PAUL ROOS – HERALD SUN COLUMN

Paul Roos analyses seasons for teams that missed the finals

‎BY Paul Roos – September 1, 2012

ST KILDA
THE FUTURE
Most teams would love a small, dangerous goal-kicking forward. The Saints appear to have unearthed another in Ahmed Saad.
With another pre-season under his belt, he will only get better and he will provide Saints fans with highlights for many years to come.
FIX IT NOW
They must re-sign Brendon Goddard. Even though he has come under some scrutiny about his form this year, quality players do not fall out of trees. We know Goddard’s best is exceptional and he must stay a Saints player.
If he regains the form of 2010, Saints will go back up the ladder quickly.

CARLTON
THE FUTURE
I believe Matthew Kreuzer will be ready to leave his injury problems in the past and provides perhaps the most upside of any player at the Blues. We have seen glimpses of his enormous talent and all understand why he was taken at pick No.1. What we now need to see is a fit, healthy and confident Kreuzer. If he can enter season 2013 as such, he will have a breakout year and the Blues may make the top four.
FIX IT NOW
The Blues must find another big power forward or defender. While a healthy Michael Jamieson, Lachie Henderson and Jarrad Waite could provide headaches for other teams, I still believe all three have deficiencies. They certainly would be mulling over Travis Cloke and, if he decides to leave Collingwood, the Blues should make a serious play.

BRISBANE LIONS
THE FUTURE
Tom Rockliff, Jack Redden and Daniel Rich are clearly the stars of the future for the Lions. We know they are very good AFL players.
If they can rise another level to become absolute stars, the future for the Lions looks bright.
FIX IT NOW
The Lions in my opinion must decide whether Daniel Merrett is a key defender or a key forward.
My view would be to keep him in defence and build around him and find another key forward to help out Jonathan Brown.

PORT ADELAIDE
THE FUTURE
Brad Ebert has had a fantastic first year with the Power. To play so well in an inconsistent team clearly stamps him as Port’s star of the future. He must continue to improve and aim to be an elite midfielder for the Power.
FIX IT NOW
This is the most critical coaching decision in the club’s short history. The Power must get an experienced senior coach and do it any way possible. They cannot rely on the unknown of an untried assistant coach.

W BULLDOGS
THE FUTURE
While Mitch Wallis isn’t a flashy outside player he still seems to me the most impressive of the Dogs’ youngsters. Hard-working, tough and consistent should stamp Wallis as a long-term AFL player.
FIX IT NOW
Dogs players must quickly embrace their new coach’s game style. They have been inconsistent with it all year and that must not be the case in 2013. Commit to the new coach now or leave.

RICHMOND
THE FUTURE
You cannot mention the Tigers and their future without the name Trent Cotchin. Richmond’s No.9 clearly is one of the young superstars of the competition. He has risen this year to become one of the top six players in the competition and it would not surprise anyone if he took home the Brownlow Medal.
FIX IT NOW
This is arguably the Tigers’ most important pre-season in the past 30 years. They must be meticulous in their planning and, in doing so, address every aspect of on-field strategy. They cannot afford the mental let-downs late in games that happened this year. They must rehearse this over and over again from November to March.

MELBOURNE
THE FUTURE
I’m not sure exactly how good Jeremy Howe could become but he is a talented player who generates excitement for his teammates and fans. His marking is outstanding but he must continue to develop an all-round game.
FIX IT NOW
The Demons players need to make the same decision as the Bulldogs. Twelve months with Mark Neeld must translate to an immediate commitment on day one of pre-season to back their senior coach. No more excuses in 2013.
If Neeld senses any players won’t conform, he must get rid of them.

GOLD COAST
THE FUTURE
There are many Suns stars of the future on their list. Zac Smith is the one player who intrigues me the most. Although he has had a poor year, we have seen what a great
athlete he is. He may develop into the best and most exciting of them all.
FIX IT NOW
Must identify their best 10 kids and potentially trade any others for a more experienced look in 2013. A big improvement is needed at the Gold Coast next season.

GWS
THE FUTURE
Like the Suns, the young talent is vast. You cannot, however, go past Toby Greene. What he has done in his first year of AFL football is exceptional and it is scary to think how good he can become given his impact in his rookie year.
FIX IT NOW
The immediate concerns for the Giants can only be fixed with time. Another solid pre-season and another 12 months to look at their list will allow big decisions to be made at the end of 2013.

ESSENDON
THE FUTURE
The only reason we are not mentioning David Zaharakis’s name in All-Australian calculations is because of the injuries that have cruelled his season. If he stays fit, I believe this time next year he will be discussed as one of the very best mids in the competition.
FIX IT NOW
They seem to have a weakness in their midfield and, if they can add speed and outside run, that will certainly help. But the most immediate problem is to sort out pre-season training. Stop worrying about size and strength and get back to putting miles in the players’ legs.

 

 

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