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Nick Suban – Lefty’s Leftfielders

The third edition of Lefty’s Leftfielders is here and this week he’s looking at a left footer from Fremantle; Nick Suban. $264,500 is a small price to pay for a defender with midfield potential.


Welcome to the third edition of Lefty’s Leftfielders – where I am trying to find a few players for your team that you may not have looked into up til now. Not the obvious picks (hello Rockliff) but the more unique (and yes risky!) options…

This week on Lefty’s Leftfielder’s is Docker’s left footer Nick Suban.


Name: Nick Suban

Club: Fremantle Docker’s

Position: Back

Price: $264,500


Argument For

Ok this is going to take some explaining so please bear with me.

In 2011 Suban started like a man possessed with scores of 74, 86 and 99 playing mainly a tagging/half forward role. In round 4 his leg was broken by Creepy Crowley and he didn’t play again until round 18 when he was rushed back into the side and played well short of match fitness. His scores reflected his lack of running ability with an average of 47 in the last 7 rounds (including starting as a sub)

In 2012, Suban played only 12 games for an average of 51 and was the starting sub in 4 of Freo’s last 5 games (including finals). His scores for the first 3 rounds were 69,43 and 74 before injuring himself in round 4 (again!) and not reappearing in the purple until round 11. Taking out his sub affected scores, Suban averaged a tick over 60 for the year.

Not exactly sold yet? Neither was I until I saw a clip of him running 4 weeks ago and winning a 2km time trial. Suban looks ripped – dunno what he’s been eating but it seems to be working. Even when injury free he always looked a bit porky (by AFL standards) but a focus on fitness in the off season has him looking in top shape for 2013. An increased aerobic capacity can only be a step in the ‘pick me’ direction?

The next point to consider is Fremantle’s team. The departures of Broughton and Lower, Mundy’s dodgy ankle and Fyfe’s rice bubble shoulders (and the sad injury curse of Morabito) has opened up opportunities for Suban in the midfield. I think the Pearceboys and even that little pest Ballantyne will spend some time in the midfield but there is still room in the rotations for a fit Suban to spend quality time on the ball.

Stephen Hill was interviewed a few weeks ago and made the following comments when asked who is impressing the most this preseason:

-Nick Suban has been ‘best-on-track’ this pre-season, and has led the field in many of therunning sessions.

-Nick’s lost a lot of kilos and he’s looking really fit.

-It’ll be good to have Suban in the midfield. He’s had a good pre-season.

-Nick’s got a bit of speed this pre-season and I’m looking forward to him having a good season.

Suban isonly 22 years old which surprised me as I thought he was 25 at least. This suggests he may still have some natural improvement left in him as he matures(but you could probably make a case that he should have already shown that by now!)


Argument Against

He keeps finding ways to hurt himself – Suban has only played 36 games in the last 3 years and almost a quarter of those have involved a vest of either colour. This is a little distorted by the ‘freak’ accident which left him with a broken leg – it’s not like he is a Shaun Higgins type who suffers from continual soft tissue injuries every other week.

He wore the green vest in 4 of Fremantle’s last 5 games in 2012 which is a worrying risk. I can’t see him in the green or red this year given the coach and other Freo players have publicly stated how well he is going.

Nick hasn’t averaged over 60 in any of his 4 seasons. This is my probably my biggest issue with Suban – I am banking on him beating anything he has done before by 10-15ppg. I normally try and identify players coming up against teams they have done well against previously – Suban doesn’t really have any of these!

He plays for that killer of fun – Ross Lyon. Some games I think he has 10 blokes doing tagging roles or decoy running just to make sure they don’t concede more than the ‘allowed’ 10 goals. Then in the finals he stunned Geelong – and most of us – by taking the handbrake off and attacking flat out. Hopefully he learnt from that win and coaches a little more aggressively this year?


Lefty’s Call

I think most of us are pretty set on the 3G backline (Gibbs, Grimes and Goddard) it’s the other 5 spots that are up in the air. Out of the backline rookies we have seen so far Pittard and Goodes look pretty likely to make my final squad but I am not overly confident in starting either of them. Priced at a 50 ppg average, I can’t see Suban losing you any money and I would be very surprised if any of the 2013 back rookies outscore him over the first 5 weeks. Remember there are no expansion clubs this year giving you rookies in every line playing every week like the last 2 years – and the ones who do come in will likely play smaller roles in their teams.


  • His coach has come out and publicly stated he will play more as a midfielder this year- check.
  • He is in the best shape of his career – check.
  • He will not get tagged as there are other players ahead of him that will (Mundy, Barlow and Fyfe) – check.
  • Ibbotson and Crowley get the first 2defensive roles at Fremantle so Suban shouldn’t get the negative forward role – check.
  • Fremantle play on the wide expanse of Subiaco every 2nd week where elite runners with big tanks can find lots of space for easy +6 (mark and kicks) – check.

I am not saying he will be the number 1 DT defender but he may be a very handy D5/6 until your final upgrade (or even kept as a backup D7?). Personally I will be hoping for a 75ppg average from Suban over first 7 weeks and waiting for a Birchall/Suckling type to drop to high $300’s and straight swap. Most of the top defenders were priced at under $400k at some stage last year when they had patches of average form – I will be hoping the planets align and I can sideways Suban to an underperforming defender or a sub affected price fluctuation (Carrots last year was so tasty at his bargain price!)

He is sitting in my team at D5 at the moment – unless a couple of rookies really jump up and demand a starting gig I can’t see that changing.



  1. Paddy F

    February 27, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    you make a compelling argument, however taking a look at that photo of Suban he will be giving away way too many free kicks with his throwing handballs! haha

  2. FMDT

    February 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    nice write up mate definately contending with tambling for that m5 spot for me

    • FMDT

      February 27, 2013 at 6:41 pm


  3. Noodles71

    February 27, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Interesting to look at as a defender… he will definitely be getting his share of midfield run.

  4. Rubitonurnuts

    February 27, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    ummmm no thanks

  5. ScottyGC

    February 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for that write up Lefty because Suban is a smokey who I have considered for most of the preseason based on the comments coming out of Freo which you highlighted above. My concern is that Duffield and Danyle Pearce also seem to have plenty of upside this season. Suban is cheaper, but which of these 3 is the best choice for DT?

    • Lefty

      February 27, 2013 at 7:53 pm

      Personally if I had the cash to choose Duffman at D4 I would prefer Heppel – seems more consistent?

      Pearce is a real unknown factor – I guess we will have to see how he fits in but I see his role similar to Hill’s was last year? Any Freo fans thoughts?

      cheers for the reply

      • Grover1974

        February 27, 2013 at 11:34 pm

        Pearce will be a link up player out wide. Will get lots of +6 as I don’t think he will be that closely manned up as Hill will be on other wing.
        I have Suban as I think he will definitely up his game this year. He has a long penetrating kick and will be valuable for the long defensive clear out to Hill/Pearce (especially at Subiaco). Wouldn’t surprise me if he gets a lot of +6 little kicks from Duff he can’t kick to himself after a point.

  6. Ingoes

    February 27, 2013 at 7:46 pm

    Well at least this article didn’t change my squad…

    I already had this one

  7. Joseph

    February 27, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    His coach has come out and publicly stated he will play more as a midfielder this year- check. Boy have we heard that before.

    Good article mate, Lower only played 3 games and Broughton played well anywhere.

  8. TDominator

    February 27, 2013 at 9:41 pm

    Who is carrots???

    • xpl

      February 27, 2013 at 9:42 pm

      Andrew Carrazzo #44

      • Karl

        February 28, 2013 at 2:15 pm

        + Plays for Carlton

  9. Hawksman

    February 28, 2013 at 1:46 am

    What does everyone think about nathan bock ???

    • Bandicoot

      February 28, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      Bock has not yet recovered from his broken leg and is not expected back till almost half way through the season.

  10. Chitters

    February 28, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Still reckon Russell will go better at the same price

  11. Dustin Deledio

    February 28, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    I agree chitters, for me it’s between Suban, Russell and rookies. Chances are there will be a rookie in defense who was solid and you didn’t select him, if that occurs then you can simply trade to that guy and avoid losing money. This year is more about money accumulation than ever imo.

    I’m going to go straight up Guns ‘N’ Rooks at the moment, potentially doing upgrades from rookie > mid pricer > premium!

    It’s going to be very interesting how it all happens

  12. dirk diggler

    February 28, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I have it on good authority that Suban won’t be spending that much time in the midfield this season.

  13. travis

    March 2, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    Where do I find % players owed in teams I’ve looked everywhere

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