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Syd+WCE 2011

Sydney

Brief Summary:  A fully fit list would see them play finals again, but their injury troubles may see them just miss.  10 wins and 10th.  (actual at end of season = 12 1/2 wins and 7th  before the finals)

 

 

More Detail:               The departure of Paul Roos  was done as smoothly as possible and his replacement has been in the system for many years.  The problem with the change is that the players may have lifted for Ross’ last season.  And now Longmire as coach loses himself as an assistant (if that makes sense).  Leigh Tudor comes across from the Saints to bolster the numbers.  The Swans sit third (behind Freo and North) for the worst injuries to begin the season.  The fact that players around 30 years old (Craig Bolton, Bradshaw and Kennelly) are all beginning the year injured is a concern.  So is another Malceski knee injury.  To make the finals, they need to get good contributions from these players later in the season.  Three critical players for them are Pyke, Seaby and White. Seaby is a proven player but began his 2011 training late due to ankle surgery.  Pyke and White need to come on and fulfil their potential to help the Swans. Even more important is Mumford.  He, too, has missed some time in the pre season.  But he appears to have come good with some pleasing NAB match performances.  Adam Goodes is starring early in the season.

Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):              Craig Bolton, Bradshaw, Malceski, Moore

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          Kennelly, Roberts-Thomson, Rohan, White

 

Look for improvement from:           Jetta (incorrect), Smith (correct)

Don’t expect too much from:           Craig Bolton hasn’t played since round 5, 2010 and is still injured (correct)

Likely to get a game R1:                   Recruit Everitt looks a cert for round 1

 

Keys for the club:                  The main issue is to get their medium term injured players back on the park and playing good footy while still maintaining touch with the finals.  The back line looks particularly vulnerable with Kennelly, Craig Bolton, LRT and Malceski likely to miss early games.  They are a tough club who can grind out seasons well; so the first half of the year may tell the story.  They also need continued development from youngsters such as Hannebery (will be paid more attention in 2011), Dennis-Lane, Jetta, Kennedy and White.

Important Rounds:   Rounds 1 – 4.  They begin the year with Dees away, Dons, Eagles away and Cats.  A fully fit Swans team would fancy their chance to win at least 3 of these.  Early injuries makes their task more difficult.  Winning at least 2, given the circumstances, would get them to the round 5 bye in good shape.  Then they have 3 home games and a trip to Canberra in rounds 6 – 9. 

Post Season Review (added 26 Jan 2012)

The moral of the story is that the Swans are regularly underestimated.  In this instance, however, the analysis was reasonably good.  Apart from the players with interrupted pre seasons, few of them copped bad injuries during the year.  Alex Johnson looks a likely prospect as does Luke Parker. 

 

 

West Coast Eagles

Brief Summary:  Things are looking more positive for the Eagles and expect significant improvement.  10 wins and 13th.  (actual at end of season = 17 wins and 4th  before the finals)

 

 

More Detail:   The Eagles were 3 and 5 after 8 rounds in 2010 but fell away badly and won only one more game for the year.  They had a relatively inexperienced list and butchered the ball quite a bit, but the main problem was injuries to key players.  In the bad patch from rounds 9 – 22 last year, the following players missed many games:  Butler, Dalziell, Glass, Hurn, Kerr, Masten, Nicoski, Adam Selwood and Shuey.  The injury stats for the Eagles were the second worst in 2010 – only behind Brisbane.  The Eagles begin 2011 in far better shape, injury-wise, than the Lions and they haven’t had to sack 2 players!  The Eagles begin the year with nobody on any medium or long term injury list.  Kerr is the biggest concern, but he did play a WAFL practice match in March.  It should also be noted that they are a proud club and would have been stung by the wooden spoon “award”.  This should provide some motivation.  Add to that the general improvement of a young and inexperienced list and you have enough good news to predict a rise up the ladder.  Their pre season was the perfect lead-in.  They got through to the NAB prelim and never once left Perth. And they do benefit from playing North early while North have injuries and are missing Petrie through suspension.

Definitely missing round 1 (from best 22):              Brown, Adam Selwood

May miss round 1 or be underdone (from best 22):          I’ll get you” Butler, Kerr, Lynch, Masten, Waters

Look for improvement from:           Masten  (incorrect and frustratingly inconsistent), Shuey (correct)

Don’t expect too much from:           Kerr; he has had lots of injuries and may never regain his almost Brownlow form of a few years ago. (incorrect – he actually had a pretty good year after a slow start)

Likely to get a game R1:                   Darling; Callum Wilson (rookie in 2010); Gaff is also a chance

 

Keys for the club:                  If the Eagles experienced players can get on the park this year, it will be a twofold benefit.  They will be able to contribute and also provide leadership to the younger players.  None are more important than Dean Cox and he looks the goods in March (unlike last year when he carried injuries). Look for players in the 20 – 50 game players to begin to emerge (such as Brown, McGinnity, McKenzie, Masten, Scott Selwood).  A win or 2 against Freo would also help!

Important Rounds:               They need to begin their improvement by winning home games.  They begin with the injury troubled Roos (round 1) and Swans (round 3).  After a bye in round 5, they have home games against the Dees (round 6), Dockers (round 8), Dogs (round 9), Suns (round 11) and Port (round 13) before a bye in round 14.  They need to win a minimum of 4 of these (more is possible) and they will have made their way into the middle of the ladder.

Post Season Review (added 26 Jan 2012)

The analysis was a long way off, but 10 wins is about 5 wins more than most experts predicted.  At the beginning of 2011, the only team at longer odds than the Eagles for the flag was the Gold Coast Suns.  Add to this the fact that their injury list was the shortest in the whole league + 2 wins over an injury-depleted Dockers team and they finish 4th.  Darling and Gaff had great debut years.  Kennedy, Lynch, Nicoski and Shuey all showed great improvement compared to their 2010 form.