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Deck of Dream Team

Deck of Dream Team 2012: Greg Broughton

Greg Broughton has been a popular DTer ever since he averaged 87.6 in his debut year for the Dockers, just 3 years ago. But he had a roller-coaster of a 2011 – so why would we consider him in 2012?

Name: Greg Broughton
Club: Fremantle Dockers
Position: Defender
Assistant Coach 2012 Price: $416,200
Bye Round: 12
2011 Average: 84.14
2011 Games Played: 21
Predicted Average: 94

Why should I pick him?

Greg Broughton has been a popular DTer ever since he averaged 87.6 in his debut year for the Dockers, just 3 years ago. He played 15 games that year, and backed it up with another 15 in 2010 at 89.3 per game. The reason why he was so successful early in his career? Just another mature-age success story. He played in Subiaco’s three-peat in the WAFL before being rookie-listed by the Dockers.

2011, however, was a highly frustrating year for DT coaches. All signs pointed to his production sky-rocketting, especially if he played 20+ games – even Warnie was smitten (check out last year’s DoDT article). But two things happened that derailed his 2011 season and brought his average down to 84.1.

1.  Mark Harvey started acting like a twat. Broughton’s bread and butter was that loose-man rebounding role coming out of defence, a role that had defined his career until then. But Hero Harvey decided to play Broughton as a lock-down defender, giving him one-on-one assignments early in the year (although, to be fair, this could have had a bit to do with Ibbotson, Mzungu and Hayden all being injured before the season even began). This messed with his mojo, and Broughton was one of the biggest DT disappointments to open the 2011 season.

2. Injuries struck Fremantle in a bad way. Broughton was moved into the midfield because of it, which marked the return of Greg the DT Slut. He continued to dominate through the middle until Round 19 against Hawthorn where he sustained a mysterious leg injury of his own. He didn’t miss any games, but was obviously hampered by the niggle and was sent back to the back-pocket for the lock-down type role that was so harmful to his scoring ability. If Fremantle had any other fit players in the WAFL, I have no doubt Broughton would have taken a game or two off, and freshened up for the last few rounds to kill it for us DT coaches.

Check out his stats for last season, split-style.

Rounds 1 – 8

Rounds 9 – 19

Rounds 20 – 24

6 Games

10 Games

5 Games

62.0 avg

106.5 avg

66.0 avg

The point I’m trying to make is – when Broughton is fit and playing his preferred role, he is an absolute DT fiend. He’s had a full pres-season, and Harvey has pissed off, so it’s looking as good as it can for him at this early point in the year.

Another reason that you should consider him is the way the byes have fallen with the premium defenders. Of the 17 players who averaged over 80 and are listed as DEF this year, 10 of them have byes in the dreaded Round 13 MBR. This leaves 4 from Round 12 and 3 from Round 11.So if you’re looking for a premium defender with a R12 bye, it comes down to Enright, Shaw, Heppell or Broughton.

Why shouldn’t I pick him?

There have always been injury concerns over Broughton, having only played those 15 games in each of his first two seasons, and he likely would have played less last year if it wasn’t for the plague that hit the Dockers. If he’s injured, he either won’t play, which sucks, or he will play and average close to 60, which is probably worse.

The other big issue is what role new Fremantle coach Ross Lyon will decide best suits Broughton. With Suban and Ibbotson both fit and firing, Broughton should be freed up to play his damaging rebounding role (I say that without any confidence). But considering how Gilbert, Gram, Goddard and Fisher all flourished under Lyon at St. Kilda, I think it’s safe to be optimistic that Reckless Ross’ game-plan won’t have a negative impact, if any.

Deck of DT Rating.

KING – Broughton is one of the better options from the defender with a R12 Bye, especially given Enright and Heppell are at opposite ends of the age spectrum and Shaw is on many ‘Never Again’ lists. There is a fair amount of risk involved with picking him, but the rewards are generous – at his best, Broughton is an elite DTer. Watch closely over the nab cup to see whether we see Dr. Greg Jekyll or Mr. Greg Hyde.

 

Catch me on Twitter: @tbetta9

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