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What the hell do I do now?

So the NAB Cup and Challenge games are over, what the hell do I do now? DT TALK regular Dunny helps with what we can be doing over the next 10 days. A great guide for some of the newer Dream Team coaches!

Well the NAB Cup and the NAB Challenge series are all over and if you are anything like me your team has had more trades made than Billy Brownless has had cold frothies over the past 12 months!  But really what do we take out of this little comp and what should we be doing now until the start of the season which is now only 2 weeks away.

Like many coaches I have no idea why I rush in on the first day and start constructing my team.  It is pointless given the amount of changes I have made.  Also, you have to wait and see what injuries have occurred during the preseason.  This will often significantly alter the look of any team.  Every team out there would have had to have made at least two changes over the past fortnight with both Ian Callinan and Tendai Mzungo going down with 8 – 10 week injuries.  Whilst this is a disaster at the moment for most teams it is also a bit of a blessing in disguise down the track.  What this does is it now gives us two quality downgrades that we can use about the same time that Gold Coast will be completing their second bye in round 9.  So we can use someone like a Dyson Heppell or a Reece Conca and downgrade them to either Ian or Tendai and upgrade someone else to Gazza.

The first thing that coaches should be doing now is waiting until Freako’s final pre-season rave comes out on Thursday and having a good look at the last week of scores.  I pay most attention to this round of the NAB as it is when most coaches are starting to finalise their teams for Round 1 and play under normal full AFL conditions.  This round would have given us the best indication of who will play and the positions they will play.  Alright I can hear you now, a few players were rested such as Buddy, but the majority of teams would have used this as a full dress rehearsal for round 1.

Secondly, don’t wait until the last minute to make your changes.  History tells us that on the last day before lockout the Virtual Sports servers will be absolutely hammered so you may not get your changes done.  So make sure that you have the majority of your team settled by then.  The only changes you should be making on the last day are the last minute ones based on team selections on Wednesday night and Thursday night (allowing for the partial lockout on Thurs night).

Get your DPP’s sorted out.  Make sure that you don’t have all of your Fwd/Mid’s sitting in the forward line.  They are no use to you like that.  Make sure that you have at least one of them sitting in the Mid’s so that you can take advantage of their functionality.  This is going to be particularly important this year with the bye’s.

Check how many guns from each team you have.  This is particularly important again because of the byes.  If you are going for the league wins and you have 4 guns from the one team you are pretty much going to pencil in their bye weeks as a loss.  If you are going for the car you will be significantly limiting your chances.  If you have Voldt, Gilbo, Goddard and Motagna or Hayes in your team that is a lot of points that will be sitting on your bench in those bye weeks.

Work out who your Keepers are and who your upgrade targets are.  This doesn’t have to mean that these can’t be changed, but it allows you to plan and not make rash decisions when it comes to trades during the year.  But don’t be married to this practice!  Anything can happen during the year, just remember the panic that set in when Voldt’s Hammy went!

I know that for most of us on this site that these things are all basic DT 101 type things, but in the panic that is the last two weeks before the season starts we can all do silly things like trade out a gun just because he has had one bad week.  For the guys and girls who are in their first or second year of DT well these are some of the things you should be thinking about before you lock in your team for round 1.

Overall, trust your judgement and the research you have done (hopefully you have scoured the Prospectus for hours).  Don’t pull the trigger too quickly or based on just the one game, it can and most certainly will come back to haunt you, it did for me in my first year or so of DT.  Also you can never have enough info, get on to the “Assistant Coach” and read every article (I am sure they will be quality won’t they Warnie?) as well as reading everything you can here and analyzing the stats that the Freako sends us each week.

Cheers for reading and good luck for the season (unless you are in a league with Dunny’s Destroyers of course!)

Dunny

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