Each year the pre-season unearths SuperCoach prospects that otherwise wouldn’t have featured heavily on our radars. With notepads at the ready, the pre-season hit-outs provide valuable scouting opportunities and as SuperCoach nerds, we’re always on the lookout for value and thus, our JLT Gems series will feature who has put their hands up as SuperCoach options in 2017.
2016 SuperCoach Average: 84.6
2015 SuperCoach Average: 69.4
Bye Round: 11
Whenever a team such as Sydney are running amok in the top 4 with superstars on just about every line, there are always going to be some very deserving players who often go unnoticed and very rarely receive the plaudits that their performances command. In fairness, just about every football club has one, but for the Swans, one could put forward a very cogent case for Jake Lloyd being one of the more underrated members of Sydney’s lineup.
Lloyd was initially overlooked by every club during his draft class of 2012, being forced to sweat through the entire National Draft right up until early on in the Rookie Draft when Sydney finally gave him his big break. From there he was forced to bide his time in the NEAFL (even making the league’s Team of the Year in 2013), before finally being given his opportunity in Round 4, 2014. Since his debut, he hasn’t looked back for a second, playing 69 out of a possible 71 games, and has firmly entrenched himself in the Swans best 22.
Whilst his ability to work himself from rookie hopeful to staple in this industrious Sydney lineup is impressive, it hasn’t always translated itself into strong outings from a SuperCoach point of view. After averaging 58.4 and 69.4 in his first two seasons (admittedly with several sub-affected scores scattered throughout), it appeared as though the dye had been cast on his SuperCoach career, with his cash-building 2014 season all he had going for him. But things have now changed drastically after he enjoyed a breakout season in 2016. Spending more time in the midfield has undoubtedly contributed to this, recording the fifth-most disposals of any Swan last year, but didn’t forgo his defensive duties either, finishing second at the club for rebounds from defensive 50.
From a SuperCoach perspective, Lloyd enjoyed his best season yet. He recorded a career-high tally of 128 points against Collingwood in Round 1, and continued to perform in a very astute manner for the rest of the season, finishing up with a season average of 84.6 points, but it wasn’t until the back-end of the season where the consistency in Lloyd’s game finally started to come to the fore. From Round 20 right through to the Grand Final, Lloyd produced a stretch of career-best football, averaging 97.25 SuperCoach points during that eight-week stretch, including three centuries, three 90’s, a low of 81, and an impressive 103 on Grand Final day. Whilst the Swans ultimately fell just short of the Premiership, it was clearly through no fault of Lloyd, who was one of Sydney’s best players during the last two months of the season.
If his JLT Series form is anything to go by, there’s a fairly good chance that his last two months of the season were no fluke. Lloyd only played the last two games of the pre-season, but scores of 95 and 113 keep well within keeping of the form he showed towards the back-end of 2016, and the fact that he can be selected as either a midfielder or a defender makes him a very tempting candidate, especially if he is granted even more midfield minutes by John Longmire. If he can continue to produce such positive numbers priced at just $460,200, then he will easily be one of the best unique options in Season 2017.
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