AFL 2 years ago

How your recruits fit into your side: GWS - North Melbourne

  • How your recruits fit into your side: GWS - North Melbourne

With a near record amount of trades over the past two and a half weeks, every club acquired another player from another club, which hasn't happened for quite some time. Certainly in recent memory.
In this article, I'll be looking at all the teams and how each of the team's new recruits fit into their new sides.

GWS GIANTS:

B:
Nick Haynes, Phil Davis, Joel Patfull
HB: Heath Shaw, Adam Tomlinson, Nathan Wilson
C: Stephen Coniglio, Callan Ward, Tom Scully
HF: Rhys Palmer, Jonathon Patton, Devon Smith
F: Cameron McCarthy, Jeremy Cameron, Steve Johnson
R: Shane Mumford, Dylan Shiel, Ryan Griffen
I/C: Toby Greene, Lachie Whitfield, Josh Kelly, Jack Steele
EMG: Zachary Williams, Will Hoskin-Elliott, Matthew Buntine

REST OF THE SQUAD: Paul Ahern, Tim Golds, Sam Schulz, Dawson Simpson, Jarrod Pickett, Caleb Marchbank, Aidan Corr, James Stewart, Rory Lobb, Dylan Addison, Tim Mohr, Adam Kennedy, Patrick McKenna, Jake Barrett, Tom Downie, Jeremy Finlayson

The GWS Giants welcome one of the games greats into their side for the 2016 and if he has a season like he did this season, then he could just be the missing thing that sends the Giants into their first finals appearance.

You can understand Geelong's reasoning in letting Johnson go, but what is Geelong's loss is the GWS Giants' gain. Johnson still provided plenty for the Cats this season and he will, you would suspect, do the same for the Giants in the 2016 season.

The Giants' other new recruit Dawson Simpson will offer experienced support to ruckman Shane Mumford, should the big man suffer another injury during the season. When Mumford was forced out of the side in the 2015 season, the Giants had to put faith into the likes of Andrew Phillips, who has now departed to Carlton, as well as Rory Lobb and Tom Downie.

They have lost five senior players from their list, however with all due respect to the rest of them, Adam Treloar is the only loss that will hurt them in the short term, and by the time the long term comes around, they might have much to worry about.

REST OF THE TEAM:

I don't see much changing for the Giants other than the addition of Steve Johnson into their best 22. Will Cameron McCarthy be able to put the off-season drama behind him and still play some good football for the Giants? I'm split on that one, but at the moment, he's in their best 22. 

The Giants missed Shane Mumford and Dylan Shiel so much in the second half of the season and they'll get them back and look twice as good as they did in the second half of the season in 2015.

I'm really keen to see Jack Steele get more game time also this season. His tenacity around the contest and on his opponent in the few games he played last season was something special and he's one that I'm sure can step up and be an important member of this growing Giants side.

HAWTHORN:

B: Josh Gibson, James Frawley, Ben Stratton
HB: Shaun Burgoyne, Matt Spangher, Grant Birchall
C: Bradley Hill, Sam Mitchell, Isaac Smith
HF: Paul Puopolo, Jarryd Roughead, Cyril Rioli
F: Ryan Schoenmakers, Jack Gunston, Luke Breust
R: Ben McEvoy, Luke Hodge, Jordan Lewis
I/C: Liam Shiels, Taylor Duryea, Billy Hartung, Will Langford
EMG: Jon Ceglar, James Sicily, Jono O'Rourke

REST OF THE SQUAD: Angus Litherland, Brendan Whitecross, Shem Tatupu, Tim O'Brien, Kaiden Brand, Jonathan Simpkin, Kurt Heatherley, Zac Webster, Dallas Willsmore, Alex Woodward, Dan Howe, Teia Miles, Marc Pittonet, Jermaine Miller-Lewis, Lachlan Langford, Jack Fitzpatrick

Why change much when you've won the last three premierships? However in previous seasons, the Hawks have sought to bring in key players that have played key roles during the year to land themselves another premiership. Brian Lake and James Frawley come straight to mind.

Now I'm not sure if Jack Fitzpatrick is in the immediate plans for the Hawks and a tilt at their fourth straight premiership, but it was a bit of a surprise to see the delisted Demon arrive at the Hawks during the trade period.

We have seen Fitzpatrick play all over the ground for the Demons and seemed to play his best football as a defender, and given the departure of Brian Lake, then just maybe the Hawks see Fitzpatrick as the replacement for Lake.

The Hawks, along with Lake have lost David Hale through retirement. All this will do will allow Ben McEvoy and Jon Ceglar to form a terrific partnership for the next few seasons.

REST OF THE TEAM:

Well, not much changes to be honest. Expect the likes of Billy Hartung, Will Langford and James Sicily to play more regularly in season 2016.

A fit Matthew Spangher fits into this side so well and allows someone like Josh Gibson to continue to play the floating defender and third man up role that he plays so well. Spangher is a fan favourite and is also a favourite of Alastair Clarkson, so if he can get himself fit then there is no doubt that he plays in this side next season.

Ryan Schoenmakers showed during the finals series that his best position is in the forward line and if he can play as a third tall to Jarryd Roughead and Jack Gunston, I'm positive that he can have an impact as a forward and make this forward line even stronger than it already is.

MELBOURNE:

B: Lynden Dunn, Tom McDonald, Neville Jetta
HB: Jake Melksham, Colin Garland, Heritier Lumumba
C: Tomas Bugg, Nathan Jones, Bernie Vince
HF: Chrisitan Salem, Chris Dawes, Ben Kennedy
F: Cameron Pedersen, Jesse Hogan, Jeff Garlett
R: Max Gawn, Jack Viney, Dom Tyson
I/C: Jack Watts, Angus Brayshaw, Christian Petracca, Aaron Vandenberg
EMG: Billy Stretch, Viv Michie, Jack Grimes

REST OF THE SQUAD: Jack Trengove, Dean Kent, Ben Newton, Jay Kennedy-Harris, Sam Frost, Oscar McDonald, Jayden Hunt, Alex Neal-Bullen, Mitchell White, Jake Spencer, James Harmes, Matt Jones, Dean Terlich, Max King

The Demons were quite active in this season's trade period that saw them land Jake Melksham, Tomas Bugg and Ben Kennedy, as well as picks three and seven in the national draft, despite starting with just pick six in the draft.

Let's start with Jake Melksham from the Bombers. The Demons say that after seeing Melksham play off the half back flank in the last six weeks of the season, that they were convinced that they wanted Melksham at the club. They may have paid slightly overs for him, handing over pick 25, but in saying that, Melksham is capable of playing some terrific football, as he finished in the top five of Essendon's best and fairest in 2013, before injuries struck in 2014 and 2015. 

One thing that I'm sure of that the Demons want from GWS import Tomas Bugg is the toughness and competitive nature that he showed in his short time at the Giants. Bugg isn't the most skillful player in the competition but that competitive attitude that he has is something the Demons lack and need more of through their midfield. He has already declared a brawl against his former team-mates when they meet in 2016. Which I'm sure was a little tongue in cheek, however I wouldn't put it past him.

Finally, Ben Kennedy comes over from Collingwood with the world at his feet. This kid has so much talent that we're yet to see, but I can tell you that it is there. Kennedy has just about everything you want in a footballer, but there's one thing he seriously needs to work on if he wants to become an elite footballer and that's his ball use. Hence why he spent so much time out of the Collingwood side, because he continued to butcher the football by hand and foot.

The Demons have lost Jeremy Howe and Jimmy Toumpas through the trade period, but if I'm being 100% honest, I think that's more of a good thing than it is a bad thing. For now anyway. 

REST OF THE TEAM:

Before injury, I would have said Cameron Pedersen was showing signs of turning into a very good supporting act to boom youngster Jesse Hogan. Pedersen's marking ability, as well as hitting the scoreboard was quite valuable before going down with a season ending injury. I'd like to see him given another chance next to Hogan to prove his worth.

It's make or break for Chris Dawes and Jack Watts in 2016. They were almost shown the door from the Demons this trade period and they would want to put in a decent 2016 if they're to be there next season.

Although this is his second year, there's no doubt that Christian Petracca would feel like a new recruit around the club, after missing the entire season with a ruptured ACL. Petracca will add so much to this side and if last season's injury is a one-off, which we all hope it is, then the Demons will have just another star in the waiting.

NORTH MELBOURNE:

B: Lachie Hansen, Scott Thompson, Michael Firrito
HB: Sam Wright, Robbie Tarrant, Shaun Atley
C: Nick Dal Santo, Ben Jacobs, Ben Cunnington
HF: Shaun Higgins, Jarrad Waite, Brent Harvey
F: Ben Brown, Drew Petrie, Kayne Turner
R: Todd Goldstein, Jack Ziebell, Andrew Swallow
I/C: Jed Anderson, Luke McDonald, Daniel Wells, Jamie Macmillian
EMG: Taylor Garner, Sam Gibosn, Lindsay Thomas

REST OF THE SQUAD: Brad Mackenzie, Kieran Harper, Sam Durdin, Ed Vickers-Willis, Braydon Preuss, Mason Wood, Daniel Nielson, Trent Dumont, Aaron Black, Joel Tippett, Will Fordham, Majak Daw, Aaron Mullett, Robin Nahas

Just the one inclusion for the Kangaroos over the trade period, but it's one that many, myself included, are jealous of and that's Jed Anderson. Now he may have only played ten senior games and the Kangaroos paid pick 15 for him, but I can guarantee you all that Anderson will be a player for the Kangaroos, if he avoids his previous injury history.

Anderson will provide much needed support to someone like Daniel Wells and Brent Harvey. Wells  and Harvey are really the only players in the Kangaroos best 22 above that have genuine pace, so Anderson coming into the side will give the Kangaroos another player that can break the lines and use the ball effectively.

The Kangaroos had two minor losses through the trade period and that was Ryan Bastinac to the Brisbane Lions and Dan Currie to the Gold Coast Suns. I may be a little harsh on Ryan Bastinac, but he had a poor 2015 and a fresh start could do him the world of good.

REST OF THE TEAM:

Two preliminary final losses in a row, it can't get much more heart-breaking than that, but the Kangaroos have shown in the past two seasons, that they are more than capable of beating the competition's best. 

What they need to do is do it from the very beginning of the season, which they haven't done in previous years. 

Unfortunately for Lindsay Thomas, despite being a part of this North Melbourne side for quite a while, late in the season, I saw Kayne Turner over-take Thomas and I believe that may be the norm next season, unless Thomas strings together some strong, consistent football. Thomas' biggest problem is staging for free kicks and attempting to kick the impossible. If he can take that out of his game, then he may remain in the best 22. 

A fit Lachie Hansen and Robbie Tarrant is crucial to this team and crucial to the support of number one defender Scott Thompson. Tarrant played a terrific second half of the season that saw him sign a new four year deal and Hansen is one of the best intercept markers in the competition. If you've got those three playing in the same side, 22 weeks of the season, then you're going to be in a terrific position come finals time.

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