With the first round of the JLT Pre season competition just a few days away I thought I’d take a look at what changes we can expect to see from the side that went out of the finals….well, let’s not talk about that night anymore than we have to. With the much publicised player turnover at the end of 2017 it’s going to be a new look line up that takes to the field in the two JLT games we play before season proper kicks off.
Historically clubs would have used the first of the warm up matches to expose the younger players to the next level of football up from what they’ve known, however, with only two warm up matches most clubs will be close to full strength for both matches with an eye to round one.
Heading to Perth in the first week may mean we leave a few of top liners at home, Wingard and Motlop are coming back from soft tissue injuries so I’d be surprised to see them front up in Perth, Dixon was a late out from the internal with back spasms so folding the big guy up on a plane at this time of year might not be ideal and senior players like Boaky and Westhoff may have a leave pass given they’re both into double figures of preseason’s under their belts.
Despite the player turnover at Alberton from last year’s elimination final side just one player is no longer on our list, Jarman Impey. The likes of Trengove, Young, Ah Chee were all in the stands chewing finger nails with the rest of us.
Elimination final side :
Pittard Clurey Bonner
DBJ Howard Hartlett
Westhoff Wines Polec
S Gray Marshall R Gray
Neade Dixon Wingard
Ryder Ebert Boak
SPP Amon Impey and Houston
With the likes of Rockliff, Watts and Motlop expected to come into the side ( and potentially others ) it’s crystal ball time to look at how we’ll line up in round 1 of JLT and into the 1st round of the season.
My changes are :
Jonas, who missed the final with suspension, I expect to replace Bonner in defence leaving Hombsch to earn his spot back in the side.
Sam Gray will be pushed back to the bench with the arrival of Boak into the forward half, this will push Neade back into the SANFL.
Motlop will take the Impey spot delivering the ball into the forward half and locking it in.
An unlucky Karl Amon will miss out due to the arrival of Rockliff in the forward / midfield rotations.
Balance may be an issue with Clurey, Jonas, Howard, Marshall, Watts, Dixon, Ryder and Westhoff all in the side, I think the versatility of Westhoff will keep him in the 22.
With the modern game all about forward pressure I think Sammy Gray must be in the forward 50 and a name mentioned a few times by coaches recently, Aidyn Johnson, could be the bolter to come into the team to apply that defensive pressure up front. With a solid back 6 this may see Dan Houston an unlucky out from that last line up of 2017. Defensive balance may have this one fall in Houston’s favour as most of our midfielders are forward / mids and not so much half back / mids.
Remember, this is only my crystal ball and it might be on the blink and we can’t fit them all in!
In – Rockliff, Motlop, Watts, Jonas
Out – Impey, Bonner, Amon, Neade
I can’t split Johnson and Houston at this point, I’m leaning towards AJ though….
My JLT 2 and round 1 side :
Pittard Clurey Jonas
DBJ Howard Hartlett
Motlop Wines Polec
Boak Marshall Watts
R Gray Dixon Wingard
Ryder Ebert Rockliff
SPP S.Gray Westhoff and Johnson/Houston
So, we’re just a few days away from the first of the pre season hit outs and only 4 weeks away from the first 4 points being up for grabs, who is in your 22?