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Adel+Bris 2011

Adelaide

Brief Summary:  certs for the top eight

Better draw and fewer injuries

13 wins and 6th            (actual at end of season = 7 wins and 14th)

Biggest improvers for 2011

 

More Detail:   At first glance, the loss of Bock, Burton, Edwards, Goodwin and McLeod would signal a disaster looming.  But the Crows eased them out in stages last year.  Bock was dropped after round 20; Burton was injured after round 7; same story for McLeod after round 11; Goodwin missed the last 6 games through injury; Edwards retied after round 11.  This gave valuable game time to their replacements.  Despite the retirements, they still have one of the oldest lists and, so, won’t be lacking too much in experience.

The draw is great:  one less trip to Perth in 2011 compared to 2010. They don’t go interstate until round 5.  Their pre season is much better this year and they have a lot of players showing improvement,

 

Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):  None

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          Martin; Tippett

Look for improvement from:           Dangerfield (correct); Knights (still too many injuries); Sloane (correct)

Don’t expect too much from:           Callinan – much hyped mature aged rookie has a long term injury (correct)

Likely to get a game R1:  Otten (back from a knee injury); Smith (coach loves him)

 

Keys for the club:      Young guns Dangerfield and Sloane to step up in the absence of retirees

Important Rounds:   Round 1 vs Hawks prior to their round 2 bye. Both teams were terrible early in 2010 and this match will help set up one team for a better year.  After their R16 bye, they play Dons, Saints (away), Port, Lions (away) and Cats.  They can set up their finals campaign in those rounds with winnable games rounds 22 – 24.

 

Post Season Review (added 04 Jan 2012)

The prediction was waaaaay off!  Ouch!!  But there were some excuses

The problem with the prediction was that the Crows were more vulnerable in terms of depth.  And they lost the following players for extended periods:  Phil Davis (who is now at GWS), Matthew Jaensch, David Mackay, Andy Otten, Jason Poprlyzia, Rory Sloane, Scott Stevens (had to retire), Brad Symes and Taylor Walker.

Chris Knighs struggled with form and injury; and there was a revolving door of big men coming in and out of the team (thus never being properly settled): Shaun McKernan, Kurt Tippett (injured), Brad Moran (injured as well) and James Sellar (traded to the Dees).  Sam Jacobs began the year in the SANFL and eventually became the main man.

Then there was the exit of the coach.  The injuries, combined with queries about the game style, probably forced him out and the season was virtually gone at that stage anyway.  And, while some youngsters showed promise, nobody really “came from nowhere” to help fill the gap left by injured players.

 

 

Brisbane

Brief Summary:  finals out of reach; lost too many players

7 wins and 15th               (actual at end of season = 4 wins and 15th)

Another bad year but the bad news is all out now

 

More Detail:   At the start of the year, you want your best list available.  Already, the Lions have lost Fevola and Proud (both sacked).  Add to that long term injuries to Charman, X Clarke and Drummond.  They have also lost Brennan and Rischitelli to the Suns and Sherman to the Dogs.  Then there were rumours of disunity at the club and salary cap problems.  All this as the Suns are getting established.  That’s the bad news. 

 

The good news is that, in share market terms, they have bottomed and now begin the long climb back up. The departures have been somewhat offset by return of Adcock and, eventually, Drummond.  The 2011 draw is kinder this year.  The teams they play twice are the Suns (which is likely to be ongoing and probably good for Brisbane this year), Crows, Swans, Freo, Roos and Tigers.  The coaching stocks look stronger this year with Gary O’Donnell and Shane Woewodin joining the club. And don’t forget the four Rs – Redden, Retzlaff, Rich and Rockcliff.

Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):  Charman, X Clarke and Drummond

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          Brown (should play, but  without a NAB game in 2011)

Look for improvement from:           Redden (correct), Retzlaff (correct, but only just), Rich (treading water in 2011) and Rockliff (correct)

Don’t expect too much from:           Charman (missed all last year and no good news in sight) (correct)

Likely to get a game R1:       Bewick

 

Keys for the club:      New Lions chief executive Malcolm Holmes needs to “right the ship” in 2011.  With two new coaches as well,  the club has a chance to regroup and recommence the rise up the ladder.

Important Rounds:   Round 1 is important vs Freo in Brisbane because two away games in Melbourne follow vs Dogs and Dees.  They wont want to be 0 – 3 at their first break in round 4 with a match against the Saints to follow.  If they can pinch one or more games by round 5, they then hit a streak of winnable games in rounds 6 – 9:  Tigers (away), then Suns, Dons and North all in QLD.  This is their chance to climb the ladder.

Post Season Review (added 04 Jan 2012)

The prediction of 15th was spot on, although they only needed 4 wins to get there (thanks to Port and the Suns).  Not that tipping them to be cellar-dewllers was difficult.

Losing Brown early, then Drummond, Merrett, Patfull and Rich for extended periods killed off any hope of a revival.  Having lost players to the Suns and now Mitch Clark to the Dees, they are in a rebuilding phase. Redden and Rockliff were big imporvers during the season.