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Coleman Medal Candidates

Coleman Medal Candidates
Mar
22
12 0

Written by AFL Online on 22nd Mar 2007

The Favourites:

Brendan Fevola
TAB SportsBet paying $4.00

Heading into season 2007 the reigning Coleman Medalist has only one thing against him in his quest to win back-to-back goal kicking titles, and that is the return of Matthew Lloyd. Everything else is working in his favour. A stronger midfield, the emergence of forward line support, a deeper more efficient ball-winning midfield, a more confident Carlton side in general along with impressive personal pre-season form. As AFL Season 2007 unfolds, opposition sides may begin to adopt the “Jo Beth Taylor” defense and put two men on him in times of desperation! Fevola has averaged over 65 goals per season for the last four years. The “Fev” is my tip for another Coleman, in fact I think he could well boot over 100 this year.

Matthew Lloyd
TAB SportsBet paying $4.00

Similarly to the medal’s namesake, the legendary John Coleman himself, fellow Bomber Matthew Lloyd will long be remembered as one of the most efficient and prolific goal scorers of his era. Nevertheless, with so much competition for the Coleman Medal in 2007 he will be hard pressed to secure his fourth. A disappointing 15th place for Essendon in 2006 has rightfully been significantly attributed to the horrendous and debilitating hamstring injury that resulted in the absence of Lloyd. However, the club’s skipper will be taking his rightful place in the goal square once more and given his resume it would not be wise to write him off at only 29 years of age. Lloyd may kick 100 goals this season, win the medal easily and football followers would not be shocked, yet the uncertainty surrounding his team in 2007 implies that an equal level of “anti-surprise” could be assigned to the contrary.

Barry Hall
TAB SportsBet paying $6.50

When it comes to kicking goals, nobody compares to Tony Lockett. Actually, come to think of it, Barry Hall does. Both were labeled as the bad boys at Moorabbin, bustling bodies with a chip on each shoulder. Both were country lads thrust into the hustle of city life by their discovered football talents. Both moved from St Kilda across the border to the biggest city in Australia and ironically turned initial anonymity into a version of fame more positive than that which shadowed them whilst in Melbourne. Both certainly know how to kick goals. In fact, in the last four seasons only one player in the AFL (Gehrig) has kicked more goals than Barry Hall, almost 300 in that short space of time. Hall’s recent track record is as impressive as the 30-year-old is intimidating. John Mayer sung “I wanna run through the Halls of my High School” well I am pretty sure nobody from Broadford High ever ran through Barry, and no one has since. Once again in 2007 he will have a quality side surrounding him, delivering quality ball and will be in contention to win his second when the time comes for the Coleman Medal to be presented.

The Contenders:

Fraser Gehrig
TAB SportsBet paying $35.00

The next train to depart from Moorabbin Platform 1 is the “G-Train”, it’s fully loaded and ready to roll, get on board and enjoy the ride. The Ross Lyon Saints side will ensure they utilise their biggest weapon in attack with a revamp strategy set to get the most out of their potent forwards. Gehrig has played an impressive 67 matches and kicked 253 goals in the last three seasons and no doubt he will continue to physically overpower almost any defender in the AFL. With plenty of matches at the Telstra Dome, Fraser will fascinate and flabbergast fanatical and frenzied footy fans and frequently fulfill and forcefully find fruitful forward fun and frivolity.

Anthony Rocca
TAB SportsBet paying $35.00

Is it time for Pebbles to shine? I am of the opinion that it could well be. Although his older brother has left the country, it is forward line buddy Chris Tarrant that has left the Lexus Centre. Tarrant’s departure will translate into less wasted opportunities for Collingwood in 2007 and strangely enough probably more for Fremantle. Rocca converts scoring chances into goals even when the pressure is on, and although he will turn 30 before season’s end there is no doubting his physical and kicking capabilities. His fellow Pies love to hit him on the lead and consequently look for him often, if he can keep presenting they will find him. A career best 55 goals in 2006 implies that like a fine bottle of Sant’ Appiano vino, Rocca is getting better as he matures.

The Pretenders:

David Neitz
TAB SportsBet paying $21.00

In the twilight of his career and still so important to the Demons, Neitz still has the skill set and body type to trouble opposition full backs and kick bags of sausages semi-regularly. However, even if he does manage to allow his 32 year old body to play a full 22 week season (doubtful) then he probably needs to average 4 goals per game or more to secure his second Coleman Medal, and I do not see that happening. Although Neitz has exceeded the 65 goal mark in 3 of his last 4 seasons, the Demons now get good forward thrust from their midfield and should kick plenty of goals right over his head. Plus, with teammates like Brock McLean, Brad Miller, Aaron Davey, Russell Robertson, Ben Holland and Adem Yze all able to contribute majors, I do not see the 2007 Melbourne gameplan running through their captain as often as it once may have.

Brad Ottens
TAB SportsBet paying $23.00

You know what it’s like. Your wife has had a tough week at work, she’s been complaining to you on the phone and implying that all she wants to do is come home, enjoy a glass of wine, unwind and take a bath. It’s Friday night the fridge is full of beer and the sold-out match between your favourite AFL team and their biggest rival that you couldn’t get tickets to is live on the TV. The idea crosses your mind to have the bathroom candlelit and all prepared in time for her arrival… like Brad Ottens winning the Coleman Medal, it is a romantic thought but it is not going to happen. I believe the persistent optimism of long-suffering Geelong fans should be heritage listed. He may well slot his usual 30 goals for the season but that will be about it. If you like odds of $23.00 then contact me at www.oneweekatatime.com.au and I’ll give you much better value out of my own pocket!

Jonathon Brown
TAB SportsBet paying $10.00

A genuine match-winning superstar of the competition who benefits his team in more ways than just kicking goals. It is quality not quantity when it comes to Jonathon Brown. He will push hard up the ground and the deeper goal-square duties will be left for teammate Daniel Bradshaw. Certainly if Brown plays all 22 matches for the Lions then he will tally a multitude of goals by the bagful, however not enough to exceed the totals of Fevola, Hall and a possibly fit Matthew Lloyd. In each of the last five seasons Brown has failed to play more than 19 games, plus he has never kicked more than 39 goals in any year of his career. He is more likely to win the Brownlow ($14.00) than the Coleman Medal.

Chris Tarrant
TAB SportsBet paying $35.00

Similar to Ottens I feel Tarrant’s odds shou
ld be much higher. However there is a certain level of unknown with Tarrant wearing purple and traditionally punters like the concept of “what if”, actually the entire world-wide, multi-billion dollar gambling industry is fuelled by that ideal. I consider him not to be able to secure a Coleman even if out west. Do not get me wrong, the Bendigo boy has talent and will relish his latest move, as far away from Melbourne as he could get. Still, he has a whole new crop of unfamiliar teammates and on top of that consideration, remember that the most goals Tarrant has ever amounted in any one season was only 54 in 2003. Heed my advice, do not waste your money and sanity by putting yourself in a position where you are relying on (or even barracking for) Tarrant to kick goals. Nearly every season Tarrant boots close to as many behinds as goals, a much higher ratio than Hall, Lloyd, Fevola and most others. His only chance will be a Stephen Bradbury type victory.

Brad Johnson
TAB SportsBet paying $21.00

The smiling assassin with be back for another attempt at leading the Bulldogs in goals kicked for 2007, however, he should have his work cut out for him this time round. Last season the Western Oval boys were depleted by injuries to their talls and Johnson enjoyed the benefits, but now the Doggies will be implementing an entirely new gameplan, and I imagine Johnson will slip back into his small forward role and eye off around 50 goals, which will translate into another great season for one of Footscray’s favourite sons.

Warren Tredrea (TAB SportsBet paying $35.00)
Nick Riewoldt (TAB SportsBet paying $35.00)
Lance Franklin (TAB SportsBet paying $51.00)

Similar to Jonathon Brown, all of these players are vital components in the forward lines of their respective teams. They are sought after targets whenever their teammates have the ball and are too far from goal to attempt a score. However, both history and I are stating that these types of players generally do not win Coleman Medals. All three of them could go on and win their club Best & Fairest awards, nevertheless, they will not be able to consistently match it with more traditional full forwards during the course of an entire season. To give you an idea of scale the most goals kicked by Riewoldt in any season during his career thus far is only 9 in the one game and 67 in the same season, that was in 2004 when St Kilda made finals and Riewoldt played 25 matches. Whereas for Tredrea it was also 2004 when he amassed 25 matches and slotted 81 goals, only enough to finish third in the league.

On the Bubble:

Quinten Lynch
TAB SportsBet paying $13.00

Lynch has proven that with the best midfield in the competition winning and delivering the football, almost anyone can kick a bunch of goals over the duration of an AFL season! OK, that is a little harsh, however I am confident in my opinion that he is well below the class of Lloyd, Fevola and Hall. Nevertheless, the Coleman Medal is not about anything other than slotting goals, and we should remember that with Judd, Kerr, Cousins and Embley up the park the “Big Q” should have more occasions to shoot than most other forwards in the league, and he is a super kick.

Mark Williams
TAB SportsBet paying $35.00

I am still yet to pinpoint how he does it, but he does. A highly underrated player, perhaps due to his relatively recent arrival on the goal kicking stage, Mark Williams looks great around the goal face despite looking ridiculous when doing “the shotgun”. Hawthorn have experienced trying seasons during the modern era and Williams has been a beacon of hope, one of the shining lights for the Hawks’ faithful to cheer about. Last year he averaged three goals per game that he played, so perhaps with a little more consistency each week and an enhanced Hawthorn setup in front of him revolving around “Buddy” Franklin, I think Williams could top the 80 goal mark if all goes well, which might just be enough to snag him a Coleman.

My Smokies:

Daniel Bradshaw
TAB SportsBet paying $71.00

Averaging over two goals per game for seven AFL seasons is an impressive feat, as is taking 15 marks against the eventual Premiers in 2006, nevertheless the Lions’ new target in the post-Lynch epoch has thus far failed to compile a Coleman Medal worthy season. Bradshaw has long shown footy fans that he can match it with the best in the league, albeit in teasing glimpses, he just appears to have somehow avoided taking the step up. Could 2007 be that season? Brisbane showed plenty of unexpected promise during the NAB Cup with an unfamiliar running, open, almost risky style of football. If Bradshaw can cash in on that productivity by instilling confidence in those young players early on in the season then perhaps the 28 year-old can build on his career best total of 59 goals from last year.

Cameron Mooney
TAB SportsBet paying $61.00

The key to Mooney having a productive season is him staying on the park. Suspensions and injury will ruin most players’ chances of snaffling a Coleman Medal, however if Mooney is suspended then his track record will result in even more weeks when he will be without the opportunity to add goals to his season tally. Having said that, I believe I watched Cameron Mooney evolve last season, I might be foolish to instill faith that he has turned a corner, yet I cannot help but be excited about what he could bring to the AFL in 2007. The “big hairy cat” has been exceptional of late, his blood pumps blue and white, and I am sure he is rattling his off-season cage, desperate to unleash himself on season 2007.

Conclusion:

As with attempts to select finalists, premiers and wooden spooners, similar to prophesies regarding Brownlow Medal victors or Rising Star standouts, trying to pick the Coleman Medalist is rife with eventual ridicule. Nevertheless, I find this season in particular to be distinctly intriguing. With last season’s winner coming from the worst team, Lloyd’s return, a crop of youngsters and the recent emergence of small forwards there is no telling which player might finish on top of the goal kicking ladder. One thing is certain, the unavoidable variables of a full AFL season will once again make sure things are uncertain.

All quoted TAB SportsBet prices as of 19th March, 2007
Article written by Mark Franklin from oneweekatatime.com.au