North Melbourne: AFL Dream Team Picks
TeeTee gives us his 5 Kangaroos that he has on his watchlist. With Andrew Swallow ready to take a step up to crack the DT ton average and ruckmen Hamish McIntosh and Todd Goldstein in many teams, there are a few Roos worth keeping an eye on. Which North Melbourne Kangaroos are currently on your AFL Dream Team watchlist?
This series of ‘club preview’ posts are written by DT TALK regular contributors choosing their 5 players they have on their watchlist from the respective club. These aren’t who we think will be the top 5 highest scoring players… and are not necessarily in order. They are just our opinions of the 5 players who we have on our watchlist heading into the 2012 season.
TeeTee’s five from the Kangas…
Okay, it has to be said that while the Kangaroos have a young, talent-laden squad, on balance they don’t boast a long list of DT-relevant players compared to the likes of Collingwood and Geelong. So what we have here is pretty much a selection of ‘uniques’ for your consideration. Bon apetite!
1. Andrew Swallow (MID) $491,500
A real point-of-difference MID, Swallow senior comes into his 6th season off the last three years of averaging 89.8, 98.3 and 99.3. With a big 2012 ahead of him as the new skipper of the ‘Roos, we can expect to see him step up, marshalling the joeys at Arden Street and leading the charge out in the middle. He is crucial to the success of North Melbourne and the fearless on-baller should up his average to around the 105ppg mark by season’s end.
2. Liam Anthony (MID) $378,200
Remember when this guy was unleashed in the second half of the 2009 season? Anthony went on an absolute rampage and ended up with an average of 96.2 in his 10 games. Sure he’s had his injury woes and went missing in 2011, but he looks like he is back to his ball-winning ways in last weekend’s NAB Cup match against the Doggies. There’s plenty of risk involved in picking him in your starting squad, but if he can keep those shoulders intact, he could reward.
3. Todd Goldstein (RUC) $491,600
There has been a heap of preseason chatter about how McIntosh’s impending return to the ‘Roos lineup for season 2012 will have a detrimental effect on Goldy’s Dream Team output. I don’t doubt that it will diminish somewhat, but he is an outstanding mobile ruckman who should still be able to average around 90ppg for the year and feature regularly in North Melbourne’s best, both on-ground and in Dream Team scoring. While that may be a drop from his 99.3 average in 2011, what won’t drop is his high work rate and his effort around the ground.
4. Hamish McIntosh (RUC) $273,500
I have to admit to being a bit of a HMac fan since picking him in my team in 2009 and riding out his breakout year. He had a very unlucky run of injuries in 2011, but he has put it all together this preseason to come out fighting fit for 2012. He looks the goods and even if his scoring is hampered by Goldy, an average of 80-85ppg for $273k makes for a great pathway to an elite ruck come the Kangas’ Round 11 bye.
5. Jack Ziebell (MID) $384,900
If there is any MID crying out for a breakout year, it’s got to be J-Z!! He has the ability to get his hands on the ball almost at will, putting himself in the right spot at the right time, but his consistency has been lacking. He played 21 games last year and managed to pump out massive scores including a 129 and a 156 in nine 90-plus games, but on the flip side, he went missing for nine sub-70 games as well. His awkward price tag makes him a difficult proposition, but if the vice-captain raises his game and brings consistency to his application, he is ready to explode into premium territory.
On the watchlist…
Of course, mature-aged Sam Gibson (MID, $85,800) is on many a shortlist, but his NAB Cup form has been a little up-and-down. An inside/outside goal-kicking midfielder for the Box Hill Hawks for the past couple of seasons, Gibbo wouldn’t have been picked up by the Kangas just to build depth. He’s cheap-as-chips, so watch his performance in this weekend’s final NAB Cup round and listen out for any news of his elevation in the coming weeks. Fellow new recruit Will Sierakowski (BAC, $104,200) could be a handy downgrade option when he gets his chance. A ready-to-play rebounding defender, he gives the ‘Roos an option down back and will want to seize any opportunity to impress at his new club. Keep an eye on DTTalk’s main man at Arden Street, Nathan Grima (BAC, $279,900). His preseason was looking good until he tweaked his knee, but monitor his return in the early rounds to see if he has a bit more freedom across halfback this year. We all saw how brilliantly Drew Petrie (FWD, $432,900) came back from spending 2010 on the sidelines, but he’s lost his FWD/RUC DPP this year and the riches available in the FWD line will relegate him to being a very unique pick. He’ll be playing as a key-position power forward and will no doubt bag a few 6 goal+ games this year, but only you’ll know if he’s a fit for your strategy.
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