Young guns polished up: Team projections for Round 1 2009 AFL season, version 6.0

Injuries are already taking their toll, opening up opportunities for the likes of Demon James Frawley.

I am including injury, suspension and retirement lists for each team, including the two official additions to the long term injury (LTI) list. Keep in mind that these are all projected for round 1, so that some who are currently injured are not included because I expect them to recover in a month’s time.

FB: Jordan McMahon, Will Thursfield, Kelvin Moore
HB: Chris Newman, Luke McGuane, Andrew Raines
C: Matthew Richardson, Shane Tuck, Richard Tambling
HF: Joel Bowden, Cleve Hughes, Brett Deledio
FF: Mitch Morton, Jack Riewoldt, Nathan G. Brown
Fol: Troy Simmonds, Nathan Foley, Daniel Jackson
Int: Angus Graham, Matt White, Shane Edwards, Dean Polo

In: Graham, Polo
Out: Kane Johnson, Adam Pattison
Iffy: Edwards, White, Polo, Tambling
Waiting: Adam Thomson, Ben Cousins, Jake King, Pattison
Injured: Graham Polak, Trent Cotchin, Mark Coughlan, Johnson

Terry Wallace’s pronouncements on radio SEN during the week – most of which were about Dream Team, funnily enough – included an endorsement of Graham as second ruck over Pattison. Johnson’s knee injury will see a like-for-like swap – no, not for the outside play of a Cousins, but for the inside game of a Polo or Thomson.

FB: Chris Johnson, Michael Jamison, Bret Thornton
HB: Paul Bower, Jarrad Waite, Heath Scotland
C: Shaun Grigg, Chris Judd, Kade Simpson
HF: Ryan Houlihan, Matthew Kreuzer, Andrew Walker
FF: Eddie Betts, Brendan Fevola, Chris Yarran
Fol: Cameron Cloke, Bryce Gibbs, Marc Murphy
Int: Shaun Hampson, Richard Hadley, Adam Bentick, Mitch Robinson

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: Scotland, Bentick, Hadley, Yarran
Waiting: Jordan Russell, Dennis Armfield, Brad Fisher, Sam Jacobs
Injured: Andrew Carrazzo, Robert Warnock
Suspended: Setanta O’hAilpin, Nick Stevens

Jacobs is not far away from this side, with the imminent return of Fisher further clouding the perpetually murky area at centre half forward for the Blues. Kreuzer and Cloke are lurking thereabouts, with a committee situation most likely. There are a number of sides rumoured to be thinking of a highly inexperienced ruck combo for the regular season to allow their nominal #1 ruck to plug a hole elsewhere in the team structure, though Hampson and Jacobs might be pushing this theory too far. Warnock is aiming at round 2 or 3, and his return will make the whole mess a lot clearer. Yarran returns this week in the NAB Challenge, so Garlett fans will be watching his numbers to see if he really is over that rolled ankle.

FB: Brent Guerra, Robert Campbell, Campbell Brown
HB: Luke Hodge, Thomas Murphy, Grant Birchall
C: Chance Bateman, Sam Mitchell, Clinton Young
HF: Cyril Rioli, Lance Franklin, Stuart Dew
FF: Mark Williams, Jarryd Roughead, Michael Osborne
Fol: Simon Taylor, Brad Sewell, Travis Tuck
Int: Brent Renouf, Mitch Thorp, Ben McGlynn, Jarryd Morton

In: Renouf, Morton
Out: Stephen Gilham, Jordan Lewis
Iffy: Campbell, Hodge, Brown, Birchall
Waiting: Josh P. Kennedy, Cameron Stokes, Brendan Whitecross, Garry Moss
Injured: Trent Croad, Xavier Ellis, Tim Boyle, Rick Ladson, Gilham, Lewis

It looks inevitable to this Hawk fan that Campbell is going to have to play in defence and let Taylor and Renouf handle the ruck, while he covers for the MIA tall backs. It leaves Campbell open to further pulverising hits like he got from Fev on the weekend, though, so he may stay closer to goal on players like Lonergan and Hall so that the gorillas don’t have as big of a run up from behind. Out at centre half forward there is a big problem, though: Murphy is too small, Thorp too inexperienced and unsuited, Brown needed elsewhere, and Brown and Birchall probably not fit enough. The first three rounds see the likes of Mooney, O’Keefe and Petrie standing at forward 50, and they’re likely to have field days if one or more of the remaining Hawk defenders can’t stand up. Elsewhere, the varying reports are averaging out to Lewis missing round 1, with half a dozen other midfielders underdone, so Kennedy, Stokes and Whitecross are every chance to play, even if as emergencies who come in for late withdrawals. That’s not going ot help much for fantasy purposes though.

FB: Josh Hunt, Matthew Scarlett, Harry Taylor
HB: Darren Milburn, Andrew Mackie, Corey Enright
C: Joel Corey, Joel Selwood, Jimmy Bartel
HF: Steve Johnson, Cameron Mooney, Paul Chapman
FF: Ryan Gamble, Tom Lonergan, Mathew Stokes
Fol: Brad Ottens, Gary Ablett jnr, Cameron Ling
Int: Mark Blake, Simon Hogan, David Wojcinski, Max Rooke

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: Hogan, Gamble, Wojcinski, Milburn
Waiting: James Kelly, Dan McKenna, Shannon Byrnes, Travis Varcoe
Injured: Matthew Egan, Tom Harley, Tom Hawkins

Not much change from their dominant second-half display against the Power. They’ll smash the young Blues this weekend too. There is talk of Ottens moving forward and allowing Blake and Trent West to shoulder the ruck load, with Steve Johnson to rotate more through the midfield, though personally I think Stevie J is far more damaging inside forward 50. I’m strongly considering picking him this year in the hope that the Geelong hierarchy look back at the 2008 GF DVD and realise that much of their problem was Johnson played too far out from goal. News that they’re considering going the other way with Stevie is not filling me with confidence.

FB: Simon Prestigiacomo, Nathan J. Brown, Tyson Goldsack
HB: Heath Shaw, Ben Reid, Harry O’Brien
C: Nick Maxwell, Scott Pendlebury, Tarkyn Lockyer
HF: Leon Davis, Travis Cloke, Alan Didak
FF: Dale Thomas, John Anthony, Anthony Corrie
Fol: Josh Fraser, Shane O’Bree, Dane Swan
Int: Cameron Wood, Marty Clarke, Ben Johnson, Sharrod Wellingham

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: Anthony, Wellingham, Rusling, Corrie
Waiting: Shannon Cox, Brad Dick, Dayne Beams, Steele Sidebottom
Injured: Paul Medhurst, Anthony Rocca, Sean Rusling

Medhurst returns from rehab in the NAB this week, so Corrie’s spot in the 22 is under threat if he gets through that okay. Sidebottom has his chance to stake a claim for a round 1 spot too.

FB: Graham Johncock, Ben Rutten, Brad Moran
HB: Andrew McLeod, Nathan Bock, Jared Petrenko
C: David Mackay, Scott Thompson, Chris Knights
HF: Simon Goodwin, Nick Gill, Richard Douglas
FF: Tyson Edwards, Kurt Tippett, Scott Stevens
Fol: Ivan Maric, Nathan Van Berlo, Brent Reilly
Int: Patrick Dangerfield, Michael Doughty, Robert Shirley, Bernie Vince

In: Petrenko
Out: Jason Porplyzia
Iffy: Rutten, Van Berlo, Tippett, Petrenko
Waiting: Taylor Walker, Andy Otten, Aaron Kite, Brodie Martin
Injured: Brett Burton, Brad Symes, Greg Gallman, Porplyzia

Porps is scheduled to resume contact work in “mid-March”, which tells me that he’s going to struggle to gain enough match fitness to be worth Neil Craig picking in round 1. Yes, I know he hasn’t got much else to play with in the small forwards, so that is undoubtedly why he has been trialling Petrenko as not only a designated kicker from halfback, but also as a small forward. Don’t underestimate Douglas’ potential to step up into that role either.

FB: Lachie Henderson, Daniel Merrett, Joel Macdonald
HB: Josh Drummond, Joel Patfull, Jed Adcock
C: Tim Notting, Bradd Dalziell, Travis Johnstone
HF: Luke Power, Jonathan Brown, Jared Brennan
FF: Tom Collier, Daniel Bradshaw, Rhan Hooper
Fol: Matthew Leuenberger, Simon Black, Michael Rischitelli
Int: Mitch Clark, Ashley McGrath, Troy Selwood, Daniel Rich

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: McGrath, Selwood, Clark, Rich
Waiting: Albert Proud, Jason Roe, Cheynee Stiller, Scott Clouston
Injured: Jamie Charman, Pat Garner, Todd Banfield, Daniel Murray, Joel Tippett, Sam Sheldon

Things are looking rosy for the Lions, especially from a Dream Team point of view as the Fantasy Freako newsletter pointed out this week, with Brisbane’s DT pointscoring rate going from 16th last year to 3rd through the first two rounds of the NAB.

West Coast
FB: Brett Jones, Darren Glass, Mark Nicoski
HB: Shannon Hurn, Mitchell Brown, Adam Selwood
C: Brent Staker, Daniel Kerr, Chris Masten
HF: David Wirrpanda, Ashley Hansen, Andrew Embley
FF: Ben McKinley, Quinten Lynch, Mark LeCras
Fol: Dean Cox, Matt Priddis, Tyson Stenglein
Int: Mark Seaby, Brad Ebert, Chad Fletcher, Sam Butler

In: Butler
Out: Beau Wilkes
Iffy: Butler, Hansen, Embley, Ebert
Waiting: Josh J. Kennedy, Jamie McNamara, Matt Spangher, Tom Swift
Injured: Beau Waters, Adam Hunter, Matt Rosa, Nick Naitanui, Patrick McGinnity, Luke Shuey

Word out of Subiaco is that Brown is going to be used at centre half back. With LeCras back to somewhere near full fitness and Lynch returning to form with four big goals in his his now-customary roving role against the Crows last weekend, the foursome of Lynch/McKinley/Hansen/LeCras is apparently their version of the four pillars policy. The roof of that particular building may be leaning down on one side due to the uneven height of the fourth pillar, but who are we to argue with that win over the Crows? Then again West Coast beat Adelaide last year when they were crap, so maybe it’s a wood-related thing.

St Kilda
FB: Matt Maguire, Max Hudghton, Farren Ray
HB: Raphael Clarke, Sam Fisher, Brendon Goddard
C: Jason Gram, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Montagna
HF: Jason Blake, Nick Riewoldt, Sam Gilbert
FF: Stephen Milne, Justin Koschitzke, Adam Schneider
Fol: Steven King, Nick Dal Santo, Luke Ball
Int: Michael Gardiner, Jarryn Geary, David Armitage, Steven Baker

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: Ray, Geary, Armitage, Baker
Waiting: Clinton Jones, Colm Begley, Xavier Clarke, Tom Lynch
Injured: Jarryd Allen, Sean Dempster, Robert Eddy

The Saints are apparently resting 10 of their senior players from their NAB Challenge match this weekend, instead using them in an intra-club match against their VFL affiliate Sandringham. Is it just me, or are clubs showing less and less respect for NAB praccies? Riewoldt was scheduled to return this week but is being held out for another week, which is not a good sign.

FB: Lewis Roberts-Thomson, Craig Bolton, Paul Bevan
HB: Nick Malceski, Ted Richards, Martin Mattner
C: Amon Buchanan, Brett Kirk, Rhyce Shaw
HF: Jarred Moore, Ryan O’Keefe, Jarrad McVeigh
FF: Patrick Veszpremi, Barry Hall, Heath Grundy
Fol: Darren Jolly, Jude Bolton, Adam Goodes
Int: Jesse White, Craig Bird, Ed Barlow, Kieren Jack

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: White, Grundy, Shaw, Bird
Waiting: Daniel Currie, Mike Pyke, Jared Crouch, Daniel O’Keefe
Injured: Leo Barry (LTI list), Henry Playfair, Tim Schmidt, Michael O’Loughlin, Luke Ablett
Retired: Tadhg Kennelly, Nic Fosdike

Playfair’s hamstring injury is listed by the Swans as indefinite, which firms up Barlow’s prospects. That second ruck spot is the only one that is under serious structural debate at this stage.

Melbourne Demons Training Session

FB: James Frawley, Stefan Martin, Colin Garland
HB: Matthew Whelan, Jared Rivers, Jack Grimes
C: Brad Green, Brock McLean, Cale Morton
HF: Cameron Bruce, Matthew Bate, Aaron Davey
FF: Colin Sylvia, Brad Miller, Lynden Dunn
Fol: Paul Johnson, James McDonald, Nathan Jones
Int: Mark Jamar, Simon Buckley, Brent Moloney, Clint Bartram

In: Frawley, Bartram
Out: Paul Wheatley, Michael Newton
Iffy: Rivers, Bartram, Dunn, Moloney
Waiting: Ricky Petterd, Matthew Warnock, Addam Maric, Rohan Bail
Injured: Russell Robertson, Austin Wonaeamirri, Wheatley

Wheatley is apparently not rehabbing quickly enough for him to be right for round 1, which opens up some interesting fantasy scenarios. Warnock’s DT ton in the NAB on the weekend puts his hat in the ring, especially if Rivers succumbs to his various ailments. Grimes’ form has him in the 18 for mine, and probably pinching a fair few of Wheatley’s fantasy points. Petterd’s preseason numbers continue to underwhelm. Meanwhile, Bate has been talked up during the week as a key forward, whcih is all the excuse I need to drop the disappointing Newton from this 22.

North Melbourne
FB: Daniel Pratt, Michael Firrito, Josh Gibson
HB: Jesse W. Smith, Lachie Hansen, Gavin Urquhart
C: Adam Simpson, Daniel Harris, Daniel Wells
HF: Matt Campbell, Drew Petrie, Lindsay Thomas
FF: Corey Jones, David Hale, Jack Ziebell
Fol: Hamish McIntosh, Brady Rawlings, Brent Harvey
Int: Andrew Swallow, Sam Power, Scott McMahon, Leigh Harding

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: Smith, Urquhart, McMahon, Swallow
Waiting: Ross, Josh Smith, Ed Lower, Scott D. Thompson
Injured: Robbie Tarrant
Suspended: Aaron Edwards (club)

Hard to get a read from the huge numbers in the 100-point flogging of the Freo kids, so I’m not going to make any snap judgements based on big scores to Josh Smith or Ross. One very worrying sign was Jesse W. Smith’s injury which had him iced up at half time and looking very proppy afterwards, according to several supporter reports. His ongoing fitness is a real concern.

Port Adelaide
FB: Michael Pettigrew, Alipate Carlile, Nathan Krakouer
HB: Peter Burgoyne, Troy Chaplin, Domenic Cassisi
C: Travis Boak, Chad Cornes, Kane Cornes
HF: David Rodan, Justin Westhoff, Danyle Pearce
FF: Daniel Motlop, Warren Tredrea, Brett Ebert
Fol: Dean Brogan, Steven Salopek, Shaun Burgoyne
Int: Brendon Lade, Josh Carr, Paul Stewart, Robbie Gray

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: Stewart, Gray, Krakouer, Salopek
Waiting: Jacob Surjan, Marlon Motlop, Toby Thurstans, Wade Thompson
Injured: Jackson Trengove (LTI list)

My early call on Krakouer last week looks good. There is some question over whether Port would be better suited with Thurstans instead of Pettigrew, though I don’t rate Thurstans. Surjan would be unlucky to miss this side.

FB: Sam Lonergan, Dustin Fletcher, Courtenay Dempsey
HB: Adam McPhee, Patrick Ryder, Andrew Lovett
C: Hayden Skipworth, Jobe Watson, Bachar Houli
HF: Jay Neagle, Scott Lucas, Scott Gumbleton
FF: Alwyn Davey, Matthew Lloyd, Leroy Jetta
Fol: David Hille, Brent Stanton, Mark McVeigh
Int: Tom Bellchambers, David Myers, Jay Nash, Angus Monfries

In: Nash
Out: Kyle Reimers
Iffy: Dempsey, Lonergan, Nash, Myers
Waiting: Jason Winderlich Tayte Pears, Ricky Dyson, Michael Hurley
Injured: Andrew Welsh, Jason Laycock, Brent Prismall, Reimers

Reimers has quadricep tendonitis with no long-term prognosis on last report, so I think the Essendon hierarchy will want to tread softly. In Winderlich they may have a ready-made replacement, though again with him they might want to ease him in slowly via the VFL due to the long-term nature of his injury last year. It is good to see Hurley in the Friday team.

FB: Michael Johnson, Antoni Grover, Marcus Drum
HB: David Mundy, Luke McPharlin, Roger Hayden
C: Garrick Ibbotson, Paul Hasleby, Byron Schammer
HF: Kepler Bradley, Matthew Pavlich, Daniel Gilmore
FF: Chris Mayne, Chris Tarrant, Des Headland
Fol: Aaron Sandilands, Rhys Palmer, Ryan Crowley
Int: Brett Peake, Stephen Hill, Steven Dodd, Clayton Hinkley

In: nil
Out: nil
Iffy: Peake, Hinkley, Hill, Headland
Waiting: Scott Thornton, Josh Head, Nick Suban, Greg Broughton
Injured: Hayden Ballantyne, Andrew Foster
Suspended: Dean Solomon

I am still listing Pavlich and Tarrant in the forward spine even though both are supposed to be shifting further up the ground. The problem with that is that the tall forwards who are supposed to fill in those holes are all injured – Adam Campbell and Mayne with an ankle – or crap, as Ryan Murphy has shown himself to be in the preseason. Grover is clearly not the answer, so are we going to see McPharlin in the forward goalsquare with Tarrant at CHB? That sounds like crazy talk to me. Pavlich has apprently toned down this preseason to assist his midfield tank, and also to prevent the sort of hotspots and stress reactions he was getting last season from running around with excess muscle on his frame. With Headland also struggling with a calf problem and Ballantyne already ruled out, Freo has a real problem in figuring out who is going to kick its goals. It certainly won’t be the midfield, based on past numbers.

Western Bulldogs
FB: Andrejs Everitt, Brian Lake, Ryan Hargrave
HB: Lindsay Gilbee, Dale Morris, Callan Ward
C: Ryan Griffen, Daniel Cross, Nathan Eagleton
HF: Robert Murphy, Mitch Hahn, Daniel Giansiracusa
FF: Shaun Higgins, Brad Johnson, Jarrad Grant
Fol: Ben Hudson, Adam Cooney, Matthew Boyd
Int: Will Minson, Jarrod Harbrow, Dylan Addison, Josh Hill

In: Harbrow
Out: Tom Williams
Iffy: Eagleton, Everitt, Hill, Ward
Waiting: Tim Callan, Sam Reid, Stephen Tiller, Jason Akermanis
Injured: Williams

Rodney Eade admitted this week that Williams is highly unlikely for round 1. Aker is struggling with a calf problem, so his progress in the NAB this weekend should be monitored.

Alright, start the m0nty bashing. Cousins, Kelly, Beams, Otten, Aker… whoever your favourite is, defend your boy! You know you want to.


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