SFNL Fantasy Team - Rucks

By Will Hunter



Drafting a fantasy side a few weeks out from the start of the season is always fraught with risk, and changes are an inevitability before a ball is kicked in anger. For example, Nathan Freeman and Travis Varcoe seemed like inspired choices for my own AFL Supercoach team last month, but now both men have ripped hamstrings and find themselves on the fantasy scrapheap.

Similarly, one of my fantasy team members will not be lining up for his SFNL club any time soon - albeit not for soft tissue related reasons.


When I compiled my side a couple of weeks ago, I was under the impression that Aaron Purvis would remain at the Peanut Farm. I had heard no talk otherwise. However, his transfer to Alberton Football Netball League club Stony Creek landed upon my desk yesterday, which has thrown a spanner in the works. Therefore I've been left with no option but to make my first trade.

So out goes Purvis, and taking his spot on the Warriors' midfield bench is Mordialloc skipper Todd Bastion.



Todd Bastion (Mordialloc)

The Bloods skipper is an absolute machine around the stoppages and seemingly wins clearances with effortless ease. Bastion racks up plenty of possessions every week and always impacts on the contest. His penetrating right boot is a major attacking weapon, helping him drive the footy deep inside 50 time and again. The Bloods run deep through the midfield, but Bastion is their most damaging onball option.

[caption id="attachment_10793" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Mordi skipper Todd Bastion is a clearance specialist. Mordi skipper Todd Bastion is a clearance specialist.[/caption]


While we are on the subject of clearances, Bastion and his midfield counterparts wouldn't be able to what they do without arguably their sides' most important player - the ruckman.

The game's giants can often be the difference between a good side and a premiership side, but unfortunately there aren't too many top-flight ruckmen running around. Gun midfielders are a dime a dozen, but star big men like Todd Goldstein and Nick Naitanui are few and far between.

In fantasy terms, ruck spots are always limited, so Supercoaches are usually willing to splash plenty of cash to secure the absolute best. And in Wilbur's Warriors it's no exception.



Matt Terech (East Malvern)

Last season was a breakout year for the big T-Rex as he announced himself as the pre-eminent ruckman in the SFNL. The big fella has a tremendous motor and can ruck solo all day, as well as contribute around the ground. Finished fourth in Ellis Medal voting and looks set for another big year at Dunlop Reserve. A fit and firing Terech is crucial to the Panthers' flag hopes.

[caption id="attachment_10781" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Matt Terech has become the SFNL's most dominant ruckman. Matt Terech has become the SFNL's most dominant ruckman.[/caption]


Stuart Cleeve (Dingley)

The mobile big man finished second in last years’ club best and fairest, which was a terrific result in his first season at Souter Oval. The former Noble Park premiership player is rarely beaten in the air and puts many of his hit outs to advantage – the mark of a great tap ruckman. Cleeve was superb in last year’s granny, too.

[caption id="attachment_10780" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Stuart Cleeve is rarely beaten in aerial battles. Stuart Cleeve was sensational in last season's Grand Final.[/caption]



Adam Ballard (Caulfield)

Was tossing up between Ballard and Heatherton’s Jesse Henderson as the Division 2 ruck choice, but went with the former (perhaps a left-field choice) due to his influence on games in various roles, including defence. The underrated Bears’ co-captain does a power of work around the ground and is rarely missing from Caulfield’s best each week.

[caption id="attachment_10782" align="aligncenter" width="600"]The big Englishman is as adept in defence as he is in the ruck. Adam Ballard is as adept in defence as he is in the ruck.[/caption]


What do you think about Will’s selections? Has he nailed it? Is there someone he has forgotten? Reckon you could pick a better team? Let us know your thoughts on Facebook or Twitter.


TOMORROW: Will selects his team’s forward line.

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