FanFooty

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.

7 Comments

  1. Raf

    November 30, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    Laidley is definitely frustrating with rookies. But North hasn’t had a first class mid recruited in some time, let alone one ready to play from round 1. Comparisons to Tarrant and Hansen are silly (I note this article doesn’t even mention that Tarrant was injured all season and only got back for 3 VFL games at the end, or Ross’ injuries which are the reason he fell out of the side after a couple of good games). Failure to mention Lindsay Thomas and Matt Campbell is also silly.

    I would expect Ziebell to play round 1, but his continuance in the side will depend on whether he has the fitness base to run out a season (which the likes of Thomas, Urquhart etc did not have). North has a lot of 2nd year midfielders fighting for spots. Guys like Power, Lower, Swallow, Riggio, Ross, Adams, Greenwood. If Ziebell needs a rest, he will get one… Laidley doesn’t need to run anyone into the ground, the query on North’s list is class, not depth. All those guys can play.

  2. Chad

    November 30, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I hate dean laidley, scott d thompson too :)

  3. Nathan

    November 30, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    never trust him

  4. XztatiK *Shaun McKernan!!!*

    December 1, 2008 at 1:03 am

    “Ross was compared with Robert Harvey during his brief stint in the ones this year”

    I Thought it was Brent.

  5. Dazza

    December 1, 2008 at 8:05 pm

    ”It could be argued that Ziebell is more of a midfield type whereas Hansen and Tarrant are key position players.”

    Exactly, adding to that, Tarrant had shoulder surgery and missed the entire year. Take a look at how many games the following 1st round KPP played in their first year: Gumbleton (5), Grant (0), Mcevoy (1), Henderson (8) and Thorp (1). Lachie doesn’t exactly look out of place.

    ”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 reason Swallow was our most benched player was because he played the exact same role as Daniel Harris (in-and-under midfielder). They both have relatively poor endurance and I think you would find that Harro was benched a fair bit as well. But together they made an excellent team.

  6. neutral

    December 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    Jack Ziebell has every chance of playing 10 games for the Kangaroos in ’09 as any other first round midfielder. The “Laidley effect” has been exaggerated immensely without taking into account each individual draftee. As mentioned by Raf and Dazza above, the fact that talls take longer to develop resulting in less game time is not Laidley fault and shouldn’t be an argument.

    What was Laidley’s fault was the vision of winning a flag when he became coach by ‘topping up’ the list. That same year he gave number 2 draft pick Wells 18 games in his first season. The year after, under the same notion of winning a premiership, Laidley gave Swallow 12 games. The reason Riggio didn’t get games is because he was a bottom age pick and given time to develop(as well as persisting in ‘topping’ up the list to chase flags limiting chances of games).

    However, now focusing on youth, Laidley will blood youngsters. 37% of side being 21 years old or younger will mean a greater opportunity will be give to Ziebell etc and the likes of Hansen in ’09. 7 first and second year players got consistent games this year. Urquhart, who struggled in his first season due to OP(injury issues) and having to make a transition from rugby had to learn the game in the VFL for a year. Campbell (21) and Thomas(20) played a full season this year in just their 2nd year. Greenwood, who was close to playing, only missed out due to the depth of norths medium defense. Goldstein, a 20year old project ruckmen also got games.

    With an average and ageing midfield, Ziebell has every chance to debut in round 1 and play 10 games for north Melbourne in 09 and maybe turn out to be the best ’08 draft prospect to play in ’09 in the whole AFL.

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