Team Name: Batten my Bonner
2016 Ranking: 746
2017 Rank: 4,587 (top 2%)
2017 Highest Rank: 3,863 (Round 19)
Well… aren’t we glad that’s over!
I know we said it every week, but the 2017 SuperCoach season was probably the toughest ever. Injuries galore, a lack of cash cows and a non-existent SuperCoach forward line made the year very difficult to navigate. Oh, and did I mention injuries?
Apologies for this article coming out so late – the lads from Batten my Bonner had a pretty large celebratory period. Mad Monday ended yesterday after we managed to take out three SuperCoach flags. Well deserved, boys – surprising the celebrations lasted so long without Dustin Martin in the line-up.
Those flags may have been against pretty much the same group of mates who all gave up on SuperCoach, but I see that as them being mentally weak, rather than me being an SC addict.
I went very bold this year. In my trades, I mean, as I always start the year with a generic cookie-cutter line-up. I didn’t trade for the first couple of weeks, but I was a kid in a candy store from that point on. That was until I was left with just three trades by Round 15.
Hot tip: don’t get into an over competitive SuperCoach inbox with mates – it just makes you burn trades unnecessarily. One of these mates (g’day if you’re reading, lads) felt the full effects of this. He was ranked mid-year in the top 200, but ended the season in 9,084th place. The other went so crazy that he traded in Tom Cutler towards the back-end of the year…. Take heed.
While I only had three trades in these final eight rounds, I managed to (somehow) field a full 22 each week. Although, I was certainly tested when Zach Merrett, Tom Lynch, Joel Selwood and Brodie Grundy were all out in the same round. This was thanks to my many DPP’s in Alex WitherTON, Hugh Greenwood and Toby Nankervis who ensured I didn’t suffer a donut.
Overall, I am happy with a rank of 4,587 considering this tumultuous SuperCoach year.
David Swallow ($333,300) >>> Tom Mitchell ($552,100), Round 6
I lost sleep over this trade. I was tossing up between Tom Mitchell, Dan Hannebery and Adam Treloar for the entire week, until I saw the light. I realised TMitch was the only Hawthorn midfielder capable of winning the ball. The $565k I spent on Tom Mitchell was perhaps the best investment I have made in my life, and he fell under 100 just once (scoring 98) for the rest of the year.
Nick Riewoldt ($463,300) >>> Paddy Ryder ($493,300), Round 10
At first, I lamented this trade after Ryder struggled to get near it the week I traded him in against the Cats, ending with a score of 67. I was probably a bit quick to judge, though, considering he finished the season as one of the top scoring forwards in SuperCoach. The big man ended up with All-Australian honours, and much of that was due to his scintillating form at the back-end of the year.
Joel Selwood ($473,600) >>> Sam Menegola ($477,000), Round 21
When the news came out that Selwood would miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury, I was distraught. It was the week that Merrett, Grundy, Witherden and Lynch were also all out. I conceded defeat and thought, “stuff this, I am going to have some fun”. Instead of trading in Rory Sloane, I opted to give Sam Menegola a crack. Sloane did score more than him overall, but watching his 92, 118 and his massive 143 in the Grand Final was one of the highlights of my year. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what really matters? While this probably wasn’t one of my best trades, it could have easily backfired. Embed from Getty Images
Curtly Hampton ($305,500) >>> Heath Shaw ($490,100), Round 8
Heath bloody Shaw. After making a calculated decision to go Sam Docherty over Heath Shaw at the beginning of 2017. I had always been planning to pick up Heater at a discounted price and while his scores had been disappointing, I thought he would lift for the remainder of the season. How wrong I was. It got to the point where I was fielding Luke Ryan over Heath Shaw – one week this actually got me 40 extra points. One to add to the ‘never again’ list.
Jack Steele ($448,500) >>> Tom J. Lynch ($446,300), Round 13
Never pick key position forwards. Never pick key position forwards. NEVER PICK KEY POSITION FORWARDS. These words are written all over the bloody walls of my bedroom because of you, Tom Lynch. I traded him in expecting big things up against the Blues, only to see him get absolutely pantsed by Liam Jones (in fairness, this was before we knew he was an AA defender). He backed up his 37 with a score of 39 the week after. Some solid scores followed until a PCL injury ended his year after Round 20. Thanks for everything, mate.
Jaeger O’Meara ($327,00) >>> David Swallow ($280,200), Round 4
Remember when both of these blokes had over 40% ownership? Feels like so long ago, doesn’t it? Seeing Swallow score a ton the week before, I was sucked into his -40 breakeven and I can’t say I was stoked with his 43-point display. Traded Swallow out a fortnight later. Embed from Getty Images
Not starting with Jack Macrae
Most of my regrets for this season centre around Jackson Macrae. I had him pencilled in before I made my original team, but then opted to spend some extra $$$ on Nick Riewoldt, who I saw averaging 100+ up on the wing like last season. Not to be…
Trading in Yeo instead of Macrae
The Macrae regrets are twofold. At Round 14 I came to a crossroad. As Yabby Jeans once said, “when you get to a crossroad you either step up, or you step down. I stepped down from this one. It took 14 weeks for me to have faith in Elliott Yeo-Yeo, and he ate me up and spat me out. Yeo scored just the one ton from that time on while Macrae churned out eight, including two 140+ totals. Angry react.
Not starting with Caleb Marchbank
This was another one I was firm on. Picking a $230k tall defender? No way! Caleb Marchbank proved me so, so wrong and watching him take intercept mark after intercept mark each week hurt me deeply, as I love him as a player.
Not getting in/starting Dusty
So many regrets. I laughed in the face of someone who told me to start Dusty over Bont at the beginning of the year, and to them I sincerely apologise. Only cost me about 313 points over the year!! Considering I am a Richmond supporter, watching him dominate filled me with happiness, but there was always that shred of regret that I had totally ruled him out as an option. During the season I questioned whether his form could last, until he climbed over $600k and it was all too late. I am quite the fool.
One for you Borat fans, here.
Docherty over Heath Shaw
I was not even considering touching Heath Shaw at the start, with a clear eye on Sam Docherty – who I’d been without for the entirety of last season. It paid off, until the aforementioned mistake to trade in Shaw.
I had pressure on me coming into this year. After finishing in the top 1k last season and putting my rank in just about every article I wrote in the pre-season, I had to talk-the-talk. Ultimately, I failed in my quest but all-in-all I had a fairly solid year. Can’t complain, really.
Now it is back to the drawing board for a bigger and better 2018 campaign.
PS: I am sorry for the majority of Batten’s Best Buy’s, in particular to those poor souls who brought in James Sicily when he scored 25. The success of BBB will be reviewed in the off-season.