Reading and thinking about the Utai re-signing made me realise there’s an interesting more general question. Obviously in your first choice side you want blokes who can do everything, or at least who can do some things incredibly well and have no massive weaknesses. But since you can’t realistically get that kind of skill set right down the depth chart, with your backups would you rather have solid players who don’t do anything especially well or badly, or guys who are genuinely first-grade level at a few things but offset them with glaring weaknesses?
I’d call this “Brown v Utai” but that would turn the discussion into a debate about the respective merits of just two players which isn’t what I’m talking about. The solid all-round guy could be Reddy, or anyone else of that ilk you care to name, and the patchy skill set dude could be someone very fast but with dodgy defence (Grant?), or whatever you want.
Personally I guess there are some skills, or small groups of skills, that make a player valuable even when they can’t do anything much else. The most obvious being tackling and fitness - if you can play 80 minutes and make 50 tackles it doesn’t matter if you offer nothing else at all (Hindmarsh!). I would say with backs players absolutely must have pace before anything , and that once a guy is ‘quick enough’ you’d take the average across the board player ahead of the specialist. Except Utai is clearly an exception to the pace rule.
IMPACT of the bench with plenty of energy
Its a hard question…. Sometimes what you ‘want’ isnt what you ‘need’ at certain stages within a game. Add to the fact some player simply can not be bench players due to the way they mentally prepare.
This is something which I feel goes against Mitch Brown. He isnt as talented as players in our Starting 7, but he isnt a ‘Bench’ player either. Mitch is a player which works his way into games, much like Lote, and simply offers little coming from the bench other than being a simple replacement. In todays game, I dont think there is room on the bench for ‘Reserves’.
I’ve always looked at the 4 man bench in 2 parts. 1- Continuing Momentum (either in defence or attack) & 2- Impact (either in defence or attack).
One thing is for certain, and we see it more often in Representative Football, I truely like to have an injection of SPEED from the bench…
anyone but a winger