After a slow start to the tumultuous trade period, the first official exchange has been made, with Jake Lever packing his bags to return home, and it’s sure to be the beginning of a massive trade period – if any of the billion rumours come to life. Melbourne wanted their man, and Jake Lever wanted a new home. The Demons received Lever plus a second-round draft pick (no. 35), whilst Adelaide was given the 10th pick in this year’s draft as well as a future first-round and future second-round selection.
Lever arrived at the Crows with the 14th selection three years ago, and after injury derailed most of his TAC Cup campaign, he was given senior selection in round five where he scored 95 points. He then showed glimpses of what he can do throughout the year scoring 111 later in the season, averaging 64 points from 12 games.
In 2016, he had a much better run, and started to make waves and provide the Crows with leadership and excellent intercept work for a second-year player. He played every game with eight scores over 80 but missed finals. Not SuperCoach relevant but solid nonetheless.
From 17 games in 2017, Lever scored much more consistently. Scores of 121 and 111 were standout games, but played a big role in Adelaide’s minor premiership and showed he can potentially be a future SuperCoach selection.
Given the circumstances after the finals series, this was one of the most talked about deals over the past few weeks, but what else does it mean for SuperCoach people?
Melbourne: I don’t see popular pick Michael Hibberd’s scores being affected here, Lever is an intercept defender who will often deliver it to the runners and make correct decisions, Hibberd is the All-Australian defender that will still be the go-to guy down back. For a similar position to Lever’s, forgotten man Tom McDonald may be further impacted by Lever’s entrance. McDonald had a quieter year compared to his last two and wasn’t a popular pick over the course of the season. averaging 85 points. McDonald had a month where he averaged 115 points, so he still has the scoring ability. However, most of his points came from one percenters and intercept possessions, which Lever will help him out with next year.
Adelaide: Lever’s departure opens the door for young Tom Doedee, who at 20 years of age was closing in on an AFL debut this year in a team that was red hot. His SANFL form in 2017 was exciting, picking up 20-plus disposals on several occasions playing as a one-on-one rebounding defender. Marks the ball well and is loaded with courage, will be seen early in the year as a rookie priced defender, so remember the name folks!
After increasing his season averages from 64 (2015), 72 (2016) and now 79 (2017), it’s easy to realise Lever is going in the right direction, however, there may be better options around his price range. New club, back home with family, a lot to enjoy for the 21-year-old on the rise – let’s hope he becomes an option as soon as possible. Whilst his scores in the 80’s and 90’s are appealing, more than two centuries in a single season will catch the eye of the SuperCoach community.