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2021 - Squad, Signings, Re-signings

Discussion in 'St George Illawarra Dragons' started by Dragonslayer, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. Old Timer

    Old Timer Coach

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    Any of the younger players who might be in CC or Flegg or perhaps you think we don’t have any such players?

    My post is about principal rather than individual names.
     
  2. Crush

    Crush First Grade

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    I think Williame and Fuimaono have shown some promise?
    They've been inconsistent for sure but I'd like to see a little more before I put the red line through them.
     
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  3. Old Timer

    Old Timer Coach

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    Unfortunately we have had so many Williame & Fuimaono signings that I have long gone past any expectations for them or the likes there of.

    If they had of come to us off the back of some tried and proven performances at other NRL clubs and they themselves had blocked pathways due to the depth at those clubs then that might be another matter but clearly that is not the case with either of them.

    Then unfortunately due to the poor nature of our overall recruitment and the lack of progression of juniors in our pathways programme (lol) then some of us have "greater expectations" for these types of signings as people want something to believe in in an effort to get our club out of the doldrums where it now wallows.

    The sun sets so quickly on the form of so many of our players and whilst that happens the sun rises so late on others and for others the sun never rises at all that it is the real tragedy of it all.
     
    Dragon David and Crush like this.
  4. boardlumps62

    boardlumps62 Juniors

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    So whose got the inside rumour on Paul Vaughn. He seems to be flatlining and pulls a stunt with going outside the bubble.
     
  5. Dragonsteve2

    Dragonsteve2 Juniors

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    OT, I agree it would take at the very least two seasons to plug the holes, to recover from the cancer that has been growing in the club during the last seven years. I share your disappointment with Fuimaona who I thought showed promise initially. As the season has progressed he has been less effective, has dropped a few balls and given away some penalties. Then again it could be argued that there has been an inconsistency to his selection. Some long minutes on the edge, some long minutes at lock and some ridiculously short spells as impact off the bench. I think you are harsh on Williame on the basis that he has hardly played.

    There is one area of special concern to me in being critical of some current players. Most of us on here agree on the shortcomings of the coach. It seems logical to me then that some players are below the best they could be with a competent coach.

    The other issue is we do need to put together a squad of 30. At this point we seem to be struggling to find replacements to come to the club. So I would suggest there is little point in having a long list of players to discard until there is an expectation of decent replacements. As one example, I think Aitken has made a much better fist of the left side than his years on the right. Yes, he bombed a try last week because he didn't pass but there were successive games where he did deliver passes for tries. A pair of miracles on previous years' form. Perhaps with a competent coach he could have further upside.

    We both know how Mary has been very timid in introducing young stars to the team. He probably thinks he masterminded Lomax's introduction to the NRL while we would argue he set his development back a season. So we want the next coach to give young talent a go. But right now most of the promising young brigade with no 20s and no CC will have had little footy for 18 months before the next season kicks off. How it affects them is an unknown.
     
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  6. True_Believer

    True_Believer Juniors

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    I'm not making the claims so I don't need to name anybody.

    So just on principle, without actually being able to name players who are ready to fill those positions, you don't want to recruit players in those positions?
     
  7. gitano

    gitano Juniors

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    Ok so you're outraged and want people promoted to first grade, without naming anyone or saying what it will fix?
     
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  8. Dragonslayer

    Dragonslayer First Grade

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    Hard to put a line through anybody really, unless they're hell bent on leaving onntheir own accord. Our current players especially our juniors, have known nobody other than McGregor as head coach of the Dragons. Even young Host, who many want to get rid of, hasnt known any other style of play other than whats been dished up by our illustrious leader.

    I really like what I see happening at the Titans and at the Knights. Like because the changes made to the coaching staff has turned players who were well below average to better than average players. Titans, in particular, will be very strong moving forward with a very good coach and astute backing (Meninga in particular) and excellent revruitement, and I expect the same improvement in the Warriors in the coming years.

    Wether it be Hosty or Fui or Dufty or whoever, at the very least a season under a new coach will give us all a better understanding of a player and his abilities.

    We have some very promising youngsters coming through, unfortunately, the vast majority are backs with only Luke Gale being the stand-out (george dragon known a lot more than me in this area) forward. Add to this no CC this year, so basically, no guide as to who is developing, in fact, some may have degressed.

    Lets not be too hasty with the red pen just as yet.
     
  9. Old Timer

    Old Timer Coach

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    My position has been made extremely clear over many years.

    The signing of journeymen plodders with little to no form line geniuss the progression of youthful players within our system.

    While ever the likes of these plodders keep getting selected we remain in the dark as to how good our junior stocks actually are.

    Whether that be a Herbert or a Garrick or a Sailor or a Sele or a Host or a Leilua or a Lomax or a Saab or a Blacker etc etc etc all of them and others have had less than a fair go in respect of making it at NRL level.

    The likes of a Latimore or a Lafai or a Norman or a Pereira or a Williame or a Fuimaono will never win you a comp and their repeated selections over long periods will only blind you to what potential lies within the ranks of the club.

    Whilst Williame has been injured and doesn’t fit the exact criteria I am positive that if not for injury would have been picked religiously as was Lafai before him.

    So I have outlined the issue and provided a solution so not sure how you are missing that.

    Other clubs have 18, 19, 20 year olds playing regularly and we do not do that is the simple truth of the matter.

    People might say Lomax is proof to the opposite of what I am saying but even his route was torturous and poorly handled as he should have been there long before now.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
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  10. Old Timer

    Old Timer Coach

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    You obviously didn’t read my post very carefully.

    I am very happy to recruit quality players capable of playing NRL and making the difference.

    I am not happy to recruit pluggers and planks who offer next to SFA and all the while blocking the progress of juniors who came through our system or were purchased in from other clubs.

    I am all ears to hear the on field benefits that all the planks we have had purchased bought to the team and the enjoyment of the fan base.
     
  11. Como Connection

    Como Connection Bench

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    Remember Kurt Mann!
    CC
     
  12. True_Believer

    True_Believer Juniors

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    I read it fine thankyou.

    So you are happy to block their progress by buying better players? They're still blocking players who have come through our system. Alternatively, you are happy to give them free entry into first grade without any challenge?

    Tyrell has played 10 games for us - with limited minutes off the bench for most of them. Hardly an opportunity to provide a "highlights package" in the red V.

    Williame has played 4 - again no opportunity to provide highlights. Additionally, not really enough to be considered "blocking".

    Additionally, nothing is preventing Mary from selecting the youngsters in the team if they are better. It's not the players that are blocking their advancement, it's Mary. Even if we did promote the juniors, we still need players competing in the lower grade.

    Alternatively, for comparison and as an example, show me the "highlights package" for Host in first grade? He's had 47 games in first grade. Is he being blocked? I think he's had plenty of chances to put a stamp on a position and yet you keep calling for his inclusion.

    I don't think you've thought this through.
     
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  13. Como Connection

    Como Connection Bench

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    Host a keeper for me with a new coach.
    CC
     
  14. True_Believer

    True_Believer Juniors

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    He might be - and as I've said before, I don't think you can say any of the players are absolute duds until we get a better coach. As I said to OT, it's not the players blocking pathways, it's Mary. If one of the juniors is a standout, he should be chosen. However it seems stupid to just select them because they are juniors of the club. You need to get the best players on the field - whether they're from our pathways or from the outside, and we're never going to do that until we get a new coach.
     
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  15. possm

    possm Coach

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    All I can say is that it is very apparent that you have given this list a great deal of thought. I have no real problems with it as it does solve some of our problems and so, with new coaching and recruitment staff, we may be able to compete in 2021 and be ready to make a grand final in 2022.

    I have always wanted to make a grand final in the next season when it was clear we could not make it in the current season. So let's look at each position:

    1. Dufty or Ramsey
    Dufty is very good in attack from the fullback position but suffers when it comes to taking the high ball and too light-weight leading him to be rag dolled to behind his try line or over the sideline. Even though he is much younger, Ramsey has no trouble with the high ball, positional play or his defense. So I believe it is time to move Dufty to 6 and Ramsey to 1.

    2. Left-wing
    Johnson would be a very good fit on the left-wing however, I am sure he would rather play fullback or centre. I think that Ramsey will do a good job at fullback however, if this does not go well there would always be Johnson to fill in.

    3. Right Centre
    Lomax is by far the best right centre in the Club so, no contest there.

    4. Left Centre
    Unless it is decided to buy another centre, I'd say that either Williame or Feagai will fill the left-centre spot. I feel the player who performs best in the off-season training program may win the contest.

    5. Right Wing
    With Saab moving on, the only contest for the right wing position seems to be between Ravalawa and Feagai. I'd say Ravalawa has the inside running and that Feagai will get his chance through injury to Ravalawa or though his own good form.

    6. Five-eighth
    I do hope that Norman is moved on before season 2021 and if this happens my choice for five-eighth is Dufty. When you look at his rugby league history this is not such a surprise decision. Dufty played five-eighth in his junior career and only switched to fullback at the beckoning of Hornby when he was his coach in under-20s. I truly believe that Dufty has all the attributes, except for his defensive skills, that he need to make the 6 position his own. Our new coach may have to employ defensive plans similar to Bennett where Scott was position to support Soward in defense.

    7. Halfback
    Clune is currently the best performing halfback in the Club. If another Club wanted to sign Hunt right now, we should not stand in the way, however, Hunt is doing a fine job at hooker all-be-it being a very expensive hooker.

    8. Right Prop
    If De Delin becomes available would see him filling this position very well. However, if he is not available I believe we need to recruit a hard-nosed NRL experienced prop. We are again experiencing the problem of a soft under-belle which was there prior to Bennett taking over in 2009.

    9. Hooker
    Hunt is doing a great job at hooker and if possible, I think he should stay there. If Hunt moves on I would like to see Britain given his chance to prove his suitability.

    10. Left Prop

    By far our best prop, Vaughan will be a great loss if we lose him to South Sydney. I'm hoping he will stay once a new coach is announced. However, I doubt Vaughan will stay if D Young is appointed interim coach. In the case that the 10 position does become vacant, I'd say we need to recruit a hard-nosed NRL experienced prop.

    11. Left Secondrow Forward
    Sims is our second best secondrow forward behind Frizell. Over past two seasons, he has lost form and enthusiasm. Let's hope that with the announcement of our new coach Sims will be on the boil again.

    12. Right Secondrower
    Frizell is leaving and even though we have know this for a couple of months now, the Dragons have not announced a replacement. It is very important that we recruit a top-line NRL forward to replace Frizell as, if we do not do so, we will find ourselves with a degraded forward pack.

    13. Lock
    The experiment of selecting McInnes at lock and Hunt at hooker is considered to be a big success by most followers of the game. Even if De Belin becomes available, I would prefer McInnes at lock in this new '6 again' format. 'We are desperate for top NRL experienced props and so JDB may very well suit this position.

    Bench
    Kerr
    Blacker
    Ford
    Fuimaono

    Two of our big young props coming off the bench. If we selected them for the remainder of the year, maybe after a big pre-season they will be ready to go in 2021.

    Also two of our most versatile backrowers able to play on the edge. Both mobile giving us a bench of 4 forwards, plenty of youth, and versatility.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020
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  16. denis preston

    denis preston Bench

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    Exactly.I suspect the improvement in the younger players will show how bad Mcblocker really was but also for me why shouldn't Young and the development coaches be also under the microscope ? They have been part of this as well. Favorite story from a player dropped last year and after requesting specific feedback to where he needed to improve was told by Mcimposter "train harder " The fact that he couldn't get much better from Young & Hornby shows something. This same player is getting great advice from Flanagan & the other assistant.Only trouble is the same game plans & patterns the head coach is insistent on.
     
  17. True_Believer

    True_Believer Juniors

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    Yes you are right - it's not just about Mary (although the buck does stop with him). There has to be some blame attributed to the assistant coaches over the years as well. If what you say is correct, then that does explain a lot - especially the game plan comment. Some small variations in attack, but the game plan is essentially the same.
     
  18. Dragon Revival

    Dragon Revival Juniors

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    While the Dragons have four coaches paid collectively $1.5-$2million that win barely 30% of games I believe it is a waste of time recruiting marquis players as they do not want to play here. Buy developing players and have a strong pathways progamme. I believe that Millward is trying to do his best with a hopeless coach. Ellis, Pereira and Williame look good solid players while Ramsey, Ravalawa and Schiller have good potential. Ford and Gale have good qualities while Fuimaono looks the goods but is a bit small and makes stupid mistakes. Host looked a great running forward until Mary stuffed him around plYing him middle and warming the bench. Dufty is finally showing his porential. Clune is all class. Sailor has hardly been given a go. Saab is not up to the mark. We should have players in positions where we rate them at least seven out of ten and if not give another player a go who is performing in Canterbury Cup.
     
  19. possm

    possm Coach

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    I'd say the experiment of having Millward work outside the coaching staff and reporting directly to the CEO has failed. So I would like to see the recruitment/retention/pathways/list management all be split up and be handled by separate people who report directly to the head coach. Millward also needs to go.
     
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  20. Old Timer

    Old Timer Coach

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    We all know Mary is the major issue and if not there things potentially change.

    So in this thread like many other threads ideas are offered up as to how things might change for the better on the basis of Mary staying or for that matter going and what might / should happen under the new coach.

    I offered lots of names of those blocked and I see that you honed in on Host well it's not just about Host it is about the majority of young players and if you don't like Host and wouldn't pick / keep him that's ok but lets not lose sight of the principal.

    Now in talking about Host you sight he has "played" 47 games well that is drawing a long bow as he might have been named in 47 games but on some occasions he didn't take the field and on other occasions he got SFA game time and on most occasions he has been ignored by the dominant halves / hooker as they favour certain players.

    Now while TF has played 10 games for us he has in fact been selected 36 times in 1st grade amongst the three clubs he has played for so it is not as if he is not known and thus the reason why I question his signing and continued selection as I am yet to see anything that says he has something that Host doesn't. By the way I am not easily swayed on the basis of players making a "big tackle" every now and then.

    I did acknowledge Williame had not played many games and is out injured but given the nature of our coach Williame is typically the type of player he will pick before he would even consider the likes of a young up and coming player as was evidenced in Lafai & Aitken's continued selection despite providing SFA for 2 or more seasons.

    If Williame is not selected in 1st grade he will just sit in CC and there he will block some younger player and when that younger players name is thrown up people will say "he hasn't played against men" well they never will while you have the likes of Williame, Maranta, Nicholls, Runciman etc running around filling spots and making debuts for our club when they cant make the roster at any other club.
     
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