Comprehensive Year-End Review – Australian Football – Part One

          With the home-and-away season, the finals series, and the trade period all completed, it’s time to do not only a review of each club’s 2018 season (complete with expectation comparisons), but the expectations for the coming 2019 campaign. We’ll be looking at the meta-results for both team and players, as collected from ELO-Following Football’s wide range of sources. [These are being published simultaneously in The Roar.]

First up, it’s the Adelaide Crows.

Back in 2017…

The team finished as minor premiers with a home-and-away record of 15-6-1, with a percentage of 136%.

The expectations for the 2018 team…

Were top three again, at worst. The weighted analysis of over fifty forecast sources, great and small, averaged out to give them the most likely shot at the number one spot again in 2018.

Coming into the season, the players who were considered to be in the top 50 in the league by the AFLPA and-or The Roar…

Included Rory Sloane (top ten), Eddie Betts and Matt Crouch (top thirty), Rory Laird, Bryce Gibbs, Tom Lynch, and Daniel Talia. That’s more top fifty players than any other team were thought to have.

In 2018, the team finished…

With more injuries than Evel Knievel! They ended in 12th place on the ladder (in a four-way tie by record of) 12-10, and a percentage of 104%.

It’s been…

Only two years since a minor premier/grand finalist failed to make top eight the following year – Fremantle, famously, from their glory-filled 2015 to 16th place in 2016.

six years since twelve teams finished with percentages over 100%, and it only happened in 2012 because Jake Melksham kicked an otherwise meaningless behind in the last 90 seconds of a R23 loss to Collingwood to push Essendon’s season-long point tally to 2091 for, 2090 against, giving the 12th place Dons a final percentage of 100.048%.

…14 years since Adelaide last finished 12th on the ladder (in 2004). They won the minor premiership the next year.

…20 years since their last title, the second of a back-to-back pair of finals upsets against St. Kilda and North Melbourne, each of which had placed first in those respective years (’97-’98).

 

According to our patented “ELO-Following Football” rating system, the team started the season in third place on the ELO-FF rating list, at 73.7. (Richmond had the highest rating at the time, 77.8; 50 is average; the lowest rating at the time was 17.6.) After R3, they had the best rating in the league, but by the bye (R13), they’d dropped all the way to 43.2, twelfth on that list as they were on the ladder. With some players returning from injuries, they crawled back up to eighth and finished the season above average again, at 60.5 (above both the Hawks and Swans). 

The other comparable rating systems said about the same thing. Wooden Finger, The ARC, and FMI all had the Crows near the top at the start of the season, dropping to 10th or so mid-year, and stabilized around the middle of the pack.

ACROSS THE SPECTRUM game-by-game expectations

  • Final record: 12-10.
  • Betting Line expectations: 16-5-1. The tipsters believed in them longer than they should have.
  • ELO-Following Football forecasts: 11-10-1. The beauty of a non-human rating system is that it avoids the sentiment that “this should be a really good team!”
  • com.au game predictions: 14-8.
  • The Roar predictions: 15-7 overall. Tallying up all voters, we get a record of 78-43.
  • ”Pick-A-Winner” predictions: 14-8.
  • The Age forecasters: 12-10. The total from all twelve tipsters was 149-115.
  • BetEasy [“CrowdBet”] percentages: Even more pollyannaish than the professionals: 17-5, with a total of 1522% for, 678% against.

(Our own game-by-game predictions pegged them at 14-8, so we don’t have room to crow.)

 

What was their best game of the season?

In R2, hosting their GF conqueror Richmond, they dominated the Tigers 118-82. At that moment, the season was Adelaide’s for the taking.

Which game would they most like to erase from memory?

Up in Alice Springs in R10, the Crows were soundly routed by a surging Demons squad by the score of 146 to 55. It was the first of four straight losses leading up to the bye that cast them out of finals contention.

If we were to speak of the club in as many words as they had wins in 2018:

            “Without the Collective Mind camp, wouldn’t we just be blaming something else?”

During the round four AFL match between the Adelaide Crows and the Collingwood Magpies at Adelaide Oval on April 13, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia.

Meta-Player Of The Year Results

            Over the course of the season, we gathered game-by-game naming of the outstanding players of the game or the week from fourteen different sources. These range from “Team of the Week” listings to more Brownlow-like top player of the game scenarios. Our tallies are from external sources, while the team’s “Best & Fairest” was selected by the team’s coaches, so they never quite match up. But it’s still an interesting comparison.

            Regarding “Dominant”, “Prominent”, and “Notable” performances, those terms indicate games where 90%, 80%, or 70% of those fourteen sources recognized the player as outstanding in that week’s game. (This is the most “Brownlow-ish” we can get during the year!)

  1. RORY LAIRD – 329 points (12th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: first (his first B&F). Received 19 Brownlow votes, highest on the team.

            Last year’s position: 2nd (16th overall)

Notable games: Four prominent games (R1, 2, 17, and 23) and one notable game (R18).

            All-Australian back, Top 22 ELO-FF and First Team defence.

  1. Bryce Gibbs – 174 points (66th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: fourth. Received nine Brownlow votes, second on the team.

            Last year’s position: fourth for Carlton, 37th overall.

            Notable games: Two prominent games (R3 and 11) and one notable game (R20).

  1. Matt Crouch – 172 points (68th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: second. Received eight Brownlow votes, third on the team.

            Last year’s position: 3rd (20th overall)

Notable games: One prominent game (R22) and one notable game (R20).

  1. Josh Jenkins – 142 points (78th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: third

            Last year’s position: 13th (158thoverall)

            Notable games: One dominant game (R23), one prominent game (R2), and one notable game (R20).

  1. Paul Seedsman – 133 points (88th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: tenth

            Last year’s position: 31st

            Notable games: Two prominent games (R3 and 5).

  1. Rory Sloane – 118 points (93rd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: out of the top ten, due to injuries. Received six Brownlow votes, fourth on the team.

            Last year’s position: first (3rd overall)

            Notable games: One dominant (R17) and one notable (R22).

  1. Rory Atkins – 100 points (117th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: ninth

            Last year’s position: tenth (104th overall).

            Notable games: One notable game (R23).

  1. Eddie Betts – 98 points (118th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: out of the top ten

            Last year’s position: sixth (49th overall). In 2016 Betts was second on the team and 11th overall.

            Notable games: None in 2018.

  1. Hugh Greenwood – 94 points (123rd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: fifth.

            Last year’s position: 17th.

            Notable games:  One dominant game (R18).

=10. Taylor Walker – 90 points (131st overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: out of the top ten. Received five Brownlow votes, fifth on the team.

            Last year’s position: fifth (45th overall)

            Notable games: none in 2018.

=10. Wayne Milera – 90 points (131st overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: eighth

            Last year’s position: 23rd

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One prominent game (R6) and one notable game (R19).

[Adelaide had six top 100 players and 16 top 200 players in the 2018 ELO-FF meta-rankings.]

Honorable Mentions

Luke Brown – 21st (26 points), seventh in Best & Fairest voting.

Tom Doedee – 12th (85 points), sixth in Best & Fairest voting.

Richard Douglas – 13th (83 points), one dominant game (R7).

Tom Lynch – 14th (78 points), one prominent game (R6) and one notable game (R17).

Brodie Smith – 19th (36 points), one prominent game (R21).

 

Player movement during the trade period

  1. IN) Shane McAdam, Tyson Stengle.

GONE) Mitch McGovern. A net loss, depending on the draft choices.

Current list of draft picks) #8, 13, 16 (three first rounders! Possibly to be packaged for a #3?), 21, 73, 83.

2019 Roster Highlights)

Backs: Brown, Doedee, Hartigan, Keath, Kelly, Laird, Milera, Otten, Smith, Talia.

Midfielders: Atkins, B. Crouch, M. Crouch, Gibbs, Mackay, Poholke, Seedsman, Sloane.

Ruck: Jacobs.

Forwards: Betts, Douglas, Ellis-Yolman, Fogerty, Gallucci, Greenwood, Jenkins, Knight, Lynch, Walker.

 

Forecast for the 2019 Adelaide Crows:

            The Crows can’t have that many injuries again, right? They won’t be going off to any questionable retreats this year, right? When fundamentally solid clubs drop out of finals suddenly one year, they usually pop right back in the next. Hawthorn (7 straight appearances, last year 12th, back to 4th this season), Richmond (3 straight appearances, drop to 13th in ’16, back to the top the last two years), and Geelong (8 straight appearances, 10th place in 2015, then back to second the next two years) all demonstrate that. Unless you think the Crows have Fremantle-type issues that will keep them down, it’s hard to see Adelaide missing finals again next year.

            We see Adelaide in a pack from 6th to 9th next year, and our current forecast is that they return to finals in 8th place.


Next, the Brisbane Lions.

Back in 2017…

The team finished with wooden spoon in hand, in 18th place, with a home-and-away record of 5-17 and a percentage of 74%.

The expectations for the team in 2018…

Were high, considering where they’d ended the previous year. The average placement had the Lions finishing in 15th place, ahead of Carlton, North, and Gold Coast. (We at Following Football overshot, seeding them in 12th.)

Coming into the season, the players who were considered to be in the top 50 in the league by the AFLPA and-or The Roar

Both had the same name: Dayne Zorko (top twenty) and Dayne Beams (top thirty).

In 2018, the team finished…

With the exact same record as last year: 5-17, although it was good for 15th place this season. While they began the year with eight straight losses, they played the ten games after their R13 bye with four wins and six losses, a reasonably respectable record considering. Their 2018 percentage of 89.1% is the highest percentage for a five-win team in as much history as we’ve been able to track down – can anyone else find a counter-example?

It’s been…

It’s been six seasons since the Lions finished outside the bottom four – the last five years have seen placements of 15th, 17th, 17th, 18th, and 15th. (They were a lofty 12th in 2013.)

It’s been ten seasons since they’ve set foot in the finals (back in 2009, when they defeated Carlton – ironically – 111-104 in the EF before getting stomped by the Bulldogs in the semi.).

It’s been eighteen years since the beginning of the three-year highlight of Brisbane footy history, their three-peat in 2001-3 that lasted all the way until the GF loss to Port in 2004.

 

According to our patented “ELO-Following Football” rating system, the team started the season third from last, with a rating of 29.6. (50 is average; Richmond was first at 77.8 and Gold Coast last at 17.6 at the time.) Despite starting 0-8, their rating continued to hover around that number – they weren’t doing any worse than expected. Thanks to Hawthorn collapsing twice against them (once in R9 and again in R17), they gained seventeen rating points from those two games combined. Along with their R16 65-point rout of Carlton, those three games account for 23 points of rating gain, which pushed the Lions into and momentarily above average (about 52) for R18-19. They were actually a team others were afraid to play! By season’s end, they’d dropped back to 39.5 and ended the year rating-wise in 14th place, near their 15th place ladder finish.

The other comparable rating systems said much the same thing, although they weren’t as “bullish” on the former Bears. FMI and The Arc started them in 18th and never had them above 13th; Wooden Finger had them in 16th to begin with, but had such a gap between the top 12 and bottom six that the Lions could never breach it.

ACROSS THE SPECTRUM game-by-game expectations

  • Final record: 5-17.
  • Betting Line expectations: 3-19.
  • ELO-Following Football forecasts: 6-16.
  • com.au game predictions: 4-18
  • The Roar predictions: 3-19; individual ballots tallied up to 22 for, 99 against.
  • ”Pick-A-Winner” predictions: …also ended at 5-17. (Just not always on the same games!)
  • The Age forecasters: managed to go 5-17 as well; the twelve punters totaled 58-206 for the year.
  • BetEasy “CrowdBet” percentages: …were terribly negative as far as Brisbane supporters were concerned. They predicted 2-20, with 369% for wins and 1831% for losses.

(Our own game-by-game predictions pegged them at 6-16.)

 

What was their best game of the season?

Take your pick between either of the two Hawthorn victories. The Hawks were favored by twenty both times; in R9, they were winless, but the R17 game was at the Tasmanian fortress. The R15 win against Fremantle in Optus Stadium was pretty impressive, too.

Which game would they most like to erase from memory?

R4, definitely. Richmond won the game by the nine-man junior score of 110-17, where the Lions threatened to break all sorts of negative records. When Dayne Zorko finally scored the team’s first goal of the game, with two minutes to go in the third quarter, they were trailing 78-4.

If we were to speak of the club in as many words as they had wins in 2018:

            “Luke Hodge’s Baby Sitting Service”

During the round eight AFL match between the Western Bulldogs and the Brisbane Lions at Etihad Stadium on May 12, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.

Meta-Player Of The Year Results

            Over the course of the season, we gathered game-by-game naming of the outstanding players of the game or the week from fourteen different sources each round. These range from “Team of the Week” listings to more Brownlow-like “top players of the game” scenarios. Our tallies are mostly from external sources, while the team’s “Best & Fairest” was selected by the team’s coaches, so they never quite match up. But it’s still an interesting comparison.

            Regarding “Dominant”, “Prominent”, and “Notable” performances, those terms indicate games where 90%, 80%, or 70% of those fourteen sources recognized the player as outstanding in that week’s game. (This is the most “Brownlow-ish” we can get during the year!)

  1. DAYNE BEAMS – 339 points (11th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: second. Received 18 Brownlow votes, equal eighth overall and most on the team.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: second (20th overall); 10th in 2016.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game (R11), four prominent games (R15-16-17 consecutively, and R22), and one notable game (R19).

            All-Australian 40-man roster, ELO-FF Top 22 and interchange midfielder.

  1. Dayne Zorko – 238 points (42nd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: first, for the fourth time. Received six Brownlow votes, equal second on the team.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: first in 2017 (8th overall) and in 2016.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: Two dominant games (R7 and 8, consecutively!), two prominent games (R9 and 20, obviously NOT consecutively!), and one notable game (R16).

  1. Harris Andrews – 191 points (59th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: fifth.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: seventh (143rd overall); 19th in 2016.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game (R12) and one prominent game (R5). He got his concussion in R14, missed four games and wasn’t at full strength for the last five – no telling if he might not have been at least second on this list without the injury.

            All-Australian 40-man roster.

  1. Stefan Martin – 173 points (67th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: third. Received five Brownlow votes, fourth on the team.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: sixth (116th overall) and sixth in 2016 as well.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: Two prominent games (in R3 and R15).

  1. Hugh McCluggage – 114 points (98th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: seventh

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: 15th.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game (R9), and two notable games (R17 and R20).

  1. Eric Hipwood – 92 points (124th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: not in top ten. Received six Brownlow votes, equal second on the team.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: eighth (175th)

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game (R16).

  1. Luke Hodge – 86 points (145th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: eighth.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: eleventh for Hawthorn (168th overall)

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game (R14).

  1. Charlie Cameron – 77 points (172nd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: not in top ten

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: 15th for Adelaide (190th overall)

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One prominent game (R2), even though he seemed so “prominent” on so many occasions this season!

  1. Mitch Robinson – 72 points (183rd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: not in top ten

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: twelfth

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game (R10).

  1. Daniel Rich – 69 points (189th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: not in top ten

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: fifth (93rd overall), fourth in 2016.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One prominent game (R14).

[Brisbane had five top 100 players and 13 top 200 players in the 2018 ELO-FF meta-rankings. Averages would be 5½ and 11, respectively.]

Honorable Mentions

Jarrod Berry – 11th place (67 points), 6th in Best & Fairest voting

Tom Cutler – 15th place (55 points), one notable game (R16).

Darcy Gardiner – equal 12th place (65 points), 4th in Best & Fairest voting, one notable game (R18).

Cam Rayner – equal 12th place (65 points), three Brownlow votes, fifth best on the team.

Nick Robertson – 19th place (35 points), 9th in Best & Fairest voting.

Alex Witherden – 14th place (59 points), 10th in Best & Fairest voting.

 

Player movement during the trade period

  1. IN) Marcus Adams (from WB), Lincoln McCarthy (from GE), Lachie Neale (from FR).

GONE) Dayne Beams, Sam Mayes. Beams is a big loss, but it’s comparable to Melbourne losing Jesse Hogan – as essential as he was when they were struggling as a team, they now have a cadre of talent to fill that hole.

Current list of draft picks) #18, 30, 35, 56, 78.

2019 Roster Highlights)

Defencemen: Marcus Adams, Harris Andrews, Cedric Cox, Matt Eagles, Darcy Gardiner, Luke Hodge, Daniel Rich, Alex Witherden.

Midfielders: Jarrod Berry, Tom Cutler, Ryan Lester, Rhys Mathieson, Hugh McCluggage, Lachie Neale, Brandon Starcevich, Dayne Zorko.

In the Ruck: Stefan Martin.

Forwards: Zac Bailey, Charlie Cameron, Allen Christensen, Eric Hipwood, Lincoln McCarthy, Oscar McInerney, Daniel McStay, Cam Rayner, Mitch Robinson, Lewis Taylor, Josh Walker.

FORECAST for the 2019 Brisbane Lions:

            Of all the signs and indicators that we look at when it comes to trying to read the tea leaves about the future success or failure of an AFL club, there’s one that almost never fails. When a team’s percentage significantly exceeds their won-loss record in a season, be prepared for that club to make a big jump UP the ladder next year. (The only exception is for already-top tier clubs; usually there’s nowhere else to go but down for them!) Last year’s candidate was Collingwood; although the indicators were weak, they’d been building them for three years. West Coast in ’14 went from 9th and a 114% the first year to 2nd place the next. Richmond had a 112% with a losing record in 2012 before leaping back into finals the next season.

            With five wins but an 89.1 percentage, the Brisbane Lions have every sign of a team that will make a huge jump in 2019. Barring a horrific schedule or GWS-like injuries, we expect Brisbane to make finals next year. They’ll most likely be in a pack with Sydney, Adelaide, and Essendon for places six through nine, and that would give them a 75% shot at their first finals berth in a decade. We’re calling for a 7th place finish.

 


Finally, the Carlton Blues.

Back in 2017…

The team finished 16th with a home-and-away record of just 6 wins and 16 losses, with a percentage of 78%.

The expectations for the team…

Were not good. It felt like the club was going to take a step back in order to try to take several forward in the future. The average placement of the Blues on the predicted ladder by the fifty-plus prognosticators we examined was right where they started – in 16th place, above North and Gold Coast. Cam Rose and Ryan Buckland each had them 17th, while our crowd predictor (and Following Football itself) kept them at 16th. The only forecast above fourteenth was from Adelaide Docker, and if you ask how those predictions are made, you’ll probably be either disappointed or amused. (It’s not unlike how sausage is made.)

Coming into the season, the players who were considered to be in the top 50 in the league by the AFLPA and-or The Roar

Included just two men: Patrick Cripps (top thirty) and Marc Murphy.

In 2018, the team finished

With their heads in their hands, so to speak, and yet to their credit their membership was still applauding them after their last home game this past season, even though they ended at 2-20, in dead-last place with their second wooden spoon in four years. Their percentage fell below sixty for the first time in a long time, ending at 59.29%.

It’s been…

It’s been three years, as we mentioned, since the last Carlton spoon; they’ve acquired three others this century (in 2002, 2005, and 2006).

It’s been six years since their last appearance in finals, a gift from the AFL punitive arm when they ruled Essendon out of the 2012 finals for you-know-what and gave ninth-place Carlton the chance to upset Richmond. (There’s some perfect Tiger Trivia: not only are they the perennial ninth place team, but they’re the only club to lose to a ninth-place team in finals!)

It’s been eight seasons since the Blues “legitimately” made finals, if you want to be pedantic; placing fifth in 2010 and losing, ironically, to eighth-place Essendon that season in the EF.

It’s been 23 years since Carlton’s last title, in 1995, although they still have the highest number of titles in AFL/VFL history, amassing ten of them since WW2.

It’s been 117 years since Carlton last won only two games in a season (or scored below this year’s 59% mark), which has happened just twice in its history: in the initial VFL season ever, 1897, when they went 2-12 (beating winless St. Kilda twice) and amassed a 51.0% percentage; and 1901, when they managed to go 2-15 with a percentage of just 46.99%. (No Carlton team had ever lost 20 games before this year.)

 

According to our patented “ELO-Following Football” rating system, the team started the season in fifteenth, at 37.5 (50 is average, and the ratings ranged from the Suns at 17.6 to the Tigers at 77.8). By the time they reached 0-7, they’d dropped into the low twenties – good for temperature but not for ELO-FF ratings. They bobbed there most of the season, above Gold Coast but out of touch with all other teams, until they hit a stretch in R17-20 when, excepting their win over the Suns in R19, they lost badly, much worse than their already-meager rating would have suggested, and fell to the single digits. Their final debacle, a 165-61 rout at home to the Crows, knocked their final ELO-FF rating to (brace yourself) 0.1 – that’s not a misprint. Zero-point-one. It’s not the lowest in history (Brisbane once had a negative score) but you can see it from there.

The other rating systems said the same thing: the main three we use for comparison (The Arc, FMI, and Wooden Finger) all started the Blues somewhere near 15th place as well; US Footy had them in 12th. But by mid-season, and certainly at the end of August, they all had Carlton either last or slightly above Gold Coast, with both teams completely out of touch with the rest of the league.

ACROSS THE SPECTRUM game-by-game expectations

  • Final record: 2-20: their wins were in R8 (91-78, hosting Essendon at the MCG) and R19 (79-44 against Gold Coast at the Metricon).
  • Betting Line expectations: 1-21. (That one was a 14.5-point favorite hosting Gold Coast in R2. They lost by 34.)
  • ELO-Following Football forecasts: 2-20 (R13 v Freo, a 57-point defeat, and R2, described above).
  • com.au game predictions: 5-17.
  • The Roar predictions: 1-20-1, with an individual tally of votes reaching 13 up and 108 down. (R2 was the expected win; R13 the 3-3 split.)
  • “Pick-A-Winner” predictions: 2-20.
  • The Age forecasters: Also 2-20, with the twelve punters totaling 47 and 229. (Those two winning games were supposed to be R2 and R13.)
  • BetEasy “CrowdBet” percentages: only favored the Blues once – 88% picked them in R2 – and the percentages ended with 311% for, 1889% against.

(Our own game-by-game predictions pegged them at 3-19.)

 

 

What was their best game of the season?

Round 8 would be the obvious candidate, getting off the schneid with their first win and seeming to put a dagger in Essendon’s season (and at 2-6, that might indeed have simply been more than the Dons could recuperate from). Trailing by a point after a pair of Bomber goals started the fourth quarter off, Carlton found it within themselves to smite their opponents with three straight goals across six minutes of playing time, kicked by Sam Petrevski-Seton,  Jed Lamb, and Sam Kerridge, to put them up seventeen and beyond Essendon’s reach.

Which game would they most like to erase from memory?

Round 4 was where (for me) it seemed clear that this would not just be a mediocre season for Carlton – it might turn out to be legendarily bad. They lost to North Melbourne, a team expected to share the cellar with them, and they lost BIG: 116-30, outscored 18 goals to four, and losing Marc Murphy to injury for what ended up being close to half the season.

If you cut the requirement to “a quarter they would like to forget”, then you can’t go past the fourth quarter of R20 against GWS, the end of a 105-point rout at (then-)Etihad that created so many injuries on the Giants’ side that they willingly played that last quarter down one and even two men…and still stretched their lead. The Blues were unable to quell the GWS offense or score on their defense even with a two-man advantage. The announcers sounded like they were about to leave their posts in disgust, and it’s hard to blame them.

If we were to speak of the club in as many words as they had wins in 2018:

   “Cripps, etcetera.”

 

Meta-Player Of The Year Results

            Over the course of the season, we gathered game-by-game naming of the outstanding players of the game or the week from fourteen different sources each round. These range from “Team of the Week” listings to more Brownlow-like “top players of the game” scenarios. Our tallies are mostly from external sources, while the team’s “Best & Fairest” was selected by the team’s coaches, so they never quite match up. But it’s still an interesting comparison.

            Regarding “Dominant”, “Prominent”, and “Notable” performances, those terms indicate games where 90%, 80%, or 70% of those fourteen sources recognized the player as outstanding in that week’s game. (This is the most “Brownlow-ish” we can get during the year!)

  1. Patrick Cripps – 475 points (fifth overall)

            (Like you were expecting someone else here?)

            Best & Fairest finish: first, for the second straight year. Received 20 Brownlow votes, good for fourth overall.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: fifth (118th overall), and third in 2016.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: Four dominant games (in R6, 14, 17, and 19), and three prominent games (R1, 5, and 23).

            All-Australian midfielder, Top 22 ELO-FF and First Team midfield.

  1. Kade Simpson – 209 points (52nd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: second. Received six Brownlow votes, also second on the club.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: seventh (131st overall)

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game (R22) and two prominent games (R1 and R15).

  1. Charlie Curnow – 159 points (72nd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: equal third. Received three Brownlow votes, fourth most on the team.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: eleventh.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: Two dominant games (in R1 and R19).

  1. Ed Curnow – 104 points (111th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: equal third, of course! Received four Brownlow votes, third most of any Carlton player.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: thirteenth.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One dominant game, in R8.

  1. Marc Murphy – 68 points (192nd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: equal ninth. Earned two Brownlow votes, fifth most on the Blues this year.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: third (35th overall), and seventh in 2016.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: One notable game, in R19.

  1. Dale Thomas – 58 points (221st overall)

            Best & Fairest finish:  fifth

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: eighteenth.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: none.

  1. Matthew Kreuzer – 53 points (232nd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: out of the top ten.

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: second (27th overall)

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: none.

  1. Harry McKay – 41 points (278th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: out of the top ten

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: 36th.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: none.

  1. Zac Fisher – 39 points (287th overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: seventh

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish:  23rd.

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: none.

  1. Paddy Dow – 38 points (292nd overall)

            Best & Fairest finish: club rookie of the year

            Last year’s meta-PotY finish: n/a

            Dom/Prom/Notable games: none.

[Carlton had three top 100 players and five top 200 players in the 2018 ELO-FF meta-rankings. Averages would be 5½ and 11, respectively.]

Honorable Mentions

Liam Jones – 11th place (37 points), sixth in Best & Fairest voting.

Sam Rowe – 13th place (34 points), eighth in Best & Fairest voting.

Matthew Wright – 14th place (30 points), equal ninth in Best & Fairest voting.

 

Player movement during the trade period

IN) Alex Fasolo (from CW), Mitch McGovern (from AD), Nic Newman (from SY), Will Setterfield (from GWS).

GONE) Their desperation – unless they start out 0-7 again in 2019.

Current list of draft picks) #1 (probably Sam Walsh, who should play on day one next year), 69, 71, and 77 (probably wasted picks who will never make the AFL).

2019 Roster Highlights)

Defencemen: Sam Docherty, Liam Jones, Caleb Marchbank, Nic Newman, Lachie Plowman, Sam Rowe, Kade Simpson, Jacob Weitering.

Midfielders: Patrick Cripps, Ed Curnow, Paddy Dow, Zac Fisher, Nick Graham, Matthew Kennedy, Sam Kerridge, Marc Murphy, Lochie O’Brien, Dale Thomas.

In the Ruck: Matthew Kreuzer, Matthew Lobbe.

Forwards: Charlie Curnow, Alex Fasolo, Jarrod Garlett, Jed Lamb, Darcy Lang, Mitch McGovern, Harry McKay, Sam Petrevski-Seton, Jarrod Pickett, Cameron Polson, Will Setterfield, Jack Silvagni.

(And what about Levi Casboult? How does he fit into the Carlton plan?)

 

FORECAST for the 2019 Carlton Blues:

            We started this recap by saying the general consensus was that the Blues would be taking a step back this season in order to make progress forward starting next year. Well, after taking a Mason Cox-sized step backwards this season, all hands are expecting Mr. Bolton et al to produce something constructive in 2019 that makes the faithful able to put 2-20 behind them. They don’t need to make finals yet, but another wooden spoon would destroy everything that management’s said over the past few years.

            With McGovern, Walsh, and contributions from Fasolo, Newman, and Setterfield, in addition to the continued heroics of Patrick Cripps, the efforts of the Curnows and Simpson and Kruezer and Thomas, and the progress from Weitering and Dow and Petreveski-Seton… there is hope in old Carlton-town. (Now, if they could find something to replace their 19th century “fight” song, that might help matters too…)

            We see the Blues climbing out of the basement next year – back to six wins or so, in 16th place, before making further advancements in 2020 and beyond. If they aren’t competing for a finals berth by 2021, they need new management at all levels.  

 

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