Silly season has officially started in 2017!
With the Free Agency period opening on Friday, the first deal of the off-season was completed within hours, after the Western Bulldogs secured the services of utility Jackson Trengove. Whilst most rumours surrounding the deal linked Trengove to a four-year deal, he ultimately signed a three-year deal with the Bulldogs on Friday. If Port Adelaide make no further Free Agent transactions this trade period the will be compensated with a second-round pick (Pick 30).
After being a valuable member of the Power’s best 22 for several years, Trengove started to fall out of favour at the end of this season and was dropped after Round 20, forcing him to miss the Power’s last three games of the season, including the club’s elimination final defeat to West Coast. Furthermore, his desire to come home and play in Victoria also had an impact on his decision, so all the factors lined up in a timely manner for his arrival to the Bulldogs.
With the retirements of Robert Murphy and Matthew Boyd, the Bulldogs have a couple of gaps in defence, but whilst Trengove won’t be expecting to be a rebounding half-back flanker, he will undoubtedly provide a massive boost to inexperienced key defenders such as Lewis Young, Marcus Adams and Zaine Cordy, whilst also allowing Easton Wood the freedom to play his natural intercepting game across half back. His presence will help the club negate some of the big power forwards that have feasted against the Dogs in recent times.
Additionally, his recent history as an adept ruckman will help to give Jordan Roughead a spell when required, which will, in turn, allow Tom Boyd to play as a permanent forward from now on. Trengove can also be used as a makeshift forward, evidenced by his career-best haul of 17.12 last season. In short, his addition to the Bulldogs will have a positive domino effect on just about every player in the lineup.
Considering he has spent most of his career as a key defender, it will hardly come as a surprise to most that Trengove hasn’t exactly been the most productive SuperCoach performer over the last few seasons. In fact, just twice over his eight-year career has he finished with a season average of over 70. With that in mind, it’s unlikely that Trengove’s move will have a major impact from a SuperCoach point of view for Port Adelaide, with any potential replacements or teammates unlikely to benefit or suffer too greatly as a result of his departure.
Having said that, where and how the Bulldogs use him could impact a couple of players in their current lineup. A move to the backline could see Easton Wood freed from his current lock-down role and allow him to play his natural intercept game which could see him reach some of the scores he achieved during his career-best 2015 season. Whilst it’s unlikely, if he were to be thrust into the No.1 ruck role at the Bulldogs, it would almost certainly impact the output of Jordan Roughead, although Trengove’s ruck duties are likely to be an extension of his primary role, but it could impact the scoring productivity of Tom Boyd, who will no longer be able to rely on midfield time to accrue points. At this stage though, it all hinges on where the Bulldogs see Trengove fitting into their plans for next season.
It’s hard to see Trengove suddenly bucking an eight-year trend despite a change of club, which means that the scores we’ve seen from him so far during his career and likely to remain consistent at the Bulldogs, mainly due to him spending most of the season as a key defender with occasional stints in the ruck. But the Bulldogs have become big fans of developing players capable of playing in a variety of positions, so there’s every chance we could see Trengove divide his time up between defence, midfield and attack in Season 2018, as opposed to spending most of it down back. At this stage though, his scoring trend across his career will have you believe that his SuperCoach value won’t suddenly rise or drop, so his playing value should hold next season.
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