Chook’s Rooks – Round 12
Melbourne’s Jeremy Howe looked the goods again this week, but Chook is pinning his hopes on a rookie who hasn’t even played yet.
My family, footy team and Dream Team all ran into a bit of trouble in Melbourne this week. Like Roy, Warnie and Calvin, the kids, the missus and I are stranded in Melbourne after coming over for the Queen’s Birthday clash at the G. My Dees were demoralisingly smashed in that game, of course, and my Dream Team – Merv Gray Autos – suffered a smiliar fate in most of my leagues, including a particularly hard-to-swallow loss to m0nty in the DT Talk All-Stars league.
In hard times like these, I like to turn to my favourite punk-rock singer, Rise Against’s Tim McIlrath, and his words of solace: “Help Is On The Way“. For my family, that’s coming in the form of a flight by an airline prepared to fly below the Chilean ash cloud. For the Dees, that’ll be the return of Mark Jamar. And for the Autos, with a midfield “boasting” Joel Selwood, Dane Swan, Scott Pendlebury, Sam Mitchell, Scott Thompson and Matty Boyd, the help on the way is likely to be a fellow Tasmanian in the form of dual-position midfield-forward Ian Callinan. (Finally he gets to the bit that’s rookie-related!)
The introduction this year of a new AFL team, byes, four extra trades and three more bench spots has seen me break all sorts of tried-and-true DT rules, including picking mid-pricers, trading keepers and bringing in rookies after their first price rise. Despite the fact that I’ve paid dearly for each of those decisions, I’m considering going against another Golden Rule of DT this week (depending on the what happens to some of my fringe players at the selection table tomorrow afternoon), and bringing in a player before he’s even played a game at AFL level, let alone two. Callinan looks to be at least another couple of weeks away from a debut game with the Adelaide Crows after his encouraging return from a bicep injury through the SANFL on the weekend. It’s a huge risk, as a couple of less-than-scintilating performances could well mean that Callinan misses out on AFL action this year altogether (Those who know the Rise Against song well will be aware that, in the end, the help never came). However, a bargain-basement price, dual-positioning and the likelihood of games down the track in a team whose season is cooked is a pretty tempting cocktail.
Anyway, my lap-top filled with relevant rookie stats is a large body of water away, so I’ll skip the three-or-more gamers and the one gamers this week and just highlight the all-important two gamers before asking for your mid-season review of rookies. Get involved.
While the Pies-Dees game was a bit of a write-off from a Melbourne supporter’s point of view, it did give me the chance to get a good look at some of the young Red And Blue coming through. Forward Jerermy Howe was one of very few Demons having a real crack on Monday, working hard across half-forward to give his midfielders a marking option. A score of 75 from a forward in a well-beaten side was a good result and, after his first-up 86 against Essendon, I’d be backing Howe to continue to produce scores around the 60-70 mark with some consistency, given his endeavour. The other Demon playing his second game was Max Gawn, a 207cm ruckman who was never really in DT consideration, but even less so with Mark Jamar set to return this week or next. Melbourne defender James Strauss is not technically on the bubble, having played twice last season, but he’s on the verge of his first price rise this year. I’d steer clear, given his lack of job security and high price. A defender worth considering could be Carlton’s Zach Tuohy, who played well and scored well in the Blues’ big win against Brisbane. The problem was, just about everyone in dark blue was in the same boat on Saturday, making Tuohy’s 75-point performance less remarkable. Given the improved depth at Carlton this year, I’d be concerned about his js, too. I could bang on about St Kilda’s Tom-Toms (Ledger and Simpkin) and while they were good, they once again shared the substitutes vests in a worrying trend. Essendon’s Alex Browne is a risk for the same reason – he copped the green vest for the second consecutive week (scoring just 21 points in a half of footy after replacing Dustin Fletcher). As I said, I’d rather pick an $80k fwd-mid who hasn’t played yet.
Mid-Season Rookie Review
Okay, copy and paste this in the comments to let us know who your Rook-stars have been this year.
Best rookie cashcow:
Best rookie defender:
Best rookie midfielder:
Best rookie ruck:
Best rookie forward:
Any rookies who’ll be keepers:
Biggest rookie disappointment: