Preseason 2017

Movers and Shakers – Pearce Hanley

Pearce Hanley

Club: Gold Coast
2016 SuperCoach Average: 86.7 (from 22 games)
2015 SuperCoach Average: 86.5 (from 11 games)
Position: Midfielder

2016 Statistics

K

HB

D

CP

UP

DE %

M

CLE

I50

T

GL

12.2

9.0

21.2

6.6

14.3

72.5

4.1

2.7

3.5

3.8

0.6

In what was somewhat some of an un-surprising move now former Brisbane Lions midfielder Pearce Hanley made the move to Queensland rival the Gold Coast Suns via trade.

Since the Irishman’s standout season in 2014, Hanley has battled both injury and form slumps, which has now subsequently seen the Lions and himself partways – with both parties looking down different paths.

Hanley’s last two seasons have noticeably been slightly below average for for Hanley, who averaged 86.5 in 2015 and 86.7 in 2016. However, the difference between the two years is in 2016 Hanley was maintaining his fitness and managing to play every single home and away game. Since becoming more of a pure midfielder rather than half-back flanker, Hanley’s numbers from a SuperCoach perspective have evidently dropped.

In 2016, Hanley managed just five SuperCoach tons – five less than the amount he produced in 2014, his career best year, from two less games as well. However, digging deeper into his 2016 numbers, nine of Hanley’s 22 games were above 90-points, all games where he had 20 or more disposals. On the downside though, he also had five not so good games where he had an output of less than 70 SuperCoach points – all games where he had 17 or less disposals.

Looking at those numbers above, it is clear that Hanley’s SuperCoach scores are massively influenced by the number of disposals he gets per game given his 72.5% disposal efficiency. The difference between the Brisbane Lions and Gold Coast is that we can expect Hanley to get plenty more possessions.

Compare a midfield that includes Tom Rockliff, Daniel Rich, Mitch Robinson, Lewis Taylor and up-and-comers Ben Keays and Rhys Mathieson to one with a frequently injured star, an inconsistent Aaron Hall and a slowly improving Touk Miller. Which one is better? Brisbane’s of course. Going by that alone, we can certainly expect Hanley to play with much more freedom on the Gold Coast with a heavier reliance expected to be placed on him from Round 1 and right throughout the 2017 season.

VERDICT

For Pearce Hanley it’s hard to judge how he will fare in 2017 – but going by what role he played with the Lions in comparison to the role, he’s expected to fulfil with the Suns, we can expect bigger and better things.

Honestly, Hanley is someone you should consider. The biggest indicator will be his pre-season, how well he fits in with the new playing group and what kind of role he plays in inter-club games and pre-season games. If he is expected to play a half-back/midfield role then you should be more inclined to look into selecting him. His best days have been those where he has had the freedom to run off half-back, use his pace and incredible foot skills – skills that are very important in Gaelic football (his natural game)

When being forced to play more time in the middle he can struggle given his traits as more of an uncontested ball player. Hanley’s SuperCoach scores are always better when he gains a lot of possessions and that often happens when he has good quality players feeding the ball out to him.

Ultimately, wait. Don’t be too confident that Hanley will be able to deliver the goods for you next year just yet. Track his pre-season and keep a close eye on his NAB Challenge campaign before making your decision.

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