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
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!)
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?
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.