Quantifying the Laidley Effect

Lakey91, a commenter on this very blog, did some research on the Dean Laidley Effect yesterday, which he posted over on BigFooty, that I think bears repeating. Do you wonder why we all think Laidley is the Fantasy Antichrist? Are you trying to think of reasons why you should buy Jack Ziebell even though he has now been enveloped by the Dark Side? Here’s proof of our disdain.

It is probably a bit premature but I looked back a bit:

Drafted Player Pick Position Games Played in First Season
2007 Robbie Tarrant 15 FW 0
2007 Levi Greenwood 32 MF 0
2006 Lachie Hansen 3 Back 2, (10 in second)
2006 Gavin Urquhart 21 Back 0, (13 in second)
2005 Matt Riggio 28 Back 0, (2 in second, 7 in third)
2005 Andrew Swallow 43 MF 12 (22 in second, 3 in third)

History doesn’t really show much for Ziebell’s chances although it must be said it would obviously change from player to player. But the fact that the first 2 selections made by the Roos in last 2 drafts only ended up playing 2 first season games between them says a lot – particularly with a high draft pick such as Hansen.

An excellent analysis by Lakey91. (Original post here.) It could be argued that Ziebell is more of a midfield type whereas Hansen and Tarrant are key position players. To address that argument, we need only to look at the case of Swallow, who according to this year’s Prospectus was benched 120 times in 2007, far more than any other Kangaroo. Laidley just doesn’t give anywhere near enough time on ground to his kids.

The corollary to this intense hatred of Laidley’s strategy for grooming his draftees is whether it’s safe to pick his boys up in their second or third year, and treat them as if they’re green rookies straight out of year 12. Case in point in 2009 will be Ben Ross, picked up by North in the pre-season draft in 2007 and given three senior games in two years under the usual Laidley development program. Ross will be priced reasonably close to rookie range at $162,700 in Dream Team and $196,500 in Super Coach if he gets a standard 30% discount as players with his history normally do. Ross was compared with Robert Harvey during his brief stint in the ones this year, and with Ross’s history as a forward-drifting mid and the retirement of Shannon Grant, a spot may well open up for him in the 2009 North best 22.

It would be a brave coach – or a North supporter – who would be locking in a kid like Ross to their plan teams at this stage. He’s just the sort of player who will tantalise you with a good set of numbers in the preseason, but it’s anyone’s guess if he could deliver once Dean “Wormwood” Laidley is fully into senior team mode. What do you reckon? Is there any fantasy currency left in Ziebell, Ross, or any of the aforementioned young Kangaroos? Tell me in the comments.