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TOPIC: Fremantle Futures

Morgan Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #1

Last week the AFL had a clickbatey post asking fans to suggest which players would have a breakout year this year. I had some time this morning, so I decided to go one better (or much worse, depending on whether brevity is your thing) and rank Freo’s squad based on how their performance (but not necessarily stats) might change against last year. For no particularly good reason I grouped these as share trading options, because as much as you shouldn’t and can’t trade players like shares, I thought it might be an interesting way of expressing future value against current value. I was wrong about the interesting part, but I didn’t realise until the end and by then I was already committed to the bit.

Also, I don’t really trade shares or know anything about the share market, so it’s likely I butchered the terminology.



Liam Henry: Expectations were high for Henry and he looked a little off the pace of the game last year, though it would have been tough coming off an injury. I think he’ll be a lock in our forward line this year. He looks like he’s bulked up a little which will help him, but if the experience with Stephen Hill is anything to go by, I hope they don’t let him get too big on the basis of him winning his own ball. At least for the early part of his career his focus should be on learning the game, covering the ground and finishing off plays.

Sam Sturt: Has looked the goods in very small glimpses, and looks like he has the potential to hit the scoreboard which we sorely need. Though not a like-for-like player, he could be a chance to fill some of the gap left by Jesse Hogan.

Hayden Young: Obviously Serong was the pick of the rookies last year, but not since a young Nat Fyfe have I been as excited by the glimpses shown by rookie. I’m not sure what sort of player he ends up being – I’m hoping eventually a Luke Hodge type who swings from half-back to midfield - but he has the chance to be special.

Griffin Logue: If he can stay on the park he has the chance to have a monster season. I’d like to see him get some time in the middle, but based on how much gym work he seems to have done he might be a fixture in defence this year. If he’s the third tall in a team, is his bloke ever going to win a matchup?

Caleb Serong: You can’t get a better footy stock bump than winning the Rising Star, so it’s a pretty obvious pick. There is the chance he plateaus a bit in his second year as opponents spent at least some time game-planning for him and if he wears down over the season, but long-term he’s a ripper.

Adam Cerra: Another pre-season, and a full year in the competition should see Cerra take another step. His kicking is pretty good, so he has the chance to either hit the scoreboard or set up play from the back in addition to just being in the middle, so it will be interesting to see how JLo deploys him.

Darcy Tucker: Before his injury last year Tucker looked as though he had taken a step up. The focus is rightly on players like Serong, Cerra and Brayshaw, but I reckon Tucker is a great complement for those players and could be close to our most prolific clearance player next year. It could depend a little on how he recovers from his injury.

Lloyd Meek: A bit speculative, but this could be the year for Meek. I don’t think he’ll set the world on fire, but given he has played 0 games, I think there is a good chance he improves on that.

Call Option

Andrew Brayshaw: Brayshaw’s year-on-year average possession tallies have been 16, 17 and 20 touches per game. His disposal output shapes to improve again this year, and he could break a club record for tackling, but to really take the next step he needs to improve his disposal, especially in front of goal. I reckon he’s still a year away from doing that.

Blake Acres: I didn’t see enough of him last year to get a handle on his best position, but given our non-Dave Mundy midfielders are on the younger side, there’s a chance Acres plays in the middle a bit. He could be a really useful link man for Freo. I think he’s due for a break-out year.

Luke Valente: I have no idea if he can play, but the buzz seems positive.


Rory Lobb: Lobb had a decent year last year, which looked worse because of his set shot issues. I’m hoping the forward line functions a lot better this year, and if it does I think he’s in for a good year.

Sean Darcy: I think Darcy is still a year away from holding his marks and generally menacing the competition, but he should have another solid year. Long-term prospects look very good.

David Mundy: Great returns every year. I’d hold onto Mundy for another four years.

Brennan Cox: He had a ripping year last year once he got settled in defence. My concern for this year is that of our potential key backs he’s probably the most likely to be swung forward, so if our forward depth his tested (ie, Tabs gets injured) I think he could move to the forward line as cover. He looks very skinny in the club photos, so he might be used to get up the ground a bit, and while I think he’ll be a useful forward, but in my view it’s a much hard position to play and so his work might not be appreciated as much. I’d sell high based on 2021, but hold if you’re in it for the long run.

Ethan Hughes: As I’ve said previously, I reckon Hughes will be holding more talented players out of the team for a couple more years. He’s tough, brave, and does his job every week, with the odd howler thrown in to test the integrity of my TV remove.

Tobe Watson and Taylin Duman: Is there a spot in the team for these blokes? Obviously a lot depends on injuries. I feel like one of them might inherit the Hughes spot in a year or two (I couldn’t tell you which one) but both look promising as rookie picks.

Mike Frederick: I think others might have him higher than me. I wouldn’t sell, but I wouldn’t buy either. He plays the game on roller skates for good or for ill.

Sell High

Nat Fyfe: Fyfe was still great last year despite looking like man that might need to call a trainer to tie his shoelaces for him. The general assumption is he’ll go forward and kick goals a lot more goals, but historically he’s struggled against genuine tall defenders and I reckon his best go is floating forward from midfield rather than playing as a genuine forward.

Michael Walters: Walters seemed less comfortable in JLo’s system than in Lyon’s, where he was one of the few players who Lyon gave a licence to do whatever he liked. In a better functioning forward line he might hit the scoreboard more, but I’m not sure he’ll be the same player he was the previous 5 or 6 years. But even Walters at 90% of his former self is an absolute match-winner.

Luke Ryan: If these were actual stocks you might consider selling high on Ryan. He was asked to punch well above his weight and was wonderful last year, but with a bit of luck his job should be less onerous this season. In an ideal world where at least three of A Pearce, Haming, Louge, Cox and Ryan are available in defence, Freo should mop up most high balls into the forward line an Ryan will have less to do.

Matt Taberner: A bit like Ryan, if this was a real stock I’d consider selling high. Tabs was really good in 2020 as the primary (and at times only) focus of the forward line. That should be the case again this year, but it’s the injury history that scares me. I’m also hoping that we’ll have a bit more balance to the forward line, and that Lobb can share the tall duties a little more equally with Tabs.

Reece Conca: He was really good as a lockdown defender, but at 28 and with a crowded backline I’m not sure he’s a lock to play every week. I’d still back him to keep his spot for another year.

Put Option

Joel Hamling and Alex Pearce: I’ve put these blokes together because it obviously comes down to how well they recover from injuries. If fit, I think Alex Pearce is more likely to hold a regular spot, because there is a genuine chance Hamling has been supplanted in the starting 22 by guys like Cox and Logue (though when he was fit he was really good, and I think is still our best bet against tallish forwards with a bit of toe).

Stephen Hill and Nathan Wilson: I could never sell Hill stocks, and Wilson is one of my favourites, but there is a lot that needs to go right for these guys (starting in the medical rooms), and I can’t see them both playing in the same defence. Hill was a shadow of his former self, and Wilson had a poor 2020 by his standards. It’s a tough backline to get into, and at 31 and 28 respectively they might be running out of chances. JLo prefers a slower, more deliberate kick-up-the-line approach, and Wilson was at his best when he could back himself and try to hit runners like B Hill and Langdon on the fly. It’s probably make-or-break this year for Wilson, unless he can find another spot on the ground to play. How early do you think Hackdorn will start the ‘Stephen Hill to finish his career at St Kilda with his brother’ stories?

James Aish: Aish can clearly play, and his kicking is very good (I especially love his kicking into the forward 50), but it’s not obvious what his spot is in the 2021 team. Is he playing on a wing in 2021?


Connor Blakely: I hope to be proven wrong, but I just can’t see a spot for Blakely in the team, other than as injury cover (and barely then). He knows how to get it but his kicking is terrible, and his tackling doesn’t really stand out.

Brett Bewley: I’ve felt that Bewley was a holding player until we found someone to play on the wing. I still think that spot is open, but despite frantically running up and down a wing and having a good kick, Bewley just didn’t impact the game enough last year, especially running forward. I’m not sure if that’s a player issue or coaching instructions (very few of our midfielders kicked goals), but I reckon Bewley is up against it this year.

Mitch Crowden, Lachie Schultz, Travis Colyer, Sam Switkowski, Bailey Banfield, Stephan Giro: There is a lot of competition for a spot as a tackling small forward, and given there are some rookies who might press for that spot, as well as other quality small/mid forwards, I don’t see many games among this group next season. Given his age and form last year, I’d back Crowden to be the most likely of this bunch to grab a spot next year.

Managed Fund

Heath Chapman, Nathan O’Driscoll, Brandon Walker, Joel Western and Treacy: I’ll put these guys in a managed fund run by Bizkit, but I think for 2021 of the five I’d be buying stock in Western, because I think there is a spot in the forward line for a speedy tackler there waiting for him.
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Thornton, Bizkit, rogerrocks, pollyanna, Quasimodo, Matebe said You Beaut

rogerrocks Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #2

Gee we have a lot of tackling small forwards. The one (or two) of them that get a game will look really good this year, as we get on top of other teams. The ones who miss out will be unlucky.
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Quasimodo Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #3

Morgan with your reputation you should have grouped them as types of pubs and bars or craft beers :)

Mundy isnt a stock market share he is a rare and valuable commodity the gold standard.
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Red Rooster Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #4

Red Rooster
Acres had a howler against Geelong but he was almost best on ground towards the end of the season.Blakely is an interesting one in that he plays well in the wet and is as good a depth player as any.It is great to see some real depth and it will be interesting to see who our best 22 is come the end of the season.Totally agree with your comments about Hughes,he adds a harder edge around the ball.
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Bizkit Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #5

A pretty good analysis of where the squad is at. I hope some of the new draftees come on as big rising propositions, buy now.
Nathan: When did you get balls?
Simon: I've always had balls you've just never seen them.
Nathan: That's the gayest thing I've ever heard.
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Corporal Agarn Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #6

Corporal Agarn
Morgan getting "funky" while reviewing the David Mundy of beers.

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Quasimodo said You Beaut

Stacksonthemill Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #7

Love your work here, Morgan. It really excites me to see the depth of talent we now have at our disposal. As I have said for the past 26 years, there's something building here. Be afraid, be very afraid.
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purple mao said You Beaut

Raglan Matt Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #8

Raglan Matt
Morgan, brevity is probably not something you should put in your CV.
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gidgegary Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #9

Predictable that Morgan has a knock on Tabs, just as our star forward emerges to fulfil his potential.
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The_Yeti said You Beaut

Walter the baker Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #10

Walter the baker
With such a bunch of talented younger players ready to take the next step, they will either be relying on injuries or some big calls to get a run of games. The big calls might involve favourites like Hill or regulars such a Bewly. While I dont think we are premiership material this season, JL will have to be thinking about what a premiership team will look like around 2022-2025 and prepare his list accordingly.
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purple kit Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #11

purple kit
Can’t agree WTB, I’m all in on a premiership this year, Hill and Mundy can get the one they deserve then retire as club legends. Fyfe will need at least three premierships and another Brownlow to be recognised as the greatest of the modern era, a couple of norm smiths wouldn’t hurt either.
I say making the finals but not winning a premiership is no longer a pass mark, pretty sure JL would say the same.
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rogerrocks said You Beaut

Walter the baker Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #12

Walter the baker
I’m guessing you wouldn’t be betting on that outcome PK (if I’m wrong I’d be happy to take your money). I’m certainly expecting an improved performance this year but you’d have to be a supreme optimist (and possibly delusional) if you think we will win the flag.
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Raglan Matt Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #13

Raglan Matt
WTB, the only thing that worries me about season 2021, is that players are going to be picked on form, not just on a favoritism basis, meaning we will actually have to closely study form if we want to do better than the NATA award in tipping comps around the state
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purple kit Fremantle Futures 2 months 3 weeks ago #14

purple kit
If I was a betting person, I’d be taking the 51:1 being offered by the AFLs gambling partner
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