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Rich+StK 2011

Richmond

Brief Summary:  Great news for Tiger fans! Long years of finishing in the bottom 8 has come to an end!!!!!  This year they will finish in the bottom 9 🙁       

Sorry, Tiger fans and Wrong Ron;  it was too good a gag to pass up.

The Tigers are heading in the right direction but still deep into a big rebuild.  5 wins and 16th (which is not last this year!)  (actual at end of season = 8 ½ wins and 12th)

 

More Detail:   Off-field, the Tigers are making progress, with their new Fighting Tiger Fund already stripping about $2.5 million off the club’s crippling debt.  Brendan Gale is on the right track:  reduce debt, become a strong club and aim to wins flags (rather than just survive).  But the list Hardwick began with was arguably the worst in the AFL.  And now it is one of the youngest.  The players 195cm tall or over (with years of birth included) are:  Astbury 1991, Browne 1990, Derickx 1987 (but new recruit), Graham 1987, Griffiths 1991, Post 1989, Riewoldt 1988, Vickery 1990 and Westhoff (rookie) 1991.  Riewoldt is the only player of that list who has star quality.  Others may get there, but this list alone indicates that the peak for the Tigers is at least 2 – 3 years away. The midfield is shaping up well with Foley returning to assist Cotchin, Martin and Deledio.  Tambling and Cousins are a bit of a loss while fans will watch to see who wins from the Grigg / Collins swap.  The draw is a tad kinder this year.  The “play twice” changes are 2010: Saints, Freo, Port, Crows to 2011: Dons, Lions, Roos.  And they get the Dees in round 14 when the Dees have had 2 x 6 day breaks.  Not too much bad news on the injury front but the club was concerned about poor form in the NAB series.  It all adds up to a similar year to 2010 with real progress aimed at ~2013.  Tiger fans should follow the progress of the above talls as a guide to how soon and how far the rise up the ladder will be.

 

Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):              Griffiths; Moore; King is suspended

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          Browne, Farmer, Newman, Riewoldt

Look for improvement from:           Cotchin (correct), Nahas (correct), Rance (correct)

Don’t expect too much from:           Griffiths shows heaps of potential but is yet to become free from injuries (correct)

Likely to get a game R1:       Grigg, Houli and Conca all look likely.  Fans will know the teams Wednesday night because they play game 1

 

Keys for the club:                  To continue the development on and off the field.  To nurture the young talent coming through the ranks and find some key position players to help Jack Riewoldt. The older players (Newman, Foley, Moore etc) need to be excellent leaders for the large group of youngsters.  Newman looks to be the right man for this task.  The Tigers need one of the young ruckmen to stand up and make an impact on the game. 

Important Rounds:   Rounds 1 – 4 are all against 2010 finalists and look tough (although the Blues may be just a tad vulnerable in round 1), but rounds 5 – 10 before the bye give the Tigers a real chance to notch up some wins.  They play Roos, Lions, Freo, Dogs, Dons (all in Victoria) and then head to Darwin to play Port.

Post Season Review (added 24 Jan 2012)

The analysis was average to fair.  The big man problem was highlighted above; and this was the issue that stopped them from progressing further.  Nonetheless, a jump from 6 wins and 15th (out of 16) to 8 ½ wins and 12th (out of 17) is a step in the right direction.  Tyrone Vickery was the big guy to make great progress, but the real gains came from Nahas, Rance and debutantes Batchelor and Conca.

Vickery aside, it’s now up to the other talls to come good and help Richmond get towards the top 8.

 

 

St Kilda

Brief Summary:  Still a flag threat despite playing in 4 grand finals (or sorts) in the last 2 years without a victory.  15 wins and 2nd. (actual at end of season = 12 ½ wins and 6th  before the finals)

 

 

More Detail:   In some ways the Saints are more vulnerable to a drop down the ladder than many finalists.  They played in an elongated finals series with 2 grand finals.  Very taxing.  They also lost the 2010 NAB Cup Grand Final and the 2009 day Grand Final.  There is only so much of this that a team can take.  The Hawks considered they were “on the limit” in 1986 after losing the 1984 and 1985 Grand Finals.  They managed to get over the line in 1986 and then have a golden era through until 1991.  Expect the Saints (like the Pies) to be flat at some stage in the season due to playing in October.  The list is virtually unchanged.  The Saints got through 2010 reasonably well in terms of injury.  Apart from the Riewoldt hammie, Clarke and Gram had some problems but the rest of the list was pretty healthy.  They begin 2011 with big man problems.  Gardiner and Kozzie are out for some weeks while Rhys Stanley is one of 4 (along with Cahill, Dawson and Steven) to have missed a good preparation due to club suspension.  It is hard to gauge how the various gossip type headlines will affect the club.  It has been rated as a slight negative.  But here is the one big positive that has them tipped to finish 2nd is the draw (compared to 2010).  They still have 6 interstate trips but one less to Perth in 2011.  There are 3 teams which have to play the Saints on the back of 2 x 6 day breaks: Freo, Pies and Dogs.  And they also play the Cats the week after the Cats play Hawthorn. .  A new look groups of assistants (Peter Berbakov – Swans;  Robert Harvey – Blues:  Paul Hudson – Pies;  Steven King          – playing list; Adam Kingsley – Port; David Wheadon  – Cats) is a bonus.  This should give them enough help to finish top 4 again.

 

 

Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):              Gardiner, Koschitzke; Schneider is suspended

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          Dawson, Fisher, Stanley, Steven

Look for improvement from:           Armitage (sort of correct – played 22 games without starring); Stanley (incorrect – had a Darren Crocker of a year which ended with injuries)

Don’t expect too much from:           Gardiner is 32 in July and has knee problems (correct)

Likely to get a game R1:       emergencies for the Grand Final, Armitage looks the goods for a game as does Geary.  Stanley was the other emergency and is on the fringe while Gardiner and Come on Kozzie Come on are injured

 

Keys for the club:                  The Saints need to limit the damage of the almost inevitable slump which should follow the long finals campaign last year.  Also, with Gardiner doubtful and Kozzie’s current injury, they need to be able to get good service from McEvoy and Stanley.  Come finals time, pace may be an issue.  Peake was recruited to fill this void, but he disappointed when it counted in 2010  

Important Rounds:               The games between their byes in rounds 5 and 14 should sort them out.  They begin with 2 road trips (Lions and Crows) then face Blues, Hawks and Dees on 2 x 6 day breaks. Then off to Freo in round 10 followed by games against 2010 top 4 teams Pies, Dogs and Cats.

Post Season Review (added 24 Jan 2012)

The analysis was just fair.  It appears that the club’s decision to give the players an extended rest after the 2010 season backfired in terms of early 2011 season form.  They scored 1 ½ wins from their first 7 games and were 15th on the ladder.  All the great wins through mid season were only enough to get them up to 6th prior to the finals.

Fortunately, I labelled them as one of the more vulnerable teams in the top 4.  It was difficult to measure their vulnerability against their “more friendly than 2010” draw.  The loss of Lenny Hayes was a big blow and it is difficult to determine whether the exit of Ross Lyon had an effect – maybe only late in the season if any.