a depth player and needs to pull something out of the ordinary at VFL level (like a bag of goals in several matches) to get into the AFL team. At VFL he has also tried his hand at midfield, but with limited success.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  11. #7
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    Re: Our depth players

    I don't think Gowers justifies his spot in the team with an average of only 1.3 tackles a game.
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  12. #8
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    Re: Our depth players

    When Will Hayes broke into the side at round 5 I didn't think he had the form to warrant the selection
    He was kept into the side for 5 weeks before being sent back to the VFL. To his credit he performed well earning a recall for game against Essendon where we thrashed them by over 100 points and stayed in the side for the balance of the season

    He's got great endurance, good pace and has a reasonable skill level. He also works very hard with his tackling
    After a shocking performance in the elimination final I'm not sure where he fits in for 2020 but I can seem him continuing to improve
    Can he continue to improve on his 9 senior games? Only time will tell but depth player or not, Hayes is a more than handy player to have on the list.
    Start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone.
    Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up ó if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.
    And what started here will indeed have changed the world ó for the better.

  13. #9
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    Re: Our depth players

    Hayes did well for the last pick in the draft. You wouldn't expect a player picked in the 70s to have played nine senior games.

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  15. #10
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    Re: Our depth players

    He has endurance and can become an attacking wingman. Needs to improve his ball handling skills and be cleaner with picking up the ball off the ground. I think he will improve as his confidence grows.
    Premierships: AFL 1954, 2016 VFA - 1898,99,1900, 1908, 1913, 1919-20, 1923-24, VFL: 2014, 2016 . Champions of Victoria 1924. AFLW - 2018.

  16. #11
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    Re: Our depth players

    I think Billy is going to struggle for much senior game time, but all of Wallis, Dickson and Dale have missed extended periods with injury before, so as an insurance policy who could potentially push his way in otherwise if form dictates, he's certainly worth his spot on the list this year. I imagine a couple of our small/medium forwards will be under pressure at the end of 2020.


    Hayes I have more faith in, although expect others may go past him this season. He's a really solid option though for the other wing spot and I can see him playing quite a bit of senior footy.
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  17. #12
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    Re: Our depth players

    Great post - really enjoyed the summary on those players. Iíd love to see both Hayes and Gowers push into regular senior contention.

    Gowers needs to lift his work rate when the ball isnít in hand. He doesnít have the raw talent to get by on that alone but has enough to deliver if he works as hard as Dickson did this year. His kicking is woeful, but apart from Schale and Dale that seems to be a requirement for a dogs forward.

    Hayes had an ďalmost, nearlyĒ season for me. Got into the right place so often and got so close to getting his hands on it, or so close to getting it to advantage when he did. Played some great games in some of our best games but itís much easier to ski downhill than uphill. As a first year Iím quietly optimistic and would love him to turn into a regular player. Great engine, strong body - a little more sheen, a clearer head in congestion with experience and perhaps....perhaps.

    There are a couple of other players Iím keen to add to the list:

    Jong - lots spoken about him recently so wonít say a lot but best position is mid IMO which is a tough spot to break into right now

    Wally - been passed by so many others now as an inside mid, would love to see him turned into a permanent forward as he rarely gets beaten one on one and is a decent kick

    Libba - canít believe Iím writing this, wonít be popular - but Dunkley so far ahead of him now. Even lipinski and smith outperformed of late. Who knows if he had a proper crack at the 2019 season - but on recent form alone he may not line up round 1. First player Iíd pick for the GWS final last year though - does add a lot to the team just by being there. Iím torn on this one outside of just form.

    Trengove - Donít see a role for him w the trades of Bruce and Keith. Surely we prioritise the development of Lewis Young - why did we give him the no. 2 otherwise?

    Others Iíd love to know where they are at are Greene, Lynch and La Young.

  18. #13
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    Re: Our depth players

    Libba won't be in full training until February so he won't have the body of work other inside mids will have under their belt.

    It will be interesting to see how the Youngs go as the season progresses. Both have shown good signs but there would be others ahead of them now, specially since Keath has been brought into the club.
    Western Bulldogs: 2016 Premiers

  19. #14
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    Re: Our depth players

    This thread is great.

    What it tells ALL of us is that we have a lot of talent on our list...but talent isn't actually worth much to any of the players in question - what matters is that they perform.

    I would suggest the reason we all had so much trouble selecting a hypothetical round 1 team wasn't so much because there is an excess of talent (there isn't) but because we have a long list of players who honestly haven't 'proven it' at AFL level.

    If you wanted to start a thread called 'players whose onfield performances for the Bulldogs demand they are selected in the side' I think that would be a pretty small list.

    - Bont.
    - Macrae
    - Dunks
    - Hunter
    - Crozier
    - JJ
    - Naughton
    - Daniel (though I have heard he is 'just hanging on' which seems weird to me.

    ummmm....a couple of years ago I would have said Wood. Is there anyone else?
    What should I tell her? She's going to ask.

  20. #15
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    Re: Our depth players

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp View Post
    This thread is great.

    What it tells ALL of us is that we have a lot of talent on our list...but talent isn't actually worth much to any of the players in question - what matters is that they perform.

    I would suggest the reason we all had so much trouble selecting a hypothetical round 1 team wasn't so much because there is an excess of talent (there isn't) but because we have a long list of players who honestly haven't 'proven it' at AFL level.

    If you wanted to start a thread called 'players whose onfield performances for the Bulldogs demand they are selected in the side' I think that would be a pretty small list.

    - Bont.
    - Macrae
    - Dunks
    - Hunter
    - Crozier
    - JJ
    - Naughton
    - Daniel (though I have heard he is 'just hanging on' which seems weird to me.

    ummmm....a couple of years ago I would have said Wood. Is there anyone else?
    I would definitely add:

    English (for lack of any better options on top of some solid performances)
    Lloyd

    ==

    Josh Bruce is a walk up start but hasn't played for us yet.
    Bailey Smith is almost a lock but let's see if second year blues hits.
    Our 1954 premiership players are our heroes, and it has to be said that Charlie was their hero.

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