As all SuperCoachers know, picking the right rookies are integral to a SuperCoach team. In fact, it often separates the best sides from the rest.
Rookies allow us to generate cash via downgrading and upgrading, but the cream-of-the-crop can provide us with more than serviceable on-field scoring as well.
After a draft labelled one of the most talented in years, we are spoilt for choice with cheap, cheap options for our SuperCoach 2017 sides.
With all prices and positions revealed for next season and SuperCoach Strategiser up and running, it’s not just SuperCoach Gold users able to select their sides – everyone can start their SuperCoach research nice and early.
Here is an early look at some of the better rookie options for SC 17
The Expensive ($170k+)
Andrew McGrath | Essendon | $211,800 | Def/Mid
McGrath was the number one pick in the National Draft and as such, is the most expensive rookie. The youngster is primed to be a star of the future and stands up in big games, showcased by his 38 disposal best-on-ground performance in the TAC Cup Grand Final. His decision making and disposal is flawless, and he should step right in to Essendon’s Round 1 lineup. He averaged 32.3 disposals throughout the TAC Cup competition and expect him to be the number one rookie defender.
Hugh McCluggage | Brisbane | $202,800 | Mid/Fwd
Speaking of walk-up starters, McCluggage might even feature in the first centre bounce for the Lions in 2017. The explosive mid/forward just makes things happen, which is perfect for SuperCoach. A goalkicking midfielder is what Brisbane sorely need, and he brings this in spades. McCluggage booted 25 goals in 12 games throughout the TAC Cup, as well as a healthy 28 disposals. Was the No.1 draft name throughout the season, and his DPP status is a bonus.
Will Brodie | Gold Coast | $175,800 | Mid
A couple of months ago this man was in pick #1 calculations, but a late season injury that sidelined him for the NAB Draft Combine and the U18 All Stars Match left him slipping to pick 9. Brodie isn’t a massive ball winner like the aforementioned two, but he loves contested ball more than life itself. And if there is anything that goes together, its contested possessions and SuperCoach (think Josh P. Kennedy). At 188cm he typifies the modern day midfielder, and is in the Patrick Cripps mould. I personally can’t get enough of this kid, and he should thrive in a Gold Coast midfield that lost Jaeger O’Meara and Dion Prestia.
Jack Bowes | Gold Coast | $171,300 | Mid/Fwd
Another of the Suns’ top 10 recruits who should get plenty of opportunity in 2017. The Gold Coast academy product is skinny for his size, but he makes up for this with his eloquent ball use and class. Bowes has already played against senior bodies in the NEAFL competition for Gold Coast – where he averaged 18 disposals, a goal and 91 SuperCoach points per game – so he be well adjusted to the rigours of senior football.
Ben Ainsworth | Gold Coast | $198,300 | Mid/Fwd
Could Gold Coast have any more players in this bracket? Ainsworth has been likened to Robbie Gray as a small and quick goal kicking midfielder who marks well overhead. He kicked 18 goals and averaged 22 disposals during his nine TAC Cup games and should get a run Round 1. Averaged 119 SuperCoach points too just quietly, so this should justify the price tag of the number four selection of this year’s draft.
Josh Thomas | Collingwood | $191,300 | Mid/Fwd
Remember this guy? Wouldn’t blame you if you don’t, considering he sat out two seasons of footy with Lachie Keefe after testing positive to the performance enhancing drug, Clenbuterol. But now the small mid/forward is back and will be looking to make amends for his indiscretion. Thomas averaged 79 and 72 SuperCoach points in his two seasons of 2013 and 2014 respectively, so you would think that he could only improve on this. The 25-year-old should be a potential cash cow if he gets back into Buckley’s good books.
Others to Consider: Griffin Logue, Tim Taranto, Will Setterfield
The Inbetweeners ($120k-170k)
Sam Powell-Pepper | Port Adelaide | $135,300 | Mid
This boy personifies the term ‘ready made’. At 90 kg and 186cm, Powell-Pepper should be thrown straight into Port Adelaide’s engine room. The big-bodied midfielder averaged an impressive 120 SuperCoach points in the WAFL Colts, and like Brodie, does his best work in the coalface winning clearances. Expect the acronym ‘SPP’ to be used frequently throughout 2017 and beyond.
David Myers | Essendon | $133,700 | Mid
Myers has had a very unfortunate couple of years. His 2015 was just about wiped out after a shoulder injury in Round 1, and the Essendon WADA bans ended his 2016 campaign before it began. This gives the 27-year-old an almost ridiculous discount coming into the 2017 season, priced at just $133,700. Considering his last full season yielded an average of 84 SuperCoach points, you would be crazy not to have Myers slotted somewhere in your midfield. Expect him to feature in the centre square for the duration of 2017. Absolute must-have.
Jarrod Berry | Brisbane | $139,800 | Def/Mid
One of Brisbane’s top 20 crop, Berry brings versatility and pace to the table. He played most of his footy across half-back during the TAC Cup but drifted through the midfield, averaging over a goal per game. Is a born leader and should be in the lineup come Round 1, considering the loss of Pearce Hanley. Another who shares Def/Mid status, so he could be a useful swing with McGrath.
Jarrod Pickett | Carlton | $123,900 | Mid/Fwd
You would be forgiven for forgetting that this bloke was selected with pick four in the 2014 draft. Formerly at GWS, Pickett was kept out of action with a foot injury this season and is yet to make his AFL debut, and is now dirt cheap considering his potential. The 20-year-old is renowned for his speed and leap, and early days was compared to Cyril Rioli. Now at the Blues, the exciting youngster should feature heavily in 2017 if he can get his body right. Kicked 27 goals in the Giants NEAFL side across 17 games in 2015.
Others to Consider: Kym Lebois, Aaron Black, Jy Simpkin, Dean Gore, Nathan Freeman, Daniel Venables, Oliver Florent, Jake Barrett.
The Cheapies ($102k-120k)
Jack Graham | Richmond | $117,300 | Mid
Most draft experts were questioning on draft night how Graham slipped so far, as many had him in the pick 20-30 range. Instead, Richmond nabbed the mature bodied midfielder at pick 53, making his price very favourable for us SuperCoachers. Graham won the Larke Medal as the best player in the National Championships, averaging a breezy 25 disposals and five clearances per game. It is early days but you can safely say the ‘ready-made’ (an overused term but a good one nonetheless) product will be lining up Round 1 for the Tiges. The inside midfielder should feature in most – if not all – SuperCoach sides at his price.
Luke Ryan | Fremantle | $117,300 | Def
Here is another player who will be a popular selection in 2017. The mature age recruit made intercept marking his trademark in the VFL this season for Coburg, averaging four per match, as well as disposing of the footy at 86%. Named at back pocket in the VFL team of the year, Ryan should slot into the Dockers backline in 2017. In the likely event that he does, expect him to be a more than serviceable SuperCoach defender.
Brett Eddy | Port Adelaide | $102,400 | Fwd
Eddy screams out as the best cheap option of SuperCoach 17’ at this point. The mature-age recruit was picked up by Port Adelaide in the rookie draft on the back of a 74 goal season for South Adelaide, which made him the SANFL’s leading goalkicker. He is an interesting prospect considering he is 27 years of age, and looms as an instant replacement for the delisted Jay Schultz. His low price is impossible to ignore, and is of no relation to Robert Eddy, so he should be all sweet.
Tom Stewart | Geelong | $117,300 | Def
If the Cats drafting strategy said anything about their intentions, it was that they want a premiership as soon as possible. Tom Stewart was just one of the mature-age recruits selected by the club from its VFL side and is yet another potential option for our SuperCoach defence. The key defender averaged 17 disposals and 81 SuperCoach points from his 18 games this season and was named as centre-half back in the VFL team of the year. Former Geelong VFL player Tom Ruggles managed to notch up 17 games at an average of 66 points this season, so it is safe to assume that Stewart will perform similarly.
Darcy Cameron | Sydney | $117,300 | Ruck/Fwd
Cameron was plucked from the WAFL by the Swans after they lost backup ruckman Toby Nankervis during the trade period. As a mature-age recruit at age 21, he will be a welcome replacement if either of Kurt Tippett or the emerging Sam Naismith succumb to injury. The big man averaged 93 SuperCoach points along with two majors per game at WAFL level, showing his versatility as a ruck/forward. He stands out as the ruckman to plunk on your bench at R3.
Others to Consider: Dylan Clarke, Shai Bolton, Kobe Mutch, Willem Drew, Ben Long, Alex Witherden.