What we learnt at SuperSports Park

So Carlton “hosted” Fremantle at SuperSports Park in South African this past Saturday, but it was only this evening that we got to see footage of the historic event. As the first televised game of the 2008 AFL season, I’m sure you’ve been gagging to get some idea of how some of the players you’ve had an eye on are traveling in preparation for another big fantasy campaign. Here are the things we learnt:

  • Matthew Kreuzer looked very impressive. He was known for loving life under the packs as a junior, and it looks like he hasn’t lost that lust for the footy wearing a Blues jumper, putting his body on the line and his head over the ball on several occasions. We still don’t know what his TOG (time on ground) will be like during the year but he’s going to be a fantasy gun eventually, if not in 08.
  • Des Headland is a downhill skier. Looked like a man playing with boys, especially early, but drifted out after the first quarter.
  • Fans of Brad Fisher should be worried. Not only did Kreuzer bomb a huge 65m goal post-high from 50, but Cameron Cloke also sailed one through from 60m late in the game, and apparently both of those players are going to be rotating though centre half forward for Carlton this year. That means less TOG for Fisher, and it probably dampens the fantasy prospects of all three players.
  • If Byron Schammer stays fit and is given time in the engine room, he will deliver 90+ DT scores.
  • There are still question marks over Andrew Carrazzo‘s 2008 DT production. With the retirement of Matthew Lappin and speculation that Ryan Houlihan will spend more time on the forward line, along with talk of Setanta O’hAilpin being left at half-back, it’s going to be left to Carrots to hoover up a lot of garbage on the ground in the Blues backline. This might sound like a good fantasy move, but it would mean that he gets less time to run into space and receive marks, which is vital to average 100+ like Carrazzo did in 2007. On his South African performance I’d lean towards Carrots a bit more for Super Coach, where making turnovers is more important than uncontested marks.
  • Perennial under-achiever Ryan Murphy might get upstaged this year by new draftee Chris Mayne. Mayne did some nice things, with two goals including a nice long one plus some good-looking leading up the middle. Most importantly, he has the McManus-style blonde curly Shirley Temple hairdo.
  • Shaun Grigg knows how to get the footy, but doesn’t know as much about how to get rid of it. Consider for DT, but not SC.
  • Finally, Nick Stevens has a big arse. He’s got a few kilos still to drop, but he should be fine.

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