The Local Snag: Fossil Fuels
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Does experience beat youth in AFL?
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Last year when the chips were down a few old boys were chucked from AFL clubs, with the impression that getting younger talent in creates more runs through the guts of the ground. North Melbourne created controversy when they started their rebuild by letting go of the clubs legends, Hawthorn followed suit by parting ways with some old mates and one legendary player returned from Skin Cancer treatment. Many questioned Hawthorns method of letting Sam Mitchell and Jordan Lewis go, so they were able to sign Jaeger O’Meara, Ty Vickery and Tom Mitchell. However when does youth beat experience? I would argue a part of their soul left with Lewis and Mitchell, as was seen in the first round. However some still remains with legend Jarryd Roughead returning from cancer treatment. Would these recycled players prove their worth? Or was Hawthorn correct in rebuilding.
New Clubs, Same Attitude
When round one begun people may not of thought these old blokes at their new clubs would find form and inspire those around them. Instead those who were let go for very little provided to be worth their weight in gold. Firstly at West Coast, Sam Mitchell has slotted in as their ball movement guru whipping that midfield into shape and firing all cylinders in the engine room at the Eagles while also making a case for Best on ground with 38 disposals.
Jordan Lewis was another discarded Hawk who found himself wandering down to the Demons. His impact was originally questioned, however he has had a positive influence at a moderately young club bringing them up to a new standard that we have all been hanging out to see from the Dees. Lewis had a splintering 32 disposals in a win.
The next old boy to find himself back on the field was Jarryd Roughead. Inspirational to come back from what he has endured and we were all waiting for him to spark his team to a win, however it wasn’t to be. My prediction for this round - Roughy to lead the team with more strength and grit to win against the Crows.
Now the doubt has settled. What’s next?
But why is everyone surprised these ex Hawthorn players found form after being doubted? They were the top athletes on a three-peat Premiership Dynasty. These players will all stand up this year and prove to be the fuels of their respective teams. Mitchell to show he is worth more than pick 88, by showing the West Coast midfield a thing or two about defensive grit. Lewis to provide leadership and resolve to a young Demons Midfield, showing he still has more left in the tank - potentially getting the Demons into the top 8. Leaving Roughy to pick up the pieces left behind at Hawthorn and inspire their new recruits to lift and play with more passion.
Some teams needed maturity to lift their game to the next level. These teams picked up these gems in the off season. It may come back to bite Hawthorn, as their strength for the past few years has been the footy IQ of their midfield. Fresh players has the Hawks running a new system, but we may see teams like West Coast and Melbourne finally run over the top of Hawthorn.
What will you see this round? These Fossil Fuels will burn hotter than last week. Mitchell to have a big win with West Coast, Lewis to increase his disposals against the Blues and Roughead to kick a bag and lead through inspiration.