This week, Doctor SuperCoach brings you the Judge’s verdict on two premium players as chosen by our community! They are Western Bulldog Marcus Bontempelli and Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell.
2016 average: 107.7
The young pup is one of football’s most popular personalities at the moment, and after the Western Bulldogs’ fairy-tale premiership last year it’s not hard to see why. The Bont is entering his fourth year in this system, and is already a downright superstar, improving his average each year since 2014. Last season, Bontempelli scored 110+ on a massive 13 occasions – exactly half of his games. The Bont averages just over 24 disposals a game, and boasts a pretty nice kick to handball ratio too – perfect for SuperCoach! He also loves bobbing up every now and then to slot a goal, having done so in 16 games in 2016. Bontempelli is an absolute tackling machine, recording tackles in every game last year, for a total of 122 throughout the season with an average of nearly 5 tackles a game. This includes six games where he registered eight tackles or more. at four points a tackle those points start to add up quickly. The only big downside to the Bont this year comes in the form of the third man up rule change, with Bontempelli recording hitouts in 20 games last season. In fact, he was ranked third in the league for third man up hitouts in 2016. This could negatively impact his scoring.
2016 average: 104.0
The new Hawthorn recruit came from Sydney at the conclusion of the 2016 season after requesting a move to the Hawks to seek greater opportunities. Well he’s got them at the Hawks that’s for sure! Mitchell is the man many believe will lead the Hawthorn engine room in 2017 and it’s not hard to see why. In 2016, he averaged nearly 28 disposals a game and dropped below 20 only twice – once in the shock round 8 loss to Richmond and again in round 21 against St Kilda. Mitchell is another player who loves to lay a tackle – recording seven or more tackles in 11 games last season, including an absolutely ridiculous haul of 13 in the Grand Final. The ex-swan booted majors in 10 games last season as well. Goal kicking is a quality we all look for in our midfielders. Unfortunately for Mitchell, he was just a bit overshadowed in a strong Sydney midfield which contained the likes of Kennedy, Hannebery and Parker – all of whom went on to become top 10 SuperCoach midfielders last season. At the Hawks, he is the go to guy! He has already drastically improved his average disposals from last year to 37.5 – that’s an increase of nine disposals a game. Looks like he is relishing his time in the Hawks’ midfield. Mitchell’s biggest problem is his efficiency with the ball. Unfortunately he has a tendency to just throw it on the boot and hope for the best. Hawthorn prides themselves on their efficiency by foot though, and I have faith the coaching department there will help pull that efficiency up – if Tom is willing to put in the work!
I tell you what community, I really love how these two blokes go about their business. Bontempelli is an absolute superstar and the object of many a man crush I’m sure. Mitchell is a bit of a quiet achiever, happy to be in a team where O’Meara gets all the media focus – leaving him to concentrate on his game. These two up and comers will both be great picks this year, mark my words. But you don’t want to hear that. You want me to tell you who to pick don’t you? Mitchell’s disposal efficiency is probably what is holding him back at this point. If he can get on top of this there’s no telling how high he’ll rise – but until that point in time Bontempelli will be a better buy and although he comes at a slightly elevated cost, 20 grand isn’t huge in terms of SuperCoach money. Bont is also probably a little ahead of Mitchell in his football development – being the Bulldogs’ main man in the midfield for a while now.