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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Tom Rockliff

I know many of you think my obsession with Tom Rockliff is unhealthy, and well, you would probably be right but I guarantee you would feel the same if you selected him from round 1 last year. The bloke is an absolute jet, but for the purpose of the Deck, I have stepped back and written this article from a non biased view. (Maybe slightly biased).

  • Roy

Name: Tom Rockliff
Club: Brisbane
Position: Midfield
Assistant Coach Price: $554,200
Bye Round: 11
2011 Average: 112
2011 Games Played: 20
Predicted Average: 119

Why should I pick him?

In 2011, my boy Rocky had a secondary breakout where he took his average from 87 to the brink of DT elitism 112. One of the best things about Rockliff, apart from being a top bloke is that fact he puts in 100% each week. No matter the opposition or result, he never leaves a coach disappointed through lack of effort. Over his first 9 games last year, Rocky made steady improvements from the previous year, and looked on track to average around 100. Throughout this period, Rocky managed 4 outstanding 100’s which included 2 impressive scores over 130, and 5 sub ton scores of which only 2 were below 90, one of which was caused by an injury that resulted in being subbed off and consequentially miss the next 2 weeks. From this point, the real Tom Rockliff stood up, absolutely dominating the competition and showing why he was elevated to the leadership group despite lacking the experience of some of his teammates (He was also elevated to the leadership group of destROY on a number of occasions throughout the year). From round 13 to 24, Rocky showed he is ready to be considered in the elite group, topping the 100 point mark on every occasion including 10 scores over 110 and an awesome 151 vs the Eagles, eventually averaging 121 during this 12 week block. There are concerns that his brilliance will be recognized by opposition clubs and he will attract more negative attention from taggers, but while Simon Black is still playing, he seems to be a walkup to cop the number 1 most weeks. Apart from being a ball magnet, you have to respect Rocky’s all round game which is why he was able to score so consistently throughout the second half of the year. He is great at working to space for marks and on 2 occasions last year he managed double figures in the category, while he is also an outstanding tackler, registering 13 and 14 in his last 2 games of the year.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

The only frustration from a coach’s perspective in regard to having Rockliff in your lineup is his teammate’s lack of ability to kick it to him. When I went to watch the Lions vs Hawks at Aurora Stadium, there was 3 occasions where he was open by 20 metres on the back flank, twice the ball went flying past him out of bounds and the other turned into a contested possession on the ground (which he won of course) but it cost him 3 points for a mark. As mentioned above, coaches must be prepared for Rockliff to receive close attention at times throughout the year.

Deck of DT Rating:

King- With an average of 112 for the year, Rockliff is considered a King although his form over the last 10+ weeks was definitely worthy of Ace status. This guy is an absolute machine, and is part of an improving Lions team which will be beneficial to his scoring potential. If you are scared off by Swan’s price, Rocky is your man. Get him in either as a single purchase or potentially part of the RedRock Berger combo. After tweeting Jack Redden and Rockliff about his pre-season progress, Rocky assured me he was flying, while Reddo seemed convinced he is fit, despite his inability to “lose his puppy fat”. I love the fact he has spent time in Arizona this pre season, look what that did for Swannie in the second half of last year. His chance of starting in destROY is 99.9%, ah who am I kidding? 110%.

Follow me on Twitter: @RoyDT | Follow Rocky: @rockwiz38 | Follow Reddo: @reddo30



  1. nickc

    January 5, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Great write up Roy. Had him in my team last all last year and he didn’t disappoint. In fact he is the first one I penciled in for a lock this year.

  2. giants

    January 5, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I wouldn’t really feel confident paying that much for such an inexperienced player.

    If he backs up last year’s performances in the first half of this year than he’s an obvious choice for upgrade after Round 11, but I think I’ll wait and see.

  3. Sully23

    January 5, 2012 at 7:00 am

    3rd lock after Swan and SMJ!

  4. givedavisahome

    January 5, 2012 at 7:37 am

    What is with the high prices, does anyone know if u get a higher salary cap to accomodate. And i would like to see a deck of dt on Andrew Swallow as i am considering him as my 3rd behind Swan and Pendles.

    • tkol

      January 5, 2012 at 8:25 am

      The high prices might have something to do with how easy the game has begun?
      This year will really sort out the thinking coach!
      I like the idea of Swallow too, the North midfield will take the next step in 2012! (go roos)

      • tkol

        January 5, 2012 at 8:26 am


        • Benny

          January 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm

          Last year was the hardest year so far mate, having to deal with byes and triple-bye rounds, all working in favour of the ‘thinking’ DT coach.
          This year all you have to do is find a way to sort out the 3 shitstorm rounds in the middle, and you’re on your way.

          • Phil Ken Sebben

            January 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

            Totally agree lads.

  5. adzman

    January 5, 2012 at 9:00 am

    rockliff the next swan? butchers the ball but gets loads of it.

    i can’t pay that much though…. already planning on having swan, ablett, selwood and barlow.

  6. C-man

    January 5, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I cant justify that price to someone who hasnt been tested against the hardest tags… Upgrading to him or redden depending on form. Ps what is everyones thoughts on redden i didnt watch many of his games so thoughts would be appreciated or even a deck of dt?

    • adzman

      January 5, 2012 at 9:12 am

      seems to get a lot of tackle points so thats a good thing…..

  7. Nooie

    January 5, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Upgrade target. I agree with C-Man, once I see he can cope a tag well, he’s in. Currently got Swan, Gablett and Murphy in front of him.

  8. feathertopDT


    January 5, 2012 at 10:06 am

    What’s the go on Cooney?

    • adzman

      January 5, 2012 at 10:21 am

      stuffed knee i hear?

      Chronic issue that will just get worse and worse. He may have played his best footy already..

  9. PurpleArmy

    January 5, 2012 at 11:12 am

    I have him over smj (he is my first upgrade though), shows how much I rate this guy. His last 10-11 rounds last year will make any guy drool. Not only does he get plenty of it he tackles a lot and goes forward for a sneaky goal every now and then. Rocky has the Lock……. to my heart…haha

  10. Chuck Norris

    January 5, 2012 at 11:30 am

    Great write-up Roy. Locking him in along with Swan and Gablett.

    On a different topic:
    watching Fox Sports News this morning, they did a segment on Hayden Ballantyne and Freo’s Assistant Coach said that he will definitely get a midfield role. He said that they needed more speed through the midfield and that both the coaching staff and Ballantyne are both keen on it.

    I couldn’t find it on Fox but I’m sure this is the same one:


    • PurpleArmy

      January 5, 2012 at 11:45 am

      its on the afl website too, not for me i think he’s $356k which is just too awkward for me and with better options out there for established Mids (barlow, hayes $80k dearer)

      • TheAussieDigger

        January 5, 2012 at 12:22 pm

        Ballantyne is a fwd so you’d compare picking him with the likes of Christensen and Brown, which isn’t such a bad comparison

        • PurpleArmy

          January 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm

          true, dont know what i was thinking

    • Phil Ken Sebben

      January 5, 2012 at 12:28 pm

      Great work Chuck. This type of info can be very useful, as it may potentially alter Freos midfield rotations. Will it impact on how The Knyfe will be used? Hmmmmm.

      BTW, any chance you can get the team back together and do a Walker Texas Ranger reunion show for old times sake? lol I loved that show!

    • mordja

      January 5, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Attractive if true. Add to watchlist.

    • Kuruki

      January 5, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      Will be watching the NAB very closely.

  11. Adamant

    January 5, 2012 at 12:10 pm

    Locking Rocky in along with SMJ and Swanny. Can definately see him being top 3 mids this year.

    • nars76

      January 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      Sorry for my ignorance, but who is SMJ?

      • Warnie


        January 5, 2012 at 1:57 pm

        It’s a nickname for Gary Ablett. GAJ would be the three letters I would use for him. For the record, SMJ stands for Sweet Merciful Jesus.

        • nars76

          January 5, 2012 at 2:00 pm

          I was scracthing my head for ages thinking who it could have been. Thanks for clearing that up. I think I will stick with GAJ or The Little Master.

          • andyjh

            January 5, 2012 at 10:19 pm

            as soon as i saw your tweet yesterday i knew it was rocky!!! locked N loaded as for wich 2 out of swan ablett n selwood will join him?????

    • Buddyman

      January 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      Just wondering who is SMJ?
      Forgive me for my utter lack of nickname intelligence

  12. PRo_MoE1144

    January 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Rocky the “king of hearts”? He is a great story wasn’t drafted in the national draft. He got picked up in the pre season draft after no one else rates him. I think he even beet sidebottom and ziebell to best and fairest for their un 19s team.

  13. TheAussieDigger

    January 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Picked him up after rd 13 and everyone said I was crazy for taking him over Hodge.

    Best trade I ever made

  14. eeepobreci

    January 5, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Another great read- cheers Roy!
    Part of my strategy is to not to start with a premium mid who has his bye in round 11, so my aim is to trade this gun into my team as a legitimate team building trade in round 12.

    This guy won’t get rested in the later rounds of the year which is another bonus!

  15. Big Feller

    January 5, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Great article Roy – do I detect a bit of man love there?

    It’s a choice out of Thompson or Rocky for me but at this stage I’m leaning towards Thommo because of Adelaide’s easier draw.

    • Phil Ken Sebben

      January 5, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      Hahaha…bi curious?

      • Big Feller

        January 5, 2012 at 3:12 pm

        Let’s see: Gum wrapper, pocket lint, lighter… Ooo! Flamethrower! Ring of power, dunno what that is, roll of quarters… Wait, that’s not a roll of… Ah! Here they are!

        • Phil Ken Sebben

          January 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm

          I’ve got my eyes.. err, EYE on you!!

  16. AzzDawg

    January 5, 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Stupid Question… Who is SMJ??????

    • Chuck Norris

      January 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

      Gary Ablett Junior

      SMJ= Sweet Merciful Jesus

      • AzzDawg

        January 5, 2012 at 2:37 pm

        Barlow haha

        • Buddyman

          January 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

          Ahh my question has been answered, jeez lets stick to GAJ guys

          • PurpleArmy

            January 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

            yeah its a bit stupid

            just so everyone knows Swanny is now ATIGAG (all that is good and great)….haha

  17. wcarey

    January 5, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    I’m 99% looking to put either redden or the rock in my team. had rockliff last year. who do people think the opposiotion will focus more on?

    In the end I think I will go redden as a point of difference as he also has potential to get better and played all 22 games last year…

  18. AzzDawg

    January 5, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Dustin Martin or David Zaharakis

    or add some more money and get Adam Goodes

    • Chuck Norris

      January 5, 2012 at 2:30 pm

      I wouldn’t get Goodes from the start as he always has better 2nd half of the year. He’ll be a good upgrade target though.

      Out of those 2 I would go with Zaka but you wouldn’t be doing anything wrong with picking Martin.
      Any chance you can sneak both in? Who else is in your FWD line?

      • AzzDawg

        January 5, 2012 at 2:39 pm

        DEF: A. Carrazzo, B. Deledio, D. Heppell, A. Mackie, J. Grimes, B. Lake, S. Morris (B. Smedts, A. Forster)
        MID: G. Ablett jnr, J. Selwood, M. Barlow, L. Hayes, S. Coniglio, A. Miles (D. Shiel, K. Stevens)
        RUC: M. Leuenberger, H. McIntosh (J. Giles, O. Stephenson)
        FWD: L. Franklin, N. Fyfe, D. Zaharakis, A. Monfries, H. Ballantyne, J. Brown, A. Saad (J. Cameron, S. Kerridge)
        CASH LEFT: $0

        Tossing up between Carrazzo and Enright

        • TrueBLUE

          January 5, 2012 at 3:40 pm


      • mattygee

        January 5, 2012 at 2:40 pm

        You would be mad not to have goodesy in your team…

        • AzzDawg

          January 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

          Basically im going Carrazzo, Zaharakis over Gram and Goodes

  19. GJayBee

    January 5, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    You have almost Destroyed my doubts about Rocky!

    Thanks for keeping it clean and not going into any fantasies hahahahah

    My only worry is if Black has an injury, or Rocky keeps improving, Rocky will get the hard tag.

    Will he sweet talk the tagger like he has the DT Talk boys and keep racking up points?

    Does he listen to the Rocky theme song before each game?

    Who knows! All I know is that he has to be in the mix at this stage.

    DT Madness, GJB

    • Phil Ken Sebben

      January 5, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Never fear Rocky getting a hard tag GJB!
      Both Black AND Rich always cop it preferentially over Rocky, because they’re perceived to be more damaging by foot in comparison. Much like Barlow will very rarely or never be tagged if Mundy and/or Hill is playing.

      • GJayBee

        January 5, 2012 at 10:27 pm

        Hey Phil,

        Thanks for the tip mate. I forgot Rich has such a good left boot. (is he still called Bam Bam by brisbane bears players?)

        The fact that some players get tagged due to their precision, while some ball magnets get to go free and butcher the ball, goes to show how cool our game is. There is a lot going on.

        In fact, I think Rich might have a cracker this year, along with; Hanneberry, Trengrove, Wellingham,
        K.Jack and K.Cornes.

        But with Hayes cheaper than all of them and Barlow only $20,000 more than Rich, I don’t think I will have the guts to chose any of them.

  20. Brett

    January 5, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    I’m with you RoY and good honest biased write up :). I want Rockliffe in my side 110% also, but I think I want Thompson with his draw in 120%

    Currently for premiums i have Swan/GAJ/Thompson/Barlow – don’t know how on that structure (due to gun/rook midfield) how i can fit rockliffe also.

    Anyone think Rockliffe or Thompson one or the other stands out obove the other? or above Swan or GAJ ?

    I went heavy on the rooks in the mids because they are the best cash cows, ofcourse im hoping an d planning on Barlow being a premium gun keeper so its a 4-4 g/r mid for me.

    Really have a feeling about Rockliffe tearing it up this year tho, he is my first upgrade target then its selwood or pendles whoever is looking the best after Rockliffe is in.

    • Shazzam66

      January 6, 2012 at 9:20 am

      You’ve got the same midfield I’ll be going with


      Also anyone considering Josh Caddy?

  21. dools

    January 5, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Doesn’t represent enough value or stability imo. One good season doesn’t make a player elite and whether he can better or even equal last years feats remains too big a doubt for me. Players like ablett present a much surer return and for 550 odd thousand they bloody well need to!

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